Thursday, September 30, 2010


I have been in a mooooooooooood this week.  See Monday for the road rage, yesterday for the bitching about a sick baby, and today for, well, this I guess.

I think it's my hormones.

Like, having a baby wacked my body out in more ways than one.  I'm now so completely addicted to caffiene-free coke I can barely function at times. 

But it REAAAAAAAALLLYYY seemed to wack out my hormonal ... stuff.

(Okay, I'm done being annoying with the drawn out vowel words.  Probably.)

Of course my periods were slow to return, and irregular in the beginning, because I was nursing.  Over the summer they became more regular.  Which totally sucked, because I loved (see, I didn't do the thing) not menstruating.  And when Aunt Flo did come visit, it was horrible.  I mean, like, have to change sheets in the middle of the night, wish your uterus would fall out so it would no longer be attached, how much ibuprofen can I take in 24 hours, why won't I just die and get it over with kind of horrible.  With a facial disfigurement some might call "severe acne" and a mood to match the whole shebang.  And they were longer than before too, so it didn't all go away in a day or two like before.

But it least it was all contained to a week or so.

This month, it seems the mood came earlier and decided to stay.  I've been angry, snarky, irritable, exhausted, weepy, distracted, unorganized, and blah.  The only thing I've managed to stay on top of is cleaning my kitchen, because for some insane reason that's helped me feel normal for the last week.

Monday was the road rage thing.  Tuesday I yelled at my class for cheating.  Today I was just snarky - there was a guy in class trying to hit on another girl.  He was sitting behind her and kept whispering to her to make her laugh.  At first I gave him a glare.  Then I totally stopped lecture and said "do the two of you have a question I can answer?".  He turned red.  I let the silence hang for a moment before starting again.  He behaved the rest of class.  While I shouldn't have to do that, given that I teach ADULTS for a living, it just added to my laundry list of stuff to be pissed off about.

Its pretty long at this point.

So ... suggestions are welcome.  Should I see a gyno and ask for birth control?  Can you take BCP while you're nursing (because with The Sick, the weaning is out the window.)  That will probably help with the cramps and the midnight sheet changing, but will it help the Bitch From Hell-ness?  I have this fantastic plan to record yoga shows on my DVR and then try to teach my Wee One to do yoga in the living room.

Stop laughing.

I'm going to try some deep breathing. 

I need a coke.

How can you be snarky at her?  Wait until she screams.  Right in your ear.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Daycare is STILL a Petri Dish.

(Post title is in reference to this previous post.)

She is ON an antibiotic.  The third one.  A powerful one.  It seems to be working, she isn't pulling on her ear anymore.  And my throat feels a whole lot better, so she must not have whatever she was giving me anymore.

Today, I pick her up at daycare.  They are out on the playground in the blazing hot sun (um, Mother Nature, it's the end of September.  80 degrees, really?  In the Midwest?  Seriously, get a clue.)  Her caregiver tells me that a little while earlier my wee one laid down on the ground like she wasn't feeling well, and felt "a little warm".  But it could be from playing outside.

Nope.  Fever of 102.8.  When we got home.  After being in the air conditioning in the car in traffic on the way home.

I called her doctor's office 12 minutes before they closed.  Hi, remember me, the one with the snotty screeching (but adorably precious) baby.  You know, the one with all the hair.  Ya, she's been on this antibiotic for 6 days and now has a fever of 102.  Suggestions?

She has probably picked up something viral, maybe from daycare, the pleasant Medical Assistant tells me.  (This is the same one I talked to last Friday that heard the coughing in the background.)  She suggested Tylenol and a bath to bring down the high fever, and alternate with Motrin.  We did Tylenol at 5:00, Motrin at 6:30, and she was still a little warm when I put her to bed at 7:30.

I'm going to freaking hire a nanny with the strongest immune system ever to have her cared for at home.  I'm tired of all these freaking diseases and sicknesses.  It seems like she's the only one getting sick - nobody else was out with pinkeye, nobody else was running a fever today.

In better news, I totally figured out how to create a Wimba classroom on Blackboard and record audio over a Powerpoint presentation, and archive it for students to watch.  I felt like a rock star when I left work today.  It's not my best work - I spent an hour going through the presentation the first time, then realized that I wasn't recording the archive.  Nice.  The second time, knowing I had to leave to go get the girl, I rushed through it a little.  Oh well, they have a little pause button if they think it goes too fast.

So I'm going to try to supplement my powerpoints for my hybrid class with some online presentations using Wimba in Blackboard, and see if that helps the complaints I've been fielding about the hybrid format.

Meanwhile, I'm afraid it might end up being a long night, so I'm headed to bed early. 

Betsy - I saw your question about table height in the comments.  I'm gonna measure for you.  Just not tonight :)

The Table and Chair Arrived

The table and chair are here! 

And can I say ... I TOTALLY LOVE THEM.  She seems to like them too.

I bought them from Amazon, but they still shipped directly from TAG.  Shipping was like $21, so add that to the amount when you budget.  Amazon only sold table and chair as a set, for $105 plus shipping.  I trust Amazon more than the unknown company, so I went with that.

However, I would recommend you go ahead and order through TAG.  That way you can buy table and chair separately.  Because you're probably going to want to get a little higher seat height for the chair.  And since the order fulfillment is done by that company anyway, it just cuts out the middleman.

The chair that comes with the set has a 6-inch seat height.  My girl is tiny, and it's borderline between just right and a tad too low a seat height for her.  It will be good for smaller toddlers just learning to walk, though.  If you order directly from TAG you can choose from 6, 7, or 8-inch seat height.  Still just right for the toddler group, but possibly one that won't be TOO short very soon, as ours looks like.  If I had my preference, I'd opt for the 7- or 8-inch seat height.  But she didn't seem to mind at all.

Assembly is simple: the chair comes already assembled, and is very sturdy and solid.  The table comes flat-packed, so you have to screw the legs on.  I was so impatient to get it put together, so it was kindof torturous to have to screw legs on.  (I know, First World Problem.)

Now, when it came time for dinner, I was going to let her eat at her table, but she wanted into her highchair.  She also tried to climb onto the table, so I had to tell her that we don't climb on the table.  But she really seemed to love getting up and sitting down over (and over and over and over).

It's a big hit with Mommie and the Wee One!

And now my kitchen re-do is really complete.

On another note, when you're washing dishes, and your back is turned, and it gets reeeealy quiet?  You're probably going to turn around to something like this:

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

It's My Way Or The Highway!

Whew, what a day.  But one more thing on my to-do list ... Cloth Tushie Tuesday!

Mommie V

So, tell on Grandma, Dad, or the Babysitter, who did you have to get on board with cloth diapering, and how did that go?

One advantage to being a single mama - I don't have to share parenting decisions with anyone.  Sure, I usually elicit some input from my parents - they live 5 doors down from me, and are involved with my Wee One on pretty much a daily basis.  So many of my parenting decisions do affect them on some level, and I do seek their advice on most things.  But the beauty of it is - we don't have to agree.  We don't have to come to consensus.  We don't have to make joint decisions.

I didn't have to have anyone else agree to co-sleeping, or when to teach her to sleep in her own bed.  I didn't have to have anyone else agree to extended breastfeeding, or when to try to wean (which is totally out the window btw when she wakes up in the middle of the night and I'm dead tired.  Or she has the hiccups, whichever.)

And I didn't have to have anyone else agree to cloth diapers.

At one of my baby showers, several of my female relatives made fun of me for saying I was going to try cloth diapers.  I got "yea, we'll see how long THAT lasts" quite a bit.  My mom, however, was very supportive.  She used cloth diapers with me when I was a baby, since I had skin that was too sensitive for the new Pampers that were coming out.  (I guess that's genetic, since the Wee One has it too.)  She had a diaper service for a while, but I'm sure she did her fair share of diaper laundry.

Now, she was a little stuck in the past, since she kept shopping for "rubber pants".  I had explained all about covers, and shown her some of the ones I bought.  She still insisted that I needed some "rubber pants" to go over the diapers.  I think she finally realized ... they don't make those anymore.

When the Wee One was born, I had some continuing health issues.  At the time I lived about 100 miles away from where I live now.  Once the baby cleared her first week checkup, my mom packed her and I back to Mom's where she could take care of us.  I packed the cloth diapers.  I was intent on trying the cloth diapers.  Problem was ... my baby was tiny.

Nothing fit her.

So I used sposies for about the first six weeks or so.  Except when we went to family gatherings, because BY GOD they were going to see cloth diapers on my baby if it killed me.

Finally, she was big enough for the covers I had.  I was trying to do some funky jelly roll folds, and it wasn't quite working as well as I'd hoped.  My mom was changing a diaper, and she did this really cool fold, where she lined the diaper up with the back of the cover, then laid the baby on it, then she folded the front into thirds... it was like magic!  I was watching a diaper magician!

Of course, I totally thought she knew what she was doing.  She had cloth diapered me, after all.  She later confessed that she was just trying to get the diaper on the best she could, and she didn't really know what she was doing after all.

That's how I put diapers on her for a long time, tho!  (Now I just tri-fold, it's even easier!)

Now, she has done some funny stuff.  She put a fitted on the baby once with no cover, and wondered why her clothes got soaked.  She bought a package of Pampers a few weeks ago because there were no diapers in the diaper bag - because I had left a huge stack of them on the chair in her living room that she walked past and totally didn't see.  So she has backups now.  But she started out very supportive of my choice to cloth diaper, she has been a trooper with trying the different kinds of diapers that I bring over all the time, and she's even done some diaper laundry (but she's knows I'm pretty particular about that.)


When I was first looking at daycares, I knew I wanted to try to find a daycare that would use cloth diapers if I could.  My Wee One's bum is so sensitive, and for a while she would get a rash if she even LOOKED at a disposable diaper.  If she had to spend 8 hours a day in a sposie, I'd be fighting a rash constantly, I knew.

The daycare I was most interested in was a very nice, well marketed, very expensive daycare.  I did the phone interview with the assistant director, and asked her about cloth diapers.  At the time, they did not have any children at the center using cloth diapers (now there is another family that does), but she said as long as it was a "one-piece" diaper that they could just take off her and replace with a clean one, that would fit with their "diapering procedure".  I told her all about the zippered hanging wetbag, and the diapers just get tossed into the wetbag, and they would go home each day with us.  I was SO glad that daycare would be on board with cloth diapers.

I wrote a little explanation about cloth diapers for her primary caregiver in the creeper room, and showed her about the diapers.  I showed her that when she takes off the diaper, she can just put the velcro on the laundry tabs, and just throw the diaper in the wetbag.

Unfortunately, she's used to using disposable diapers, and has her own little routine.  She rolls the diaper up and sticks the velcro to the outside of the diaper, just like you would a sposie before throwing it away.  She then pulls her latex gloves off over the diaper, so it becomes a little latex-covered ball, just like she would a sposie.  This girl is NOT deviating from her routine!  Only, instead of throwing it in the trash, she throws it in the wetbag.  Usually.

So when I get home every day from daycare, I have this:

A bag full of latex-covered diaper balls.  So I have to take the gloves off of each one, swish the poopy ones, and put them all back in the wetbag until laundry day.

But hey, my daycare uses cloth diapers, which many do not, so I am totally not complaining.  Maybe just a little.


I do have some tells, though.  When I was first using cloth diapers at their house, I had put a load of diapers in to wash.  My wash routine starts with a cold rinse with no detergent.  I went and did something else, and came back for my father to tell me in a very proud way that he had helped me out - by putting the diapers in the dryer!  They had only had a cold rinse, they hadn't even been washed with detergent, and he was drying them on hot!  There were some stains that ended up setting in the prefolds, but I tried not to make him feel bad.  He was so proud that he was helping with the diapers!  After that he wouldn't touch them!  Poor Grandpa!

A family friend had watched my girl with Grandpa one day.  She said that she had changed a diaper, but it didn't feel wet, so she put it back on her.  It was a pocket diaper with the stay-dry fleece liner, so while the insert was soaked by the time I got home, it didn't feel wet to the surface, so she just used it again!  Now I tell folks when they watch her to just go ahead and change her diaper every couple of hours, "even if it doesn't seem wet"!!


Do you have a post about getting someone on board with cloth diapering?  Link up and tell us your story!  Follow @funkymamabird or @MommieV1 on twitter and see what we have in store for next week!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Don't Road Rage On The Way To Work On Monday

...especially not after you twitter BRING IT ON MONDAY on Sunday night.

I try to drive more carefully with my Wee One in the car.  So this morning, when a light turns yellow and I am some distance behind it, I stop.  In the lane to my left, cars whizz by, even well after the light is red.

This angers the woman behind me.

So a little way down the road, when traffic in the left lane clears, and we both need to get over, and I signal my intention to do so, she cuts me off and almost causes me to have a wreck.

I.  Go Ballistic.

See, I'm a little stressed over here in Mommie Heaven.  I am not proud of the fact that I road rage.  I've been trying to work on that.  But this woman.  Totally pissed me off.  And I told her so.  Loudly.  As she shot past me and then ended up right in front of me in a line of traffic.

But you see, Ms. Lily Tomlin (AKA The Universe) does not like road ragers.  And she seeks her revenge in the form of Karma.

So while I'm tailgating, and sarcastically yelling "Oh, you're so f---ing much farther than me now, aren't you?"  and telling her that she's a fat cow that can't drive, she slams on her breaks to avoid plowing into the car SHE is tailgating.

And she manages to do this at the exact same time my wee one yells "CAT!" and I look in the rearview mirror to see what "CAT!" is in reference to.  Glance forward to see the fat cow's car taking a nosedive, and all I can say is that while Ms. Lily Tomlin likes to exact her revenge, she's not mean about it.  I had to swerve back into the right lane to miss the fat cow's nose diving back end, and somehow there wasn't anyone coming to plow into me.

Karma.  It's a bitch.

Only, that wasn't really my karma.  That was my lesson, but not my Karma.

That would come while I'm sitting on the bridge in traffic and remember: I forgot to give the Wee One her antibiotic this morning.  The one she only takes once a day and has helped her to sleep for two nights straight.  I will have to go home and get it.  Or call her Nan and beg help (and conveniently not mention that this is Ms. Lily Tomlin AKA The Universe's payback for road rage and sarcasm.)

A few moments later I realize: all the references and materials that I have painstakingly printed and read and highlighted and made notes and prepared to use to write the paper that's due today ... is still sitting at home on my couch.

So I have to go back home at some point today.  And I don't have a spare moment to do it in.  All my spare moments were going to be used to WRITE said paper.

She is on her big chair, and laughing.

And the fat cow that I was road raging at is probably having a perfect freaking Monday.

P.S., I totally nursed my toddler this morning to make her go back to sleep.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Um, I Think We Are Weaning

We had been down to nursing about twice a day, sometime in the early morning (because that was my tool to lull her back to sleep at 4 am so I could get a couple more hours of sleep) and once in the late afternoon (because while my kitchen was torn apart we were on Nan and Grandpa's dinner schedule which was later than she needed, so a nursing tended to fill in the gap.)

I was planning to start gradually.  I was going to start setting some boundaries to limit the times/places we nursed.  I wasn't going to nurse out in public anymore.  I was only going to nurse at home in the living room, not in her bedroom or other places.  I had already started substituting a cup of juice whenever she would ask for the late afternoon nursing, and once my kitchen was back together we started eating dinner about when we walked in the door, so that helped.

I had gone a little backwards on the nighttime nursing, tho.  Especially since she's been sick so much, nursing when she wakes at night was my go-to parenting tool for getting her comforted and back to sleep in a somewhat timely way.

So at 5:00 Thursday morning, when I was nursing her for the second time that night, and I wasn't sure I had enough milk, I thought "you know, I need to work on the weaning thing."

So imagine my surprise ... that was the last time we have nursed.

At the end of The Milk Memos there is a story a mama tells about going into her son's room to nurse him for the last time.  When I first read that, she was only a few months old and I had a very physical emotional reaction to reading that.  I couldn't imagine a time when I wouldn't be nursing her.

But I always imagined our last time nursing would go the same way, we'd sit in the rocker and nurse, and look into each other's eyes and I'd try really hard not to cry.

So I'm quite disappointed that our last nursing (if this continues) was me being annoyed at 5:00 in the morning that she was in my bed and not going back to sleep.

She made the sign to nurse yesterday afternoon, and I gave her a cup and then fed her a snack.  She didn't ask today.  That's not how I wanted it to end.  But I feel like I need to keep going this direction.

A Funny

My girl is going through a phase where she likes to move furniture around.  On the front porch, she will move her chair to a new position before sitting.  She does this also with a chair in our living room.  Or even her potty chair.

The potty chair is a fun one to do, because it's a chair that comes apart, and it has two pieces, and you can play with both of them, and isn't that just awesomeness?

But the funniest part of this whole episode was when I woke up the next morning to find a balloon we had been given at dinner at a local Mexican restaurant had lost its helium, and of all the places in the house for it to sink, it ended up here:

After all the complaining by the sickies, I thought it time for (a) photos of my darling little girl, and (b) a little humor for the day.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Silver Lining

The Shit Of A Day continued into being a Shit Of A Night.  She went to sleep well at 8:00, and I went to sleep at 9:30.  Which meant that when she woke up with uncontrollable coughing at 11:00, I had only been asleep for an hour and a half.  She drank chugged about 4 ounces of juice but was still coughing and still crying.

The last time this happened I called her doctor's office, whose line connects with a local Pediatric Acute Care center after hours, so you can talk to a nurse.  She told me that, at 18 months, there isn't any cough suppressant I could give, and that the best treatment was warmed juice and to sit in a bathroom filled with steam from a hot shower.  So I dragged out the humidifier (my throat was scratchy too, so it couldn't hurt), and started a hot shower going to fill the bathroom with steam.  Given how small our bathrooms are, that's not hard to do.

I stood in a steamy hot bathroom with a croupy toddler on my shoulder for the requisite 20 minutes, swaying back and forth and singing our special song.  It worked, because she almost went to sleep on my shoulder, and relented to being laid next to mommie in my bed with the humidifier on full blast.  Somewhere in there I think I snuck in some Motrin, since she was still pulling on her ear and that's the best I could do for that.

3 hours of sleep were to be had midnight - 3:00am before the next coughing spasm would begin again.  This time she has goopy snot running out her nose, she agains chugs juice like crazy, and again is crying miserably.  After trying to comfort her for 45 minutes, we tried the shower thing again.  Not this time.  The coughing still wouldn't subside enough for her to sleep.

I seriously thought about taking her to the ER and begging them to please stop her coughing so we could both sleep.  But I figured they'd tell me the same thing and send me home with just a bill.  So I called the acute care nurses again.

This time a friendly male nurse told me that if the "foggy bathroom" trick didn't work, that she was probably having airway spasms, and that Children's Benadryl was indicated.  He told me the dosage for her weight, took our contact information for their records, and said if she was still coughing in the morning, to call her doctor to have her seen.

In my sleep deprived state (at this point it is 4:15 in the morning and I've had two short bursts of sleep), I think that he's talking about a cough syrup.  The panacea!  He told me a dosage of a cough syrup that will help her to sleep!  He's a genius!  He's an angel!

I throw on enough clothes over my nightgown to not get ticketed for public indecency, and pack the Wee One into the car.  I drive through the dark, hoping to not fall asleep on the way to Walgreen's.  We head toward the back of the store, her on my hip, and I search through the cough medicines, "Benadryl, Benadryl, where is the Benadryl?"  I'm still thinking that I'm looking for a cough syrup, for some strange reason.  I think I had "Robitussin" on the brain - because they sound so similar, right?

Finally I find it.  The pink-and-white box ... wait ... oh, yea, Benadryl.  Um, I already have a huge bottle of Children's Benadryl at home.  My heart sinks.

I just dragged my daughter out at 4:30 in the morning to get a bottle of something I already had at home. 

But just in case, I bought another one.  And some Children's Nyquil in case I got desperate.

On the way home I'm hoping she'll fall asleep in the car, but she starts singing instead.  In the door we dose up with the newly purchased Benadryl (the already-owned Benadryl looks on judgingly from the desk in the living room, mocking me) and some Tylenol for no good reason other than superstition.  Finally, around 5:00, she falls back asleep, nestled against mommie in the bed.

She was still coughing when she woke up 3 hours later for the day.  I called her doctor who got us in within half an hour - hearing a coughing toddler in the background seems to be key for getting in on short notice.  The receptionist said "is that her coughing in the background?" and when I said yes, she said "okay, I'll write down 'coughing'."  Good plan.

The silver lining I speak of in the post title is that he gave us a really heavy duty antibiotic that (a) she seems to take well since it's strawberry flavored, and (b) I only have to give her once a day.  He also gave us a decongestant that is supposed to help with the coughing and stuffiness.  So hopefully she'll be able to get over whatever this crap is that's infecting her head.

We napped for 2 hours this afternoon.  Also a positive.

So I'm getting ready to start the bedtime routine, and the humidifier, and load her up on juice and decongestant and whatever else I can put in her that I think might help her sleep.  Here's hoping we both get more sleep tonight!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Shit of a Day

Sorry for the cursing.  I have new followers that are probably like "um, she's educated, why does she have to use that kind of language?"  Because the following things happened today and there aren't any other words:

1.  I managed to be in two places at one time - not really - this morning by setting up a lab exam, starting lecture, ending lecture early to drive to the other campus, introduce a facilitator for a forum since I am chair of the committee that made the forum necessary, jumped back in my car and drove back to the other campus to give said lab exam.

That necessitates a glass of wine all by itself.

2.  I was told by a student that no fewer than 9 people cheated on said lab exam.  I was in the room and walking around, and noticed some conversations that garnered my evil eye, but I didn't recognize any actual cheating.  Determining it on the test will be difficult, since the test uses models with numbered structures, so if one person wrote "22" and the other person wrote "22" and the answer is "22", did they cheat, or did they both just get the answer right?

So I'm just going to have to give a stern, slightly yelling lecture on academic honesty to a group of people who are supposed to be adults.  I try to be friendly and collegial with my students, while maintaining professional boundaries, of course.  But then I get taken advantage of, and have to become a hard ass.  Now seems to be one of those times.  (If the original student was accurate in what they reported to me.)

3.  My daughter got bit at daycare today.  On the arm.  I had to sign the "incident report" form that said she and a friend were playing and she got bit.  There are very stringent rules at this center that they will not tell the identity of a child who has bitten, so as not to stigmatize the child or their family (OR HAVE MOMMIEV SHOW UP AT THEIR HOUSE ONE EVENING TO GIVE THEM A PIECE OF HER MIND ABOUT THEIR EFFING KID WHO GOES AROUND BITING EVERY KID IN THE TODDLER ROOM).

The teacher said she didn't cry, she just put her arm (where she had been bitten) up to her mouth, like she was trying to figure out what happened.  The other child was apparently told "no" and "no biting" and "biting is bad" by the teacher.

But there's a bite mark on my baby's arm.  And I'm a little pissed about it.

4.  At several points today I thought I might be getting strep throat, and by the afternoon had almost lost my voice.  However, deciding not to work tomorrow and being able to relax (along with copious amounts of orange juice, echinacea, water, and vitamins) seems to be helping somewhat.  At least I can swallow again.  And talk.

So there you have it, my totally shit of a day.  I'm off tomorrow and only have a doctor appointment to be at.  And a toddler to chase around.  Oh, if only I could just curl up in bed all day and forget about the world for a while.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Worry and Inadequacy In Their Place

You know you're a working mom when....

-You think about work stuff when you're at home and home stuff when you're at work.

And, even worse,

-You WORRY about work stuff when you're at home and home stuff when you're at work.

When I first went back to work after my maternity leave, I worried.  I had an exclusively breastfed baby that wouldn't take a bottle, and I was therefore trying (against my better judgement) to get around her tongue thrust instinct and teach her to take solids so she wouldn't scream for 6 hours straight at my mom's.  I finally got to the point where I knew the days were no longer torturous for either of them.  But I still worried.

Then I realized: that's the nature of this life.  You will always worry.  You can find the best babysitter, daycare, school, etc for your child.  But you will still wonder if they are okay, you will still wonder if their needs are being met.

You will still wonder if you are damaging them beyond belief if you work for a living.

Once I realized that worry was a part of everyday life, I immersed myself in my job and let the worry just hang out on my shoulder.

Then, came the next realization: You will always feel inadequate.  You can work hard all day long, but you know the reality for most of us is that there is still work to do at the end of the day.  You pack it into your work bag, and go pick up the kid.  Evenings are fraught with evening-stuff: dinner, bath, fights over TV, and bed - more for the older-kid crowd.  Finally after bedtime you either want to crawl in bed yourself or try to relax, catch up on blogs or TV, or actually (gasp!) clean the house, do dishes and laundry, and pay bills.  The next morning at work you pull all the stuff back out of your bag that you never got to, and the inadequate feeling settles over you.

Once I realized that inadequacy was a part of everyday life, I decided to try to do the best job I could and let the feeling just run away.  I strive for "good enough" at work, and slightly better at home, since that's my priority at this stage of my life.  Because the myth of being everything to everyone is impossible to try to live up to.  I just want to be the best I can be for one particular person: my Wee One.  And good enough will just have to suffice for everyone else.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

What A Girl Wants

(No, not another post about that.)

So, all you single mamas out there, (and the not-so-single-mamas-too) (and mamas-to-be too, I count ya'll as mamas already) ...

What would you like to hear about from a single mama's perspective on a collaborative blog?

I have had an invitation to write contributing posts for Our Mommyhood.  Of course I said yes, this means I'm famous and fabulous and famulous and everything.  I love writing about being a single mama, and this will be a wider audience, more fabulous mommies to meet.  It will be the epitome of awesomeness.

But, as my first deadline creeps closer, I find myself with a hard core case of writer's block.

I don't have that when I write here.  Because this is truly about me, my little one, our life.  It's the good, bad, and ugly, chronicled day-by-day.  I don't have to care if you like it - some mamas that can relate keep coming back for more, and those that don't move on.  That keeps me from being afraid to talk about personal topics, mundane topics, and my daughter's naked behind.

(The thing is, I do care.  I've met some cool mamas since I've been writing, and I have gotten to know them through their writing also.  It's a great little community developing.  Also the epitome of awesomeness.)

But when writing for a collaborative site, I am having a hard time figuring out what to say ... and how to say it.  If the token Single Mama shows up and is all like "I'm here and I'm Single and you all just need to understand how hard this shit is"... who wants to hear that?  Or do they?

So, I'm asking YOU ... what would you like to hear about from a Single Mother's perspective?  And I'll try to keep the attitude moderated.  If there is a topic I've discussed here before that you think would be appreciated by a wider audience, let me know and I can rework it.  If there is a topic that hasn't been discussed, let me know you're interested.  Single Mamas - what would you like for non-single-mamas to know about our lives?  Non-Single-Mamas, what would you like to hear about from our perspective?

I thought about just jumping into the first post with all the details about my known donor situation, but I'm still not sure how much of that I really want to reveal, so that's the only thing that I think will be off-limits for now.  So shoot from your hip - what would you like to hear about?

'Cuz I'm not sure my editor would like for me to post multiple photos of a naked toddler a$$.  I think she was looking for a little more ... substance.

Walking to Grandpa's, Story Two

I have no idea why I think photos of her walking down the street are so freaking adorable. But I do. So here's more.

Help me get down, mommie.

Trying to keep her balance making the turn from the downhill driveway to the sidewalk.


Tired of carrying this stupid hat.

Wait, now I want it on.  Put it on me, mommie.

Me and Mommie.

I don't like this stupid hat, but I'm wearing it.

Okay, I have no idea what I did today to piss Blogger off so bad, but I've even tried to edit the HTML to get the stuff out, and that didn't work.  And I'm running out of time to mess with it, so here it is.

If you're here for Cloth Tushie Tuesday, we are taking a break this week.  Come back next week and we'll have a cloth diaper extravaganza.  Or maybe just a post, whatever.

Monday, September 20, 2010


I didn't have a meltdown yesterday.  So I'm actually doing Make It So Monday on, yes, Monday.  Amazing.

Make it So Monday

I wrote last week about painting the bathroom.  Getting this bathroom painted was the first step in a long line of dominoes.  I had two boxes of "bathroom stuff" sitting in my bedroom, waiting to be unpacked.  In order to unpack them, I needed to finish painting and figure out some sort of organizing solution for two tiny bathrooms and a tiny hall closet.  Once I got the bathroom stuff put away, I could get my bedroom cleaned up.

The final picture of the bathroom:

Some storage under the sink, also:

Other items were stored in the hall closet, which is located somewhat between the two bathrooms:

I didn't plan well when starting the organizing.  I thought these drawers were a great idea, except they didn't fit.  So, baskets it is.

What to do with the extra drawers?  Oh, I can get rid of that box (leftover from moving almost a year ago) that I use as a catch-all for sippy cups and lids and baby bowls in the kitchen.  Awesomness.

Speaking of the kitchen, are you ready for the "after" photos?

The floor :)

New stove :)  I'm still looking for a small microwave cart or something for this empty space.

Floor is done, new appliances are in, and I have been a cooking fiend for two days.

And since all of that is done, I can finally clean my bedroom for once.  Since I was on a buying spree anyway, why not a new comforter and bedskirt and sheets for the bed too?

So now I'm seriously broke.  But, the kitchen has a new tile floor, new appliances, and a place for sippy cups.  Both bathrooms are organized, and the bedroom looks comfy cozy.

Betsy is right, it does make you feel pretty amazing to make changes in your surroundings!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

How I Met Serifm

One day on facebook I received a message from a high school friend who had a little one a few months after me.  She was introducing me to a co-worker of hers who was expecting.  The message mentioned that her co-worker is interested in using cloth diapers, and that I was the Cloth Diaper Master, and introduced the two of us.

We chatted about cloth diapers, and I pointed her to the blog.  She read some of my posts about doctor questions, and so our coversations expanded to include local pediatricians and other mommy stuff.

Finally we decided, after numerous conversations on facebook, to meet in person.

Our first meeting went a little awry.  We had agreed to meet at a certain restaurant at a certain time.  I got the Wee One all dressed and ready, and we arrived just a little early.  My girl was just learning to walk, so she was occupied for a while going in and out the front door of the restaurant, but then she got hungry.  I decided we would go ahead and eat and then try to find our new friend after that.

After eating, I called my mom and had her check facebook, which is when I figured out that there were two restaurants with the same name in our area, and I was at one and she at the other.

After a good laugh, another meeting was scheduled.  We were both on the same page with the when and where.  Again, with the Wee One in tow, I get there just a bit early.  By this time I have programmed her number into my phone (see, I learn eventually.)

I am sitting in the almost-empty restaurant when she calls and says "I am going to get us a table, so look for me when you get here."

Uh-ho.  I've done it again.  She is someplace looking for me, and I'm in a half-empty restaurant.

I panic.  Which means my brain shuts down.  I've done it again and this woman is going to think I'm a complete moron because twice in a row I can't manage to show up at the right place.

Do I say "um, where are you?" and look like a total fool?

Oh, I have it.  I say "how do I get to where you are?".  That way I don't look totally stupid for being in the wrong place, I just look like I'm running late and can't find it.  I'll pay for the rice they brought my screaming child to make her stop screaming, I'll jump in the car, and we'll get to the right place, and I will hopefully save face.

She says "where are you coming from?"

More panic.  A white lie.  "I'm just leaving campus".  So she begins giving me directions to the place where I already am from the place where I'm not - but I told her I was.  I look out the front window of the restaurant, where she is talking on her cell phone.  Giving me directions.  To the place where I am.  I'm in the right place.  Hallelujah.  Except ... she's standing out front.  Giving me directions.  To the place where I am.

You know when you lie to someone, and you usually have to keep lying to keep the lie going?  But then usually there comes a point where you have to call it quits and admit you told a slight "untruth"?  And you know how it's better to do that earlier, rather than later?

Because my only other option was to whisk the Wee One out of her high chair, climb out the bathroom window, come back in the front door, and be all like "no, that's not our rice that's all over the floor under that high chair.  We just got here."

So instead, I went to the front door, stuck my head out, said "never mind, we're actually here already!" and hoped that she wouldn't think I was a complete and total idiot. 

I spent the rest of lunch chasing my toddler around the restaurant, avoiding the server who is a former student (who cornered me into a conversation about how to get into my fall class) and trying to calm down from my panic that I was in the wrong place when I wasn't, and my white lie because of my panic.

The food was really good though.

For the second lunch, I scheduled on a day that I had care for the Wee One.  Just her and me and Indian food.  Which was incredible.  I could relax and not chase a toddler around.  And obviously she had forgiven me for the little white lie, because she was, in fact, sitting here having lunch with me again.

Our third mommy date was dinner.  I had gotten out of a torturous faculty meeting a little early, so I called to tell her I was heading to the restaurant ahead of schedule, just to let her know.  I found a place to park and arrived at the front door of the restaurant, to find a sign that said they were closed due to a fire.  I called and left her a message to let her know, and to tell her I'd be right next door.

At a bar.

I made a pregnant woman come find me for dinner in a bar.  With half a beer in front of me.  Which I was afraid to chug to get said pregnant woman out of said bar, because I hadn't eaten all day, and I have little alcohol tolerance anymore, and I was afraid I'd end up drunk and making an ass out of myself.

And I'm trying not to do that anymore in front of this particular person.

So I made a pregnant woman sit in a bar and watch me drink the rest of my beer while telling her most of the long drawn-out story of the womanizing drunk soulmate guy (she asked.  I think.)

We finally found a non-bar for dinner.  And again, the food was really good.

I'm thinking about asking her to go to the zoo with the Wee One and I.  Then I can take her to this really cool Mediterranean restaurant nearby.  Because I know where it is, I can be there on time, I don't think it's had a fire recently, and there isn't a bar next door.  That way I can (for once) appear to have my shit together.

Or maybe she knows that I really don't have my shit together all the time, and she doesn't really care.  And that's why she continues to want to hang with me. 

She does read my blog, after all.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

I Need A Friend ...

... (with benefits).  (If you know what I mean).

Um, mom, I'm about to talk about s-e-x so if that makes you uncomfortable, perhaps you should come back tomorrow.  And mention to my dad to skip this part, please?  kthxbye

I haven't been in a long-term relationship in a while.  I was married for a (short) (very short) period of time.  Then I did some internet dating (back when internet dating was more for the computer geek population and less for the general population.)  I met a guy that I dated for a couple of years, and afterward we remained good friends. 

I met another guy that turned out to be a womanizing drunk - this I find out after I fall madly in love and become convinced he's my soulmate.  Whatever.

That was all several years ago.

I used to live about a hundred miles away from where I do now.  I had dated, but for whatever reason it didn't work out.  However ... we sometimes would continue the physical aspect of the relationship after we determined that in other areas it wasn't working out - or wasn't going to.

I.e. ... Friends With Benefits

I don't have that here.

I moved back to the area where I grew up, went to high school, and then moved away.  Since I wasn't sexually active in high school, there really aren't any guys around here that I have "that kind" of history with.  Besides, most of them are married.

And really, can you facebook someone you haven't talked to for almost 20 years and be like "can we hook up?  Quietly, as to not wake a sleeping toddler in the next room?"

(No, I wouldn't do it with her in the house.  Well, maybe.  I am a little desperate here.)

I don't have the time or energy for any kind of serious relationship.  I have no life outside my wee one, and I wouldn't bring a relationship into my life with her until I was certain (like, beyond a doubt) about it. 

Besides, I'm not talking about a relationship.  I'm talking about ... benefits.

A guy that I used to date looked me up on facebook.  "Wow, you look great," he wrote.  "Are you still in the Cincinnati area?"


I lightheartedly mentioned that I had moved closer to my parents because I had a baby.  I ended with "so what's new with you?"


So much for that.

Craigslist had to take down their adult ads because of child sex trafficking.  So that's not even an option.

I mean, seriously, how hard is it to find a decent-looking 30-ish guy who would let me jump his bones for no-strings-attached fun?  I mean, I know I am a plus-size mama but seriously, is it that hard?

Yes, 30-ish.  I have enough issues without being a cougar too.

Friday, September 17, 2010

What Do You Say ...

...when your mouth is hanging open and all your brain is screaming at you is "what the FUCK old lady?"

The Wee One and I were cruising (okay, trying  to make an olympic sprint) through the grocery store this evening, right about 4:45.  I have on knit yoga pants with oatmeal from three days ago and my hair is fried.  She keeps trying to stand up in the moving cart, since she thinks that's a fun game to play.

My daughter, sitting in the cart while I am looking at items on the shelf, is approached by a complete stranger, holding out a sucker.  The stranger, completely focused on my little one, begins saying "I went to the doctor today and I got a shot and I was good so he gave me this sucker.  Would you like to have it ... if your mommy says its okay."


A, I try not to give my daughter sugar.  So I'm totaly shocked/pissed that she is offered sugar by A COMPLETE STRANGER.

B, if I ever WAS going to give my daughter sugar, it sure as HELL wouldn't be at 4:45 when I am obviously trying to buy items to prepare to feed her DINNER.

C, if I ever was going to give my daughter sugar RIGHT BEFORE DINNERTIME, it sure as HELL wouldn't be a Dum Dum tiny-candy-on-a-stick since she's only 18 months old and COULD CHOKE AND DIE.

D, if I ever was going to give my daughter a sugary choking hazard right before dinnertime, it sure as HELL wouldn't have come FROM A COMPLETE STRANGER IN THE GROCERY STORE.

There are 50 things wrong with that scenario.

In an instant, I have to make a decision.  The Wee One is already grasping for the extended sucker (hint, Complete Stranger, if you're actually going to let the mommy have a say-so, ask permission before dangling the sucker right in her face.)  Do I:

Say No?  And cause a huge toddler meltdown at grocery store rush hour?

Say "no, we don't take candy from strangers" and walk away?  Obviously, she's a dense Stranger, so she totally would not have gotten the message that her action was in appropriate.

Say "no, we don't eat sugar, especially not before dinnertime"?  Again, see first option.  Any form of no would lead to screaming.

So, I took the sucker into my hand just before my daughter grasped it, said a curt "thank you", and moved on.  I couldn't even process the ways our boundaries had been violated, and anything that I said would have reflected poorly on me.  I would hate for some old grandmother in the grocery store to think I'm a bitch.

She probably thinks I'm a bitch anyway for not showing more gratitude. 

So, I'll open it up for discussion.  A complete stranger walks past you to your kid and holds out a sucker.  What do you do?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Universe Has Me On Speed Dial

Okay, so I'm in the groove: I'm feeling all proud of myself that the Wee One is occupied watching a video while I'm putting together this fabulous thing for my bathroom:

She's quiet, she's leaving me alone, and I'm GETTING SOMETHING ACCOMPLISHED.

It's amazing!  Life is good!

Then, in a moment while I am just finishing, she dumps over part of a bottle of water and the rest of a can of coke.

While I am cleaning that up, she pulls all the wipes out of a wipes container.  I find this out by slipping on one and almost cracking my head open.

I stuff all the wipes back into the wipes container as I hear her banging with the Swiffer on the tv.  Hoping to God that the tv doesn't fall on her and crush her in the 20 seconds it takes me to get to her, I realize ...

The Universe enacts swift justice.  I was so smug only 5 minutes before that she was occupied quietly and I was accomplishing my task. 

The moral of the story: be careful about feeling smug.  Life with a toddler changes in an instant.

Also: Ms. Tomlin has her eye on me for sure.


I have lost about 7 hours worth of work time in the last two days.  My mom called yesterday to tell me that she thought C was developing pinkeye.  I had time between my morning and afternoon classes to take her to the doctor, who confirmed both pinkeye and an ear infection (her first ever, so I count myself lucky.)  My mom went with us, since she was taking C with her while I went and taught my later class.

The doc said to keep her home from daycare today, so my mom watched her this morning while I went to do my classes.  Since it wasn't a day that my mom usually watches her, and since I knew she had stuff to do, I left after my morning classes and came home to spend the afternoon with her.

Which actually was great, because when I realized she wasn't going to nap, we went shopping, and bought a baby shower gift and a new stove for the kitchen.

However, that means that all the work that I usually do on Tuesdays between my classes and on Wednesdays because I don't have afternoon classes didn't get done.  I've missed a deadline for some committee work, have a huge stack of exams to grade (that I told them I'd give back ... tomorrow ... yikes), and I didn't really clean the lab very well after the exam today, so I'm hoping the adjunct doesn't hate me too much when I go in tomorrow.

However, it's 9:15p, and sleep sounds so much better to me than any of the other stuff that I need to be doing, so I'm afraid that it's going to win.


Final note: Shhhhh, don't tell my Wee One, but she hasn't nursed in almost 24 hours.  The last time she nursed was when she woke up at 1:00 this morning and I wanted her to go back to sleep.  I've been a little "full" today, but nothing too uncomfortable.  I'm hoping that she doesn't decide to nurse 12 times tomorrow to make up for it.  She's been nursing around twice a day now for a little while.  But I'm kindof random about it.  If she's insistent, I'll nurse her at pickup from daycare.  Or if I'm afraid she's going to throw a fit getting into the carseat, I'll sit and nurse her briefly in the car.  Sometimes she makes it all the way home before she insists.  But she eats more at dinner when she doesn't nurse beforehand, so I've been trying to hold her off and see if I can delay her.  At least it worked today.


No, this is really the final thing.  What do ya'll think about this?  I have room in my dining room for a small table for her.  I'm thinking about this one.  It will work for dining as well as playing/art/etc.  I'm thinking it might be a space where she can be occupied while I cook dinner.  On my new stove.  (Imsofreakingstokeditsnotfunny.)

The Last Room To Be Painted

Take a deep breath, close your eyes, and pretend it's Monday.

It's not Monday, isn't it Wednesday?

Yes, but pretend its Monday.

Why are we pretending its Monday, Mondays suck!

I know, but don't think about the sucky part of Monday, think about the part of Monday that is full of promise, when you start with a clean slate, and you think you're going to be productive ...

Why are we imagining it's Monday again?

Because Funky Mama Bird has a Make It So Monday meme going on, but I was too busy having a freaking meltdown, and then covering it up with cute pictures of my Wee One, to talk about the fact that I painted my freaking bathroom this weekend.  Well, I got the walls done.  I still need some touch-up on the trim.  And the blob I got on the ceiling.  I'll call it my Work-In-Progress Wednesday.

Make it So Monday

(But I'll still use her button!)

It's apparently all the rage this week, this painting thing.  Betsy started it with her allergy to anything even vaguely vanilla.  But then I saw that DaMomma painted her bedroom. 

How do these women freaking do this?  Paint rooms with a toddler in the house?  Seriously?  I've been trying to finish this damn bathroom for almost a year now.  Oh, that's right, they have other people in their house that can entertain their toddler.  That explains it.  Tanis also wrote a post this week about painting.  She has a dog problem that sounds about like my toddler problem.  Jellybean Mama is still my hero, though.  She has a playroom project that is still ongoing, kinda like my bathroom project.  Single Mamas Unite!

It's enough to make my grey!  Oh, wait, that's green.  Canary Grass, actually.

I have very little storage in the bathroom.  So I bought some storage stuff.  But I can't put the storage stuff together and in the bathroom until the wall were finished.  And I had run out of paint.  So my mother helped me by (a) getting me another quart of paint, and (b) watching the Wee One for the morning while I painted, showered, and then ate ice cream for lunch to celebrate.

I have a hard time accomplishing things when the Wee One is in the house.  To shower I have to ply her with food and Baby Einstein.  She always wants to be nearby to mommie.  I was very afraid of how this would go with a tray of paint in a very tiny room.
I'll help with the toilet paper, mommie!

Did I say very tiny?  I meant ... whatever might be smaller than very tiny.

I had started this project last fall when I moved into the house.  This room seems to have not been painted since 1945 (funny, because the house wasn't built until the 60s) because the walls just suck in the paint like the Thirsty Monster.  So I ran out of paint, and it's been "in progress" ever since.

Until this weekend, that is.

But it looks relatively even, and appears that I did a decent job!

Once the trim and touch-up is done, we'll be in business.  I'm hoping it doesn't take me another 10 months to do that!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

So You Want To Try Cloth Diapers?

Welcome to Cloth Tushie Tuesday.  A friend said he was trying to keep up with the blog, but every time he came by it was all about diapers.  Guess what J - come back tomorrow.  Or scroll down to where I had a meltdown this weekend - that's a good read.

Today we're talking about: What would you say to someone considering cloth diapers? The good, the bad and the smelly!

Mommie V

To a mama considering cloth diapering:

1.  Why are you thinking about using cloth diapers?  Answering this question first will help you determine what kind of cloth diapers to look at.  There are A LOT of options in the world of modern cloth diapers, and to help you narrow your search and focus on particular types/brands/styles, it helps to know what you want to get out of cloth diapering.

For example: are you doing it to try to save money?  Then you will probably go the prefolds-and-covers option, since that is usually the cheapest.  You will probably buy "one-size" covers that are adjustable to cover a range of sizes.  You will probably buy alot of gender neutral colors in case you want to use the diapers for other children.  And you should definitely not look at any cute adorable pocket diapers if you want to save money!

Are you interested in being environmentally friendly?  Then you will probably be interested in diapers that are low-maintenance, easy-to-wash (to use less water) and you will probably want to look into cloth diaper detergents that are environmentally friendly.  If you want to be green and save some green too, buy a bunch of flats and fold them in covers.  You can hand-wash flats in a small amount of water and detergent (saving electricity and water), and hang them to dry.

Are you interested in having all-natural fabrics next to your baby's skin?   While I was expecting, I went to a cloth diapering workshop at a store where I used to live (remember that, J?).  A couple that was there was planning to cloth diaper because they only wanted natural and organic fabrics next to their baby's skin.  They were even looking for alternatives to PUL covers, because they did not want to support the "polyester industry".  These folks were hard-core.  You can do it, but it will cost you.  Organic cotton prefolds are more expensive than "regular" cotton prefolds.  Organic bamboo prefolds are even more than organic cotton ones, but also much softer.  For covers, these folks will probably have to stick with wool.  (The store hosting the workshop was "all vegan" in their products, so they did not sell wool since it is an animal product.  They let the workshop presenter bring in one wool cover to show, but she had to specify that the store did not sell wool because of their vegan positioning.  Hard core, folks, hard core.)

Are you planning to be a mama that buys ONLY THE BEST for your baby?  Or you want SUPER CUTE diapers and you have some disposable income to spend?  There are tons of cute diapers that you can buy, so this one is easy!

Unfortunately following these motivations can involve some tradeoffs.  For example, you can save money by cloth diapering, but you will have to invest some dollars if you want to use only organic fabrics.  You can be environmentally friendly, but if you want to hang your diapers to dry, you probably don't want squishy thick fitteds. 

Understanding your reasons for wanting to cloth diaper is your first key step in choosing the types of cloth diapers to try.

2.  Make sure you have what you need.  I started out with only 12 prefolds and 3 AIO's.  I couldn't figure out why cloth diapering was so hard, then I realized that I didn't have enough diapers.  I was switching back-and-forth between cloth and sposies until I got to the point that I had enough diapers, and covers that fit.

3.  Give yourself a break.  I had a ton of guilt in the beginning.  I had bought all these diapers, and covers, and told everyone that I was planning to cloth diaper.  Then I had pre-eclampsia, was on bed rest, had a preemie, still had high blood pressure, and went to live with my mom for three months.  I didn't do the cloth diapering thing for about the first 6 weeks, and I felt horrible about it.  I remember standing in line at the Wal-Mart crying because I was spending money on a big box of Pampers Swaddlers when I had a stack of diapers at home that I had already paid for.  I had a conversation with myself (what, people talk to themselves at Wal-Mart in the checkout all the time) where I said "either use the sposies or use the cloth.  But don't beat the crap out of yourself for it."  I realized I was trying to live up to a standard that wasn't realistic for me at the time.  When it was easier and worked better for us, then we started.  Keep in mind, THEY ARE JUST DIAPERS.

4.  Your wetbag is your friend.  Don't leave home without it.  If it has a zipper, then there will be no smelly.

5.  When it works, stop buying diapers.  (Advice I totally ignored, cuz ... NEW COW PRINT DIAPER!)

And I guess, I would say one more thing: at least give it a try.  You'll be surprised at how easy it is, and you'll be glad you did.  Whatever reason you choose for cloth diapering, it will meet your needs.  And it will be one way you feel like you are doing something good for your child, and yourself.

What would you say to a mama considering cloth diapers?  Link your post:

Monday, September 13, 2010

My Little Firefighter

On Labor Day we went to a neighborhood church festival.

We had hot dogs for lunch.

And we got to see a fire truck.

The Wee One had been cruising around in her stroller, but when she saw the fire truck, she wanted out.  Then when she saw the other kids climbing inside, she wanted up!

Close to nap time?  Why do you ask?

Finally, one with a smile!

She got to tour all around the fire truck, and meet the big Fire Dog.

Listening to the firefighter talk about the fire truck.

She was a little leery of this big guy, but she eventually warmed up.
I also got the chance to do a Child Identification Kit for her.  Of course every mother hopes they will never come in handy, but somehow I just feel better knowing that I have her fingerprints.  (In something other than tempera paint!)

(And yes, she was asleep before we got out of the parking lot.)