Monday, August 31, 2009

Haircut? Got 'em ALL cut!

Jellybean's first official professional pay-for-play haircutting event occurred over the weekend. Check out that so-big little person sitting by herself so nicely in that chair! She was good as gold, didn't fuss or freak out at all (although little princess was not at all pleased with getting some little hairs in her eyes). It actually hurt me to see little curls falling on the floor. We've got a certificate and some locks for the scrapbook, and hopefully mama will be able to cut it from now on (poor, poor Jelly). The bangs are wayyyyyyy shorter, which I guess is good from a being-able-to-see standpoint. But I miss the long waves.

Aunt Jen babysat Saturday afternoon so that I was able to go to lunch and a movie. Oh, glorious day! Lunch without sticky handprints and guilt about food on the floor! The Ta and I saw 'District 9', which is totally the kind of movie I would have absolutely loved pre-baby. Yes, it's incredibly well done and the effects are great, blah blah blah. But there's something about being a mother that changes how you look at the world - people doing mean things to other people (or, apparently, aliens) causes pain and huge buckets of near-overwhelming sorrow. The only reason I didn't cry in the theater was because The Ta would've punched me.

Yesterday was the Raleigh Fiesta del Pueblo, some sort of wacky Latino soccer festival that I really didn't understand but mean no disrespect to by use of the word 'wacky', and thought it would be a little nice non-white-South culture for The Bean. It was a blast. There were a zillion bouncy houses, so she got one all to herself - I'm surprised she's not still there. They were playing the 'Go, Diego, Go!' theme at one point, I thought she was going to lose her mind. And I tried fresh homemade pupsas and horchata for the first time - delicioso*! There were tons of free giveaways (we came home with t-shirts, mini soccer balls, notepad/pen sets, hot pads (?!), key chain flashlights, etc.), and some awesome music/dance performances. Jellybean liked the pretty girls in their twirly long dresses and the dudes in the hats stomping around. People gave her balloons, and churros, and lollipops, and I got to use my super-terrible Spanish which I love to do, so it was a great day.

I was thinking last night about today's blog post, which I often do, and how I don't do such a good job of documenting what specifically Jellybean is up to. Like, for example, she was saying 'ready, set, go!' in the car yesterday, which not only shocked me but was super-duper cute. And, uh, made me keep hitting the breaks and accelerating for her, which wasn't super-duper safe driving. But was hilarious. Anyhoo, I was starting to feel all guilty for not having EVERY. SINGLE. MINUTE. of every amazing thing she does captured in my blog, but then I realized that hello, our mums didn't have blogs. My mom barely managed to get my first steps into my baby book. And there are times when I could stop and grab a camera, but then I'd be pulling myself out of a moment - and believe me, I'd much prefer to be in it. So I hope the snippets here are enough for you guys, and enough for Jelly years from now when I can't remember the exact date and time she started solids, or poo'd in a potty (yesterday! we're doing some very relaxed low-key, zero-pressure potty training, it's going really well). I'm too busy lost in the moments.

*Do not look up 'delicioso' in the urban dictionary. That is not my intended usage of the word here. Although the horchata really was that good.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Work Blows

Sorry it's been a while, but time flies when your job repeatedly kicks you in the teeth. I'm having a bit of a stressful time right now, and a total bitch of a coworker constantly going behind my back to my boss to complain about how I'm not my predecessor is not making things any easier. Last night would have been a really, really good evening to have a husband. Someone to pick up take-out, or play with Jelly so I could just have a drink or seventeen and try to forget the day. Without that, I found myself on the couch for longer than I would have liked and with more Nick Jr. exposure for Jellybean than I would have liked. It made me mad that there I was, someone who'd wanted so badly to be a mom, dialing it in. But the reality was, Jelly wasn't any worse off; she got some extra couch snuggles and loved the extra TV, and I wasn't forcing myself to do stuff but doing it irritably and losing my temper. And baby cuddles really did go a long way to making me feel a bit better about the world in general.


The things the single mom does for that nice, consistent paycheck.

It's almost the weekend, right?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Just Another Day

I wake up to a soft little voice, and bound out of bed bleary-eyed to see her. Good morning, jellybean girl! I get hugs and pats and then she’s too excited, pointing at everything in her bedroom like she’s seeing it for the first time, wanting me to put names to things and let her touch stuff that’s normally out of reach.

She screeches with dismay that I cannot hold her while frying sausages, and it makes me crazy that no matter how many times we play out this food-being-prepared-I-can’t-hold-you-now scenario, it’s always the end of the world. I tell her no, and wait, and please, PLEASE stop, and count in my head how many hours until we go through this again, at dinner time. She sobs, and it both breaks my heart and makes me want to holler at her.

We’re at the toddler pool, and she’s ecstatic to be in the water. Her favorite thing, ever! I am excited for her, and can’t understand the listless disconnected moms who sit by the pool’s edge chatting, eyeing their pedicures and ignoring their toddlers while they complain about disappointing husbands and shoddy housecleaners. I am in the water beside her – I’m a water slide, and a horsey ride, and a ledge for chubby hands with wobbly fat water legs to hold onto. She squeals with excitement, and I want to squeal too.

It’s bath time, but she won’t get in the tub. She presses all the buttons on the printer in my office and sends a blank fax to Istanbul. She wants to spin in the chair, and pound on the laptop, and runs into her room and tears all the paperbacks that she’s not suppose to touch off the bookshelves. She throws cups of water out of the bath onto the floor, wants me to destroy the environment by leaving the tap running, shrieks when I shut if off. She stands up, and cries when I make her sit. She only wants to suck toothpaste off the brush, and howls when I grab it and try to wedge it in her mouth, feeling endless guilt when spots of blood appear. It’s because the molars have broken through, but I still know I’ve caused her pain, and it hurts in ways that non-moms have yet to feel.

We’re in my bed in jammies, with the ceiling fan softly humming overhead on a warm cicada night. We’ve pulled the big, overstuffed pillows into a comfy pile, and she lays with her soft sweet-scented curls brushing my face. We read story after story until I’ve lost count, until I can’t even see the words anymore in the fading light but know them by heart anyhow so it doesn’t matter. In the quiet of the dim room after the last The End, still and silent, I am suddenly afraid of how easy it was. The years of wanting and months of trying, the worry and the drama and the biology of this little person coming into being pale in comparison to the wonder that is lying in my arms, content and peaceful. This person who walks and talks and calls me ‘Mama’, who makes me violently, irrationally crazy one minute and astounded and overcome the next. My daughter.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Tata Blog - Part Deux

First of all - yes, everyone, The Ta really is a real person. She has achieved such a high level of infamy that now, when I go places and meet people and they learn that I am the nefarious 'Jellybean Mama', they are not interested in me or my precious delight of a child. They can barely contain their excitement as they ask with baited breath - "Who is The Ta?!" So for all the Tata fans out there, a brief refresher on the wonder that is - The Ta.

I've known the Ta for about 12 years (yikes), ever since we worked for an international pyramid scheme that was shut down by the Feds (true story). She and I first became friends when we went out to lunch as coworkers and she ate my breadstick off my plate at TGIFriday's without asking. We haven't looked back since. She was very apprehensive about me becoming a mother on my own, and pre-Jellybean she was the one I least expected to become involved in Jelly's life as a result. However, as you have seen from this blog, she has since become Jellybean's favored babysitter, auntie (Tata is French for 'aunt'), dog-friend, and Bojangle's-deliverer. The Ta has helped me out many, many times over the past 15 months (this week!), and despite some questionable behaviors (she kept trying to feed my baby guacamole yesterday because she thought it was funny that it made her cry), she deserves some major kudos.

So here it is... the second part of the guest post written her niece, emailed to me last week (sorry for the delay in posting, I know, I suck, I should have thought of the children).

The Tata Blog - Part Deux by CC
20 Reasons to Love The Ta

1. she buys me stuff
2. shes frickin hilarious
3. she has time for everyone
4. she is a great mommy tata
5. she is a great care taker to my fur kids
6. she is very good at her work and what she does
7. shes smart
8. she does look like me (a little) bc. ya know im bringin sexy back meow! hehe

9. shes brave to face the craiglist killers hehe
10. shes not boring unless shes working
11. she buys me bojangles
12. makes up funny words
13. she loves me so much and would do anything for me
14. she likes im so cool that she likes to steal my cool saying so she can be cool too!
15. she watched dreamy zac efron with me!
16. she watched twilight with me! witched i already watched a million times but love it!
17. she is very good with the baby jenny and me and my cosiens
18. she LOVES my peace sign (NOT)
19. she brought me to the beach in wilimgton
20. tata is liked by many people!

Thanks for being you, Ta!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


So, uh, yeah - she's walking. Like, as in, 'OMG WHAT THE HECK IS MY NEWBORN BABY DOING?! THAT'S JUST CRAZY!!' Her first step was a month ago, and as of 8/4/09 she got down from the table after dinner, and that was it. No more crawling. Done and not looking back. It's indescribable. And hilarious. And so very cute. To see those fat little legs toddle around, and see how happy she is with her newfound freedom and viewpoint - seriously, I beam with pride. BEAM, I tell you! I just sit and watch her with this goofy look on my face. I can't wait to go back to the toddler pool - how much fun will she have NOW?! It's so funny how kids are so different. My nanny's baby could walk months and months ago, but was not really into it. He still sometimes crawls. Jellybean, though - she's into it.

And really, really likes shoes. Today she's wearing a pair of K-Swiss I bought her back when I was pre-baby and still rolling in the bucks and doing stupid things like buying a little pair of $50 shoes (oh, how I long to go back in time and tell myself to STOP. BUYING. THINGS.). But dude, seriously - so cute. Like the dress, Aunt N?

Some shots of playing in the rain last night. She thought it was hilarious that I closed the patio door. I thought it was nice and quiet for once. Yep, that's the kind of mother I am; I send my 14-month old out to play, alone, IN THE RAIN. You can see that she's got a terrible life and is very sad about it...


I don't want to be working. I want to be playing with that little person. Don't you?

Monday, August 3, 2009

Jenny's in the Backseat of the Car and Other Fun Things

My melodious voice singing 'Jenny's in the Backseat of the Car', trademark CR/09, as requested by Aunt N.;

Some photos of Princess VonFattybottom taken during a photo shoot yesterday morning. The trick for good toddler pics? Cheerios, plain and simple.
I got nothing done this weekend around the house, but threw a few tasty items into the freezer (Chicken Enchiladas, made with a chicken I roasted especially for the dish, stuffed with garlic and covered in a chipotle rub, because you know how I am). The 5-hour Energy shots do not seem to help any longer. I guess I'm just too energy-resistant lately.

It rained a lot, but since it stayed warm, that meant - free splashpad in our driveway! Jelly and I spent some time outside this weekend playing in the mud, which she thought was pretty awesome (video available in the sidebar if interested in cute, dirty baby).

It's crazy to see her push herself up to standing and walk. One of the most bizarre effects of motherhood is that every phase feels like it's going to last forever, good or bad, and when it's gone it seems like it was a blink of an eye. Late nights awake with a newborn, baby baldness, teething, crawling - you feel like they'll never end, that you'll always have a child that exact age doing those exact things, but then the next day you wake up and she's a whole different person. I broke one of my Before I Had a Baby, Ha Ha rules yesterday and made Jellybean a peanut butter sammich, because she had refused the last 3 meals I'd put in front of her. I had always vowed I would NEVER OMG NEVER be the mother who made their child something separate from what I was having or because they didn't like it, because CHILDREN WON'T STARVE THEMSELVES, DARNIT! But, uh, it's a little different when your eater won't eat. So yes, Jellybean's tastebuds are changing (pasta is so disgusting! why would I give that to a baby?! enchiladas are the best thing ever! why have you been hiding them from me?!). She likes different toys now. She thinks her new shoes are the best thing ever (yeah, I'm in trouble there). She likes to pick out her own clothes (and makes some very good choices). I'm constantly adapting. Flexibility is my new mantra.

She's also hitting some other cool milestones, a few of them a little early. She can pick out and point to certain objects in books when asked (like, 'Where's the teddy?'), an 18-mo concept. She's trying to create her own signs if I don't understand what she wants. She applies previous knowledge to new things. She's incredible. I like her, but don't tell anyone.