What I’ve Been Doing

Well, summer is constantly hectic, somehow, and moreso when there’s another whole human involved (see: it’s our first summer as Elle’s parents). Not to mention the changing of jobs (and lifestyles, as a result) and let’s just say that I’m slowly finding my way into some type of habitual way of life, but it’s a slow and steady evolution. Herewith, my thoughts on a few things:

 

Blogging: Does it even have a place in my life at the moment? How else will I capture the day to day banality of my life so that my daughter can cringe in her teen and adult years at the minutiae I cataloged on her behalf? I don’t trust myself to do a scrapbook or send emails (like that one Google commercial: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R4vkVHijdQk). So, I’m kind of sticking with this blog for now, until I figure out if this is the best route to go. I’m feeling like I’m not doing a good job of keeping it up, but…well, I suppose this is a mother’s dilemma, is it not?

Walking: Mine and Elle’s. I have not been walking, except for when it comes to work. Elle has been walking most of the time now. She’s not terribly steady (the rise from the hardwood to the rug can quite literally trip her up) but she seems to enjoy the hurrying from place to place. She can stand herself up from sitting or kneeling on the floor, which, quite frankly, I wasn’t terribly confident she’d figure out. That one little thing seemed to me to be so hard to translate, but she’s a smart cookie and has figured it out. She is certainly mobile.

Attitude: With that mobility has come this new little diva attitude. Of course she’s still awfully cute and terribly delicious and she is just funnier than I know what to do with, but ca-rap, she is a stinker/pistol/shit sometimes. I have taken to just letting her cry it out when I put her to bed, because between being a light sleeper and getting over-tired most day, it’s just become sort of a battle to see who outlasts the other if you try to rock her to sleep. Jon’s Mom was over last night and I don’t think she liked that I just let her cry it out — that’s what Grandma’s are for, right?! — but for our sanity, we have to just let her cry it out sometimes. I set my time limit at 10 minutes when I’ll go back in and check on her, and so far she’s not lasted past the 7 minute mark. Knock. On. Wood.
She is definitely set in her own mind. She wants what she wants. I can see tantrums in our relatively near future. And I feel like thus far I’m handling the onset pretty well. So far, I’ve been able to laugh about it. But it does begin to wear on one’s nerves and when you start thinking about how you could possibly introduce another small human and manage two personalities as they travel through these early stages of life…ugh…daunting task. I don’t know how Andrea does it!

Joslinn: So, Andrea & Frank (our dear friends, if you’re just tuning in) have Devyn (who’s 9…I think), Drew (who’s 14 months) and Joslinn, who was born July 16 (nine months after Elle!). She is such a sweet baby and Andrea got her girl. We did pictures, here’s one to whet your palatte:

Clear Lake: We spent last weekend at Clear Lake. Jon had to work on Saturday and Elle and I got up on Friday night after work. I was racing the sun, trying to get my cousin Logan’s Clear Lake senior picture session in. We did. Here’s a picture of Logan:

I was the first person to babysit this guy when he was three weeks old! Can’t believe that he’s nearly 18 and this cute and such a great guy.

Our original intent was to head upnorth to the lake on Friday after work, stay overnight and be back home by the time Jon was home from work. But then…well…the weather was so nice that I just couldn’t resist. So, we stayed another night. Which was good and bad. I had only planned – and packed – for a day and a half. When you stay for another full day, it means that you’re hoping that the final diaper lasts for the full ride home (it did). But, I will be much better prepared this weekend.

Labor Day Weekend: My birthday weekend! This year, my birthday falls on Wednesday after Labor Day weekend, which seems about as far from Labor Day weekend as I ever get for my birthday. So, I’m heading to Clear Lake for my birthday…or something. Anyway, we’ll be there. We’re heading up on Friday after work and then we’ll be home on Sunday at some point, depending on the weather. That leaves us Monday to just veg and play around the house. I’m glad that Jon is finally going to be able to go up with us. I love it there so much and I just want to spend my time there. Now that I don’t drive for work, that drive to the lake hasn’t seemed quite so bad. Though, it never did seem bad.

The New Job: I didn’t realize until I started this new job how much the old job was stifling the ME that I knew myself to be. I guess I just have felt as though I liked what I was doing well enough before. But, it didn’t really SUIT me. This job SUITS me. I know people, I get to connect with people, building relationships with people locally is a key part of the job and it means a lot to me personally. I just really feel so much like myself now – like I shed whatever shell I’d had to grow to exist in the old job and now I get to really thrive. It’s refreshing.

 

Ok, that’s a quick run down.

 

I’m certain there will be more soon.

 

Night.

 

L

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Dear Elle: You’re 10 Months Old!

Dear Elle,

 

I think I should probably get a ‘bad mommy’ warning, as I began wondering yesterday about this letter to you as you turn 10 months old, and checked the date on my phone, only to realize that I had missed your 10 month old birthday by a whole crazy day! I beg forgiveness, of course, and offer up the following excuses: I started a new job last week; we spent the weekend at the lake last weekend; I’ve been busy…err…well…they’re not great excuses, but the big one is – I got us a new job! That means that I spend EVERY morning with you now, and (most) evenings (like tonight, I missed you but for a glimpse because of golf league).

 

Anyway, this is about YOU my best, most favorite girlie. Now that you’re 10 months old, let me tell you a few things about yourself. You are not a picky eater, but you’re very definitive about WHEN you will eat. If you are not hungry, there is no budging you. You pretty much eat anything (except baby food bananas are NOT your favorites) and you are starting to most enjoy doing things yourself. Which I love. I love, love, love when you’re independent and I see that personality and sense of determination come out. Sometimes, it’s not in my favor (like when you’re upset). But, I just LOVE that about you.

 

I also seriously think you have one of THE BEST SMILES (all mommies say this about their girlies, I think…or they should).

 

You have this fun sense of humor, and I feel like something that I see in you that I have in me is to laugh when someone gets in my way…mainly to piss them off, but I really think that you just inherited this trait somehow. You laugh at the perfect timing in trying to pull one over on me, getting into something you know you’re not – or standing up in the bathtub, also a new favorite thing to do.

 

In the last month we’ve had to block off the fireplace upstairs, because your Dad and I learned too slowly that you were NOT going to listen to ‘no’ and that you were going to play in that fireplace regardless of what we did or said. So, for the time being we’ve out-foxed you with a decorative gift box/stuffed ladybag/blanket basket fence around the fireplace. I’m fairly certain that you’ll out-smart us by the time the next month’s letter comes ‘due’.

 

You’ve become more clingy to me — I’m not sure if that’s because now that I’m home more consistently, you’re more used to ME or if it’s just a thing that babies your age do. I think maybe a little of both.

 

You are taking steps and, when you don’t realize it, walking without help. You love the little walk-behind toy at your Grandma Karen’s house and the one at our house. You still LOVE ‘school’ and I seriously love watching your face when I open the car door and I say ‘we’re at school!’. You have great teachers and friends at school — you do art projects and have snack and naps and play toys. And you really, really love it.

 

You do this thing, too, when you eat. You smack your lips together (I think I taught you this, my little mimic) and make this hollow sound. It just cracks me up.

 

Your biggest thrill remains shaking your head ‘no’ and you’re beginning to grasp what it means and how to use it to increase your cute-ness factor (or so I’m convinced).

 

You love your Dad so much, and he just adores you, which I LOVE. He taught you this month how to play video games (evidently you love XBOX – or so he says) and it made my heart leap a little when, the other morning, knowing how you love to knock down towers of your wooden blocks, he had stacked about seven little towers so that they’d be ready for the knocking-over when you woke up.

 

This month we spent some time at Clear Lake to spend time with your Great Grandma Judy’s brothers and sisters and their families – and I’m glad we did that and that you got to meet many of them. Your best girlfriend Joslinn (Drew’s sister) was born, too – though you guys haven’t met face to face, yet. Your friend Nolan’s Grammie passed away and shocked all of us — we’re still so sad for Nolan and his Mom.

 

And that – the unexpected way that Nolan’s Grammie died – has made me so grateful for the time that we do get with your grandparents, with each other. It scares my whole body and soul to think about losing anyone that we love — but the way that you, my girlie, fill me up — well, I can’t quite put to words what it is that you’ve done with my life, other than fill it up to and over the brim, so I’m overflowing.

 

With that, I head to bed. You’re asleep now but you’re teething (10 months old, still no teeth!) so who knows when you’ll wake up and be uncomfortable/miserable again.

 

Our lives changed so much for the better this month — I can’t wait to see what’s in store for us next. In the meantime, I continue to plan for that first birthday party of yours (I won’t miss that date!).

 

I love you incredibly.

 

Love,

Mom

 

 

And in my Haste…

I forgot to mention the way this evening ended.

 

With a phone call from Jon on his way home from work, asking if I wanted to meet him for dinner.

 

So, I grabbed Elle and we met Jon for dinner to celebrate my first day in the new job. And it warmed my heart that he did that – it IS the little AND big things. And I realized I totally skipped over that part in my earlier post.

 

Admittedly, I was a bit frazzled to be at dinner without a diaper bag, with a baby whose ‘school’ sheet I hadn’t looked at to know when she ate last. I was hoping – and we luckily avoided – a stinky poo-poo diaper and successfully avoided meltdowns with a package of oyster crackers and one of my bracelets from my first-day-at-the-New-Job to bang on the table.

 

It was a quick dinner, but it was important and I’m glad we did it.

 

Ok, I have 22 minutes before I have to be in bed (per my self-imposed bedtime) so sorry, I’ve got to go unload the dishwasher!

 

L

Day One – The New Job

Today counts as the first day on the job of the New Job.

 

That’s right, one whole day under my belt.

 

I feel like it was probably an unusually hectic day in terms of items on the schedule, and it was unusual in that there were corporate visitors on-site for walk-through’s and trainings with me…it was an exhausting, sometimes exhilirating day where I felt at times that I actually did soak in the fact that I’m in a position where I’m doing something I’m very, very excited to be doing.

 

But, then we did walk-throughs.

 

And my day is scheduled to end at 5:30 p.m. and while I didn’t expect it to totally be over at exactly 5:30, I didn’t figure that day one would go uber-long. So, I didn’t plan for that. I should have, in hind sight.

 

But – the visitors from corporate began the walk-through later than intended and as the time neared 5:20, then 5:30, then 5:35, then 5:40 I was uber-anxious that I wouldn’t get to daycare on time for pick up, that I’d end up getting ‘fined’ for not being on-time or before 6 p.m. and I was flustered as a result of not getting out of the office before 5:40.

 

When I walked in to get Elle, she was the last baby in the room, which made me sad because I’ve never been there when she’s the last girl in the room (or boy for that matter) and I just didn’t anticipate that, and I certainly didn’t anticipate the feeling of inadequacy/lateness and overall overwhelmed-ness (I just made that a word in case you were curious) that I’d feel in trying to get Elle picked up on time.

 

Why do I feel now like I need to do it more myself (without our parents helping with pick-up, etc.?) than I did before? I guess the knowledge that I’m simply 5.5 miles down the road makes it seem as though I need to be there to drop her off, pick her up and for her general well-being more than when I was 100s of miles away.

 

Add insult to injury and I got one of the first calls every from daycare today asking if it would be okay if they gave Elle some tylenol as she was running a low fever – which they attributed to teething, but still. So, all day I was waiting for another phone call from daycare, waiting on having to frantically make plans for her to be picked up by a grandparent, wondering if I should just call and have her picked up anyway, if I should be more cautious about taking her temperature. I feel like that pre-occupied my mind today in ways I probably can’t fully appreciate right now, too.

 

Anyway – my morning routine went well and I felt good about it. My evening routine, well, let’s just say that I’m tired, Elle’s tired, Jon’s tired and we probably need me to not be sitting in front of the computer writing this. BUTTTT. I needed to catalog my day.

 

So now I have – off to begin the evening routine.

 

Ah the life of a non-traveling, working mother!

Again…?!

This weekend, I was once again taken down by the food poisoning fairy. Seriously, I have always prided myself on my intestinal fortitude, and this is three times in two years that I’ve had food poisoning. What. The. Hell…

 

I have spent the last week on ‘stay-cation’ with a huge, laundry list of items to accomplish around the house before the new job begins tomorrow morning at 8:30 a.m. (gotta love that time!).

 

I’m happy to report that I accomplished many – not nearly all – of the items on my list (turns out I was a BIT ambitious on my list-making this time around) and I feel good about where I am in relation to getting my house ‘in order’. I spent a little (though not enough) quality time with my girlie, with my Mom, but wish I’d had more to spend with Jon and with friends. Oh well, there’s always a different time I suppose. (I’m just not sure when that will be).

 

I had the best of plans to really spend yesterday with my girlie, relishing the time I had left. Instead, I texted my Mom at 4:30 a.m. to ask her that when she woke up, would she come and take care of Elle (Jon had to work yesterday as it turned out). So, I called her at 7 worried that Elle would be up very quickly. Turned out that none of us was ambitious to do much – and I don’t know what I would have done without my mother. I laid in bed and stared at the painting on the wall – in between bathroom rounds – and just wished away the pain in my stomach, intestines and the rest of my body. To no avail. My Mom meanwhile got Elle to take lots of naps, fed her well and played with her lots. Elle was in hyper-teething mode, though, so it was a jolly day had by all! 🙂 I’m glad to never have another day like that, truth be told.

 

In other developments, Elle has developed SERIOUS MOM-ATTACHMENT which makes me feel good, but I don’t know that it does the same for anyone else. Our normally happy all the time girl isn’t always…which I don’t know if I can chalk up to the teething, to the new sleep routine we’re trying out or just the fact that I’ve been around more consistently (which I hope isn’t the case – it’ll make my guilt from the last nine months that much worse!). Or, I suppose it COULD just be her age and the normal-type of things that kids go through at nine months/ten months old. That whole separation anxiety thing. Of course, I’m anticipating it to be my fault first and THEN maybe something natural. Isn’t that just the way of mothers, though?

 

Anyway – tomorrow’s the big day, I start the new job! I can’t hardly believe that my week away from working is over and it’s back to the grind tomorrow. I’m ready for it. I have my week’s worth of clothes for work laid out. I just need to get the iron and ironing board pulled out and choose some shoes. I even got the jewelry set aside to wear with each outfit. I’m excited to have a reason to get more dressed up and have access to my entire closet each day. It’s already such a different world to be living in. Because my tummy is still a bit tender, I’m hoping to call it an early evening and hop into bed a bit early myself to get the day started on the right foot. Tonight’s new routine will include making up ‘school’ bottles the night before, as well as getting the coffee timer set to make coffee to coordinate with my alarm. Because this whole up early and functioning thing is going to take the commitment of my coffee-maker to make it seem flawless!

 

Well, with that I need to get the evening routine started.

 

L

My Week Off

Well, my week ‘off’ – between jobs – is nearly mid-way over! How crazy is that?!

Elle has continued to go to ‘school’ the past three days which means that I got the downstairs kitchen/bar painted (trim and all!) and now have been trying to figure out what exactly I’m going to hang on the walls to make it less, well, outdated. Jon’s Dad came over and helped me hang some stuff on the walls – including my entry coat rack, which is a HUGE help to our garage-entryway. Can’t even believe how nice it will make coming and going this fall. We also hung a little key holder in the entry way. And some photo rail shelves that my Dad made for me. So yeah, well on our way to having the downstairs put back together.

I played 18 holes of golf yesterday and today, by myself. Which has been sort of nice and doesn’t take nearly so long as when you play with a bunch of people. Nothing like a stay-cation in one’s own backyard!

I didn’t even play that terribly bad. I mean, it’s not like I played GOOD, but I didn’t play bad. Seeing’s how I played in high school and college, my expectations of myself are a bit high…however…I haven’t played much in the last 10 years…so. Playing 18 holes two days in a row is quite something for me.

I have a full list of things to do – which I’m coming closer and closer to completing.

I went and filled out the paperwork for my new job – have to go finalize all of it tomorrow!

I’m a little nervous, quite honestly. But I’ll address that in a different post. Who WOULDN’T be a little nervous for a whole new job. I’m feeling good that I’m feeling JUST as I should.

Tonight marks night one that we’ve tried the not-rocking-Elle-all-the-way-to-sleep. In fact, it went something like:
Bath

Dinner (her second dinner…she’s a tough eater)

Book

Bottle

Rocking Chair

Done with the bottle, so you’re going into the bed.

10 minutes of screaming and I went in and and did the sh…sh…sh… thing. (As I’ve read about and discussed just this morning with one of Elle’s teachers).

Then 7 more minutes of screaming and then…nothing for the last 20 minutes.

Not claiming that it worked…just that all’s quiet from our Picasso nursery!

Alright – just wanted to let you know I’m still here and kicking, but quite honestly enjoying my do-nothing vacation.

More soon, promise.