Sunday, December 27, 2009

Merry Christmas!

As expected, Cormac got a lot of gifts. We actually haven't even opened all of them. It just got to a point when I was getting a little overwhelmed by all the toys and Cormac was more interested in the dog's toys. Santa did bring a pretty cool wagon, though, and Cormac really enjoyed being pulled around the house in it (There's too much snow outside right now). This morning, in fact, Cormac threw a fit when we took him out of his wagon, where he had been sitting happily, throwing blocks over the sides.

I know people always say that kids like the boxes better than the presents, but on Christmas, this was Cormac's favorite gift:

video

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

I'm too tired to even think of a title...

Wow. I am exhausted. Chubbs really took it to me today.

We started out the day at 6:10 am when Chubbs popped up in bed, stuck his finger up my nose, and attempted to dive headfirst off the bed. No sooner had I caught him around the ankle and lowered him to the ground a little slower than he would've gone by himself, when he popped up again (Chubbs doesn't understand yet that popping isn't really acceptable until at least 9 am) and ran out of our room and down the hall. Which meant that I had to jump out of bed and run after him lest he decide to also go headfirst down the stairs. And in my not-so-awake state I ran into the door jamb on my way out of the room. Hypothesis: running anywhere when you have just woken up is hazardous to your health. (Did you hear that, Chubbs? Wait, where'd you go?)

So after I had managed to wrestle him into some clothes while he scanned The Very Hungry Caterpillar and threw Crinkly-Fish into the bathtub, we went downstairs to have some breakfast. Chubbs lasted about 7 minutes in his high chair, during which time I was able to get some yogurt and Cheerios down his throat, before he twisted himself around entirely and demanded to be let loose.

Chubbs ran around the living room/kitchen/dining room arranging furniture and throwing blocks, while I sort of wandered about foggily and tried to drink my coffee as fast as possible. Through a combination of sheer luck and Yo Gabba Gabba, we managed to make it to nap time without serious injury to the dog or the Christmas tree. I gladly lay the sleeping Chubbs down in his crib (vaguely wondering how he manages to look so peaceful when he's asleep) and chose to shower instead of having another cup of coffee. In retrospect, this was my downfall.

It was fabulously hot shower, and I even managed to shave, although I cut myself twice while doing so, reminding me why I don't shave as a general rule. I took a pretty good chunk out of my ankle... Anyway, I was barely able to get dressed before Chubbs woke up early from his nap and would only continue to sleep if I was holding him. This was rather inconvenient as I was starving and had to pee. The third time trying to put Chubbs back in his crib seemed to be the last straw for him, and he dissolved into tears and screams of anger. The tantrum lasted a few minutes, and then he suddenly stopped crying, grinned at me, gave me a big, wet kiss, and slid off my lap to go play. It was 10:30 am.

Through some merciful act of who-knows-what, Chris came home early, arriving right after we had finished lunch and just in time to take the crazy dog for a walk. (Where do these dependents get their energy?) About halfway through the walk Chubbs decided he was no longer content in his stroller (imagine that), and he yelled and squirmed until we reached the playground and let him out. He ran around, climbed the cool purple hills made out of recycled tires, spun the spinny things, went down the slide and then did it all again. Keep in mind that the kid is 13 months old, so I had to run around behind him making sure he didn't tumble down the cool purple hills made out of recycled tires. Yeesh.

Chris put Chubbs down for his afternoon nap so that I could actually sit down for one second, and thankfully he ended up sleeping for a good hour and a half. He certainly needed it. But when he woke up he was ready to go again. The afternoon passed in much the same way as the morning did, with a few more measuring cups and pot holders amid the chaos. The highlight was Chris spending 20 minutes making a block tower, which Chubbs then destroyed in less than 2 minutes.

Dinner was sort of the Grande Finale to the day. Chubbs ate about 5 bites of dinner before once again protesting at the confinement of his highchair. In order to get him to eat any dinner, I literally had to chase him around the room with a spoon full of vegetable-beef pilaf and quickly shove bites into his mouth in between the blocks. He was happy to eat, but only as long as he was running while doing so. After the obstacle course dinner, Chubbs immersed himself in the baking cabinet; and when I tried to get him to come help me put away his blocks, he waved me off. The kid waved me off with a little flip of his hand and a glance over his shoulder, like, "Mom, can't you see I'm busy?"

Given the day, I thought an early bedtime was justified, and I put Chubbs down a full half-hour early. But I really hope that course of action doesn't come back to bite me tomorrow morning.

And people wonder how I lost the baby weight so fast.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Liars!

I just made some "beet chips." But the people in the magazine said they would crisp up as they cooled off. Well, they're cool and decidedly floppy. Rather un-chip-like. I'm gonna try the broiler.

And tomorrow, I'm gonna make some kale chips. I have a feeling those will work out better. But you never know.

I really need to use up these veggies.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Cormac's Birth Story

Cormac was a week late. It was the longest week of my life. I wanted to stab forks in my eyes. Seriously. I stopped working a couple days before my due date, and so there was a week in there where I had nothing to do. If nursing weren't so freaking physically demanding, I probably would've asked if I could keep working until I went into labor, but I was way too tired. So I had nothing to do other than sit around the house and be angry. The only thing I could watch on TV without getting annoyed was sports, which wasn't a huge problem because the World Series was on. All my friends were trying to be supportive, but I only wanted to talk to and be around people who had kids, because if you haven't experienced pregnancy (and being ready to have that baby), then you just don't get it, no matter how empathetic you are.

So when I woke up with contractions that Sunday morning at 3:30 am, I was mostly annoyed. I figured there was no way I was in labor, and so I was mad that I wasn't sleeping. I think I managed to doze on and off until about 8:00 am when I finally just got out of bed. (And had I known that staying in bed until 8 am would never happen again, I might have tried to enjoy it a little more). I kept having contractions every 10-15 minutes throughout the morning, but didn't want to say anything because, again, why would I be in labor? At that point I was hoping this kid would come sometime before Thanksgiving.

But, if I was in fact in labor, I wanted to keep it going (dear god, please just keep having contractions!) so we went for a long walk. And when we got home, I was still having contractions! And they were closer together! So I did some laundry (I know, weird, huh?). As I was putting clothes away, it started getting hard to talk/concentrate/fold clothes during contractions, and I finally decided that I must be in labor. Finally.

But I had a long way to go. We gave our midwife a heads-up call (her biggest fear was that we wouldn't call her early enough), let my mom know that she should make her way over, and sat down to watch game 4 of the World Series. Well, I alternately sat and stood, as it was rather uncomfortable to have a contraction while sitting. Everyone got there at about 8 pm, and after some initial excitement/shock (wait, seriously? You're in labor?) we settled in for a long night.

The next several hours are a bit of a blur; I went from the tub, to the bed, back to the tub, to the birthing stool, all the while watching a chicken with its head cut off running around my head.

I look at the clock. It's 2 am. I decide not to look at the clock anymore.

I'm in the tub. I finish a contraction and start to relax into the warm water, when suddenly another one starts. "Oh for f*@$k's sake!" Everyone laughs. I'm not sure what was so funny.

I'm on the bed, feeling nauseous. "Grab that bowl," I say to Chris. He quickly picks it up off the floor and holds it up to my head. I yak. "That's another centimeter," says the midwife. Excellent.

I'm 9 centimeters dilated. And I really want an epidural. Which I realize is ridiculous because we're at home, getting into a car to go to the hospital at this point would feel terrible, I wouldn't be able to get an epidural even if we were at the hospital because I'm too far dilated, and I don't really want an epidural. But I want one a little bit.

I'm on the birthing stool with a towel around my shoulders. I'm almost ready to push, and I'm feeling totally overwhelmed. I pull hard on the towel to channel some of that anxiety. RIIIP! "Oh, geez. I ripped the towel." "You're a strong lady," the midwife says.

I'm almost done. I'm lying on the bed with Chris behind me. Cormac is halfway out and I reach down to grab him. "Just a second," says the midwife, "we've got a cord around the neck." "Oops," I say. She slips the cord over his head and I bring Cormac up on to my stomach. He looks around for half a second and starts to scream. He is pissed.

It's pretty amazing how quickly this year went by. I can't believe that the screaming, squirming, slimy little man I held on my stomach a year ago is now a laughing, babbling, toddling, little man. He is no longer slimy, but sometimes he does scream and squirm, mostly around nap time. And now I'm torn between wanting to see what he's going to do next and wanting him to stop growing immediately and stay my baby forever. However, the former is winning, as I would really like some freaking sleep.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Bacon Flu

It's all Chris's fault.

The man came home last Tuesday complaining of feeling "gross." By Saturday, the entire family was passed out on the couch, coughing up lungs left and right, and moaning to no one in particular. Actually, it wasn't technically the entire family; Morris spent all day Saturday prancing around the house with his toy trying to get someone, anyone, to play with him. His attempts ended in failure, so he channeled his energy into harrumphing around the house, every now and then joining us in a collective moan.

Saturday morning started off with a bang. Chris and I felt like death, and according to Cormac's wails, so did he. To try making one of us happy (I won't say who), we went downstairs to watch some visual baby-crack aka Noggin aka Nick jr. (as it's now called, apparently). No sooner had we come downstairs to begin our malingering, than Cormac vomited all over himself and me. You'll be happy to know, however, that nothing got on the couch, making cleanup immensely easier. As for the rest of the mess, I decided to multitask by filling up our big tub so that Cormac and I could wash off at the same time.

I guess for Cormac a bath is also a form of baby-crack because he was suddenly happy the second he got in. He even started to splash. The bath relaxed him so much, in fact, that he pooped. In the tub. With me in it. And it wasn't just a regular-size poop; it was a monstrous, ginormous, I-can't-believe-my-kid's-intestines-could-contain-that-much poop. So, yeah. How do you clean up massive amounts of poop from a tub, you may ask? With a sieve. Yes, you heard me. Chris fished around with a sieve to get all the big chunks out, we drained the rest of the water, and then the tub got a good, hard scrub. And so did Cormac and I.

There were no other fireworks that day, besides the occasional sound of barking seals coming from our living room (who let those in?). We just napped on the couch and watched a combination of football and Yo Gabba Gabba all day. Cormac actually perked up a little bit that afternoon, and in addition to his usual path of destruction, found great delight in the kleenex box and a tube of chapstick. So now it looks like a kleenex box with chapped lips and a penchant for baking spewed all over our main floor. And it's probably gonna stay that way for awhile because no one has any energy around here. Except Cormac. Curse you, child.

So the Guxton family has survived the swine flu of '09. We're not too much worse for the wear, which is more than I can say for our tub.

P.S. Any future dinner guests can rest assured that the sieve used to fish poop out of the tub now has a bright future in the garbage.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

We Now Return To Our Regularly Scheduled Programming

And we're back.  Finally.  We have just gone a week and a half without internet at our house.  You never realize how much you depend on the internet to stay connected to the world until you have to be without it.  I mean, I had to restrict my facebook time to when I was at work.  Seriously, how am I supposed to stay connected to my "friends" when I can only read their status updates at work?  Alright, I could have picked up the phone and called people, but where's the weird, voyeuristic anonymity in that?

And to make matters worse, it stopped working this morning.  After a measly 12 hours online, we were once again cut off from the world.  It was like, here, have a taste.  Delicious, isn't it?  Go ahead, have a little more.  So sweet...  Now NO SOUP FOR YOU!!!  Mwahahaha!

So I called Qwest and was connected to a very nice man named Antonio who assured me that we would "go through several steps and diagnose your problem, ma'am, do not worry."  And sure enough, several steps later, we had, indeed, diagnosed my problem.  In order to dispel any lingering doubt, Antonio then recapped the exact course of events that led to the diagnosis.

And so here I am, happily reading facebook status updates of people I haven't talked to in 10 years.  I have to admit, it is a bit sad that in order to feel connected, no, more than that, complete, I have to have internet.  I mean, I could probably survive without it, but it would be a sad, meager life filled with angst and tears.

And now I need to go to bed so that I can get 45 minutes of sleep before Chubbs wakes up.  Ugh.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Chicken With Its Head Cut Off

There's this song by The Magnetic Fields that goes "My heart's runnin' 'round like a chicken with its head cut off.  All around the barn yard fallin' in and out of love.  Poor thing's blind as a bat, gettin' up, fallin' down, gettin' uuuuuup.  Who'd fall in love with a chicken with its head cut off?"  It's as great song, and it's fun to listen to, but it gets stuck in my head rather easily.  In fact, I had this song stuck in my head the entire time I was in labor with Chubbs.  All. 27. Hours.

Not so much the whole chorus, as the "gettin' up, fallin' down, gettin' uuuuuup" part.  As annoying as it got (especially after the 18-hour mark), it was how I got myself to keep "getting up" after every contraction, something that got harder and harder the longer I labored.  My midwife was of the mind that in some ways a long labor isn't necessarily a bad thing: it helps you keep things in perspective later on when your child won't, oh, let's say, sleep.

Let me pause here and say that I hate lessons.  They really irk me.  It's like the Universe is saying, "I told you so.  I told you there's a reason for certain life experiences."  I'd like to give the Universe a good, swift kick in the shins.  But sometimes the Universe is right.  Grumble, grumble.  So there you are Universe; you were right.  Let's not make a habit out of it.

Anyway, I often think of my long labor (as well as the week leading up to the long labor when Chubbs was overdue and I wanted to stab forks in my eyes and Chris feared for his life) when I'm having a particularly rough time with Chubbs.  Like today.  I spent, count 'em, 73 minutes - that's an hour and thirteen minutes - trying to get Chubbs back to sleep after he woke up in the middle of a nap.

Ok, lemme clarify.  I had no trouble getting him back to sleep.  What I did have trouble with was getting him back into his crib to continue his nap.  I tried five (yeah, you heard me) times to put him down, and every single time he immediately woke up and got upset.  After the fifth time I just gave up, which came back to haunt me this evening when Chubbs got really crabby and started sounding like a constipated cat when he cried.  One can only take so much.

Anyone with a child knows how freaking annoying it is when said child won't sleep.  Not only are they crabby because they're tired,  but you have no time for yourself because you spend all your time trying to get them to sleep.  This has been going on for a few weeks for Chubbs and me, and I'm really ready for it to be over.  I need sleep.  And as exasperating as it is to continually have to pick him up, get him back to sleep, put him in his crib, and repeat, I know (hope?) that it will eventually come to an end, and in a few years I will wish that my little boy would let me hold him while he sleeps.  But in the meantime, I just keep reminding myself that I have to keep getting up.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Of Boxes and Bathrooms

So apparently this is my first post for August, which is a little sad.  But things have been a bit of a whirlwind lately, so I think I have a pretty good excuse.  We sold our house (after only 9 days on the market, I might add) and bought a new one, and we move in a week.  We started packing today.  And packing with a little one around the house presents some fairly tricky obstacles.  We found that we can get about 20 minutes of work done before Chubbs wakes up/is hungry/is tired of Noggin, which means you can really only pack about one box per hour.  This is going to be a long week.

In the interest of being optimistic (only because I have just had a large bowl of ice cream to cheer me up), I am super-excited about our new house.  We will have a big, gorgeous kitchen with cabinet space up the wazoo, a full, unfinished basement to do with as we please, and a master bathroom with...wait for it...two sinks and a separate tub and shower!!!!  I am now drooling.  I should mention that Chris's favorite part is having the toilet in its own, separate area with a door.  He's really excited about this.

But in order to get there, we have to pack.  Thank goodness my parents were able to come over today and help us out.  We got a lot done, but now we're sort of at the random-crap phase, where you have all these extra bits that you can't really throw away, but you're not really sure how to pack them so that there is some semblance of order.  I will probably end up just throwing them all in a box, and then avoid opening it until I absolutely have to.

Speaking of throwing stuff in boxes, we tried to get Chubbs to amuse himself with a few toys in a box today.  Most kids love playing in boxes because it's a small, secure area that the have all to themselves.  But Chubbs was not content unless he was standing in the box and rocking it back and forth, or hanging is upper body over the edge.  He got a little taste of freedom when he jumped out of his crib earlier this week, and I think he's looking for another high.  Good thing we didn't buy the house with the all-too-easily-accessible ledge overlooking the living room.  Although the kid will probably just find something else to rappel down.

I hit mental gridlock at about midday, which is why I'm eating ice cream and messing around online instead of packing.  So if anyone wants to come over and help me throw random crap in boxes, I would appreciate it.  I pay in beer.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Mothership

I'm not sure what it is about the Cherry Creek Whole Foods, but apparently crazy ladies flock there.  Yesterday while we were in the checkout line an older lady eating Ben and Jerry's Karamel Sutra ice cream with a straw randomly came up to us and stuck her face rightupclose to Chubbs's face saying, "We have an eager shopper!"  I don't even know what that means.

Friday, July 24, 2009

The Pits

Chubbs has a thing for sticking his hands in my armpits.  I’m not really sure what this is about.  No matter how many times I remove his hands, or how hard I squeeze my arms to my torso, he always manages to worm his chubby little fingers into my armpit.  And proceeds to scratch or pinch me.  I’m not really sure which is worse: to have sharp, little baby nails digging into my skin, or to have a small portion of my skin rolled between his surprisingly strong thumb and forefinger.  At least he has a good pincer grasp.

It seems to mostly be restricted to times when he wants to be comforted, like when we are nursing, when he is trying to fall asleep, or when he is nursing while asleep in the middle of the night.  This last one is particularly annoying, as you might imagine.  It’s fairly hard to sleep while you have a little fist opening and closing in your armpit.

Which begs the question, what is it about his hands in my armpits that is comforting?  My deodorant is “energizing citrus and lemongrass,” which doesn’t seem exceptionally comforting.  And I’m pretty sure he’s never heard of Mary Katherine Gallagher.  

Monday, July 6, 2009

Temporarily Evicted

Because our house is on the market, we have to spend a good portion of everyday out and about so that random people can come wander through our house and hopefully decide that it is totally worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.  This can get a bit tricky with an 8-month-old little guy who gets very cranky when he doesn't nap well/long enough/when he wants.

Moreover, the dog has to come with us, which puts some restrictions on where we can go.  This afternoon, I decided we should walk around Cherry Creek (a local shopping area) so that I could deposit some checks I had been carrying around and make a quick trip to the grocery store.  Before all that, we walked around a little bit so that Morris could get some exercise, and I took the opportunity to catch up with a friend via phone.

Right after we finished our conversation, the booking agency for home showings called, and then our realtor called, followed by the booking agency again.  All in all I spent about 4o minutes with the phone to my ear while wandering aimlessly about Cherry Creek with a baby and a dog in 85 degree weather.  Toward the end I had sweat dripping from my armpit down the back of my arm.  It was as gross as it sounds.  And I never went to the bank.  Or the grocery store.

Later in the evening, we had another showing, so I figured we could do the grocery shopping.  I got the diaper bag, the baby, and the dog in the car and set off.  That's when I realized I had the dog in the car, and grocery shopping maybe wasn't the best idea.  But we really needed some food basics, and what else was I going to do?

I parked in the parking structure so the car would stay cool, and left the windows rolled down.  Plus, it had just rained, so Morris was fine.  In the store, I managed to restrict myself to only one impulse purchase (I even put back the other item I had grabbed), and the only other things not on the list were snacks for Chubbs and myself; it was dinner time, after all.

After paying for our items, Chubbs and I sat down to eat.  Sort of.  Trying to feed myself while feeding Chubbs in his sling with no bib made it more like a circus act.  And then Crazy Lady sat down next to us.  

Crazy Lady: What's his name?
Me: Cormac
Crazy Lady: (wrinkling her nose) Oh.
Pause, at which point I glance over at her and notice she has spilled her carton of milk everywhere.
Crazy Lady: I got my prescriptions filled today and they were $32 dollars.  Can you believe that?
Me: Wow.  That's expensive.  Thinking: maybe if I were at work I would be ok having this conversation, but I'm totally not getting paid right now.
Crazy Lady:  How much are your prescriptions?
Me: Ummm, I don't really have any.
Crazy Lady: That's good.  I thought my Medicare would pay for mine, but it didn't.
Me: Medicare can be tough.
Crazy Lady: If you have AIDS you don't have to pay for your prescriptions.
Me: Wow, Cormac!  You are messy!  Let's go wipe you off.

This all took place at the Cherry Creek Whole Foods.

I actually remembered to get my parking validated before leaving the store, and as I pushed the cart toward the parking garage, the wheels locked up.  Apparently Whole Foods has a problem hanging on to their carts because they installed one of those invisible lines that makes the wheels on the cart lock up when you go past it.  It was half way to the parking garage.  Whoever thought it would be a good idea to put the invisible line before the garage needs to be kicked in the shins.  So I had to carry a baby, a diaper bag, and groceries the rest of the way to the garage and up three levels to our car.

And I still needed to go to the bank.  So I put the diaper bag and groceries in the car, got the dog out, put his leash on, and shut and locked the car.  Then I remembered my wallet was still inside the car.  Curses!

Finally armed with my wallet, we made it to the bank and I was able to deposit the checks with some help from Chubbs.  Hopefully the teller can read the total amount on the envelope (the "5" looked more like a "b"); if nothing else I'm pretty sure they know how to add.

We' better get an offer soon.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Roughing It

This past weekend, we took Chubbs on his first camping trip.  Since this was my first camping trip as a Mother With a Small Child, I searched around on the internet for some tips for camping with babies.  The results yielded two opinions on the matter: 1) It's awesome!  Just make sure you bring lots of clothes; and 2) You're crazy.

Since I already know that I'm crazy, I decided to pay more attention to the first opinion.  I followed the clothes advice and brought 2+ outfits per day for Chubbs, as well as several jackets and hats, a few blankets, and lots of bibs and burp cloths.  I also packed the car with three baby carriers - a sling, a front carrier, and a backpack (all of which were used during our trip, I might add).  For such small beings, babies need a lot of stuff.  I remembered everything we needed for Chubbs, but somehow packed myself four pairs of pants and no rain jacket.  Way to go, Brain.

My biggest curiosity was where would the baby sleep?  I am forever worrying about how warm my boys are (I have been known to cover the dog with a blanket on particularly cold camping nights.  Surprisingly, Morris doesn't like this), so naturally I wanted to make sure Chubbs had a warm and cozy sleeping arrangement.  I decided on a sleeping bag of sorts; there was no way I was buying an actual sleeping bag for an 8-month-old, so my mom sewed together the sides of a piece of fleece to make a little bag.  My plan was for Chubbs to sleep in his sleeping bag in between Chris and me in our zipped-together sleeping bags.

On our first night, I put Chubbs down for the night in his sleeping bag, and a few hours later, we joined him in the tent.  On a side note, getting ready for bed in a semi-dark tent while simultaneously trying to get the dog to lay down, attempting not to fall over, and avoiding waking the baby is no small feat.  Anyway, after we were finally in our sleeping bags with the baby in between us in his little bag, we drifted off to sleep to the sound of the creek near our tent.

I awoke two hours later to a squirmy, sweaty, hot baby.  Apparently, Chubbs is a roasty-toasty little fellow who was not terribly pleased by my attempts to wrap him in several layers of fleece.  So I took him out of his fleece bag and he slept quite comfortably between Chris and me in our sleeping bags, occasionally kicking off the portion covering him.  I was the only one who was cold.  The next two nights we removed Chubbs from his bag before going to sleep.

Chubbs loved pretty much everything about camping: waking up to the dog's nose in his face, hanging out in the tent (to a point), being outside the majority of the time, watching the trees sway in the wind, playing with sticks four times his size, eating pancakes, and being held most of the time.  The only thing he did not like?  Not having his bouncer there.  But there was no way I was packing that monstrosity in the already crammed-full car.  Besides, this way everyone got a great arm workout.

Thinking of going camping with your kiddo?  Here are my tips:
1) Bring lots of clothes
2) Bring extra wipes - camping is dirty
3) Don't wrap your kid in enough layers to keep him warm in sub-zero conditions.  Unless, of course, you are camping in sub-zero conditions, in which case I say, You're crazy.
4) Go with friends to increase the adult-to-child ratio.  This ensures that there is always someone to hold the baby when you need to pee.
5) Just go!  It's really not as hard as you think it might be.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Hooray for Tuesday!

Oh, how I love summer!  It's wonderful to be able to go to and from work with the sun still out, and I adore the hot weather (especially since we have AC).  Best of all, it means CSA time!  Today is the first pick-up day for our CSA, and I'm super excited.  CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture, and it works like this: we buy a share from a local farm (we get ours from Grant Family Farms) for the season, and every week we get a huge box of veggies and fruits, as well as a dozen farm-fresh eggs.  Obviously, the produce we get is seasonal, and so the contents of the box vary each week.  This week, we'll probably get a lot of lettuce, other leafy greens like kale and spinach, and some dill.

Because you never know what you're going to get, it's always a fun challenge to figure out what to make with all the veggies.  It can be overwhelming sometimes, especially when you get no fewer than four heads of lettuce each week.  Last year was the first year we participated, and we sometimes had trouble using all the veggies in a timely matter; one can only eat so much salad, you know.  But this year, we know what to expect for the most part, and I have armed myself with lots and lots of recipes that incorporate the veggies we are likely to get.

I'm also especially excited for our CSA this year because it means Chubbs will get to try a wide assortment of vegetables, and he will be another avenue to use up the copious amounts of summer squash (among other things) we will get.  This is because I make all of Chubbs's baby food; I cook a big batch of whatever veggie happens to interest me, blend it up, and then I freeze it in ice-cube trays.  The only foreseeable problem is that we will run out of freezer space.  (Hopefully we are in a new house in the near future, and we can put a big freezer out in our new garage.  So send me some good house-selling vibes.)

I will have to see what our box offers, but I think tonight we will have portobello mushroom burgers with arugula-walnut pesto, and a side salad of spinach with a lemon-garlic dressing.

If you'd like to learn more about community supported agriculture or other ways to get local produce, go to www.localharvest.org.  You can search your area for CSA's, farmers markets, farms, and restaurants using local produce.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Scrubbin'

We're getting our house ready to put on the market, and all the cleaning involved has made it very apparent to me just how dirty our house was.  You never really think about washing things like baseboards and trim (well, I never think about it).  And I didn't really realize how dirty they were until I started washing them.  There were little spatters from the Tom & Jerry I spilled two Christmases ago and the glass of red wine from three years ago.  Note to self: don't drink and walk up stairs.  But now that three and a half year's worth of dust is gone, all the trim looks really good.

I also just finished scrubbing the bathroom floor - on my hands and knees, with a scrub brush and some 20 Mule Team borax (that's seriously what it's called).  First, and best, of all, I don't need to go to the gym anymore.  And the bathroom actually looks pretty spiffy now.  I mean, there's only so much you can do with old grout, but at least it doesn't look brownish-black anymore.  By the way, borax is awesome; it's not bad for the environment, you can use it to clean pretty much anything, and you can use it in the laundry to give your clothes a little extra cleaning oomph.  I'm not sure where the "20 Mule Team" thing comes from, but I'm pretty sure having a team of 20 mules in my house would not make it very clean.

I have decided that in our new house, we should make sure to do a deep cleaning twice a year, so that we don't end up with alcohol-spattered baseboards.  I am not making any promises, though, and so we are considering buying a house made completely of stainless steel that will clean itself while I walk the dog.

Update: I just went on Wikipedia, and apparently the "20 Mule Team" refers to the twenty mule teams that were used to move borax out of Death Valley, CA to the nearest rail spur between 1883 and 1889.  I love random trivia.

Friday, June 5, 2009

You probably shouldn't stand near us...

Apparently someone somewhere is trying to tell us something.  And to that someone I say, "Ok, Ok.  We get the freaking point!"

Let me tell you a little bit about our day.  Cormac woke up several times last night crying for no apparent reason, so the day started out a little off.  Chris got out of bed early to put the garbage and recycling out for pick-up, only to discover that his scooter had been stolen.  This means that the only form of transportation we have is one car.  And our good friend Richard T. Davis.

So the count stands at no sleep and a stolen scooter.  What else could go wrong, you ask?  Lots.  During breakfast Chris went downstairs to get some paper towels (which we are apparently out of) and found that the basement had flooded.  With sewage.  Again.  We had almost finished refinishing it from the last time it flooded.  And now it will all have to come out again.

And just to add a little insult to injury, the under-the-sink soap holder broke into several pieces.

All of this happened before noon.  I think the day should just be over at this point.

(Richard T. Davis = RTD = the bus)

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Snip Snip

I just got my hair cut.  Short.  Really short.  I mean, it hasn't been this short in 12 or 13 years.  Apparently, about four months after you give birth, your hair starts falling out in massive quantities.  It is somewhat miraculous that I am not bald.  Seriously.  So I decided to cut my losses (quite literally) and chop it all off.  And as long as I was getting rid of it, I figured I might as well donate my hair, so hopefully whoever receives it will appreciate it a lot more than I did.

Just so you know, it looks awesome; Dani did a fabulous job.  And the bonus is I don't think I'm going to have to do anything to it for it to look good down.  Which is nice, because I haven't worn my hair down since Chubbs was born.  But it is short.

It made me realize, though, how much being a mother changes one's perspective on oneself.  Before, I think I probably would have worried about what others would think of my new haircut, whether they would like it.  But now, I could care less.  If the baby is diapered, clothed, and fed, if the diaper bag is packed, and if I have clothes and shoes on, we are good to go.  Although as a general rule I try not to leave the house wearing anything that is covered in dog slobber, baby slobber, or peanut butter.

I've never really lacked self-confidence (maybe I've had a little too much of it...), but I think becoming a mother has changed where my confidence is rooted.  Instead of being tied to more appearance-oriented things, I feel much more intrinsically confident.  I think part of that comes from the fact that as a mother, I am doing something much more significant and far-reaching than anything else I could possible do.  Which isn't to say that other things I do are insignificant.  Being a nurse and caring for very ill people is a valuable thing.  It just doesn't quite compare to the huge responsibility of raising a child.

And that, my friends, is why you see so many mothers out and about in ratty, old t-shirts and sweatpants.  Because we are confident.  Or exhausted, have no clean laundry, been peed on several times already that day, and really need some groceries.  Whatever.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Squeaky Clean

I went grocery shopping with Chubbs today.  I didn't bring a list because we needed so many things that I figured I'd just go up and down the aisles and grab whatever looked good.  This is a dangerous strategy, by the way, and we often end up with several kinds of cookies when I employ this shopping method.  Anyway, we walked by the personal care aisle, and I remembered that we needed some hand soap and lotion for the kitchen sink area.

I prefer to buy natural and/or organic products because I feel better about not having random chemicals that may do weird things as they absorb into my skin.  So I read the labels on a few different kinds of soap, looked at the prices, smelled them, and decided on a Hugo Naturals soap.  I looked around for some corresponding lotion, but a couple trips up and down the aisle proved fruitless.  So instead I decided to go with the Burt's Bees hand soap because there was a bottle of lotion right next to it.  Very convenient.

We finished our shopping with much yelling from Chubbs and a bit of shock on my part in regards to how much the bill was.

When we got home, I put all the groceries away, washed my hands with the new soap (grapefruit ginger!), and rubbed some of the new lotion (shea butter and milk) into my hands.  It was a little sticky, but it eventually absorbed and felt pretty nice.

That evening when Chris got home, he noticed my purchase.  "So you went ahead and made an executive decision on the soap?  It had better smell good."  To test it he washed his hands and approved of the grapefruit ginger smell.

"But why'd you get two kinds of soap?"

Oh.  That would explain the stickiness.  And why I thought Burt's Bees was the only one to have lotion right next to the hand soap.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Words Fail Me

Before leaving the dog park today, I changed Chubb's diaper.  We usually use cloth diapers, but I had to go with a disposable because that was all I had in the diaper bag.  Plus, I think they were a size too small; this was my fatal error.  I was starving when we got home, so I stuck Chubbs in his bouncer and scarfed a fake chicken sandwich.

After I ate, I picked him up and was carrying him into the kitchen when I noticed that my arm was feeling a bit damp.  I moved my arm to find a huge poo stain on his back.  Huge.  I took him upstairs and started to change him, but this blowout was so big, I didn't even know where to start.  It was a poonami.  I finally just decided to take his clothes off and stick them in the washer right away and then stick the kid in the bath.  While I was oxy-cleaning the heck out of the clothes, I stuck Chubbs on a blanket in the middle of the room.



I threw the clothes in the washer and went back to the room.  I found him like this:



















Notice the poo stains on his back.  And he had peed all over the carpet.  True story.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Momma's Day Part II: The Streak Has Ended

The beautiful string of sleep-filled nights has ended.  With a vengeance.  Poor, little Chubbs had bad gas last night (totally my fault - I had to have chinese food) and was pretty unhappy, which he let me know about every couple hours.  At least I have some sleep saved up.

I would also like to brag about the fabulous Mother's Day gifts that Chris got me.  And it wouldn't be a present from Chris without some sort of twist; he didn't wrap the presents.  Instead, he put these gifts away where the would normally go, and I had to wander around the house until I spotted them.  The first one I found was a set of stainless steel storage containers for grains.  This may seem like a weird gift, but I looove to organize things (thanks mom and dad), and I have been wanting something like this for awhile.  The other present took me a long time to find, because it wasn't where I expected it would be.  Downstairs in our office Chris hung up a bunch of pictures of Chubbs, him, and me - it was a great, personalized gift.  Thank you, darling!

What's more, my wonderful in-laws gave me a rather delicious gift.  I have already eaten almost all of it:

Yummm...

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Momma's Day

My first mother's day was both good and bad.  I shouldn't say bad, just less fun than I would have hoped.  I had to work, because some people have the audacity to get sick on holidays.  So we celebrated a day early at my parents' house with a delicious dinner of crab cakes, sweet potatoes, black beans, and salad.  There was also bacon-wrapped filet mignon for the carnivores (everyone but me).  I love it when my father cooks.

I celebrated the occasion by wrapping Cormac in a much too heavy blanket for his nap, and then not hearing him when he cried because he was too hot.  Poor little guy cried for awhile before Gran went to check on him and heard him.  Way to go, Momma.  Luckily he's resilient, and in the end I was the only one who was upset.

I think Cormac forgave me, though, because he gave me the best Mother's Day present ever:  a full night's sleep!  He went to bed at 8:00 pm and didn't wake up until 6:15 the next morning, when I was already up before work.  It was heavenly.  And then he outdid himself.  He slept all night both Sunday and Monday night.  I am flabbergasted.  But I am not holding my breath.  I am just going to be thankful for every extra hour of sleep I get, because odds are it won't last.  Sigh...

In all seriousness, though, I want to say the being a mother is the most wonderful, most difficult, most mind-boggling thing I have ever done and will ever do.  Nothing can prepare you for how much you will love this funny, little person.  Or how much you will worry about whether you are reading him the right books, putting him in the right diapers, feeding him the right food, and other seemingly trivial things.  Because once you become a mother, you put the majority of your self into making sure that this funny, little person grows up to become a happy, big person.  And my guess is that it doesn't even end there; I will continue to worry, just a little, until the day I die.

And one more thing, to my Momma: thanks for not screwing me up too much, and showing me by example how to be an amazing mother.  I love you.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

When Babies Attack!

To the casual observer, they appear to be cute, little things, incapable of much else other than cooing and rolling over. But those that have experienced an attack know all too well what happens when one comes too close to those sharp little teeth and fingernails. There is rarely a warning, and injuries can be serious. Follow along and see what happens when babies attack!

On Sunday afternoon at approximately 3:30 pm, I was the victim of a baby attack. Cormac was sitting on my lap, happy as can be, when all of a sudden, Bam! His finger went straight into my eye. There was no warning. I couldn't see, and tears were pouring from my eye just as fast as expletives were pouring from my mouth.

Ok, so maybe I'm being a little dramatic, but this seriously hurt. I mean, I can stand a whole lot of pain; when one of my lumbar discs herniated two years ago, I dealt with the pain for four days before I went into see a doctor (not necessarily a great decision). Heck, I had a baby! But this eye pain was bad enough that I called Chris to come home from work so that I could go to the urgent care clinic.

And then I sat in the urgent care exam room for four hours. Not that they weren't doing their job, it's just that as far as injury triage goes, I was at the low end of the totem poll. So I sat in the exam room with my eyes closed and tried not to think about how long I had been there. After a couple hours I turned off the lights and curled up on the padded bench. Sleep was not an option, however. Imagine a piece of sand paper being held on the center of your eye - it hurts even when your eye isn't moving, but with even slight movement, like your pupil dilating or constricting with changes in the light, there is intense pain.

Finally, after I had been there about three hours, I just started crying. I was hungry, tired, thirsty, and in pain. And then the doctor came in. So that was embarassing. But he put in these numbing drops and within seconds I had no pain. Hallelujah! That lasted for about an hour - enough time for them to do an eye exam, diagnose me with a corneal abrasion, write me a few prescriptions for vicodin and eye drops, and send me out the door. Then the pain came back, but this time I was armed with vicodin. And while that only took some of the pain away, it also made me not care so much. I love narcotics.

I am still on the road to recovery today (Wednesday). My eye is still pretty sensitive to light and my vision is definitely blurred. On the other hand, my eye is not swollen shut, I can actually keep it open for an extended period of time, and the pain is pretty well controlled with periodic doses of ibuprofen.

So the next time you're around a baby, be a bit more weary. Injuries usually occur quickly and without warning. You never know what the outcome will be when babies attack!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

If by 4 you mean 4-ish, then, yes, we'll be there

We suck at being on time. Case in point: We went to a wedding yesterday that started at 4 pm. What time did we show up? 4:10. We had to sneak in a side door between between when the bridesmaids made their entrance and the bride's walk down the aisle. We actually saw the bride out in front of the church before we went in. (Sorry, Joanna.) But she did look very beautiful.

Another example: my good friend Kate's wedding (maybe people shouldn't be inviting us to weddings). The event took place up at Peaceful Valley Ranch in the mountains, and the ceremony was up above the complex in a pretty, little outdoor area, to which you had to take a shuttle. We got there so late that we actually had to ride up to the ceremony with the bride. (Sorry, Kate.) She also looked very beautiful.

I remember a conversation Chris and I had one night (before Chubbs was born) as we were driving to meet friends at a bar, and we were late as usual:
Me: I think we're just doomed to be that family that always shows up late to everything.
Chris: Don't be so pessimistic; maybe we can change. We should work on that.
Me: Yeah, maybe, but I'm really not seeing it.
Chris: We could make sure we schedule things really well and start leaving early for things.
Me: uncontrollable laughter. Umm, sure.

Nope, we're doomed.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

I think I'm being played

Why is it that every time I put Chubbs down for a nap, he sleeps for an hour, tops, and then wakes up and wants to eat?  When Chris puts him down, he'll sleep for two to three hours without a peep.  This morning he slept for an hour, then woke up all big-eyed and ready to go.  Maybe he senses that I'm a sucker and will go get him the moment he makes a noise.  I should probably stop doing that.

Oh well.  At least we can go grocery shopping before the store gets crazy.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Gross, both outside and inside

It is snowing/sleeting/raining outside today, and there are big piles of slush/snow everywhere, which means I will, under no circumstances, be heading out for a walk today.  Luckily, Morris had a long day at doggie daycare (yes, doggie daycare) yesterday, and is currently passed out in his bed.  Cormac is also passed out in his bed after a long morning of trying out convertible carseats (on which we spent waaaay too much money).

So, since I had a little time on my hands, I thought I'd clean out the fridge.  Here is a sampling of what I found:
A container with a few baby carrots and two cherry tomatoes, with a sell-by date of 2/24/08.  Covered in mold.
A small bowl of chipotle chiles in adobo sauce from who knows when.  I think these may still be  OK.
A yogurt container with some unidentifiable leftovers that look vaguely like cole slaw.  Covered  in mold.
The heels from three loaves of bread.
Two half-used bottles of teriyaki sauce.
And, drumroll please, some cut up winter squash from December of 08.  Covered in mold that  looks like blue cheese.

I took all of this, and more, out of the fridge, got overwhelmed, and put it all back in.  My reasoning was that since it is snowing/sleeting/raining outside, I wouldn't be able to take the garbage out right away, and I didn't want the squash with blue cheese mold stinking up the house.  So everything is still in the fridge, and I am online.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Easter

Because we are lucky enough to have both Chris's and my family close by, holidays are always very busy and filled with massive amounts of food. This year we had brunch at my parents' house with all the Denver family; there were 16 people there, a small fraction of the many, many relatives I have. The food was, as always, delicious. Cormac, however, was interested in something else:
Champagne - my kinda kid!

At least he had some water, too.

After Cormac woke up from a long nap (no, he didn't actually get any champagne) we headed over to Chris's Grandma's place for dinner. Cormac got to meet some of Oma's friends and munch on a bunny.
Happy Easter!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Someone get me a pin before my head floats away...

I'm feeling pretty proud of myself this evening.  I successfully accomplished several necessary and not-so-necessary-but-interesting things today.  I say successfully because sometimes I accomplish things, but they're not terribly successful.  For an example, see the previous post about laundry.

Here are today's achievements:

1. Chubbs slept until 7:15 this morning, which means I accomplished some extra sleep.
2. Combined a walk for Morris with a nap for Chubbs and a trip to the local bike store for a tire patching kit.  I love multitasking.
3. Fixed the tire on our stroller with said tire patching kit.  This also required getting the tire off the wheel, which was no small feat. 
4. Figured out how to make this blog look way more interesting.  Html=confusing.
5. Chubbs napped in his crib for both his morning and afternoon naps, with only one minor awakening.  Hallelujah!  Apparently the kid just wanted to be swaddled.  Although now he looks like a mini sarcophagus.
6. And last, but not least, I wore real clothes (read: not sweatpants) for four whole hours!

I totally rock.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Laundry

Laundry is a never-ending problem at our house.  Not so much the lack of clean clothes as the abundance of them.  In the wrong place.  I don't mind doing laundry because I can put a load in and go do other things; it makes me feel very productive.  But I hate putting laundry away, which is how we end up with situations like this:

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Houdini Mice

If you live in an old house, you probably have mice. And since our house is almost 100 years old, this equals lots of mice. I promise we are not gross people; we don't leave food randomly about the house. Actually, that would be impossible because Chompy would get to it before any mouse. Anyway, we do, in fact, keep the house clean (messy, but clean).

At first, I thought the mice were cute, and I was rather upset when I came home one day to find a dead mouse floating in a bowl in the sink. Once I got over the sadness/grossed-out-ness, I disposed of the mouse using a glove, several paper towels, and two plastic bags. But how on earth did the mouse get into the bowl in the first place?

At first, I wanted to find a humane way of getting the mice out of our house. We tried these traps that just catch the mice but don't kill them. But then I realized that I would have to drive a ways away from the house in order to let the mouse go. Otherwise they would just come back. Plus, the day I brought the no-kill traps home, Chompy caught one in his mouth and squished it enough that I had to put the thing out of its misery. No-kill, not so much.

Once I stopped finding the mice cute (because they are hanta-virus-carrying little bastards that poop on my kitchen counter), we moved on to more serious methods of extermination. We tried the snap traps, but the results were just gross. Then Slim suggested the use of sticky traps, as he had had some success with them in his childhood. The problem is, the mice just stick to them; they don't die. So that means you have to pick up a trap with a still-wriggling mouse attached to it. And sometimes the mouse has managed to drag itself several feet while still attached to the trap, which makes the whole situation even more grim.

Even though I find the sticky traps unbearable to dispose of, I will admit that they work. So I put a couple in the basement to catch the mice that are too chicken to venture out on the kitchen counter. When I went to check on them the next day, I found one trap full. One. The other one had disappeared. Seriously. I looked everywhere - under piles of clothes, behind boxes, underneath the furnace. Nothing. I have no idea where the thing could have gone.

So we probably have a dead mouse rotting away in our basement. Awesome. Could explain the smell...

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Bedtime

Everyone says that in order to get a baby to sleep in his crib, you should put him down while he's still drowsy. This way he falls asleep in his crib and won't get upset when he wakes up and isn't in your arms anymore.

The problem is, there is nothing sweeter than rocking a baby to sleep. I love the short interlude after he totally relaxes, but before he has fallen asleep. He just lays there in my arms, looking at me through half-closed eyes with unwavering trust. I am always flooded with an overwhelming sense of responsibility and a desire to protect this child from anything and everything bad in this world. And even though I know I can't, and shouldn't, promise that, I can't help but want to.

When you become a mother, I think you shift a portion of your own sense of self-preservation to your child. As long as your baby is safe, everything is OK. You know that if it ever came down to it, you would give up everything in order to protect him.

All these thoughts swirl around in my head every time I rock Chubbs to sleep, and I know that he is the most wonderful thing I have ever created.

So to all the sleep experts: keep your theories to yourself. And even if you are right, that I should be putting Chubbs in his crib before he falls asleep, I am willing to deal with the consequences. Because nothing is sweeter than rocking a baby to sleep.