Sunday, August 26, 2007

Extra Extra....

Read all about it...

Guess what foks, I am going to be a reporter! Well, sort of. I have agreed to be a reporter for the fabulous Mel at Stirrup Queens. If you haven't checked it out yet (have you been living under a rock?) her blog is an awesome resource for infertiles. Her blog is a wealth of information for any woman connected to infertility(including assisted conception and adoption) and all around great place to make connections with others. As I've said before, I still feel an odd connection to infertile blogs, even though I've now moved on from treatments and have adopted a child. I really feel like it is my responsibility to continue to provide support to the community that helped me through my difficult times.

So going forward, I will be providing Mel with news on the International Adoption front to be included in her daily newsletter. This newsletter is a place to report happy news, as well as anytime a blogger might need some love or support. So along with my usual blogroll, I'll be checking on those blogs listed under International Adoption and Parenting after International Adoption on Mel's site for all things newsworthy. If you'd like to be added to either blogroll, please let me know and I'll be sure to have you added. Also, if you know of any news to be shared, let me know that too.

How awesome is the internet??

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

I am officially a mommy blogger....

Many times I post comments on blogs where I dont really "know" the author. New blogs or ones where I am usually just a lurker. I am always concerned about what post they will see when they follow my link back to my blog. "There's only one chance to make a first impression" as the saying goes. Will they read it and decide I'm an idiot and never come back? Are they infertiles who will be turned off by all the pictures of seamonkey? Ultimately I know that I have no control over that sort of thing. And mostly I don't really care what other people think - but I would be less than honest if I said that I didn't want a new person to click here and think I was not your typical mommy blog-fabulously funny- must add her to my bloglines right now kind of blogger.

So it's with much trepidation that I present you with my very first mommy blog poop story.

Last week, I was giving Seamonkey his nightly bath. I was thinking about how I haven't been taking much video lately, so I get the camera to take a little footage of him in the tub. Tub time is a particularly fun time for seamonkey, he's very animated and talkative so it's great video fodder. So I'm taping la la....and he's swirling around the tub and slips a little so that he is kind of laying down in his tub (we put his tub inside our regular tub) and he gets all quiet and glassy eyed. I assume you see where this is going. I will spare you the actual video, but here's the audio:

Me: What are you doing?
Me: You better not be pooping.
Me: Are you pooping?


At this point I put the camera down on the counter, still filming, and forgot about it. So you then hear me and BT debating how best to remove offending fecal matter and next steps. You can clearly hear wet wriggling baby making unhappy noises. Ultimately, BT decides to get the cat litter box scooper. He cleans and disenfects the tub while I hold the baby, unwilling to let his poop water ensconced body touch anything else until he can be rewashed. His skin was a little pinker than usual by the time he was in his pyjamas.

Fast forward to last night. Boy in tub. Boy laying back in tub and splashing really really hard - snow angel style. Screaming, laughing, waving arms, water everywhere. He got himself very worked up. Really worked up. Again. No floaters, just brown water. LOL Sorry I know that's TMI but you need to really get the visual.

Guess What?
He didn't
He did.

I was laughing so hard I almost lost my own bodily functions. Which was making seamonkey laugh hysterically which just made me laugh harder. BT was not so amused.

I am so playing that video at his wedding.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

On discipline...

As I mentioned in my last post, we have reached the point where Seamonkey is old enough to require some kind of discipline. Right now, he throws these little mini tantrums when he doesn't get his way. As soon as I piss him off, he starts this screechy cry, grabs my hand and bites it, clearly in an agressive way. He only does this to me and my mom...not to BT or my dad. I'm sure that alot of it has to do with the crankiness from teething, but I still need to address it.

I have been experimenting on how to deal with this, but obviously it would be best if I was consistent in my approach. I've tried just pulling my hand away and ignoring the tantrum, letting him cry. I've tried "changing the subject" and distracting him with a toy or something. I've tried yelling "NO BITING!". I've even tried a light smack on the mouth (do not lecture me I'm exploring methods). To be honest, all of these have had mixed results. Sometimes he cries harder, sometimes he stops.

I googled around a bit and realized how many vastly different parenting approaches there are out there. I've come to the conclusion that every kid is different and responds to different techniques. My son, the little bugger that he is, does not respond at all to yelling. He has no fear of me. If I yell "NO THROWING FOOD" when he's chucking his lunch over the sides of his highchair, he pauses, looks me dead in the face, and while still holding my stare, picks up more food, holds it over the side and opens his hand. If that kid wasn't cute he'd be on the moon by now. It's all I can do not to crack up from the audacity this kid has. I just shake my head because I know that God is giving me just what I deserve.

Anyway, he does seem to react most to praise. As I've said before, he believes everything requires applause. So I try to focus on praising him when he does something right. But Lord, I feel like I'm turning into June Cleaver, and that this kid will think every time he farts it's cause for celebration. You know it's bad when I'm in a meeting and when something good happens I clap my hands and say "Yay!". OY.

I think I need to read some parenting books, if for nothing else than to find out what will and won't work for my particular child. I came across this Interesting website which helps you figure out which style might be best for you. My scores indicated the Sears method might be the best for me, but I'm not sure...might be a little too lenient for my personality type - I'll have to read it for myself to see. If you figure out your score, let me know how you came out. I was raised pretty strictly, and I'm a no nonsense kind of gal, so I don't believe in spoiling a child or coddling them too much. But I don't want to be a cold unfeeling bitch either. I think that kind of comes out in my writing, so if you are like me, maybe you can recommend your methods or books that have helped you.

This is such an interesting time for me - I can really see how one's actions can have a profound effect on a child's development.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Monthly Update - 10 & 11 months old

Dear Seamonkey:

It's been a busy summer! I didn't take nearly as many pictures and videos that I would have liked in these past two months. We run around so much that many times we forget the camera, and I need to do a better job remembering to capture all the little moments of your childhood. Despite the pictures though, I am confident that we are making lots of good memories for you.

This month, we've seen alot of this face:

You are having a terrible time with your teething. You've had two teeth come in at once, your left eye tooth and your right front. You don't really drool at all, and you don't seem to get fevers...the worst part is that it turns your personality from happy to evil in 2.3 seconds. It prevents you from falling asleep and once you do, makes you wake up crying quite a bit. We give you lots of baby orajel and cold freezy toys which do help you. The good news is that once we've relieved your pain, you're back to being your fabulous pleasant self.

You still don't stop moving. This is another familiar sight:A blurred image of you crawling away from me. One of your favorite things to do is to crawl up and down the hallway - and you are remarkably fast for a little thing. You are still cruising around, and now you've gotten fancy using only one hand. It's only a matter of time before you're walking. We've been encouraging you with the use of your car walker:
You get so proud of yourself that you applaud, and don't realize that you're standing on your own:
Then you do this weird trick that you taught yourself - putting your hands on your head. This may be the "so big!" that your Aunt M taught you - I can't be sure because we don't teach you that at home.

Speaking of tricks, you stopped doing "bye bye" for some reason. You won't do it no matter how many of us are waving back at you. You're still babbling in your own language, but still no real words yet, even though we're trying desperately to teach you some basics. You've also started this move:

Which you'll do in response to "wahoo!". And then there's this new trick which I'm going to say you got from your father:
You are getting better at feeding yourself:We've been trying to increase the amount of table food you get, but unfortunately, after a few bites you start winging it over the sides of your highchair. When that happens, it's a sign you clearly won't be eating anymore, so we take it away. You're still eating baby food, and I'm trying to figure out a good way to get you off of it. I have found that this part of your life is the most challenging for us - trying to transform you from a baby to a toddler. We've gotten very used to doing things the baby way, and we are starting to see that you are growing up fast!You are becoming very head strong - if I stop you from doing something, like standing up in the bathtub, or dunking your face into the suds (you end up choking yourself) or gnawing on the crib rails, you start to throw a tantrum. When you do, you try to grab me and bite me. Isn't that special? So discipline is something else we've started to explore. We're trying to figure out how to best handle these situations, yelling NO!, or ignoring it, or distracting you from the behavior or a combo of all those things. I know that what we do now will affect your behavior going forward, so we want to get things right. It looks like you are going to test us at every turn!

But most of the time you're a very good boy. We took you camping with us and you held up better than mommy did, that's for sure.
You still love the pool, especially the one that Grandma and Grandpa bought you for the yard.
It's been a blessing during these hot days. We can't wait to put you back into swimming lessons after you turn one. We can NOT believe that in a few short weeks you will one year old! This time has really flown. You are an amazing, adorable, wonderful little boy. We love you very much!

Monday, August 06, 2007

8 Obscure things meme

Thanks Julie for tagging me for this meme that has kept me up nights. I had the worst time coming up with 8 things you don't know about me, which is funny considering, well, none of you really know me at all. It was tricky to come up with something you might find remotely interesting. Here's what I got:

First, here are the rules:
1. We have to post these rules before we give you the facts.
2. Players start with eight random facts/habits about themselves.
3. People who are tagged write their own blog post about their eight things and include these rules.
4. At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged and that they should read your blog.
5. Eight is a magic number. Not three.

1.The fact that I love the beach is no secret. I'd rather be there than anywhere else in the world. I've spend much of my life on the shore or on a boat. The weird part? I can't swim.

2. I can't wear contact lenses. Apparently, my eyeballs are shaped funny which precludes me from wearing them without them feeling like hot flaming barbed wire pokers. I've tried every brand they make. And each year I try the new ones that promise to be even more "breathable" than the ones before. So I wear glasses all the time instead. On my wedding day, I refused to wear glasses so I was just blind the entire day. I am too scared to get the laser surgery.

3. I played the clarinet in school for 8 years. I made it up to second seat at one point. I was also in the marching band and was asked to be the drum majorette but I chickened out because they didn't have a majorette uniform in my size and one of the mom's volunteered to make one (talk about teenage social suicide). I quit the band altogether to take typing in my senior year. My conductor was heart broken. Considering I can type about 85wpm, I'm glad I took the typing course. Not so much use for the clarinet in my current position.

4. I am a daydreamer. If I am stuck somewhere with nothing to do, like a car or train ride, I can make up entire stories in my head. If I'm listening to music, I'll pretend I am performing the song in front of an audience. Or I'll play out a scene in my head about running into an old boyfriend, or recreate a conversation I had where I get to really say all the things I wanted to say the first time. Or sometimes I'm the heroine in a favorite book or movie. I have favorite daydreams that I'll think about for a while until I come up with a better one. This also helps me get to sleep.

5. Though I consider myself a very rational, sane person, I sometimes have difficulty separating fantasy from reality, particularly when it comes to celebrities I favor. For example, I do not want to see Jim Krazinski in any other role than Jim from the Office, so I don't watch or read any interviews with him because it will spoil the illusion. I don't read about my favorite bands/musicians because I want to always feel like the songs I connect with are just for me - I don't want to find out if they are really jerks, or if the song had a totally different meaning. I need these people to remain the way they are in my head.

6. I originally wanted to be architect. A family member convinced me to be a civil engineer, because you can be an architect and get paid more. I went to school for 3 years to do just that, and then much to the dismay of my parents (and their bank accounts) I decided I hated it. I had to really struggle just to get a C, and while I'm all for a woman being in a male dominated industry, I just couldn't hack it. I switched schools, and switched majors (Accounting) and crammed the rest of remaining credits into another year and half, taking all summer and winter sessions. Thank God I did, though. I met my husband within the first month at my new school. He still has the first note I passed him in Government Accounting over 15 years ago.

7. In my freshman year of college, I almost joined a latina sorority, even though I am not remotely latin. I grew up in schools that were at least 75% minority, so when I got to college, I connected more with those I was familiar with (the fact that I met some people who had never met a black person before college completely blew me away). The only reason I didn't go through with it was that I started dating a guy who's ex girlfriend was the president of the sorority. It would have given new meaning to the word "hazing". I'm gutsy, but not stupid.

8. Related to #2, but deserving to be listed on it's own - in college I preferred to go to latin and african-american frat and sorority parties instead of the typical beer funnel fests thrown by the "white" ones. They were so much more fun than their anglo counterparts. Less drinking, more dancing. Therefore, while others were rocking out to the new grunge scene - I was sweating it up dancing to hip hop and house music, and watching step shows (like this)- hard to believe, but this whitey white girl knows all the words to FAR too many rap and hip hop songs (who's that....browwwwnnnn - 5pts if you know that one too). Alas, my talent goes unappreciated, because I married the whitest man on earth. He especially dislikes it when he gets in the car turns on the ignition and finds that I left my XM radio channel "The Rhyme" blasting. Oops. My bad!

I'm not tagging anyone else, I don't want anyone losing any sleep on my account. Play along if you'd like. Someone else tagged me on something similar, but I seem to have forgotten who that was. Sorry!

Today 3 inches of rain was dumped on this city in under 2 hours. This had disastrous effects on our subways, trains and traffic. It is almost a 100 degrees out, and the humidity is so high it feels like pea soup out there and it is even difficult to breathe. My commute this morning was torturous, not to mention what my hair looks like. I am going to get in my car, pump the air up to max, turn on my hip hop and brave the commute home. Pray for me.

In which I piss off my SAHM readers

This past weekend I accompanied BT to a backyard BBQ at the home of one of his fishing club friends. I know most of the guys, but never really met any of the wives. Feeling a little awkard, as I am not good at the social chit chatty thing with people I don't know, I sat at the "wives" table with the baby. In general most people were very nice, and everyone made very pleasant conversation. Most knew that seamonkey was adopted, as BT kept his fishing buddies informed during the whole process.

First, I should say that it's funny how I still don't feel part of the mommy club. I do feel like seamonkey's mom, when I'm with him and when we're with family. But being a mom as I relate to other (non family) moms is just ....weird. It's hard to explain. Suddenly my conversations are all about kids. Why? Is there nothing else to talk about? Do you really care when my son learned to crawl? Because I could care less about when yours did. It's nice to know about people's kids, as they are now - how many, what gender, what they're into and stuff...but why must we rehash entire childhoods? Can't we talk about news, movies, life in general? I am amazed that people ask me so many questions about the past 8 months of his life - it's so weird to me. It's worse when it becomes a competition, but I don't understand why those conversations get started in the first place. I am not defined by the fact that I have a child. Yeesh, I just got over being defined by my infertility and people want to stuff me in yet another pigeon hole....Anyway, I digress from the point of this post.

As I said, most people were very nice. Except one. The one I refer to as 'that ASS'. How that woman didn't end up with my fist lodged in her face by the end of the day is beyond me. Truthfully, I think what saved her is the fact that I wanted to be nice for the sake of my husband. I only later found out that he can't stand the husband either. She is lucky I did not have that information while I was sitting there.

When I first arrive, I sit in the only vacant seat, which was kind of in the sun, with the baby on my lap. THE ASS says "Honey, why don't you move over here so the baby doesn't get a sunburn" in a real condescending how-stupid-are-you tone. First, don't call me honey. Second, when I first sat down, your whiney child was still sitting there so there was nowhere else to sit. Okay fine, I move to sit right next to her. She talks in this very sing songy voice and is all me me me, have I told you about me? And how about me? And in case you didn't know? Me.

I soon realize that I met her before. BT took our Pilot on it's maiden voyage onto the beach. Her and I were the only women there, the rest were all fisherman from the club. When she formally introduced herself, I told her we had met. She gives me this ridiculous face and says "Sorry" as in, "I can't be expected to remember all of my fans". She knew who I was, I'm sure of it.

At one point, all the husbands go and take a picture in front of their fishing club banner. All of the wives, including me, make comments about what dorks they are. I mean, come on...grown men. Fishing club. Need I say more. THE ASS says "well...I really can't make fun, because I happen to LOVE to fish. husband is this close to becoming president of the club". Oooh, President? Wow! You must be so proud. I am so jealous that you are on deck to be THE FIRST WIFE of this raggety band of beer drinking bait smelling fisherman! I bow to your greatness!

Then THE ASS' husband is trying to prevent their son from going up to the pool deck without his lifejacket on (he's 5) and the kid is arguing about it. THE ASS yells up and asks what the problem is, husband explains. THE ASS then starts talking to the husband in that sing song voice like he's two..."Now honey (honey again!) he's a big boy now, I know you want to help him, but he's got to learn for himself...." Learn for himself? By drowning? And if my husband ever spoke to me like that in front of a group of people I would punch his lights out.

The aforementioned 5 year old? Has a mohawk. On his head. He's 5. Mohawk. 5.

Then came the straw on the proverbial camel's back. The dreaded SAHM discussion. I hate that discussion, because I am not a SAHM. When people get around to asking me, and I tell them our situation (I work, BT is a SAHD) everyone gets quiet and it's usually the end of the conversation. Usually I keep quiet the entire time, as I don't like to judge other people's situations, just like I don't like others to judge mine. But up to this point THE ASS has been jumping up and down repeatedly on my last nerve.

An older woman with grown children is talking benignly about raising her children, in the context of how things are so different today. THE ASS hears the words "stayed home with my children" and cuts her off by saying "--HARDEST JOB THERE IS. HARDER THAN ANY MAN'S JOB!". So my eyebrows shoot up, because I assume by "man's job" she means anyone with a job outside the home. Still trying to keep my foot out of her ass, I say "Well, I think that depends. It depends on what job you have (or had), how old and how active your kids are...I don't think you can make such a blanket statement". Of course she ignores me and prattles on and on about how EXHAUSTED she is and how her husband just doesn't GET IT and blah blah blah blah blah. She was in the RESTAURANT INDUSTRY so she worked at night and the hours were long, and blah blah blah and being a waitress - Wait, you were a freaking WAITRESS?? That's your big stressful job?? I snorted out loud at that one. She keeps going....blah blah My husband thinks I just sit AROUND all day blah blah..... Finally I say "Well guess what. I work full time and my husband stays home. I'm sure if you ask him he'll agree that he has the better end of the deal. I work all day and I come home and then I'm the mommy too". First came the expected silence. Then came the questions from the others, including asking what I did. I normally don't expound upon what I do, and never use my very official and important sounding title, but I had to this time, and did so in my "SO NOT A WAITRESS" voice. The conversation turned focus away from THE ASS, and since she was no longer the center of attention, she got up from the table.

I know this woman is a particular breed of annoying, but please, someone, for the life of me, explain why some (notice I say some here) SAHM's find the need to justify their position all the time? Of course your job is important. If it wasn't you and your husband wouldn't have agreed to have you home. Face it, the job comes with perks. Like you can go to the beach for the day, or in my husband's case, work on his boat, take the boy to the tackle store...whatever. Don't get defensive about it, be happy you can do those things. There are times I get to go to a fancy dinners without BT and he ribs me for it. So what? And why must we always compare anyway? Why does one job have to be harder than the other? I can see making your case if you are talking to someone like THE ASS (probably like her husband is) who insists that SAHMs do nothing but eat bonbons all day. But many people don't think that way. Please don't wear your SAHM badge like a chip on your shoulder. You don't know me, my family situation or my work situation. So please don't imply that your job is harder than mine. Maybe it is, maybe it isn't. Who cares? Raise your kid and I'll raise mine. It's not a contest.

And whether you're a SAHM, SAHD or you work, be proud of your role. We're all in this together.

And my kid crawled at 9 months. Did yours???