Friday, January 28, 2011

Warning: Boring blog post ahead

It was Marlo's two-thirds birthday yesterday. Hard to believe she is already eight months old. She has celebrated this milestone by sleeping all night -12 hours- in her crib for the past two nights. Here's to hoping this is a long-term trend.

We have definitely entered a third phase of baby around here. Phase One was the newborn phase, where she pooped every ten seconds and slept whenever she wasn't eating. Phase Two was when she needed stuff like the swing and the bouncy seat. Lots of gear in Phase Two.

Phase Three is more like having a little kid, but I assume better because she can't get far on her own and can't talk back yet. Most all of the gear is put away. She only has a high chair  and an Emergency Johnny Jump Up for when I need a shower and she is not sleeping. She sleeps in her crib, she eats three meals a day, and she is even starting to take two solid naps instead of the on-again-off-again catnap crap.

Did I mention the gear is put away? You guys, for the first time in almost a year there is no baby stuff in my bedroom. This is mindblowing for me. No bassinet, no swing, no pack-n-play. All gone. If somebody told me (probably did) before Marlo was born that I shouldn't worry, it would only be eight months and the crap would be gone and she'd be sleeping in her crib, I would have said (probably did say) "what do you mean only eight months? Eight months is forever!" But it's not. It seems like it went by in a flash.

Something I want to enter on the record is this: I'm happy. Not that I was UNhappy before, but I would rate my job satisfaction higher in Phase Three than the other phases. Yes, the days can be a slog; yes, I often wake up thinking here we go again. But I'm happy. I think it's because there is structure to the days now. It's not all haywire anymore. I get up, I feed her breakfast, I watch her play, I put her down for a nap. I know I have these steps to go through. The day is parsed into manageable increments. Maybe this sounds horrifyingly dull to you, but it works for me. Structure is my friend.

I will try not to be so boring next time. I should warn you (make excuses) that my computer is in desperate need of more RAM which makes blogging quite a task AND my mother-in-law is here, so you may not see much of me over the next week or so. But it doesn't mean I love you any less.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

I think I'd rather have an Uncle Paul

I bet it would be pretty cool to find out that Oprah was your sister for the first five minutes. Then I bet she would just be insufferable. But I don't have to tell you that.  I love that her favorite part about finding out she has a sister is that her sister didn't sell her out. It's all about Oprah, after all.

I bet you don't really even get any benefits. I bet all that being Oprah's long-lost sister gets you is a bunch of phone calls to talk about Oprah. Or Deepak Chopra lectures. Except maybe you get a check-up with Doctor Oz or something, that might be worth it. But I bet Oprah's all Warren Buffet (ha, I almost said Jimmy) with her money. I bet there are no free rides in Oprah town. I bet those poor kids that were all excited five minutes ago about "Auntie Oprah" are getting bupkis.

Way back in 2010 when Oprah and Sir Paul McCartney were both getting Kennedy Center Honors, the husband and I sat around musing on how they could combine forces to become King and Queen of Earth. Imagine the money in that marriage! I wonder if they would be benevolent leaders, or if Oprah's wrath would come out. If I were her, I would want to yell "off with his head!" at least once.

Monday, January 24, 2011

I would have written a snappy conclusion, but the baby's screaming

I've got a rock in my craw. Or whatever the appropriate colloquialism is for "I'm feeling pretty frustrated."

This whole BPA thing. I'm having trouble deciding where the line is between "sensible concern" and "paranoid hyper-paranoia." Like, okay, I get it. BPA leaches out of plastic and into food, and that's probably bad for us. So we all threw out our $24.99 BPA-laden water bottles and got new, shiny $24.99 BPA-free bottles. Hooray! Problem solved, right? No. Because we are not supposed to eat things out of cans, because cans (turns out) are lined with plastic that leaches BPA into the food. Oh. Right.

Okay, so up until the time I get really good at canning without growing botulism spores and spend all of August putting up all of the tomato product we could possibly go through in the year, what am I supposed to do? Not use canned tomato product? That eliminates about 75% of the meals that I regularly prepare for my family. And what about beans? Am I really supposed to go all 19th century and have a bean pot a-boilin' on the stove at all times? Or wait, isn't it Mondays that are for sheets and bean cooking? I can't remember. All I know is I'm trying to break my habit of rinsing the bean can out over the beans in the colander, a process I have recently dubbed "getting all the BPA goodness."

It's just frustrating. It's like it wasn't bad enough when Martha Stewart was telling you you weren't doing it pretty enough, now it's like you're not doing it not killing your family enough. Here I am, buying somewhere around 85% organic, unprocessed foods, making nearly everything that we eat, yet I'm still doing it wrong. I call shenanigans.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

But a tiger IS my favorite large cat

Good thing my New Year's resolution wasn't to blog more often, eh? So glad that January is almost over and we can all quit talking about how we're trying to better ourselves and just settle back into our same old sad sack patterns.

Anyhoo. This Tiger Mother crap is everywhere, huh? Or is it just the people I associate with with whom I associate? I've only read the Wall Street Journal excerpt, but I suppose I'll download the book to my Kindle - which I've had for over two years but just started using. Boy was it top of the line and expensive! Perfect for a 30th birthday present. Now I just covet the new one. Consumerism at its finest! But I digress.

We were just talking about this (parenting?) last night, how one of our friends had a creative solution to her kids' messy playroom that was on the one hand perfect, hysterical and just what those kids deserved. On the other: kind of a temper tantrum. The yelling and screaming over piano practice described in that WSJ piece seems like a temper tantrum. Kind of like how another mother I know used to break the toys that weren't put away when a certain little girl's room wasn't clean. I don't like the idea of fear as motivator. I don't like the idea of parental rage as a consequence. Maybe I'm idealistic and naive and new to this parenting game and whatnot, but I would like to minimize the temper tantrums on my end. But, who am I to say? Marlo has yet to willfully disobey me.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Of course I'm not advocating arson OR insurance fraud

Why hello, faithful readers. You must have missed me so much.

I wish I could tell you that I have been absent from the internet because I have been so busy taking care of so much real world business...but I would be lying. Well, I'd be lying this week.

We decided it would be a good idea to clean out our storage room. Let me tell you what. It was NOT a good idea. Basically, if you have a storage room, here's what I recommend you do. Put a match to it. There is nothing in there you need. You will only find a wonderland of crap you feel obligated to keep. The really bad news is that the only way to get rid of this crap (if you refuse my advice above) is to weed through it every six months or year or whatever. It BLOWS.

We made a deal with ourselves that we would work on it one hour a night every weeknight after Marlo goes to bed. We did really well the first week. Until Friday. Then we decided we were tired and made a deal that we would work Sunday night instead. Guess what happened Sunday night? Yep, I gave us the night off. Guess how many nights we've worked since last Thursday?

We do have an extra motivator to get it all finished, though. My mother in law arrives on the 27th. Yep, you read that right! My reward for working my ass off all month is my mother in law staying with us for five days! Hurray!! And, BONUS!! Husband is working the weekends before and after her stay! YES! And my parents are leaving town next week and will be gone the whole time so I have no babysitter! Super AWESOME!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Back to what I was saying

So the whole diet thing. I can't even stand what a cliche it is to make a new year's resolution to eat better. Combine that with it being a huge cliche to resolve to get your body back after a baby and, well, I double can't stand it. So I'm not resolving to do either of those things. Technically.

What I am resolving have resolved to do is to have more self discipline. Tricky, right? My goal for this year is to force myself to have more structure, so that maybe someday Marlo won't be resolving to have more self discipline. Not that I'm blaming my mother for anything. But I'm hoping that some things will come naturally if I am a little more regimented. Like if I commit to dinner prep in the afternoons, dinner will most likely contain at least one vegetable. And maybe we can eat at a decent hour, rather than the very continental-style 10pm dinners we've been "enjoying" over Christmas vacation.

Walking. I'm taking the baby out on strolls. Every time I have her in the stroller, I'm thinking to myself, "I love my babies. Why would I want to push them away from me?" Ah, Maggie Gyllenhaal. It's only funny because you are really that insufferable.