Break Time

The old adage that once you have kids your life will never be the same is, at least in our case, absolutely true. It’s completely different in many wonderful, and some not-so-wonderful ways. We have an extra person around that we love and that loves us back. We get slobbery kisses and big squeezey hugs. We get to play without looking ridiculous, and even though it’s been said a million cheesy times, watching Gabbie discover and be awed by new things is like discovering them again ourselves. Seeing the world through a fresh set of eyes is an amazing, wonderful thing.

Then again, we also get so much less sleep than we used to. So much. We’re tired, frequently cranky, and even though we’re not proud of it, we often take it out on each other. We can’t run around spontaneously as much as we used to. We go out to many fewer fancy meals, and even fewer movies. We can’t just drop everything and run away to a bed and breakfast for the weekend. And, most sadly, we never have days where we can just lay around and do absolutely nothing.

Aaron was lamenting this last fact earlier this week. After four days of one-on-one time with a one-year-old, he was exhausted. We’ve both been feeling a little overwhelmed with life lately. It’s hard to get settled and unpacked with a toddler constantly either underfoot or into something she shouldn’t be into. And even when we try to relax we find ourselves running around after her, keeping her out of trouble (she is like a magnet for trouble some days). We both are really feeling the need for a break from it all.

While we can’t simultaneously get a break, I kind of got a break last weekend, so this weekend is Aaron’s turn. After work today Gabbie and I are headed to my parents house for 24 hours, and Aaron has strict instructions not to do anything other than relax and have fun while we’re gone. Sure, he might rearrange some furniture, but that’s only so he can get his Xbox set up. He might tinker around with the cable a little so that we can finally have a wireless signal. But he isn’t allowed to unpack, or install, anything. I really hope he heeds these recommendations and gets the rest he needs. I think it will be useful to both of us to have this little break. Just so long as he knows that when we get back tomorrow night it’s his turn for a few hours. Momma needs a break too.

5 Things I Learned at Blogher

5. I can’t hold my liquor anymore – not that I ever really could, but throw in nearly 2 years of not drinking save for the occasional glass of wine, and then you’ll see how just two drinks knock me for a loop.

4. It’s totally worth getting over myself and saying Hi to people instead of being shy like normal. I manned up and said hi to Amy, Linda, Alexa, and Ree (among many others), and they were all awesomely nice. I’ve admired these great writers from afar for several years now, and it was nice to be able to tell them so in person. I told Sizzle, Donna, and Frema that I’d be saying hi, and did, and they were all beyond lovely. I was especially glad to say hi to these ladies! There were too many others to name, but I can’t wait to start visiting their sites and getting to know their blogs better!

3. While nice, swag really isn’t worth all the drama. And that’s all I have to say about that – everybody else has already said way too much.

2. I should have taken more pictures. I literally came home with less than 10 photos, mostly because I was just having too much fun. Time to start blog-stalking people I know took pictures so that I can get a few copies!

1. The conference wouldn’t have been nearly as much fun without my awesome roommates! Thanks so much to Kelly, Sheila, Amy, and Jenny (yes, there were five of us in the room!). You guys totally made the conference for me, and I’m so glad to have gotten the chance to know each of you.

Why Mrs. Ca?

Since there will probably be a few new readers this week, I thought I'd explain why my site is called Mrs. Ca. When I was very little I was in day care one day having a fight about my name with another little girl. My name is Jessie (not Jessica), but this little girl was not having that. She kept telling me that my name was not Jessie, it was Jessie Ca. So that night when I went home, I told my parents that my name was Jessie Ca, and from that time on my nickname at home (well, one of the many - let's just say that it is very unfortunate that messy happens to rhyme with my name) was Miss Ca (you know, like my first name was Jessie and my last was Ca - I had to explain this to a friend the other day because she didn't get it, so just in case there are others out there like her, there's the explanation).
Well, since I am now married, it has become Mrs. Ca.
So that's the title of my blog. It has nothing to do with California. At all.

Joy and Pain

Even though I am beyond excited about Blogher (I’m currently on a train headed to Chicago), I’m also a little sad about leaving Gabbie behind. These 4 days will be the longest I’ve been away from her yet. This morning, as I nursed her for what will probably be the last time, I had to fight back tears. My baby is getting so big, and it’s happening much faster than I want it to. But, it happens that way, and she’s more and more fun the older she gets, so I can’t be too sad. She’s going through a major daddy’s girl phase right now, so this trip couldn’t happen at a better time.

Still, though, who wouldn’t miss this beautiful little face?

I’m sure she’ll look bigger when I get back; she always does when I leave her for more than a day. No matter what, though, I’m going to enjoy this time away. This is my reward for making it through the first year as a mom, for sacrificing so much alone time, and so many other things. Those sacrifices are totally worth it, and I wouldn’t have it any other way, but this is a pretty awesome reward. I’m anxious and nervous, but also ready to have a great time. This? Is going to be awesome!

P.S. Earlier, when I was walking through the train, and because I am kind of a moron, I tried to open the door between cars manually instead of by pushing the big button that says “PUSH” and scraped the hell out of two knuckles (they bled for a really long time) and broke a nail. I also managed to, when I first got to the station this morning, drop my two bags and purse about two times each. Embarrassing!

P.P.S. Dude, I totally just locked myself in the train bathroom and couldn’t figure out how to get out for more than 2 minutes. See: the moron comment above. Embarrassing x2! (Also, train bathrooms get a little gross more than 2 hours into the trip. FYI.)

P.P.P.S. So, my body must have heard when I said we were officially done nursing, because about 20 minutes after I typed that, I got my period for the first time in two years. Awesome.

Today I am:

- Making last minute panic business/calling cards for Blogher. Thank the Lord for all of the talented people on Etsy and elsewhere on the internet. I was able to find some cheap, adorable cards that I could customize and print myself!

- Deciding what Gabbie should eat while I’m gone. I need to have stuff prepped and a list for her meals so that she doesn’t only eat macaroni and cheese, soy dogs, and yogurt the entire time I’m gone.

- Dealing with a gross bathroom situation – there’s this place where I go every day, and at this place there’s a person who uses toilet seat covers but doesn’t flush them when she’s done using them. So they sit there, on the seat. What, she thinks someone else might want to use the same cover? Isn’t that kind of counter the original purpose of said cover? How long before my head explodes from the stupidity of it all?

- Speaking of heads exploding, mine actually might today.

- Counting down the minutes until I go get a trim and eyebrow wax this afternoon. How sad is it that I consider someone using hot wax on my face and tearing hairs out by the root somehow relaxing? Maybe it’s just because I get to lay down in a quiet place without someone crawling all over me, biting me when the kiss me (I was sure she was going to leave a mark last night, which would, of course, be perfect timing), or trying to stick their finger in my eyes and ears and nose and mouth. (Can you tell I’m ready for a brief reprieve?)

- Ordering pizza for dinner. Seriously not cooking tonight even if I did have junk food for lunch too.

- Working like crazy to get stuff done before I take two vacation days this week. Two days that I cannot wait for with even a modicum of patience.

A Truism from Dad

When we were about to put a counter-offer in on our house, I called my dad to get his advice on whether or not we were getting in over our heads. He told me two things: you’ll have even less free time than when you just had a baby, and you’ll never have the kind of savings you once had ever again. Well, we’re still doing okay in the savings department, but the free time thing has been true so far, and we haven’t even made a sizable dent in our to-do list.

This weekend I built bedroom furniture while Aaron installed a dishwasher. Add in someone having to play with Gabbie outside of her naptimes and those things took all weekend long. I’m so impressed with Aaron – he’s never installed a dishwasher before, but he did it with no problems (although we do still have to call a plumber to come look at some issues he discovered in the process). I also managed to go shopping and spend some money that has been burning a hole in my pocket for the past week. I got two shirts, two pair of pants, a pair of sandals and some makeup.

Tonight we discuss whether or not we want to paint before our house-warming party in a couple of weeks. We also have to send out invites to that party and I’m going to start on sewing a purse I’d like to take to BlogHer (provided it turns out).

Busy is definitely an understatement, but we’re loving it all. Happy is an understatement too.

Some Weekend Excitement

For as long as Aaron and I have lived together, we have had a standing Saturday morning tradition. We wake up, transplant ourselves to the couch, and drink coffee while watching the Food Network. Starting when we were house-hunting, we would frequently switch over to HGTV or DIY, but always end up back on the Food Network. We both have our favorites, but one favorite we have in common is Diners, Drive-ins and Dives with Guy Fieri. That show never fails to make me hungry (or gross me out depending on what the restaurant is serving).

One particular episode that pretty much grossed me out was one for a restaurant that served fried chicken gizzards. I may be slightly adventurous with my eating from time to time (I've tried and enjoy escargot), but most weird meats aren't on the list of things I want to eat. I started watching this episode part-way through so I didn't catch where the restaurant was located, but I was pretty sure that I wasn't adding that restaurant to my "to-visit" list.

Aaron has a friend visiting tonight, a high school friend he hasn't seen in about 4 years, and so we're pretty excited. He is meeting his mom for dinner and invited us along, and at this point you can probably see where this is headed: tonight we're eating at Joe's Gizzard City, which is apparently located not too far from here.

I've been wanting to go to one of Guy's featured restaurants for a while now; I really am in love with that show. I'm pretty excited to head over there, but I'm eating light today, because from the look of the menu, I'll be getting most of my daily calorie intake, and more than my share of fat intake, at dinner tonight. Despite the fact that I was kind of grossed out by their most famous dish, some of the other things look pretty darn good.

Making house decisions with more than one person is HARD!

Lately it would seem that thinking about the house, and all of the things I want to do to it are taking over my life. Aaron and I have started a list, and we keep adding to it. One problem, however, is that we disagree on a lot of things. Take these examples:

1. I like our kitchen very much. It could use some color, new countertops and appliances eventually (although the new dishwasher arrives tomorrow and I can’t wait to not have to wash everything by hand finally, except Aaron is installing it, and so that finally might start a while from now. I’ll let you know how it all goes.), and maybe a new floor, but he wants to rip everything out and start over. He doesn’t like the color of the cabinets (oak) but I think they’re fine. Plus they match all of the wood work throughout the house. We have a lot of oak. He doesn’t like the layout, but I think it’s great, and if he touches the large expanse of counter space between the kitchen and eating area I’ll kick his rear. He wants a complete do-over, but I just want some updates.

2. Admittedly, our master bathroom needs some updates. There’s a crack (non-leaking) in the sink, I hate the counter tops, and the shower stall was not made for tall people (the previous owners were both shorter than me – I’m 5’9” and Aaron’s about 6’2”). I like his idea of doing floor to ceiling tile for the shower and I’ve already picked out a new door for the stall. However, he wants to rip out the walk-in closet that’s eating up a good portion of space that could be used for a Jacuzzi tub, and then put in a new closet in the master that would obviously eat up some of the space in the master bedroom. I don’t need a Jacuzzi tub, and if I did, I’d replace the tub in the hall bath. I like the large master bedroom, and would be happier if we could just redo the organization system in the closet (the one that is there takes up too much space and makes it hard to maneuver around in the closet).

And that’s not even coming close to touching on paint colors, furniture, and where to put the damn TV in the family room. Then there’s the disagreements about when certain updates should occur. We need to buy a lawnmower, like, yesterday. We have no garage door opener, and Aaron has decided that we’ll just replace the door and install an opener at the same time, and we won’t be able to afford that all until the spring when we get our $8000 first-time homebuyer credit. We can afford an opener now, and I don’t want to go all winter having to get out and manually open the door. I’m lazy and hate to be cold if I can avoid it, and I embrace those facts.

It’s all fairly frustrating, but I know we’ll make it through and maybe he has some great ideas and I’ll love how everything turns out. But I want things my way too, you know? I guess we’ll need to learn another important lesson in cooperation and (crap, what’s the word when you both have to give up something you really want in order to make both people happy?) compromise!

Scattered Brain = Really Scattered Post. You're Welcome

I’m actually feeling fairly well-rested for once, but so scattered that today? You get bullets.

  • · I’ve been watching True Blood whenever I get a chance lately. I read all of the books, and was having serious Sookie Stackhouse withdrawal, so I decided to treat it with a generous dose of the TV show. I watched most of season 1 by myself, but Aaron would watch a few episodes with me here or there. Then he watched the last couple of episodes of the season and got himself hooked. We watched the first two episodes of season 2 last night, and had to start in on the third because of the cliffhanger end to the second episode. I went to bed a couple of minutes in, even though I didn’t want to, because otherwise I would have been up way too far past my bedtime. Tonight though? We’re settling in with some popcorn (from the CSA – it’s soooo good!), a mojito or two, and the 3rd and 4th episodes from this season. I love it when we get into a show together!
  • · So, yeah. The mojito mentioned above? I can drink it before Gabbie’s bedtime now if I want (even though we don’t watch True Blood before her bedtime because it’s not appropriate now that she seems to be completely aware of what is going on around her), because we’re down to only nursing in the morning. I thought the before-bed nursing would be the hardest to break, but she dropped it no problem. Dropping the middle of the night feeding took a couple of long nights to struggle through, but since she realized she doesn’t get to eat in the middle of the night, she’s been sleeping straight through (except for the other day when I woke her up by tripping and making a loud noise when I went in to check on her). Weaning: it’s hard and sort of sad, but also kind of awesome.
  • · Since Gabbie started walking she’s been a little accident prone; something I expected, but that is still pretty hard to bear. We have wood floors in the dining room, which is adjacent to the family room. The other day when she went running (seriously, running) from the family room toward the kitchen, as soon as she hit the wood floors she went down hard and hit her forehead; BANG! It hurt me to even hear the bang, let alone to see those tears streaming down her face. But that was nothing compared to when she decided to have her forehead meet the edge of the banister the other day. She had a nice goose egg that has settled down into an ugly dark purple bruise. Thank goodness all toddlers go through this, or someone might think I was letting her get hurt on purpose!
  • · There was a bathtub incident the other night, that I don’t really want to relive here, but suffice it to say Aaron has learned not to leave Gabbie alone in the bathroom with water in the tub. She was and is totally fine, but it really scared the crap out of both of us. Lesson definitely learned. The hard way.
  • · We’re having our first non-family house guests this weekend, and I have a lot to do before they get here to get the house together. We’ve been a little lax on the unpacking, and need to get on it and quick. Plus, I’m starting to not feel exactly settled, and I think unpacking will help this greatly. Although, I’m not unpacking my clothes until we get our new dresser put together. It’s my form of protest to get Aaron moving on assembling furniture.
  • · Did I mention that Aaron and I went to Ikea a couple of weeks ago and bought a new bedroom set? We’ve never had a bedroom set before, so we feel pretty grown up. It also made us realize how bad we are at making decisions. We spent a total of FIVE HOURS in Ikea and emerged with a bed, a dresser, and two bedside tables. We went in for much more, but that was all of the decision making we could handle that day. FIVE HOURS. I was completely exhausted. At least we came out with something – we’ve never been able to make decisions before when we’ve gone so this was progress.
  • · Finally, Blogher is next week and I’m getting pretty excited. I’ve been trying to decide what to pack, but of course have decided that I HATE all of my clothes and need to go shopping. Due to being house broke, shopping wasn’t really in the cards. However, yesterday I got a check reimbursing me for expenses from my business trip to Boston, totaling almost $200. I asked Aaron if I could spend it on clothes and he said as long as it didn’t ever hit the bank account he wouldn’t miss it, so now I just have to decide what to buy. That sucks almost as much as having nothing to wear, because I hate shopping as much as I hate my clothes.

A No Good, Very Bad Day

Let’s say you wake up, to your daughter’s cries, with that distinct wrong-side-of-the bed feeling. She seems wide awake and ready to go, and you know you’re up for the day – at 4:30 a.m. So you take her downstairs and flip on Kung Fu Panda so she can tune in while you catch some Zs. You’re in the recliner, half asleep, 2 hours later, when you feel something fall down your shirt. Then you feel whatever it was start to crawl further down your shirt.

(The shirt was immediately torn off and the bug killed – the daughter, who had fallen asleep, stayed asleep through this all, but I was definitely awake by this time.)

So, you’re up, still crabby, and completely squicked out by a member of what you’re calling “the welcoming committee” – all different sorts of bugs you keep finding around the house. Then you burn yourself with your straightening iron. Bang-up start to the day, right?

So, would you take it as a sign that you should just call the day a wash if, when you go out to lunch, your bill totals $6.66? Or maybe it can all only get better from here. Let’s hope that’s the case!

About as much fun as a kick to the head (which I actually got last night)

In two short weeks I’ll be headed to Chicago for Blogher. I’m so excited I can hardly stand it, but this trip also comes with some mixed emotions. You see, I’m not bringing my pump with me, and being gone for 3 ½ days, there’s a good chance that this is when I’ll be done nursing Gabbie for good. She’ll be 14 months, clearly old enough to be done, but she also is more interested in nursing than ever before. This makes me feel incredibly guilty about stopping, because she’s clearly not ready. I am, though. I’m ready to have my whole body back, and since Aaron wants to start trying for a second one in the not too distant future, I’m looking forward to having my body be mine for a short while before its sole purpose is making another person again.

We’re currently down to nursing about three times per day, once before bed, once in the middle of the night, and once right when she wakes up in the morning. While none of these are going to be easy to convince her to give up, we decided, for sleep’s sake, to try to wean her from the middle of the night feeding first. We started on Sunday night, and tried to convince her she didn’t need to nurse. After about 30 minutes of screaming, I gave in, but only nursed her on one side. The next night was a repeat of the first, and the third night was pretty close too – I only nursed her for about a minute on one side and then popped her off and gave her the pacifier. There was a little fighting, but not too bad (see? It’s mostly a comfort thing, I’m sure of it).

Last night, however, was another story altogether. I was determined. I put a cup of water in her room before bedtime, and when she woke up at 4:00 this morning looking for something to drink, I gave her the water. She downed quite a bit, then pushed it away and started nuzzling up to me looking to nurse. When I said no there was screaming. Oh, the screaming. Like I was physically hurting her, or taking away some prized, beloved possession. It was so hard not to give in, but I managed. I told her that it’s night-night time, and we don’t nurse at night-night time any more, but we would nurse at wake-up time when it was light outside. Surprisingly this settled her down for a few minutes, and managed to do the same a couple of other times she really started up. We struggled for about an hour, until she finally fell back asleep, out of pure exhaustion I’m sure. Of course, when she woke up she instantly wanted to nurse and would do nothing else until I gave in.

I’m exhausted (and can I just mention a pet peeve here? Aaron forgot to make coffee this morning, the one morning this week I truly needed the caffeine. It’s just as awesome as it sounds), and am surely in for a long night again tonight, especially since I’m off to a Sheryl Crow concert that doesn’t start until 9:30 so I won’t be getting into bed until way later than normal. Here’s hoping tonight goes well, although I have my doubts, especially since she’ll be missing the before-bed nursing visit too. The plan is to cut the mid-night feeding out this week, the morning feeding out next week, and the bedtime feeding out the few days before I leave.

I really never thought it would be this hard, or this emotionally tough, especially since my heart’s not totally in it. It’s time though, it really is. I just hope Gabbie eventually agrees.

To Dos

The first time Aaron and I went house hunting with our realtor was in July of 2008, so that puts the length of time spent between starting to look and getting into our house at almost a year. We moved in to the house about a month after we put in our first offer, and while that month seemed to drag and was about the most stressful time of my life, I look back now and can’t believe that it went so quickly.

But now, we’re in, and now that we’re in our imaginations have been churning, and our list of things we need to and would like to do to the house keeps growing. And growing. And growing. We’re starting with the need to list and then will eventually work our way down the want to list over the next few years. Even though our house is exceedingly livable as it is right now, and it already feels like home, we want to do so many little tweaks to make it more, I don’t know, I guess: ours.

This weekend we’re going garage door and dishwasher/perhaps other appliance shopping. Everything (and I mean everything) in the house is original, and since the house was built in 1989, that means that everything is 20 years old. That means all of the appliances are going to need replaced within the next few years, which is just fine with us. The garage door really does need replaced, and the opener broke and was taken out a few months before we put in an offer. So a new garage door is tied for number one. The other part of that two-way tie is a new dishwasher. There’s a dishwasher there, but the seal is broken and so it would leak if we ran it. I may be lazy, but after doing all dishes by hand for the past couple of weeks I am completely and totally ready to put in a new dishwasher. I’ll even install it myself if someone would give me instructions on how to do it. So yes, those two things are happening first. If we can get a deal on buying a kitchen appliance suite all at once, that means we’ll be getting a new stove and refrigerator within the next couple of weeks as well.

After that comes paint, a new countertop and sink in the kitchen, a master bathroom remodel, new lighting fixtures inside and out, maybe a new floor in the kitchen (because the dishwasher was (awesomely) tiled in and we may have to break some tiles to get it replaced), possibly a hardwood floor in the living room and the den (where there’s a weird octagon-shaped patch of carpet with no hardwood underneath (pictures are coming soon, I swear. We’re almost to the box that holds the needed cords)). Not to mention landscaping whenever I have time and a babysitter, as well as a solution to the mosquito-ridden back yard that’s so full of them right now we can’t use it. Also a new deck eventually, and we’ll probably put in a new closet organization system in the master closet sooner than later.

Man, just looking at that list makes me tired and excited all at the same time. We definitely have the before shots of the house and can’t wait to be able to show the afters. Owning a house is a lot more work than we expected, even without all of the remodeling nonsense we’re planning, but it’s also a ton of fun, and it feels really, really good that we finally have a home of our own.

It may be wrong, but I don't want to be right

Lately I’ve seen a lot of posts about being a “bad” parent, how it’s hip these days, and what being a “bad” parent means. I’ve also been feeling like a bad parent these days, knowing that Gabbie has not gotten enough attention these days due to the move and the three colds I’ve had in the past two weeks (seriously! I’m tired of being sick!). I haven’t been reading to her as much as I should, mostly because her books are still packed somewhere and I haven’t gotten off of my butt to find them. I let her watch way too much television, but we do always watch it together, and I’ve only used the TV as a babysitter once (when signing the offer on the house because she was being super demanding and I couldn’t pay attention to her and the paperwork at the same time). I’ve lost my patience. It has probably been a hard couple of weeks to be my daughter.

But I try. I try my hardest to be a “good” parent – only giving her organic milk and meats (at least when we’re at home), making sure she at least has a vegetable and fruit available to her at every meal (even though she doesn’t eat them most of the time), giving her hugs and kisses and telling her how much I love her on a nearly constant basis. She’s just amazing, and she deserves way better than I give her no matter how hard I try.

Sometimes, though, it’s fun to be a “bad” parent. It’s fun to watch TV shows together and seeing her eyes light up when she hears the theme music to her favorite show (Pingu). It’s fun to keep her up past her bedtime for games and dancing on special occasions (like the 4th of July). It’s especially fun for me to let her try new foods that aren’t exactly the healthiest and to see her reaction. Last night we were exhausted and I was feeling pretty horrible (I’m on the downswing of another cold, but last night was the apex of this cold), so we got pizza for dinner. Even though I often cook Gabbie a separate meal (and often healthier than what we eat – I should probably follow my lead on that and cook healthier for myself), last night I didn’t have the energy. So she got deep-dish pizza for dinner, and she LOVED it. She wasn’t really paying attention while I was cutting her piece into bite-sized bits (to make it even more “bad”, we ate our pizza in front of the TV, watching Horton Hears a Who), and so I slipped the first bite into her mouth without her seeing what dinner was. She was totally tuned in until that moment, but suddenly her eyes got big, she looked at the plate, then me, and said, “Mmmmm.” And she demanded more, and more, and ate the entire slice (which is pretty amazing because this pizza is so filling even I can barely eat more than two slices), green peppers, mushrooms and all.

While some parents (even some of my friends who are parents) would scoff at what we did, sometimes it is fun to be “bad”. These moments are some of my favorites, and even though I don’t let them happen too often, I’m glad I made that decision last night. After putting up with me and my stinky attitude for the past couple weeks, she definitely deserved this treat. I have to say this: sometimes these “bad” moments are the best part of being a parent.

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Back to Home Back to Top Mrs. Ca. Theme ligneous by Bloggerized by Chica Blogger.