Friday, April 11, 2008

Sick Day

I thought it was just the teething of her molars. But then the cough that I've had developed in her.

Then the slightly running nose became a faucet of snot. And the slight fussiness turned into waaaa-I-don't-feel-good!!! Oh, and the Pumpkin's nose became running and she got extra fussy too.

So I picked her up early from my mom's yesterday, and she and I are home sick today. I hope that I can spend some time on the computer, but I'm not sure what this day will hold.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Bel Canto Review and Re-Reading Tully

Last Sunday, I finished Bel Canto, by Ann Patchett, my April read for the TBR Challenge. For two months in a row, my TBR Challenge books had to do with people being held hostage. I'm not sure what that was about... I must have been feeling hostage (maybe to the baby?) when I set my book list. hehe.

Let me warn you there may be spoilers in the following paragraph. I won't give away details, but I may hint at what happens in a way that could be considered spoilers.

Bel Canto was a very well-written book, and I think that I did like the book. It was slow, very slow, but that was done on purpose to really make it more of a character study than an action book about a hostage situation. The characters were interesting and even believable, given the situation. But (you knew there would be a but, didn't you?) there was a lot of build up, a whole book of build up, and then BAMB! it was over. And even though there was an epilogue, there really wasn't any wrap up or closure. It was almost like a Twilight Zone ending that left me going "Huh? Really?" I can see what she was trying to do with the epilogue, but I don't think she explained it well which was just disappointing.

Now, I'm re-reading a book called Tully, by Paulline Simons, which was my favorite when I was 17 or 18, around there somewhere. I loved this book deeply. I recently thought of the book and thought that I would like to read it from my current perspective, with the life experience that I have gained in the over 10 years since I've read the book. Now that I'm re-reading it, I still think it's a fabulous book, but OH MY GOODNESS! Is it ever depressing! I've already been through a few weeping spells, and I'm only on page 173. What was up with me when I was younger? Was I that melancholy, that dark? I guess I was. I suffered from the SAD since my early teens (maybe earlier), but it was undiagnosed. So I guess this book spoke to the darkness inside of me that I was struggling with.

Now, my favorite books are usually romance novels, which may have some trouble in them but I am guaranteed a happy ending, sweet romance and the story of falling in love. These are much better for me to read emotionally and for my relationship with my hubby. I've noticed that most of my books on my TBR Challenge are dramas, dark or deep in one way or another. The guideline for the TBR Challenge was that you had to put books on your list which have been sitting around waiting for you to read for over 6 months. So these dramas, these deep books I buy or receive because they sound very interesting, but I end up reading the lighter, happier books. I will work on trying for a better balance throughout the year from now on.

There's the update on my reading. Don't say I don't keep you up to date on it!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

I Have Designs For Those Rooms

I'm exhausted and dying to go to sleep, but I wanted to cheer myself up a bit by talking about My Brilliant Plan for our family room. (I hope this is coherent, because I'm so very tired.)

There are two things that you would realize about me if you walked into my house these days. The first is that I love to decorate. However, we moved into this house when I was in my second trimester, and my pregnancy exhaustion and then that whole having an infant tihng kept me from having the energy to buy decor, hang paintings and curtains, paint walls and furniture and do all those other things I love. I didn't even have the energy to buy proper family room furniture instead of the uncomfortable and awkwardly placed hand-me-down furniture we currently have in there. We don't even have a coffee table! All of the beautiful decorating I've done for this house has been in my head, usually during those late night wakings when I nursed the baby in the dark with nothing to do but think.

The second thing is that I hate hate hate clutter. It drives me nuts. I will try to let things go, but if it stays cluttered for too long, I just can't take it and a blow up about how I can't stand the house and have to do something. The problem in this house has been two things: our kitchen and family room don't have enough places to put things (no pantry in the kitchen?!?!), and the baby has a lot of stuff and I've not bought things to put them in. So it overflows in the kitchen and in the family room.

And I've had it. I cannot take the current furniture or the clutter. And now that it's spring, I have a bit of energy to do the shopping I have needed to do. I finally got Londo on board with the couch I have coveted for 3 years, and I ordered it last week! It won't be in for 8-10 weeks, but then we will have the perfect couch! We have found a great leather chair (I think it was that one) for Londo that we need to order. I've been working on a coffee table, an accent chair and shelves for storage.

Speaking of storage, I'm dying for some place to store the toys (and cookbooks and magazines and whatever else). We don't have an overload of toys, although we do have plenty. We just have no where to put it all where it would be organized and accessible. I was ready to break down and just buy some cheesy plastic bucket-shelf thingy which looks like something for a kid's playroom with its primary colors and cheapness, which would definitely not match the nice decor I had in mind for the room. But I need to put those toys SOMEWHERE!

Then I read this post by Jen of Amazing Trips. I was inspired! I was not going to settle for some piece of crap in my family room! I was going to search for the vision I had in my head and make it happen! So that afternoon, after checking online, I went to Pottery Barn Kids. They have this fantastic modular shelving system that is EXACTLY what I have in mind. I'm going to get three of four pieces and put them on top of each other in the perfect spot in the family room. I think I'm going to get the honey color, because I got the couch in oatmeal and we'll get a brown leather chair, so I think the honey will keep with the relaxed, casual feel of the room.

I've also suggested that we get this activity table (although I will probably get these storage bins) to use as our coffee table. With the storage bins underneath, it can hold a lot of the Pumpkin's toys, as well as blankets and other items we have kicking around the room. Once the Pumpkin is older, we can either take the bins out from under and keep it as our coffee table or let her (and any future kids) have it as a play table. I asked Londo what he thought about the activity table as a coffee table. He was fine with it. When pressed, he said he just wants a coffee table. Any coffee table. Just somewhere to put his cup of coffee. I could pick whatever I wanted. So, I've picked.

Londo wants to do some final measuring to make sure what I want will truly fit where I want it to. After that, I will go to the store and buy the shelves and table! The best part about those is that the store has the honey-colored shelves and table in stock, so I will be able to bring it home immediately!

Next on my list is ordering the leather chair and finding a proper table for the kitchen. I'm thinking this one (in mahogany) might be perfect or maybe this (although not those chairs) for our smallish kitchen, but I have to measure the space, look at them in person and think about what would be just right. I also want to look at other stores and see if I can't find an even better table at a better price. After that, I will work on finding an accent chair, a media stand for the TV, and a console table for behind the couch. Fortunately, I don't feel the rush to do this all right away, as Londo and I have agreed to buy them piece by piece, making sure each item fits in the room correctly and works for us and then evaluating what we really need next.

I'm so excited about finally decorating the two rooms we use the most in the house! I do have a limited budget (which we've had set aside since the sale of our last house), but I'm looking into sales and prioritizing what we need most.

Alright, now it's way later than I intended to go to bed, but I am in a really good mood thinking about all this. We're also going to go through our boxes of pictures and knick knacks that we haven't unpacked since we moved to find just the right decor to match the room. And then, maybe then, I'll feel like I live in a house that I've made my own, like I've got rooms in which I've put my creative ideas into reality. If I can do this and be happy with it, I hope to continue my momentum and finish up some of the other rooms--maybe even all of them!

And then, I'm sure we'll move again.

Another Rough Night

Disclaimer: Please excuse any typos, misspellings or grammar mistakes. I'm so out of it, and you will read why below. I tried to proof this post, but there were many mistakes so I might have missed some. You'll forgive me, right?

We had a very rough night last night. You all get to hear all about it, because it's all I can think of and I hope writing about it will exorcise the demon from my mind.

First let me say that I'm incredibly glad that we spent the money on a comfortable glider/recliner for the nursery, because that is where I spent most of my night. Londo, the Pumpkin and I are all exhausted. Londo and I talked this morning about how we forget just. how. bad. it. is. when she is waking up this often at night and won't be put down. We know that it was bad, and we remember that going through it was a nightmare. But once we start getting more sleep, we block out just how bad it is until we are going through it again. And then it hits us like a ton of screaming, squirming bricks.

After waking up screaming like a red alert alarm, Londo went in to her. (I was not really awake and totally thought it was Londo's alarm going off and I was snapping at him in that sleepy babbling way to turn off his alarm. That's how much she sounded like an alarm. Or that's how out of it I was at the abrupt waking. Probably both.) Londo tried to put her down I think 4 times in the span of a little over an hour.

When I took over, I quickly realized there would be no putting her down. After 45 minutes of nursing, she finally fell asleep (miraculously not attached to my nipple). When I tried to shift her a bit in preperation of getting up and putting her in her crib, she fussed and cried, and I immediately stopped moving so that I wouldn't fully wake her. And so, I pulled up a blanket, used another blanket for a pillow, put the chair in recliner mode, and drifted to sleep as best I could.

An hour later, she woke up crying in my arms. She still doesn't settle down if I try to only rock her, although I keep trying (maybe only half-heartedly). I ended up nursing her back to sleep, and we both fell asleep. When I woke up an hour later (at 5:30 A-freaking-M), she still had my nipple in her mouth. They are sore, people. Very sore the past week--from this sort of thing, not from anything, you know, good. Luckily I was able to detach her without waking her, and we slept another hour, when she woke up crying again and I said that's it, we are awake for the day because it's 6:30 and that's wake up time and I'm just done.

I really hate it when she wakes up screaming and crying before she even opens her eyes. It must mean that what has woken her is that something inside doesn't feel right. So that makes me feel so bad for her. And it drives me crazy.

Here's the good news (if you can call it that): I think I know why she's having a particularly hard time. Last night I saw, and then felt, some big bumps just under her gums. It looks like her first molars are trying to come in. Her teething has never gone smoothly, so I can only imagine that the molars will be especially hard. Teething would also explain much of what's going on lately, from the fever and off-and-on runny nose to the sleeping problems and fussiness to the wanting to constantly nurse and not wanting to eat much solids.

So I feel a little better knowing that things should get better after her molars are through the skin and up a little ways (if history holds true). But I have a feeling this won't be a quick process... plus, there are going to be four of them, right? Yet I feel only two bumps on the bottom gum...

Monday, April 7, 2008

Think The Gypsies Will Take Her?

This morning, my lovely little girl was totally a Dr. Jekyll and Miss Hyde. She would go from super fussy, freaking out because she wanted the door open or that toy or to play with the trash bag (etc.) to giggly, cute and sweet. I feel like I was put through the ringer this morning, and I've been incredibly grumpy. But I've got my coffee now and a yummy breakfast sandwich. I'm sure I'll feel better soon.

But this morning I was reminded of a conversation Londo and I have had off and on throughout this past year. This is not a new conversation, though, as previously this conversation was about the dog. Now, it is about the Pumpkin when she's been especially frustrating.

Parent 1: We could just sell her to the gypsies.
Parent 2: They wouldn't pay money for her. Maybe they'd take her for free.
Parent 1: We'll probably have to pay them to take her!
Parent 2: We could throw in the dog!
Parent 1: It just might work!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Question of the Week - Five Albums

Updated below with my answers.

I'm happy to say that the Pumpkin's fever broke earlier today, and her temperature is back to normal (whatever normal should be--it was 98.5, so that's got to be fine). If she is still without fever in the morning, I will bring her to the babysitter (my mom is out of town, so she is with my niece and the babysitter tomorrow). One thing I discovered out of all of this is that the Pumpkin HATES getting her temperature rectally. She never seemed to notice before, but has expressed her intense displeasure today. I will have to look into an ear thermometer or something.

Because we stayed in all day with the sick child, I actually got a lot of reading today. My book, Bel Canto, is really well written with an intriguing story. One of the main characters is an opera singer, and a lot of the book centers around music. It's making me yearn to go to an opera! Londo and I went to one about 8 or 9 months ago, our first real outing after having the baby. I do love the opera.

So in honor of my head being full of music, here is the question of the week:
What five albums could you not live without?

I'm actually going to have to think about mine. I know about 3 right away, but I'm going to have to debate the final 2. I'll think about it and post mine later.

How about you? What would yours be?

Update:
After much back and forth, I've finally finalized my list. In no particular order, my five are:
-Tidal, Fiona Apple
-Rubber Soul, The Beatles
-Fizzy Fuzzy Big & Buzzy, The Refreshments
-Billie Holiday Sings Standards, Billie Holiday
-High Fidelity soundtrack from the movie, various artists

This was a crappy question. It was much to hard to decide. How could I cut Led Zeppelin, The Doors, Janis Joplin from the list? It was so hard to pick between Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald! What about the Sex Pistols? What about John Mayer and Norah Jones? Five was much to small. I see that now. But there is my list none the less.
Update over.