Thursday, March 31, 2011

Welcome Back, Old Friend

It's crazy how a baby makes you forget things. Normally I have marked this day on my calendar back in November. A beacon of light to get me though a long, semi cold (by California standards), monotonous winter. This year it completely slipped my mind.

Where have my manners gone? I've completely forgotten that one of my oldest friends is coming back for a 6 month visit.

Ok I'm not talking about a person. I'm talking about baseball! Yay! And today is opening day. Woo! I love opening day. It's like the beginning of a new calendar year. When anything is possible, and everyone has a clean slate. All the woes of last year have been wiped away, and the World Series seems within grasp again.

As much as I love baseball, I love even more what it means. Spring is here. As I right this now it's nice and warm out, I'm in shorts and the gardener is mowing lawns. It smells like fresh cut grass and I love it.

One of my very favorite things to do is taking a nap on Sunday, while a baseball game is going on in the background. I know it seems odd that if I love baseball that much I would choose to nap through it. But it's how I grew up. On Sundays there was always a game on in my house, and after church I'd come home and take a nap with the baseball announcers voice lulling me to sleep.

My favorite baseball snack is slices of Monterey jack cheese. Also courtesy of my parents and how I grew up. I love that cheese! And it's perfect to munch on while enjoying a lazy day and a 3 hour ball game.

I didn't make it to too many games last year, due to a bundle of joy who will remain nameless. Unfortunately I think this year may be the same situation. I'm not sure how much fun it would be to bring a 1 year old to ballgame and try to entertain them for 3 hours. But that's ok. Sometimes games are just as fun to watch at home, especially when you are in the comfort of a nice air conditioned house and not the 100 degree baking sun.

I think this season is going to be a great one, I've got a good feeling about it. Welcome back old friend, I've missed you!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Senior Moments

Age is a funny thing. I find myself not being able to remember stuff the way I used to. I'll reminisce about years passed with friends and they are telling me I did/said stuff I have NO recollection of. I didn't used to be that way. Can I blame residual pregnancy brain? I'm going to anyway, even if modern medicine says no.

My mother in law gave me a handy glue gun in a handy carrying case (much like a glue gun brief case. Yes it's that fancy!). I used it to glue something my lovely cat destroyed the other day. As I was trying to fit the glue gun back in it's case it would not fit. I kept trying. And trying. And trying. The worst part about it is that I knew I was doing something wrong. I knew it shouldn't be that hard to get it to fit. But I couldn't figure it out.

Finally, after about 15 min of struggling (I'm not exaggerating here)I flipped the glue gun over and it fit right in. Hmmm... why did it take me 15 min to figure that out? Maybe it's not age. Maybe it's just an idiot attack.

Today, I went to check the mail. In our condos, if you get a package they put it in a locked box. Then, they leave the key to the box in your mail box so you can open it. Today we got a package. Yay!!! I love getting packages. 99% of the time they are not mine, but still.

So I tried to open this locked box. And tried. And tried. Key in hole. Key in hole? Not rocket science right? Wrong. I kept trying. And it kept not opening. I'm smarter than the box. Yet the box is outsmarting me. There was another box sitting there that someone had already opened (once you put your key in the box and open it you can't get the key back, the post man has to pick it up)that I kept looking at to try to figure out what I was doing wrong. I was getting angry. I wanted my package, and this devil box was trying to take it from me! I might have even kicked at the box a little bit. Finally, a light went off. Ding! I had the key in the wrong hole. It wasn't actually the key hole. Don't ask me how I managed that one. Especially with the other box sitting there, the key in place not in the hole I'd been trying to shove my key in for 10 min.

Wow did I feel stupid. I looked around and thank goodness no one was watching me. I think. If they were, they were laughing at me from the comfort of their homes.

But I walked back to my house wondering what is wrong with me. I kind of reminded myself of Brynlee, when she tries to do something and it doesn't work. She just keeps trying until she gets frustrated at it and starts screaming. I wanted to scream at that stupid box. I just hit it instead :)

If I'm already having these senior moments I'm going to be in trouble later on in life!

PS the package was for Robbie. Go figure. All that fighting with the box and it wasn't even my package!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Traveling Ladies

Brynlee and I had the opportunity to go visit some friends in Arizona this week. Her day care was closed for a few days, so I thought it would be a perfect time to go on a trip. It was nice to get a way for a while.

I had a wonderful birthday. Some clients were not very nice to me at work, but oh well. What can you do? I wanted to tell them "It's my birthday, stop being mean to me", but that is not very professional.

Otherwise the day was perfect. Brynlee sent me flowers (whew she is advanced! :) ) and Jimmy took me to dinner. We are going horseback riding in a few weeks, and then after that I'm getting a massage and facial courtesy of my wonderful brother in law Robbie. Not too bad! I made out like a bandit. My lovely parents gave me some cash for my trip, which was very much needed.

The next morning bright and early Brynlee and I set off for Arizona. Jimmy and I flew with her back in November, but she was younger then and there was two of us. Now she is wiggly and all over the place and it was just me taking care of her. Even though the flight was only a little over 1 hour, I knew it was going to be a long one!

I hoped since our flight was super early there would be an empty seat. No doubt that empty seat would be next to me, because no one chooses to sit by a baby. And who can blame them? But the flight was full. Brynlee had a good time stealing my neighbors bags of peanuts, and throwing toys at her the whole time. Good thing my neighbor was a good sport!

After that it was a couple of days packed with girl talk, girl time and baby interaction. I stayed with my friend Megan who has a baby Brynlee's age. And we hung out with her sister Shelley who has a baby about Brynlee's age. And then we hung out with my friend Julie who has a baby Brynlee's age. At one point we all went to the park. 4 girls, with 4 baby girls ( and a few other toddlers mixed in). It was SO much fun to see all the babies interact with each other.

I remember thinking when I was younger how all babies looked alike and how they all did the same thing. WRONG. These 4 babies all looked completely different, and all had personalities of their own. Surprise Brynlee was crawling away from the group the whole time, and I had to go keep grabbing her. I think I'm going to be chasing her for the rest of my life, she is definitely an independent lady!

We took Brynlee to the zoo for the first time while we were out there. She was more interested in the plants and rocks than animals, but we had a good time. Brynlee even got a little tan, after several applications of SPF 45 baby sunblock. I guess that is the AZ sun for you!

I knew the flight home would be a long one, because I was tired. Tired of taking care of a baby by myself ( I'm not a single mom for a reason...) and tired of not being home with my own stuff. But the flight home went well too. No crying, just lots of wiggling. The TSA security man even hit on me ( which never ever happens, especially with a baby and wedding ring). So that made my day!

While Brynlee was an exceptional traveler, I don't think I could make it on more than a 1 hour flight. She is too all over the place, by the time the plane is landing I was ready to GET OFF! And to get her off my lap. I looked around at all the other passengers reading their books. Mean while Brynlee is throwing lucky charms on the floor and trying to wiggle out of my lap to pick them up. And trying to chew on my seat, and everything else within her grasp. I was jealous of the book readers. Just a little bit.

Tomorrow is back to our routine, work included (bleh) but I had a great birthday and a wonderful trip. Thanks AZ friends for showing Brynlee and I a good time!

I'd post some pictures, but I didn't take one. Surprise! I'm really bad at that. If only I had a nicer camera I'd take more pictures... :)

Monday, March 21, 2011

Reflection

This is my last post as a 26 year old! Tomorrow, I turn 27 and am officially in my mind in my late 30's. I kept thinking today about how different my life is from this time last year.

Mainly due to one thing. My crazy little baby. They say having a baby is a lot of work. But you don't really know that until you know. You know? :) I think about how much I've matured in the past year. I think in all my life this has been the most drastic year. I've realized how important some things are, like health. Because we were all sick this weekend. Again. Curse you day care!

But I've also learned that there are many things that are just not important. And life is too short to let them bother me. Putting that into practice is another story. It's hard to un learn 26 soon to be 27 years of habit. But at least now I recognize the need.

As I look at my life at 27 it's not exactly what I pictured. But it's pretty close. I have a job and a husband and a baby and a cat. We all share 1 room (ok didn't picture that...). What more could I ask for really? Besides an additional room in which to put baby... and cat... and sometimes husband? I'm pretty happy with the way things are going and don't have much room to complain.

I look in the mirror and see some bags under my eyes that didn't used to be there 5 years ago. But they are well earned. They give me character? Ok that part of getting older does suck. But what can you do? I don't physically look the way I'd like to, but I'm getting there. Slowly but surely. Thanks to a rather large baby and pilates I actually have some biceps now! They are not huge, but they are the largest I've ever had.

I think 27 is going to be great, and am excited to get it started.

With my birthday tomorrow Brynlee turns 10 months. When she was born I remember thinking how funny it is that her birthday is May 22 and mine is March 22. Like someone was trying to make it easy for my husband to remember our birthdays and keep them straight.

She is 20lbs and I think 30 inches. Her 12 month pants are beginning to look like capris rather than pants. And her baby Buddha belly is hanging out of some of her 12 month shirts. She is just big. I got her some 12 month summer outfits a while ago, stupidly thinking she could wear them when she was actually 12 months. Next heat wave we get I'm shoving her into 3 outfits per day so at least she can wear them all once!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Let's Roll

My newish goal is to workout 3 times a week. I take pilates twice a week (rocker board DID not work out, I'm debating on posting on that catastrophe later) so I'm just taking pilates twice instead. I decided my third day during the week I will do what I like to call "fun fitness". Meaning I do something I actually enjoy rather than wanting to die, even if it's not the best exercise.

Last week I walked to the park. I love walking. I wish I had a dog to walk sometimes. Not that I want a dog. But just one to walk, not actually take care of. This week I decided I would rollerblade. I love rollerblading. I'm not sure why/when it became so un cool, but when I was in Jr High/High School I would not have been caught dead rollerblading. Now that I'm at the ripe old age of 27 (almost) I don't really care if it's cool or not. I think it's fun and I'm going to do it.

So I dropped Brynlee off at day care and went to the park to rollerblade a bit. While I enjoy rollerblading, I do suck at it. I can't stop really well. I have to either roll onto the grass, or grab a telephone pole or street light or something to stop. That is why I can't rollerblade in my neighborhood. Too many hills. I'd die!

I’m sure I looked a little out of control (like I said, I'm not very good at it). I should probably invest in a helmet and knee pads too if I'm going to do this regularly. I didn't fall one time though! I did stumble quite a bit. And I did have to roll full speed into a telephone pole to stop once too. I even got chased a little by someone's dog...that part was not so much fun. Especially since I am not the most agile on those things. Luckily his owner got him under control!

I'll have to work on my stopping technique because it really is flawed. If there are no poles or grass I'm in trouble! A woman out of control!

I think I might hit up the batting cages next week. I like it there too. And suck at that as well (surprise!). I consider it a success if I make contact with the ball, no matter how far it goes. If anyone has any other suggestions for FUN things to do ( I don't want to hear about running being fun you nuts out there!) that are exercise as well I'm all ears!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Sunny Side

Brynlee has learned some new tricks. It’s amazing how fast she is growing and changing. I look at her while she is sleeping sometimes and she looks like a little girl, not just a baby. For right now, I don't mind her growing and time passing because each new phase of her life brings new adventures.

I'm sure with my next one I'll be more sad to see the younger phases go. I do miss the days when I would lay her on me and she would cuddle. I guess really because she wasn't strong enough to move yet. At the time, I remember being irritated that she was disrupting my sleep because I had to hold her. Now I wish she would let me.

And she did just that last night. Ok so it was at 4am, after one of the worst nights she has had sleep wise she has had. She woke up every 2 hours last night. And I'm not exaggerating here. I think it must be teeth, since that is so unlike her. She loves her sleep just like her Mama! Anyhow, at one point she was so tired she let me hold her and rock her back to sleep. She didn't fight me, she didn't push me away. She wasn't trying to crawl after something. It was great! She NEVER lets me do that anymore.

Mitzie has learned to earn her keep a little bit around the house. Kind of. She basically runs around, and the baby chases after her. If I close my bedroom door Mitzie can't hide under my bed, so she is forced to entertain the baby. And she does. Is that animal cruelty? I almost think Mitzie enjoys it. If she didn’t she could hide upstairs undisturbed. Brynlee could just keep chasing her for hours.

Brynlee has learned that if I'm trying to feed her something that she doesn't want, she can gag and I will stop. Ok that's not entirely true. She used to gag and I'd try to feed right past it. Now she gags and then throws up on me. I've never seen such a gag reflex in my life. Easy gag reflexes do run in my family, but not like this one. I guess she got tired of me trying to shove food down her throat so now to avoid that she just pukes on me. I have learned my lesson. Now when I feed her I hold her bottle/spoon tentatively, to see how she will respond. If she starts to gag I run away. I'm thinking about getting a smock that I can feed her in. That way if she throws up at least it won't get all over me as it usually does.

Brynlee has found her voice. A very squealy high pitched one. She uses this voice at liberty. Sometimes it's late at night, sometimes it's early in the morning. Sometimes it's in the middle of church when the room is dead quiet. She warrants quite a few stares when this very loud voice comes out. I think that is why she does it. She is smart and knows how to get attention when she wants it.

She has learned what she is not supposed to have and where she is not supposed to go. Or maybe she hasn't. These are always the things she crawls to first. She has gotten pretty quick at crawling. It's funny to see the tops of her feet or socks all dirty at night from crawling all over the place.

Some of these things can be frustrating at times. I'm really really tired of getting puked on. Really. I got puked on this morning at 3am. I had to take a deep breath and count backwards from 10 for that one.

But I'm also really enjoying watching my baby grow. When I lie or sit on the ground she comes crawling over and crawls all over me like a Mommy jungle gym. She doesn't say Mama yet. She says Dada (of course). When she says "Dada" I say "Mama" back to her. She looks at me and then says "eh". Ok I guess you can call me "Eh" for now. There are worse things.

She is a lot of work, but on the sunny side of things she is a ton of fun too. I'm trying to focus on relishing the good things and not dwelling on the tough stuff (ie puke and no sleep). When it comes to babies they go hand and hand. I'm super excited for Brynlee and I to go on our first trip together next week. Mommy/Daughter travel time should be fun (or a complete disaster, I'm sure I'll blog about that experience later!).

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Voice of Reason

I had an epiphany today. Or I guess Jimmy helped me to have an epiphany. I consider myself a reasonable person. I believe that there is nothing a good talk (and perhaps some chocolate) can't solve. I hope for world peace one day, and really do hope for it. I'm not just saying that because you are supposed to. I consider myself a Repubicrat. I've coined that term recently. There are values from each political party that hold near and dear to my heart, and I can't be restricted to vote a certain way just because the political party I'm associated with votes that way.

I try to reason with everyone. Honestly I think if everyone could just take the time to understand each other, we would all get along better. If someone says something I don't agree with, I don't fly off the handle at them. I try to explain my point of view, and try to understand why they feel they way they do.

I came home from Church today completely defeated and in tears. While my seating chart did help the class from talking as much, somehow during my lesson political jokes and racist comments started being said. I quickly tried to reign everyone back in, but by that point I felt like the spirit was so far gone it couldn't even find its way back if it wanted to. In short, I failed. Again. After all the effort I've put into trying to succeed in teaching my class something substantial this week, I felt horrible.

I was more horrified at what certain kids said. Really? I'm fairly confident that these children do not hear this kind of talk from their parents. At least I hope. And pray. All we need are more bigots in the world. I think that scared me the most. I couldn't let those kids leave my class thinking it was ok to say stuff like that.

I went over what happened with Jimmy later and he asked me why I even let those topics creep into the lesson in the first place. I explained that I was trying to explain to the kids why what they were saying was not right, and not acceptable. Basically I was trying to reason with them. Jimmy told me that was my 1st problem. Trying to reason with 13 year olds. Hmmm...

He has a good point. I was trying to reason with them. But how can they reason when they have no idea what they are talking about. I forget sometimes that they are only 13 and don't have the knowledge and life experience that I've gained in my 26 soon to be 27 years.

I still find myself trying to reason with Brynlee. It never works out. Hmmm. Peculiar. Maybe I'm too big on reasoning with people. Some people, ie 10 month old infants cannot be reasoned with. And I think to some degree 13 year olds can't either.

I've tried to run my class in a way that if the kids had something they wanted to discuss even if it was slightly off topic we could discuss it. I wanted to keep the class open, so everyone could share what was on their mind. I'm done with that now. My seating chart worked out pretty well ( in that the talking was minimal). Next week if anyone starts to get off topic I will cut them off and guide us back to the topic at hand. Unless the topic they are trying to discuss is worthy of discussing.

Maybe my class isn't that bad. Maybe it's just that I was trying to teach it like I was teaching my peers, as opposed to teenagers. They are 1/2 my age after all. So in this case, " it's not you its me" really does ring true. Rather than trying to change what they do, I'll change what I do and see how it goes. Using a little candy as an incentive won't hurt either!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Patience is a Virtue

This week marks the 5th week in a row that I have been to Kaiser. They said next time they will award me my own parking spot. Yay! At least that's something. Thank goodness we got new insurance this year with a lower co pay because we are certainly using it.

Brynlee got the stomach flu on Monday, and the poor thing could not keep anything down. Even Pedialyte was coming right back up, and it got really scary. Yesterday morning when I woke her up (1st red flag there, I had to wake her up) she was so tired, had no energy and had a completely dry diaper from the night before. I got her to keep some Pedialyte down, but brought her to the Dr just in case. My good friend Dr. Bean. He is so nice to me, even though I'm probably his most frequent patient. I had just seen him 2 weeks ago when Brynlee had a nagging wet cough that she couldn't kick for like a week. Flu season with a baby is fun! And this is only 1 kid. I can't imagine when there are more.

So, between my sinus infection from Hell and Brynlee's illnesses I've been to Kaiser way more than I ever wanted to. Brynlee seems to be on the up swing and is slowly regaining her strength. It seems like as soon as one person gets better, another person in the house is sick. Trying to remember a time when we were all healthy is like trying to remember a different lifetime!

I teach Sunday school at church, to 12-13 year olds. And there are about 13 of them. Yeah. I used to consider myself a very patient person. I'm not so sure now. I'm starting to wonder why it's illegal to beat kids. That whole paddling thing doesn't seem like such a bad idea anymore. Just kidding, they are not THAT bad. But they are bad. And it's really frustrating. This week I'm going to try to assign them seats and see if that helps. I went through and ranked each kid on level of disruptions, 1 being not bad and 3 being the devil. I then made a seat chart where the 3's sit by 1's. If that doesn't work, I'm going to drag Jimmy in there to regulate. If that doesn't work, I'll march into the other rooms and grab the parents out. Yes I certainly will. I'm to that point.

I hate having to do that. I hate having to go get help from my husband to keep these kids under control. But at this point I'm not sure what else to do. I think the fact that I have not been feeling the best until just recently is not helping. It's not that they are not good kids, there are just a ton of them and 1 of me. And they all start spazzing out with excess energy and it gets ugly. And they will not be quiet, not matter how many times (like 50) I have to tell them. I think Jr. High teachers deserve a raise, all of them!

These past few weeks have been a patience tester for sure. And I'm sorry to say I've lost it a time or two. So, this week my goal is to be more patient. We'll see how long that lasts!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

That's a First

I remember when I was a teenager how scared I was to do anything alone. Take classes alone, go to the store alone. It's like when you are young being alone has a stigma with it. You are considered a loser because you don't have any friends with you.

I grew out of that though, and soon began to relish in my alone time. I go to movies alone, I dine alone, I shop alone. You name it, I pretty much do it alone. Sometimes I do get lonely while I'm out and about. I think about how nice it would be to have a friend to run basic errands with. But people seem to be busier than they used to be. Or maybe when you get older you get busier. I'm not sure. Either way, I'm proud of my aloneness. I'm proud that I don't fear being seen without a companion anymore.

So, in light of my independence I decided to sign up for fitness classes alone. I signed up for a Pilates class and a rocker board class. Not sure what rocker board is, but it fit in my schedule so there you go.

This past Tuesday night was my first night of Pilates. Unlike going to a movie or dining alone, the idea of taking a fitness class alone made me really nervous. I think it's because I just suck at working out. I really do. I'm terrible at it. I’m not athletic in the least. It's not a matter of worrying if I'll look stupid, but really when and how long I'll look stupid for. It's not a question, it's a given.

But there I stood outside my Pilates room, rolled mat and water in hand. Even though it was the 1st day of class everyone else seemed to know each other. Great. And everyone seemed to know the teacher because they'd all taken a class with her before. Even better. All day long Tuesday I had butterflies in my stomach. I've actually taken a Pilates class before, but it was 7 years ago and I was terrible at it. I hated every minute of it, and I ended up dropping it midway though because I thought it was the devil. I guess this time around I was hoping time and wisdom would have enhanced my Pilates skills.

The teacher was really nice and introduced herself to me. She asked me what I did to work out. She assumed I was a dancer. Ha. Yes, I am a dancer if you call me rocking out to my video game being a "dancer". It's funny that she guessed that, I'm actually auditioning to be in a rap video next week. Wish me luck! (I guess via reading you can't hear my tone which is complete and utter sarcasm. I'm a white girl, and I dance like one 110%)

Anyway I told her did a whole lot of nothing and she told me to just take the class slow and not feel bad if I couldn't keep up. Which made me feel better. I'm not sure why. The hour passed. And to be completely honest I felt pretty darn good. I did keep up. Yes I was dying inside and out through most of it, but I pushed that aside and kept thinking "If this old lady next to me can do this, I can do this." And I did. And it felt wonderful. I'm not sure why. You aren't likely to hear me say that about exercising ever. But I really loved every minute of it.

After the class the teacher came up to me and said I did a great job. Yes someone used the great as a term describing my skill at an exercise. That has never once happened in my life. I left the class feeling excited, tired, and sore already. But I was smiling the whole way home and could not wait to tell Jimmy about how my class went. Even if my teacher was just saying that to me to make me feel better, it worked. I can't wait until next Thursday.

Rocker board starts Tuesday. I'm assuming I probably will not be "great" at that one. But you never know! :)