Monday, October 31, 2011

One Big Blur

Our weekend was crammed full of a little bit of everything. Jon had a friend visit from out of town, and as I knew that this would result in a lot of drinking, golfing, and staying up late, I packed Amelia and I up and headed to my parents. Yes, I am that great of a wife. Lucky for me this friend is allergic to pet hair, and therefore, Jon had to clean much of the house. Shockingly, it was just as clean when we returned last night, so it seems like a fair trade.

One of the biggest highlights of the weekend was the race that I ran Saturday morning. This is my third 5K since I started signing up for races in August. My goal was to run it under thirty minutes-- I would have been thrilled with a time of 29:59. Instead I ran it in 29:07!!! I was so excited that I would have done backflips if I knew how. Here's Amelia and I post race. See how happy (and sweaty) I am?
Following the race Amelia and I headed to our house so I could clean up and eat. Then we went to my friend's house to meet her new daughter, stopped at the grocery store, visited my cousin, and headed back to my parents. It was a busy, busy day and it showed-- Amelia passed out for 7:00 p.m. I thought this was one of her late naps, but instead, she was out for the night:

I was worn out too, so I headed to bed by 9:00 p.m., which was a smart move because little miss sunshine was up by 5:15 a.m.:
Sunday was a little more relaxing as Amelia played with her grandparents while I read on the couch. Perhaps this does not sound all that exciting, but any mom knows that being able to read more than a couple of paragraphs at a time without chasing down your toddler is a treat. Grandma and Grandpa really know how to wear her out and she took a ninety minute nap in the morning, which is fantastic for our busy little girl. When she woke up, she needed some cuddling from Grandpa:
In the afternoon, we met my husband and his friend for lunch and then spent a little more time with my parents. It was a great weekend. Much better than my other October weekends that were filled with the flu and missing my first 10K. Today we're back to the daily grind and counting down to Amelia's first birthday on Thursday :)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

I'm a Sucker

There was a point in our life where we owned six animals. SIX. Two dogs, two cats, two guinea pigs. It was like livin' in the freaking ark in our house. Mostly it was because I had hormones raging and needed to get knocked up like NOW. So I collected pets instead. The husband was not completely on board with it but my pouty lip and teary eyes are very convincing and I generally get my way when it comes to these matters. It was fairly short lived, though, when one of our dogs ate our cat's head.

I'm not kidding.

It's almost Halloween so I felt like I could stick that detail in my blog and it would be appropriate.

Anyways, we gave both dogs back to the shelters that we adopted them from, and were left with Mikey, our fat cat who also happens to be my first adulthood pet. Oh, and those two guinea pigs that I didn't even really like and promptly got rid of shortly after I found out I was pregnant. But, I'm a dog person, and I really missed being a dog owner. My family always had a dog while I was growing up and I was almost more depressed about living life sans canine than I was about our poor beheaded cat. Six weeks after the gruesome incident, I had talked the husband (thanks again pouty lip and teary eyes) into getting a dog. Best decision we ever made:
So now we have one cat, one dog, one baby. Good numbers that don't come anywhere near the animal hoarder I almost was. Mikey and Molly are awesome with Amelia, and so my rule has become: No more dependents in our house unless they come out of me.

Until yesterday.

Two nights ago, we had a cat sneak into our garage. Jon did everything he could to try and get it out, but mostly he made it terrified, and it refused to leave. Yesterday morning, I searched the garage and thought it had wandered out during some point in the night, went to shut the garage door with a satisfied smile, and the damn thing ran back in and up the stairs to the attic. I sighed, opened the garage door again, and texted my dad about borrowing their animal trap. I felt good about being adament that we get rid of it. After all, it was probably feral anyways.

Later in the afternoon, I took the girls for a walk down the gravel lane by our house. As we were finishing our walk and nearing the end of the road, there was the kitty. I should have kept walking and been grateful that it was out of our garage. But curiosity got the best of me and I tried to approach it.

It was friendly. My story, and convictions to not keep any more animals, goes downhill from here.

Molly was obviously excited about meeting a new friend, but I thought surely this cat is not going to like her, adding to my list of reasons not to keep it. Instead, it walked up to her and rubbed against her, then meowed and rubbed against me. To top things off, it was thin. Super thin. I could see it's hips and spine sticking out.

I can't have a living creature be within five miles of my home and have it be thin. It's my southern heritage. I must feed things and get them fattened up so they know I love them.

With that, I called Jon and told him about the underfed critter, and he told me to feed it. The first cardinal rule of not increasing the number of animals on your property is DO NOT FEED THEM. To be fair, I'm sure he could hear the pouty lip in my voice.

And so, now we have a cat living on our property. It attempted to get IN our house yesterday. I texted, facebook messaged, and called everyone that I could think of, begging them to take this friendly outdoor cat. No one wants it. And you know why? Because our world is oversaturated with the darned things. Face it:

Cats are the new zombie. When the apocolypse comes, cats will outlive us all.

When I woke in the middle of the night last night, I heard it raining and worried about if it was dry and warm. After I fed Mikey and Molly this morning, I went out to the front porch to find it curled up on a blanket. I fed it, gave it water, and even gave it some of Mikey's treats. I petted it a little and could feel every vertebrae on it's spine. I sighed, knowing that we are now a three pet household unless I can find someone to take a barn cat.

I would like to say I'm going to remain firm about it remaining outside, but let's be honest, I can't make any promises. Winter is coming and I can envision a cold day coming that will make me say, Oh, come on inside...

I don't even like cats.

I'm such a sucker.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


Some mornings, I am totally on fire with energy and ideas. Other mornings, not so much.

This is one of those not so much mornings.

However, it's been almost a week (GASP) since I've posted, and I'm super excited about this:
My little girl is finally pulling up by herself and cruising along the table and couch. For the past few weeks, she has only done this when she REALLY wants mommy and I won't bend over to pick her up right away, or she will pull herself up using us as her mountain when we are on the floor. She's a good mix of cautious and smart. She understands letting herself down on her butt, which she seemed determined to figure out with us as her security net before she would independently pull up.

Jon and I are pretty darned proud of her, as if she is the first human that ever learned to use her legs. We roll our eyes at each other when people say "You just wait, you're in trouble now!". As if we don't know that. A little bit of my eye roll includes the fact that, you people can say what you want, but nothing so far has been as bad as colic mixed with baby blues, and I doubt anything will be. Toddlerhood, teenage years, bring it on, as long as I don't have to hear her cry and scream inconsolably for three hours straight. Last year for Christmas I had to wear her in a carrier to wrap gifts and couldn't bake cookies because I had to hold her all the time. This year, I will have this:
My big girl <3

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Poop and Manners Are Important

Yesterday was a little rough. I mean, granted, Amelia has had the flu and we think she has some additional teeth coming in. Unlike us, she cannot tell us specifically what is wrong when something hurts. All she can do is whine and fuss. I do my best to be patient, but honestly, it can be really frustrating at times, especially when I am by myself. When you add that I have not been able to get as much work done as I would like since I had the flu right before she did, things were challenging yesterday.

Jon and I did come up with a few options though:

1) Buy a pair of prosthetic arms so I can type with one pair and hold her with the other pair. We are thinking of looking on Craigs List.

2) Clone myself so one of us can work and the other one can play, rock, feed, nurse, and change Amelia. That sounded like a good idea until Jon suggested a third clone. I can't handle that much competition, even if it is from myself, although it also highlights how productive I generally am as a mommy-- enough that it should take three of me to get everything done.

3) Baby straightjacket, which would allow me to pin her arms down so I can hold her and she won't slam her hands down repeatedly on my keyboard. Don't wrinkle your nose at me, swaddlers do the same thing as a straightjacket. So, I guess what I need is a toddler swaddler.

I coped by taking deep breaths, eating Halloween candy, and listening to Brittany & Meredith Live podcasts. Suddenly, at 2:00 p.m. I smelled something. I looked at Amelia all the way across the room and decided that it could not possibly be her. She has never produced something so smelly that the odor wafted across large spaces.

Until yesterday.

After I cleaned her up, she was like a whole different baby, smiling, clapping, reading her books. An important life lesson taught by an 11 month old:

Everyone feels better after a good poop.

So, with that, I worked a bit longer and we headed to the gym. Afterwards, we stopped at the grocery store to pick up some odds and ends, which included cat food because OMG when our cat can see the bottom of his bowl he follows us around meowing driving me frickin' crazy and then poops on the bathroom floor out of spite. Which teaches another life lesson:

Poop can also be used as revenge.

After we grabbed everything we needed, which included sushi, roses, and chocolate covered pretzel ice cream for mommy because I earned it, damn it, we got in line to check out. Then it happened.

Amelia turned towards the cashier next to us, opened and shut her hand repeatedly, and said "Hi!".

My jaw dropped as everyone around us said Awww, smiling and waving back at her. She turned to the teenage boy bagging our groceries and said it again "Hi!" with her little open and shut wave. He looked like he could care less about this little baby and her cuteness and maybe considered ignoring her efforts at friendliness until I gave him my tight lipped smile that said 'You'd better wave back and say hi or I'm going to kick your pimply adolescent ass.' He waved back.

I can't pinpoint exactly what was so thrilling about this moment. Maybe it was that mommyhood has been a little more tiring than usual lately and this was a reminder of the good parts of parenthood. Maybe it was because her 'hi' was so distinct and intentional, another step towards toddlerhood as she nears her first birthday. I don't really know for sure. All I know is that I texted all my family, as if she had just taken her first steps.

Now, if we could just get her to stop picking her nose...

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Yuck Part II

Friday I shared that I had the flu. It was no fun, and caused me to miss tailgating at the UT vs. BG game, and many bottles of Octoberfest. On the plus side, it was super windy Saturday and so being sick was a good reason to stay in where it was warm, and my body probably can't handle a whole lot more regular beer this Fall drinking season. I need to start training for Christmas cookie eating season.

I was still feeling a bit queasy Sunday as I headed over to my parents for weekly family time. I was a little irritated that my weekend had gone by with me feeling like hell, as this flu also brought on killer headaches. I tried to focus on being thankful that I had not thrown up and that Amelia hadn't gotten my illness. Then I started pondering what my reaction would be when Amelia does get the flu at some point. I'm one of those people that will gag and be on the brink of vomiting myself when someone does so in front of me. I had been reassured by other mommies that when it's your kid, it's different. Much like being adrenaline charged at a horrible accident scene, you just kind of let your mommy instinct take over and become a puke-cleaning-up machine.

As if to answer my question, Amelia was throwing up by 6:30 p.m. At first, it wasn't so bad. I felt bad for her, I cleaned her up with my mom's help and changed her clothes. There, all better. I recalled how many mommies noted that their kids could hold down breastmilk even when they could hold nothing else down, and since Amelia will not take a pacifier, stuffed toy, blankie, nothing-but-mommy-when-I'm-mad-sad-scared-nervous-just-mommy-all-the-time-dammit, I figured she would feel better if she nursed.

She did. For about twenty minutes. Until it all came back up and then some.

I know, this is my most disgusting post yet.

And yet, while briefly grossed out, I mostly was struck with deep pain and sadness for my poor baby girl. At this point she was crying and sweating, scared and confused at was happening to her little body. And when I say little, I mean it. Amelia has consistently been in the twentieth percentile for her length. Her weight is always good and she consistently grows, she has adorably chubby cheeks, and she is generally healthy. But she's definitely a petite girl and just hours before we had a store clerk ask if she was six months old. She's almost twelve months. To see our little peanut be so sick, again and again-- I counted almost a dozen times that evening-- was more than I could take. By about the eighth or ninth time she got sick, I started crying. My dad hugged me, my mom cleaned her up, we got her comfortable again. About this time it was 9:00 p.m. and my mom announced that she needed to go to bed soon because she would have to get up for work in the morning.

You what now? Work? You aren't calling off to help me with Amelia?

I got that same overwhelming sense of who-in-the-hell-decided-I-can-keep-a-baby-alive that many parents get when they first bring their newborn home from a hospital. I panicked and grilled my mom for details about when I should consider taking Amelia to the E.R., signs of dehydration, what degree temperature is too high, when I should offer her fluids and tylenol. And, when my dad squeezed me as I cried, I wanted to look at them and say-- I can't do this. I'm the kid, you have to take care of me, take care of us. I don't want to do this adult thing anymore, I'm scared, what if I mess up and she gets hurt or worse?

Maybe I sound dramatic, a 30 year old talking about feelings of wanting to revert back to childhood when her own child is ill. All I know is that those feelings were so intense at that moment that recalling them now is bringing me to tears.

I did know that I couldn't ask my parents to call off work, so I had to take a deep breath and be strong for Amelia. And in the back of my freaked out mind, I knew that if she was super ill in the middle of the night, I could call them and still lean on them, ask them to come to my house and help me as I crumbled into a pile of emotion over my sick baby. I headed home, called Jon and asked him to pick up some pedialyte, wine, and candy pumpkins, scooped Amelia up as she started getting sick the second we pulled into the garage, and made up a little sick station in front of the TV, complete with blankets, pillows, and garbage can. We stayed up till 11:30 watching Despicable Me, waking once to be rocked again and take a sip of pedialyte that thankfully stayed down and then up for the day at her usual 6:30 a.m. Amazingly, as if nothing ever happened the night before:

I could not be more thankful that she recovered so quickly, and keep reminding myself of that today as she has a whiney ass challenging day. This is probably because she is still a little queasy and also, what better thing to happen the day after you have the flu than to oh, boy, get some more teeth in?

Poor Peanut.

Poor Mommy.

Where in the hell are those damn candy pumpkins?

Friday, October 14, 2011


My dreams of being healthier during cold and flu season because I am working from home have officially been shattered.

I have the stomach flu. Yuck.

It's not the worst flu I've ever had, and because I know at least three people who have had it recently, I am pretty sure it will be better by tomorrow morning. In truth, it's not too bad right now. Mostly it just squashed my plans of having a nice dinner at a local brewery with my family, and may ruin my plans to start drinking at 10am tomorrow (I love you, tailgating, and am so sad that we may have to wait yet another year to be together).

On the plus, it was a good excuse to take both of Amelia's naps with her today. I'm praying, PRAYING HARD that she does not get it, but there isn't much I can do to prevent it other than be as clean as possible. I'm hoping that since she is continuing to nurse that she won't get it. I'm imagining it would be pretty rough on her since my own tummy hurt bad enough today that I was sending whiny little text messages to my husband all day long.

Oh, and here is a fun fact that I learned today: When you have the stomach flu, every cartoon on PBS Kids involves the topic of food. No, Sid the Science Kid, I do not want to hear you discuss heat and how it impacts your mother's runny freakin' pancakes. I may never eat pancakes again.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Keep 'Em Laughin'

Posting recently has been a little bit of a challenge for me. I'm still loving working from home, especially since my boss told me that I could work from the office just one afternoon a week rather than three days-- therefore avoiding the whole babysitter issue. It's great and makes me wonder how I survived four months of working a traditional job with the whole rush in the morning and struggling to keep up with household tasks in the evening.

Since I (generally) have time to keep up with the house during the week, you would think I would have time to write on the weekends. However, it's Fall, and therefore time for baking, drinking Octoberfest beer, and watching football. This past weekend I made some apple toffee bars and for dinner one night we had jalapeno popper grilled cheese sandwiches. Both were as good as they sound (thank you, Pinterest. If you'd like to see what else we will be stuffing our faces with in the near future, you can see my boards here.) We watched all my favorite college teams lose on Saturday and then I ran in a 5k on Sunday. Who has time to write?

Along with the time challenge comes my scattered mommy brain. It seems as though when I wasn't working, I could use my free time to come up some coherent themes/topics of mommyhood, or share my opinions on recent current events. But apparently concentrating all day, along with staring at a computer, drains me of any cohesive thoughts for a blog.

I'm not complaining. Just justifying my absence from the virtual writing world.

As I sat down this morning with a plan of writing a scattered list of various events in my life, I thought of these pictures:

Mom, I don't want to wear the hat.

No, seriously. Come closer and let me tell you how much I hate the hat.

Sigh. Fine, I'll wear the damn hat.

Puppy gym! Crawled right over her, poor dog.

Our daughter has been quite the little comedian lately as you can see. Our favorite gesture that she does right now, which I have yet to catch on camera, is her touchdown pose. It is just what it sounds like, her throwing her arms up as if your favorite football team just scored.

She also has had a third tooth come in this past week, and while my nipples are living in fear, she has been more interested in biting my shoulder. She leans in for what looks like a sweet little hug and then bites down on my shoulder with her little baby fang, which surprisingly hurts quite a bit for a nub of a tooth. I have a theory of parenting which entails saving your really dramatic/loud voice for when it is truly called for, and since she is only 11 months old, I reserve that voice for when she attempts to draw blood.

You would think I had smacked her if you could see her face. She pouts out that bottom lip and starts this pathetic little cry. All I say is "No! No biting, Amelia!" and you'd think I had torn apart her whole little world. I have to turn my head, for fear she will see me laughing and think this is a game.

If only discipline would be so easy during the years ahead. Ah, well, I'll just enjoy it for now.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Picky, Picky

Amelia has always been an eater. When we went to her two week check up, she had nursed so much that she had a callous on her lip. She wasn't all that thrilled with solid foods when she was four months old, so we waited till she was six months. When we tried again, she was excited to eat and would grab the spoon and shove it in her mouth. It was fabulous. I foolishly thought that my child would not put us through the difficult paces of a picky eater. She would try anything, and even if she made a face, I could still shovel it in her mouth, make a happy noise, and convince her to take another bite. I made the decision that Amelia would not have any juice unless it was a special occasion, and we used processed foods as treats. Her cheerios were the regular kind rather than honey nut or apple cinnamon, and she loved them. I decided that I had this eating thing down, and raising a child with healthy eating habits would be one of the areas that I would excel.

First time mommies. So overconfident.

Or at least I am, apparently. If I had to pinpoint it, I would say this pickiness started back in August when we went on vacation. Like most vacations, we went out to eat a lot, and one of the frequent meal choices for Amelia was green beans. However, green beans in a restaurant are often not just dumped from the can and seasoned with salt and pepper. Oh, no, they are slow cooked in onion and bacon pieces and simmered to deliciousness. She loved them. Then we got home and gave her our regular old green beans, slightly warm with little seasoning. She turned her head and looked at us like we had bugs crawling out of our ears.

Fast forward to October and I am battling a little one who smashes her carrots around on her tray, throws her cheerios overboard to the dog, and determined yesterday that she can use her tongue to push distasteful food back out of her mouth. I, like many moms, am facing the eternal parenting question... Do I say, oh well, that's your meal, guess you'll be hungry then? Or do I give her what I know she'll eat? At eleven months old, I know I can't tell her you can't leave your seat until you have a bite of everything. So my current tactic is, offer her the food she isn't so fond of first, while hiding what she wants (generally fruit-- I have yet to see her refuse to eat any kind of fruit-- so far, anyways). Then when she gives me that determined I am not eating anymore of this look, I give her the fruit until she's full.

It works for now. Still, I wonder what eating related challenges I will face as she gets older. Also, I wonder if she'll turn into a human blueberry like the naughty little girl on Willy Wonka. Or, in her case, a peach.

Here is a video I found of when she was four months old and we tried solids. If you add a little hair to her head, this is pretty much how she looks now when we feed her anything except chicken, fruit or cheese.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

How It's Going...

I regret that it's been a while since I posted anything, but with starting my new job this week, I've had little time to write anything. So, since no one has been able to read about my new endeavor on my blog, I've been getting a lot of texts, e-mail, phone calls and facebook posts asking me how it's going. I hate to give an overall review of a job so quickly because any workplace has it's annoyances and irritations. However, so far...

I love it.

My bosses are flexible. Everyone has been really helpful. There's no chasing children down the hallway, being cussed at by five year olds, and a couple days of week, I avoid the hectic pace of the morning routine-- make coffee, pack snacks/lunches for Amelia and I, get both of us dressed, make sure she has everything she needs for the day including diapers, extra clothes, sippy cup, toys, and other miscallaneous items, and then drag all that crap, plus my work laptop and purse out the door. Oh, and let Molly outside and feed her.

I'm kind of shocked that she's been fed consistently this week.

Really, the only bad thing that happened this week is that Amelia had a miserable time at her babysitter. In all likelihood, it was probably several things that collided to make her be a screaming, crying mess the whole time she was there. But the bottom line is, we had to pick her up early both days.

Some of you are shaking her heads, saying "Oh, Amanda, she will get used to it. You can't rescue her every time she gets upset."

I'm shaking my head back at you, saying "Oh, how you underestimate the stubborn nature of my daughter."

Let's just say that Amelia threw such a screaming fit that the sitter's neighbor complained about the 'noise'. And, she pretty much refused to eat. So, to save the sanity of everyone involved, we are on the hunt for a new sitter again. This produces a lot of stress and anxiety for me, but it also highlights how incredible my new job is... when I left early Tuesday, no one minded because I could finish the day at home. Then, on Friday, Jon took Amelia home at lunch but the internet at my work was SO SLOW. My entire day is spent on the computer, entering in student transcripts online. By 2:00 pm, I wanted to slam my laptop up against the wall. The principal wasn't in so the only 'boss' I could complain to was the superintendent. I walked halfway to her office twice and turned back around, thinking that complaining during my first week of work was probably a bad idea. But, considering that I could get twice as much work done at home, I took a deep breath and walked into her office.

I got halfway through my first sentence, and she said "Oh, yes, the internet is awful! If you want to finish the day at home, go ahead. As a matter of fact, you can work at home all next week, they are fixing such and such and I think it's going to take a while."

GRIN. I mean, after I walked out of her office, of course.

So, I have a whole week of being at home with my little love, finding her a new sitter, being productive, and avoiding the morning rush.

How's it going? It's awesome :)