Our weekend was absolutely, unexpectedly idyllic. The weather was bizarrely perfect and we took full advantage by going on lots of walks. We went out to Signal Station last night for dinner (so cute, and the pizza = quite good), and on the way home our kid walked two whole blocks by himself (holding either my or Not So’s hand). Two whole blocks! I expected it to be much like trying to walk the cat on a leash (ten months is a bit little for the holding-hands-while-walking thing) but he was so delighted to be walking along like a big kid that he just trotted next to us with a big grin. I’m getting all sentimental!mama just thinking about it. Time to start researching ways to stunt the baby’s growth. I hear caffeine does the trick…

I also – believe it or not – did a craft! I am not exactly a crafty sort of girl, but we went out to Michael’s right after we moved into the condo (what, five months ago?) and in a fit of I-don’t-know-what I was inspired to purchase some felt and batting. “I’ve got this idea for a stuffed animal,” I told Not So, who did not burst into laughter right there in the store. True to form, once we got home I shoved the bag of supplies deep into a closet and barely gave it another thought.

Until this weekend, that is. We unearthed the bag, I made a pattern, assembled and sewed it, and the result: my very first sideshow freak stuffed animal! Ellison named it Dao:

As if that wasn’t enough, I decided I actually like making creepy dolls (…big surprise…) so I’m working on setting up a Shopify storefront to sell them online. Because, yes, I am that big of a geek.

I also found out that my sister and brother-in-law have actual, confirmed tickets to come out and visit us in December. That means they’re going to be here for Happy Fun Baby’s first birthday! Particularly apropos given that my sister was here for his birth. This morning I worked on the Wiki, where I set up a page of gift recs for Ellison, and a little later I’m going to start checking into different places to have a birthday party, since our condo = very wee. I’d love to do it at Sip & Krantz. Not that I’m in a big hurry – December isn’t exactly looming. Except that it is, kind of.

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the teething chronicles

Happy Fun Baby’s mouth continues to be invaded by what can only be described as teeth. Don’t get me wrong: they’re cute. There’s something inherently endearing about a big, wide-mouthed, three-toothed grin.

But the teething process is obviously painful, and my usually cheerful and pleasant baby has been replaced by a cranky, temperamental, wailing creature who doesn’t want to be put down, ever. I can only assume this is a temporary change.

Today is incrementally better. Ellison is playing “catch that tail” with the cat, who apparently was not consulted beforehand and has serious reservations about the suitability of this game.

We actually got somee sleep last night, which was a novel change. I don’t do well with fractured sleep. Pre-baby, I used to require 8-10 hours a night in order to feel rested; now I’m lucky if I get 6 or 7, and those are broken into bite-sized sections. It’s bad enough when everything is going well and he only wakes up once to nurse. When he’s sick or teething or having a growth spurt or conspiring against me or whatever, it’s hell. But a nice sort of hell! Not the sort that means I need to get a job! ::paranoid::

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My neck is jacked. I blame two things: the umbrella stroller, which is just short enough to make me hunch, and my terrible posture, which…makes me hunch. As it turns out, there are nerves in my neck. Nerves which do not like to be pinched. My understanding is that a nerve is quite small. However, the pain. The pain is big.

Happy Fun Baby sounds about how I feel right now. He’s cutting a top tooth and apparently it’s somewhat uncomfortable because he’s been wailing for the past hour or so. Thing is, he’s really cute when he cries. The lip comes out, and the face crumples, and the chin – oh, the chin. There are different degrees of infant misery, of course, but the chin-trembling is just irresistible.

We were at Meier and Frank (soon to be Macy’s) the other day, Ellison and I. (Come to think of it, this was the day I fucked up my back – see how I tie this all together? You’d think I did this on purpose.) Upstairs in the juniors section (what, you don’t think I’m a junior? You want a piece of me?) Ellison charmed the pants off the checkout girls – one of them actually got off the phone (gasp!) to make goo goo eyes at him, and he rewarded them with several full-face grins (“Oh, he has two teeth! You’re just the cutest thing in the world, aren’t you? Aren’t you?”)

Then we went downstairs, where the exact same thing happened – only with a gray-haired, frazzled saleslady in an ill-fitting dress. She got all up in his face while I was checking out, and Ellison took one look at her and burst into tears. This is the funny part: as we were leaving the store we had to go through this maze of construction corridors, and every single person we passed remarked on how cute he was. While he was wailing his heart out.

The Sad!Baby face: gets them every time.

Note: he is older now, and the sad face gets more potent with age.

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guess we’re attachment parenting

Happy Fun Baby has been somewhat nap-resistant lately. Actually, what he’s resistant to is being put down; the not napping thing is just a side effect. If I’m holding him (or sitting on the floor with him, or whatever) he’s the happiest, most cheerful baby you can imagine. The instant I set him in his crib or his Pack N’ Play, his face crumples and he just weeps. Weeps, and chants “Ma, ma, ma” in the most heart-rending manner possible. While reaching for me.

As you can probably imagine, I’m not getting much done these days.

When he’s not actively ripping the heartstrings from my chest, Ellison’s busy training for his triathalon. A couple of days ago he began standing unassisted. Just went straight up from his frog crouch and stood there for five seconds or so before toppling over onto his butt. He’s gotten very good at falling. He did the standing routine a few more times, just to make sure we’d caught it. He’s hilarious – he acts all blase when he does something like that, but he’ll check right away to make sure we’re watching and then soaks up praise like a rock star. That’s my kid: lord of all he surveys.

Next step: teaching the kid to sleep by himself. Ha!

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and how was your morning?

This has been an exciting morning, if by “exciting” you mean “awful.” Following on the heels of yesterday’s bank debacle (I’d suggest you see yesterday’s entry, but – ha! – I didn’t post one. The gist is that I am such a poor credit risk that I cannot possibly have anyone else on my account because we will surely TAKE OVER THE WORLD VIA OVERDRAFT, or something) I woke up with a horrible headache and half an hour until the landlord walkthrough. I fed the kid, got sort of dressed (sweats are totally clothes, yo), tossed another load of laundry in, gathered up all the rest of the dirty clothes and hid put them in an unobtrusive pile, moved all the unfolded clean laundry into the closet, closed up all the closets, picked up all the detritus that inexplicably ends up everywhere we are, and went downstairs with roughly 30 seconds until 10 (which was the early end of When The Landlord Might Arrive) followed by two cats who should know better. To find that the kitchen was a mess, the living room weirdly full of boxes which had been almost entirely unpacked but then stacked, carefully, as though the three screws and a single figurine needed a huge box to keep them safe from their enemies, and random toys and things on the floor.

Now, you’re probably asking yourself two things: 1) why did I not deal with this last night? and 2) why am I noticing all the things that aren’t done instead of all the things that are? The answer is simple: I suck. Or, wait, maybe it has something to do with the fact that Ellison had his six month shots yesterday and spent last night wailing and clinging and generally refusing to let me do anything that did not involve snuggling him and nursing, a lot. And since I had such a good time with the bank letting me know I’m a bad credit risk, I wanted to avoid a similar situation with the landlord (i.e. him coming in and seeing how horribly disorganized our house is and reneging on our lease, or something). So I’m looking at the house and seeing it through the eyes of someone who dislikes people like me (and possibly also has a splitting headache and needs a cup of coffee), but for the record: Not So, thank you for dealing with the unpacking last night. The hallway looks great, and that was the really important thing. Anyway.

So I’m freaking out, doing the pursed-lip cleaning thing I do when I’m anxious, the cats are yowling and underfoot, the baby is wailing because clearly the Pack ‘N Play is some form of baby torture. So naturally I start yelling, because that will make everything better. Funny thing: shouting at cats? Does not help. Especially when all they want is more food. I did get the momentary mean-spirited satisfaction of them running out of the room (“We’d better go! Mom’s crazy!”), followed by the inevitable guilt of someone who has just bullied her pets. I? I am not a nice person.

Anyway I fed the cats, made some coffee, and emptied out the dishwasher (all to a chorus of wailing baby, yay), to find the third surprise of the morning:

That’s our brand new Snapware, which I tossed in the dishwasher to get rid of the plasticky smell. Turns out that wee little note on the box that says Do Not Put In Dishwasher is actually true. Good to know! Also: FUCK!

The best part of all of this? The landlord didn’t even come in. He and the builder just asked if we had any problems, and when I said we didn’t, they left. Ha!

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although i didn’t speak the language so i was one of “those” tourists

Day One: 4:00 am
Four hours of sleep. Mexico, here we come!

12:00 pm
My feet are so swollen, oh my god. When did I become the type of person whose feet swell? This never happened before I was pregnant. Never.

3:00 pm
I’m so glad my baby isn’t one of the poor kids wailing about the pressure change. So glad he likes his pacifier. Aren’t babies supposed to be hard to travel with? He’s a breeze.

4:00 pm
Dear lord it’s hot. Like breathing under a blanket. I need a nap and some water. And…that’s the line for customs? But it’s so hot! And I need a nap! Oh my god, this is hell.

On that illustrious note, our vacation began. We were spending five days at an all-inclusive resort about an hour out of Cancun, but first we had to, you know, get there.

Day Two: 10:30 am
The baby screamed all. night. long. And then I overslept – stupid time change – and the breakfast buffet is closed. I must eat or I will die. This vacation sucks.

11:00 am
Oh, the grill is open all day. That’s not so bad. And mmm, quesadillas. Who’d have thought of quesadillas for breakfast?

12:00 pm
The pool is divine. And have you seen the ocean?

5:00 pm
This vacation is awesome.

Once we got into the swing of things, the resort rocked. Happy Fun Baby took to the water like a duck to…water. Except without the feathers. And with slightly less quacking. As the days passed, my pasty white skin slowly tanned to a less pasty shade of white. I saw a shimmer in my hair that I originally thought was gray, but as it turned out was simply a blonde strand. Sun! Bleaches hair! Who’d have thunk? Not So and I got to take romantic walks along white sand beaches, listening to the crash of the surf and the wailing of the baby, and then hurried back to the air-conditioned room to drink bottles of water and try to decipher Mexican TV. And at some point I managed to finish not one but two books. Grown-up books. Books with no pictures. I am a party animal.

good book

The ocean was so beautiful it was unreal. I’d never been to the Caribbean before, and the clear turquoise water was amazing. And warm! Oceans should always be warm. I was telling Not So, if the ocean in Santa Cruz had been warm I might have been tempted to take up surfing. And not, for example, have become a pale, moody goth. Just as an example.

So batteries = recharged, and life = good. Cranky Mama’s cranky meter is at an all-time low. Let that be a lesson to you, universe: when the going gets tough, the tough sends me to an all-inclusive resort.