Friday, July 29, 2011

My heart, my heeeeaaaarrrttttt

I get it, I'm new.  A year and a half is a piddly amount of time as a parent and I am here to tell you that what "they" say is usually true.  However it's of no use to tell any new parent this, they have to have the experience for themselves.  Not because they are bull-headed (well, I am) but because the experience is like nothing you can have ever imagined via being told.

So here I am, a pained parent, having an "experience".

I have held strong to the principle of co-sleeping since Ro was born.  There are too many benefits, so, despite plenty of unwelcome suggestions to do otherwise,  that is what we have done.  So I lay down with her for every nap time and every bed time until she falls asleep, and it is a wonderful mommy time for me.  There is not one single thing that beats out snuggling with my daughter, it's the best.

Lately I've noticed that I can be more of a distraction than a vehicle of sleep.  She'll chat with me a bit and point out my eyes, nose and mouth.  Sometimes when she is almost asleep she'll wake herself up to dig for my belly button ( she likes belly buttons).  But at some point she'll need to be able to fall asleep on her own.  Right now she needs her mommy or her daddy to lay with her.  Up until now, this has posed no problems, but I imagine it'd be nice to have other options for sleepfulness.

So.....tonight.  Ah, tonight.  **BIG EXHALE**  After about 2 hours of sleeping, not sleeping, chatting and general "not-going-to-sleep"ness, I decided to remove myself.  First I just sat next to the bed.  She carried on, laughed a bit and fiddled with the pillow.  After 30 minutes of this I removed myself entirely (this is not the recommended Super Nanny way, oops- I should have stayed there, sitting until she was asleep) and the wrath of Ro began.

She followed me out of the room.  I put her back.  She told me she was, "all done".  I put her back.  She screeched and gargled something awful and ran after me out of the room.  I put her back.  She pleaded with me to, "belly" (lay down with her).  I told her in a calm, soothing voice that I loved her, that it was night-night time and she was to stay in bed and go to sleep.  This had her calm down....until I left.  She wailed, hollered, ripped out my heart and stomped it into the floor.  I put her back.  Imagine this process continuing for a bit.

I start to question if this sort of upset is really worth it.  Maybe she'll decide she can't trust me anymore.  What if bed time becomes this awful, dreaded beast of an event, unlike the casually welcomed process it is now?

During this mind cramp I became distracted from the fact that no child was trailing me.  And no crying to boot.  Hmm.  What could be going on in there?  I didn't have the guts to look and potentially re-start this mommy-soul-killing process.  So twenty minutes later I peek in and she is passed out on our bed (not the bed she is supposed to be passed out on).

Good...I guess?  This is what I wanted, right?  I think I am too damaged right now to feel victorious.  Besides, I don't really want to turn this into a competition in my head.  I am a bit relieved though, and sad.  Sad that she fell asleep with out me.

Crap, this parenting thing is rough.  So simultaneously high as a kite on kid smiles and then rock bottom on soggy eye lashes and scrunched red faces.

I'll be honest.  This process was brutal.  I've watched the Super Nanny do this over and over in people's homes and I've been cynical about the difficulty parents have with it.  Truth be told, I'm a bit horrified at the thought of doing this again tomorrow.  If I really want what I say I want, I'll do it.

Oh, please, oh, please, oh, please, let it be a short process!  Maybe she'll be good to go after tonight?  Yes.  That's it.


Sunday, July 24, 2011

Yogurty mess

I think one could call my parenting style "mellow".  I have come to this conclusion through watching people around me parent their kids (not just peeps I know, but you crazies in the grocery store too).

To me this means picking and choosing what to adjust in my child's behavior.  For example, I am a big believer in letting her explore the world in her own perfect way.  It's no way I would have explored it, and that's just the point.  Why is my way THE way?  It's not!

Of course I don't knowingly let her get herself into an unsafe situation or explore cherries by grinding them into the carpet, I think you see my point.

So the following video was taken moments ago during 'yogurt exploration hour'.  The result is I am, right now, watching her in the tub and getting yogurt out of her hair, her nostrils and off her belly...and I couldn't be happier for her!

(I can't figure out how to imbed the video here, so please follow the link to my youtube page!)

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Senses of Summer

I wish I were this clever, but I loved the idea so much I stole it from another blogger.  Here are some of the best summer sights, sounds, smells, etc of summer:

The grin.  How could it not be my favorite?  Although this one isn't specific to summer time, I'll get around it by saying, her smiles this summer are the best ones so far:

The sound of the river rushing along the rocks and the wind blowing through the trees.  It releases my muscles and prompts a cleansing exhale.

Sugar pine.  Sunscreen.  Strawberries & blackberries.  Hot, wet pavement.

Strawberries & blackberries.  BBQ.  Cold water in the hot sun.

Searing sunshine.  Bare shoulders.  River water and smooth river stones under my feet- well, everything under my bare feet!

Helllllllo summer!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Baby-free-dom (a.k.a my day away)

This past weekend I was invited to spend a day away.  A WHOLE ENTIRE DAY.  Actually, I was invited to spend two nights away, but I'm not quite there yet- as you can see, the 'one entire day' thing is kind of a big deal.  So I took it, and was gone away from my child from sun up to sun down and it was marvelous.

I drove for two hours through winding back country roads and then through heavily forested highway, all alone in the little non-kid mobile (the kid mobile stayed with....the kid) and I felt calm.  I didn't have to tend to the backseat, there was no one else to chat with, there was freedom from short clinging people.  I took deep, purposeful breathes more than once and sunk deeper into the seat of the car.  It's strange how fully life can reprogram 28 previous years of childlessness into a life that revolves completely around one.

I have a soft spot for tall pine trees, sweet mountain air and dirty feet.  I even feel a bit of pride when my sandal-ed feet are dirty enough to get that speckled pattern from dirt accumulation.  I find it a bit disconcerting  that my kid isn't on board with this mentality, she finds being dirty upsetting- weird.
There were a few times when the setting moved me, when I felt like I wanted to get lost in a moment that would recharge my soul.  One time was when we were riding our rented bikes along a heavily used bike trail and I found myself alone- no friends ahead of or behind me, no fellow tourists gabbing away, drowning out the noise of the wind in the tree tops.  I was in an aspen grove, the light was bright on the white tree trunks and the breeze was making the leaves dance and flicker.  Aspen leaves are green on one side and nearly white on the other, so when they are all fluttering it's pretty awesome.  I wanted to stay there for awhile.

Eventually I came home.  It was dark and the roads were no fun this time.  When I finally walked through my front door I was simultaneously relieved to be home and a bit sad that my baby was sleeping (it was 11pm).  I had secretly hoped that she needed me to be able to fall asleep, she didn't.

It turns out that being away for the day was awesome.  My kid survived and so did I (shocking).  I got to relax my kid-holding muscles for a bit and she got to spend some extended one-on-one time with her daddy.  I might see an over-nighter in our future....

Friday, July 15, 2011

Cake is Crack

My kid and cake don't get along.  Or maybe it's that they get along too well, like in a "I need a hit!  Someone hook me up before I lose it!" kind of way.

Ro's Daddy and I made the decision today that maybe we should just stay away from cake for now.  This, as a result of two days where cake has been available and madness has ensued.  Yesterday there was a plate of the stuff and, having decided she didn't need more sugar-soaked carbs, we let her know that we were all done with cake.
the sign for "all done"

Well, she sought out the plate and on her way to it I firmly told her that she wasn't to touch it, that we were all done with cake, etc.  Apparently, for Ro, this is on par with a big ol' slap in the face, or some other sort of personal attack.  The heaving sobs, giant tears and deep gasps for air started immediately and she ran past the plate (Yay! She listened!) and fell onto me, shouting something angrily, snotty and eternally wounded.  
Oh, my.  All I can think is, "Really?  It's just cake!  Get a grip!"  So I held her and commiserated with her upset for a bit and then, suddenly, it was over.  She was up and off to tromp around with her cousins.  

Oye vey. 

The same sort of thing happened today.  She had a few bites of cake and then her world ended when I told her we were through.  Epic meltdown.  

So that's the end of Ro+cake for awhile.  I'm not too bummed, it's not like cake holds any nutritional value.  Plus, that means no cake for me too, and my soft belly needs no cake.

Thursday, July 14, 2011


This might be where I lose you.  You might say, "This girl has gone off the deep end, she's a wack-a-doo hippie type and I just can't read this bologna anymore!" and then you might run from your computer, sobbing at the loss of your great friend: my blog.

The thing is, I have been watching documentaries, reading blogs and doing some personal research and I have come to some upsetting conclusions.  My conclusion is this: all of the readily available food is poisonous.  Well, not poisonous in the sense that someone put actual poison in it, just that the majority of the food surrounding us is not the food our bodies intended to be fed.

Consider a few things:

If you don't buy organic produce, you are buying genetically modified produce.  It's the truth.  You know what else?  The USA is one of the only places you can get produce this way because most other countries are  too uncomfortable with the idea, saying there is too little research to prove that it is actually safe for humans.  Take that information and couple it with the fact that by simply moving to the USA from another country you are upping your chances of getting cancer by 400%....I think there is a connection.

Unless you buy organic milk, you are getting milk from cows that have been treated with hormones (that cause them to create more milk and therefore, more money).  Because the hormones make the cows ill, they are also filled up with antibiotics (yum!).  These cows are also fed on genetically engineered feed that has been modified to resist disease/bugs.  This feed (soy, corn, etc.) is now able to resist these potential risks to itself on it's own, as it's DNA has been changed to make it release insecticide.  Corn is actually regulated by the EPA as an insecticide (this is the corn that shows up in your grocery store too).

I am not interested in eating insecticide.  Nor animals that are eating it so that I can eat them.  I think it's pretty disgusting, pretty irresponsible.

These are just a few of the disconcerting things I have learned lately.  If it had just been a few books, blogs and movies that were desperately trying to get this info out into the world, I may not be so inclined to believe it.  But the information just keeps coming, and mostly from people who have nothing to gain from it.  I can't, in good conscious, keep feeding my family that food.

We're going organic.  I almost feel like I don't have a choice.  Did you know that Kraft, Coca Cola and Wal-Mart are actually formulating their products differently for other countries?  They have to, otherwise they wouldn't have business in those countries (these are the same countries who have significantly lower cancer rates AND heath care costs).

It's time for a change people.  Who's with me?

(If you want some references, I have a list for you)

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Ice "Cream"

Tonight I found myself SERIOUSLY craving sweets after dinner.   I looked high and low, tore up cupboards and dug to the back of the freezer, but alas- there is nothing sweet in my house.  This, by the way, is along time goal of mine: have no readily available crap to mindlessly gorge myself on.

I was so desperate I thought, "I need to go out and get something sweet, chocolaty, creamy...".  I, however, have a sleeping child who I am not willing to wake up just to entertain my sweet tooth.  So it was time to get creative.  I had frozen bananas (I make smoothies regularly, plus they are great for teething cuties), I had a can of coconut milk and some cocoa power.  I think I have told you about this dairy-free ice cream recipe in the past, and it's a keeper.  You get all the satisfaction of ice cream with out the heaviness and unhealthiness of dairy.  With my long term goal to eventually be diary-free, this is a good thing!

So: I put a few cups of frozen banana pieces in the blender and added about a half cup of coconut milk.  Then I blended it, adding more coconut milk slowly until the blender could move the banana around and do it's job.  You don't wanna get antsy and add too much, otherwise you'll loose the thickness that make this "ice  creamy".  If you do add too much, it won't be ruined, it'll just be more like a milk shake (or you can add more frozen banana if you have it).  Lastly I added about a tablespoon of cocoa powder and let that get incorporated and swirled in.

Then I ate it.*

*due to the deliciousness of the previous posting, no pictures were captured prior to consuming

Thursday, July 7, 2011

My new emotional state

Sounds like fun, yeah?

Since I became a Mommy, I can and can't handle things the way I used to.  It's a fairly dramatic shift for me, and one that catches me off guard on a nearly daily basis.  For example, on a trashy celebrity news website they were talking about a young boy whose mom had succumbed to cancer (the a blurb was about a custody battle) and it was all I could do to hold back tears.  All I can think about is what if that's me?  What if I leave my kid motherless?  What if I don't get to see her grow up and she only knows me through pictures and stories?  It's enough to get me sobbing, snotty and swearing off processed foods in an effort to live forever.

And what about these movies where a kid get kidnapped or gets killed by some murderous villain?  Holy crap- I can't do it.  The movie gets turned off.  I used to watch those movies with an appropriate sadness and then was able to go on with my life.  Not any more.  Have you seen the comedy "Life As We Know It"?  I had no idea what this movie was actually about.  I thought, "Couple gets prego accidentally and they have a hilarious time figuring out how to live a life with a baby".  Which I, now, can relate to and laugh/cry about.  Well, I was only half right.  These two acquire a baby because the baby's parents DIE IN A CAR ACCIDENT.  I was in tears within the first twenty minutes of this "comedy" and had to stop watching it.  I cried and heaved for the next hour.  Yipes.

That's my life.  No more entertainment that involves broken family life (divorce included), it just doesn't work for me.

On the flip side, I can handle a poopy mess like a pro and I've wiped boogers with my bare, naked fingers when it had to be done.  That's right, I can be pretty hard core.  And heaven help you if you cross or bully my baby because this mamma bear has no qualms with sticking her finger in your chest.

All of this because of her, she's a powerful force!