Thursday, July 31, 2008

If I ever see her, I'm giving her a big wet kiss

Maybe one for Jill too. (see, I know her and stuff)

I read the article Jill mentioned in her comment on my last post written by It's Not All Mary Poppins, and the light bulb clicked on in my head. At her old daycare, with minor exceptions, dropping off M was always handing her physically over to someone. As she got older she went off to find the toys that she knew she could play with, but that was maybe in the last few weeks. She was also one of the first ones there.

At new daycare, she's been starting her day pretty much alone in a crowd. We are one of the later ones in, so there are a lot of kids. However, I still think I can hand her to a person (the teachers there in the morning are so wonderful and understanding). That should help a bunch. I also have been so personally troubled by the screaming, I haven't been focusing enough on a good be strong for her kind of goodbye. While it is hard for me (this morning was bad, chocolate wasn't even helping), I am the grown up and I need to suck it up to make her transition easier. I can sob into my latte later on.

Tomorrow, I'm wearing the big girl panties. And this super cute skirt, still not sure about the shoes.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Chew Chomp Crunch

M started her new daycare on Monday and while it seems to be going well, there has been trauma and drama for all involved. We got a clue during one of our pre-visits last week of what was coming when she screamed that most terrible of primal toddler screams when we left while A met the director. She recovered quickly, but I had a feeling.

I was right. M has never had issues with transition before now. It helps that she had known her teachers at her old daycare since she was three months old, but even with that, she always seemed to handle drop off better than her peers. I know we're at the age when things start to change, but as recently as a couple of weekends ago, I dropped her off with friends of mine she had never met for an hour while I got a new haircut.

Monday we made it through the bus ride and in the door. The moment I set her down, the scream started. I talked enough to the teachers, then turn and ran out the door. When I went to pick her up, I had knots in my stomach with worry about how she had done. Tuesday wasn't much better. Both days she got hugs and cuddles from the teachers and calmed down enough to have a great day. She's even napping good on the cots, which was something that worried me. (we'll see how good it goes when they take away her Nuk...) Today was our first glimmer of hope that maybe this will be short lived. She walked in the doors of the building, to the door of her daycare (it is in a larger building), through that door, into her classroom, and halfway into the room. Then she remember that she should be screaming. Since I just make it worse, I turned and ran out again.

Things overall are well, I have done my best not to bug daycare, other than a few emails. I get wonderful glowing reports every day of how she does. She was a little huggy today, but that might have something to do with the teething and her regular hugs at home. (wosth mom guilt perhaps?) Oh, and maybe it had something to do with the BITE. I was warned last week there are biters in her class. That I would be called if they drew blood. Well, that is a plus I guess, they didn't break the skin. A isn't dealing with it well, and while I know it is a regular thing in the world of toddlers, how do you deal with it? What if you're the parent of a biter? What if she learns to bite? Couldn't this have waited until I got her OK with drop off?

WW- Let's just not talk about the weeds in my yard

But you are more than welcome to talk about the adorable curls.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

They call it 60's

I've been having more fun with Picnik for the new header, and adding another column over there on the side. (I'll comment on that soon enough) Still not done tweaking, but it is nearly bedtime here in the steamy twin cities. (bad air alerts, so if you're local, stay inside in the AC)

I've also started a cool new photo project of sorts, details coming on that too. I may need all six of your thinking caps on to help me figure something out.

Friday, July 25, 2008

I named the baby doll Hazel

For me, toys are one of those things that evoke a serious emotional response. They were a sore spot of my growing up, and in hindsight one of my greatest joys. My parents were different than every other parent I knew as a kid. There was no searching, no waiting in line for the best new toy. Toys had to be educational and encourage creativity. I thought it was because my parents were boring. It was more likely that as self employed part time organic vegetable farmers, they were picky with a limited budget, and wanted to make sure I got the most out of their disposable income. They were also not into stereotypes, or giving in to the marketing drama.

I wanted a Barbie, I was given a baby doll from the collection of a woman who could never have children. One of her favorite baby dolls that she gave away in later life, long after her dream of having her own family had passed. I treasured that doll, sewed clothes for it, and never once gave it a purple mohawk.

I wanted a Cabbage Patch Kid, and got a hand made knock off made by someone in our community. She was perfect, she even looked like me (a choice of doll wasn't an option at the time, when you were lucky to get one, let alone have choice in appearance), and I named her Mary Lou, after Mary Lou Retton. It was 1984, the year she got the perfect ten.

I don't know if I had gotten what I thought I wanted most if I would have appreciated them as much as what I did get, or gotten too much out of them. At 30, I still have an active imagination, and that creative thinking helps me with the problem solving I need to be successful in my career. (who says art majors can't work in IT, and not as a designer either)

With M we are challenged to balance the flexibility we have because of our careers, with helping make sure she appreciates what she has. Add to that the issues with lead paint, the constant barrage of electronics, and it seems there are far more challenges than my parents had to deal with. Fortunately, so far we think we have found some balance. At her first birthday she didn't receive anything that required batteries, and as much as I want her to have everything I didn't, I am learning to be reserved. I do my research, I try to support independent businesses and ones that are more careful about the products they release. As she gets older, we are also going to make sure she knows how fortunate she is by encouraging her to be generous with those who aren't as lucky.

This post is a part of a Parent Blogger Network blog blast, sponsored by Hasbro. They're giving away a huge toy prize package, see the details about how to enter yourself at the PBN blog. Small extra plug since it is for a good cause, if you shop at Hasbro right now in addition to free shipping, they are donating a toy for every toy purchased, up to $400,000. You know, and they make my favorite preschool game from my own childhood. (we already own it for when M is old enough) Chutes & Ladders!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

At this rate, I'll need hospitalization for preschool

Next week M starts at her new daycare. We're a long road getting here (and an awesome run of good luck). I had a horrible time finding a good daycare. I tried home daycares (they never called me back, unprofessional much?), and the first center we went to seemed nice enough, then some surly lady I'd never met was the only one there when I showed up for our first day, and she said she didn't change diapers unless she had to, and she put M's rocking bouncer seat on a table, with the warning label facing me. (sorry about the run on) We lasted five minutes there. Then I scrambled, ended up paying way more than I wanted to, and found a center where they had some knowledge of breast milk, pretty knowledgeable staff, and the rocked the babies to sleep. I certainly wasn't thinking about toddlers or preschool programs at the time.

However, as she has gotten older, it has become clear that the place where she was, while acceptable, was nothing special. I never met the toddler teacher, even as she was a month away from switching. They never did parent/teacher conferences and my interactions with the lead infant teacher were less than stellar. She would tell me that they only did what the parents requested, and then complain about my requests. She complained about not having enough money and it made me uncomfortable. The longer she stayed there, the more I worried about if she would be ready for school when the time came. (especially when I saw the preschool teacher drag a kid out of her room forcefully for soiling his pants)

I signed up for a new daycare downtown by my work, but their next opening was May... 2009. I crossed my fingers, and hoped for earlier. Then, after a particularly bad run of things at the current place, I got the call. We had a spot. She just had to be walking. I delayed her start a couple of weeks while we got that taken care of (by we, I mean she finally was stubborn enough to do it), and we start next Monday.

This week we did a couple of visits, to make sure she's ready, and so we could meet the staff.

She did great. She played, climbed playground equipment, went down the slides, sat at a table to eat her breakfast, and forgot we had just left her easily. (she never had transition issues before, but then she'd known her teachers since she was 3 months old)

Me, not so much. I thought I was great, but all the big girl behavior (holy crap, she's not an infant any more, wtf?), and then getting locked in the parking garage (that is a whole other rant), had me having a little mini breakdown in my car. She is going to do so well, her teachers are amazing. She is going to be challenged, and it is going to be hard, but she will thrive there. She won't be the youngest for long, she already towers over some of the kids, and it will be great. Best, if there are issues, there is communication we never had before. We have partners in helping her along while having tons of fun. I can't wait, but I might need a sedative by the end of the day Monday.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Bang bang!

You're what?!... Tin roof, rusted!

Yeah, now that I had to go buy that off of iTunes because I realized I don't actually own any B 52's... the point, after some background drivel.

I love my hair. It took some time, some ill advised bleach jobs that turned it orange when the color I really wanted to try for was pink, purple, or green, but I finally came to terms with my very dark brown hair. (I am pretty sure that black hair would behave better to treatment)

So, it would figure I started to go gray earlier than most. For awhile there, it looked like I might catch up to my mom. Dye it, right? The thing is, I never want to have to deal with looking like a skunk when I give in to the gray, I don't want to look like a freak with black hair when I'm 60, and it just doesn't take highlights to mean anything but ORANGE. So, I realized I need to deal with it, to maybe take better care of my skin so at least that looks younger. And... get a more youthful haircut. Which at the moment, means bangs.

I, with my curly, frizzy hair, have bangs. Even more amazing, since I actually took a small step towards this with my last haircut, also have a blow dryer to straighten them. And I use it. Daily.

The most amazing part... I really like it. Like really really like it. Like maybe will ask her to go even further next time.

Now if I could just so something about the hair in places it doesn't belong...
I'm working on the fat ass and those trunks, I mean arms.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Haiku Friday: Off The Charts

So big so tall girl

bean pole stick figure tall drink

of water long legs

little hair ten words

wobbly walk maybe a crawl

still learning the ropes

Expecting much more

hard to tell you are just a

tall fifteen months old

M is fifteen months old, and at our appointment yesterday she ended up being right where we expected her. Tall. She still has a baby face for the most part, and she doesn't have much hair, but especially now that she is walking, people tend to expect a lot from her. Especially since weight wise, she is normal, so her skinniness makes her look that much taller. She has around 10 words including signs, though I doubt many people other than us could understand them, but we're counting them. A year ago, I was just starting back at work, worry about milk supplies, daycare and how I was going to get enough sleep. Now I'm chasing around a girl who went from walking to running in less than two weeks. Before I know it, she'll be starting Kindergarten.
Haiku Friday brought to you by the letter M, and the awesome Christina over at A Mommy Story.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Packing Up My Things And Going Home

Today, I made it official. I am done pumping. I haven't actually picked up a pump in weeks, but today I grabbed all of my stuff out of the Mother's Room at work to bring home. (I left the good fragrance free dish soap, the lavender hand soap, and my drying racks, of course)

I'd given up weekend pumping some time ago, and then I gave up my weekday mornings to add a bottle in the morning at daycare, but things recently have combined to make the timing right.

M is 15 months old, and thus needs to give up the bottle. She never did ever want to take breast milk in a sippy, so if the bottle goes, so does the EBM. She is also moving to her new daycare week after next, and up to the toddler room, so we really haven't had a choice.

So, for the past couple of weeks, we've been running out the last of what was in the freezer, thawed overnight to a milk slushy for use at daycare in the morning. We also dropped the nursing session when I first get home. That leaves once in the morning before daycare, and once at night after dinner. I'll save a couple of bags for an emergency, and drop the bottle from daycare next week. We are that much closer to my boobs being my own again, and I have to say that after 15 months, I'm looking forward to it. She still won't drink cow's milk, soy milk, rice milk or the like, but she eats a lot of greens, cheese and yogurt, so I think we're good. We'll get through the transition of her new daycare, and all that involves, and then start working on cutting out the rest.

Oh, and another note. My company rocks just for having a MR with a hospital grade pump, but I'm thinking about becoming the godmother of the Mother's Room. Keeping it stocked with drying racks, good soap (not the abrasive stuff they use in our kitchenettes), hand soap, and maybe putting up a cork board or something for baby pictures. At least the room has a window, but it could use to be more homey.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

WW - That darn hat again

And a little bonus curls.

More Wordless Wednesday.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Step Away From The Hot Skillet

Apparently, it is a bad idea to try to talk to your husband while heating tortillas in one of your favorite cast iron frying pans. Especially when you do so without benefit of a utensil, and you flip with your bare hands, because you're cool like that. You know, because in your distraction the tortilla may move and you may accidentally heat a fingertip.
I'm icing it every other sentence (and wincing with every S), which is why I won't be whining writing about how I'm not going to BlogHer but all the other Savvies are. And how much I want to meet them all and see Christina again.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

New Header

I'm no Dooce, so don't expect this monthly (ok, maybe), but I do love me some Picnik. I don't know what it is about the focal effects, but I really like them. I also really love pictures of flowers. Here is the original photo. Taken this weekend, at the Dragon Festival.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Haiku Friday - Bjorka, Sporka

one two three four tines
jab stick impale poke spear fork
insert nummy food

One of the great mysteries of parenting, along with potty training, has always been transitioning from hi, I'm a baby and you must do all the work, to functional adult who can use a knife, fork and spoon properly. We did breastfeeding, bottle feeding (EBM), cereal (oatmeal), purees, and then graduated to feeding herself mushy veggies and meat. What I hadn't figured out was how you get from that, to anything else. She started to clue me in a few weeks ago, when instead of trying shove everything in her mouth at once, she actually started taking bites. As well, while working on trying to figure out what she could do in prep for new daycare, we figured out she could use a spoon. (the girl will not be forced into anything and most things are discovered only when she is ready) Ok, that is all well and good, nothing dangerous in silicon spoons. (yeah, in case you were wondering, head to toe in yogurt, every day since)

Forks have still alluded me. Until this week. (its a big week for development around here) A couple of days ago, I was fighting her about eating her veggies, as I have since her week on the BRAT diet to get rid of a stomach bug. I finally gave up, and just fed her some of my veggies off of my fork. She loved it. Same food from her tray, off my fork. So, I pulled out one of the cute IKEA forks, and started spearing her food and feeding it to her. It worked. I thought it would go on like this, the novelty of it all, until she started refusing veggies again. I was wrong. While getting her some fruit (she can't see it until she is has finished everything or there is trouble), and she started spearing things on her own. Turns out she digs the fork. She's even pretty good with it. Huh, maybe potty training won't be so bad.

Find more Haiku at Christina's A Mommy Story.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Dude, isn't this a mommy blog?

Oh... right... yeah... that.

Ok, so enough wallowing in my own fat ass, time to move on to some totally mommy bloggy things.

M is walking! (oh yeah, time for the happy dance. cha-cha-cha-cha-CHA!) Last Sunday, I was laying on her floor, letting myself have toys dropped on me, and just enjoying a lazy morning (at the late hour of 7 AM) when she walks past me. Not crawls, not cruises, walks! Later that day, her dad leaves the kitchen to go do something, and she just followed him, down the hall, in to the office. (I had to scream for him to turn around)

Since then, there have been a few tired crawls, and getting used to being in shoes (have to have them for toddler room at new daycare, better get used to them now), but she's walking. No matter what, no matter how many times she falls down, she gets back up and walks. We actually could have made the start date at new daycare next Monday, but I'm glad I bought us the two extra weeks to work on open cup drinking (at 15 months, yeah, I know).

To celebrate, and since its been so damn hot, I've been dressing her like a girl, in skirts and stuff. Grandma would be so proud of me.

This weekend we're going to the Dragon Festival in St. Paul. It will be our first test of her walking out in, you know, public. I dare say it, but I may need to investigate leashes. She is not good at following directions yet.

PS, yeah, not a good day for the good eating. A had an appointment and needed to leave during the dinner hour, which left me to snack while I fed M. NOT GOOD. At all.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Not So Wordless

I had considered posting my healthy lunch for WW, but then reconsidered it.

Instead, here are my issues. I think I have three issues, foodwise, that create problems for me.

Portion control - You know, I should be eating four ounces of steak, but 8 or more is usually how it ends up. Not to mention, my love affair with all things potato. This is a tricky one. Drastically reduce your portion sizes without paying attention to what you eat, and you end up always feeling unsatisfied.

Snacks - I want something, mindless kind of eating. Especially since I do it while doing something else. Often, I just eat because I'm bored.

Emotional eating - This is where all of the chocolate falls. The, I've had a bad day, I deserve the girl scout cookies or nobody loves me, I think I'll have a cookie.

Here is how I'm going to deal with things.

1. Eat slower. Put the fork down in between bites, don't shovel. This should make it easier to tell when I'm actually full, and I won't mindlessly eat or go for larger portions. This goes for snacks too. Sometimes, I'm going to want them, but I need to be more intentional about it.

2. Make better choices. No more soda, no more fried foods (ok, except the State Fair), snacks are veggies. Keep fresh stuff in the house. Radishes, refridgerator pickles, rice cakes, you know, crunchy stuff. Maybe even try fresh fruit around for when I need the sweet.

3. Improve my mood. I may not go for the drugs just yet, so I'm starting with craftiness (how do y'all feel about a regular sock monkey give away?) Things to keep my hands busy, and keep my mind focused.

4. Be honest. If I want something, really want it, I need to be willing to tell the world (or my six readers) about it.

Speaking of honesty. I had 8 Thin Mints left, I ate two and gave the rest away. We had Chinese Buffet for dinner since its hot and I didn't want to cook, but I only had one fried item, and half a plate of baby bok choi. Otherwise, it was a good day and tomorrow is Farmer's Market.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Moving on...

Since I had M, I've managed to lose almost all of the weight I gained. There is another 5-10 to go, but that is about it. That wouldn't be so bad if I hadn't been 90+ pounds overweight before I got pregnant. I had originally planned to lose weight on our path to getting pregnant, since I knew it increased our odds. Then, something completely unplanned happened, and I got pregnant right away. (what girl doesn't want a little "practice") Which turns out to be pretty incredible as I seem to have found out later.

So, I'm 80-100 pounds overweight, and I'm being kind to myself about the weight I need to lose. I've been overweight to some degree since I was 18. Freshman year of college was not kind, and since then, it hasn't gotten any better. Lack of exercise, sedentary job, the list of excuses go on.

Well, last night I had something of a breaking point (for now, I've had them before) I had a pair of pants rip while I was wearing them. Granted they were cheap and from Tarjay, but still, they ripped, right down the front by the zipper. I have got to do something about this.

It may not be as easy as it looks either, which is why I've been putting it off. Turns out getting pregnant may have been some incredibly dumb luck. See, as I've gotten older, I've gotten harrier, hirsute you could say, and not in the usual places. All on my face. (which is why I found this post more than a little um, frustrating and hard to read) I started by bleach, then that didn't work since it just burned my skin off for little result. I've moved on to waxing, but it is near impossible to keep up. Seriously, we're not talking a few stray hairs here, its BAD.

So, instead of just dreaming of laser hair removal and bizarre conditions that make your hair fall out, I talked to my doctor this last year. My OB had already mentioned that she thought I may have hormone issues, but then I got pregnant right away, so it was tabled. However, this time I took it seriously, and went in for testing. Nothing was conclusive, but the endocrinologist still thinks that I may have PCOS, and wants to start me on Metformin. Which I've found out is actually a diabetes drug. Seems I may be insulin resistant on top of everything (goes with the hair apparently). That can't start until I stop breastfeeding, and M doesn't show any signs of wanting to give up the boob just yet (and I refuse to put her through a forced stoppage for no serious reason) But I'm scared. I'm scared that the issues that cause the hair, could make it hard to lose weight. My usual tricks may not work since I've been avoiding artificial sweeteners while bf.

But I have to do something. I can't stand pictures being taken of me, the pain of waxing makes it hard to want to keep up with it, and its expensive on top of everything. It makes me break out like mad, which can cause scarring which I don't want. I'm fat and hairy and I really want to enjoy my body again.

So I'm going to try something new. Telling strangers about what I'm doing. How I've fallen off the wagon (its gonna happen) to try to make me accountable. And I'm going to see if the Met works, as soon as she's off the boob (I have a date in mind, just not sharing it). And I have a goal in mind for some serious weight loss. Blogher, next year. I'm stealing Christina's idea, I want to be hot.

Saturday, July 5, 2008


Ok, so a couple of weeks ago A and I were in Uptown with M for him to get an eye exam, so he could get this cool new pair of glasses. (last cool pair were, we realized, six years old, and while still cool, very worn) M and I went looking for some shoes for her (neverending quest to get her walking before new daycare deadline), and after A was done, I wanted to checkout the new AA store. Since we became boring home owners on the north side, we don't get to Uptown as much as when you know, we lived there.

I wanted to see their stuff in person before I considered buying anything online, and A was being dragged. Then, over in the kids corner, we saw it. Now, just so you know, AA is known for very revealing and sexy ads. No worse than say, that other underwear store, but they have underwear shots with no tops, just cup and hope (or see the nipple through the see through stuff) Whatever, it is annoying but not a big deal.

So, yeah, it. In the large blown up photo right next to the kiddos section, there was a picture of a woman, partial boob exposed, with a very visible scar that was consistent with a breast enhancement. Boobs, expecting, visible scar, not expecting. A and I have come up with a list of ten reasons for the scar being visible.

A - They don't care.
B - Their ad budget is so low they can't afford the touch ups.
C - Boob jobs are cool
D - You're sexy just the way you are, even with your boob job scar.
E - Breast reduction is cool
F - Boob job scars are edgy and sophisticated
G - Visible boob job scars are edgy and angsty
H - Reconstructive surgery after mastectomy can still mean you're sexy
I - Bigger is better
J - You should get a boob job if you want to look good in our clothes

So, all you readers who are back to see if you won anything, what do you think? Did I miss a possible reason?

(yeah, so want to see what search engines do with me now)

Friday, July 4, 2008

We have a winner!

It would seem that everyone else is picking winners, and traffic has slowed since I am sure that everyone is off enjoying grilled stuff and some fireworks, so I'm picking my winners now.

Since I had SO much fun doing, I've gone off and picked two winners. Especially since I've managed to go off and make like three sock monkeys today.

The winners are:

Christina (seriously, I swear)

Fiona Picklebottom
- (what a great name)

They've been emailed, they'll be holding their own contests (again, in Fiona's case, but Christina does them a bunch too, seriously, you should check her out, she gives away great stuff)

I've got a serious post office trip to do, between this and a gift for a friend who just had a baby, I've got packages piling up.

Patriotic Apparel

Today I was on a mission to find socks for the awesome sock monkey I've agreed to give away. All of the others that I had previously made are now living in M's crib. I decided to hit our local American Apparel store, in Uptown. Its a trendy area, not particularly kid friendly, but that doesn't stop it from being filled with the kids of the trendy set that live there. It's home to Shoe Zoo, the local super expensive kids shoe boutique, and my favorite sushi joint.

I found the socks I wanted, got a surprise I wasn't expecting (and not in a good way), and was reminded of something totally bloggable.

First, totally last day to enter my first ever contest. I promise, it is going to be a great sock monkey.

Second, I am not a prude. I need to get that out of the way first. I swear like a sailor, and I work in a field that is primarily men, so I haven't had much to stop me from swearing until I became a parent. Since then I do my best to avoid it at home, and in front of my mother-in-law. It has resulted in some interesting ways of expressing my exasperation, but that is a blog post for a whole other time. I do however think that kids shouldn't be exposed to swear words. Do what you want as an adult, that is what they made the first amendment and free will for. Kids are dealing with enough crap, they don't need it.

So, I was at the AA store, and there was rap music playing. No issue with rap, I own a little, A owns more. I'm listening, and they say shit, ok, not really what I'd like to hear with M's young ears, but that's OK, that is borderline. Then the N word (can't even type it), ok that's not a word you want little ears to hear and then accidentally repeat, then repeatedly hear fuck. Ok, boundary crossed. This is a public clothing store, and while the people working there are doing their best to be uber cool and I am just a fat mommy type, it is still a retail store. So, I said something. Because, of course, I am a bitch. First, I asked who picks out the music. (it's an iPod) Then I say that with kids in the store, even the chance of kids in the store, it is inappropriate. Just imagine you're best you're so uncool and I am so awesome stink eye, and that would be what I got. Eventually they turned it off, and when it started back up, it was Beck, and because she is so cool, M instantly started dancing to it. Take that too cool for us.

Last, something totally blogable, but I think this post is too long as it is, so you're just going to have to come back tomorrow. I promise, its good, feminist (sort of) and a little funny. Oh, and it deals with boobs, you'll come back for boobs, right?

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Wordless Wednesday - Summer time, and the living is easy

psst, hey you. yeah, I've got my first contest, enter and pay it forward.