Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Thank you linky love

There are a few thank yous that I need to offer up, left over from the Type A Mom Conference. I'm not a review blogger, nor do I accept items for review for this blog. I was given these things as a conference attendee, and would simply like to extend my thanks.

Mabels Labels sent me a set of iron labels for Little Bird's clothes and some labels for his shoes and sippy cups (or whatever I want to put them on). The thing about the sippy cup labels is that I totally missed the fact that they are stickers, but they ARE DISHWASHER SAFE. How cool is that? I can't wait to put my Sharpie away and start labeling Bird's stuff in style.

They also sent some pink bag tags for me because mine at the conference were green, and that was the BOY color. It really didn't bother me at all - especially because the little icon was a pair of headphones - but they felt badly. And then did something about it. Which I think speaks volumes of a company. The whole package was just lovely, and you can bet I'll be ordering more from them and telling my friends (as in like right now).

Tiffany at Lattes and Life wasn't a conference sponsor, but she brought some of the giveaways from her blog right to the conference. It was the best giveaway ever. I didn't have to Tweet anything, leave a dozen comments, fan something on Facebook, or go to a website and find out when the company was created. I just had to find her and ask for it. "Hey Tiffany, can I have a Halo Sleep Sack?" And booyah, she handed me one. It was awesome.

I also met Drew, from Eden Fantasys. He's a super nice guy. He gets a link because he's that nice, but that's all I'm saying about that because my momma reads this blog.

Little Debbie was at the conference passing out their yummy new chocolate cupcakes. They had the cupcakes and then a coupon for more cupcakes when I got home. Nice. Happy pregnant woman.

Creative Memories gave me a copy of their software which I honestly haven't opened yet. I thought about giving it to a friend, but I think I'll keep it and eventually use it. You know, in my mountains of free time. I'm certainly not going to start scrapbooking, but maybe if it was digital I would do something. We'll see.

Chick-fil-a provided lunch and coupons, which was nice of them. So, thank you to them too.

There were other sponsors and freebies, but those are the ones that made an impression, and that deserved some linky love from me.

So there you have it. Not terribly interesting, but sincere. And seriously, go check out Mabels Labels. It's the coolest.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

27 Weeks

Dear Butterbean,

Still no new blog name for you. I'm thinking you're just stuck with it. That will probably happen a lot - getting stuck with things. I apologize in advance.

There are some new things in your future. Clothes that are just yours. I didn't have very many warm clothes for your brother when he was itty bity. We just didn't go out much. You and I won't have the luxury of hiding out at home, so I've bought you some warm and cozy things. You'll be nicely dressed for all of your brother's activities which you will have to attend.

Just this morning, your daddy and I were talking about how you don't kick as much as your big brother did. I said that you didn't kick as often, but you kicked harder. And you do. Some nights you take my breath away with one single whack to my belly. You also squirm more. It's interesting how different you already are from Bird.

Then, in a great attempt to prove me wrong, you went to town in your cocoon this afternoon. You respond most to your brother. When he climbed in my lap this afternoon, you went nuts. I wish you could have seen his face when you started punching up near my rib cage. He felt it first and then looked down and saw it. Then he said, "Baby!"

I know he doesn't fully understand the fact that you are a little person and that you won't always be in my belly, but it's cool to see him making a connection in his own way. You are making a connection too. By whacking at him whenever he's near my belly. Which, by the way, is not so helpful while I'm trying to rock him to sleep.

You are taking up more and more room everyday. I'm getting heartburn from a glass of water. When I stand up, I immediately have to pee, even if I'm standing up from the toilet. It's bizarre. I'm absolutely starving, and then when I go to eat, I get full entirely too quickly. These are things I remember about the end of pregnancy.

It's not the end though. Today we are at 27 weeks. We have just gotten to that point where I'm keenly aware of you all of the time. I'm glad it's not the end. I'm enjoying having you all to myself, and knowing that this is my last pregnancy, I'm trying to savor it a little bit more.

You know, your brother may have been my first born, but you'll be my last, and that's making me love you in your own special way too. Not too much longer, little BB. I hope you're cozy in there.

Your Mama

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Adventures turned traditions

Last year I wasn't blogging in October. Let's hear it for internet stalkers! There was this one afternoon last October that I took off with Little Bird on an adventure, and I never wrote about it. I wanted to, because it was like this great turning point with us. We were a team, out to find the fun in life.

Granted, it was just a pumpkin patch, but for this mama, who barely left the house the first six months of Bird's life, it was more than that. It was freedom.

Bird and I hit the farm and rode the train, watched the goats, took a hayride, and picked out the most perfect pumpkin we could find. We left the stroller at home in favor of snuggling in a sling. Bird passed out on the way home, exhausted with I hope was sheer joy. It was also the first time I had that feeling of wishing he would remember the things we did together - that long term memory.

This year, Kevin wanted to join us. Since Lovely is tracked out in October, we planned the trip for when she was with us. The day was cold, windy, and it kept misting. It was not a great day for a pumpkin patch visit in Kevin's eyes, but I thought it was perfect. I love it when the weather starts to foreshadow the winter to come. We bundled up, piled in the Jeep and headed to Youngsville.

Bird may not remember our trip there last year, and he may not remember the one this year, but we will. We'll remember how he stomped out ahead of us all, leading the way to the train. We'll remember how he bounced in the hay and waited for me or Lovely to hold his hands, count to three, and help him jump. We'll remember how he ran through the rows of pumpkins, pointing at pumpkin after pumpkin, shouting "PUMKIN" like we wouldn't see them if he didn't tell us about them.

Fun afternoons and adventures are turning into traditions. Family traditions. I really love that.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Acting lessons

He sits in his high chair and shakes his finger at me.

"No No NO NO!"

And with the final "NO," he pushes his plate away. Another mealtime takes a turn into a battle zone, and I find myself torn between not wanting my child to be hungry and not wanting to give in when all he wants to eat is peanut butter.

What bothers me more than the eating though is the look on his face. He had to learn that scowl somewhere. He had to learn that finger shaking from someone.

I'm afraid it's me.

This past week has been full of "MINE" and "NO." He spent the afternoon literally taking toys from a baby. He would take whatever the baby had and claim it as his own. If he wasn't taking things from the baby, he was taking things off coffee tables and countertops. It wasn't our house. I spent the afternoon chasing him down, shaking my finger at him, and saying, "No."

He will scowl and tell a stranger "NO" if they get too close to him. On the one hand, it's not such a bad thing, but I hate that it has been his default action this week.

Every time he scowls, yells, shakes a finger, or is generally ugly, a little piece of my heart breaks off because I'm quite sure that he learned it from me.

Starting at mealtime.

I am so frustrated by his refusal to put anything but grapes, bananas, yogurt, or peanut butter in his mouth. I lose my patience. I scowl. I point my finger.

It's not getting him to eat any better, but it's teaching him to act like me.

I don't want to be angry mommy. I don't want to raise angry son.

We need more smiles, and I'm scared of how I'll be when there's another one. Where will my patience leave me then? Why are there days when I get so frustrated that I don't even seem to enjoy being a mother?

I need an attitude adjustment. I need more smiling. I need more patience.

I also need for my child to eat a piece of meat and a vegetable EVER. But that's an issue for another day.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Hump day, dump day

This was first thing this morning. The City of Raleigh said on our last bill, which was e-freaking-normous, that we were using 625 gallons of water a day. No way.

Kevin checked the meter while all the water was shut off in the house, and it wasn't spinning. There were no signs of water in our front yard. We assumed our meter was whacked and asked them to come check it.

They declared our meter to be working fine and then slapped us with a "leak notice" that came with 48 hours to fix it. Today, in the cold and rain, Kevin and Mr. Rob rented a backhoe and went at it. They replaced the main water line to the house, so there is no more leak. However, in the meantime, they also cut right through the AT&T trunk line for the street.

The "no cuts" people didn't mark that one. Oops.

Our yard, which had such lovely lovely grass, is now a mudhole. Our DIY plumbers are finished and the AT&T crew are finished. We have phone, internet, and water again. It's a trade off for the grass, but what are you going to do?

But wait, there's more.

Here's how happy Little Bird was all day. If it weren't for his big sister being here to play with him, this look would have permanently frozen on his face. His teeth are torturing him. He has top molars that have been coming in for MONTHS. Now, his bottom canines have stalled out in a position where they are close enough to be able to be seen right below the gum, but the gum hasn't broken yet. Add on some awful seasonal allergies that he inherited from both his daddy and his mama, and you have one miserable little boy this week.

Mama ain't happy either.

To top the whole day off, it turns out that the SPCA here is not a no-kill shelter after all. I talked the the adoption center today because a sweet old chihuahua has taken up residence in our kitchen, but he can't stay. If we can't find his family, we are going to have to take him somewhere.

Back to the SPCA though. The adoption center told me that they were no-kill, but that I would have to take the little guy to the lost and found pet center where he might get cleared to go to the adoption center. I feel really deceived, but perhaps I had just been misunderstanding all along. Either way, I can't take him there. He is so old; he will never get cleared for the adoption center.

Poor little dude. He's sleeping soundly on Kevin's lap right now. He can't stay here though. Bird has already tried to sit on him and pet him WAY too enthusiastically. Plus, Aja and Gibson are about 100 times bigger than him and are not excited about the possibility of a new pack member. Plus, plus, the little chihuahua has been growling at the big dogs as though he could take them on at the same time, when in reality, Gibson could eat him in one bite. We are not a good home for this little guy.

Besides, he has a home. It's pretty obvious. He wants to be with people. His fur is evident of long time collar wear. He doesn't stink. He isn't thin. And I don't know how to describe it, but you can tell that he really really wants to go home. It's breaking my heart.

Tomorrow doesn't have to be much better to beat out today. Let's keep our fingers crossed.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Long term memory

Long term memory. It doesn't kick in until around four, my friend Dave said while he was visiting. I've been thinking about that a lot lately.

There are so many things that I wish Little Bird would remember. I wish that he would remember the They Might Be Giants concert. All the details, down to "no NOOOOOOO!" as he sang along with the band. I know that it made an impact on him because he frequently requests "Giants" when we get in the car, but I know that he won't remember that afternoon.

I wish that he would remember eating popsicles on the porch while the dogs chase him around, waiting for a drip or two. He only scolds the big lab though, turning to him and saying, "No, no, Gibby, no no!" Poor Gibson. Even the toddler scolds him.

The five minutes of deep full on belly laughter that occurs between bath time and book time, while his daddy tickles him on our bed - I can video it, but I wish that he would be able to store it in his memory.

Of course, these first few years that he won't remember, I guess they are giving me a little grace too. He won't remember that I lost my temper that day and broke his crib. He won't remember when his daddy misses dinner because he's working. He won't remember how badly it hurt for all of those teeth to come in, and how slowly it happened.

He also won't remember being my only baby. He won't remember having 100% of my attention most of the time. But I will. Fondly. I'm looking forward to being the mama of two boys, but I can't help but wonder if Bird got the best of times. The just he and I times. If so, that long term memory, rather the lack thereof, means that it will be my little secret at least.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

One day, no hate

I don't talk politics very often. For good reason, too. I don't know politics. To be able to discuss politics means that you have taken the time to find out facts from an unbiased source, and these days, that is increasingly difficult to do.

The talking heads cloud the issues. I don't enjoy the rhetoric.

But today, Corina has suggested we talk openly, without hate. It's a good thing to do everyday, but I usually choose to just not talk because you never know who is listening and what they are going to give back at you.

So here goes. A few of my opinions.

I believe that health care in America is broken and needs to be fixed. There are ideas from both sides of the issue that I think are good ideas, and I think that when reform begins, it is just that - a beginning. I think that reform will need to evolve over time, but that it is time to start now.

I believe that government shouldn't be small in one area in large in another. If you want government to tell people who can and cannot get married, then you are asking for license for them to dictate a lot more.

I believe that taxes are necessary, but wish that they were used more wisely. The government could use to get back to some of its Presbyterian roots and revisit the idea of stewardship.

I believe that it's beyond time to bring our men and women home from an unproductive war.

I believe that education is in crisis in our country and am nervous about my child turning five and starting public school.

So there. That's five things that could be controversial, or not. If you disagree with any of them, feel free to tell me so today. It's a day to disagree without hate and learn more about those who might disagree with you. So go forth and be kind, how's about it?

Thursday, October 01, 2009

These are a few of my favorite things




He is definitely my child.