4.27.2005

Wednesday Boo update

Like my creative headline? Yeah, it's Wednesday. What a crazy day. Just wanted to write a quick Boo update (you all realize that blogs help those of us who forget to actually write things when we are supposed to in the baby books, right? I'll just sit down and fill in all the blanks later...like before he is four).

Boo started clapping - really clapping - last week. Now he does it all the time. SO cute. He knows when to clap, too, and he's so proud of it that he claps some more.

He has started to say "quack." As in, the Duck says Quack. SO cute too. Actually, he really says "quack, quack." His favorite book at the moment is Quack (ironic? not at all). He loves having me read it over and over and over to him. He also still likes his Elmo book because of the cool sounds it makes when you press the buttons (esp. the Elmo button. Over and over and over and...).

Boo also still enjoys taking all of his books off the shelf, inspecting each one, and then placing some back.

He is cruising like a little man with places to go, people to see. He's getting fast, he's getting confident, and we're starting to get scared about not babyproofing enough. Hello, weekend activity!

We realize that we keep saying Boo doesn't crawl, but he really does in a way. He just isn't crawling from one side of the room to another. He crawls to where he needs to go, and then pulls himself up, like he doesn't have time for the crawling thing.

He turns 11 months tomorrow. Holy cow! I meant to say something else, but really, I am trying to curb my cursing nowadays. He loves to mimic whatever we say. Let the fun begin.

4.25.2005

Mac update

Thanks to everyone who wrote a kind comment or sent a kind email regarding my post about our beloved pup Mac. To give you a short update, we basically decided that we weren't being fair, that we had only lived in our new house for three weeks, and we needed to give her more of a chance. And we needed to try a bit harder. In a nutshell, we have raised Mac and fallen so in love with her and we just can't part with her. At least, not now. She has seemed to have calmed down a bit since my last post about her. We watched her play with our older dog, and that was what cemented this new turn for us. We owed it to our older dog also to give it a longer try. The two dogs really depend on one another now, and even though Mac was being aggressive toward Thor after we moved, she has stopped that. She has also stopped peeing in the house, and she's barking less. Maybe she just needed time after all. Or maybe somehow she knew. Our dogs are pretty intuitive to our moods.

So, we are still struggling to balance a household with two, active big dogs and one very, very active little almost-11 month old. We had a great week and weekend, and we hope that things will improve with Mac. Thanks again for all of your support. It means a lot.

4.18.2005

Sacrifices suck

I've been crying for the past few minutes. I hate it, and I don't want to write about, but I feel like I have to because I don't want to talk about it and I certainly can't sit around wallowing by myself. So come along, join me in my sad pity party.

My husband and I have been struggling for the past few months with our youngest dog, Mac. We got her when she was just a wee pup of two months. Now she is almost three years old, which is so hard to believe. She's adorable, so loving, amazingly sweet and fun and hyper and full of boundless energy. She is also quite the handful. She barks. A lot. We've tried all of the non-bark-collar training methods to curb inappropriate barking to no avail. She jumps on people and invades their space to the point of absurdity. We tried those training methods too to curb the jumping, again, to no avail. She's a submissive dog so she pees a little when a guy walks into the house. Not fun for anyone. She has also recently started being aggressive toward our older dog, Thor. Thor is awesome. Sweet, gentle, we can trust him not to run off and if he does we know he'll come back, he only barks if he hears strange noises (which is a good thing we think), and he's pretty easy to take care of. But raising two big dogs and one energetic baby... Let's face it: we just don't have the time or the energy to give Mac the kind of attention she so deserves. She needs someone who is single, or who has no kids or older kids, or who doesn't have any other dogs. She needs someone who will take her running and spend a lot of time playing with her. We just don't have that time anymore.

So we have agreed, after many talks and having to deal with many Mac "situations," that it is best for everyone if we give Mac up for adoption. I hate writing this I hate writing this I hate it I hate it, but there it is in its ugly honesty. We can't be the parents for our sweet dog that she needs us to be. We've failed as parents to her. We suck. But we admit it. It sucks to own up to it, but there it is. We suck. This sucks. This is the suckiest thing we've had to go through in a long time. My stomach is killing me. I just feel like crying, but writing has helped. I know we have to do this, for her especially. We have to do this for us too. Our lives are crazy busy already as is, and we'd like some sanity. We're going crazy trying to provide for her and it's all because when it comes down to it, we can't.

Mac was so good with Boo. We were surprised how good she was with him, given that she's such a hyper, high maintenance pooch. She's really rather gentle with our baby Boo. We have tons of pictures of the two of them. Boo will ask us someday about this cute dog in the photos that he never really knew, and we'll have to tell him. We wanted to give her a better life, a life that she deserved and we couldn't give. We tried and we tried and we loved her with all that we were, we loved her so much it hurt terribly to say goodbye, but we loved her so much that we had to.

4.14.2005

Selfishly guilty

I have been feeling a bit selfish these days. Maybe it’s because I’ve been feeling more confident about mommyhood. Maybe because I’m caught up in the rush of being in a new house and being in a good place with work. Maybe I just miss a few things I’ve set aside the past few months because of being a new mom and am itching to reacquaint myself with them. Things like shopping, working on extra projects, going out with friends sans child. Maybe it’s just Spring Fever.

Whatever it is, it’s making me feel a bit guilty. I recently bought two dresses online (during those fleeting moments I could actually get online from home – see previous post for that rant). Two. Not just one. And there are so many cute, girly girl dresses out there in the Spring lines now! So tempting. I gave in. I felt pretty guilty buying them. Then I realized that a) I really don’t have outfits for those special occasions right now, b) I chose dresses that are appropriate for many different occasions, and c) I haven’t bought a dress since 2002. The one dress I do have that would work for all occasions I’ve already had to sew one of the straps back on once (no exciting sexy tale behind that – the strap just broke because I was moving too much – sorry). And I’ve worn it to way too many weddings, bridal showers, work, blah blahs in the past three years that it’s time is up.

I’ve also been itching to just spend more time on the projects outside of work and outside of being a mom that make me happy. I love to make cards, to write, to paint, to visit galleries and museums, to volunteer, to read, to help friends with their projects. It’s hard to spend time on those things and not feel guilty. That is time taken away from being with my family. Time I could spend doing our bills, the laundry, the dishes, playing with the dogs (ok, none of those are really fun except for the last one). Time on everyone else, which is way more important than spending time just for me.

Bad mama. I am feeling selfish, and in between the bouts of horrible, stomach-turning guilt, I know deep down that I have to spend time for me. I have to do things for me, and not for the Mom or the Wife or the Employee. Just Me. Maybe I am itching to do all of those silly, selfish, frivolous things because deep down I worry that I am losing myself. Who I was/am outside of those other titles. As much as I love my son and my husband, part of me, I think, is fighting and rebelling to stay Me. The part of me that doesn’t belong to anyone else, that no one else can claim. And of course, that thought makes me feel terribly guilty.

I wonder if the guilt will ever end. Think it will end before the end of the month? I have a gift certificate for a spa pedicure that a friend gave me last April for a baby shower…it expires in May. I’ve had it for a year and have felt too guilty to use it…

Internet Rant

I am so PISSED right now at our internet service provider. Comcast. That’s right, when I am pissed, I name names. I am actually typing this (again) in a Word document to later upload onto my blog because, yet again, for about the ninth time in the two weeks that we’ve lived here, our internet is down. There’s another outage in our area. A couple of times it wasn’t an outage, but something about the way the lines were set up in our new home that caused the Internet to be down. It stinks, either way. I have to have the Internet in order to get work done at home, and I’m sick of dealing with one problem after another. Too many problems in such a short span of time. It’s unacceptable! And of course, they have a monopoly on the industry. I need high-speed Internet for work. Plus, with a 10-month-old, those extra seconds I save on wait time are priceless.

Stupid Comcast Cable. You suck. If anyone else in the high-speed market is listening, I implore you, please, get your product out there! Save us! Give us options!

4.12.2005

General Boo Update

Boo is such a ham. He loves to laugh and make other people laugh. He's mischievous, our little Boo, and my husband and I are bracing ourselves for a very busy next few years.

He's all over the place. Still not crawling, really. At least, not forward, but he zooms backward like a speed train. It's kind of amusing to watch. All he wants to do is stand, and walk. He walks better than I do sometimes, as long as he is holding on to something. He can stand on his own for what feels like eternity, but is really more like about 10-15 seconds. I am just waiting for him to be standing there and then all of a sudden just start walking without help. We have the feeling he's that kind of kid. Whenever he feels like doing something, he'll just do it.

He FINALLY has his teeth. They came in at the end of March, and they just keep coming. He started with one bottom one, and now has two on the bottom, one on the top, with another on top coming in and another on the bottom coming in. He loves to feel his teeth and mash food up in his mouth. So fun to watch.

He's still sleeping really well too. 10-11 hours straight at night, and two hour or so naps during the day.

He can say "mama," "dada," papa and mama," "dog," hi mama," (that one was new as of this morning) and "ba-ba" for his bottle. Boo also says "yum yum" when he eats, and he says "got it" or "i got it" in that garbled baby speak when he grabs something sometimes.

He's ok with the sippy cup. He loves to pull my hair (which I FINALLY got my haircut after five months of being lazy), pat my face, and pat my husband's belly. It's cute.

When we leave for work, he has to walk - no, make that march/run - us to the door to say goodbye. Very cute. It's the best visual for us to carry around throughout our work day.

Boo still talks nonstop. Wakes up talking. Talks the whole time we are in a store. Talks and laughs to himself in the car. Talks himself to sleep. We're sort of enjoying this time when his talk isn't yet coherent, this time when we don't yet have to have answers to his many questions, or we can't understand that he's really commenting on all of the things he thinks we are doing wrong as parents. The babble is great. But we know the words are coming soon enough.

4.06.2005

Nostalgia

Tonight we said the real goodbye to our old house. The one where you leave your set of keys in the house, and drive away with one hand nostalgically touching the window pane. I was surprised by how sentimental I felt about saying goodbye for real. We would never again set foot in that house. Ou dr first house. The house in which we brought home our newborn son. The house in which we raised a hyper little puppy into a somewhat less hyper bigger puppy. The house in which we have celebrated many happy occasions and shared many struggles. Our house. It felt so big and vacuous and warm and embracing and no longer ours. I walked through the rooms one by one remembering…this is where we ripped up the shag carpets and put in new floors…this is where we laughed and painted Boo’s room as we talked about how crazy it was that we were having a child… this is where we lived and played and laughed. This was goodbye for real.

We took a walk tonight around the new hood. I love taking walks in our new neighborhood. It’s so quiet and open and safe and happy. It’s beautiful. As we walk down the hills on our way back to our new home, we can watch the sun set over green mountains and beautiful land that is still, for now, untouched. There are few cars driving around to worry about, and a nice amount of neighbors out walking or working on their yards to say hello to.

Boo, who slept 11 hours a night when we first moved into the new home, suddenly decides that going to sleep is not for him. He wants to crawl, to pull his books off his shelf, to cruise along his crib. He sees his crib as one big challenge that he must climb. Once he falls asleep he sleeps straight through, for the most part, but getting him to sleep the past two nights has been a challenge. A minute after we lay him on his back to sleep, he rolls right over and grabs for the crib bars to start pulling himself up. His legs fall through, he gets so frustrated because he is so sleepy but he doesn’t want to sleep. It’s really quite sweet and sad at the same time. I am so proud of him for trying to accomplish so much, but I also know he needs to sleep! Poor guy. There are so many new things to learn and practice.

Boo is so grown up now. He’s got a mind of his own and he’s not afraid to let the world know. He still loves to vocalize and tonight said his first string of words: "Papa and mama." He said it a couple of times tonight while looking at us and he was so proud. As of course, we were.

There was a baby on TV tonight, and I wondered where mine went. He seemed to grow up too quickly.

Nostalgia has definitely consumed me tonight. A new home. An everchanging baby. I thrive on change, but I’ve never in my life had to go through so many changes in such a short amount of time. I feel like I can’t keep up and I really want to. I want to be able to savor each new change before the next occurs, and with Boo I feel like there isn’t enough time to. I, too, want to stay awake all the time now. I don’t want to sleep, I don’t want to close my eyes for a minute, because I don’t want to miss anything, all of these wonderful, beautiful changes in Boo. I wish we could both stay awake all the time to just stare and smile in awe together.

4.03.2005

Moving - actually Everything - is harder with a baby

We're all moved in to our new place! We spent four days moving, painting, unpacking...I never want to move again within the next 10 years. But it was worth it. We love our new home, the neighborhood and our new day to day lives. My fears of an undiverse neighborhood were completely off base; on our small street alone there are Asian, Native American, and Hispanic families. It's great! Everybody has at least one kid, and at least one big dog. It's perfect.

Moving, we now know, is especially a bitch when you have a baby. We couldn't have done everything we did in the time that we did if it weren't for friends and family helping out.

Which brings me to today's topic at hand: everything is harder and takes longer with a baby. I have really tried to maintain a schedule and lifestyle that is not so far from the one my husband and I had pre-baby, but let's face it: that life ain't never a comin' back. We love this new life though, and wouldn't trade it for anything, but there's not a single moment in our daily life that doesn't take more logistical planning thanks to little Boo.

Here is a short list of daily activities/tasks that have taken longer or more planning in order to accomplish with Boo around:
-showering (must be strategically timed and short)
-putting clothes away
-cooking (put baby in highchair, give toys and snacks, keep baby entertained while cooking, constantly refill his snacks, make up new game after he's bored with the first 50 to keep him entertained)
-getting a drink of water
-walking
-going grocery shopping
-starting an email
-opening one piece of mail
-eating (AKA grabbing a handful of Cheerios on the way out the door)
-getting into the car to go someplace (20 minutes minimum ordeal; less means I forgot something, most likely something important like a nipple for the bottle)
-getting out of the car
-getting ready to go someplace (restock diaper bag, stock bottle bag, bring extra toys and change of clothes, change his diaper, where are my keys? cell phone? wallet? which diaper bag is each in?)
-getting around to calling your friends (nap time? oops, he just woke up. after he goes to sleep? I usually want to hit just hit the hay myself. I have found that making calls from my cell phone in the car is the only time I can count on at least a few minutes. Yes, I am THAT driver - the one you just yelled at to get off her cell phone).
-going to the bathroom (try going to the bathroom without getting sidetracked by clothes that need to be put away, toys that need to be put aside, dirty dishes that need to be rinsed, and dogs that need to go do their own business).
-breathing (thankfully, our bodies somehow remember to do this for us, or else, I don't think any mom would make it past day one remembering to take a breath in between all of the baby needs, which is EVERYTHING).

I truly love my Boo. He is such a joy. But I salute the frazzled moms everywhere who forgot to put make up on their other eye or have a glove compartment full of McD's bags from a month ago - somehow moms everywhere manage to live full happy lives, I just know now that they are lives that take a little bit longer - and a lot more patience - to live.