Monday, December 29, 2008
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
A mere three hours later, I heard what I thought were the rumblings of a distant DV incident, but were really J explaining to H quite delicately that it was nowhere close to time to wake up. A cry of "I peed!" brought J jumping out of his bed, rushing to the bathroom with H. A quick change of the diaper and pj's and we were ready to fall back into blissful slumber.
3am Pacific is 6am Eastern, so H had technically fulfilled his sleep quota. He was up for the day. I thought that we (and in this case I must mean the royal we, as J was already drifting back into dreamland...oh, to be a man.) may be able to eek out a few more minutes of sleep by just turning on the TV and 'resting my eyes', but C chose that moment to announce that he wasn't really all that sleepy anymore either.
I tossed back the covers and jumped in the shower, (Tag! J, you're it!) welcoming the warm spray and the sloughing away of airport grime. There's nothing like cross-country travel with kids to make you feel fresh as a daisy. After I was done getting ready, we decided to go get breakfast, and my heart sank as imagined the local IHOP when one of the things I'd been most looking forward to was all the great breakfast places; Cadillac Cafe, Mother's Bistro, Rose's Deli (just to name a few)...a far cry from the offerings of White City. When you're traveling on a budget, it just felt so sad to spend you first vacay money on airport food with a chaser of Denny's. I had a sudden resolve to not eat crap food for breakfast. Driving away from the hotel, J remarked that we were like fugitives; checking into a hotel at midnight with our little kids and then slinking out again before 6am.
After double-checking the business hours of one of our fave restaurants with no dice, we remembered The Reedville Cafe, which has a great breakfast menu, awesome french toast and other specials and is really family friendly. As providence would have it, it opened 5 minutes before we pulled in.
I loved every morsel of my eggs Florentine and three cups of coffee, then rushed to my best friend's house as it was now the every-parent decent hour of 8am. And we'd already been up for five hours.
Did I mention that I'd failed to sleep the night before leaving? Apparently, I was so excited, I forgot to go to bed. I kept looking at the mountain of clothes and diapers, the over to the three suitcases and it just seemed like too much to commence, so I knit more of the socks I'm working on, watched a little Law and Order while doing laundry and just generally procrastinated the task of packing. Before I knew it, it was 5am and I'd yet to hit my head to the pillow. Three hours of sleep is paltry on its own, but when it's all you get in 72 hours, it leaves a little to be desired.
Yesterday, I made it through a busy day of meeting with old friends, touring the new building of my old job, lunch at Burgerville (Sweet Potato Fries, yum!) and a dinner at Cafe Mingo with my best friend, her family and another couple with their kids where I was barely able to hold it together while H cried loudly after being awoken on the short walk from the car to the restaurant. Luckily, we'd had the foresight to inquire about their private room, so it was almost like having dinner at one of their homes without the work of cleaning for and preparing a meal. By the time the calamari came out, H was sleeping on a bed of coats and I was happily finishing my second glass of wine.
At home, with all the kids asleep, we got to stay up and visit hitting the sack at about midnight. It's now 5am, and I've been up for over an hour. What? What's that you're asking? Where's my husband? Right. He's upstairs. Asleep. And I'm not one bit bitter. Nor did I make any snarky comments about his level of helpfulness as I awoke. And I won't be rude to him when his well-rested ass finally makes it downstairs. Or hold it against him the rest of the day. I. am. Zen. Mother.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Tonight, I was baby-sitting for another mama and I was greeted by the scent of a live Christmas tree, tubes of wrapping paper stored in their Rubbermaid containers waiting to wrap gifts and the Cindy-Lou Who-esque four year old I was watching was dressed in her pj's awash in the glow of the lights and tinsel from the tree.
I was hit with a strong sense of nostalgia of being that Cindy-Lou Who in my pj's, so excited for Christmas to come I could hardly stand myself. As time marches on, the magic of Christmas gets overshadowed by the craze of buying, making, wrapping, shipping, buying some more...
After reading her a few bedtime stories, I was getting a drink in the kitchen when I spotted Baby-Sitter Kryptonite. Yes, it was the classic shirt box with tin foil peeking over the edge that could only mean one thing...cupcakes leftover from a party. As I peeled back the paper and savored the chocolate frosting and sprinkles, I started thinking more about what it was that I really loved about Christmas growing up.
My mom decorates for every holiday, so you can't help but be swept up in it; although we tease her endlessly for her lawn that is now littered with blow-mold snowmen, but really we didn't ramp it up until the nativity came home...Baby Jesus, in plastic blow mold...lit up? And you wouldn't let me watch the Like a Virgin video because it was sacrilege? hmmmm. Do as I say, not as I do, right?
We always had a wood stove in the kitchen and my mom and dad would have us write our Santa letters then they would put them in the fire so that the ashes could fly out the chimney and make their way to the North Pole for Santa to piece back together. He's really quite amazing, that jolly old guy.
Christmas Eve for as long as I can remember (save for the last couple years when I lived further away) is spent at my aunt and uncle's house where all of the aunt, uncles and cousins get together for a Waffle Feed...I have 36 first cousins on that side, and the feed is open to extended family, and really anyone who wants to come in the community. After we get fat and happy on waffles smothered in strawberries and whipped cream or maple syrup, fried eggs and sausage, it's off to Midnight Mass.
Christmas morning was the only time we got pre-sweetened cereal, so it was all about picking your own little mini box of trix or frosted flakes and then it was off to open gifts with my dad in his sweet navy velour track suit (of which J has a frightening duplicate) divying up the gifts, making sure we opened one each in order of age and the handed him the paper to be tightly wadded and promptly disposed of in the garbage bag he had at the ready. We're a 'rip and tear' family. Ironically, now my mom makes home-made sticky buns after gifts are opened, because cold cereal is the last thing we want.
The cost to fly home and spend time with family was J and my gift to each other; we agreed to doing only stockings for each other, and by that I do not mean that there will be a diamond, or whatever the male counterpart to that is, nestled in it. The harried pace at which we've been living for the last year-and-a-half, well really last five-and-a-half, is making this vacation all the more appreciated.
I've mentioned before that we agreed on a home-made Christmas this year in my family. I couldn't help myself in looking at the gifts as I'm preparing to mail them ahead of us and feeling like they're a little paltry. Nevermind that I've spent several hours making them, I keep thinking 'What else should I add to this?' 'What if it's not enough?' 'What if they get me more?' I called Milly, who was having the same internal dilemma for Sherri's gift, as that's the sister she drew. We ended the conversation with the agreement that the whole point of going handmade this year was to spend less and still have a gift that's personal.
Thanks, Cindy, for reminding me of the simple joy of being excited for Christmas' sake. Because, in the end, that's what I really want for my kids.
Friday, December 12, 2008
I don't even have an official diaper pail yet, as I was just using a mop bucket by the washing machine with baking soda in the bottom for a dry pail. With a potty-training toddler and a baby in cloth diapers, there's really not ever more than a day without doing laundry, so the smell that I was worried about hasn't been an issue at all. The diaper pail in our bathroom that holds H's disposables smells like something died in it, which I guess it technically did, but the cloth pail is fine.
Now that I know I can do it, I've ordered a WAHMIEs diaper pail liner, which fits in a standard garbage can and also ordered a couple of hemp/microfiber liners from Emily's Little Treasures (Which I really like, especially compared to having the bulky Chinese pre-fold in there) that fit into the g's ...the up-front investment has been pretty negligible so far.
In my slow surrender to 'becoming a dirty hippie' as Lynn at Family Style Love termed it, I've found that I'm getting kind of excited about all the positive changes. Using Earth Friendly Orange Plus for most of my cleaning, regular white vinegar and baking soda have made a happy little addition to my repertoire.
After being a complete brat about the high price of organic living, I've found that there are so many ways to go green on a budget. Full Circle has a huge natural and organic product line that is carried at Roche Bros (others as well, but Roche Bros is where I shop a lot) and is actually cheaper than a lot of the generic regular items. From free-range chicken stock to vegetarian refried beans to toasted oats, I've found a grocery brand that's inexpensive and really good. Their website also has a menu and recipe database.
So where does that catchy little title come in, you may be asking yourself? Well, because I was on an organic high from all the good I was doing by washing my little gooey breast milk poo diapers in our front-loading energy-efficient washing machine with dye and perfume-free detergent. And then, C started to eat solid food. Again, the good feelings as I spooned Earth's Best Organic Sweet Potatoes, Plum Banana Brown Rice and Pears with Blueberrry into his gaping baby bird mouth. The best part? These were all free, as another mom's baby had recently outgrown that stage in life. (When they were gone, I went to Target and found that Earth's Best was marked lower than the regular Gerber line.)
And then...yep, out came the solid poo. I tried scraping it off with a wipe because I just couldn't bring myself to dunk it in the toilet...I guess I don't see what that really solves. So, first you have a poopy diaper, then you have a wet, probably still poopy diaper? Hmmm..doesn't seem much better. The wipe route didn't work wonderfully, but it was better than nothing.
I quickly invested in the bumGenius diaper sprayer, which was highly rated on amazon, and had been talked about on several of the gDiaper and cloth diapering e-loops that I'm on. It came in the mail yesterday, and I asked J to install it last night. While I have to call the company because it leaked all over the bathroom floor, I'm confident that there's an easy fix. Out of the 20+ reviews I read, nobody mentioned it leaking; "I don't think I would be quite so excited about cloth diapering without this product. It works great on even the yuckiest poops!"
Music to my ears.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Henry Ford is probably rolling over in his grave.