Monday, April 27, 2009

Busy Week at Corporate Planned, All Thoughts on Jelly

How could I NOT miss a face like that?!

Back in Boston. I can't really complain, since it's been so long (since December!). But that's partly why leaving again was so hard. I'd forgotten that pang, that physical tearing as my car pulls out of the driveway. Plus she's older and such a different person now. Now she's, well, a person. I feel like this trip she'll really notice I'm gone for the first time.

I know she's in good hands, loved and cared for and doted on.

I know she and I both need to learn to deal with this, and that I need to toughen up so I can put up a brave front so that she starts to understand that it's no big thing, mama will be home soon.

I know it's technically only three nights.

I know I'm very lucky, in this economy, to still have this great job.

I know I miss my baby. Kisses for Jellybean from far away tonight, my first and only. Mama loves you.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

I'm Such an Overachiever

I also managed to get a post up at Triangle Mommies this week, here's the linkaliciousness -

And now it's back to work.

By 'work', I mean, 'eating stale Mike & Ike's' that I found while prepping my laptop bag for another tip to Boston. Yes, they taste oddly like tacos since they've been in there, open, since early December. But a chewy candy snack is still sugar, so don't judge. It was either that, or one of the chocolate caramels from the gift pack my sister sent when I had Jellybean. I'm a hoarder, what can I say? I was denied sweets as a child - this is what it does, people!

*Note: I do NOT feed Jennifer expired or questionable food. I am very conscious of checking labels and sniffing things. Just because yesterday I took a Xanax that The Ta gave me almost 6 years ago does not mean I will apply the same rules to my child. Although I did think that a Taco Bell Chicken Supreme Burrito was a suitable dinner for an 11-month old last night. Dudes, you should have seen her plow through that thing.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Because the Last Post Wasn't Quite Long Enough

p.s. Don't forget to check out the new video in the toolbar on the right. The Ta loves sausage.

Spring Time Finally Means Fun


It was interesting, because I thought Saturday’s event was going to be crazy-fun, and that Sunday’s was going to be so-so, and it ended up being the total opposite. Saturday’s event, if you have already forgotten because you have a life outside of my blog, was the Single Parents Meetup trip to the Museum of Science for the ‘Butterfly Bash’ bug event. I hadn’t been to that museum since I worked in daycare (like, 14 years ago) but had very fond memories of it being fun and exciting.
Since it was a Meetup event, only two people showed up. Late. Because that’s how Meetups work. And with this group, they like to stand around and talk and ponder life and stuff, because, well, they don’t have an 11-month old in a stroller freaking out because she wants to GO DO SOMETHING. They pretty much all have older kids, who can run around and punch and generally be rude to everyone and each other. So I ALWAYS end up ditching the nice man who organizes all these great things because I am so damn impatient, plus I really don’t like to walk around events at someone else’s pokey pace. So Jellybean and I take off on our own, and the first thing I realize is that there is an awful lot of walking at the mostly-outside museum. And that it’s a billion degrees. And I’m already sweating. I made the mistake of taking my delicate little flower into the swelteringly humid butterfly pavilion, where beautiful butterflies flew around and landed on everyone except us. The Bean was like, ‘Dude, what is wrong with you, this is boring as hell and did I mention I hate the heat?’ We did some more walking, saw some lame animals sleeping (I assume they weren’t literally lame, but they were all lying down, so they might’ve been). Then we did the train. Yay, train! Jelly was finally happy.
After an hour and a half of sweaty unhappiness we went and met Ta for lunch. Jelly was all crazy, I guess because she was so happy to see the Ta and be sitting in air conditioning eating pancakes. She kept hollering at waitresses (we really think she was saying, ‘Bring more food, beyotches!’), and the hostess was so enchanted with her that she gave her a little toy light-up rubber ducky. That kid knows how to work a crowd. I think one of the reasons Hispanic women fawn over her is because she’s got that dark curly hair and those immense jowls, and they just want to give her pinches and treats and chortle at her in Spanish. Hey, go right ahead.
The sad part of the story is that while Bean got some great naps on the hour-long drive back and forth to the craptastic museum, she had no desire to nap once we got home and it would’ve been possible for ME to nap. So I ended up going to bed at 7:30, which just pissed me off, because such a waste of a Saturday evening!

However, Sunday morning meant I had 11 hours sleep under my belt so I hit the ground running. Want to feel tired? Here’s what I did;
6:30 am – Shower and get dressed, put in load of laundry
7:00 am – Get baby up, give sippy, change, dress, fold and put away baby laundry
7:30 am – Drive to Farmer’s Market. Learn that Farmer’s Market does not open til 8 am
7:45 am – Go to grocery store. Without list. Panic and buy 4 kinds of cereal and not much else. Stand at meat case so Jelly can talk to the butchers.
8:15 am – Go to Farmer’s Market. Learn that vendors do not show up until later, despite being open at 8 am
8:30 am – Go to Bruegger’s to console self. Get Jenny a honey-wheat bagel with strawberry cream cheese. Get the best bagel sandwich of all for myself, the Herby Turkey. ON A SALT BAGEL. Am in heaven. Have iced Chai. Heaven is great. Jellybean talks to senior citizen church crowd. They are an adoring audience and willingly play peek-a-boo with her around the booths. She takes an hour to eat half a bagel. Learn that hotty cops hang out at Bruegger’s on Sunday mornings. Make reluctant Jellybean talk to hotty cops.
9:30 am – Back at home. Make a lasagna for The Nanny and her sister for this week. Empty dishwasher, load dishwasher, clean kitchen, change out laundry
10:30 am – Take nap with baby
11:45 am – Feed everyone lunch. Clean up.
12:30 pm – Work on banner for Jellybean’s party. Stop Jellybean from eating scissors, paper, photos, ribbon, scrapbook. Jellybean retaliates by unrolling entire roll of costly double-sided tape.
1:30 pm – Get self and baby dressed for event. Try to get baby to take nap
2:45 pm – Leave for event. Say bad words in front of baby when rain drops hit windshield
3:15 pm – Arrive at event, hoping for best
5:30 pm – Depart awesome event
6:30 pm – Jellybean goes down in a blaze of glory, finally crashing from her sugar and excitement high. Put grumpy, filthy baby in tub of lovely bubble bath, then into nice fresh jammies, then into cozy bed. Wish I was a baby.
7:30 – Clean kitchen one final time. Put away explosion of toys in living room, being careful not to trip any battery-powered toy land mines. Start dishwasher. Watch Criminal Intent.
9:30 – Put self to bed
The event was the local Triangle Mommies Fourth Annual Birthday Bash. There were way more people there that I knew than I thought I would, which was nice. And they had bouncy houses and slides, and people doing face-painting and making balloon animals, and a rockin’ DJ and a bubble machine, and local mascots. Oh, and did I mention the FOOD?! There was a professional cake person, who I had to go and talk to because she made the world’s best cupcakes (Neapolitan – Chocolate base, French Vanilla middle, Strawberry top, luscious frosting, and white-chocolate ornaments).
There were huge bowls of fresh fruit (blueberries, kiwi, strawberries, pineapple, grapes). There was a popcorn machine, and a sno cone machine, and McDonald’s was there giving away free iced coffees and McNuggets and apple slices with dipping sauce. There was BBQ, with crusty rolls and slaw. There were fruit roll-ups, the all-fruit fancy kind (that I’ve since learned are $5 for a box of 6 – I should have filled the diaper bag). There were 6 different kinds of cookies, and cheesecakes and brownies, and lemonade, and the cakes. Jellybean thought it was the best thing EVER. It was a FREE event. It was crazy. Babies ‘R Us had giveaways, and there was a sandbox, and the firemen were there with their truck, and Ronald McDonald was AWESOME (albeit slightly terrifying to Jelly), and did juggling and played with the kids. It sprinkled for like 10 seconds, then cleared up, but it wasn’t too hot because it was overcast, so the weather ended up being perfect. Yay! Her birthday is going to be such a letdown.
The Zyrtec worked great, but I learned the other reason why she has been out-of-sorts and feverish. Wait for it – yep, TWO more teeth popped out. So she’s up to eight now. That’s our gal!

Friday, April 17, 2009

The Sleepy House That Zyrtec Built

Yes, I do realize it says for ages 2 and up, but she weighs more than the average 2-year old
I gave in and dosed my baby. Seriously, internets, if you had heard her little hacky cough and struggles to breathe through 40 gallons of boogers, you would have done it also. I did read about a billion different posts and articles and medical reports first, though, so I am confident that I haven't scarred or stunted her or given her too much or applied it incorrectly. Plus she lived through the night, which is all a mother can ask for, really. I haven't seen any major improvement yet, but it took me at least two doses to start feeling human again, so we'll see how she is tomorrow. As for now, she's just soooooooooooooo slllleeeeeeeeeeppppppppyyyyyy. She's had like 4 naps already today. This means I need to plan to order pizza for dinner, since I'll be holding a baby from the minute the Nanny leaves til she is tossed into bed.
In sad news, I tried some store-brand Asian-style box lunch thingies and they are terrifyingly, shockingly, oddly disgusting. In the interest of trying to save money in any way I can now that I have realized my father was right and money does NOT grow on trees, just allergies, I have tried substituting a few store-brand items in place of my usual spend-it-like-you're-single fancy brand names. Soup, no problem, since I only buy canned soup to use hidden away in a recipe. Sour cream, I'm not thrilled about, but if it makes me eat less that's a good thing. Frozen veggies - you go, Wal-Mart! Beefaroni and raviolis - I only buy 'em for Nanny, and she said she doesn't care. But the microwave Pad Thai and Szechuan Garlic Noodles, Kroger-brand? OMG DISGUSTING. Not only do they smell rank, there are strangely-textured unrecognizable items in them. I'm very unhappy, because the Thai Kitchen brand, sexily and temptingly pictured above, while delicious, are about $157 each. But they're so tasty, and more importantly, convenient! They're fast and easy for me, running down to grab lunch between calls, and for Nanny, trying to chuck something down her gullet in between wrangling small eels. I guess it's on to dollar store tuna and Big Lots no-name Hamburger Helper with cat food.

Keep your fingers crossed for us this weekend as we attempt those two outdoor activities. I really need to get out, and Bean should have some fun after the week she's suffered through. The Ta gets back tonight from her week in The State You Don't Mess With, and we'll be happy to see her and hang out with her. Do you think she brought us souvenir tacos?

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Twitter-Free After All These Months

People who know me are surprised that I don't Twitter. I'm normally an 'early adopter' of fun new technologies, and obviously I love to share the minutia of my every-day life. I even sometimes enjoy reading other people's tweets, unless they're twits. I just don't think I would contribute anything by twittering. For example, if I used Twitter, these would be today's tweets;

9:04 am - Having Pepsi for breakfast. If I had a pack of Certs, it would be college.

9:27 am - Work would almost be bearable if these people would quit emailing me and I didn't have to do any work.

10:11 am - Oops, forgot to tell Nanny the lawn guy was coming. She thought his kids were stealing the play climber from the back yard.

10:14 am - Really, super do not want to work today. Am reading blogs. Octo-Mom videos made me sad, seeing those little babies ignored while she panders to the cameras. And what about all the constant lights and camera flashes? She doesn't even cradle them when she feeds them. And as if she trademarked 'Octo-mom'?!

10:16 am - Will Perry EVER leave?

See? Lame, boring, TMI, and void of anything that is going to make the world a better place. I'm sure there are people who tweet very interesting things, or important bits of info, but I don't think I would. I think 9 out of 10 tweets would be '80's song lyric snippets, and who needs that?

Jellybean is still allergy-stricken, and now has a terrible cough along with the random fevers and nasty congestion. I looked online and it said end-of-month for the pollen to calm down, so we've still got a few more weeks. I think we're going to try to go to the Science Museum 'Butterfly Bash' this weekend, my meetup group has an event. I'll have to minimize the time outdoors though. And Sunday is the Triangle Mommies Birthday Bash, which is suppose to be just awesome, but of course is outside. Blergh.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Hopping Down the Bunny Trail

That's my sick little bunny rabbit. Pretty cute, huh? I know you're all probably tired of listening to me talk about The House That Allergies Ravaged, but poor bunny was up off and on last night with a raging fever. I felt so bad for her. I purposefully stayed inside most of the weekend, venturing out only to get groceries to make the big Easter Dinner. Jellybean still got smacked down.

Cooking dinner was ridiculously tough. I stepped into the kitchen at about 8 am yesterday morning and wasn't finished until after 6 pm. Here's the problem; when you're a single mum, especially if you have a baby who doesn't feel well (only you don't know how sick she is or you would have totally cancelled the whole thing), you are constantly starting/stopping the whole venture. 8 am was breakfast, and then I started peeling potatoes. Stopped to change a diaper. Stopped to get some juice and toys for sad baby. Got scalloped potatoes into fridge, pouring only 1/2 of contents into fridge crisper bins. Sat and rocked baby so she'd get a good nap. Moved onto sweet potatoes. Made cake after disagreement with oven. Changed more diapers. Made lunch for baby but forgot to make lunch for me. Got ham into oven. Changed diapers. Held congested baby upright for next nap. Made hugely annoying cooked frosting for cake. Spread frosting mostly on floor while trying to beat in double boiler and hold sad baby. Ate piece of cold delicious ham. Fed baby. Ate. Started to clean up. Sat with sick baby and watched some TV (Mary Poppins! She thought the penguins were hilarious) while chugging Motrin and a Pepsi. Cleaned more.

It was a very tasty meal (hurrah for ham!), and The Bean was ALL about the big midday meal. She was totally like, 'This is BRILLIANT! Why don't we do this EVERY day?!' The glazed sweet potatoes were of course a big hit, and interestingly she hated the asparagus (there isn't a lot she spits out while glaring at me). Fine by me, I freaking love asparagus. You might think I'm insane for making all this food for the two of us, but Nanny's sister is visiting for a while and coming here each day, so I figured lots of leftovers wouldn't hurt. Also, I was super-smart and made up two 'plates' for myself and stuck 'em in the freezer for nights when I give Jellybean baby-TV-dinners.

Her fever last night scared me. She was really, really hot, and the Tylenol didn't help right away. I know the answer is never, 'Bring the baby to bed with you', but she kept waking up anyhow and just wanted to be held by mama. It's the 'avoiding the if-onlys' that gets me. In situations like last night, I think, 'What if she's really, REALLY sick, not just allergies, and I put her back to bed, and she gets worse or something horrible happens, all because I selfishly wanted sleep? And then all I'll be able to think is, 'if only I'd done blank-blank-blank''. So hot little baby crawled into the small of my back from midnight-ish to about 2:30, at which point I gave up and threw her back into her room. The Nanny's son went through the same thing a few days last week, and Jellybean is still eating and in good spirits, so I know she's ok. It's just so much responsibility and critical decision-making for one tired inept person. More and more these past few weeks I've wondered how I could've been so ill-prepared for all this, and how people do it so much better.

When she was a newborn, people said it would get easier. It's such a lie. Each new phase brings new challenges and stresses and things that exhaust. I wish I could give Nanny a bonus just because I can't believe she can let two kids self-feed, two meals, and clean up them, the table, the high chairs, and the floor, EVERY SINGLE DAY. I go out of my mind just on the weekends, with one. I fed Jelly lunch on the floor yesterday, because I figured that would at least save me from having to clean the table and high chair for one meal. And this soon-to-be-walking thing - so much making-sure-gates-are-closed and things are out of reach. Naps are shorter. I have to start picking my battles as she exerts her independence more. She's SO DAMN HEAVY TO CARRY. And yet, she really is hilarious. She totally has a sense of humor. And she does not like to be left out of anything. She's doing this new 'tripod' crawl, where she gets up on her tippy-toes and hands. She's come up with her own sign for 'more'. She sometimes sings to herself in the car. I still can't believe she's here, and a part of my life, and I'm still excited to see her every single morning.

Finally, a video of a cute Bean and her mother bugging her.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

And Then the Sun Came Out. Or Moon, As it Were.

Many times this week I’ve looked to my sister N’s blog for inspiration in the face of seemingly overwhelming obstacles. Taking care of a sick, tired baby really is no fun. And when you yourself are sick and sleep-deprived, well, it’s a whole new level of finding strength to just cope a little bit. Like, make it up the stairs. Pick something up off the floor. Shovel through laundry to find a semi-dirty shirt not totally smeared in the Three B's (boogers, barf, and biter biscuits).

The allergies continued to beat me with an achey/sinus headache/nausea stick, and then they turned on poor Jellybean. I’d forgotten the misery that is a finger-sucker who can’t breathe through her nose – toss/turn, toss/turn, repeat from 3 am – 6 am when mama finally realizes sleep is not in her cards and drags herself out of bed, so tired and dizzy that she dresses baby on the floor instead of the changing table. It finally all caught up with Nanny also, as she has to nurse her son back to sleep every time he wakes up. Yesterday we both totally crashed – she went home, I called in sick despite all my deadlines. YES! I thought, After a week of trying to nap during my lunch breaks, I can lay down with The Bean!


From 2pm until 4pm we wrestled and wept and scratched and kicked, but she absolutely refused to sleep. I tried her crib, my bed, the roof (just kidding, I wouldn’t expose us to that much pollen). So much Motrin-taking going on here lately. Caffeine, Motrin, Baby Motrin, repeat.

Finally, a coworker told me to try Zyrtec, hearing that Chlor-Trimeton (my old stand-by) and Claritin were totally useless this year. I managed to shower and drag us to the dirty Food Lion, where I apparently bought that and $50 worth of frosted baked goods, and took one last night, in case it put me straight into a coma (fingers were crossed). Hallelujah, today I am upright and functional! It was so nice to not wince when I first woke up, and be able to speak coherently. It’s so frustrating to not be able to have the windows open, or take JJ outside. I just tell myself that at least I can see the pretty sun and green grass, and it’s not snow and cold. For those who are keeping track, my insurance company is still pushing back on refilling my migraine prescription. Thanks, Cigna!

To add injury to insult, I’ve recently developed Roid Rage. Not Steroid Rage, no siree. The kind of Roid Rage where you need to use, uh, special preparation. I can’t believe I made it through my pregnancy and first year of motherhood and get one NOW. And it’s HUGE, you can probably see it from there, and I apologize for his rudeness. I have named him Perry, for an in-joke with The Ta and New Jen. Much like a toddler living in a chateau in Normandy he is clingy, needy, unwelcome, and a pain in the ass. Or so I would imagine. If I were living in a chateau in Normandy, I would want a big glass of wine and a good view of the peacocks and maybe some tacos, and that's about it. So many places for a toddler to hit his head in a chateau! I'd go freaking nuts!
Anyhow, SO IRRITATING! When did I get so freaking old that I am talking about such a thing on a blog?! You are sooooo unlucky that you tied your rope to my boat, or throat to my anchor, whichever works for you.

In an unlikely-transition-to-an-unrelated-topic, I made some delicious pork tenderloin medallions the other night. I was overcome with guilt, having given Jellybean toddler TV dinners for 17 meals in a row due to my allergy breakdown, and finally pulled myself together long enough to make an embarrassing clash of menu choices. The pork was kinda Italian, sliced up and pan-seared and topped with a honey-balsamic glaze (simple, delicious, and yes, the honey was cooked). Side items included steamed collard greens (Southern), potato latkes (Jewish), and, uh, apple sauce (Mott’s). The Bean apparently really does love every member of the pancake family with equal enthusiasm, because the potatoes received applause. That’s also how I knew the instant oatmeal I gave her yesterday had too much sugar. Girl does love her food.

Now I’m just trying to Red Bull-et to the weekend, when I can think of fun things to do that aren’t play outside or go to the Farmer’s Market or any fun festivals or fairs. Like, say, take everything out of the kitchen cabinet that is preparing to launch itself from my wall. Won’t that be a fun surprise the night before Jellybean’s birthday party? I’m hoping it hangs on til Grandpa can magically fix it. I will be totally unable to deal if it falls. I’m starting to look forward to my next business trip, aka ‘Getting Away from My Quite Literally Falling Apart Personal Life to Throw Myself Into Work’.

Friends, dude. I’m just really super grateful for friends right now. And Zyrtec. If this post largely makes no sense (even more so than usual), please blame the new drug. Or Perry.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Allergies Blow. And Ache. And Tickle.

My sister N had a great post with my nephew, Fat Nate, making some awesome monster noises. She wasn't sure what he was saying, so asked me to show the video to Jenny to see if she could translate. Apparently, somewhere in the middle, Nathan is telling a pretty funny joke. That's all I got. Usually Jellybean loves to make monster noises, but Fat Nate totally silenced her. I haven't been able to get her to make one since.

We had a nice weekend after my FIVE migraines. Allergies were apparently triggering them rapid-fire, which was really super terrible bad. I recovered in time to drag The Ta and The Bean to a spring festival-type thing Saturday afternoon, which was a blast, and then The Ta and New Jen got their 'za on with her Saturday night so that I could go over-indulge in vicious killer margaritas. NJ gave her some cute personalized pins and necklaces and stuff, which was very sweet. Jenny Fingers loves the bribes. Sunday morning we had brunch with Aunt J for her 30th, and I made her cry not once but THREE TIMES. I don't have pictures because, uh, I was too hungover to deal. Hopefully her mother will share some.

Last night I put together one of those climber thingies, and since it was a lovely mild (although apparently hideously windy) evening, went out and threw Jelly on it. Surprise, surprise, our fearless climber was in heaven. Of course it's pouring rain today so she can't go out, but I can't wait til she gets another run at it. Apologies for the sound quality on the video.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Grumpy Mama, Cute Baby, Such is Life

I'm 10 months old!
Blah. Blah, blah, blah. And a grumpity-grump, for good measure. It's been a long week. I got not one but two migraines, which was NOT as much fun as you'd think. And since I was trying to be all smart and did an HSA instead of regular insurance, my migraine stuff is going to cost like $300. SUPER lame! And I cannot get my house refinanced, because my neighborhood is so crappy. And the weather is grey and damp, and I've been having night sweats (gross, irritating) so I haven't been sleeping, and we all know how THAT goes. I'm so grumpy I'm not even using spell check. So THERE!

To try to cheer myself up, since American Express screwed me over and I ended up having to pull $1700 from nowhere and am now forced to eat leftovers scrounged from Jelly's highchair, and nothing makes me happier when I'm broke than spending money I don't have, unless it's a run-on sentence, I decided to buy us a plane ticket to Cincinnati. Yay, Cincinnati! The Bean and I are gonna make that mistake again! It's been long enough to forget that trauma of the last trip, and my parents and my sister and my niece and nephew and brother and brother-in-law will be there, so it should be a fun, stressful, sleepless time. With too much food. In actuality I am just going so I can see my nephew, Fat Nate. He needs pinches from his Aunt Sparkles. And Beaner was just mentioning the other day how she was missing her Aunt N.

Yes, more of that, please.

Jennifer J, the Social Jellyfly, has been quite busy. She attended her first Renaissance Faire like the good little nerd she is, and had some delicious Goodberry's, and is going to have another party with The Ta this weekend while mama goes out and gets her drunk on, Mexican-house-party style. We also FINALLY got the patio furniture put together with the help and coaxing of Aunt J. Thanks, Wal-Mart, it looks like furniture twice its cost! I cannot wait to have people over, and get the cushions and umbrella out and have some drinkys.

This shall suffice.
It's April, which means that NEXT MONTH will be Jellybean's first birthday. CRAZY! Kids DO grow like weeds! Her latest thing is to make a constant 'monster noise', which my sister N says Fat Nate does as well, and she has promised to make a video as long as I then send a video of Jelly watching his video. We really like our kids and don't otherwise have lives, as you can tell.

Yes, bow before me, that's how things should be.

Jellybean is also very close to walking. It's going to totally freak me out when she does it.