Sunday, June 26, 2016

Potty Training Sucks

I’m not going to say I was relieved exactly when Ellie threw up Saturday morning and we had to change back to diapers and cuddle on the couch and watch TV but…it was a nice break.  Especially since she seemed to feel better right away and was fine the rest of the weekend.  

I don’t know what’s worse, spending all day on the toilet with her while she does NOTHING (then pees as soon as I get her off), her holding her poo because she’s scared to go in the potty (and then I’m scared she’s going to get constipated) or the fact that I’m stuck in the house while all this goes down and I don’t know when things will ‘click’.  

Just FYI - cleaning pee from the car seat, or trying to catch it dripping through the grocery cart at Target is not my idea of a good time.

Sometimes, even though I can’t imagine anyone else taking care of Ellie but me, EVER, I feel like maybe I’m not cut out for stay-at-home-mom-hood.  Really.  This is...really hard.  

Even though I had her signed up for two mornings a week at the day care in June and I totally pushed it off until September because SHE’S MY BABY AND I’M NOT READY TO HAND HER OVER TO YOU YET, OK!?

Still, this hood…it makes me a little…stir crazy.  We go out every morning, if only to go to HEB to get groceries.  There is always something I can take us to.  Library, play dates, World Market runs…because if I sit at home all day trying to keep her occupied and away from the TV and IPAD by my sheer imagination and will power alone…I’ve got no energy left for me.  None.  Zip.  Zero.  Skip supper and go right to bed.

But if I take her to the park all morning, or to the library, or walking down Market Street staring at expensive clothes I feel silly even LOOKING at, well, it’s all a little more manageable.  I say this every stage but the stage she’s at now, right now, so far, is my favorite.  (Except for the potty training).

We were sitting on the couch (don’t tell Bill) cuddling with Toby when she patted him on the head and said…’So pretty.’  Awww.  Yes, yes he is, I said.  Then she tapped her knees and looked up at me and said ‘Ellie’s pretty too!’.  Awwwwww.  I teared up, I did.  I told her she was right and she WAS very pretty.  

She kept patting Toby (who by now was like…this kid is too close and she’s patting too hard) and he’s looking at me like…rescue me now please ok?  And she turns around and looks at me with those big brown eyes and says….’Mommy’s pretty too.’  

AWWWWWW, right!?  Melt.  My.  Heart.  Especially because I haven’t felt particularly pretty lately.  Mostly round with baby and dark under-eye circles from the heartburn induced insomnia.

So, anyway, starting Monday, things will get a few notches harder for me.  As always when faced with something unpleasant I put my head down and barrel through and try to see how I can let this make me a better person.  

I know working mom’s out there with young kids must read this and just want to throw me out a window but…it’s hard at home too.  It’s lonely.  And in between the melt-your-heart-moments and the gross she-just-peed-on-my-laptop hyper-activity, it’s really boring.  

Like, watching the same Daniel Tiger show three days in a row boring.  Like, you’re talking to your plants about how much water they might need today boring.  (No more, no more for god’s sake woman STOP WATERING US DAILY!)  Is what they always say back, if you were wondering.

So, anyway, I got to go to yoga twice this week, one was free and the other only $5.  The universe taketh and the universe giveth back.

Lastly, potty training - exhaustion and cabin-fever…I WILL DEFEAT YOU THIS WEEK!!  Rah!

Really lastly….”Usually the triumph of my day is, you know, everyone making it to the potty.”  Julie Roberts.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Surrendering to the Moment, Environmental Tree-Hugging Frogs

"All fathers are invisible in daytime; daytime is ruled by mothers and fathers come out at night. Darkness brings home fathers, with their real, unspeakable power. There is more to fathers than meets the eye."   Margaret Atwood.
First, Happy Father’s Day to my dear old dad, and to Ellie’s dear old dad, Bill.  What would we do without dad’s?  I wouldn’t be a gardener, or the woman I am today.  Ellie is blessed to have a dad that dotes on her so much.  Bill may not do things the way I would do them but…that’s probably a good thing for her.

Ellie has grown another inch and a half in the last 3 months.  The woman from Oslo I met at the airport told me I was feeding her too well.  I think she was kidding.  She was quite tall herself.  Maybe she wished her mom had not fed HER so well.  But then everyone seems tall when you’re knee high to a grasshopper like I am so what do I know?

She was full of great advice like, ‘You should have potty trained her at 9 months.  That’s what I did for both my kids.’  I couldn’t help but thinking, lady, you’re nice and all but let’s stick to talking about your grandkids.  Why do we women do this to each other?  I should qualify that with ‘why do we MOMS do this to each other?’  

I’ve never once had a woman I didn’t know come up to me and give me advice about what color eyeshadow to use, or the style of jeans I wore.  Ever.  Actually, that kind of advice might have been appreciated!  Maybe not from a stranger.  But still, my fashion sense runs along the lines of an 8 year old boy.  Comic book hero T-shirts and jeans.  I could use some unsolicited fashion advice.

Well, when I’m not pregnant.  Now it’s more like…hey, what fits today!?

But I don’t get fashion advice from strangers, I get parenting advice from strange women instead.  I can’t imagine walking up to another mom and telling her she shouldn’t be using diapers anymore on her kids.  Or that she shouldn’t be buying formula.  Do they think it’s helpful?  Does it make them feel better to have someone to pass the ‘wisdom’ along to?  Or are they just…rude?

Dear reader I leave the judgement to you.  I’m all judged out.  

I’m too busy being wrapped up in the wonder of watching Ellie discover the world.  She looks at a piece of fuzz rising from the lamp she just hit with the same fascination she does a bird in flight.  It’s all amazing to her.  (Soon my bad housekeeping won’t be amazing it will be old hat but for now…dust floating in the sun is wondrous).

Sometimes she looks at me while I’m carrying her somewhere and says, ‘Mommy.’  In a matter of fact tone.  Then she smiles.  Probably because the first time she did that I teared up and cuddled and nuzzled her nose and told her I WAS her mommy and that I loved her.  Sometimes she reaches out with her little hand and touches my cheek when she says it.  

I just have to keep walking or the sweetness of the moment might just overwhelm me and I’ll end up sobbing on the floor and cuddling her and being totally lost in the awe of being another person’s whole world.  

Maybe I should just sit down and surrender to the moment.  It is, after all, one moment.  And soon enough of them will pile up and she will have her own life and friends and school and I will need to brush off my hobby list and see what I should do with my lonely mom-self.

Yeh number 2 is doing alright - we’re still on the ‘we don’t want to know the gender’ bandwagon.  I’m teetering on the edge.

I had some extra bloodwork and an ultrasound done last week because of my age (ahem) but so far everything looks normal.  He/she is a bit bigger than the average 17 week old apparently but that’s good.  I’m hoping for a nice round bouncy eight pound full-term baby in November.

I spent 3 hours in the garden yesterday trying to tame the weed jungle, I’m closing my eyes at night and seeing weeds but that’s ok I’m almost done.  I saw two of the tiniest frogs ever, the size of the fingernail of my pinky finger.  I left some tall weeds for them.  I saw a bigger frog about the size of a chestnut jump to the left of me where I had just pulled a bunch of weeds.  I said hello.  Then he jumped in the bunch of weeds I hadn’t pulled yet right in front of me like those people who chain themselves to trees.  

YOU’RE NOT TAKING THESE ONES!  He seemed to say.  I didn’t check for tiny chains but I did leave him some weeds to hide in anyway.  Bravery should be rewarded in any species.

That’s all the new news - my unsolicited mom advice would be to hug a kid today.  Or a dad.  Or both.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Mysterious Plants, Humongous Bugs, Delivering Babies

I arrived home this week to find the house in impeccable order.  No dust bunnies in this house - they’d be too afraid to come HERE.  The floors were shiny the surfaces completely dust free.  Every toy in it’s place.  Every pillow and blanket where it should be.  At least, until Ellie and I got home.  Tornado’s have nothing on a two year old, a dog, and a, well, a me.

My garden, on the other hand, has turned into a small tropical jungle complete with HUGE bugs that don’t just bite they’re big enough to carry off an arm or a leg.  The weeds are doing marvelously, the plants I actually planted however, are yellow and spindly with neglect.  I have been gone a month.  

I braved the bugs yesterday for a few minutes but pulling weeds, dumping standing water, and dancing around like a maniac trying to swat all the mosquitoes at the same time in a dress and flip flops did not go well.  I’ll try again tomorrow, with proper gear.  Like a shark cage and head to toe impenetrable wet suit with about a gallon of bug spray.

My mysterious plant is growing quite well.  That's the one in the picture up there.  I still have no idea what it is but it looks pretty.  I will probably regret my decision to put a random seedling I found in the woods in my vegetable garden but I was curious…what can I say?  

It was a tiny green shoot in what had been a thick root that someone had pulled or maybe an animal had dug up.  It isn’t a tree, by now I know what all those seedlings look like.  If any amateur gardeners are out there I’d love to know what it is.  It looks almost like a strawberry plant might.  It has small white flowers.  The leaves are getting eaten by some bug (flea beetles?) but other than that it looks good.  It’s probably a weed but I don’t see anything else in the backyard that looks like it.

Whatever is eating that is also eating my tomato and broccoli leaves.  I’m going to try Neem oil - I’m trying to stay away from pesticides. 

Lastly, I’ve been protecting myself against the Zika virus, putting on bug spray, covering up and you know what?  I went to home depot today with Bill and got a big bite on my leg.  From the truck to the store…what’s a girl to do?  Did you know bugs outnumber us 200 million to one?  Hopefully they don’t ever get organized.

That’s all the new news around here - weeds and bugs are taking over my favorite plants and Ellie is growing like a weed.  My little baby-in-training is growing along as scheduled, with the doctor being pleased at ‘all the room’ it has.  (I get it, I’m big…)  

I was hoping to try a natural birth after the emergency C section I had with Ellie but the Dr shut me down quickly.  He said there was only one doctor who would do it in Texas and I was free to contact her (although I would probably die) was basically what he said.  I’m not sure how much of that is fear and how much is experience but since I forgot to get that medical degree in the last 8 years I figure I don’t have much of a choice.

ANYWAY!  That really is all the new news around here in Texas, except hopefully all the flooding is done now that I’m back.  Below is my new favorite quote of the week:

“Each morning we are born again.  It is what we do today that matters.”  (Buddah)

Sunday, June 05, 2016

Yoga or Valium

I’ve been sleeping instead of writing this week.  I haven’t been cleaning or cooking or doing anything really other than keeping an eye on Ellie as she demands Nana’s attention (NANA!  NAAAAANNNAAA!) to play ‘hide the pig’ in the couch cushions and pitter pattering all over the house waking papa up in the wee hours of the morning.

And ok ok I’ve been streaming ‘Vampire Diaries’.  My brain likes junk food, too.

So why have I been so unbelievably lazy?

It isn’t lazy when you’re building another human!  Yep hubby and I are expecting another little Yeh.  He or she has graduated to the size of a large naval orange.  My own naval has gotten quite large also.  When we found out we weren’t having quadruplets Bill blurted out ‘So why are you so BIG?’.  Why indeed.  I was thinking it too but to SAY IT OUT LOUD!  Come on!  

It’s a good thing I didn’t marry him for his smooth lines or his charming conversational skills.   His life has never been in more danger now that I’m pregnant again.  I’ve had to hide the hammers and other close-by blunt instruments for his own safety.  

Bill:  (Coming home from work) “Angela why is this box of crayons on the floor?  It’s stuck.  Ew, it’s stuck to this spilled apple-sauce!  What happened?”

Me: (Taking a deep breath and trying not to notice the big heavy book on the counter I could smack him upside the head with).  “It’s been a long day, Bill.  Why don’t you help clean it up while I wash the poop out of Ellie’s hair?”  (And then collapse in an exhausted heap on the bed too tired to change into my pajama’s.)

For awhile there I felt like I was just a big battery being used to power another, BIGGER battery.

It is better now that I’m in the second trimester.  I’ve got more good days than bad and the nausea has let up considerably.  

Now that I’m not in a fugue of my own sickness and exhaustion I’ve had time to start worrying about how Ellie will handle the change.  Did you know Ellie and I still cuddle in the morning for at least 20 minutes?  It’s true.  She wakes up and I take her back to bed with me and she plays with my hair and we snuggle until we’re ready to get up for the day.  It’s my favorite time of day.

Did you know she just yesterday stayed downstairs with Nana while I had a shower instead of crying to be right in there with me?  That she’s fearless when bounding down stairs and jumping on beds and into swimming pools but any time a stranger gets close she cries to be in my arms and snuggles so tight she almost cuts off my air supply?  It’s true.

She still sleeps in a crib.  The crib we need for baby Yeh #2 and her new room is across the kitchen, across the living room, across the WORLD from our room?  So far away.  How will she cope with so much change at once?  New bed, new room, new baby?  Not to mention potty training.  So much so fast!  How will I cope?  

Nursing a new baby and trying to give a two year old the attention she needs to grow up to be a healthy, confident, mentally stable adult!?  GAK!

Ok now that I’m done breathing into a paper bag, I can see I will probably need some help.  There’s no use wasting time lamenting over the fact mom and dad are so far away.  No use saying I realized while Ellie was playing with Nana yesterday that SHE needs other people who care for her like I do in her life on a more consistent basis.  Maybe more than I do.  That because we’re living so far away she’s missing out on the fullness of some really special, loving relationships?

Well like I said there’s no use lamenting it.  

Bill and I have a lot of work to do before Yeh # 2 gets here, and not for the first time in my life I’m happy I’m a Yogi.  It was yoga or valium and at least my body won’t develop a tolerance for yoga over time. 

I found a quote about meditation and nourishment of divinity.  That’s a little lofty - I’m just happy when it let’s me put my ‘bad mom’ jeans in the wash (impatience, inattention, tiredness) and pull on my ‘good mom’ pants.  (Refreshed, renewed, feeling loving and loved).

Now excuse me while I go mediate myself into a valium-like state.  Right after I clean Ellie’s face from the pen marks she put all over her cheeks while I wrote this.

“Meditation is a way for nourishing and blossoming the divinity within you.” 
Amit Ray, Meditation: Insights and Inspirations

The Gift Of Nowhere To Go

Hiya my friends – look – I don’t know if anyone other than mom and some uncles and aunts back home read this but, in case you’re out ther...