Friday, March 19, 2010

Sleepytime Cruise 2010

So maybe we were slightly behind the curve on the whole "the forth night of CIO is amazing" thing. But for us night eight felt like this:

Yes, it felt like being on a cruise weighing 15 lbs less then I currently do.  : )

But I think that someday when I get eight hours straight it will feel like eating bubblegum icecream on an island in the middle of the summer with my lovie. I can't wait for that feeling. It really is amazing to me how much I took sleep for granted before I was a parent.

But I have to say that I'm SO proud of my baby-boy. A week ago I never would have thought that he could make it through the entire night… alone… without eating. But he can! And that also means he is getting slightly older and slightly more independent. And that pulls on my heartstrings just a tad.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Very Important Procrastination

I’m doing that “thing” that I do when I have an assignment due for my online class. I start working on the assignment with total faith in myself to stick to the task-at-hand. When I start writing my paper I have one Explorer tab open to my online class and four tabs open to various research topics. Then I hastily open up a Word document and prepare it to be filled with scholarly sentences formatted in APA style. Then it happens. My left hand (who is the more creative one) decides to click on an extra internet tab and WHAM…I’m off browsing blogs for the next four hours while my lonely little Word document sits there very empty and sad.

Tonight that browsing somehow led me to a new blog and a very interesting post. It’s from a blog named The Redneck Mommy and the post is about “The R-word.” It has really made me reflect back on my life as the sister of mentally retarded big brother. By nature I’m a very non-confrontational person. We were always taught to “kill people with kindness” rather then clash with other kids. But I have very strong memories of how angry I would get inside if I heard anyone use the R-word. I also remember how boiling mad I would get if I noticed people looking at or talking about my brother. More then a few times in my childhood I remember speaking up and roaring at other kids after witnessing them mocking other disabled children. The R-word proved to be my one trigger.

But as I grew older and matured I slowly became less and less concerned by the word. I had friends who casually threw it around. And I didn’t correct them. I once had a friend ask me “Why do all retards have stupid nicknames?” And he was genuinely interested in the answer. I guess I just came to the understanding that most people are ignorant of the true life struggles of a family trying to raise a child with physical or mental deformities.

After reading her blog tonight I’m a little mad at myself for becoming okay with the casual use of the word. When I was working with Autistic children in the school system in California I always advocated for them. That same fire would start burning in my chest if anyone messed with “my kids.” But in my personal life I’ve remained silent on more then one occasion. Maybe I’ve just become more comfortable with correcting children then my peers. But I agree with Redneck Mommy, it isn’t okay. I can do better.

….and that leaves me with
 blog post: 436 words
 management theory paper: 62 words

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Day four, don't let me down!

We are going on day four of using the Cry It Out method of getting your baby to sleep through the night. I've been reading the "Bible" of children's sleep books, Healthy Sleep Habits Happy Child. It's a very interesting book with many scientific studies cited, but it also gives me the feeling that if I don't get my kid's sleeping habits under control I will screw him up FOR LIFE. Day four is supposed to be magical. For most people it's the night when the baby finally "gets it" and sleeps peacefully though the night. If tonight goes off without a hitch I think tomorrow morning will feel like I’ve awoken on a cruise ship somewhere near Turks. What could be better then an entire night of solid sleep? Nothing.

The piggie.

Up until three days ago he slept in our big bed with us. He is still breastfeeding and bed-sharing makes it very easy to nurse him at night. But now my little piggy is a big 7-month-old and he can go all night without waking up to eat. When he was a tiny baby the risk of SIDS really scared me and I felt so much better with him close by. But in the last week or so my whole thought process shifted. I suddenly felt the urgent need for MY space and MY sleep. It makes me feel a tinge selfish. But I know that at some point my own parents had to make me sleep in my own crib. I don't remember that moment and have no long term grudges held against them because of it. So I'm really hoping that my son will follow in my footsteps.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Reverse Psychology.

I've bounced from apartment to apartment for the last eight years. As far I as I can remember I lived in four apartments in California and now one back here in the heartland. I never thought of myself as an "apartment person" before I moved to Orange County. But it is so dang expensive there! Since I'm still finishing my degree and my husband has no plans to go back to school the chances of us owning a house in Orange County were about one in 3949439034934983490390. Seriously.

Much to my parent's disapproval, I actually love the apartment lifestyle. I now embrace it with all my heart. They don't understand why I want to "throw my money away" each month.* But I enjoy not having to do/pay for any repairs. I like someone else mowing my lawn and scooping my snow. I like having a pool that I don't have to take care of. And I like the freedom of feeling like I can move at any time with no regrets.

When we moved into our current apartment I was told for the first time EVER that we could paint the walls. I immediately started planning out my dream apartment in my head. But now we have lived here for 5 months and I have not painted even one wall. I just don't feel like it. This apartment complex must have done some research on reverse psychology because it's working. So, I've decided that my challenge to myself is to make our home as colorful and fun as I can without painting the walls.

 I've been working on painting, sewing, and re-crafting a lot of things around our place lately. Some non-scientific data pertaining to this matter:
  •  7 out of 10 items in our house are thrifted. 
  •  I will finish 85% of projects with full gusto. Then I get bored. And I hurry to finish it (but I always DO finish it). 
  • 1 out of 10 projects will be done "correctly." I don't really know how to formally sew. I just make it up as I go. I have had a lot of art/painting/drawing classes but I don't think of myself as a professional.
  •  I will often take apart and/or break old projects to finish my current favorite project. (But hey that’s considered recycling isn't? I'm oh so green.) 
  •  1 out of 10 items will break/fray/tear/chip because I don't know what I'm doing.
With that information I now present..... drum roll please......

The Nursery!

 The tiny rocker was thrifted this week. I painted it to match the gnome bank.
 That is his suit waiting for him to be baptised in it next month.
 Fabric on wall from Ikea. Used in CA when I couldn't paint my walls.
 I just painted the inside of the trunk this week, and sewed the curtain. The crib is a hand-me-down.
 Our super comfy rocker from Salvation Army in Anaheim (the BEST thrift shop ever for furnature).
 Our weenie dog.

* Here is what I have to say about that. Read renting vs buying  and renting makes more sense.

"Time for spring, time for spring!"

I remember our family singing the lyrics from this cartoon over and over again around this time of year. The cartoon highlights the perpetual fighting of the little color-making underground elves and the big bad snow cloud that takes place each March (unbeknownst to most humans).

In the last few days the elves have started to gain their victory around here. I can see hints of their green ink coming up through the roots of the grass. I actually got to enjoy a morning sitting on our back porch gazing at our frozen duck pond. Barefoot. It was bliss.

I simply can't wait until it's warm enough for barefoot babies in rompers!
Come on little elves, get to work!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Tiny Gifts

"And every breath that is in your lungs is a tiny little gift to me." - Jack White

When we were still living in our apartment in California I remember sneaking up over the pack-n-play and snapping this Polaroid. After it developed I just stood there and held the photo over the tiny baby who was lying below me. He was sleeping there in the exact same pose that I had captured. I knew that for these few minutes, before he stretched his tiny rolled-up fists into a new position, reality and the snapshot were blurred together. I paused and glanced back and forth between the two for as long as the universe allowed. As I remained there on the cold tile floor, a valid thought came to my mind for the first time. The thought was that, as a mother, my life will be full of moments like this- fleeting moments where I try to grasp every detail of what his life is in this very second.