Friday, May 30, 2008

Haiku Baby Blues

Baby blue eyes baby blue
I could drown in them
Jump willingly in too deep.

You could call me gullible

I trust people. Sometimes that is one of my good traits. Sometimes it is one of my downfalls.

Yesterday I had a face to face with the boy who was supposed to take care of my dogs last weekend. I explained to him how I didn't understand how he could have been in the house and not smelled anything. I explained to him how if the dogs were being fed then there should have been no food left in their containers - that was why I left instructions how to pick up more just in case he needed it.

I told him how the floors could be replaced, but that my heart was broken thinking about how hungry and neglected my dogs were last weekend. I told him how disappointed I was that he had let me down.

At that point, I thought that he was going to cry. He looked straight at me, never glanced away, and said with very watery eyes, that he promised he had fed them and played with them. He promised that they got let out and got their medicines. He said he was really sorry about the floors. Very very sorry.

I believe him. Guy doesn't.

It doesn't mean I'm not still upset about the mess, and it doesn't mean that I don't still have some doubts. But I have always trusted him. It feels completely unnatural not to at this point.

Besides, I think that the only way to make him want to be honest with me is to believe what he says. If I don't, then why would he bother telling me the truth? I think you get back from people what you expect of them most of the time.

I hope from now on, he understands that I expect much more from him than he gave this time.

Not that he'll be watching my dogs again. . .

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Bird's new wheels

Bird got a new toy this weekend. I ordered it for him three months ago, but it just now became available, which is alright because he would have been too little for it before now.

It's a convertible.

Guy drives a little hard top convertible that he loves. I have grown accustomed to it, but didn't like it at first. It's too small. I get claustrophobic in it. I do love looking at it from the outside when Guy pulls up in the driveway with the top down, waving at us on the stoop. He looks good in it.

Bird's convertible is not as fast as his daddy's, but he looks just as good in it. See for yourself:

He has taken a few steps in it, but mainly he just likes to play with the steering wheel and rearview mirror. He probably won't earn a speeding ticket for another month or two.

Here's the thing. That sticker that you can see on the side there? A close up for you:

Are you kidding? The walker is a stair hazard? Dadgum. That means that some parent somewhere let their child play with this at the top of some stairs and they fell. At first, I thought it was really funny that there needed to be a sticker like that. Then, the image of a child falling down the stairs in this thing came to me, and it wasn't at all funny anymore.

Are there really people that stupid out there? Apparently so. That isn't funny. It's just sad.

Bird won't be playing with the walker anywhere near stairs, and not because the sticker told me so. Just because I'm brilliant that way.

He will play with it in the living room and possibly the kitchen. And if you think he doesn't like it, you would be wrong. Just check out the grin on this kid:

Monday, May 26, 2008

Stupid rotten weekend end

Mastitis is mean.

Now that Bird and I are finally nursing like a team, we've switched our nighttime feedings to the side lying position. I was getting more sleep at night, he was enjoying sleeping right up next to me, and all seemed to be good.

Unfortunately, the side lying position leaves me with clogged ducts by the morning. Twice now, these clogged ducts have developed into mastitis before I can get them unclogged.

It hurts. I get a fever. It feels like the flu, and it feels like someone kicked me in the boob really hard. I don't like it.

That was the first half of the weekend. The second half of the weekend consisted of Guy getting a ticket in my Jeep because I totally forgot to renew the registration. It was due in January. I was a little preoccupied and never got around to it. It couldn't be me that got the ticket though, it had to be him. Fair.

Topping it all off? I got one of my high school students to come take care of the dogs while we were away a few nights. I was paying him to come over four times a day. He was to let them out, feed them, play with them, and clean up any messes that poor old Pupstar might have made. She's older and has a bladder issue. It's mostly controlled with medication, but she still has the occasional accident.

I don't know what he did, but it wasn't what we agreed on. We came home to a total disaster. The dining room floors are ruined because dog pee soaked into them. There were days of dog mess all over the floors. We could tell by how much food was left that he hadn't been feeding them. How we knew he had been there at all was because the door to the music studio was open when we had left it closed, thereby allowing the dogs to pee and poop in that room as well.

When I called him, he said that he had been here that morning and there was no mess.

I don't know what to do about that. He isn't being honest. I've taught him for almost 10 years, and I love him dearly, and now he isn't being honest with me. There were days of mess in the house. Days.

It's so very disappointing.

And Guy's floor? Ruined.

I will have to talk to the boy more about this. I haven't paid him yet, and I'm waiting for him to tell me how many times he came over until I do. I think I'm going to pay him based on his word even though I'm pretty sure he is going to lie to me again.

I expected so much more from him. I've always gotten so much more from him. It could just be a stupid teenager mistake.

But Guy's floors. And my poor dogs who missed I don't know how many meals, missed their medication, and were relegated to pee and poop where they knew they shouldn't. They tried. It was all up next to the back wall of the house - as close to the backyard as they could get without being able to be there.

So disappointing.

In a way, I'm really glad this weekend is over. Another post is due about the wonderful parts of the weekend. There were many wonderful parts. But tonight is just for the whining.

Monday, May 19, 2008

I should be shushed

See this? This is a happy, laughing baby. This is my happy laughing baby. This is what I get to hang out with for most of the day.

There is another side to him though. Something new has transpired.

Bird hates to go to sleep.

I know when he is getting sleepy. He makes it very obvious. When the signs occur, we move to his nursery, I swaddle him, and we either walk or rock until he is out. Sometimes we nurse to sleep.

Since Friday though? As soon as he realizes that I'm about to swaddle and walk him? He breaks out into panicked wailing. It escalates to a wail-gasp-wail-gasp frenzy faster than I can shush and walk.

I rub his little head. I kiss his cheek. I shush him in his ear. I hold him tightly so he can't flail. I rock him. I walk him. I sway with him.

He screams.

Tonight? I yelled at him. I yelled "stop" and I yelled his name. I would like to say that I had to yell to be heard over him. That would be true, except that deep down, I know I yelled out of frustration. It did get his attention, but is that really how I want to start getting the attention of my child? By yelling at him?

I'm not a yeller. I hate yelling. I grew up with lots of yelling. I don't want to live in a yelling house. And yet, I yelled at my baby.

He's just a baby. He can't help it. The problem is, I can't help it either because I don't know what is wrong. He's dry, he has been fed, he is clean and has been played with. He is tired. Tired and unwilling to go to sleep.

The frantic wailing? Is going to send me over the edge I'm afraid.

It hasn't felt like this since he was 10 days old and was crying nonstop for hours. I just sat in the rocking chair with him and cried right along. It was all I could do then.

I thought I had grown past that. Instead I found myself sitting in that rocking chair again tonight, rocking and crying right along with the wailing Bird. Hating myself for having raised my voice at him already in his young life.

I feel like a monster. Yelling at a baby.

Mother of the year, I am.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

My family. I love saying that.

I love them so much that just looking at this picture makes me burst into tears while simultaneously feeling like the corners of my mouth are going to split wide open up to my ears from smiling so much.

It should be noted that about an hour after this picture was taken, Bird had the biggest diaper blow out to date all over his daddy's good shirt and pants. Of course.

Because most people hate George Crumb

One more gig is history.

My calendar is dotted with gigs in the past and in the future. Good gigs. Gigs with the North Carolina Symphony. Gigs in front of 10,000 people. Gigs that get filmed for television. Gigs that take me to little places in the state that I wouldn't see otherwise.

There is a build up to each one. The anticipation and preparation that come with making sure everything is ready for that call time are a huge rush for me. Some people get nervous, I get excited.

I love the focus that I feel from sound check onto the stage. It is when I feel most capable.

Last night, I had another gig where we were backed up by an orchestra. We used the two arrangements I did in 2004 and I also scored two new ones. It is an opportunity that most "pop" musicians don't get, and I'm grateful for it.

It's interesting, how the orchestra musicians treat "the band." Even though I have a lot of the same training that they do and have a Bachelor of Music in composition, they look down their fretboards at me. It bothered me at first.

Only at first.

Now, I feel a little bit sorry for them that they can't enjoy what they are doing unless it is "serious" enough. A pops concert is below them, and they resent having to do it.

But the audience loves it.

That is one thing I've learned from playing with The Dude. I've learned that being a musician isn't just about the study, the practice, and the perfection of it all. It's about connecting with other people.

I liked being liked.

Mixed in with my training, there were years of dragging myself through the rock circuit only to be met with mild appreciation left me tired and a little bitter. I gave it my all, even when performing in a stupid sports bar in front of a 100 foot TV screen showing a hockey game.

But playing with The Dude is different. People buy tickets and come because they like his music. Then they get to the concert and they listen. Without a beer, a cigarette, and a conversation on the side. They applaud. They even want to talk to you and get autographs afterwards.

It's very satisfying, honestly.

I could hold my own with the orchestra. I have a deep love for modern music that works its way into my "pop" arrangements (yes, Mr. Trumpet player, I was perfectly aware that you were holding a minor second against the horns for an entire measure. I like minor seconds.). I could play it as snobby as the concert mistress did last night.

But where is the fun in that?

What is wrong with putting your effort into creating music that a broad base of people actually enjoy?

Nothing at all.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Had to change the title of this one

This summer, we will head to the beach with Whymommy and her family. For a celebration. Not a goodbye. I cannot put into words how thankful I am for that.

Susan has always been my "see it from a different perspective" friend. The friend who makes me think outside of my box.

In high school, my box was very very tiny, so that wasn't a hard thing. One foot in either direction had me reeling outside of my box. She was very patient with my tiny little private school mind.

Over the years, we have talked, traveled, cried (but not much because we are oh so strong women who really need to get more comfortable with a tissue), laughed, and learned together. She lasted in the learning part far past I did. I bored easily with school, and she tackled it with a vengeance.

She was on the same trip to Mexico which generated the most embarrassing story of my entire life. And she still loves me. I don't know why.

She read my angst filled, totally rhyming poetry in high school. And she still loves me.

She listened to my angst filled, I'll never be Debbie Gibson or Amy Grant, songs in high school. Even sang the harmony. And she still loves me.

She stood up for me at my first wedding even when she knew it was a mistake. Even when her grandmother had just passed away. Even when the dress I made her wear was distinctively pink. And flowy.

She told me the truth about those first weeks of motherhood. She called to check on me, not just the baby. She coaxed me through the darkest days with wisdom and compassion. And she still loves me.

Blogging is funny sometimes. I sat down to write an entirely different post. A post about getting Bird prepared to go to the beach with little hats and swim trunks. And yet, when I let my fingers go, freely typing without thinking (which gets me into trouble more times than not), this is what appeared.

After almost a year of holding my breath and praying for a miracle, here we are planning to meet up at the beach. To celebrate.

It's clear to me that she is worth celebrating. It's clear that I'm lucky to have her as my friend.

It needs to be said that I am so thankful for her treatment and results.

So very very thankful.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Night night Little Bird

I sleep to the hisses and hums of a baby monitor now. It seems too soon to have my son in the next room, his own room, in a big crib all by himself. I miss him.

Truth be told, he sleeps better. He sleeps longer. And Guy and I have some time together after he goes down for the night. It is working for us.

There are still some nights when he wakes up an hour later and I bring him back into our bed. He fell asleep between us last night with his arm thrown up onto my chest. His face was still nestled into my breast and he slipped back into his little baby dreamland by giving up a shaky, nasally sigh.

Tomorrow night, Guy will be away for work again. Instead of nervous, this time I am a little excited that Bird and I will have a slumber party. We can climb into bed as early as we like and snuggle up.

I thought we would be co-sleepers for much longer. In a way, we still are. Bird stays with us after he nurses the first time in the night.

But putting him to bed now means that I lay him in his crib, stroke his little head, turn on his magic bear, and then leave the room, closing the door behind me.

It is so hard to leave him. Even just in the next room.

I'm in big trouble. I can see this already.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mr. Richard's unwavering curiosity

It's not even 10:00 AM and I've already had my Mother's Day card, present, and breakfast. Gone are the days when a celebratory breakfast didn't even dream of starting until after CBS Sunday Morning.

Bird was a very sweet boy and got me a card and a trip to the Aveda Spa. Smart little guy.

We tried to go to the Farmer's Market for breakfast, but they weren't open yet. That's how early we were out and about this morning. Making the most of Bird's awake time.

Instead, we ate at the iHop near the college campus here in town. Usually it is slammed on a Sunday morning, but we learned that it's still pretty empty at 7:00.

Our waiter was a ridiculously friendly man whose nametag read "Mr. Richard." He cooed over Christopher, commented on our sling, and asked how much he weighed at birth.

In fact, he had many questions about his birth and other things. Throughout our breakfast, he asked:

"Was it a difficult birth?"

"Did it take you a long time?"

"How much did you dilate on your own?"

"Why didn't you dilate all the way on your own?"

"Did you get some of the spinal drugs?"

"What did they do to make you dilate?"

"I thought women were supposed to do that on their own. What makes them dilate?"

"Is this your first baby?"

"Are you two going to have another one?"


"Why not?"

"Oh. Is he a lot older than you?"

"How old are you?"

At one point, I started to get pretty irritated that I was being barraged with all of these really personal questions. Mr. Richard would not let up on us one bit.

As I started to bitch about it, I couldn't help but laugh. Guy raised his eyebrow at me and asked what was so funny.

I said, "I'm bitching about a stranger being all up in my business."

"Yeah, so?"

"Dude. I blog. I put my business out there for strangers everyday. Why should it bother me that Mr. Richard has some weird sort of curiosity? Like I care?"

I blog.

So go ahead. Ask me anything, Mr. Richard.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Daily melting

Today, Christopher and I lay on a blanket in the front yard and looked at the clouds while Guy put up our new mailbox. I propped up on my elbow and looked down at my son. He looked up at me and laughed.

He laughed and laughed and laughed.

His daddy makes him laugh every night. After his bath, Christopher lies on the bed and his daddy snarfs on his belly, making him squeal in delight and laugh his little head off.

He hadn't laughed with me though.

He talks to me. He smiles at me. He coos at me and reaches out for me. But he hadn't laughed yet.

Today, I looked down at my son on the quilt that so many friends put together for me and my heart melted into complete and total unconditional love for this little boy. Melted all over again, just like it does at some point everyday.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Shout out

Just a little shout out to Wife #1's little sister who is reading this blog from her state government office in Greensboro.

Hope I'm not boring you.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Who exhumed Kathie Lee and put her back on TV?

Heather doesn't need another person defending her. I'm sure she can stand her own ground just fine. Plus, there are plenty of us out there who love her, and I'm sure she is used to the occasional rude person.

So I won't defend her. She does it quite well with this beautiful post.


Kathie Lee Gifford is a complete git.

Her "interview" of Heather on the Today show this morning was the worst excuse of journalism I've ever seen. Even for a morning news show.

Starting out by bragging about how little she know about computers and how she doesn't even know what a blog is? That is just plain rude when you are interviewing a blogger. She should have done her homework and found out what a blog is. She should have pretended to have some knowledge on the subject.

Instead? She stumbled around a few questions, barely let Heather answer them, and then interjected her unfounded reservations about how Heather blogs about her daughter and posts her pictures.

It might have had some semblance of relevance if Kathie Lee had done that homework and read Heather's response to that accusation. She wouldn't have tried that line of attack, for sure.

It also might have had some semblance of relevance if Kathie Lee hadn't spent years on television sitting next to Regis boring the world with stories about her children.

Instead? She hadn't read it, and when Heather tried to respond on air by pointing out that Kathie Lee takes her children out into public where strangers see them everyday, Kathie Lee interrupted her to gloat about how she did not, in fact, live in New York City.

Then she tried to segue that into outdoor furniture.

She was a trainwreck.

And she looks like something that CSI had to put back together before placing her in front of the TV cameras again.

So even though this isn't something that she will ever see, I'm posting my support for her right here. Thanks, Heather, for sharing your family and your thoughts on motherhood with us.

And the pictures of Chuck. Because I love those.

Friday, May 02, 2008

I'm friends with her ex

Bird and I went downtown yesterday. We went to close a safety deposit box, to vote early, and to go up to the floor where my old office is and visit people. He was a big hit, of course, and I got to eat lunch with a friend who I see far too infrequently.

My friend and her husband have been talking about selling their house and moving closer into the city. They have been talking about this for years, actually. I asked her how the house hunt was going and she had a story to tell me.

They had been to an open house in the neighborhood of a couple who my ex and I went to church with. Turns out, Ann was at the open house with her two boys and recognized my friend. At first, they couldn't place where they knew each other from, but finally figured out that it was through parties at my old house when I was married previously.

My friend mentioned to Ann that I had just had a little boy.

At this point, it would be interesting to note that when I was married to my ex, I spent more time with Ann and her husband than my ex. I was the one that Ann called franticly one night needing to meet and cry out her pregnancy hormones over her husband to someone. I was the one who taught Sunday School with Ann. I was the one they could count on to be there for them. My ex, as always, was the comic relief.

So, my friend mentioned to Ann that I had just had a little boy. She replies to this fact that she didn't know that, but that they were friends with my ex. That was sort of a conversation ender.

Ann was the one I called when the first adoption possibility fell through. It was her kitchen table that I sat at and wept. She was the one I turned to when I first split with my ex.

I knew that she and her husband had chosen him over me a long time ago. After I met her and told her the news, I didn't hear from her again for awhile. My phone calls weren't returned, and I honestly was too busy and too stressed out to think about why.

When we finally got together several months later, I learned the answer. She and her husband had become my ex's new caretakers. Over dinner, she told me that I didn't need to worry about him. They had helped him get his life together and he had a solid plan to move forward.

I sat across from her with food, unchewed, clogging my mouth. Which is better than the alternative spewing that could have easily occurred.

After I chewed and swallowed, I put my fork down, placed my napkin on the table, and I said,

"Congratulations. You have accomplished something with him that I tried for 10 years to do. Why don't you get back to me in a year and let me know how far he's progressed on your little plan."

Then I asked for the check. While we waited, I told her that I was with someone and really happy. She wanted to know if I still wanted to have kids. I told her that I most certainly did. Then she said that she really wanted to see me pregnant because she just knew I would hate it like she did.

Time and time again, I look back on the choices I made for friends before I met Guy.

All I can say is that my self-esteem must have sucked complete donkey balls.

I mean really? Who says those kinds of things to someone who has been to the line for you? Someone who called you a friend?

There were casualties of friendships after my divorce. I'm not sorry about it, because they were friendships that obviously needed to end anyway. The ones that thrived on the part of me who never thought I deserved to be loved.

But some days, sometimes, it just stings when I hear that someone like Ann couldn't even be happy for me and my child. I thought that we had been friends. I trusted her enough to share the down and dirty part of adoption with her, and now that I finally am a mother?

She's friends with my ex.

Congratulations, Ann. It doesn't take a lot of effort to be friends with someone who so easily makes you feel better about yourself. That's the comic part.

You like him out of part pity, part relief that he isn't your husband. I know this, and I forgive you because it's sad that you need that in your life. I hope that one day you are happy enough to not need that crutch anymore.

In the meantime, I guess I can be glad that she has made me even more thankful for the couple of friends who stood by me and the new friends I have made.

Or I could quit trying to find a damn silver lining for everything and just allow myself to be sad about it for a little while. That's probably not a bad idea.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Maybe they are for your Barbies

I'm linking to a post that is a month old, but what can I say? I'm behind on a lot of my blog reading.

Doesn't matter though. This is the funniest thing I've read in awhile. Made me actually snort out loud.

It also reminded me very much of myself some days. There was this one time that Guy and I were in Target in the outdoors section. On the top shelf, there was a row of tiny tents and tiny sleeping bags.

I made the mistake of saying something out loud that I had thought in my head for a long time. I said, "What are those tiny tents for anyway? I mean, who really needs a tent that tiny?"

Guy just looked at me in horror as he realized that he had fallen for a true ditz.

All it took was the expression on his face and the words, "Um, honey, nobody uses those tents, they are for display," and I got whiplash being yanked back into the world of people who aren't idiots.

Me and Unkempt Mommy can just go hang out in our land of tiny tents where there are no bowling pins allowed.