An Open Letter to Baby L at 11 Months (Holy SHIT!)

Dear Lilah,

Tomorrow, you will be eleven months old. I can’t really wrap my head around how this has happened. I feel as though I just brought you home from the hospital. And you were all tiny and resembling an alien. (I can say that, because I am your mom and really, all newborns look sort of like aliens.) Your dad and I were looking at pictures yesterday of the day that we brought you home and I was so amazed at how much you have grown and turned, from my little meatloaf, into an honest-to-goodness person. Like, with a personality. And likes and dislikes. And a VOICE. Because, holy cow, do you like to use your voice. You are so beautiful and REAL and perfect and I can’t imagine my life without you. Even if you are a pain in the ass when it is time for you to sleep. Or for me to sleep. Or, like, if someone in the neighborhood is trying to sleep. (You have a serious grudge against sleeping. Which I may or may not have mentioned to you before.)

You have eight teeth now (possibly nine, but I will be DAMNED if I try to stick my fingers in your mouth right now as you have discovered, and seem to have an affinity for, BITING) and you like to eat. Like, more than anything EVER. You love puffs, and lil’ crunchies and pears and bananas and grapes, strawberries and paper towels. (You know, because they are totally delicious when covered in all the aforementioned fruits that I have just wiped from your face, hands and feet…) It cracks me up that you are JUST about as finicky as your dad is when it comes to food. (Meaning, simply, you don’t like peas. The end.) You will eat just about anything that gets close enough to your mouth. And you have the cheeks to prove it. Let me tell ya, little lady.

Just the other day, I was telling a friend of mine (who had one of her daughters just six days after you were born) that you have absolutely no desire to figure out your walker (or be placed in any other freestanding contraption, these days) and that you will allow me to place you into it. But that you will then stare at me with those sad little eyes and start to cry, because, “MOM! THIS THING DOESN”T DO ANYTHING!” and then I usually give you a little nudge and you like that until you realize that, in order to keep the momentum, you have to actually MOVE your chubby little legs. And then you get pissed again. SO, needless to say, the walker has not been a favorite of mine. But yesterday, after explaining this to said friend, I thought I might give it another try. You know, because I am a glutton for punishment. So I put you inside the walker. And you didn’t get upset. But you also didn’t move. You shifted your attention to Rachel Ray on TV (I think she was making some sort of buffalo chicken deliciousness, which explains why you were so interested) and seemed not to mind that I was actually DOING something on the laptop. (You hate it when I touch ANY electronic devices that you cannot pound on or throw on the ground.) I called to you a couple of times from across the room. And I even planted by gigantic, pregnant ass on the hardwood floor to possibly coerce you to come to me. And you didn’t. And you didn’t. And you didn’t.

Until you DID.

And then you attacked. And you rolled over my toes while I was trying to stand up and make room for you to roll about. Then you took a giant crap (which seemed to please you immensely), and then you knocked over about 50 XBOX games and broke the tower that they used to reside in. But, I wasn’t mad, my dear. In fact, I was so proud that I started to cry. Of course, at first it was pride that made me cry. And then I realized that, in order to remedy the mess that you had just made, I would not only have to deal with poop, but I would have to get back down onto the floor again. And I don’t know if you know, but I am 33 weeks pregnant today. And mommy doesn’t enjoy the floor. But you got the hang of it, and I was proud. And then it took me 35 minutes to get up.

You have also started to wake up at ungodly hours of the night and insist upon playtime. No one is a fan of this. Except for you. I am having a hard time adjusting to waking up at 3 and then playing until 5 and then you sleeping until 10. As much as I have wished to sleep until ten, this is not exactly what I had in mind. I hope that you stop this soon.

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This face made cleaning up that garlic butter disgustingness totally worth it.

Tonight, you noshed on a breadstick. I gave it to you against my better judgment, but it turned out to be pretty hilarious and I am glad that you enjoyed yourself. You know, I WAS glad, until I had to clean you up. And you were covered in buttery garlic mess. That was not so much fun. And I just found some of this mess behind my ear. So, there’s also that.

All in all, you are a lot of fun. And you keep your father and I laughing all the time. And, you know, we love you despite your non-sleeping, mess-making, toe-breaking antics. Because we made you. And because you are, quite possibly, the cutest, most amazing little girl I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. Nay. You just ARE. You rock our faces off and we are excited about, next month, celebrating keeping you alive for an entire year. Because that, little one, is a big freaking deal for us. And you, I guess. Because, well…you’re the one who was in danger. After all, you got US as parents. But we are doing a damn fine job making you into all kinds of awesome. At least, I like to THINK we are helping with that. But it could just be all you. Whatever. You are one cool kiddo. And I ain’t afraid to say it.

Next month, when I write your ONE YEAR OLD letter, I will probably be a blubbering mess. And. for that, I will go ahead and apologize now. But hopefully, you will forgive me because you will see that it isn’t just the pregnancy hormones, but the fact that you are the best thing that has ever happened to me and I appreciate every miniscule thing that you do. Because you are my reason for getting up every morning. (Partially because if I didn’t get up, you would continue to pull my hair or kick me in the kidney.)

I love you, kiddo. I love you more than these letters will ever tell you.

Happy Eleven Months!

Love,

Mom

Land of the Pressed and Devil Tots

English: These are what tater tots look like.

Devil Tots: Delicious, but potentially deadly.

Many of you might have seen that I was (finally) Freshly Pressed last Saturday! I have to say, I was pretty sure that the Land of the Pressed was somewhere far, far away and somewhere that I would likely never be invited to, but then, there it was in my email! “Congratulations!” And then I peed my pants. (I don’t remember if I ACTUALLY peed my pants, but I am currently 30 weeks pregnant and never really redeveloped any pelvic floor muscles after Baby L so it is safe to assume that I probably did.) Anyway, it was super exciting and WOW! What a ride.

I want to first thank all of the newbies who stopped by and/or started following! I have to apologize in advance for my foul language, probable impropriety, and, last but not least, my tendency to talk about my bodily functions with way too much detail (please see pelvic floor muscle comment above). Chances are, you may have already witnessed some of this, if you looked around a bit, and maybe aren’t offended or scared off, but if this is the first you’ve heard of it, don’t say I didn’t warn you guys. I’m most likely gonna tell y’all ALL about the state of my vagina on more than one occasion.

Moving on…

So, to celebrate/commemorate my invitation into The Land of the Pressed, I got the stomach bug from hell and dropped my iPhone into the toilet while simultaneously vomiting. Because, you know, if you’re gonna do something, you gotta really DO it. I’m not going to get into all the nasty I endured during this time (you’re welcome), but I will tell you that OH. MY. GOD, internet, I have never been so sick in my entire life. I may or may not have vomited into Baby L’s toy drum (a bath toy) because I have (evidently) lost my ability to vomit WITHOUT SIMULTANEOUSLY PEEING. (See pelvic floor comment above. Again, don’t say I didn’t warn you.) Because I have had four (FOUR!) of these “stomach bugs” since I became pregnant with Baby O, I am starting to suspect that this is his way of telling me that he hates tater tots. I know, that sounds weird. But literally, EVERY time I have gotten violently ill like this in the last several months, tater tots were involved. They will be called “Devil Tots” from here on out. So, I have, between trying to be a mom and a pregnant lady and trying to recover from this horrible illness (“Devil Tot Syndrome”), I have been out of commission. I haven’t responded to all of your lovely comments or had time to give them all of the attention that they deserve. So, I’m sorry. And I’m on it.

Bear with me, newbies, and don’t think I don’t appreciate you. I’ve just been busy trying not to pee on myself.

 

Obligatory Valentines Day Post

Cake on Valentine's Day

Cake on Valentine’s Day (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ve never really understood the big deal about Valentine’s Day. I mean, I get all the love stuff. And I think all that stuff is really great. I do. But I think it is more important to be loving every day. Not just buy candy and flowers once a year and go out to dinner. I mean, come on.

MB and I have never really had a chance to have a proper V Day. The first year we were together, I had gotten my “friend” an interview at the place where I worked and she was coming in from out of town, so, naturally, she showed up on Valentines Night and was supremely obnoxious for the entirety of the night/her visit. (That’s sort of the norm for her…which explains why we aren’t friends anymore. Oh, that and that she called me her “best friend” for 10 years and hasn’t spoken to me since I lost my job. At the place that she now works. BECAUSE OF ME.) Last year was our second V Day together. And I was pregnant. And bitter. And probably vomiting all over the apartment. And, to be honest, I am pretty sure we sat on the couch and watched some idiotic reality show on TV or something. He probably got me flowers. There may have been ice cream.

This year, I wanted to put on a pretty dress and, despite my growing bump, attempt to feel attractive. I wanted to take off the yoga pants, put on some mascara,  slip into some fancy undies and have an adult dinner with adult conversation with my husband. Because it feels sometimes like we don’t do enough of any of that. And what better day that Valentines Day? Right?

Then we started getting on this “renting a house” thing. Which was due, mostly in part, to the fact that I was, on a daily basis, begging him to take this seriously and allow this nesting urge to rage and find us a place to live that does not come fully stocked with a five-year-old. And he did it. And now, a week before we move in, I am spending money left and right for deposits and rent and odds and ends that we will need to accomodate us and Baby L and then finally Baby O. And I looked him straight in the eye three days ago, after having arranged for a sitter for Baby L and planning to take my husband out to dinner, and told him to just forget it. That we just didn’t have the time. Or the money. And I’m out of mascara anyway. And part of my heart broke. Because I DO miss the times when going to dinner wasn’t such an ordeal. And when I wasn’t shelling out SO MUCH MONEY just to live somewhere peaceful. I DO miss wearing dresses and mascara. And I DO want to celebrate this ridiculous holiday. I DO.

But I’m still wearing yoga pants. And I am totally making Sloppy Joes for dinner. Because I haven’t had them in years. And because I need to eat something that makes me feel happy.

I woke up this morning, though, to beautiful flowers, my favorite cashew turtles and a pretty hilarious card telling me that he loved me more and that I was a smokin’ hot wife. So, it isn’t all bad. And I love him so much, that I guess I don’t care about having to wear yoga pants. Maybe I will just wear the fancy new ones I just bought. Or maybe I’ll just jazz them up with some secret fancy panties underneath. Either way, I have a date with my wonderful man, my beautiful little lady, a box of turtles and some Sloppy Joes.

Happy Valentines Day, internet. I hope you stuff your faces with love and chocolate today.

That is all.

Today, I baked something. Like from a recipe. Like, as in, not a box.

And even though it took me two hours to get Baby L to take a nap. And even though she is sleeping in the center of my bed as opposed to where she SHOULD be napping (IN HER DAMN CRIB), I am happy. Because chocolate muffins are good. And baby naps are beautiful things.

It could definitely be a worse day.

Hitched

Las Vegas, Nevada

Fremont Street, the site of the ZIP!

Well, we did it, internet! We went to Las Vegas and got hitched! And yes, Elvis walked me down the aisle and sang to Baby L. And it was so effing awesome. Obviously, when you’re in Vegas, there is an Elvis on every corner and the odds of getting a good one are, well, kind of slim in my opinion. And I don’t think we got the best Elvis there was (I am pretty sure he used shoe polish to paint on some of his hair), but I didn’t even care about that. Because the wedding was exactly what I had hoped: Lighthearted. Fun. A good story to tell the grandkids .A good amount of cheesiness. It was definitely all of those things. We laughed our faces off and we left the chapel a legit married couple. And, really, what more could I ask for?

Baby L was an angel on the flights to and from Vegas. There were only a couple of points where she started to spaz a little. And who could be mad at that? I kind of felt like screaming my face off a couple of times, myself. Because, seriously, sitting in a tiny seat for 5 hours and not being able to move AT ALL makes my body hurt. (Thanks, Baby L, for destroying my hips and making it impossible for me to sit/stand/walk/lie down for any extended period of time.) And having strangers breathing on me, well, that isn’t really one of my favorite things either…

I wasn’t able to do a lot of things that I wanted to while I was in Vegas. Mainly because, the day that we got there, my throat started hurting like I had attempted to swallow sandpaper (gotta love germy, enclosed spaces!). I spent a lot of time with my mom, sister, and Baby L in the condo while MB and his brother and sister explored the strip. Which didn’t really bother me, because I had already seen it and they hadn’t. But I did a little gambling, I ate a little deliciousness, I walked a whole lot in and around beautiful, ornate hotels, and I visited the top of the Eiffel Tower. Oh, and I fucking ziplined! (I can’t believe I almost forgot that!) I felt pretty accomplished, being that I am not usually one to try flying through the air, attached to a wire, but I figured that I had to do it. After all, MB’s brother and sister bungee jumped off of the Stratosphere. And comparatively, I still suck.

Here are a few highlights:

1. MB’s brother started out as his normal self: A douche canoe. But eventually joined the land of the un-douchey and we ended up not killing each other, and, on the contrary are right back on track. (I’ve known him about ten years longer than I have known MB and we were friends quite a long time before the douchiness started. But I suppose that depends on who you ask. I have some friends who might say I was just blind to it all those years. Until we knew we were going to be family.) This was really a relief. Because the last thing that I wanted was for MB to feel like he couldn’t spend time with his wife and brother at the same time. That is just stupid. I think he was less inclined to be douchey because his ridiculous girlfriend wasn’t there. She tends to bring out the worst in everyone.

2. Baby L saw the Las Vegas strip! She was totally in awe of everything and she was just amazing (until she got tired and we were sitting in a burger place inside the Paris hotel and she started screaming her face off. But, Daddy has the magic touch.) Granted, she won’t remember this. But she will have a picture with Elvis to commemorate. MB and I might be really embarrassing parents.

3. Speaking of Daddy’s magic touch: MB somehow contracted MRSA while we were gone and cannot touch ANYTHING or ANYONE until otherwise advised by a doctor. I am not going to get into how skeeved out the idea of MRSA is to me. And I’m not going to admit to how many loads of laundry I have done in the past 48 hours. But I will tell you, having baby duty 24 hours a day without even so much as someone to HOLD her, on top of being sick myself? NO FUN. I’m hoping that MB’s nastiness clears up soon so that I can get a little help. But also, you know, so he doesn’t die.

4. My mom is obsessed with El Pollo Loco and I am pretty sure that the only reason she goes to Las Vegas is to eat chicken. Fast food chicken.

5. MB bought a guitar to fill with alcohol and carry around the strip. I obviously was not present when this was purchased. But mission accomplished. HAMMERED MB.

6. My sister, MB and I stumbled into a bar at three in the morning one night, where we may have been the only tourists. It was totally creepy. And a weird bunch of people bought us shots. We were fairly certain that, if we didn’t leave immediately, we would wake up in a meth den or something. We escaped. Then we ate Fat Burgers.

7. My hair stayed curly for several days in Las Vegas. I was fairly certain it would be as it is in Florida, and curl beautifully, stay for 13.5 minutes and then, before you can blink, return to stick straight. I told the hairdresser that if my hair stayed, I would move to Las Vegas. And two days later, I was almost in tears because I had to finally wash it.

8. My good friend Ricky was able to make the trip from San Diego and hang out with us during and after the wedding. I had a GREAT time with him and was SO glad that at least ONE of my friends could make the trip!

9. MB has the travel bug now. He’s already trying to plan our next getaway. This time, it will most likely NOT involve that amount of alcohol. Any siblings. Or a fillable guitar.

10. Thanks to all of YOU for the congratulations! I’m so happy to be home and so happy to have officially married my best friend!

That was the longest/shortest vacation of my life. And the only souvenirs I returned with are an empty Eiffel Tower which used to hold frozen drink deliciousness and a defective husband! Okay, maybe not defective. But definitely diseased. Gross.

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Thou Shalt Not Cut (Your Mother)

Very, very soon, MB, Baby L and I will be on vacation in Las Vegas, staying at a condo with my mom. My mom has graciously assumed the role of designated baby watcher while we are there, considering that MB and I will not only be on our first vacation, but also kind of on our honeymoon. I am super grateful that she has offered to do this. And that she will be there, because I for one, could definitely NOT leave and go on vacation WITHOUT Baby L because I would be stricken with guilt the whole time. And I would miss her little cheeks so much, I’m sure I would be on the first flight back home. That said, there are some things that worry me about my mom watching the baby. Not because she isn’t totally capable and competent, but because this baby is MINE. And I, like my mother, am sort of a crazy control freak. (To my credit, however, I don’t think I am quite as bad as my mom. If I were, I wouldn’t be able to hack my current living situation with the grace that I have thus far.) But two crazy control freaks, in one place, with one defenseless little lady…well, this could be bad. But I know my baby better than my mom does. Whether or not she raised two kids already. That was a bazillion years ago, mom, and my baby is an INDIVIDUAL.

20121011-102107.jpgFor instance, when we started rice cereal a few weeks ago, you first told me that I should mix it in with her bottle at night and it would help her sleep. A couple of things:

1. The doctor advised against giving her cereal in the bottle and suggested I spoon feed because there is less chance that she will aspirate cereal. Aspirating cereal does not sound like fun. Especially for a baby, who cannot say, “HELP! I have aspirated cereal!”

2. Cereal does not help this baby sleep. Infact, quite the opposite. MY baby likes to stay awake for 4 hours AFTER nighttime cereal. Did you hear that, Mom?! FOUR HOURS. For the love of all that is holy, PLEASE DO NOT GIVE MY BABY CEREAL AT NIGHT. I will murder you.

I am sure that when I advise my mom of this, she will not take my word for it but decide that she needs to see for herself. Then Baby L will be up at 3am, squirming around and NOT SLEEPING. And then my mom will bitch all of the next day because she didn’t get any sleep.

And then I will cut her.

The end.