Thursday, March 25, 2010

Don't Burn the House Down Mom

Sunday morning started off normal enough. I got up and got myself ready for church. I decided to sterilize Elle's bottles and boil the caps and that piece of the bottle that holds the nipple, you know you twist it on (forgive me for not knowing it's correct name). Any who, the microwave gets set for 8:30 and I set the oven timer for 3:00. Enter Elle crying. I decide I might as well bathe her versus just change her diaper. So we get the bathroom set up, clothes laid out and the baby gets clean & before you know it is smelling sweet (she's got Johnson & Johnson Vanilla Oatmeal baby wash and lotion) & looking like a shiny new penny. I get her dressed, barrette in hair and walk into a smoke filled living room.


Yes, while I was attempting and mind you failing miserably at multi-tasking I was boiling the hell out of the caps and that other piece. I should have taken a picture of the pot I ruined. It was quite the sight. Smoke rising to the skylights. What a m-e-double s! So I got the burner turned off. Opened up every door and window I could and got the fan going on high. Needless to say this threw a major wrench in the whole going to church thing.

I tried to persevere and make the most of the day. At the top of the list & to be honest the only thing on the list since its such a time consuming task: laundry.
It started out easy enough. Load 1 in the wash. Elle napping. Load 1 in the dryer. Elle bright eyed and bushy tailed. Load 1 dried & ready to be folded. In an effort to actually get the laundry folded and not remain in the laundry basket all week, I put Elle in her walker (proof below)...

She looks like she's having a good time to me. How about you? Well that lasted all of 2.5 seconds before...

Yep, that's right. She was back in my arms. Such a spoiled baby! But somehow I managed to get the laundry folded (to my high standards) and eventually put away.

In the midst of tending to this I also got three of my own loads of laundry done. It's almost the end of the week and there is still stuff hanging in the bathroom and in the dryer. The important part is that it's clean & when I don't find it hanging in the closet I know that it's in the dryer. I guess it's helped that no one else has done laundry either. Thank God for the little things :)


Let me Introduce You to: Ms. Fussy Pants

Elle was in rare form when my Mom brought her up for lunch. My office was having a BBQ, the weather was supposed to be fantastic and I couldn't think of a better way to enjoy all of the above then with my Elle.

She looked normal enough upon first glance but not even ten minutes later she was a crying fussy pants. There proved to be no soothing her. We went down the check-list: change diaper. check. feed the baby. check. slap the baby upside the head. oh wait, I'm getting ahead of myself...LOL! FYI-I would never actually do that it would be counter productive to calming her down :) We walked outside for some fresh air. Came back into the office, calmed down but not very long after that she was back at it and we were back outside. This time to stay though. We plopped down on the grass and enjoyed the sunshine. Before you knew it though it was time for me to get back to work and my mother was bullying me for some dessert, hahaha.

Here's how we spent our hour in picture form:

This was once Elle, I mean we decided that staying outside was the new plan.

She tricked us. This was just a few minutes before we headed back outside.

She was falling apart but still looking cute as a button.

She needed a moment to recompose herself.

Still suspicious but on board for enjoying the rest of the time we had together.

GROUP shot!

All smiles & having fun with Gram-Gram.

Me & my boo :)

Elle all buckled in & ready to head home.


No, we're not Irish.

This time last year I was thumped on the head & when I finally came to about six weeks later, I discovered I was about to be a mom. Oh...St. Patrick's Day, how you'll always have a special place in my heart. Forever :)

Prior to the aforementioned, celebrating St. Patty's Day with my bestie (Dizzy) was our long standing tradition. And although for a moment it looked as though it wasn't going to happen, it all got worked out and I was able to continue in our usual practice. Also along for the fun and good times this year was Dizzy's boyfriend.

We went to a spot that he's a regular at which lent itself to acquiring us a table. I guess you'd call it a talent show of sorts. Maybe variety hour in the hood. If I were better versed in the different parts of the city and/or paying attention I could tell you where we were but that just isn't the case. I'll go on record as saying my favorite thing about St. Patty's Day beer! Not this year though. The beer was sans the stuff that makes it green :( Disappointed but definitely not defeated, I managed to still have a great night! Dizzy's birthday is the following day so there is also a good bit of celebrating tossed into the festivities. Usually at midnight we take a shot of patron and ring in another year. This go round she met and later fell victim to 1800. It's all fun and games till' isn't fun and you've lost.

Right on time we were ready to exit as the talent show was ending. On the way home Dizzy's boyfriend was in the back causing quite the commotion. He was mesmerized with the mirror that is back there. It's back there so I can see what's going on with Elle. He was looking at it, looking at me, asking if I could see him! It was nothing short of hilarious. But proved to be a pain in the ass to fix the next time I got Elle in the car. I still need Don to re-adjust it but for now we're making do I just have to strain a little more than normal to get a look at her.

We rang in another year the only way we know how!


Babies are Bits of Stardust Blown from the Hand of God

It was a day I had been looking forward to since Elle was born, her baptism! For me the day started around 5:00 am. You'd think that'd be plenty of time to dress myself & Elle, but on this particular day that just wasn't the case. Initially, the plan was to have breakfast at one of my favorite restaurants afterwards. Well at around five o' clock in the afternoon there's a change of plans and we decide it'd make more sense to just have everyone come back to the house and have breakfast. Since serving cereal is clearly out of the question that left us figuring out a menu. After much debate we decided on hash brown casseroles. They seemed easy enough and like they'd be pretty tasty & easy to re-heat the following morning. All of that basically meant GIRLS SHOPPING TRIP! Me, Elle & Auntie Sam jumped in the car and began what would be an all night shopping affair. We don't do anything in what you would call a timely fashion and besides I was with two people who just love to spend my money!

Our first stop was WalMart. For as long as we were in there you'd never think we had a list! The problem was everything that ended up in the cart that wasn't on the list. It was full of stuff before we even got to the whole reason we were there ...the food. I bought Elle a walker and this really cute v-tech puppy dog, her name is Violet and one day she is going to help Elle learn how to spell her name! How awesome?! Learning and fun go hand and hand in the Brown household! As our journey came to a close the list did come in handy because we came very, very, close to leaving WalMart without the hash browns! At that point we were what felt miles from the section they were in but we forged ahead and could finally head to the cash register knowing that everyone but Mom had something they would go on to have fun with. In Auntie Sam's case that would be some fabric to make a blanket with. A whopping $160 later we were headed for the car and our next stop. Oh yeah, you didn't think we were done, did you? After some clever maneuvering & placement of bags because space comes at a premium in my car. The stroller takes up the entire trunk, Elle rules the entire back passenger side & Sam was riding up front all of that means shop smart because your gonna have to figure out how to get everything you thought you needed in the car.

Ofcourse no celebration is complete without decorations! So we headed to Party City on a budget, I said we've got $25 and that's that. You can place your bets on whether that happened or not. By this time it was dark out, Elle had been quite the lovely lady and not had any major outbursts. But by the time I was putting the car in park baby girl was hungry! As a reward I took her out of the car seat and decided to carry her. We were on a mission to get in and get out. We grabbed a banner (which I'll address later), garland, and table cloth. We hit the plate, napkin, and cutlery aisle and after a brief weighing of our options came up with a great mix of solids and prints. Next we went to the balloon counter and after facing the realization that we weren't going to be able to fit many balloon's & Auntie Sam in the car we settled on six latex (3-pink, 3-silver) with hi-float (that keeps them up longer)and proceeded to the checkout. So how many of you think I stayed with my $25 dollar limit, hmmmm? FAIL! Thirty-five dollars later we were headed to the car and for home...FINALLY!

PS-Regarding the banner I bought: It said "Happy 1st Communion" it didn't hit me until we got home while Sam was hanging it. Happy 1st Communion...Happy 1st Communion? Damn Gina, this is NOT Communion! Ahhhh...alas, I'm just a mom please don't hold it against me :)

PPS-I actually got 7 ballons! Which ended up being a good thing when Auntie Sam accidentally popped

This is the part of the story where Auntie Sam earned her keep. Without her either not everything would not have got done or I would have been a mega biatch from exhaustion of getting it all done. She did ALL of the decorating & cooking. Me and Elle held on as long as we could but we faded fast. At midnight Sam was moving us from the couch to the bed and the smell of bacon was permeating the house, it smelled divine.

My alarm went off at 5:00 and I was up by 5:30, not too shabby! First thing I did was go to the kitchen and to my amazement found all the casseroles cooked and all I needed to do was bake the muffins! I managed to shower, bake and not burn anything. GO MOMMA! Time flew and before you knew it was 8:00. Then it was 8:30 and I was finally waking Elle up to get ready. Now in my mind I saw us (i.e. Mom, Don, Sam, Grams, Elle and I) leaving all together. That didn't happen. At 9:00 Grams said she was going to run to the store for her paper. Really? It goes without saying the old bird is all about her daily reading of the New York Times. This is when I decided at 9:15 I was leaving and either you were with me or you weren't and if you weren't and you missed my daughters baptism which you've known about for months I was going to beat you up!

At 9:15, me, Elle, Sam and Grams got in the car and headed for church which mind you started at 9:30. On the way Elle got the crazy out of her system. She cried & fussed and all I kept saying to myself was "you didn't come this far to fall apart. you can fall apart this afternoon. but right now keep it together lady." And that's exactly what I did, for my sanity and everyone else's safety. By the time we arrived Tracy was already there. Enter my sisters small fit & discomfort with having to actually sit through an entire church service. Rebecca & Candace were running late. And my mother and Don were nowhere to be found. We got compliments, we sang, we prayed, Elle cried, ate & fell asleep, Rebecca arrived, my sister calmed down, Candace arrived, and then it was showtime. Auntie Sam followed us and sat in the front row to record it all. I will say that lucky for Gram-Gram & Paw-Paw I saw them standing in the lobby, so they didn't miss it cause if they had it would have hurt me very much. After a small photo session in which everyone cooperated (including Elle!) we headed for our house.

The day was nothing short of fabulous to have my some of my best friends and family all hanging out and celebrating Elle. The food was delish (kudos to the chef), the gifts were awesome (thanks everyone) & my Elle looked beautiful (hello, I'm her Mom)!


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Mommy & Me Time

This is where me and Elle spent our Saturday morning! We both woke up that morning in our clothes from the day before, it was a rough night to say the least. Elle put up a serious fight with her sleep. And rather quickly I decided my last resort was to drive her around and put her to sleep. I got her in her bunting suit & buckled into her car seat but when I turned back around to my amazement she had fallen asleep. Rather then risk waking her back up I took her out of the car seat, unzipped her bunting suit, turned off the light and went to sleep. It was pretty funny waking up in that condition but all I could do was laugh & give myself a hi-five. We SURVIVED!

We were dressed, packed and leaving the house right on schedule. I was so proud of myself. Sometimes I can't help but feel like there is no such thing as enough time. As we approached our exit I realized we had enough time to go and do a return I had at Wal-Mart. Once in line though I wasn't too confident we were actually going to be on time. There were a few people ahead of us and only one person was working. Luckily, Octavious didn't move as slow as a turtle and we were able to get the item returned & back on the road with fifteen minutes to spare.

We were actually the first ones to arrive for the 9:00am class. As I was filling out the paperwork I actually had to think twice before filling out the parent information. My first thought was to write my mother's info. LOL! Yep that's right. My first thought when I see the word "parent" is my parent. Hello, I'm someone's parent now too. I forgot to bring socks with me. To be honest I'm not a huge fan of socks and if it weren't gross and looked down upon I'd walk around barefoot. I guess that's just the hippie in me. Luckily, I was loaned a pair!

Then it was time to get the class started. We began with just warming the babies up with some stretching and singing (Oh, the singing! I'm looking forward to being cool like all the other parents when I know the words too!) Next we placed the lil' ones on a beach-like ball, nearly scaring them half to death by placing them on there bellies facing away from us and moving them back and forth. The looks on some of the other babies faces were priceless. After we got there heart rates up we proceeded to slow things down by playing with some toys. During this portion of the class the instructor, Marc came over and talked with me about how Elle is developing. She's doing a really great job keeping her head up & he gave me tip about leaning her a little forward to help her work on learning how to sit up by herself because once she's there she can sit and play by herself which would give me back both my hands to do stuff. I'm sure doing laundry with a baby in your arms sounds like a fun time and all but it gets tiring rather quickly. Then we were on to every babies favorite time: tummy time. Elle actually kicked major ass here! She kept herself raised up and just took in everything that was going on around her. While we were having fun on our tummies & playing Marc walked around and got each of the babies for some time in the swing.

When it was Elle's turn she had a blast! As you see she was definitely surprised at first but it only took her a few seconds to catch on and enjoy the ride! We finished the class with some baby massage. We focused on the back, which meant the babies were back on there tummies and not everyone made it through successfully, but...Elle DID! She just layed there with her fist in her mouth (Yes, she literally sticks her fist in her mouth and sucks on it. Everyone now and again she sticks a few fingers in there and ends up gagging, it never fails), I can't make this stuff up!

At the end of the class we ended up signing up for an 8-block of classes. I know that Elle had so much fun! It was also great to see other parents. It made me embrace the whole mother thing. As I was signing us up I spoke with some other moms & we all agreed that it gets on our nerves when people say, "I miss that stage" ( about I call you at 2:00am or 3:00am & say hi) or "It gets easier" (Hmmmm...everyday I wake up and realize that today isn't the day, LOL! Easy is relative).

After class we went and had lunch with Kris. It was fabulous to see her & have her meet Elle. Like everyone else she fell in love with her and thought she was very pretty. We had Mexican & margaritas. The best part of all was that Elle slept the entire car ride home and stayed that way once we finally made it home and Mom got to take a nap!


Thursday, March 11, 2010

Ninety Days of Mommyhood

Our three month achievement has come and gone. To be honest without this picture the day doesn't really stand out in any sort of extra special way. The picture tells me that Elle was wearing her strawberry outfit (matching jacket & pants). I remember snapping this picture and finding it hysterical. That is definitely my Elle.

As I navigate my way through the days I believe we've come to the part where they say "hold on it's gonna be a bumpy ride." It's hard to put it all into words. There's a part of me that is having a hard time coming to grips with the fact that I'm having a hard time. Wait what do you mean that I'm going to be overcome with emotion and not be able to make any sense of it. Why doesn't this make any sense? I'm crying and don't really know why. Wait, what the hell is wrong with me? It appears as though I'm in a very brutal game of hide and seek with myself. There's also the struggle with finding the right words. None of what I'm feeling at the moment is nice or pretty. Swearing has become very therapeutic. I'm looking for a more constructive outlet I'll let you know what I find.

The good news is that I know this isn't always what life is going to look or feel like...


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Underestimated & Overwhelmed

Giving up is easy. I didn't do what was easy. I didn't give up.

I'd been looking forward to last weekend for weeks. Me & my Elle were going away for the weekend with the women of my church on a retreat. You could say from the beginning I was doomed. Friday sunset not packed. Midnight, hello Saturday. Still not packed & now I've acquired a sleeping baby on my chest. Enter a necessary nap. You try hanging out with an infant whose favorite pastimes include sleeping & eating. 3:30am, my bed is covered with multiple piles all of which need to be packed. I toss Elle in her crib. Not literally ofcourse that would have woke her up. Thought bubble: pack. quickly. NOW.

The sun sets & the sun rises. With t-minus three hours to departure time I had plenty to get done. Fast forward to my three hour deadline & all that's left to do is get the car packed. Sounds simple enough but in hindsight it's where I should have what couldn't have been less than five trips we we're buckled in, baby einstein cd playing & GPS leading the way. Norcross or bust baby!

I tried to shake the chaos of the morning away & was determined to enjoy the weekend. We were in such a pretty place with women I who I was looking forward to getting to know, learn and grow with. In a lil' over an hour I was crying uncontrollably. I took Elle to the ladies room and in 2.5 seconds she was screaming at the top of her lungs. Panic takes over. She must be hungry but my dumbass left her bottle in the other room. Luckily, I've got my car keys & just a matter of feet away is formula, h2O & bottles. We sat outside and I fed my starving daughter. I pulled myself together, handed Elle off to very capable hands, went back to the ladies room & proceeded to fall apart. I cried like from deep down. I feel overwhelmed. I'm tired and hungry. I feel alone. I feel trapped. And this was just the beginning. This was also when I decided I wanted to leave.

There were some more tears but after some words of encouragement and support I decided to stay. I'd like to think that I'm not a quitter. That I can rise to the challenge. And this was my moment.

We ate lunch, fellowshipped, checked into our room, and had some down time before dinner. And then Elle went from calm, cool & collected to a demon baby holding me hostage. It pretty much went downhill once I got her in the carrier. Elle: 3 Mom: 0. I threw the towel in & chalked it up to another missed meal. Not my first and certainly not my last. But then there was a knock at the door & someone had come to resue me! I got Elle bundled up & we drove to dinner...woo-hoo!

Although I didn't partake in the games & fun following dinner me and Elle had some fab QT time. And at 6:00am I packed the car (in two trips. impressive. i. know.) & at 7:00am we were heading for the homefront.


The kind words and care extended to me & Elle was beyond amazing.

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