Tuesday, May 29, 2007

I'm All That And a Bag of Chips

We just got back from seeing my family in East Texas. In my brand new used 4Runner. It even has that used car smell with the nice new car spritzer.

I love it. We all have our own personal space during drives. That way, when Bella vomited Sunday's entire menu, it remained in her own personal space.

Ava was delightful the whole weekend. She took heavenly naps, laughed, screeched with delight and let everyone hold her for at least a nano-second +1. Bella had a bit more of a drama riddled time but that's par for course these days.

On the drive back there was the usual holiday traffic and prayers for especially long naps went unanswered.

While inching along the highway, my husband pointed out a cute dog peering out of the window. I don't look into other people's vehicles. A good example why I don't? As husband was pointing and chatting with Bella about the dog, the people in the vehicle thought we knew them and were all craning to see who we were in order to wave back. Even rolling down their window just in case we wanted to give a shout out. Awkward.

So as we keep crawling home, an 18 wheeler pulls up next to me. I really never look at those drivers. They are usually oogling hard for a glimpse of cleavage which I didn't even own until I had babies.

I made the mistake of looking at Trucker Man cuz he was right next to me and through the corner of my eye I saw his arm moving. I glanced super fast to see him tip his coffee mug at me and grin toothlessly while his window was down.

"Ewwwwwwww!" I said, shuddering dramatically. "Truckers are so gross! All horny and icky!"

Husband said the usual husband stuff, "Yeah, cuz you're HOT."

Then Trucker Man moved up next to the vehicle in front of us and I watched him talk to whoever was in there, then wave the vehicle over to his lane.

To get around the stalled out 18-wheeler in my lane.


So, my friends, let that be a lesson to you. Truckers are not always horny and icky. Sometimes they are also friendly.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Something To Talk About

I'm not a girl's girl. I don't have a gaggle of girls that I like to hang out with. My best friend is my sister and my next best friend is Cathleen, Bella's best friend's mom (got that?). Most women get on my last ever-lovin nerve.

I've always been that way. One friend at a time. Low maintenance friends at that. Except with my sister, it is required we email/call every day or every other day. She helps keep me sane.

Tomorrow, I'm meeting some new women. Cathleen is making me do it. OKAY, she's not making me. It is an organization of stay-at-home moms who have playdates for their toddlers. But they also have a Girl's Night Out. Before Cathleen even finished her sentence about the GNO, I shot it down. Why?

It is far easier for me to mingle with moms when I have my kids with me. I feel like the focus is off of me or something. I don't think I'm all that but when I'm around a bunch of women, I feel like the intense white light of interrogation and judgement is upon me. But I have no idea what I think they are judging me on!

Granted, alot of women are snippy, catty and clustered together in their little groups with an invisible shield up for no intruders. I've seen this at Bella's gym class, her school and on the playground.

But that's me judging them, isn't it.

For whatever reason, when I enter the vacinity of a group of women, I get all verklempt. If all eyes are on me when someone asks a question, I turn bright red and words dribble out of my mouth like I'm on heavy medication.

I guess you could say I'm socially inept with females. However, I can hang with my husband's friends or socialize at his work functions like a superstar. I enjoy mingling with his co-workers or laughing at the endlessly retold stories by his friends. And I have no problem when those friends happen to have a girlfriend that week.

So what's the deal? Increasingly I hear how important it is to have women in our life. That it is supposed to keep us grounded to have that GNO.

Am I missing out on this big secret to happiness as a woman? Am I unfulfilled and didn't know it?

I know that I'm smart, funny and delightful to be around. My mama tells me so. Now that I'm a mama too, do I have to start being a girl's girl?

** UPDATE **

It went well! I really liked the "host mom" and a couple of others. When it got too gossipy I would just take Ava over to play with different kids. Bella was a bit sensitive but she only knew one child and overall she adjusted really well with a complimentary toddler fit when it was time to leave.

I have to say though with the way those 10 kids could tear up a house, I don't think I'll volunteer my home just yet!

Friday, May 18, 2007

A Leg (or two) To Stand On

Fat thighs are apparently helpful if you're
7 1/2 months and determined to stand vertically.
She really doesn't understand why
she can't just get up and go like big sister.
So, she practices.
All. Day. Long.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Worry Warts n All

My mom once told me that once you have children, you never ever stop worrying. Naturally, having my parents worry about me when I was younger was more annoying than appreciated.

What Mom didn't tell me is how irrational those fears can become!

I would imagine most pregnant women have over-the-top fears because we all know that absolutely anything can happen in those 9 months. Or we feared giving birth, not only for the baby's life but our own. Then of course the fears that baby wouldn't be healthy or perfect. We can mostly blame hormones for those panic attacks.

But what is with the constant dramatic "what-ifs" that pop into my head all the time?

What if I'm turning a corner while holding the baby and practically knock her head off on the door frame? Okay, done that. Twice.

What if I'm carrying my baby, I trip and lose grip of her only to watch helplessly as she rolls 2 feet away on the parking lot. Yeah, that happens in slow motion it turns out.

I'm constantly doing safety checks.

Is the knife block far enough back on the counter? Should I just do without knives for the next 10 years?

With all the perusing of the fridge Bella does, could she possibly pull it on top of her? Is she Mighty Mouse and I didn't know it?

Cribs are supposed to be safe but can I really leave Ava in there to play freely? Is there some crazy way she could get a limb yanked out of socket through the bars? I did the coke can test with them. Is that enough?

In the past if someone cut me off when I was driving, I would yell or make eye contact, cuz we all know that is intimidating. Now I'm afraid someone will pull a gun on me or my family. Someone needs to create a baby-in-the-vehicle force shield.

While I don't own one and don't plan to, I finally understand kid leashes. I've had Isabella disappear into the clothing rack and I nearly passed out in sheer panic until I heard her giggles from deep within toddler pj's.

Being in public, I constantly worry that someone is eyeing my children for the perfect opportunity to snatch one. While part of me thinks that is extreme, the other sees those creeps in the pedophile section of the paper or hears the horror stories in the news.

I know that I cannot protect my children forever but as long as they are dependent on me for their well-being, it is my job to be on constant surveillance. At home, in public, it is my job to protect them to the best of my ability.

However, I don't want to be That Mom who doesn't know when to chill and let her child venture from the nest a bit. Fortunately, I don't really have to face that challenge until fall when we attempt preschool again. I was pregnant with Ava the first go-around with Bella's school, so we'll see if that was hormonal or I'm just always a frantic freak.

What do you fear most? If you have more than one child now, what is it that you have maybe loosened your grip on?

** Please note: In reviewing this blog entry, I do hereby acknowledge that I am about due for the return of Woman Week as it has been 15+ months since the last one **

Saturday, May 12, 2007

A Blessed Day

Our babies are the best gift my husband and I could ever give this world and each other. Two tiny human beings who have such an incredible impact on our lives and the lives of those who've met them.

I knew I always wanted to be a mother but I never imagined a love so fierce that it makes my heart skip a beat.

Who knew I could function on so little sleep and still keep up with a toddler and an infant? Or that nutrition and bowel movements would become such an integral part of every day? I never sang in public until I had a toddler. Now it is nothing for us to break into song while grocery shopping! Hearing Bella's sweet voice belt out "Happy And You Know It" is worth all the wincing at my tone-deafness.

To hear my children's laughter is the highlight of my day. When they cry it breaks my heart into a million pieces but when I can comfort them the world rights itself once more.

These tiny souls of light and love teach me every day how to be a better person. How to be more understanding, more giving, more loving.

When Bella was born, I looked down at her wrinkled red little self and wondered if I could truly love her more than I love me. Could I and would I sacrifice myself for her or any child of mine if I had to?
Before Ava was born, I worried..will I love her as much as I love Isabella? Am I going to be strong enough for these girls? There for them in an instant and stepping back when they need me to?

Of course. I'm a mother.

I'm Mommy.

And I'm blessed.

Happy Mother's Day to all you moms and may you also feel blessed this day.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Hello, Lovey

I could never get Bella attached to anything besides her pacifier. Ava doesn't take a pacifier and appears to no longer have interest in her thumb (thank heavens).

Today she found a "lovey" for herself. A dish towel.

She was laying next to me playing with it, rubbing her face, covering and uncovering her face with it, "talking" to it and hugging it close to her. I admit, I got a little jealous.

So when it came naptime (we are in the throes of learning to nap without nursing), I lay her in the pack-n-play with her dish towel.

I have not heard a peep. I just got done sneaking in to make sure she's still breathing* and there she is, curled up with her dish towel.

If anyone needs a plastic key impression, just see Ava's forehead.

Looks like my mom is gonna have to point me in the direction of more dish towels for backup.

*For all who may be concerned, though she's been sleeping on her tummy for a couple of months, I won't let her have her dish towel buddy for night sleeping till she's older.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Jumpin Snooze

A good reason Mommy doesn't exercise.

It is exhausting.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

All Together Now...

Potty training is a family affair. This, I did not realize until we embarked on the journey.

There is constant potty surveillance. Whether it is to make sure Bella doesn't go without telling me to help her or locating a bathroom immediately upon arrival anywhere outside of the home.

Then there are the potty conversations. We went to dinner with family on Tuesday night and before leaving the restaurant, Bella announced she had to potty...again.

As she's sitting on the pot, she yells (as if I'm not 2 inches in front of her), "Mommy! When's the poop gonna pop out?"

The lady in the next stall of course started laughing.

After finishing up, we wait in line to wash our hands. I spend most of the time in public restrooms now telling Bella to quit touching everything. I think I'll bring gloves to slip onto her hands once she's washed them because she HAS TO throw away the paper towel into the trash, even if it requires jumping up and into the trashcan.

And we all know that bathroom doors are the nastiest, so as I cut Bella off before she can reach the door handle, she points out that the lady over there has germs too and we better not touch her. Ha.

While I'm elated Bella is diapers no more except night time, it is rather humorous to me how going to the bathroom is the number one most important activity throughout the day. And it is fine by me!
She is a lady, after all...

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

1/2 Birthday + 1

Ava is 7 months old today!

Yes, that is a bow velcroed around a wisp of hair.

As you can see, Willie is a glutton for punishment.

He lays just within reach then cries out loudly as if greatly
surprised when she grabs chunks of skin and fur.

It's okay, baby, kitties don't taste that yummy anyway.

Happy Seventh Month, Honeygirl!