Friday, July 29, 2011

All BY My-SEH-eh-ELF!

How do you convince a child that their (solitary) bed is the place that they most want to be? Especially when said child spends their entire waking day attempting to be as physically close to you as possible...

Lily Ruth would rather be tangled up in me than anywhere else in this universe - except maybe Daddy's arms. We play, rest, read, cuddle, wander and discover in very close proximity to each other pretty much every day of her life. Then I expect her to disentangle herself and toddle off to sleep. ALONE.

This wan't the problem that we had with sleep - and we've had plenty - until lately. Lately she has become even more verbal than before, and when questioned as to why there have been so many nap and bed time tears, my darling answers that 'I MAD. I want seep wif YOU.'

Well, hell. How am I supposed to counter that? Not only is she using her emotion words (as requested), but she's articulating why she feels that way. It's not like you can bring up 'Mama and Daddy's bed' as an example of places where people sleep. Then you're just rubbing it in that her two favorite  people on the planet are sleeping together WITHOUT HER. Never mind that any time she's allowed access to her holy grail of beds (ahem *5 am this morning* ahem), she thrashes around like a landed fish and eventually chooses a sleep posture that allows her to repeatedly kick Mama in the face... *sigh*...

Seriously, Folks! How do you make sleeping all by yourself sound like the best idea ever?

Sunday, July 24, 2011


I'm a bit of a mess. I finally (physically) feel like the miscarriage is over, but I'm not ready to deal with the emotional component.

I had a Missed Miscarriage. The embryo stops growing, but your body doesn't get the message for a while. Your entire system continues to behave as though you are carrying a healthy pregnancy. From reading about it, four to five weeks before your loss is about average. The big difference this time around was that instead of just a really uncomfortable period, I actually had to go through labor. Not as intensely as giving birth to a full term infant, but unpleasant nonetheless. With the added awfulness of not having a baby at the end.

This weekend, I am more like myself. We've spent lots of time playing in a very rowdy manner with our daughter. I'm actually cooking meals and doing household chores. Our life is resuming it's rhythm.

I can go swimming again. Lily Ruth is thrilled. She is turning into a mermaid. She kicks and flips, turns and spins underwater. She can hold her breath for an astonishingly long time! I love the sound of her laughter bubbling up ahead of her as she bursts free of the water.

I washed and put away the maternity clothes. I have a friend who is almost ready to spill the beans at her job, so maybe she can use them.

I want to give that same friend a hand-made baby gift, but had not come up with an idea that pleased me. She's due in November, and having a boy. This morning, I remembered the tree frog flannel that I bought to make into a blanket for my little one. It will be perfect for them. Also, now it will not be staring at me every time that I open my crafting supplies.

One day at a time, right?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

She's On To Me

My daughter has surprisingly refined tastes, and it's almost impossible to put anything past her. She prefers adult silverware to her toddler-sized replicas. She chooses all natural fruit and juice pops (preferably lime) over Daddy's favorite Bomb Pops. Most days, she requests 'THIS juice' (from the carton) rather than the kid-sized juice boxes in 'her' section of the fridge door. At dinner time, I've resigned myself to the additional dishes created by serving all of us 'family style' from dishes in the center of the table so that she can be assured that she's getting the same food as Mama and Daddy.

She's like this with everything - not just food. Mama's jewelry over plastic beads. Dresses and skirts, not shorts and pants. Legal pads and pens over coloring books and crayons. The computer over the t.v. (Drat! How's a mama supposed to write up in here?!)...

Her tiny fingers flit and flutter over her choices as she carefully evaluates her options; and with eyes thoughtfully narrowed, she announces her decisions with conviction. 'I wan dis one.' 'I doan wannit.' 'Doan yeik dat.' All pronounced with finality and/or dramatic shrieking.

Today, she decided that it's time to learn to drive. No longer content to shout commands from the back seat, she announced 'Uth haff keys. Drive tiny cah.'

We sat in the car for over half an hour as she taught herself the basics and acquainted herself with the functions of each button. 'NO, Mama, I doit! Yih-yee-oof drive!' You should have seen her when Daddy called the car (using ONSTAR). She demanded that I hand over my cell phone and stared at it's dark screen with confusion. 'Where's Daddy?' she demanded as she ducked under the steering wheel and into the passenger seat foot well looking for him. Eventually (after a rousing ABBA sing-a-long and some car dancing), all of her new skills and knowledge overloaded her circuits, and I was able to fold her into her car seat with promises of Thomas the Tank Engine pasta for lunch.

It's amazing to watch - beautiful. And infuriating. And exhausting... and I wouldn't trade it for all the tea in China. This time is so precious and so fleeting! It seems like yesterday that she learned how to... wait - when did she figure out how to open THAT!? Crap. I'm going to have to start sleeping with one eye open...

Friday, July 15, 2011


I know that I said I was going to take a break before, but this time I mean it. I'm sure that Lily Ruth will continue to do amazing things like composing her first song ("I'll be right back. Gonna get some juice" - repeat until you fall asleep), remembering things that you told her three weeks ago and deciding that she really does need to go back to bed since she can't listen to Mama... but my heart is broken right now, and I need time to re-boot.

Our baby stopped growing about a month ago. My pregnancy is over.

Thank you for all of your love and support. We can hug later.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Sleepless in Texas

After my cranky day, we headed into an evening of 'can't seep, Daddy! Need to go-go Mama.' When asked where she needed to go with Mama, she replied 'Oh, it's right over dere.'

Daddy rocked her until she was not just calm but limp and asleep twice. Both times she sat straight up, screamed an hurled herself at her bedroom door when placed in her bed. *sigh*

Daddy thought that she might be scared of the (damn) anamatronic crocodile from earlier in the day. He thought that he heard her mention it in all of the screaming. Well crap. I finished up the dishes and we brought her into bed with us.

I suffered through an episode of 'Caillou' while Daddy snored on us. Then we turned out the lights and said our good nights. Apparently, that was the toddler equivalent of a starting pistol. She fidgeted, flopped, talked, sang, whined and whapped the headboard. Daddy slept and I fumed while doing my impression of a log. Every so often I reiterated the stance that Mama and Daddy's bed was a place where we were quiet and still. She would sigh, roll over and hold still for maybe 3 seconds.

*flop* *fidget* 'Bingy! Where's Bing?!' *no comment from Mama* 'Oh. Dere he is. Huh. Funny Bingy...' *alligator death roll* 'AGUA! My AGUA!!!! Oh, dere it is.' *noisy gulping* *cup collides with the headboard* - 2 count silence - *rhythmic whapping ensues* 'Boo, be still and be quiet or you cannot stay in Mama and Daddy's bed. If you wake me up again, you're going in your own bed.' *sigh* *immediate fidgeting* *THUD* <----- that's the sound of that f-ing cup hitting the bridge of my nose at high velocity.

At that point, I had actually kissed, soothed, ignored and cajoled her for over an hour and a half. That was my breaking point. I scooped up the girl, her blanket and her damn sippy cup, and strode angrily into her room. I dumped my cargo onto her mattress, turned on my heel and slammed the door. It went just as well as you might expect. Wailing, screaming, gnashing of teeth. Theatrical pounding of the door and demands for Daddy. He tried to go in to talk her down, but she slammed the door in his face. Being male and exhausted, he gave up and got back in bed. She flung herself around her room a few times and included a few stops at the door for full-body slams and a round or two of lips shoved as far under the door as possible in order to scream out of the room - a surprisingly effective technique.

I could only take a few short minutes of this. I returned to her room and crankily wiped her face. I demanded that she pick up her blanket, and announced that we were GOING to rock, and then she was GOING to sleep. Apparently, when you are two, you don't care if your mother is furious as long as she's there. We rocked. I fumed. She sobbed. It wasn't long before she went from pathetic to asleep. It took longer than that for me to calm down. When I finally stopped rocking the chair, I had to pull my interwoven fingers apart. They were stiff and swollen from being so tightly clenched.

I looked down at my girl. The top of her head almost comes to my collar bones these days, but she still sleeps on me like the tiny baby that she used to be. Hands loosely fisted on my chest. Legs wrapped around my body. Her whole self melted as closely into me as she can get.

I slowly stood, moved over to her bed and placed her on her mattress. She moved into her favorite spot. I put her cup near her elbow and covered her up. Then I backed out of the room like a ninja holding my breath the entire way. I made it to the hallway and managed to close the door with zero noise. She stayed asleep.

Why couldn't she have done this THREE HOURS AGO? Why am I not asleep? How much vodka is too much when you're 9 weeks pregnant? Calm down. It's a trick question. I can't abide any sort of alcohol these days. This baby is a teetotaler. Dammit.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Random Spirit Lifters

When she woke up from her nap today, I sent Lily Ruth in to see Daddy and I went back to bed. I was actually pretty surprised that she toddled in to see him instead of insisting on staying with me.

According to Daddy, she walked straight into the living room, stopped in front of him, looked him over and said 'that's a very nice shirt, Daddy.'


We left the house around 10:15 this morning. We were on our way to the Children's Museum... which didn't open until noon :-/ so we spent an hour or so wandering downtown and the Riverwalk. Lily Ruth developed a love/hate relationship with the animatronic crocodile in the gift shop of the Rain Forest Cafe... stupid Landry's Corporation... and we covered quite a bit of ground! The downside was that I was beyond tired when we made it home, and my baby belly ached.

I was puttering around grousing about how crummy I felt. 'Hot... Cranky... Stupid belly...' My wonderful husband pokes his head around the corner and says 'But I love your belly!... and it's carrying really important stuff!' Wow. When he gets it right, he really gets it right.


I wish that I had something wonderful that I said to add here, but I've been strangely negative all dang day. I hope that I've been able to keep it on the down low and that my family hasn't been dragged down by it... it's just one of those days. I feel overwhelmed by everything. Money's tight. The pool is cloudy. The kitchen seems to be generating it's own mess. The dog's allergies have blossomed into full-time itching, scratching and chewing. Lily Ruth got herself into a tantrum spiral and I wanted to sell her to the Gypsies...

But then the dog stops chewing on herself, walks over and kisses the baby into giggles. We swim in our cloudy pool all together and the giggles continue. We all pile onto the couch and bundle up in pajamas and fleece blankets to warm up and wind down for the night. Our daughter sucks her thumb and twirls her wet hair as my husband sings along with The Muppets. I find a quiet place in my mind and make room for the good things in our life. It's not all bad. It's really pretty good. I just need to put away the blinders and take a look.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Art 'Fails'

Remember when I got aaaaalllllllll excited about liquid watercolors? Well Lily Ruth's paternal grandmother is an artist, so she thought that buying art  supplies for birthday presents was a great idea! The Artist Known as Lily received 4 glorious colors and 'bingo markers' (tubes with sponges on the end) to use with them.

I could hardly wait to try them out. When Lily was ready to paint, I filled 4 tubes, grabbed a piece of nice watercolor paper and sat her down in her chair. I reached for the camera as she grabbed the first color. 'Just dab it, Baby.' 'Like this?'... she half-heartedly poked it at the paper 5 or 6 times. Then, before I could so much as blink, she announced 'didn't work, Mama! Open it!' and just like that, there was green liquid watercolor everywhere. I scooped her up and dumped her in the tub. Then I took these...

Then I cleaned up the mess and put the paints away... methinks that we need to reintroduce paintbrushes before we try those again...


Ya'll know how we love window markers, right? Well, we do. They're awesome.

Earlier this week, we were window drawing while waiting for Daddy to come home. I was also making dinner, so I kept excusing myself to check on noodles and sautee vegetables. Which led to this...

Please note the bathing suit top worn jauntily around her neck ;-) She is learning to dress herself AND she adores her bathing suit.

Now, body art wasn't my original plan, but honestly, what's the harm? So when she grinned and aimed her marker in my direction, I simply laid down the 'no drawing on Mama's clothes' rule, and let her have at it. Check ME out!


For me, a big part of parenting is learning not to kill the joy. Learning to allow things that I would normally avoid (like things that are messy or annoying) simply because they are FUN. Learning to look into my daughter's eyes and acknowledge that her experience is just as valid as mine. Learning to proudly wear marker tattoos.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Creative Burst

My most recent funk is receding enough so that I can function at a normal instead of emergency level. You know how I know? 'Cause I feel like making stuff!

I made a charm bracelet for Lily Ruth!

I used an idea from my Kittyn. You use jewelry chain and stretchy elastic cord. For Lily Ruth's bracelet, I used a length of chain twice the circumference of her wrist, and then threaded the cord through every other link to bring it down to her wrist size. We bought a tiny turtle charm at the aquarium, and it was my intention to put only that on the bracelet BUT when Sweet Lily got a look at my bead assortment, her crow-like tendencies kicked in, and she confiscated a few for her very own. Instead of leaving them in her tiny hands like so many choking hazards, I added them to the bracelet.

She has actually agreed to wear it it public on two separate occasions ;-)


I luuuuuuuuv sundresses. I very firmly believe that (especially in this climate) you cannot have too many. I also believe that I have way too few... but I digress... In my newly bloated and ever-expanding condition, sundresses are practically a requirement for surviving the summer. A new on-line hero/acquaintance introduced me to the world's easiest sundress pattern. Apparently, you cut jersey knit cloth to a desired length (your armpits to however long your ideal dress is), and make sure the width is your belly plus about 5 inches. Once you sew this into a tube, you shirr the top (tutorial from Portabello Pixie), and VOILA! Dress. I almost peed with excitement. Then I made it to JoAnn Fabrics, and they had ZERO acceptable jersey knit prints... and solids simply will not do (for me) SOOOOOOO...

Dress modifications! In surveying my (*ahem* meager) collection, I realized that there were THREE jersey knit dresses that I don't wear for various reasons. Three! That would be a huge boon to my clothing collection.

One is a maternity dress that I thought that I loved, but it turns out that it has an unattractive bust - droopy and shapeless :-/

This one's getting a shirring treatment across it's pathetic bosom area. I've already done the grunt work, but I still have to steam-blast the elastic thread to finish it off... you'll have to wait to see the results - just like me :-P

*** Update: o.k., so I was big-time scared that this wasn't gonna work... so after I finished the sewing, I waited several hours to steam blast it... then I waited several hours to try it on... now I may never get a picture, because I love it so much that it's gonna be tough to get it off me!

*** Side note: OH THE HUMANITY! Vanity, thy name is boobs. Since not too long after puberty, I've been sporting the same perky, gently rounded B's. Pregnancy and nursing temporarily gifted me with delightfully full C's. What FUN! Weaning left me with deflated sort-of B's... and I was waiting with baited breath to see if I would be one of the lucky ones who had boobs that plumped back up a bit a few months after weaning. So here I am. Waiting. Bloated. Hormonal. Trying on dresses in the middle of the night... only to observe that shirring makes me look like a generous A :-/ ... dammit...
One is toooooo slinky (a.k.a.: it shows every lump) but I ADORE the color and print:

So I'm gonna cut off the top, shirr about 10 inches, and call it reborn.

*** Note: I am currently too scared to cut off this dress. I don't know why. I don't wear it like it is. *sigh*
The last one is an easy fix - it's just too long. Everything else is perfect:

So just a hem. No biggie :-)

How did I not know about elastic thread and shirring before? Have I been living in a cave??? It is a mind-numbingly boring process to hand wind the bobbin and sew row after row of closely spaced stitches, but the results are so AWESOME! I'll post 'after' pics as they become available :-)

Friday, July 1, 2011

Random Thoughts on a Friday

I should n-e-v-e-r buy white towels.

I need new towels.


Maybe the reason 'our' (I use the quotes because I have done nothing for weeks) garden is so happy is that we're a strange combination of well intentioned, benignly neglectful and blissfully ignorant yet learning.

Our little bed is beautifully, hilariously, lushly overblown.

The rows are too close together (TOTALLY my fault). You have to hop in and out to harvest.

The squash have all literally left the building - they've abandoned the bed where their center stalks have been infested with Boring Beetles, and have re-established themselves outside the confines of the bed and are thriving.

The watermelon vines are out of control. A tendril (or 3) have grown up onto the bean trellis and a solitary melon hangs pendulously breast-like off one side.


If pregnancy is so beautiful, why am I bloated, pimply and moody? Nobody thinks bloated, pimply and moody is beautiful.


My daughter turned two and decided that she's a social butterfly. People that have been waiting to talk to her for a full year are delighted to be the recipients of her attention. Now, if only she would decide that the time for temper tantrums has passed :-P