Tuesday, December 29, 2009


At a Mommy Friend's house this morning, I was being nosy looking around their kitchen, and I picked up a notebook with a cute little boy on the front cover.

"What a cute little boy!! I wish I could get something like this personalized for me."

To which my Mommy friend said "Ummm. . . that IS yours. That's your Christmas present!"

And it was Bjorn on the cover.

And I didn't even recognize him.

I looked again, and thought, "Wow. My kid is really freakin' cute!"

I really thought it was just a cover photo baby!

Good news: I have the cutest baby I've ever seen.
Bad news: I can't even recognize him in pictures!!!

BTW, I love this little notebook. She made it on Snapfish.com and you can, too!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Late Night Woes


Well, it's 11:30 pm and here I am, staring at a computer screen, mindlessly switching from blog-reading to playing games on Facebook.

And, yes, thanks for asking, I AM exhausted and would love to sleep.

Tell that to my running mind, though.

Technically, my first day back at work is tomorrow.

I say "technically" because I won't actually have to go back into work until after the New Year, and probably very few times even then until February.

This is the day I have been looking forward to as much as I have been dreading it. This is the day when I can finally go out in public without an appendage of drool and cries hanging on me and requesting more milk/more hugs/more smiles/more play. This is the time when I can have a conversation with another adult that doesn't revolve around what time he pooped, how much he pooped and exactly which new food it looked like.

This is the day when I leave my kiddo in the hands of someone who may be very capable but who isn't Mama. This is the day when my kid first begins his road to independence and learns to live a little bit of each day without me. This is the day I get on a plane and fly hundreds - if not thousands - of miles away from my boy, when I have only spent a handful of times and few dozen hours away from him.

So I can't sleep.

Because I didn't think it would happen so soon. I didn't think that I would want to stay home. And I still don't. But I don't want to go to work, either - at least my work.

My work that takes me so far away from those who mean the most to me (into the comfort of a quiet hotel room with no crying baby, ringing phone or laundry to fold). My work that takes me away from all the millions of things I really need to be doing (into a well-equipped hotel gym with indoor pool , spa, and a pitcher of chilled cucumber water waiting for me as I leave). My work that has never really fulfilled me, but has always very adequately provided (into a quiet room where, if I applied myself as much as I know I could, I could get great things done for a future that would keep me closer to those I want to be close to).

So, I requested information about a college program tonight. One that would give me great work possibilities close to home. But I would have to go to school a few nights a week for the next two years to complete it.

Another reason I sit here, not sleeping. Do I have the motivation to actually do this? I have been wanting to do this for years. I have talked about it for longer than I care to think about. Yet I keep making excuses to put it off.

I'm already paying for too many (unused) college degrees.

I don't want to leave my kid/Hubs for a few nights a week. (Ironic, considering my job, eh?)

I don't want to be the old chick in the class.

And the most important reason of all:
What if I fail and can't do this? Then what?

All these thoughts tumblin' around in this big ol' head of mine are causing me to stay awake although the baby is sleeping soundly, the Hubs has been fast asleep for hours and the dog is snoring softly.

Along with all these thoughts on my future and my abilities are more anxieties. Day care. Money. Obligations I have made that I wish that I hadn't. Laundry. Bills. My abilities as a Mama. Fitting into my work uniform or having to buy new ones.

Life. In. General.

When I was younger, I used to have Worry People. These are little yarn dolls about the size of a fingernail that fit into a little wooden box. When I had alot on your mind, I would tell each Worry Person one separate worry. Then, when that Worry Person had it, the worry would be off my shoulders and the Worry Person would carry the burden for me, giving me the chance to sleep unburdened. The Worry People would go into their little wooden box at night, and I would place them under my pillow. When I woke up in the morning, the Worry People would be there, but the worries would not.
Like the tooth and the Tooth Fairy.

I think I need to go out and buy me some Worry People.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Week Two

So I am currently in Week Two of looking for the perfect child care center/in home daycare to look after my perfect son.

Week One was anything but a success.

Because out of the ones I have called or visited:

One made me feel as if I was the child.

Two didn't speak English and another had a strong, unfamiliar accent. Asian, I believe.

Five don't accept infants, but I can "call back when he is a year old and walking".

One has space available. . . . in late February.

Two smelled like pee.

All but three are more than $200+ a week. Two of the ones cheaper than that are the ones that smelled like pee.

One would be willing to trade child care for my free flight passes. But they are over 20 miles away and want one pass a week. (I only get one every month or so.)

Eight have yet to return my phone calls.

And a partridge in a pear tree.

I just want a place that is cleaner than my house. With better, more educational toys and with a provider who doesn't watch Law & Order all day like I do. A place where the owner not only has a degree in early childhood education, but who also spends all day on the floor with the kids playing, singing and teaching.

In other words, if I am going to leave my perfect and un-screwed up kid with someone else for 30+ hours a week, I want someone who would be a better Mommy than I am.

Is that really too much to ask?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

You Know You're a Mama When. . . .

. . . . at a popular, crowded restaurant, when you smell something rotten, you pick up your baby, hold his butt to your nose and take a long, deep SNIFF.

This is also #1 on the Top Ten list of Things I Never Ever Though I Would Do.

Friday, December 11, 2009

7 Quick Takes Friday


I don't know how the days keep getting away from me, but they do. How does any Mom ever get anything done? Between the having-to-be-held, the poop explosions and the growth spurt feedings, I haven't even found the time to take a shower, much less shave my legs! I have a newfound respect for anyone trying to do this parenting thing on their own. Whether it be as a single mama or with a spouse in the military, etc., you are my hero. Also a hero - anyone who has ever run an in-home daycare. Patience is a virtue of which I have none.


A friend of mine is going back to school and I am 110% supportive of her (even if others in her life are not). But her going back to school makes me yearn to be back there myself. After three years of saying that I am going to do it, could now finally be the time? I almost feel as if its a waste of money, considering that I am still paying for my other two degrees, and probably will be for a good ten years from now. Do I really need to have three college degrees? But if I finally have direction, wouldn't it be the perfect time to return? It's only going to get harder as the Bambino gets bigger and busier. And, Phoenix is one of like ten universities in the US that happen to carry the program I want. Coincidence? Uh -uh! I think someone is trying to tell me something and I just keep refusing to listen. . . .


Can I just tell you again how much coffee means to me? Mornings wouldn't be half as happy without it. And thank you, also, to Coffee-Mate and International Delight for giving me just the right amount of sugar and sweetness to my cup of mud. You're the best.


Christmas this year is a little odd - at least to me. I want to buy Bjorn all sorts of fun gifts like the ones I always wanted, but I know that this year (and probably next) he will be more interested in the ribbons and paper than anything inside the box. So, besides one gift that I just could not resist, I think we are doing the sensible thing. The responsible thing. Soooooo unlike us. We are going to put money in his college fund. (Either that or buy him a motorcycle. That sounds more like us, right?)


This year, in the spirit of giving from the heart, we are making our Christmas presents. Which is great because I am very crafty and love love love doing stuff like that. Unfortunately, we overestimate our available time and underestimate the hours of work. So my apologies to family, but you are probably getting a nice printout picture of what you will be getting in the future. Does Ann Landers say that a Christmas present works the same as a wedding gift - it's ok to send it up to a year after? Sure hope so!


Today I am chopping off my hair. So you know what that means - this has been the week of the best hair ever. I almost changed my mind about getting it cut until yesterday when Bjorn took a chunk in his greedy little hands, pulled with the might of a very little circus Strong-man and gave me a bald spot any old man would be proud of. I am done. He is not getting his grubby hands on this anymore. I am now one of those moms who have a kid and cut off their beautiful long hair. I understand now! (But - I have very curly hair. So too short would result in an Orphan Annie look. It will not be Pink/Rihanna short, but it will no longer be Carrie Underwood long. We'll see after my visit to the Beauty School - $7 haircuts!!!! - as to exactly how short I am going. These curls are in a student's hands! And thanks for babysitting, Moms Questions!)


No, Bjorn is still not taking a bottle. He will, however, drink out of a sippy cup. His discerning sous chef taste buds won't allow him to drink formula (can't blame him there) or frozen milk (c'mon kid!) but will let him drink freshly pumped milk. And now that he eats alot of solids, it's not quite so bad if I have to leave for a few hours and don't have any fresh milk. He can always have some bananas, green beans and sweet potatoes. Not a bad meal, if you ask me. It's a little inconvenient, but not the end of the world. He will learn eventually to take what he can get.

Head over to Conversion Diary for lots more quick takes. While you're there, read a little about her life and conversion to Catholicism. Really cool.

Giveaway Winner

And the winner of the homemade burpcloths and blanket is:

Jen B!

An email has been sent to the winner, but I still need your address. Please contact me so I can send you your gift!

Friday, December 4, 2009

First things first

In Phoenix, I am not sure it has even rained since B was born.

Maybe once. And then for only five minutes.

But, today, in Houston, he went outside and for the first time in his wee little life, he was snowed on.

Yup, that's right. The earliest snow that has ever fallen on Houston is this weekend.

Happy snow day, B. Soon you will have to take off your hat and cute little bomber jacket and go back to the 65 degrees that is December in Phoenix.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Giveaway: One-of-a-kind Burpcloths and Baby Blanket

I’ve noticed that many MB’s (Mommy Bloggers) have a Blog-versary. A celebration of the day they first began to waste Baby’s naptime with yet more Mommy talk via their laptop.

And I’m sure that I could go back through months and months of blogs - getting caught down memory lane, much like when I reread my junior high diaries- to find out exactly when it was that I first started my blog, but if you’ve been reading this blog for very long, you probably know one thing about me.

I’m lazy.

(Oh yeah, I’m cheap, too. And not in the hooker way. In the I-buy-everything-at-consignment-stores kind of way. So now you know two things about me.)

I won’t pretend I remember dates well; when Hubs and I were merely ’having a good time’, I never kept track of special days. I don’t know our first date, our first kiss or the first time he turned down a beer with the guys to hang out with me.

I do, however, remember our wedding date. Whew.

Anyway. . . . .

So, because I am too lazy to check my Blog-versary date, and because we all need something to celebrate - today is a celebration of Bjorns’ Half Birthday.

Yup, that’s right. Baby Boy Bjorn is 6 months old today!

And in honor of my being able to keep a baby thriving (17 pounds) and happy (cries only when I try to give him a bottle) for the last 6 months YOU have the chance to win in this - my first giveaway!

How cool is that? I learn how to change diapers and sing lullabies that begin with “99 bottles of milk on the wall” and you get to win something.

What do you win? Well, I’m glad you asked.

Just in time for Christmas, you can win this one-of-a-kind baby girl blanket and two matching burp cloths!!

How do I know this is a one-of-a-kind? Because unlike many of those Big Bad Baby Companies, I do not out-source my work. I painfully sew and cut each piece myself. (And, why, yes, I do sell blankets, burp clothes and other baby accessories. )

And, since I have given and sold no more than two dozen homemade creations, I know that no one has anything even remotely like this. It’s an original. A Bun in the Toaster Original. How lucky can you get?

Is it perfect? Not even close. But if you are looking for the perfect gift, I suggest you head over to your neighborhood mall and buy a snugg.ie. But if you are looking for something homemade - something with charm and warmth and something that says ‘You get a gift that is a little bit extra special. Yours is homemade.’ - if you are looking for that, then this may be your lucky day.

This would be the perfect gift for any baby girl. (Or boy, I guess. If real men wear pink, does that mean that real boys snuggle up in purple? You decide!) With a satiny edging, four different fabrics for that added tactile stimulation, and a backing of soft fleece, this blanket is designed to be every babies favorite “lovey”. The matching burp cloths are an added bonus; one of absorbent fleece for those heavy spit-up days and the other adorable in flowers of blue, purple and green.

The blanket measures 25 inches X 20.5 inches and all materials have been pre-washed.

I will pick the winning entry by deciding who I like the most. And by who makes the best brownies. (Just kidding. I will be using Random.org, so don’t think that you can send me boxes of brownies in the hopes of winning. But you can always try. I’m a sucker for brownies. )

Here’s how to enter:

1) Tell me the favorite homemade gift you have given or that you have received.

2) Sing Happy Half-Birthday to Bjorn. After all, it is his day.

3) Follow my blog via Google friend.

4) Link to this giveaway on your blog.

5) Link to this giveaway on face book.

You MUST leave a separate comment for each thing you do to receive credit for the extra entries. And for you newbies, if you link to face book/your blog, you must tell me that you did so in a comment. (I didn’t realize this when I first started entering contests and would just assume there was some kind of cool tracker thing that showed that I linked up from my blog. There isn’t. At least that I know.)

Sorry, mates, but this is for those in the US of A only.

Giveaway closes on Thursday December 10. Plenty of time. If God can make all the earth and all the animals and all the trees and plants and you and me in a mere seven days, then you can find the time to enter this giveaway in the same amount of time.

If your email is not on your Blogger profile, please leave it with your comment. The winner will have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen. And then you will lose out on this awesome opportunity. So don’t forget to leave me your email address and then check your email people!

Good luck and may the best brownies man win!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Just another milestone kind of day

Oh these "milestone moments" - they just never stop!

Bjorn stood up by himself today. By himself!!

Of course, he was holding onto the edge of the ottoman to keep his balance. And I was waiting with arms outstretched.

But he was standing.

Like a big boy.


He's on the move!

So it's not really a crawl.

It's more of him pushing himself onto all fours and then scooting backwards. And in circles. And sideways. Every which way except forward.

I left the living room this morning for one minute. (I swear - it was only a minute!) When I left, B was on his play rug in the middle of the room surrounded by toys.

When I came back one minute later he was in the corner of the room, trying to frog-kick himself even further.

That is a span of over 10 feet.

He's on the move.

And there is no way I'm ever going to get anything done now!

Monday, November 30, 2009

A picky eater

I already have it all figured out.

Bjorn will attend Texas Tech University, just like his Daddy and I. Only I will have to be there also - so, I'll be his dorm RA and he can live in Coleman dorms (the co-ed ones) like I did, and that way


After two absolutely miserable days of trying to get him to take a bottle in any way, shape or form, we are at our wit's end. I think this kid is going to be breastfeeding forever.

I know, I know. It's only been two days. But two days of him screaming and writhing as if he is in such pain merely because we held a bottle near his face. Two days of him crying so hard he gives himself the hiccups, doesn't eat for over 6 hours because we are trying to make a point that he gets the bottle or nothing and two days of finally giving in because the only thing that stops his crying is letting him nurse.

Yes, I gave in.

You would have, too. Admit it.

I know what most of you are thinking (because I have already received this advice over and over). Don't do anything but feed him the bottle and he will take it when he's hungry. By doing that Mama needs her own bottle when the whole ordeal is over. Bjorn gets hungry and then he gets mad and then he WAILS and then there is no stopping him. It's one of the traits he got from Daddy.

We first tried breast milk that had been frozen and defrosted. After three hours of screaming and refusing, I tasted it to find that it may have been a little sour. Not bad, mind you. But something didn't taste right.

So then I took freshly pumped milk and put that in his bottle. Fresh as in pumped-in-the-last-three-hours fresh. Very fresh. (And just to make sure there, I tasted that, too.)

He refused it.

We tried Mama giving it to him. Then Daddy tried. Daddy tried while I left the room so he couldn't see me and - as some Mommy bloggers put it - "get confused". We switched bottles and nipples. We sat him upright and laid him in a nursing position. We gave him the bottle to explore and play with, to familiarize himself. We tried room temperature and warm. We tried pre-mixed formula. And mixing our own formula.

And overwhelmed both him and us.

But what are we to do? Daddy is working everyday and night this week, so I am on my own with him. We should have started this bottle thing sooner, but the days crept up on us faster than we expected. This weekend Bjorn will be baby-sat by Grandma and Grandpap while I head out for my friend's wedding festivities. So he will have to take a bottle. And I have to go back to work soon.

And, like all Mommies everywhere have said, I am sure that when he gets hungry enough, he will eat. He has eaten from a bottle before, and while he seems to throw up much more, he still at least takes it.

I just feel bad that I will be leaving Bjorn with Grandma and Grandpap knowing that he is going to scream and wail until they can finally shove a bottle in his mouth. At least they have been through this before. They know that babies cry. And I know that at over 17 pounds, Bjorn will not be starving. He is an eater like his Daddy and will eat when he's hungry.

Even if that means letting Grandma and Grandpap deal with his crying all day.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thank you. Thanks very much.

In the interest of being like every other Blogger out there, today is the day we blog about what we are thankful for, blah blah blah, yadda yadda yadda.

But I can't be all sappy - even if it is that time of year. I'll save that for Christmas, maybe. Don't hold your breath.

Here is my list of thankfulness. In no particular order, we have:

Top 11 Things I'm Thankful For & Top 3 Things I am Not:

I am thankful for:

  • My friends and family. I group them into one big lump of thankfulness because some of my friends are as close as family and some of my family are my best friends. They are the cheese to my tater tots and the deep-fry to my turkey. I would still be me without them, but they make me into a much more awesome version of me.

  • My job. I am thankful that my job gives me so much time off to enjoy my little man, and I'm thankful that I have a job to go back to. In this world of almost 10% unemployment, that is not a small thing. I'm also grateful to have a job that, while maybe doesn't put to full use my years of college debt, are helping, as MSN.com states, to stave off the boredom that usually occurs 5 years into a job. It helps to like your job.

  • Hot water. I could handle an outhouse if I really had to, but no hot water? Sartre had it wrong - hell isn't other people. It's a cold shower.

  • Air travel. My husband was born in Scotland and lived there for most of his childhood. My parents grew up in Illinois, lived in Texas for 25 years and now live in North Carolina. My brother and sister-in-law live in Dallas and my In-Laws and Siblings-in-law live in Houston and Austin. I live in Phoenix. Without air travel, I would be spending days weeks in a small train compartment or in a cramped, muggy car. Instead, I spend 4 fours on a plane, drinking a free Diet Coke and watching a movie. Without the widespread use of air travel, I may never have met my husband, been born a pure blooded Texan (y'all) or been able to participate in everything from weddings to football games to birthday parties. (Not to mention that I wouldn't have a job!) My hero for air travel says it best here.

  • God-incidences. Other people call this coincidences or good luck. But I know that there is a whole lot more to life than just a luck of the draw. A God-incidence is when I introduce my new roommate and my boyfriend's roommate, and they wind up married. A God-incidence is having the baby throw up on you, so you have to change your clothes three times, and when you get in the car, you pass a fresh wreck that you might have been in if you hadn't had to change your clothes. God-incidences are everywhere if you only look for them.

  • Coffee. In case you didn't know, coffee is a girl's best friend. What would we be without coffee? A bunch of grumps with bedhead.

  • My home. A home is a house with love. And we have that. I also have a roof over my head. Yes, this roof has depreciated in value more than I ever care to think about (just read the papers for more on the Phoenix economy), but I still have a home. My little piece of America. That's enough for now.

  • Washing machines. When my brother was born, my parents did not have a washer and dryer. And they still used cloth diapers (going green before it was cool!). The thought of all the baby poop my mom had to touch. . . . well, I'm grateful to both her and the washer. You know what? Let's include this for all modern household appliances. The oven, the microwave, the toaster oven. My dishwasher may not be necessary but it's a hell of a lot nicer than the alternative.

  • Naps. Naptime is really the only time I get anything done around here. And by "done", I mean finish blogging, blog-reading and facebooking. Yes, facebooking is now a verb. You don't believe me? Google it.

  • My dog. What is the bane of my existence doing on a thankful list? When I thought we were gonna lose her a few years ago, I just about lost it. She is my Marley. She drives me crazy eating leather scraps from my craft box (last week), baby food off the table (last night) and banana peels off the counter (this morning), but at least I know what to expect from her. Unconditional love and a whole lot of weird-looking poop.

  • Sonic ice. It makes me happy, and it makes me happy to think that such a small thing can make me happy. And isn't it always nice to appreciate the small things in life? So, I am thankful for Sonic ice. For its ability to be so small, yet last all day long. Thanks, Sonic.

I am unthankful for:

  • My cell phone. Although I appreciate this little piece of equipment as a justincase of accident, I am supremely unthankful for the ability to reach me at all times. And I know what you are thinking, but I can't just leave my phone at home because that tinny, whiny voice in the back of my head pipes up with 'what if I get in that accident/run out of gas/lock my keys in my car again'. So I just screen like crazy and only answer if it is really what I want. (And, as a disclaimer, I am not unthankful for all cell phones. Just mine. I really like my husband's cell phone. It helps me get things picked up at the store on his way from home work so I don't have to go!)

  • Crazy drivers. Don't they know that I have a very new human being in my backseat and that it is my job to protect him? And how can I do that when you are running red lights and weaving in and out of traffic? I'm a speeder, too, and I understand rushing around town to get everything done. But there is a point where your speed gets reckless. So, watch out for me. I have a Beautiful Bouncing Baby on Board.

  • Credit cards. Although I love my credit cards for what they can give me (3 years no payment no interest) I also am incredibly unthankful for that kind of pressure. How am I supposed to have the strength to say no to something when I can pay it off in 5 years with no interest? Anyone can pay $20 a month!! Sigh. I will learn self-control someday. . . .


Another thing I'm not thankful for? Black Friday. I don't understand the thrill of it all. I don't understand why we spend ONE day at home with our families relaxing and enjoying each other and spend the next day in the madness of crowds and chaos. Most everyone has the Friday after Thanksgiving off work, so here's an idea - play football outside with the kids. Go on a walk as a family. Play scrabble. Talk. There are a million better things to be doing than racing from store to store just to save a few bucks. It's not worth it.

This holiday season, I want to know - what are you thankful/unthankful for?

Monday, November 23, 2009

Who wants Rice Cereal?!?

For the last 173 days (but really, who's counting?) I have been nursing Bjorn. Through the good and the bad. The pain and the dry mouth. The leaking and the overflow. We've been through most everything, and we have learned together how this whole breastfeeding this works.

He's eaten (always covered by a nursing cover my Mom made) in a hockey arena while I watch the last 2 minutes of the game. He's eaten in the middle seat of a crowded, stale-aired airplane. He's eaten while I watch TV, while I rock in my awesome rocking chair and while I sleepily roll over and try to both nap and feed.

To be honest, though, my reasons to breastfeed were selfish.

Yes, I understand that boobie milk is the best nutrition for my little guy. Yes, I understand that he inherits some of my immunities and all of my nutrients.

But really it was supposed to get rid of my baby belly.

Ha! As if!

But that's a post for another day.

When I began breastfeeding, I promised myself that I would do it for at least six months. Since I am lucky enough to have a job that gives me a little more than six months off work, the timing was perfect. And I was also lucky enough to have more than enough milk for the entire baby population of Arizona. Lactation consultants call it "overabundant milk supply". I just call it "embarrassing leakage and choking hazard".

As we get closer and closer to that six month mark, I am itching to stop breastfeeding. Itching to be able to leave the house for more than three hours without worrying about getting back to feed or pump. Itching for someone else to sit with him for 30 minutes as he eats dinner or lunch. Itching to be able to wear real clothes and not worry about what I'm going to be showing off if I have to feed him in public.

And Daddy is itching to be a bigger part of it all.

The Ped suggested that we wait until 6 months to start Bjorn on solid food, but since we already have waited 173 days (again, who's counting?), we figured that was long enough.

Yesterday, we mixed some of my painstakingly pumped milk into a little bowl, stirred in some Gerber rice cereal with a blue plastic spoon and took that big step into Big Boyhood.

And he hated it.

Not that I can blame him. I tried it. It was pretty disgusting. And I've tried my breast milk, too. (Kinda sweet, but really thin. Like a sweet skim milk.) If I had to pick one, it wouldn't be the DHA, Iron Fortified rice cereal either.

Too bad for him, he doesn't get a vote.

Today I am off to the library (because even as an aspiring novelist, I'm too cheap for a bookstore) to find books on pureeing my own baby food. Not because I'm organic or hippie-ish or anything. Again, because I'm cheap. It's so easy to do, and so much less expensive.

But I need help. Suggestions. Do I need to buy a baby pureerer? (spelling??) Or would a food processor get it pureed enough? I already have a Mommy who gave me the suggestion of the Annabel Karmel cooking books. Any others you like for baby's first foods?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Giveaway coming soon!

In the interest of staying young by trying new things, I have decided to do one more new thing on this blog.

I will be hosting a giveaway.


I know. Cool, huh?

What will I be giving away? It will be one of my homemade baby creations, but you'll have to check back with me to see exactly which spectacular creation it will be.

Not today. Not even tomorrow. But soon.

First I have to finish my laundry and get my baby over this pesky upper respiratory infection. Then it's giveaway time!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

It's the best time of the day

As the day for me to go back to work keeps creeping closer and closer, I'm trying to enjoy every last moment of being a SAHM.

I still very much miss adult conversation and no-baby time, but I know that those days will come soon. And then, I am sure that all I will want is to be home with Bjorn.

So I am taking more time to do the things I know I will miss, as he gets older and as I prepare to head back to work.

Today's favorite SAHM moment:

He was fighting sleep in every single sleep position that usually works. No crib, no magic chair, not even rocking in my arms. After 15 minutes of crying and eye-rubbing, I finally tried lying on the couch with Bjorn lying backwards on my chest.

In less than 30 seconds, he was fast asleep.

Instead of thinking of all the millions of things that always need to be done, I spent the next 45 minutes alternating between catnapping and watching Law & Order. All with Bjorn's 17 pounds snuggled sweetly against me.

Best 45 minutes of my day. Hands down.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

I don't really do things like this.

Ok, so I've never actually done something like this.

But here I am, doing it today.


What's that in the middle of my blog? It's a shortcut to a Kindle reader giveaway. For each person that enters this giveaway through my blog, I get an extra entry into the contest.

(How they track this stuff, I have no clue! But I was an English Lit major, not computer science. I'm sure some 20-something now-millionaire devised some software that handles giveaways and such. . . . )

Even after begging, I still have not received any free stuff from any BBBC (Big Bad Baby Companies). But other people do, so I spend Bjorn's naptime entering contests on all the Mommy blogs I stalk. This Kindle giveaway is just one of many that I am hoping to win. (And NO I am not telling you all my giveaways, as then you might enter and I would have one LESS chance of winning! The only reason I'm telling you about the Kindle is because each time YOU enter, I get entries. It really is all about me.)

My friend M&M has already won something on a Blogging contest and I am so jealous! I wanna win, too!!

But I digress. Back to the Kindle.

Like I said, I normally don't post giveaway stuff on my blog, leaving it to more important information. Such as the state of Bjorn's poop. Or whether I found my perfect boots (which I finally did!).

But this is the Kindle, y'all.

This is the mecca of traveling book lovers.

Although nothing can replace the smell of a brand new book, and nothing is better than sinking into a mountain of pillows, turning page after page in anticipation, I yearn for the Kindle. I will soon be going back to flight attendanting, and I need the lightness the Kindle offers.

Oh, wait. You don't know what the Kindle is?

Let me tell you all about it. Better yet, just go here and Wikipedia will do all the work for me.

Pretty much, it is an electronic handheld reader that can store gazillions of books, magazines and newspapers so that, while you will have to turn off this electronic device during takeoff and final descent, you will not have to pack five books (mystery, sci-fi, non-fiction, popular fiction, thriller) for a weekend trip. As I have been known to do.

So help a sister out, click on this link and help me add entries in this contest. I really don't ask for much. Why not this one little thing??

Monday, November 16, 2009

Letting Daddy in

Seeing as I spend 8 12 hours a day with Bjorn while Daddy is at work, he often gets the brunt of my dismay at being a house-mom through my distressed phone calls.

They go something like this:

"Why can't he pick up his own toys?"
"He won't stop crying!!! What do I do?"
"YOUR son just pooped on me. Literally. And it was warm." (I think I just threw up a little in my mouth remembering that. Yech.)

Bring the awesome Daddy that he is, when he gets home from work, he wraps Bjorn in a big ol' Daddy hug and suggests that I go out for a few hours. Window shopping, maybe, or go get a pedicure. Anything just to give Mama a little time away from it all.

I always decline. The evenings are the only times I get to see Daddy, so why would I leave when it would be our time together, too?

Lately, though, I have wondered if maybe I am doing a disservice. Not just to myself, but to Daddy and Bjorn also.

Maybe Bjorn needs his Daddy time - where Daddy can throw him around and wrestle without Mama hovering nearby with some band-aids and the cell phone pre-dialed to the hospital.

Maybe Daddy needs his Bjorn time - where he can figure out on his own how to get him calm. How to change the poopiest overflow diaper and give him a bath. So Daddy can find new toys and games that Bjorn likes.

So they can bond.

I was trying to be a good wife. I know that Daddy is at work all day, working hard to keep us in teething toys and diapers, so I didn't want to burden him when he got home.

But I work all day, too. I make sure we never run out of milk, eggs and meat. I take the toilet paper off the counter and put it on the dispenser. I vacuum the dog hair out of the rugs and teach the Dog to play nicely with babies. I pick the zucchini out of our garden and make zucchini bread for dessert. All this and more.

I am a working mother.

So it's not a burden to him to let him have his son for a little while.

It's a joy.

It's a responsibility.

It's what we signed up for.

It's parenting.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

It's the little things in life that count. . ..

Every day once in a while, when I really feel that need for silence, I will hand a screaming Bjorn to Daddy and sweetly say 'Can you take him for a minute? I have to go to the bathroom.'

I will then go into the bathroom, lock the door and lean back on it and contentedly sigh. Sometimes I close the toilet, sit and read an entire magazine article. The whole thing. From beginning to end.

Sometimes I will lie in an empty bathtub, close my eyes and imagine myself fully rested and energized.

I'm getting some much needed alone time.

Daddy just thinks I have a little too much fiber in my diet.

Saturday, November 14, 2009


I know this sounds incredibly like a desperate housewife, but just bear with me. . .

I despise my mop. Any suggestions on a new one?

This little Piggie went to market and this little Piggie stayed home. . . .

I have a confession to make.

This whole H1N1 Swine Flu Pandemic Stuff kinda freaks me out.

I don't remember ever receiving a flu shot. I'm sure I did, because back in those days (of horses and carriages and walking three miles up hill barefoot in the snow) before vaccines were blamed for autism and ADHD and obesity, everyone got vaccines. It is just what you did.

But I don't remember getting it.

And I don't remember getting the flu, either. If I did get the flu, I'm 99.9% sure it hasn't been in the last ten years. Allergies, yes. Broken nose and finger and some weird rash-thing no doctor has ever been able to diagnose, yes. But the flu? Nope. Not me.

And it's not really Piggie Flu that is upsetting me, but it is the constant media attention on the flu in general. On swine flu and regular flu and flu shots.

It was not until this past year, when Piggie Flu erupted in sty's everywhere, that I first learned that the normal flu kills approximately 30,000 people a year. Wha-wha-what??

How come I had never heard that before?

That number seems so enormous to me. So incredible to believe. 30,000.

That would be 50 times my HS graduating class. It would be the entire Texas Tech University student body the year I graduated. It would be a little less than 1/3 the city I live in now.


According to the MADD website, a little less than 12,000 people died in drunk driving accidents in 2008.

Yet the normal, average, everyday flu killed almost three times as many people as drunk driving.

And that is what scared me. Because now it's not just me against the world.

It's me standing between the world and Bjorn.

Friday, November 13, 2009

No Babies Allowed

I've never liked signs that read 'No boys allowed' or 'Girls only'.

Even the Little Rascals, with the He-Man Woman Haters Club, strikes a sour note for me.

I would much rather slosh beer and lick chicken wing sauce off my fingers than sip tea and eat dainty cucumber "sandwiches". And maybe there is a guy out there who would rather discuss fashionable hemlines so I can watch a football game. So you can't say that men are allowed because they like certain things and women don't and yadda yadda yadda.

And I just don't like anything that lets some people in and keeps others out. It's not fair. It's not right.

So I was especially upset today during my bridesmaids dress search (short story version - I'm the maid of honor and pick my own dress) to find that this huge warehouse that is most definitely housing my perfect dress does not allow babies.

**Life screeches to a halt.**

Yes, that is right. Does not allow babies.

They even had a sign saying "No infants or children past this point." This point being the moment you enter the store.

Then I was told that they allow children in the dressing rooms, but not on the sales floor, so I would not be able to see, touch or smell any of the thousands of dresses. I was not allowed to casually stroll around until I gasped "Oh!" and gave a little sigh at finding the perfect dress. I was to wait patiently in the dressing room while they brought dress after dress of exactly the opposite of what I told them I wanted.

So I guess they meant it in a keep-your-grubby-hands-off-my-designer-dress kind of way.

But, then, they are still discriminating against all infants and children, while not all children are dirty or grabby. Some - like my 5 month old - are fast asleep in a baby stroller, where even if he was to wake up and begin grabbing for the latest chiffon one-shoulder number, his arms don't reach.

I was so stunned by the sheer arrogance of the "customer serviceperson" (because, really, there was no customer service here) when she asked "Don't you have someone else who can watch him?" after I had driven the 45 minutes across town, that I never even asked why they don't allow children. I am only assuming the dirty hand thing, because, really, what other reason could there be?

I take my child everywhere. He has gone to professional hockey games and a high school football game. He goes to the mall, the grocery store - even out for a nice sushi dinner. Our closest family is 2000 miles away and I am not doling out $50 to a baby-sitter when my son is perfectly and completely portable. Where I go, so goes my son.

If you don't like that, you don't get my business. You don't get the $200 I will shell out for a dress. You do not get the pleasure of selling me a dress. You do not get my good recommendation. You get just the opposite. Click here to find out exactly where not to spend that well-earned money.

Whether it be sex, race or age, discrimination sucks.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

My reason

Reason #273 to have a baby: During rush hour, you get to use the HOV lane. Even if you just went shopping, and not to work.

A milestone minute

I don't read parenting books, so I have no idea what all the "milestones" for babies are. And I have no idea when they are supposed to occur.

This has its pros and cons - the biggest pro being that I get excited about everything Bjorn does that is new and different from the day before. I'm not searching for the next written "milestone" and I don't get worried that he hasn't sprouted a tooth/crawled away/spoke in complete sentences yet.

Today's Mama Loves Milestone:

He can sit up. All by himself.

Of course, it is only for about a minute, and then he slowly weeble-wobbles and topples to the floor.

Then we all laugh, sit him upright again and do it all over again.

Yes, I laugh when my baby boy falls over. But he's very durable. He can handle it.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Mama's advice

Oh yeah, I have absolutely no self-motivational skills.

I have skipped three days of NaBlogWritingMo and have yet to begin on the novel stuff. Oops. I've got to figure how to motivate myself! Eh, who am I kidding? It will happen when it happens. . . . and knowing me, not anytime soon!

Last Saturday was my 10 year HS reunion. It was also only the third time in Bjorns short life that I have left him with someone else for more than two hours.

The first time was less than 2 weeks after his birth, when Grandma watched him so Daddy and I could go out to celebrate my birthday. It was heaven for me, as I was an emotional wreck for the first six weeks, but Daddy missed him immensely.

The second time was when Bjorn was 3 months old and I had a bachelorette party that lasted all weekend. This almost doesn't count, for Bjorn spent the weekend with his Daddy. It's not like I left him at a baby-sitter's all weekend. But I didn't see him for almost three whole days.

Then, this last time, I left him at 7 pm and returned home at 1:30 am.

Mama had some fun.

Being a Mama, I knew that Bjorn was going to be giving me an early morning wake-up call. I knew that if I wanted to be in top form, I needed to be home early so I could get a good night's rest and be able to deal with him.

But I also knew that if I didn't take advantage of this baby-sitting opportunity and milk it for all that it was worth, that I would regret it. I need that social time.

Turns out, I am actually a better Mama when I have gone out, partied hard and only slept for three hours before my crying alarm clock goes off.

When I woke up at 5 am, I immediately took Bjorn, soothing and calming him. Seeing as we were both still sleepy, I took him into bed with me, where he promptly fell asleep cuddled against me. From then until 9 am, Bjorn would wake up once an hour, and we would play and tickle for about ten minutes before he would fall asleep on me again.

I actually had fun. I didn't mind when he woke me up. I didn't mind when he wanted to play. I even didn't mind when he cried a little. Because I knew that I had gone out and had a blast the night before.

Moral of the story?

Take those nights out. Take that time away. Let someone else deal with the crying and the pooping and let someone else have fun with the playing and the laughing. Get away.

What makes you a better Mama?

Saturday, November 7, 2009

LIfe is a chew toy

Like a dog with a bone, Bjorn likes to chew on anything he can get his hands on.

And now that he can deliberately reach for things, he can get his hands on alot.

Like my glasses, my earrings, my necklaces, my hair. He has learned how to unbutton buttons and zippers. That has led to a few embarrassing situations. He finds the zipper and gnaws on it as he pulls it down. Doesn't quite realize why it's moving, but you can see his little mind thinking,"Well, this is cool - it slides right into my mouth!"

But for this little 'un, life is a chew toy.

Everything head straight into his mouth, and if I thought I was an observant Mama before, now I've had to up the ante.

When I am on the computer, he sits on my lap. I throw about ten different stacks of brightly colored post-its on the table in front of him, giving me about 7 minutes of blog-reading before he gets bored.

Recently, I noticed he was even quieter than usual, for longer than usual. After taking a look at him, I realized why. He had grabbed a single post-it and slowly, but surely, stuffed it accordion-like, into his greedy little mouth. By the time I had caught him, only a thin little edge poked out.

I immediately grabbed it out, and unfurled it (spit and all) to see if any pieces were missing and how much had been swallowed.

Since the little guy doesn't know how to chew quite yet, it was disgustingly wet, but not a piece was missing.

Guess I will have to start keeping a better eye on him. Or else find an actual baby toy to amuse him with.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Leavin' on a jet plane. . . . . .

So here we are, the day of my 10 year HS reunion, and Bjorn and I are in Dallas. Minus Daddy, who has to work all weekend. Boo. :(

But Daddy probably had a very good night's sleep last night, while Bjorn and I didn't sleep at all. Sigh. The joys of traveling with a baby.

He slept both flights from Phoenix to Dallas, as he has the other three times we have flown. He is fantastic on planes. But, then, when we pulled up to my brother and sister-in-laws at midnight, he woke up and was happy as a clam.

(Are clams really that happy? How do we know that clams are happy? Do they smile? Do they laugh? I digress. . . . . )

From midnight until after 2 am, when we finally went to bed, this kid was playing and laughing and enjoying his godparents.

Mama, on the other hand, could feel the trouble a-brewing.

Bjorn fought off sleep like a prize heavyweight fighter, kicking and screaming every time his eyes even threatened to close. The pack 'n' play (borrowed from a thoughtful friend) incited what could only be described as baby curses when I tried to lay him in it. Ah, what a fun night I had in store for me.

And, boy was it.

After two hours of trying to get him to sleep in the pack 'n' play, with rocking and shushing and singing and crying and all those things Mama's do when they are desperate, I gave up.

I pulled him out of the crib, and onto the floor next to me. He promptly rolled over, stuck his hand in his mouth and fell asleep. I, on the other hand, was thoroughly and completed exhausted.

So, of course, I couldn't sleep.

I watched the clock roll from 4 to 4:15 to 4:28, until finally I came to my senses and turned off the damn clock.

Bjorn slept through until 7 am, when he woke up, happy as a lark. (Again with the happy questions - how do we really know that larks are so happy?)

Mama needed an IV of coffee. This traveling thing sucks when the kids gets out of whack.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Everyday Choices

Yesterday, during my never-ending quest for the perfect boots (which was futile, since apparently my perfect boots are not in style this season), I saw a homeless man standing at a red light.

Since Phoenix in the winter has practically perfect weather for the homeless, I was not surprised. This is the time of year when every corner has a man with a sign and a dog.

But this got me to thinking. . .

Fortunately, Bjorn is not at an age yet where I have to teach him anything besides how to reach for his feet so he can put his toes in his mouth. And that was quite easy to accomplish. But soon I will have to start teaching him discipline and strength, compassion and giving.

And I have a choice.

Do I teach him that everyone should work hard for what they get? Or should I teach him that we should give to the homeless just because they stand out there with a sign? These seem to contradict themselves.

I have heard the stories - that the homeless average about $35,000 a year, tax-free. That some "homeless" drive new vehicles and wear designer clothes. I even read an article a few years back written by a Director for a homeless shelter asking people not to give the homeless money. This would only encourage their actions, where there are plenty of government subsidized programs available to them. Ones that we are already paying for with our taxes.

It was the longest red light in the history of red lights, but I suddenly realized that I didn't have a choice. I didn't get to decide what I was going to teach.

Someone had already taught me the right thing to do. I would have to do the same.

As the light turned green, I reached into my glove compartment for my emergency granola bar and into my diaper bag for my emergency apple. (I get hungry alot, and when I get hungry, I get mean. Mean with a capital B. I carry alot of emergency food with me.)

It was 2:00 in the afternoon, and I had already had three cups of coffee, a bowl of cereal, a hamburger, some Cheez-its and a box of raisins. Had this man eaten all day? Yesterday, even?

I rolled up next to him and handed him all my emergency food. Healthy food that would sustain him if what he really wanted was sustainability.

But what I really gave him was hope.

This is what I want to pass on to my son. Although this man may be a sneak and a crook, he also may be a proud man, down on his luck. Although he may live in a house bigger and nicer than ours, he also might live under the highway overpass. And although he may snigger and chuckle at the sucker I am, he also might send up an extra prayer for me.

Every Christmas season growing up, when the homeless began to appear on the corners of our small Dallas suburb, my mom would head to McDonalds, where she would put $100 of her hard-earned money into 4 $25 gift books. She would dole out $5 gift certificates to each homeless person she could, knowing that with that money they could get a hot coffee, a burger, and maybe even an apple pie.

With a $5 gift certificate, they could get a meal. A head start. A promise of something better.

That is what I want to teach my son. That although you can stand back and be cynical, it is better to stand tall and be compassionate.

Matthew 25: 34-40 Then the King will say to those on his right hand, "Come, you whom my Father has blessed, take as your heritage the kingdom prepared for you since the foundation of the world. For I was hungry, and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you gave me welcome, lacking clothes and you clothed me, sick and you visited me, in prison and you came to see me." Then the upright will say to him in reply, "Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and make you welcome, lacking clothes and clothe you? When did we find you sick or in prison, and go to see you?" And the King will answer,"In truth I tell you, in so far as you did this to one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did it to me."

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

November Goal

One of the Mommy Bloggers I stalk read on a daily basis, AnyMommy, reminded me in her post today that it is, in fact, National Blog Posting Month and National Novel Writing Month.

Pretty much, it's Write Your Ass Off Month.

I looked at the websites for both the Novel and Blog Writing and thought "Wow, well, I'm much too busy to participate in both, so I guess I will just see if I can possibly, maybe, do the blog writing. After all, I might be able to actually do that. I guess."

Talk about gung-ho! Look at that enthusiasm!

The Novel Writing is all about "quantity, not quality", which is something I can appreciate considering that I already have 3/4 of a novel sitting idly in Microsoft Word. And because the other 1/4 of the novel is in bits and pieces spread three computers, pieces of napkins from epiphanies in restaurants and any other piece of paper (receipts, toilet paper, etc) that is handy when inspiration has struck. I have alot of quantity, but I haven't actually read through it to see if any of it is quality.

The Blog Writing is simple. Write a post a day for the month of November. I first thought '"But, I have a 5 month old and my HS reunion and my house needs to be cleaned and I really wanted to go shopping today for those new boots I'm salivating over and. . . . "

Suck it up, Girl. It's time to put your writing cap on.

So, in honor of Write Until Your Fingers Fall Off Month, I have decided to participate in both. Unofficially, of course, as I am a fantastic starter at things (half-marathon training, that damned almost finished book) and horrible at finishing them. So the pressure is on. . . . but not really. I haven't signed up, and I haven't paid any entry fees. I'm still half-assing it. But that's why we have Bloggie friends, right? To keep us on our toes when we kinda, sorta, only halfway do something?

I'm still not all gung-ho about it, but I'm trying. C'mon, give me a little credit. (And also give me credit for finally figuring out how to cross out typed words like in the first paragraph. I've been wanting to do that since I first started blogging!)

By the end of November (Because I am going to cheat a little - I know Nov has already started, but the 30th is such a clean number, so I am going to forget about these first three days and start now. Pretend its February with only 28 days.) Anyways - by the end of November, I should have a post a day on this blog and a finished book. (Really? Finished? Can I really do that?)

I mean, really, what else do I have to do? My 5 month old can entertain himself for one hour, my HS reunion is only one weekend, this house will never be clean again, and those boots I'm drooling over? Well. . . I'm gonna buy those boots today.

I have to. I love boots.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Worst Case Scenario Survival Guide

A good friend of mine recently had a c-section (welcome to the world Baby Lucy!!), and since she is an Austin hippie who planned for an all-natural water birth, I know she was horribly unprepared for it. I also skipped the entire chapter on c-sections, thinking, 'My pregnancy has gone perfectly! It won't happen to me!'

Murphy's Law strikes again.

But I know these first few days (weeks, months, years) after Baby is born is hard. I wanted to shout the good news from the rooftops, but since I was given very good drugs for the pain, I wasn't allowed near any rooftops. (Nor heavy machinery or alcohol. So, no penthouse parties for me!) And since I've always been a serial drunk dialer, I figured I would be a serial drugged dialer too, and after the requisite family calls, I turned off my phone.

I don't want to disturb my hippie chick with phone calls while she's in the recuperating stages, but I began to think about all the things I wish I would have known about c-sections. And advice I could have used right after the fact. She knows I'm here and if she wants advice, she'll call. But for all those who don't have my cell number. . . .

From my scar to yours, here are my first-few-days survival guide for c-sections:

  • Steal your Hubs' boxer shorts. If he doesn't wear boxers, send him to the nearest store for some XL mens boxers. Always get XL - this is a time for comfort, not fit, and these will be the most comfortable. You may think maternity shorts will work, too, but they won't. Remember that band that tried desperately to hold up your pants over that bulging belly? Not a good idea to have that on top of a fresh cut. Just hike that boxer waistband up to your boobs and call it a day.
  • While you're sending the Hubs out for underwear, have him stop by Motherhood Maternity for some maternity undies. In a size larger than normal. Don't think that high-rise undies from Target will work. They won't. In fact, the waistband will hit exactly where your stitches/staples are. Tell him to suck it up and go to Motherhood Maternity. Even if it isn't really on the way.
  • Nurses will not automatically bring you your meds. I learned that the hard way when, the day after surgery, I waited for 8 hours for my super-hyped-up-illegal-everywhere-except-Mexico happy pills. Talk about pain. With tears rolling down my face, I finally called the nurse, to which she responded 'Well, why didn't you just call earlier?' Ummm. . . because this is my first time in a hospital and first time having surgery and first time having a baby and I'm a little overwhelmed. And because you're the nurse. Lesson: Keep track of what you took, when you took it, and when you can have it again.
  • It will hurt to get up. If you are anything like me, it will hurt horribly to get up. Do it anyway. Lean on your husband, the nurse, the nice woman who repeatedly stops by until you pay your hospital bills. Whomever. Just do it.
  • When you get home, take all your meds. At least until you see your Doc for your 2 week follow up visit. Don't stop taking the stool softener just because you think you're fine. Or you may end up busting open your stitches in the worst possible way. Trust me. So not fun.
  • If little things like a dirty-ish house bug you, hire a cleaning lady. It's worth it. Because now is not the time to dust baseboards or perfectly corner-tuck sheets. (Seriously, didn't you do all that while you were nesting?) This is not even the time to fold shirts or wipe down the breakfast mess. And the last thing your Mom wants to do (although she will offer and gladly accept) is clean. She wants to hold her new grandbaby. Let her. Hire a maid.

There it is. My quick and dirty survival guide. I know I am missing lots of important points, and I'm sure I'll remember them as soon as I press the 'publish post' button, but here are at least a few to get you started.

Just in case.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Another Mama confession

Another reason I am such a good Mama.

I love my Baby Einstein Exersaucer.

Oh, not because it is teaching him words and colors and letters and sounds. And not because it helps his balance and coordination. And not even because it is bilingual and he will learn the proper Spanish word for 'cat' and 'lion'.

It's because when I put him in it he plays by himself. Without me.

Which means I can read all the blogs that I have been missing. See, it really is all about me.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Better Late than Never

This past weekend, the Hubs, Bjorn and I went to Texas to visit two of our college roomies. (His roomie married my roomie. Isn't that cute?!)

Since they have a 16 month old, they have all the requisite baby toys for Bjorn, which they gladly pulled out of storage and scattered across the living room. It was baby playtime heaven.

My college roomie (AKA Mama Idalou) told me repeatedly not to worry, as she had wiped down all her boy's toys, so everything should be clean and sanitized for Bjorn to play with. I just laughed, as I knew everything would be alright. She is a nurse, an almost OCD germaphobe and a very clean person.

No big deal. Plus, I don't mind germs. God made dirt. Dirt don't hurt.

Everything was great at Mama and Daddy Idalou's, and now we are back home in Arizona. Where, suddenly I took a good, long, hard look at Bjorn's toys.

The plastic keys that get thrown across rooms, and onto restaurant tables and floors. The alphabet blocks that roll around the floor in his play area and are found sometimes in Dog's mouth. The soft and squishy animals that find their way directly into his (Bjorn's, and yes, sometimes Dog's) mouth and are chewed on sometimes for hours.

Oh yeah, and those soft, squishy animals? My cheesy baby throws up on them. Repeatedly. I wipe 'em off quickly (if I catch it in time) with whatever is close by - a burp cloth, a Kleenex, a blanket. Just something to get off the goo.

But washing them? Hmmm. . . don't think I have ever done that.

And did I mention that all of these toys were used ones from my cousin?

Yeah, I never bothered to clean them when she gave them to me. Since she is a health professional also, and a very clean germaphobe, and because I am the opposite of a germaphobe (does that make me a germaholic?!), I just didn't think about things like that.

I do now.

This morning, while Bjorn was napping, I took every single toy he has and washed them. Thoroughly. The plastic ones soaked in very hot water with a little bit of soap, and then were scrubbed to an inch of their lives. The squishy ones were also scrubbed with the coarsest sponge I could find and laid to air dry. I did not "sanitize" as ehow.com told me to do, as I don't like to use bleach on my clothes, so I really don't like to use it on my child's chewing toys. Really hot water and scrubbing works for me.

Now, instead of feeling like a failure of a Mama for letting my baby chew on (gasp) uncleaned (double gasp) used toys, I feel like a Super Mama. One who cares about and loves her baby so much that she will spend an hour of her free time while baby is napping to scrub his disgusting, cheese-covered toys.

Yes, I did just pat myself on the back for doing something now that should have been done 5 months ago. At least I did it! And c'mon, really - there are much worse things I could have done. And I came right here and confessed it to all you Mama's.

What's your Shameful Mama Moment?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The one that has nothing to do with my baby boy. . . .

As you may have noticed, most (ok, ok. . . all) of my posts are about my life as a Mama. Whether it be pooping, sleeping or the gradual downhill slide of my social life outside of MommyHood, everything revolves around Bjorn.

So this is the post that has nothing to do with babies. Here goes. . . .

Phoenix is considered to be in 'the West'. As in, horses and buggies, dysentery and all those other things that you tried to avoid when playing Oregon Trail.

Tombstone is in Arizona, about three hours east of Phoenix. It's a real place, but unfortunately, Val Kilmer and Kurt Russell cannot be found there. I know. I looked.

Recently a law was passed allowing gun owners to carry their gun into a bar. Sound like a good idea? I didn't think so either, but I don't think open-carrying (legally wearing your gun in plain sight in places such as grocery stores where it can scare the crap out of little ol' gals who just moved here from Texas) is a good idea either. But no one asked me.

So, since I live in the Wild Wild West, you would think that nothing would surprise me.

Then I opened my door this evening to this:

Welcome to Phoenix!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Where the Buffalo Roam

Ok, friends, I am taking a brief hiatus from blog writing, as Daddy, Bjorn and I are ON VACATION!!

Which essentially means that Daddy and Bjorn are on vacation and Mama gets to worry about how to pack/carry/travel with four days worth of diapers, toys and clothes. Good thing we are headed towards a home filled with just those things. Thank God all our friends decided to have babies at the same time!

So here's to good ol' Lubbock, where the stars at night are big and bright. Deep in the heart of Texas. . . . . . .

Barring any major hafta-write-about events, I will be back Monday. See you then!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Motherhood is. . . . .

For weeks I have seen blog contests offering FREE STUFF if only the blog could be a snapshot writing of what being a Mother is all about.

I've had nothing. I could only think the cliched stuff: Motherhood is fun. Exciting. New. Exhausting.

Then, yesterday, I realized exactly what Motherhood really is. (Of course, there are no blog contests right now. Feel free to give me free stuff anyways. )

Motherhood is being inconvenienced. And not minding (much).

Motherhood is knowing that you need to go to the bathroom really really bad, but if you don't rock your baby for at least two more minutes, there is no way he is going to go to sleep.

Motherhood is wanting nothing more than a hot bath, a steamy novel and an entire bottle of red wine, but knowing that the night will consist of baby bathtime, Goodnight Moon and what seems like an entire gallon of spit-up on your only clean shirt.

Motherhood is knowing that a mere 10 minutes separate this whiny little crying from get-out-of-my-way-we-have-to-leave SCREAMING so the Target run, Kohl's shopping and grocery list will have to wait.

Motherhood is wanting to wear that gorgeous new top, but knowing that Murphy's law exists not only for buttered bread, but for baby throw-up.

Motherhood is taking more pictures than your computer can handle, and not being in a single one.

Motherhood is buying shoes that will be outgrown in less than two months, but silently ogling the killer heels for 40% off.

Motherhood is wanting nothing more than an evening alone, with no crying and no needy hands, only to find the silence lonely, and just a little bit sad.

Motherhood is, at the end of the day, knowing that while I may never win the Nobel Peace Prize and there's a good chance my face will never achieve worldwide fame, I have done a good thing today and raised a happy child.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Another How To lesson:

How To:

Get your 4 month old to leave you alone long enough that you and the Hubs can eat dinner. At the same time.

That's right. Plop him in his La-Z-Boy and give him (not one, not two, not even three, but four, count 'em - four) toys to play with. That should hold him.

For a minute.

How to Get a Baby To Sleep

**If you are one of my loyal readers, then you know that this is a re-post. I am not too lazy to write another post today. I am not too tired (yawn!) to put forth any creative thought into what is happening in our lives. I am entering this re-post into a contest to be the next 'Scary Mommy'. And there ain't nothing scarier than this Mama singing these songs! **

Every new Mama knows that music can soothe the savage beast. Or the little monster, as he is called our house.

Bjorn is no different than most.

What is different are the three songs that seem to calm him down.

I don't know how Daddy and I figured out these songs, but they work, so dammit, that is what we are going to use.

The first: 99 bottles of Milk on the Wall. Yes, milk on the wall. He can sing about beer when he is in high school. For now, it's all about the milk. I think it is the repetition of the song that he likes so much, for when I sing this to him, no matter how tired he is, he starts to sing along in his garbled baby speech. Maybe because he can follow along, and knows what will happen next. He will take one down, pass it around, and have 98 bottles of milk on the wall. . . .

The second song is courtesy of Daddy (otherwise known as the Baby Whisperer): Sitting on the Dock of the Bay. Whether it's the calming images of ships sailin' in and sailin' away again, or watchin' the tide roll away, it almost always works. Even when Mama tries to sing it in the proper key. Which is next to impossible for someone who inherited a love for, but not a talent for, music.

The third is quite possibly the oddest song anyone has ever sang to their baby. And I apologize immensely to Bjorn for subjecting him to this song, but for some reason, over the last five years or so, whenever I need a song to sing, this is the only one that ever pops to mind: Mmmmm Mmmmm Mmmmm by the Crash Test Dummies. Yes, that's right. Mmmmm Mmmm Mmmmm.

Except I change up the lyrics.

My latest is:

"O-n-c-e there was a boy who
Loved his Mama so much
That he never ever left her
And w-h-e-n
She got real old
He let
Her live with him at his house.
He couldn't quite explain it
He wanted to take care . . . of her!"

Just planting the seed early. Albeit with the worst song ever, but still. Planting the seed.

**Just checking, but . . . you can't get the song out of your head either, now, can you??**

Friday, October 16, 2009

Glimpses. . . .

When I was a child, my parents wouldn't put me down for naps.

I would put myself down for them.

See, when I got tired of playing or reading or whatever it was that I was doing as a little chitlin', I would go into my room and lay myself down. Put myself to sleep.

I still do that.

I can be in the middle of a party having a great time, and then - BAM! - I will get tired and will have to leave. When I get tired I want to leave NOW. I don't stay awake just because everyone else is; I'm tired and want to go to bed. So I will.

In college I would find a couch and crash until my DD was ready to leave. Now I just grab the Hubs and say 'It's time to go. Now.' Then I go home and put myself to sleep.

I think that while we can, of course, change, that we ultimately stay who we are as children.

As a child, I was a people-pleaser who liked to snuggle and loved reading so much that I opened my own 'library'. I loved sports and couldn't go a day without some kind of physical activity. I was a little shy, but warmed up really quickly.

Today, all of those things still fit.

I look at my son, and at four months I sometimes think that I can see who he will be at ten. And fourteen. And twenty-five.

No matter how late he goes down at night, he always wakes up early. With a smile on his face. While Mama needs a strong cup of coffee and a bagel, please, Bjorn needs nothing more than to be awake. He sleeps hard and is eager to wake up and start the day.

He smiles at everything and rarely cries for more than 5 minutes at a time.

When he laughs and squirms when tickled, I can see him at nine, wrestling with his Daddy on the living room rug.

When he lifts his head and turns around to smile at me, I can see him at fifteen, walking up to the plate, baseball bat in hand, searching the stands for my cheering face.

When he ducks his head, smiling shyly behind his hands, I can see him at twenty-four, telling me about this great girl he met, the one he thinks might be "it".

I don't know what life has in store for him. I don't know if he will always smile so readily and laugh so whole-heartedly. I don't know if he will always love to be read to, or if he will always love to be outdoors.

But I do know that I can't wait to be there for it all. It's going to be one helluva fun ride.

Quick Takes Friday

* We are jetting off next weekend for our 3rd anniversary and headed to the good ol' city of Lubbock. While you may not think that is a romantic trip, I am super-excited about seeing a Texas Tech football game live! It has been waaay too long. And now Bjorn gets to experience his first College Football game, too!

* Because we are jetting off to the South (Flat) Plains of Texas, we need to bring warmer clothes than we are used to here in the Valley of the Sun. But, as it turns out, stores in Phoenix don't stock winter jackets for babies yet. After all, it is still expected to be 100 degrees here on Saturday.. . . . and yesterday we hit 96. Did someone forget to tell Mother Nature it's fall?!

* This morning Bjorn began playing in his Baby Einstein Exersaucer. Actually playing, not just trying to stop himself from falling over. Why is that exciting?? Because now Mama can read the paper and write a little diddy on here while he is in the room. I don't need to wait for him to take a nap to get a little peace. Oh yeah, and it's also making me bilingual. Plata. Leo. Vaca. Perro.

* Bjorn is now officially a Catholic! Bjorn Francis is his Baptismal name. Although we had initially chose Arnold for his baptismal saint name, Daddy thought that maybe the Patron Saint of Brewers was not the best choice after all for such a special event. So we chose Francis - after my dad, my great-uncle (a Franciscan priest) and Daddy's grandpa.

* Our Ped told us that the average baby cries 3 hours a day. Yesterday, Bjorn cried for a combined total of 15 minutes. I know I shouldn't be thinking this, never mind actually writing it, but I have the best-behaved baby evah! I'm knocking on wood as we speak. But seriously - 15 minutes?? (And, yes, I did count the minutes. Because he just never cried yesterday!) How awesome is that?!

* I start working again in two months, so we are starting to look at day cares and such. Tomorrow I am going to the grand opening of a very prestigious "developmental learning" center. Not to be confused with a daycare. Totally different, apparently. My dreams of Bjorn going to Stanford (after playing football for Texas Tech, of course!) may come true only from the help of this developmental learning facility. And the DVD's "My Baby Can Read".

* I need to buy Bjorn a baby computer. He is sitting on my lap and thinks its hilarious to type along wtih Mama. Maybe he will be a computer programmer like his Grandpa. He sure seems to love the computer!!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Now accepting all packages. . . . .

Recently I have heard of this phenomenon of Mommy Bloggers getting sent free stuff. And all they have to do is write a review on their blog.

So, where is all my free s*&t?!?

I am a Mommy Blogger. I have at least two followers who are not family members. I love free stuff. And most importantly, I am very opinionated.

Hear that, Big Bad Baby Companies? I'll tell it like it is - which means readers will believe me. I won't sugar-coat. I won't lie. So, if you think your baby product can stand up to my sarcasm, send it to me. I triple dog dare you!

(Note to BBBC - items especially needed to test are: High chair, Diapers, Jammies, Pacifiers, Toys, Big Wheel. I am willing to accept any and all products and you are guaranteed to get a review here. Not a good one. Just a review.)

To show you just how opinionated I truly am, here are some "free" product reviews. I say they are free because no one sent me free merchandise, so if I liked your product, you're getting a loving freebie out of me. If I didn't like your product, well - who really cares? It's not like you wasted money sending it to me!

Chicco Cortina Travel System: Let me just put it this way. I **heart** my stroller. Love it with a capital L-O-V-E. The base permanently sits in the car, and the car seat just pops in and out of the base. No seat belt changing, no fuss, no muss. The car seat then plops right into the stroller for use. I can usually get every errand done without even waking Bjorn. Most importantly - the stroller itself can be opened and closed using one hand, holding a coffee, a set of keys, an over sized diaper bag and while on the phone with my mom. And I never once dropped a single bit of that deliciously sinful white chocolate mocha. That makes for one perfect stroller system!

Belly Band: This is probably the worst thing I have spent my money on. Check back to my blog post waaay back when. I said it best then, but if you're too lazy to read my old blog, just know this: I hate uncomfortable undies.

Boppy: The Boppy is wonderful. Learning how to breastfeed is no picnic (well, it might have felt like one to Bjorn after ten months of amniotic fluid!), so having the 'perfect' pillow really did help to learn the proper height and positioning. That being said. . . it really is just a pillow. I leave my Boppy in the living room, so when feeding in Bjorn's room or our room, I use a regular pillow. And - gasp!- it works just as well. I do recommend it, but only because breastfeeding can be such a pain that anything that helps even a little bit should be used.

There you have it. My opinions. And they are good opinions, too - better than most. So, come on Big Bad Baby Companies - send me your products. I promise I'll at least try to be nice.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Letter to the Top

Dear Hospital:

What a joy it was to have my first born baby at your hospital!

What impressed me the most was the superb customer service. It only took less than 20hours for Billing to find my room and request payment. And I was still going to be there for 2 1/2 more days! She was really on top of things.

Of course, I was still hooked up to a catheter and multiple IV's, so I couldn't reach my checkbook just then. But, always thinking of the customer first, Billing was thoughtful enough to call my room multiple times a day, always just as I was finally drifting off to sleep. As well as calling, Billing also stopped by twice more, until finally she reached a time when my husband, who was not completely doped up and confused by pregnancy hormones and the best drugs your hospital could buy, was there.

And we were such special customers to you that Billing didn't want to let us go! She told us that although she couldn't show us an itemized bill (or even a bill at all), we couldn't leave until we paid a significant deposit. She made it sound like a business transaction, but I know the truth. You liked me so much that you didn't want me to leave!

I also would like to extend a thank you for the superb price you gave us for the room. Although I would have been able to find a much better price on websites such as Priceline.com and Travelocity.com, I understand that not everyone has my eye for bargains. I also understand that $22,973 is a steal for that room - especially considering that the uncomfortable armchair folds out into an even more uncomfortable bed for my husband. A two-for-one deal!

Once again, thank you for the excellent customer service. There is no need for good-byes here, though, as I'm sure I'll be hearing from Billing again soon. She just can't get enough of us!

Sincerely, Preggo

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

4 months

I'm exhausted. Bjorn has not let me sleep more than two hours in a row for the last. . . well, let's just say, I've stopped counting. It's too depressing. It's been a long time since I have slept through a night. Even five hours through the night.

But he had his 4 month visit today, and I want to share all the stats and details before I forget. Because my sleep time is in direct correlation to my forgetfulness, and as one lessens, the other rises.

So, here, with no fanfare and no attempt at humor what-so-ever (and I'm not making any promises about correct grammar, either), here are the tidbits of info about our bouncing baby boy:

*When we are playing 'How big is Bjorn', he can now answer (if he was able to do anything beyond coo and spit up), 'Bjorn is 26 inches tall'. Yup. Over 2 feet. In the 75th percentile of height. Obviously he got this trait not from his 5 foot Mama but from his 6 foot Daddy.

*Weighing in at 15.7 pounds, you would think he would be considered what mothers so affectionately deem "hefty" (but bullies call "fat"). He's not. While he was in the 75th percentile for weight the last few appointments, he is now in the 50-60% range. Which is when the Ped says "If you're thinking he's too skinny, he's not. He's just tall for his age." Ummm. . . no. Wasn't thinking that at all, actually. I was thinking his Thunder Thighs and Moobs are pretty cute on a baby!

*His head circumference is 42. I don't know what that means, but they acted like it was normal. Yay!

*The spit up problem we are having (15 burp cloths in one week! Spitting up every 10 minutes! Cheese curds everywhere!) are actually not a problem at all. Some babies are more puke-y than others and we got ourselves a pukey baby. He's still gaining weight well and he's still generally of a happy sort, so unless it becomes markedly worse, we are to just change shirts three times a day, and up the amount of laundry. Sigh. Yay. Daddy has now officially changed Bjorn's nickname to Queso. Because he's always throwing up cheese.

*When told that Bjorn was waking up every hour-ish during the night, Ped nodded his head and said "Yeah, they will do that at this age." To which I wanted to bring Bjorn to his house for a couple of nights and see if he had any better suggestions after that. He suggests letting Bjorn cry it out for five minutes. And then stand at the doorway and say "Sssssshhh" for another five minutes, and if he's still crying, than to rub his back for another five minutes before finally picking him up if he's still not soothed. That makes 15 minutes of being awake when I could just pick him up, soothe him and have him back asleep in less than 2. Big difference at 4 o'clock in the morning. But, it's all for the greater good, right? Sacrifice now for the sake of the long-term?

Sigh. . . I'm never going to sleep again, am I?

*The sleeping-on-his-tummy thing was not an issue for the Ped. He stressed that we should always always always put him down on his back, but if he flips over on his own, then that is fine. He has good neck control and strength.

*Without even asking, the Ped suggested we wait until 6 months to start solids. Yay!!! I have heard that adding solids is a big pain, and they don't need it until 6 months anyways, so I wanted to wait. It was nice to have the Ped back me up on this - although he did tell Daddy that that didn't mean he couldn't give him little bites of stuff every once in a while. He even laughed and said it was a good idea to let Bjorn lick ice cream from his spoon. New experiences and all that!

*Bjorn had four shots - 3 needles in his legs and one liquid "shot". He screamed like hell, of course, but that's to be expected. There we were, one happy family, laughing and playing and the next thing he knows - BAM! BAM! BAM! - three needles in the leg, one after another. I'd cry, too! We went home, gave him some Baby Jager (Tylenol) and watched hockey all evening, which made Bjorn very happy. He loves his Phoenix Coyotes!

His 4 month appointment in a nutshell. That's all folks!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

If all Moms rally together, maybe we can make this happen!

I think every place should have a drive-thru.

Even Target.

Imagine this:
You pull up to the Target drive-thru and hand the cashier your grocery list and four coupons (Bounty paper towels, Ritz crackerfuls, Lysol 4-in-1 cleaner and Scooby-doo Fruit Snacks). The casheir then hands you their "Menu" for the day - AKA: all the items that are on clearance or located on their $1 aisle. After checking off appropriate items, the cashier is back in less than 15 minutes with all items from your list. All while you sat in the car playing with your happy baby, all in less time than it would have taken you just to set up the stroller and calm your child's crying.

Man, life would be good.

Instead, the only places that have drive-thrus are ones that I don't use. I can't remember the last time I went through a drive-thru that was not Sonic or Dairy Queen (and, BTW, the Tagalong and Thin Mint Blizzards are sooooo worth it!). And at Sonic I only get a large water, extra ice. It's a sickness, I know, but I love Sonic ice! I just can't eat fast food, so I don't get to take advantage of a drive thru.

And I always have a list, so why can't I just drive to Target - or JCPenney's or Kohl's or Hobby Lobby - and have someone else do the hard part for me?

I went grocery shopping today and realized that taking a child into the store is costing the store, but saving me, money. Because when he starts wailing, I leave. Even if I'm not done yet. Instead of shopping from one end of the store to the other (the normal, smart way to shop), I shop - and write my lists - in order of 'most necessary' to 'least'. That way if he starts crying half way through, I have what I need most.

I also save money because I can't fit him and all my groceries in the cart. He can't sit up by himself yet, so I have to take Bjorn in his car seat. And he has to be put smack dab in the middle of the car. Leaving room for about 10 cans, a few fruits and a loaf of bread.

And, although they have created these handy-dandy carts that carry a car seat on the front part, I can't use it.

Why not, you ask?

Because I'm 5 feet tall. And I can't see over it.

And that is why I need a drive thru. A drive thru grocery store, Target and fabric store. Or a personal assistant - preferably as an intern, because I can't afford to pay for one.

Any takers??

What I really meant to say was. . .

I could KISS Pearl for sending me this link about SAHM's. You're the best. And you're right. . . . **FIST PUMP**

What I'm really trying to say but Carolyn puts it so much better. . .

Sunday, October 4, 2009

If I only had a brain. . . .

I have lost my mind.

Well, not really lost, because I know exactly where I put it.

It is with Bjorn.

Everywhere I go, half my mind is on him. If I leave him at home with Daddy while I go shopping or (once) get a pedicure, every other thought is on him. What he's doing. If he is hungry and I need to go home or if he's crying and Daddy needs a break. I can only half-concentrate on what color nail polish would look best now that I can finally see my toesies (bright green with a flower on top).

Good thing that ain't rocket science.

But it's beginning to be a problem. Because even when Bjorn is with me, he still has half my mind. And I'm starting to think I might not have been playing with a full deck of cards to begin with and I can't afford to lose anymore.

I used to be able to drive my stick shift truck in Houston traffic while talking on the phone, eating a taco and checking my makeup in the mirror. I was that talented. Now I can't even find my wallet when the grocery store checkout lady asks me how old Bjorn is. Twice I have started to walk away when I realize that I haven't even paid yet.

I no longer answer my phone if I am trying to get something done - even something as innocuous as folding laundry. I can't concentrate on laundry and a conversation all at the same time. It's too much for my half a brain to handle.

People ask questions and I no longer hear them because Bjorn is half smiling and oh- isn't it just so cute? And then I get all caught up in making sure he is happy and not crying and not spitting up that I don't even realize I never answered the question in the first place.

Oh my god, I have become one of those moms. One of those moms whose child has become their life. One of those moms who can't have a conversation unless it revolves around children, children's activities or children's books. One of those moms who spend their whole lives doing everything for their child only to disocover one day that they have forgotten how to do anything for themselves.

That's it. I'm taking tomorrow off.

I think I'll get a pedicure.