Thursday, October 30, 2008

Oh no, you di-unht!

So, now that my baby is over 6 months old I finally decided to get on the ball and buy a baby book to preserve all the precious memories I had every intention of scrapbooking. Too bad I never print pictures, I guess, because I'm exactly 6 months behind. I have 3 pages done. Ooops. Time for plan B.
I bought a cute little baby book at Target, it's pink, it doesn't look too intimidating as far as remembering dates and other minor milestones my Mommy brain forgot, so I decided to get started.
On the third page, I see this little snippet...
"While she was pregnant, Mommy gained ______ pounds and Daddy gained _____ pounds."
What the!!!???
They did not just ask me to put that in my baby book, did they?
There are two major problems with this line. First, the blank is not long enough for me to write "none of your business, Posterity" like I want to. I love my daughter more than anything and for her I have given up sleeping through the night (resulting in dark circles under my eyes only the Joker would envy), obliterated my once stretch-mark free stomach, turned my chest into an all-you-can-eat snack bar, and I am still weeping over not getting back into my pre-pregnancy jeans yet (or any time soon, since I fall into the teeny percent of women who do not lose weight while nursing, thanks again, genetic betrayal that is my body type). So excuse me if I draw a line in the sand and refuse to document how fat I got on top of it. I didn't even go over recommended amounts on my weight gain--I can't even imagine how ticked off I would be if I gained 100+ pounds or something. I feel like this is a book of Sam's accomplishments, not a chance for her friends to look back some day and say "Holy cow, your mom can really pack it on!" Let's just leave that nasty detail buried in a dark corner of my medical record to be found only if I fall victim to some malady only House can diagnose and my pregnancy weight gain turns out to be the pivotal key to my cure, mmmkay?
Secondly, Daddy gained zip, zero, nada, no pounds at all. Big goose egg. In fact, since we've been married, he's gained nothing in the weight department. Emotional baggage aplenty, but no physical weight. I've gained my weight and his. His biggest worry about his own body is probably that I will run out of chocolate and eat him someday. I'm pretty sure I can't put a big round 0 in the book next to "daddy"without following it with a vindictive and insulting name for him, and swearing does not belong in our cherished memories. Besides, that is only cutesy if Daddy gained anything, mom's weight gain next to dad's zero is just a little sad.
With all due respect to the people at Carters, I am crossing that line out!!!
That, and the line for Sam's social security number. This is supposed to be a keepsake to look through, not a bounty if some visitor low on cash decides to become an identity thief because we made it painfully easy to do so! Yeesh, people!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Off one soapbox, onto a happy one

So everyone, sorry if I've been getting all political on you lately. This election just has me (and the rest of the country) all nuts. The posts are my way of getting all mavericky on y'all.
How does that "I'm a pepper" song go?
I'm a maverick,
She's a maverick,
Wouldn't you like to be a maverick, too?

I stand by everything I say, but I will now move on to a subject that will get less people mad. It's okay now, everyone can look again.
It's time for....(drumroll please)

Carly complains about crappy commercials!!!

Yay! That's right, I've relocated my lousy-commercial gripes from my now private family blog to the public blog. Because a lot of people who could care less what my kid looks like covered in rice cereal (adorable, by the way) liked to read those posts. Welcome to your new home!

Today's victim:

You know all those commercials with that super dumb guy?
The one who is on the radio as well as the TV?
In the most recent one, he's sniffing the cars to see "which ones are used?"
He has another where he asks the sales man if any of the cars "shoot lasers" because he's got some "coworkers he'd like to *zap*"?
In one of the earlier ones, he keeps calling the fix-it guy to come to his house so he can look at the guy's truck, or faking the repairman's truck is his to impress his father-in-law. In another, he sees his neighbors are getting ready for a trip and have "room for one more" so he rips off his robe to reveal himself in full beach garb including floaties. Shudder.

If you haven't seen any of these, you are so lucky. I'll never get the cheese out of my brain, no matter how much I bend over and smack my ear.

I hate this guy. Hate him. He creeps me out. If I were the father-in-law, I'd shoot him dirty looks too.

Beyond that, I honestly don't know what Toyota is trying to do here.
If these ads had a slogan that matched perfectly it would be "Complete morons love our cars."
Huh? What's the next line? "Wouldn't you like to be one of those morons?"
I don't get it. They are the ones painting this guy as a total boob, but he's the one pitching their brand. Wouldn't it be so much more effective if this guy was the pathetic Ford owner down the street? I thought carmakers were supposed to showcase their drivers as discerning, wise, street-savvy geniuses, who know how to shop for a car--not as the reject canidates for "Beavis and Butthead." Do any of the cars shoot lasers! Are they kidding me with this?

If your reading this, Toyota, I honestly hope you got a refund from your advertising firm. Next time, call me. I'm way cheaper and I won't pitch "Merv the Perv" meets "Dumb and Dumber." I promise.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Do You Want to Touch? Uh, we'll pass.

Daniel and I were watching TV the other day when a commercial for the new HP with the touch screen came on. The first thought I had was, could this song have grosser lyrics for a computer commercial? Seriously, listen to it next time. Oogy.
Anyway, once I was done wondering why they are going for sex appeal on a freaking computer, I turned to Daniel and said "Would you even want a touch screen computer?"
While I was continuing with "I mean, wouldn't it be hard to work with close detail using your finger instead of a pointer?"
Daniel was simultaneously saying
"No way. The screen would get all smudgy."

Same answer. Totally different ways to get there. Each with reasoning that reflect our personalities perfectly.
That right there is a perfect representative sample of why we work.
Nit-picker and clean-freak, together forever.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Where have all the cowgirls gone?

I have this feeling this post is going to annoy some people. Okay, lots of people. Fine, just about everyone I know. Oh well, who needs friends? (I do. Really, I do. I just think certain things really do need to be said.) I also want to assure you that this topic has been on my mind for a very long time (like several years now), and I have had many conversations with my mom and husband about it during that time, and although recent conversations, debate, and events have brought it to the forefront of my mind--this is in no way directed at anyone in particular. It's just an amalgam of bits and pieces I've seen while roving the net.

I'm further aware that this post will probably also get me labeled with the one of the most despised epithets a LDS woman could receive. Feminist. So, let me be clear and say I'm not a feminist of the bra-burning, man-hating, Hillary-supporting, sort. Not remotely.
As I've stated before, I'm a big believer in the innate differences between men and women, and I'm totally okay with having gender roles defined loosely by society. I like it that way. I love being a mom and a girl, and weaseling out of pumping gas by pretending it's overly complicated. I am the one in the house who learned how to work the DVR first, however. The family is the central unit of society and messing with that principle hasn't brought us anything but bad. Gender is a huge part of that unit, and my life.
I wrote a while back about the disturbing trend that the new "holier than thou" is "busier than thou." Lately, I've noticed as I peruse Mommyblogs of friends and acquaintances, and friends of friends (geez, get me a life!), that at least in the LDS blogging world, it seems that the even newer "holier than thou" is "more helpless than thou." I'm not talking about people who state that they love their husbands and enumerate their good qualities on occasion--heaven knows if I didn't put that I love Daniel and he is wonderful before I make a post about some lame argument we got into, he wouldn't be speaking to me anymore for bashing him on the www. There is absolutely nothing wrong with loving your husband and thinking he's the best. I hope you do think he's the best, because you married him!
But loving your spouse or being publicly grateful for him is not what I'm talking about here. Sure, it can be a little hard to take after a while (he's wonderful, and never ever leaves dirty socks on your side of the bed, I get it, rub it in some more why don't you!), but more power to you.
I'm talking about posts that are so over the top disgusting, and seem to be composed only for the purpose showing your friends that your marriage is awesomer than theirs, and you know you've seen them...
"Today I took the kids to the store. Daniel went with me because I absolutely can not shop by myself. I get so lost and end up crying in the cereal aisle because I don't know whether to buy Marshmallow Mateys or spring for the Lucky Charms. Of course, he always tells me to spring for the name brand because he works 4 jobs on top of Medical school to pay for the name brand, and he is just the awesomest husband ever. When we got home, he unpacked all the groceries while breastfeeding the baby because he figured out a way to alter his DNA so he can help me out with that too!!!! O.M.Gosh! What a catch! After the kids went to sleep (and he read them the story, of course), he took 20 minutes in the bathroom and I thought I was going to DIE because he wasn't there!!! It's like he's my oxygen and I will choke to death without him. Every waking moment before he comes home from work is pure torture the kids and I have to suffer through. If I didn't have Daniel I would be a puddle of tears on the bathroom floor unable to eat or breathe or go to the bathroom on my own..."
I exaggerate, but only slightly. On top of being like some insidious Christmas brag letter that shows up 365 days a year, the content worries me. For one, it is not possible for men to breastfeed, because I would be all over that and slipping pills into Daniel's dinner if the technology were out there. Mostly though, seriously, ladies, when did being a pathetic damsel in distress become cool? Why is it that the less you state you are capable of doing without your better half, the better wife/mother/blogger you are?
We are the descendants of pioneer women! Rosie the riveter was only two generations ago! Where are all the cowgirls who can take care of themselves if they have to? When did "we can do it!" get changed to "only he can do it, but I'll be the cheering section?"
I blame the Twilight books for this. I love the (first three) books, but I think Bella is a whiner of epic proportions who has completely glamorized the weak woman falling into absolute pieces without her man right by her side to save her. I've said it before, and I'll say it again, while it's a good lose yourself story, but not the kind of character anyone should want to emulate. But so many of us do. We want to write the kind of romantic devotional passages that capture the obsessive captivation of a teenage first-love.
Hello, reality check! We are not teenagers anymore, and we have responsibillities. Very small people look up to us and we are making a competition out of being utterly helpless. What is up with that? Last time I checked, the adage was "Stand by your Man," not "huddle nervously, rocking back and forth at the feet of your man."
Token disclaimer: I do love my husband. I don't want to think about life without him, and we really do miss him when he's gone, but you already know that, because I've said it before. I don't feel the need to re-list his good qualities to prove my love for him before I say this next part.

Daniel and I are a team. A set, if you will. He brings strengths into the marriage and is the head of our family, but I bring strengths too. We are both strong individuals that become an unstoppable rebel force when united! We are not halves of a whole that can not function alone, we are two wholes that combined are greater than the sum of our parts. Chew on that, math peeps.
If, heaven forbid, a challenge came our way that caused us to be separated, for a season or the remainder of our lives here, I would do everything in my power to soldier on. I know the cool thing is to say I'd be unable to survive, and I've no doubt I'd feel that way on many days, but I would have to suck it up. I want my child to know that her mother is a strong woman, who will take any trial the Lord chooses to hand her with as much grace as she can possibly muster. Heavenly Father has given so many women throughout history trials that forced them to be without their husbands (the first missionaries spring to mind), and I really don't think those will be judged as better who put the most performance into falling apart, with the ones who chose to raise stalwart children in spite of circumstances and with nary a complaint on the bottom of the stack. Thank goodness Heaven isn't run by the producers of America's Next Top Model. Drama shouldn't always be queen.
Women like Bella, who fall apart when challenges come, are not my heroes.
These are my heroes:
My friend, who went to the ICU every single day alone for several months to be with her very premature son, while her husband served our country in Iraq. If I could handle half the challenges you did with half the courage, grace, and good cheer, I'd construct a monument to myself that would dwarf the statue of liberty.
Another friend, a widow with 6 young kids, who still goes through the trouble of teaching them all the traditions and values she and her husband worked so hard to establish, all while mending her broken heart, still making everyone around her feel like her best friend, flashing her million dollar smile, and wearing make-up every single day (a feat I don't even pull off with only one kid at home and my husband to help me out).
My mom, who didn't even flinch at being alone when a call would come in the middle of the night asking for the Bishop and my dad would have to go. A woman who doesn't flinch now, when business calls him away and she has to take care of everything in the house herself for 2 weeks out of 4.

So, lets give our young girls an example of strength to look up to. Who among us wouldn't be slightly nervous if our 16-year-old daughter said that some guy was the only thing worth living for and she'd die without him. I, for one, know I would have a massive fit, yet we talk like life is only worth living if we get to do it on our terms every single day. It's okay to be human, and admit that we have fears, weaknesses, and struggles. I really do hate going to the store by myself. I just think we need to stop acting like our weaknesses make us better than those around us. I joke a lot, but being better than others because of our problems is taking pride in our humility. While I have a lot of fears, being alone just isn't one of them--I could probably hurt any bad guy worse than Daniel anyway, he's so much smaller than me. That's what three years of living in the Tucson ghetto and walking to school between two bars will do to you. I got stronger, and had to leave fear behind to make room for being smart and wary. I hate to think I'd have to fake scared to have friends.
While I did miss Daniel while I was gone, I've got to admit, honing my airport trip so I got through security in 2 minutes or less all by myself with a happy baby made me feel like She-ra, Princess of Power. I even pumped gas today and I loved feeling independent and strong. Take that Rosie the Riveter! I can do it!
And you can too!
Strong women unite, and be the kind of women our awesome, helpful, hard-working, mondo-fabulous husbands would want to be married to!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

When did we all turn into whiny little wimps?

As much as I try to keep politics and such out of my mommy brain blog (okay, except for a shot at Obama a few weeks ago I couldn't help but take), lately, about a billion things have happened to me and around me that are getting under my skin. Besides, Mommyworld is the real world, and it's our lives that shape the world our babies will have to clean up someday, so I feel this is still relevant to the blog topic. Due to length and the extent of my frustration, I'm going to do two wicked-long posts. Today's topic is economic wussiness, and tomorrow's is gender wussiness.
A lot of my recent surliness has to do with the media's unrepentant attempt to create a worldwide economic disaster, putting me in a blanket bad mood. Now, I'm not generally the conspiracy-theorist-type, and have been known to relentlessly mock people (okay, husbands that may be married to yours truly) for passing along the latest cover-up forward circulating in the rumor e-mill, but I do believe in this one. I think it is in the media's best interest to induce panic. After all, their money-making is based on viewers, and the more terrified people are, the more they are glued to the screen. Reporting that everything will be okay might make people smile, shrug, then turn off the boob tube to go hug their kids and play a pick-up football game. We can't have that! Further into the conspiracy rabbit hole, if you'll permit me, I really do believe that the mainstream media has a liberal lean, and in times of economic trouble, people tend to turn to the party that supports handing out rich people's cash. I'm sure Barack "Spread the Wealth" Obama has gleaned many followers simply because a diet of government cheese has suddenly felt like a real possiblity to many people looking at their once awesome sub-prime mortgages as ticking time-bombs. Everyone wants to make sure there is enough cheese in the vault for them, should they need it. There won't be, no matter who you vote for, but one party has no qualms about promising the world. At the risk of sounding like Forrest Gump, the best advice I ever got from my mom was "always be wary of advice from someone who has something to gain from your decision." My mom is so smart, and never is that advice more needed than at election time. The liberal press is having a field day, and we're taking the bait.
hook, line, and sinker. The media is doing their best to ensure that every single person within their reach feels vulnerable--"you may be only one paycheck away from that proverbial government cheese, more at 10! "
Maybe you are, and hopefully you aren't, but that's hardly my point.
My point is--we (in the collective sense) are not in a depression. Times are harder than they have been in the past, but welcome to the economic cycle. It happens. I hate math and was a science major, but even I know that there are ups and downs in every economy. We have gotten so used to prosperity that we feel entitled to it. Is there anything that cries out for humbling more than a sense of entitlement? I submit that there is not. How do I know we are not in a depression as of yet? As this site put it so beautifully, a two-hour wait at the Olive Garden on a Friday night is not a sign of depression! We all like to complain about the economy, but until I stop seeing busy salons offering Brazilian bikini-waxes at completely insane prices (as if the wax itself isn't crazy enough), I won't buy the fact that most people don't still have money to burn. The fact that still exists proves otherwise.

Financial instability is scary, but seriously folks, don't look at your financial situation as intimately tied to the current world "crisis" unless it actually is. Daniel pointed out the other day that we are feeling the pinch these days, because of the rough economy. With all due respect to my intelligent husband--we are going on 6 months of one income and are finally to the point that we can not buy everything we feel like whenever we want. The stock market rising and falling has zip, zero, nada to do with that. Yeah, we're shelling out more for groceries in theory, but with eating out less and me being home to cook, clip coupons, and bargain shop, we're actually making out better with food costs. Our situation is not the economy's fault, it's a direct result of my choice to become a full-time mom and we'd be doing some belt-tightening right now even if everyone else was still kicking up their financial heels. Besides, we are hardly in dire straits even with one income, our 401K may be looking a little rough, but the fact that we are still watching Yo Gabba Gabba on cable shows that we are not down to the basics yet!
I'll bet that most of you out there are in the same boat. Bad spending habits or a feeling of liquidity are catching up to people, but for most of my friends and acquaintances that just means not buying the stuff they didn't really have the cash for in the first place. They are giving up a few luxuries, not moving into a cardboard box in downtown Phoenix and yelling incoherently at passersby. No one I know is a stockbroker who lost everything, they wouldn't hang out with people as broke as us anyway.
To be frank, I don't want the government owning my bank, home, and car because a few bad apples tricked good apples into craptastic loans and the whole country went nuts as a result. Panic is the poison, not the economy.
We will be okay. We are Americans and we are tough. We've been through worse, even if the media would like us to believe we haven't. If, as a country, we would have just heeded the advice of the prophet all along to live within our means, we wouldn't be in this mess. I'm convinced that if we start listening now, we can get out again, even if we made it harder on ourselves. We can't dig ourselves out by freaking out and huddling at home in full-on panic mode. We can't get out by sharing the latest "did you hear who went broke?" story, or by yanking our money out of the banks and hiding it under our mattresses. We can't get out by watching the news or screaming at the TV. No one ever got out of a hole by making it deeper--I've yet to meet a person who kept digging and actually got out in China, despite repeated childhood attempts.
It's time to suck it up and clean up our messes, America. We've been trying to get our kids to clean up after themselves, let's show by example this time around. Who is with me?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Samantha's #1 Fan!

So, I just got back into town last night after taking Samantha to Utah for a wonderful visit with my parents and sister for 4 days.
By myself.
That's right, I braved the airport with a six month old and without my court jester/loving husband! I was totally terrified about how she would behave. I've got to be honest though, I continually insist on underestimating Samantha. Every time we go anywhere (by car, foot, plane), I'm afraid she will melt down and she never ever does. I'm always prepared with a 20 lb diaper bag full of magic tricks to stop crying, and it always ends up being a moot point. Even when Sam is gearing up to make my life miserable and giving me panic attacks (say, by being cranky and fussy in the airport before departure), she always comes through when the chips are down. I can't help it though, come Christmas, I will be back in full disaster-prep mode. It's in my nature. My spine will crack before my will to prepare.
Sitting at an airport gate with an infant got me more dirty looks than if I had worn an "I hate orphans, puppies, and homemade cookies" T-shirt, and while it bothers me on a very small mommy-defending-her-offspring-level, mostly, I'm thrilled about it. Why? Because no matter how crowded the plane is, if there is even one available seat, it will be the one next to you and the baby. Which is good, because I need the space to hold the reject toys and my little cup of water Sam always seems to want to share, to disastrous and freezing results.
On the way there, a very nice lady came up and sat in the window seat while I was in the aisle. She said she knows most people hate sitting by babies, but she liked them, so she'd take the bullet. She talked with Sam for a while (which Sam adores) and once the red wine kicked in, she even jumped under the seat to retrieve her teething bee when Sam chucked it. How nice! The funny thing was, after the flight, all the people around us (seriously, 3 rows on each side) decided to hold court about how good Sam was on the plane. I was flattered that they all thought she was adorable and wanted to say hi, but felt super awkward at the same time. Seriously, I'm a little self-conscious about 10 strangers standing around discussing my kid's behavior, good or bad!
Then, on the way back, we tried the same trick, and parked in an aisle seat. I figured this way, since the flight wasn't crowded, no one had to sit in our row and if they did sit by us and Sam cried, they have no one to blame but themselves! I was trying to keep her dancing when a lady came up to me and said
"Hey, did you fly in on Thursday?!"
"Uh, yeah, we did."
"Oh my gosh, I was a few rows behind you! This baby was so cute and good! I usually hate sitting by babies, but I want to sit by this one, can I have the window seat?"
I was floored. Sam has a fan! I'm sure it helped that she wore her Halloween outfit both ways so she was recognizable, but how funny is that!?
A few minutes later, a business man came to sit in the row in front of us. Before sitting down, he said "Okay, I'll sit by you, baby, but you better not cry the whole time!" In response, Sam flashed her million-dollar smile. Before I could answer and assure him she was usually good, the lady next to me chimed in with "Oh no! Not this baby! She's adorable and cute, I've flown with her before. Don't worry!"
Huh. Okay, thanks for the endorsement, complete stranger!
Thankfully, Samantha came through for her fanclub and was good again. She kept trying to get the lady's attention and when she did finally look at her, Sam would flash a ginormous smile and jump. I seriously thought our new friend was going to melt. She also made friends with an older lady on the other side of the aisle two rows back when she was trying to win over a hot young guy sharing the older lady's row. That lady was so hilarious, Sam got the giggles. That made me laugh, so all-in-all, it was a pretty good flight.

Lest you think I'm making this up and only hilighting the portions of the trip that make us look good, there are a few cons to traveling with Sam.
1) She thinks my boarding pass looks delicious and spends the entire trip through security, walk to the gate, and wait before the jetway trying to get a taste of it. Frustrating when you are juggling a kid, a diaper bag, and the bottle of water to make formula you have to buy past security that simply has nowhere else to go. I apologize to the nice people at Southwest for the soggy corner on my pass both ways.
2) She gets so excited by both takeoff and landing that she squeals with delight at the top of her lungs until we hit cruising altitude on the way up or the gate on the way down. It gets a little loud for my taste, and usually also involves excited stomping and dancing on my lap--making it hard to hold on to her during landing. On the plus side, people are way more understanding about happy noises than sad ones, and everyone around us laughed at her instead of rolling their eyes while I tried desperately to interest her in a mute button (aka: binky).
3) Sam loves all people, and grins at every stranger she sees. People really dig this and almost always smile back, making her even more excited. If they don't see her or try to ignore her though, Little Miss Center of the Universe gets peeved and will yell in their direction until they comply. She does NOT cry--it's more like "hey! HEY! HEYYYY!" but it's mortifying and will not stop until her target notices her, or someone else jumps in and smiles at her instead. That someone else can not be me. Hot Guy in the next aisle seat learned this the hard way on the way home. She spent at least 15 minutes trying to get his attention, smiling, yelling, trying to reach over to him. Embarrassing! On a deeper level, I've never seen her work that hard or long on one person, and as a mother, I'm deeply disturbed that my daughter will do anything for the attention of a good-looking man. I sincerely hope she outgrows that before she hits her teens.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

We Have a New Winner

There is a new clear front runner in a very upsetting contest.
It's the "embarrassing statements I can't believe I had to say to my kid" contest I started with myself several posts ago.
I swear I am not making this up, I actually said this to my daughter just this afternoon. I managed not to yell, and I feel I managed to control my total panic and disgust for the most part, so I'm calling it a mommy victory, despite the clear failure to keep the situation from happening in the first place. I only wish my warning/correction/freakout had come out of my mouth in a more mature, sophisticated, classy, or allover less embarrassing way.
"No, NO, Samantha!!! We do NOT suck on old poo poos!!!"
Oh. my. gosh.
I had no idea parenting would provide me with the opportunity to say things like this when my kid is not even efficiently mobile. Yet here we are.
Not for the first time, I desperately hope the neighbors don't pick up our baby monitor's signal.
If you want to know the situation that led to me running across the room and making such a tasteful declaration, you'll have to let me know. It doesn't seem right to post yet another poo poo story on the web without fair warning. All I have to say was I did avert the worst crisis this brings to mind, and am not as bad a mom as you are thinking I am. Not my proudest moment, but it could have been worse. Way worse. Although it wasn't for lack of trying, Sam did NOT actually suck on poo poo.
I never thought I'd see the day where having a family member not put poo in their mouths was a good day, but that day is today. Hello world, it's my first day to truly understand the meaning of "small victory." Very small.
Once upon a time, not all that long ago, I never worried about someone in my realm of responsibility eating poop, or bugs, or pretty much any non-food items. Although Daniel has always considered them a weapon of permanent carpet-staining proportions, I never before considered a raisin a harbinger of certain death (shout out to "What to Expect the First Year" for the gift of my new psychotic choking phobia). Finally, it's true that I wouldn't consider mosquitoes and me to be friends--they treat me like a Vegas buffet-- but I never thought of one as my mortal enemy until I saw it hovering around Sam's cute chubby thighs.
It was only six months ago that I didn't have a hyper-intense focus on the literal minutiae of life. However, I was also absent the intense depth of feeling that comes with being a parent. I'll take the expansion of the "poop and bug avoidance" sector of my brain since its required with the love, compassion, and knowledge remodel I so desperately needed. The disgusting and highly stressful parts of Sam's adventures are more than worth it for all the wonderful her gigantic personality brings into our lives. Yeah, I'm a total whack-job, but I'm a parent, and we're all certifiable. It comes with the gig, and I can deal with it. I might have to chuck out the "what to expect" books before I invest in a Sam-sized plastic bubble, so if you are walking by my bedroom window, you might want to duck.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Change I Can't Believe In

Last night, I was washing dishes while Sam played on the family room floor quietly.
Out of nowhere she made three sounds in a row.

Hey, kid, watch it. This house is McCain territory.

I have always said that most of Obama's followers were too young and inexperienced to know what they are talking about, and that most of them still live with their parents. I just didn't realize how young and inexperienced.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

How does she know I'm crazy?

So, now that Sam can say both "mamama" and "bababa" she's decided she'd rather say only one syllable of each. Now she says "mom" a lot. I swear, she is saying "mom." One syllable, starts with an M and very clearly ends with a M. It is so stinking cute.
Today, I totally forgot that she doesn't know what that means, and we had our first conversation. If I answer her back while she babbles, she tends to stop talking and start smiling to try to make me laugh, so I've been trying to just let her talk without getting involved. It is super hard and I apparently suck at it.
Sam was babbling while I changed her diaper, when all of a sudden she says:
It was so abrupt, sudden and forceful, that I thought she was actually trying to get my attention. "What do you want to tell me, Sam?" I answer.
"A Baaaaa!"
I get all excited and shout (in goofy baby-voice) "No way! Where is the Ba?"
Sam just gave me this extremely confused and concerned look that can best be described as Sam thinking "How would I know? I don't know what I'm saying actually means, I'm just a baby! Why would you think I did? Are you okay, mom?"
Yeah, so even my nearly 6-month-old thinks I belong in a psych-ward. Isn't she too young to think her mom is lame? I'm a little hurt that at this young age Sam thinks I'm nuts. But on the plus side, we had a conversation! Woohoo!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Mommy's little piggy

We got a virus on our computer last night, and because I am the resident tech-whiz in the house (I know, very scary thought), the honor of fixing the computer so Daniel could do his homework fell to me. This meant Daddy had to feed Sam her rice cereal solo for the first time ever. I told him how to mix it, but didn't give him any of her little eating quirks before I dashed upstairs to conquer malware. I am Carly the virus slayer, all hail!
When I came down to check on them the first time, Daniel was holding her hands down. Sam likes to "help" feed herself by sucking on her hands with a mouthful of rice cereal. It's disgusting, and makes dinner a complete mess, but it's how she likes to help and I have more important things to worry about. "See," Daniel told me (a tad self-righteously, I might add) "she doesn't need to put her hands in her mouth. Dinner doesn't have to be a disaster every day. We're doing great." Okay, whatever, he's always been a clean-freak. If he wants to pick that battle with a five-month-old, more power to him. Back to the computer.
The second time I came down was towards the end of the meal. Sam had both hands in her mouth and was happily sucking away. She was wearing a bib and had the addition of a dishtowel (my only clean one) covering every other inch of her body. It had big blobs of cereal on it. Daniel looked a little frustrated, and as he got a bite ready, Sam started looking at it and whimpering. "Uh, she decided she wanted to suck on her hands after all, so I was cool with that." Daniel told me confidently. Uh huh. Point to Sam on that one. "and, I guess she likes big bites?" He asked me.
"Well, I always give her big bites, since most of it ends up on her face anyway, and I don't want to be here all day long while she spits out 90% of a million little bites. She seems to enjoy it that way." I explained.
"Yeah. She likes big bites. Every time I get a spoonful of cereal ready, she looks at it, and if there isn't enough food on the spoon she starts to cry!"
Sure enough, Daniel put a little bit more on her spoon, the whimpering stopped and she happily took a bite and shoved her hands back in her mouth. "She also keeps grabbing the spoon if I don't get it to her fast enough."
Oh, yes, the spoon grab. A trick I know well by now.
So, as it turns out, my baby is a pig. Maybe we should feed her with a serving spoon instead of a baby one.
Also, all my worrying about whether or not she'll take after me is rather moot. I like to eat too. Like mother, like daughter. That's awesome. We can have emotional eating issues together someday. I'm so glad she seems to get all her bad traits from me and all the good ones from Daddy. Good times.

Monday, October 6, 2008

IronMAN, BatMAN, SuperMAN, SpiderMAN--anyone else see a pattern here?

Three weeks before we got married, Daniel took me to see Pride and Prejudice. It's always been one of my favorite books and it was his idea to take me to the movie despite loud mocking from my father that he would have to "turn in his dude card" for going to the ultimate chick flick. I thought it was sweet of him--there he was, standing up to relentless mocking of his manhood just because he wanted me to be happy. We are so in love, ahh. Of course, he was mighty bored the entire time. I didn't feel too bad for him though--I went to quite a few movies I could not care less about because it was a date myself. That's what being engaged is about--faking that you think M Night Shamalyan (whatever) is awesome.
I didn't expect Daniel's willingness to go to chick flicks to last for too long after our wedding, but I did not realize that "I do" was actually shorthand for "I do not have to see a movie you pick out in perpetuity of forever as of this exact moment." I thought, at least occasionally, I would be able to guilt him into taking me to a date movie. It's been nearly three years, and no, I haven't been able to. Not even one time. I really wanted to get married to Daniel, and its been great, but part of me wonders if I should have had a longer engagement so I could get in a few more movie choices before my days of picking were unequivocally over. It's especially frustrating these days because I don't have any friends to attend chick flicks with, so I have to wait until girl movies come out on DVD and watch them alone like a loser. I should have done a better job of going out with other girls, but I've stunk at that since birth, so what are you gonna do?
Since our marriage we've only been to the theater to see action movies. Period. We've only rented action movies, with the exception of Dan in Real Life, which I watched first to make sure it wasn't too girly before he would watch it with me. The trouble with action movies is, that even the good ones, are extremely similar. Since our wedding, we've seen The Bourne Ultimatum, I Am Legend, Transformers (Oh, heavens, the number of times I've seen Transformers!), Red Eye, Flightplan, The Forgotten, Flight of the Phoenix, Live Free or Die Hard, and the list goes on. We've seen Batman Begins (and the Dark Knight,) Superman Returns, Spiderman 3, and even Cinderella Man. Yes, Cinderella Man is awesome, and does have human interest, but it's a boxing movie, so it covers both sports and violence and I'm still listing it as a man movie. Friday night, it was Iron Man, which Daniel had seen in the theaters at least twice, so he sat there the entire time watching me take in the awesomeness of it all. I think he was hurt that I didn't like it. I probably would have liked it, I've liked quite a few of them (especially Live Free or Die Hard), and loved a few (who doesn't love the DaVinci Code, seriously) but I think my action/comic book movie quota was just full. Sometimes I do want to see them too, but lately, I'm burned out. Been there, seen that. Maybe if I got a wee bit of a break from them for say 1 date night, I'd see it Iron Man again and give it the love it truly deserves. Maybe I'd see it through refreshed eyes and fall in love with blowing up terrorists. Or maybe I just don't like Robert Downey Jr, and I'll feel the same way the second time around.
When I'm not in the mood for them, action movies do one of three things to me: 1) scare me 2) gross me out or 3) bore me to tears. Special shout-out to Will Smith for hitting the trifecta with I Am Legend. That was a stinker and a half.
Daniel doesn't purposely leave out every genre except action flicks, he just hates wasting money on movies that don't look wicked awesome and the only movies that look wicked awesome to him happen to fall into that category. This weekend he told me he wants to see Eagle Eye, and "hey, isn't The Hulk coming out on DVD soon? OOOh, it has Tony Stark in it too, we've got to rent that!"
I'll agree that Eagle Eye looks good, but it's a moot point. I am on strike from action movies until I get to see a movie with some freakin' human interest in it! I am happy to go to Eagle Eye and suffer through The Hulk, but not until I've seen Ghost Town or Flash of Genius first. We are going to see a movie with no explosions in it together, just once, before we go back to another action film. It doesn't have to be a romantic comedy, a lot of those stink, but no one is getting their head chopped off by a helicopter blade, or driving down stairs in a small car for our next date night. If you don't take me up on Ghost Town, you'll be sitting through The Secret Life of Bees. I'm not bluffing here, we'll have a Queen Latifah marathon if need be. To really up the ante, guess who will be sitting through a midnight showing of Twilight if you don't change your macho ways and toss me a bone once in a while? That's right, I'm throwing down the ultimate gauntlet.
These are my conditions, don't make me pull out the vampire romance on you. I'll do it.

Friday, October 3, 2008

"It's My First Day" presents...

Sentences I have uttered just today that I'd never thought I'd say...
This is what comes when you only have a 5 month old to converse with.
Special thanks to parenthood for making all this possible.

"Wow, DJ Lance Rock has hair!"

"You know what? Mommy's eyebrows aren't for licking. No no."

"Are you my little Goober Oober Woober Doober?"

"I love you, but you're not the only one who really needs a nap right now."

"We don't chase earwigs. They taste yucky, trust me."

"Let's go get Mommy some Tylenol. She has a headache wedache."

"Binkys don't crawl back when you chuck them, you know, one of us has to get up."

and finally

"Augh! Gross! Why did I sniff you?! I knew you were poopy!"