Saturday, January 5, 2008

Cara Mama - Best Naps of All

Cara Mama,

I like it best when you hold me for my naps. I know you tried to put me down in the crib 2 or 3 times, but I'm glad you kept holding me when you realized I started to wake up. I really love napping in your arms. I don't know what else you have to do that's more important than that.

Plus, I don't mind if you read while you hold me. Doesn't holding me for an hour or more give you a nice time to relax and read? And I get a nice, warm, comfy nap! And daddy gets time to himself! Everyone is happy.

tua bambina,
Pumpkin

Friday, January 4, 2008

Cara Figlia - Goodnight, and Good Riddance, Moon

Cara figlia,

First, thank you for sleeping until 5:00! That was a much-needed miracle. Today, I can deal with the world again, especially since I went to bed at 9:00. Let's do that every night, shall we?

Now Pumpkin, your daddy and I are both readers. We love books and reading and good stories. So I expected that you would love books right from the beginning. From birth. Babies just lie there, right? So of course you would sit still and love to hear us read you books. I bought a ton of board books, as I was sure you would love to sit there and listen to them.

Not you, my active little baby. There is not a day in your short life that you've wanted to sit still for any length of time. At first, I was frustrated by your lack of interest in books. I tried to read Goodnight Moon every night to create a bedtime routine. But you were too young and not at all interested. So I let it go, and the bedtime routine at that point was changing your diaper and nursing you to sleep.

Then, around 6 or 7 months, your daddy and I realize it was time for a real bedtime routine. After dinner, we give you a bath, put lotion on your dry skin (I love Aquaphor!!), put on your pajamas, read you a book, turn off the light, and nurse you to sleep. Again, I tried Goodnight Moon every night, thinking that you'd hear it and settle down, associating it with going to sleep. Still, you wiggled and wriggled during it, but I continued. You just had to get used to it, I was sure.

Around 8 or 9 months, you actually started showing interest in some books. Lo and behold, we discovered the books you love!! Touch and feel books! It makes so much sense that you, so active and grabby, would love books that gave you something to feel and do. The touch and feel, the pull up the flaps, the pull the tab and watch something move... these are the books you love.

I started reading two of those books to you and then Goodnight Moon, still pushing that darn book, because I was sure you'd associate it with going to sleep and start to settle down. You would enjoy the That's Not My... books, the Tails book, the Wake Up, Papa Bear! book and the Where Is Baby's Belly Button? book. Oh, how you chuckle when I pull out the Where Is Baby's Belly Button? book! But when I pulled out Goodnight Moon? You would sit still for a minute and then start squirming, looking over the side of the chair where we keep all the books, as if trying to see something you liked better.

Finally last week, I gave up. Why was I pushing that book? Yeah, it's kind of cute, but the lack of symmetry actually bothers me (why are we saying goodnight to the clock? It wasn't mentioned in the first half of the book. And goodnight nobody? What's the point in that?). I had never heard of it when I was a child, so no sentimentality for me. And to be frank, I have been incredibly sick of it for the past few months. So why was I pushing it for so long when neither you or I were interested?

I think this is one example of something parents do. We get it in our heads that THIS is the thing to do, the right way, the best idea, whatever. And we keep at it and keep at, often ignoring the fact that our child is either not interested or that it is not the right thing for our child. So, mia bambina, I will make an effort to be more in tune to what YOU want and need, regardless of how I think things SHOULD be (I've already given up on what the books and "experts" say). You are such a special and unique baby, and I'm constantly impressed with you. Thanks for teaching me this valuable lesson in letting you be you.

Now, how about we sit down and find that baby's belly button?

Ti amo tutti,
Mama

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Too Cranky to be Creative

As the title of today's post indicates, I'm feeling too cranky to be creative today. I'm pretty much too cranky and exhausted to do much of anything, and yet I have a very busy day of work ahead of me. Sigh...

So, let's see. Have I mentioned that the Pumpkin is in a fussy period? Oh, I did. Have I mentioned that the Pumpkin is a fussy child in general? Hmmm, I did. Have I mentioned that I hate my mornings? Yeah, I mentioned that too.

Okay, I have nothing new to say except that this child may very well be the death of me. And now I have to get to work since I'm running SO late today.

I hope you all are having better nights and days than me. :-)

Evil Genius Cat

Londo: The cat is the smartest thing in the house.

caramama: If he was so smart, he wouldn't be peeing on stuff.

Londo: That's the thing. To get him to stop peeing on stuff, we are doing everything he wants. We're giving him extra treats, buying him toys, giving him extra attention, playing with him...

caramama: Keeping his litter box really clean, leaving the baby gates open as much as possible...

Londo: It's genius really.

Londo: I wish I could get what I wanted by peeing on stuff. I could be in a meeting at work, and just start peeing on the conference table until everyone agrees with me. Hmmmm.

caramama: haha.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy New Year and My Love for Neil Gaiman

Happy New Year, everyone! I hope 2008 has started off better for you than it has for us. I know you're thinking, "Did that baby keep you guys up all night again?" After all, I did state that the only way I would be up at midnight was if the baby woke us. (Am I an amatuer at this? Don't I know by now not to tempt the God of Sleep?!?! What was I thinking?) It turns out, that wasn't true. We were woken shortly after midnight by my mom's dog, who is staying with us while they are visiting other relatives.

That's right, my house currently contains an upset cat who is peeing on stuff, a whiny dog who keeps trying to lick the baby in the face, a visiting dog who wants to chase the cat (making the cat more upset), a 9.5 month old baby who is in a fussy period, and two very grumpy, very tired adults.

Happy New Year!

The Pumpkin actually slept until 4:00, went back to sleep pretty easily with me (have I mentioned how much I love nursing lying down?), but then woke up at 5:50 and wouldn't really go back to sleep, due to another round of The Fidget Hour. I'm surprisingly not exhausted, but Londo is more crotchety than ever, thanks to visiting dog!

On a much brighter note, today begins the To Be Read Challenge 2008! I'm really excited to start this, and I have high hopes and a lot of good books that have just been sitting around waiting for me to read! For January, I'm going to read Neil Gaiman's Anansi Boys. I did say there was a story behind each of these books, so I will now relate the story behind this one.

I love Neil Gaiman. I've loved Neil Gaiman for longer than I've known my husband. I discovered Neil Gaiman through my brother, who has introduced me to so many good writers, books, movies and comic books. That's right, I said comic books (I'm a bit of a geek*). Or in the case of Neil Gaiman, graphic novels. Neil Gaiman wrote The Sandman comic books/graphic novels (speaking of the God of Sleep), which are incredible. He has also written quite a few novels, including Anansi Boys. Neil Gaiman is extremely imaginative, coming up with new and unique plots, and he is dark, delving into places of the mind and psyche that many dare not go.

Even if you don't like the science fiction/fantasy genre, there are a few sci-fi/fantasy novels that are such amazing books that they transend the genre and are just great books period**. The way Battlestar Galactica is more than just a great sci-fi show--it's a great show. One of these books is Neil Gaiman's American Gods. It's one of the best books out there, and I recommend it to everyone.

So, my point is I love Neil Gaiman and everything he's written. This book came out in 9/2005, and I bought it shortly after. That's right, over 2 years ago. Londo read it right away and proclaimed it another excellent book by Neil Gaiman. But I still haven't read it. Why not? Why wouldn't I read one of my favorite authors? It was because I Wasn't Myself! This was one of those things I simply wasn't in the mood for. Now, I'm back to being mostly myself, so it's the first one I've selected from the stack to read. Cause I missed me, and I missed Neil Gaiman!

*Before ImpostorMom argues, I will just fess up that I'm a HUGE geek, especially in the area of sci-fi/fantasy/comics. Those of you who are not into these things, I challenge you to expand your horizons and discover the amazing stories that reflect our world in the form of other worlds. I've got a whole schpiel, but this isn't the time for it.
**My number 1 example of this type of book is Orson Scott Card's Enders Game, which I've recommended to many people who look at me skeptically because they don't like sci-fi and come back to me within the week saying they stayed up all night finishing the book. It's that good. Hmmm, I should re-read that.

Question of the Week - Resolutions

First: Go Redskins!! We are in the playoffs! And I couldn't imagine a better way to get in than to beat the Cowboys! Now, on today's regularly scheduled post...

Happy New Year's Eve! I hope everyone is planning a night of fun and drinking. If I'm up at midnight tonight, it will purely be because the Pumpkin has woken both Londo and I. My plans for tonight include maybe having a whole glass of wine and going to bed by 10:00. My wish for New Year's Day is to be able to sleep straight until 5:00! It's a lofty wish, but every now and then it happens.

Are you making any New Year's Resolutions? If so, what are they?

Mine are:
1. To succeed in the To Be Read Challenge of 2008 (check out my book list on the side of my blog and here).
2. To stop using curse words in front of the baby, since she'll start to understand and maybe repeat them this year. Yikes.
3. To start working out again. Even if it's just getting back into my yoga DVDs. I need to find time for something. I would especially appreciate it if the Pumpkin slept all night and until about 7:00 or so, so I could get up early and work out before work since my ideal workout time is morning.
4. Do things earlier. Especially at work. I'm really bad for procrastinating, but then I get all stressed when I end up doing everything last minute. Let's see if I can be better this year.

Have fun tonight, kids!

I had forgotten my fourth resolution, so I've added it now!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

I Wasn't Myself

Last night, Londo and I watched 300, which was a truly excellent movie. It's the kind of action-packed, adventure, hero-story I usually love. But this was the first time I'd seen it. Londo saw it--or rather most of it--in the movie theater. I had the option of seeing it with him in the theater with some friends of ours, but the ladies of the group decided to go see Music and Lyrics and I went with them. Usually I would pick the action flick over the chick flick, but I was over 41 weeks pregnant and not in the mood to see an action flick.

That's right, I was OVER 41 weeks pregnant. Can you guess why neither Londo or I saw the ends of our movies? The timing was impeccable, like a sitcom, really, when I hurried off to the bathroom, discovering my water broke and text messaging Londo with the news. But that's not what I wanted to write about today. I like the idea of writing my birth story on the year anniversary (like someone else I know did), so that story will wait.

But finally watching 300 got me thinking about when I was pregnant. I simply wasn't myself. A lot of things I usually enjoy and even love, I had no interest in. I didn't want to watch action movies or even football. I didn't want to play poker. My fantasy football team sucked because I didn't want to pay any attention to it. The only books I had any interest in were pregnancy books and parenting books. I didn't even want to have sex! (Poor Londo.)

I felt like my body had been taken over by some alien who was no fun at all. I don't know if was just me like that or if anyone else was like that. But no one warned me about this. I knew I'd be tired, moody, uncomfortable, but I didn't know that things I usually enjoy would hold so little appeal that I'd rather stick a fork in my eye than watch/do those things.

I'm happy to say that I enjoy all those things again. It took a few months for them to slowly come back into favor, but they are. I choose the movie 300 last night as what I wanted to watch. I've been winning at poker and fantasy football again. I'm reading a wide variety of books again. And the sex is fantastic and frequent! (I know you all were dying to know about that.)

So, when Londo says that he is ready whenever I am to start trying for another baby, I look at him and say, "You are ready to not have sex for 9 months?" He apparently hopes it will be different this time. I have to be prepared for the alien to take over again. Luckily, we are not trying just yet. I've got some time to be myself again.