Monday, June 29, 2009

Panicky

I have this horrible, panicky feeling in my chest tonight. I feel like I'm about to melt down into a full-blown panic attack. And I have no idea why.

This isn't normal, and I don't like it.

Now that I've bored you with some crazy-lady drivel for the evening...morning...whatever...I'm going to go make sure both of my boys are still breathing, then try to force myself to calm down enough to sleep.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

The things you miss


This. I miss this. I miss the sweet, snugly, sleepy newborn days. I don't miss the constant-puking, incessant-screaming, refusing-to-sleep-during-normal-human-sleeping-hours aspects of the newborn phase, but I do miss being able to hold and snuggle my little man almost constantly. I miss staring at him in wonder while he slept in my arms. I miss smelling his sweet baby smell and kissing his downy baby head. Being around my newborn niece recently has only increased my longing for W's newborn days.

Before anyone suggests it, I don't miss all this enough to have another. Ever. The shitty stuff that comes along with a newborn FAR outweighs the sweet stuff. And I can always borrow newborns from friends and family. They're fantastic when you can give them back, but terrible when you have to take them home at the end of the day.

This strange newborn-longing I've started feeling recently confuses me to no end. But it also explains to me why someone might decide to have a second (or third...but not fourth or more...I don't think there's any explaining more than three...) kid. As for me, I go watch W sleep when I get some newborn lust. His sweet, sleeping face tames the longing for awhile. In his sleep, he looks almost as tiny and perfect as he did the day we brought him home. And now that we're slightly removed from the days of no sleep (and one of us doesn't have to hold him the entire time he's passed out to keep him that way), his sleeping isn't just a two- or three-hour respite from a screaming baby. He's much easier to enjoy and marvel over when I'm not dreading the moment he wakes up.

My little dude is eight months old today. He's getting so big, doing so much, and is so much fun now. But that doesn't keep me from missing the sweet moments we got with him eight months ago.

Why?

Why, oh, why do I do these things to myself? Let me set the scene:

The time? 10:30 PM.
The place? My kitchen.
The activity? Making freaking baby food.

Nope, I'm being serious.

I bought some apples and pears awhile back, and really, really needed to get them cooked (I've been busy pretty much every day/night for the past couple of weeks, so it hasn't gotten done). We're also down to one container of baby fruit and no banana (though, now that I mention it, I think I still have a bunch of mango cubes in the freezer...dammit...). I went to get some water from the fridge, saw the pears, and decided (because I'm a crazy person) that this was the PERFECT time to peel, chop, and cook this produce.

Fortunately (or unfortunately, really), the pears had already gotten too gross to use. But the apples were still ok. So I peel, chopped, and started cooking the apples.

That was two hours ago, and I'm still up, waiting for the apples to cook down enough for me to call it baby food.

And call it a night.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

House hunting

B and I have started on the adventure of buying our first house. We went house hunting for the first time today, and it was really fun. We found a couple of pretty promising places. I'm so excited to look at the rest of the places on our list, get our mortgage stuff officially finalized, and get us a house!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

And he's mobile

My baby has officially started crawling. Not real crawling, but more like an army-crawl sort of thing that doesn't require him to get his pudgy little belly off the floor. Either way, it's made him very mobile. This is a problem. Our house is so not baby-proofed. And baby-proofing isn't going to be particularly easy.

The only common room we can easily block off is the living room. The problem is, we only have two outlets in our living room, so the whole room is a mess of extension cords, surge protectors, and device cords. W likes cords. A lot. Nothing makes the kid happier (or quieter) than getting a cord in his mouth.

I figure our only real hope is finding a house to buy soon and moving the hell out of here before the kid manages to electrocute himself by gnawing through my laptop cord.

Though, I figure if the cat hasn't managed to kill herself by eating a cord, the baby should be fine (as I tend to rate their levels of intelligence about the same most days).

Right?

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A few signs you've truly become a mom

  • You spend significant time in the morning trying to find a suit that doesn't have spit-up stains on it.
  • You're able to shower, put on make up, do your hair, dress, and be out the door, ready for work in 15 minutes flat.
  • You've perfected the ability to do just about any self-care task (including going to the bathroom) one-handedly.
  • You don't think twice about going out in public with spit-up in your hair.
  • You would give anything to sleep in...until 8:00 A.M.
  • You're able to hold full, intelligent conversations with someone who speaks incomprehensible jibberish.
  • You clap and cheer like a manic over something as simple as standing up.
  • Baby giggles have become your crack.
  • You can't get over how much you hate the permanent belly pooch you now have, no matter how good you look.
  • Your (female, straight) pediatrician tells you your biceps look nice. The only weight you've been lifting wiggles, squirms, giggles, and drools.
  • You've made yourself cry because of some minor hurt you've accidentally inflicted on your baby.
  • You no longer have any fear of bodily fluids - yours or anyone else's.
  • Your heart just about melts out of your body when you watch your baby sleep.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

The gays agree with me!

[FYI, this is the post I wrote in my head during a hearing the other day, then promptly forgot by the time I got in front of a computer. It came to me later that night as I was laying in bed not sleeping].

I'm not generally one for fashion (as one look at my wardrobe will tell you), but I've been a devoted reader of Tom & Lorenzo for quite awhile. The other day, they wrote this post discussing People's hottest bachelors. If you scroll down to the bottom of the post, you'll see their opinion on Robert Pattinson.

Let me back up. When the Twilight movie trailers first started appearing, I started having disagreements with my friends about Robert Pattinson. I do NOT think he is attractive. At all. He's creepy looking. I have multiple friends who disagree with me on that point. They think he's hot (BARF!).

Back to TLo's blog post. All they say under Robert Pattinson's photo is "GROSS." (emphasis in original). I couldn't agree more. Knowing that the foremost fashion bloggers out there share my taste in men makes me feel strangely vindicated.

To my friends who think Robert Pattinson is hot: I win, ladies. I win.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Ink me!

I want a tattoo. I've wanted one since I was 18, but hadn't ever really found anything I would want on my body when I'm 80, so I never got one. Gotta love maturity, right?

I'm pretty sure I've come up with something I want. I'm going to get it on my left foot, toward the outside edge (near the little toe). I need to talk to a tattoo artist to flesh out my idea before I get it done, but I'm close.

I just need to get up the nerve to get it done. Oh, and find a good place to get it done. As much as I want a tattoo, the whole thing makes me nervous. It's so...permanent. And ouchy. I'm going to do this. I just don't know when. Hopefully soon.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Further proof that my brain is still baby-broken

I've said before that having a kid has made me d-u-m (and I used to be so s-m-r-t!). Here are two more illustrations proving my point:

At work today, I thought of a great blog post subject. I even wrote most of the post in my head during a hearing. Now, a mere five hours (and 1.5 beers) later, I have absolutely no freaking clue what it was. None. I've been racking my brain since I got home two hours ago, and I cannot remember.

Exhibit B. There are two lawyers who work at the same office. We'll call one Brian and one Steve. They are both men who are older than me. Their similarities end there. Steve's a pretty cool guy. Brian is a bit...odd. I've spent a decent amount of time around both men. And for some unknown reason, I called Steve Brian. In front of a large group. And I felt like an ass. I used to be FANTASTIC at names, birthdays, addresses, etc. Now, I can't remember most of that stuff until it's too late.

I miss my old brain. Can someone please tell me that it comes back some day? Please?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The baby food experiment

I'm pretty sure I forgot to blog about my baby-food-making escapades last month. But if I've already written this post, I apologize. The steel trap isn't what it used to be. *Sigh*.

Last month, in an effort to save some money, I decided to make my own baby food. It was quite the process.

The things I made:
  • Carrots - bought a five pound bag of baby carrots to avoid having to peel and chop a shload of carrots. Slightly more expensive, but totally worth it in time and labor savings.

  • Peas - snap peas, two or three pounds (don't remember for sure)

  • Green beans - I bought pre-washed, pre-cut ones, again, to save a bit on time and labor. 1.5 pounds.

  • Lima beans - used frozen, one pound.

  • Apples - bought golden delicious, which worked really well. Used 10 medium.

  • Pears - bought d'anjou (the green, firm ones). Worked well, but the puree came out slightly pink-colored. Odd. Had eight medium.

  • Peaches - The fab produce place I got most of my stuff didn't have peaches yet, so I made an impulse buy of a five-pound bag of frozen peaches when I went to GFS. I probably spent too much on them, and it probably drove up my costs a bit.

  • Avocado - this was one of the easiest foods to prepare: cut, scoop, squish. Easy. It also froze a lot better than I expected. Bought two.

  • Spinach - used baby spinach, and wilted it before I pureed it. Bought a one-pound bag.

  • Sweet potatoes - bought four large.

  • I also bought summer squash, but B and I decided it was too slimy and seedy after I got it cooked, so we tossed it.

I bought the majority of my produce from this fabulous wholesale place in town. The prices were fantastic, the produce was great, and the service was amazing. I'm definitely going back there again.

I started prepping and cooking early on a Saturday morning. Naturally, the apples and pears took the longest to prepare, since I had to peel, slice, and core all of them. The carrots, peas, and beans were the easiest - rinse and dump in a pot. I did everything on the stove, with the exception of the spinach (wilted in my wok), avocado (no cooking necessary!), and sweet potatoes (baked). I don't really remember how long I cooked any one thing, but it took awhile. I had all four stove burners and the oven going at once.

When the foods were soft and squishy, I took them off the heat and drained them, reserving the cooking liquid to add back in if necessary during the pureeing stage (except for the carrots. Because of nitrates). I then let everything cool and put it in the fridge until Sunday.

Sunday, I spent a good amount of time pureeing. Not too much to explain here. Put stuff in food processor, add liquid if necessary, scrape sides a couple of times, and you're done. The lima beans were really dry and needed a lot of liquid added back in (and I probably should have added more...they're still really dry, and I mix some water in with them every time I feed them to W), and the carrots also needed some water added. Everything else was pretty much ok without additional water.

After a food was pureed, I put it in a bowl and stuck it back in the fridge so I could do all the packaging at once.

Most people you talk to or websites you read will talk about putting your baby food in ice cube trays. For various reasons, I opted to buy those little plastic salad dressing cups you get at restaurants. The genius idea came from a childless friend of mine (a guy, no less). I love it. It's so much more convenient to transport the food when it's in portion-sized cups, rather than uncontained cubes. It adds $.084 per serving. I filled each cup - which is just about the same size as a plastic container of Gerber baby food - wrote the type of food and the date on the lid, stacked it all in the deep freezer, and let it all freeze.

Overall, I'm guessing I spent about eight hours doing actual work on the food. If I included the time it took to cook everything, it would have been much longer.

I don't remember exactly how many servings of each food I made, and I can't find the paper where I wrote it all down, but here, to the best of my recollection, is how everything broke down:

  • Carrots - 24 servings

  • Peas, green beans - somewhere around 12-15 servings each

  • Lima beans - eight or so servings

  • Apples - 18-ish servings

  • Pears - 15-ish servings

  • Peaches - 20 servings

  • Avocado - five servings

  • Spinach - five to eight servings

  • Sweet potatoes - 10 or so servings

  • Total servings - 120

Costs:

  • Produce - $50; $.417 per serving

  • Packaging - $.084 per serving

  • My time - assuming the value of my time is the rate at which I'm paid at work, I spent waaaaaaaaay more money on this than I should have.

  • Cost per serving (not including labor costs) - $.501

  • Cost per serving of store-bought baby food (Gerber two-packs, at the cheapest regular price I've found) - $.43

So, making my own baby food is not, in fact, any cheaper than buying it at the store. Even if I were to get rid of the individual serving cups, it would still be $.417 per serving. I don't think saving $.013 per serving is that big a deal.

I actually really enjoyed making the baby food, and I think I'll do it again, at least for the foods that you can't find commercially (lima beans, avocado, and maybe even eggplant...I don't want the baby to have my picky palate). Not because I'm saving money, though. I like making my own because I can control the texture and thickness of the food, rather than just giving the kid the soupy stuff you buy at the store. For a younger baby, homemade may not be the best idea, since it's difficult to get the puree as smooth as those from the store - though you might be able to do it if you have a better food processor than I do. For an older babe, like mine, slightly chunkier is fine.

I've started purchasing baby meats at the store because the thought of pureeing meat ooks me out. I've also bought some fruit blends that include fruits I don't have (apples and cherries, for example). As the summer fruits come into season, and my kick-ass produce place gets them in, I'll probably buy some stuff and make some more purees. It makes me feel like a better mother, somehow. I think I'm going to continue to buy meats and fruit blends (possibly some veggie blends, too, depending on how adventurous I get here at home). If I run out of homemade food and don't have a weekend to waste on baby food, I'll probably switch back to commercial food, at least for awhile.

So, there you have it. My baby-food-making experience.

Support a good cause

Awhile back, I was pointed to Lawyerish. I love her stories of life as a young lawyer, as a lot of the things she talks about hit home with me. One of her life stories I can't relate to, though, is her and her husband's attempted international adoption. Out of the heartache they've endured on the long road to an adoption that isn't going to happen has come Meant to Be: Stories of International Adoption. The book has adoption stories from 18 families, including Lawyerish's. I've read the excerpts on the book's website, and I can't wait to read more. As an added bonus, all proceeds go to OrphanCare International, an organization that helps feed and house orphans around the world. So go to the book's site and check it out. Then order a book. It's for a good cause.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Anxiety

I'm not sleeping. Not just at this moment, but in general. I go to bed early, but don't fall asleep for hours. It sucks. There are a variety of things causing me great anxiety right now (and none of them are related to W, surprisingly), which I'm sure is a major factor in my lack of sleep. I hate when I go through these insomnia phases. I'm really hoping I can get some of the issues resolved this week and get back to sleeping. I miss sleep.

Speaking of anxiety and not sleeping, I discovered 16 and Pregnant this weekend. I felt so badly for the poor mom on this show. Her boyfriend/baby-daddy was a bit of a lazy, worthless douche, and watching her struggle through those newborn days essentially on her own really struck a chord with me. Let me clarify. B was extremely helpful when W was a wee little thing. What got to me while I was watching this show was the memory of those newborn days, and imagining what it would have been like to do it all on my own. I never, never would have made it. Never. I was getting so upset for the poor girl that I started having an anxiety attack. It was a bit ridiculous. And B made me turn the show off when he thought I was going to start hyperventilating.

Not much of a point to this anecdote, really. I guess the take-home lesson is don't watch trashy television about teen moms with douchey baby-daddies when you so very obviously still have issues revolving around your own child's newborn days.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Mixed blessing

The night off. I think it's every new parent's dream. I, despite loving the night of freedom the baby's overnights at Grandma's get me, consider the night off to be a hugely mixed blessing. Not having to wake up at 2:00-ish A.M. to do a feeding/diaper change, being able to drink without the fear of waking up for a 2:00-ish A.M. feeding/diaper change, getting to sleep in a bit the next morning, having enough time to shower at a leisurely pace, actually dry my hair, and pack a lunch that doesn't include a frozen meal, and (wait for it) GETTING TO WORK ON TIME are all bonuses that I highly enjoy on my nights off. They make me remember what it was like to be childless.

The downside? They make me remember what it was like to be childless.

And I miss it.

A lot.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Not a convertible fan

Today was the first day of using the convertible car seat. I don't think I like it. Have to get the baby in and out of the seat at every stop was a major pain. I was getting a little tired of hauling his chunky butt plus 10 pounds of car seat everywhere (and my right knee was getting a little tired of having a six inch long strip of bruises from being hit by the seat with every step), but he was so darn portable that way! And the new car seat is GINORMOUS. I have a good-sized vehicle, and it pretty much blocks the entire passenger side window. Craziness. I'm hoping I grow to like it more as time goes on. The first impression hasn't been a very good one, though.