Beach House

12 May

B’s mom used her bonus to rent this amazing beach house for the whole family to stay in for a long weekend. It ended up being a mixed bag. The night before Fiona had been up from 11:30 to 2:30 for no apparent reason, so I was exhausted and so was she. So the first night it was just me, Fiona, B’s mom, B’s sister and her son. We unpacked, had dinner, got in comfy clothes and were discussing which movie to watch when Fiona’s head spun around five times and she re-emerged as Satan. I did everything, you guys. EVERY. THING. By midnight I had let her come in bed with me, which would normally work but she was not having any of it. I was so, so, so tired, and I knew her screaming was keeping everyone up so that added another layer of stress. I took her out into the living room at about 1:30 and set her on the floor with her toys and sat down on the couch and went right into the ugly cry. HARD. And I’m on Prozac, so the ugly cry does not happen very often. B’s mom walks in, looks at me and then Fiona and says, “You need to go to bed right now!” and I didn’t even argue, just shuffled/sobbed my sad ass to bed, where I didn’t sleep anyway because I could hear her crying. It’s awful, I am just so glad it doesn’t happen often. Anyway, I called B the next morning and told him to put a hurry on it because I was done. He wanted to know what was wrong with her and I have no idea, you know? Teething? Sick? Mad that Casey was voted off American Idol? It turns out she was sick and so was I, and then B, but what is funny is that I was downloading pictures of this weekend and came across this gem:

I mean, she so obviously has a cold in this picture. Poor birdie.

Other than that insanity, it was a gorgeous weekend at the beach.

Those windows look out to the ocean.


Backyard


Sis-in-law


Me!


Mom-in-law making one of several meals following this rule: Carbs + Fat = Good


I only post this because OMG the hoodie. So cute.


Cousins in jams!


It wasn't all screaming, thank God.

Anyway, that was sort of non-update update, but I wanted to jump right in.

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Thoughts

15 Apr

I turned thirty-six last month. I don’t know what to write about anymore. I am still infertile, but I have a baby. I want to say so much about her but don’t know how. It’s hard to be consistent when you are tired. I miss music. I started knitting again. I did my taxes. I got a new bra. I learned how not to shop with a baby. I smell like a tropical island. I am blonde again. I need to earn money. I want to stay home. I want another baby. I want to go to work. I want to write. I don’t know how anymore. I stare at Fiona in amazement, still. I love her in a crushing, sweeping way. I am more sensitive to the news since she has been born. I am less worried than I have ever been. I am so tired. I am so happy. I am so restless. I turned thirty-six and I still have no idea what I want to be, other than Fiona’s mom. I love being Fiona’s mom.

I’m back! I’m back! I’m back!

12 Apr

Whew! Are you like, wiping sweat from your brow right now?

I finally got a nice shiny new computer, which means that I can type without things jamming up and I can upload pictures and videos and other things of goodness and joy.

In fact, I’m going to stick a picture in right now, because I can:

Quick updates:

1. SHINY. NEW. COMPUTER.
2. Fiona turned 8 months old yesterday. I’m having trouble even comprehending how the pregnancy seemed like years, and then as soon as she made her debut life started zooming by.
3. I am still at home, which may change in the next couple of months. I’m trying to enjoy it but I’m going stir crazy in this house. Obviously the only solution is to tear everything apart and paint it and put it back together again.
4. I’m 36. Whaaaaat, dude?
5. I missed it here.

Motherfucking snakes on the motherfucking plane!

17 Jan

That is my new way of expressing frustration, and I could not recommend it more. When all other words fail you, nothing feels quite like dropping “motherfucking” twice.

So, you know: UNCLE. Fiona is sick with her first real cold, and it’s dreadful. We took her to the ER on Friday night because her breathing was choppy and labored, and by the time we rolled in she was all coo’s and giggles, so much so that we felt like total Munchhausen by proxy parents even checking her in. The attending doctor kept saying, “Well, she looks fine, but if she has another “episode” bring her in!” Episode? Could there be a more condescending way of saying something?

If only we knew on Friday how much worse it was going to get, I would have saved my ER visit. It turns out that we are woefully unprepared for a sick baby. We are bumbling fools, everything we say has a hint of panic and a question mark on the end.

“Maybe . . . water?”
“Steam?”
“That noise does not sound right. Right?”
“You hold her, and I will shove this . . . up her nose?”

It’s bad, internet. I mean, I don’t want to over-exaggerate, but I think I’ve got a raging case of PTSD from the crying. I can hear a crying baby twenty miles away now, and it fills me with a sick dread. Last night we passed out in a snotty heap in front of the television and I woke up saying, “She’s started again!” and it was a stupid movie with a baby crying.

The thing is, we are still swaddling, and concurrent with the Ebola virus is her sudden readiness to not be swaddled. Which is fine, really, except she doesn’t sleep unless she is swaddled. So it goes: three hours of crying, lay her down, three hours of crying, lay her down, one hour of crying (by all of us) put her in the swing and curl up at the base sucking our thumbs. And let’s be real here, “crying” is a piss poor way to describe what a sick baby does. It’s more of a screech / arch / kick / gag / fart / vomit / screech / claw / inhale / silence for five seconds where you think it might be over but really they are just gathering apocalyptic strength / repeat.

Three days in to this and B and I (who never fight) are blaming each other for everything that has happened since Nam. I was rocking her and he comes charging in and says, “SHE DOESN’T LIKE THE FUCKING SWADDLE!” Like I invented the swaddle, then sewed the swaddle, then swaddled her in the swaddle, and then told everyone she could never get out of the swaddle. Motherfucking snakes on the motherfucking plane!

Last night we finally just put her in the car seat and stormed outside slamming doors and drove around until she was asleep. In retrospect it’s funny that we both went, like it was a normal family affair. We rode in complete silence for thirty minutes, seething at each other for indiscretions such as a stomach growl that woke her up once she was finally asleep.

Sidebar: when my nephew was little and he got mad he would make horns at you, and it became a family thing. I just searched for pictures and found at least one of everyone in the family doing it, and I would upload them all if I could but my computer is LAME, so here is one as an example:

Anyway, this is how B and I say “be quiet” when Fiona is sleeping, and last night B did it to the dogs. Just horned the shit right out of them when they had the audacity to walk up the stairs. Then I started laughing, and he horned me, so I had to do the silent laugh. What I am saying is, things have become crazy over here.

I want my sweet baby back! The smiler, the girl who slept all night and cuddled and didn’t leak fluids from several orifices at once. You know, the one I was going to talk about in a sweet little entry before that got derailed and bastardized into this entry. Motherfucking snakes on the motherfucking plane!

I’m such a dick.

12 Jan

When I am gone from the blog for so long, the first post back is always dreadful. I’ve been starting posts in my head for over a month now, so when I sit down and finally write it is a mix of twenty posts floating around, no cohesive thread to be found.

So man, I really bagged NaBloPoMo. It wasn’t intentional, it was Thanksgiving day and I was just exhausted and not at home with my laptop, so I didn’t even think about it until the next day. At that point, I was relieved. I was so sick of myself, really. I love the idea behind NaBloPoMo, but my little new-mommy brain was not up to the task. I figured I would give myself a week and then come back, and then a week turned into several, and then Christmas was here . . . you know how it goes. I guess this is why I could never be a professional blogger, I lack the stamina.

Our first Christmas with Fiona was amazing, and lightening fast. It felt like a marathon. B and I were having trouble getting the Christmas spirit due to the crippling financial situation. I know that the spirit is not about monetary things, but it was hard to be in that place when we are spending so much time calculating and budgeting. I felt like there was a lot of (admittedly self-imposed) pressure on making it The Best Christmas Ever, when in reality Fiona slept through most of the gift opening and is, you know, a newborn. It was an amazing Christmas in the end, and we found our spirit on Christmas Eve and woke up Christmas morning looking at our baby and feeling like the luckiest poor people you’ve ever met.

We decided to stay home on New Years Eve, since we had been running so much the week before. We went to The Best Friend’s house for dinner and then watched movies and cursed the neighbors who let off fireworks and almost woke up the baby.

And then, New Year’s Day I got the email that my aunt who had been struggling with lung cancer had died the night before. I kept thinking, the New Year can’t start like this! Day 1 and I am shedding crocodile tears. Ah, foreshadowing.

The next morning, my phone rang (I had left it downstairs) and my the first thing my mom asked is where I had been all night. I knew that couldn’t be good. The night before my dad had become very ill very quickly, and they had to call 911. He was in the ICU, which has never happened before. Day 2, more tears. When I saw him that day he was lucid but sick, and I sat by his bedside and knit and read and listened to the beeps and hisses of machines, and things quickly progressed to dire. The next day my mom called choked with tears and said the doctor had told her his kidneys were failing and this was likely fatal. I didn’t even cry at first, just focused on the logistics of getting someone to watch the kids so that we could all get there as quickly as possible. I didn’t cry until until I called B and I said, “It’s not good. I need you” and without asking a single questions he said, “I will be right there.” As I ran around the house trying to pack Fiona’s bag I was struggling to breathe. It was like the whole thing took the air out me, I was panting and wailing and just thinking that I was (am) not ready for this.

The next days are a blur. I felt like it wasn’t time for him to go, but then I saw him and thought that maybe I was just in denial. The doctors were standing in front of us, asking us about his end of life wishes. When he was on Hospice he had signed a DNR, which complicated things a bit because since then he had improved and would most certainly want to be resuscitated. There is a fine line between starting someone’s heart again and keeping them alive with machines, however, and as the doctor was talking and looking at me all I could think was am I in charge? If I am in charge we are in so much trouble.

And then, miracles. Every day more improvement, and then like it never happened, he is home. It scared the crap out of all of us, and I am so thankful it turned out the way that it did.

I just want to tell you about Fiona. An entry with no other drama, just how amazing she is. The dimple in her cheek, the dimples in her knuckles, how beautiful she is, how I can’t believe how lucky I am. She is growing so fast, I can hardly believe my eyes some days. She bounces in her little bouncer, and plays with toys, and eats oat cereal . . . not a newborn anymore. That entry is coming soon, because man, she is changing so fast I have to get some of this down.

A few of you have sent messages asking if I am okay, and I just think that is the nicest thing I’ve ever heard. Even though I suck at this blogging gig, you guys are still out there. I would worry if you were gone too, I love the give and take of mutual readership. So thank you, and yes I am okay, relatively speaking. You know, besides the crippling poverty and critically ill father. 🙂

Six Things

24 Nov

Let us list it out!

1. Somehow this year I got away with only making one dish but it feels like so much work right now.

2. I think the reason it feels like so much work is that I am getting sick. I am trying to do the whole “tell yourself you are not getting sick thing” but my self is saying right back, “then why do you feel like asshole?” and I’ve got no good answer.

3. In related news, I don’t have health insurance right now. I know, right? I’m freaking out about it. I will be covered again in January, but until then there is just no way we can afford it. I’d like to punch our health care system right in the bag right now.

4. I was just holding Fiona while she slept, and had one of those moments where I was just rocked by her. Here she is – warm in my arms. I would not have believed this journey was possible had I not lived it.

5. We are watching Home for the Holidays tonight, it is one of my most favorite traditions.

6. Tomorrow morning we are packing up the baby and the dogs and all of the gear that comes with them, and headed to the farm for a couple of days. When we get back, it’s Christmas-mania!

Goodnight my lovelies.

Comfort Food

23 Nov

I know that losing a job is one of the top five most stressful life experiences, but I had really hoped that I would just slip past any depression from this since deep down it was what I wanted. It turns out that when someone wrongs you, it doesn’t matter what you wanted, you feel wronged. I can’t wait to tell you about it, and oh tell you I will, I am just deciding whether or not to sue the shit out of her or not.

Anyway, I’ve been in a bit of a funk about it. On top of the funk, we are in the middle of what local news is calling Arctic Blast 2010. The high today was 31.

What I am trying to say is that I’ve been cramming comfort food down my piehole for days now. I’ve gained my Thanksgiving weight before Thanksgiving – GAH. B asked me if I wanted to take a bath with Fiona tonight and I was like, I have too much extra girth to be seen in a bathtub, otherwise I would, you know?

All that being said, I ate like a queen today and thought I would share some of my bounty.

Breakfast: I tried a new way of cooking steel cut oats. Usually I make them on the stove top or in the slow cooker, but I recently read that baked is the way to go. The “recipe” is as follows:

1 cup steel cut oats
3 cups water
1 cup milk
pinch of salt
Stir, bake for 2 hours at 300.

You can eat it all week, just scoop out what you want each morning. So this morning I topped mine with soymilk, half a banana, coconut and cinnamon. It was so, so good.

Lunch: Lunch was leftover chicken and dumplings, from this recipe. I swear, this is the perfect cold weather food.

Dinner: I made meatballs and slow cooked them in my favorite sauce, then threw in a bunch of pasta and it was delish. I then followed all of this up with a chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting.

Take that, troll boss. Take that, Arctic Blast.

But seriously. I am so full.