Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Last night was a pretty bad night. Emma fell asleep at 7:30 and I was excited to have the whole evening to myself. That was all well and good, until she woke up at 11:30 and did not go back to sleep until after 3:00. She was driving me crazy in the bed with that incessant nipple twiddling again, so we got up and watched four episodes of a Roseanne marathon. I was hoping she'd fall asleep but no dice. When we finally went back to bed, the nursing started again. She'd switch quickly from side to side, often so quickly that she'd bite me and I finally couldn't take it anymore. I got up and put on a shirt and told her "milk night-night". Whoa. That did not go over well. Once before, a few weeks ago, I told her that but I eventually gave in and let her nurse again. Last night I was determined to stick to it because I didn't want to confuse her and I really couldn't stand the switching and twiddling anymore. Anyway, she cried and cried like her little heart was breaking. I felt terrible but was determined to set some boundaries. I would sing and rub her back until she calmed down, then she'd try to nurse again and when I said no again, we'd start all over. I don't want to night wean her because 95% of the time I love nursing her. It's that other 5% that is causing me problems. I'm worried about confusing her by letting her nurse most of the time, but not all. She's been nursing a bunch today so I think she's trying to reaffirm our nursing relationship. Poor Emma.

Today Emma and I got in the car to run some errands and it wouldn't start. Gah! The thought of being stuck here until Steve gets home on Friday was enough to make me go nuts. Luckily, it was not a big problem. My dad told me it was probably either the battery or the alternator, so I called AAA to come and charge the battery. (If you do not have AAA, you should call them today and sign up. For a whole family, one year is only something like $65 and it is SO worth it. Even if you never use it, the peace of mind is worth that.) The guy showed up in 16 minutes. He was super nice and helpful. When he left we went to Auto Zone and met another super nice and helpful guy. This guy checked my battery and alternator, determined I did need a new battery, helped me pick one out, and actually installed it in my car. Both guys told me batteries usually last 3-4 years, but the one in there was purchased in 1998!

Gas is $2.79! Holy smokes!

Monday, August 29, 2005

Yay! I've been tagged by Melanie to do this little quiz.

10 years ago I was:
16 and just starting my junior year at St. Dominic High School - definitely the worst year of my life to date. For some reason that year I was in the middle of constant fights with my friends and I couldn't hold a civil conversation with any member of my family. I often cried not only on the way to school, but on the way home as well.

5 years ago I was: 21 and having a much better time! I was going to school in Warrensburg, and I had an apartment with two great roommates. Our whole building that year was pretty close-knit and we had some crazy times. I think my major was Elementary Education at that point, although it's hard to remember because I had so many!

1 year ago I was: about the same as I am now. We had just bought this house, our first. Emma was a teeny six-month-old. Since then, I've learned to knit, learned to crochet, started sewing, planted my first garden, become somewhat of a health nut, and have started frugal grocery shopping. I guess maybe I've changed more than I realized!

Yesterday: was a great day. We just hung around the house all day, except for one quick trip to Blockbuster. I played in the yard with Emma and lost to Steve in Scrabble. For dinner, I made a new recipe that was very cheap but also turned out to be very gross. It was the topic of much good-natured ridicule throughout the evening.

5 snacks I enjoy: root beer floats, chocolate chip cookies, pita bread and hummus, raspberries, hard boiled eggs

5 songs I know all the words to: Don't Think Twice, It's All Right by Joan Baez; Sway by Natalie Imbruglia; Bang Bang by Nancy Sinatra; I Love My Lips by Larry the Cucumber; Ice Cream by Sarah McLaughlin

5 things I would do with 100 million dollars: I would buy the beautiful white house that I love on 151st Street. I would travel all over the world with Steve, Emma, and the dogs. After taking out what we'd need to live for the rest of our lives, I'd split the rest up three ways. I'd want one-third to go to set up an organization that would spay and neuter pets for free. Another third to allow for lactation consultants to do unlimited free in-home visits to post-partum mothers. The last third would go to set up quality library systems in very poor countries.

5 places I would run away to: For a visit or for forever? For a quick escape, I'd go to western Oregon, my mom's house, anywhere tropical, or pretty much anywhere else.

5 things I would never wear: those shorts with writing on the butt, a fur coat, stillettos, a scarf made with eyelash yarn (I stole that answer, but it's a good one!), makeup

5 favorite tv shows: Conan O'Brien (I am in love with that guy!), The Real World, and pretty much everything on HGTV (but especially House Hunters and Design on a Dime) and the Food Network

5 bad habits: biting my nails, staying up way too late doing absolutely nothing on the Internet, eating sugary junk, waiting way too long to pluck my eyebrows, letting ridiculous amounts of trash accumulate on the floor of my car

5 biggest joys: Emma, Steve, my dogs, my family, creating things

5 favorite toys: my computer, my sewing machine, my knitting needles and yarn stash, my camera, my cell phone

5 fictional characters I would date: the character Carter Duryea from the movie In Good Company, William Thacker (Hugh Grant's character) from Notting Hill, Christian (Ewan MacGregor) from Moulin Rouge, Sam (Johnny Depp) from Benny and Joon, Atticus Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird

5 people I tag to do this: Jen, Darshani, busybusymomma, katie

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Steve left this evening for another week out of town. I debated going to my mom's, then decided against it. Ems and I are just going to stay here and relax this week.

Lately it's been a struggle to get Emma to sleep and it often stresses me out at night, especially when Steve is gone. Some nights I feel like my whole evening is wasted laying in bed with Emma trying to get her to fall asleep. Last night, after struggling to get her to sleep for well over an hour, I realized something. Emma has always gone to bed fairly late, which worked well because Steve and I generally stay up late as well. Suddenly, for a few weeks, she was falling asleep every night between 9:00 and 10:00. It was nice for Steve and I to have some time to ourselves and I rather enjoyed Emma's going to bed earlier. My problem was that she is now trying to move back to her regular bedtime, and I've been trying to force her to keep going to bed early. I have no idea why she was going to bed earlier for awhile. Maybe she was going through a growth spurt and needed extra sleep? Either way, she has been very clearly telling me what she needs and I've been ignoring it. So, starting tonight, I'm back to letting her decide when to go to bed. And guess what...we had a great evening together. We listened to music and danced, did puzzles, read about a hundred books, and baked cookies. At 11:30, she brought me the pillow on which she sleeps on my lap, letting me know it was bed time. We sat down to nurse and she was asleep in less than five minutes. She is now peacefully curled up on my lap, her chest and legs covered in smiley face stickers. I have never seen anything more precious.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Emma has been doing the cutest thing. She's become really attached to her baby doll the past few days. Now when she eats, she has to have the doll in her chair with her. She feeds her bites and drinks and it's so adorable and sweet.

sharing grapes Posted by Picasa

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Thursday, August 25, 2005

Lesson for the Day: If you get a letter from the state saying you owe more tax money, you probably really don't! A month or two ago we got a letter from Missouri Dept. of Revenue telling us we didn't pay enough and we owed them $800. Eeek! I showed Steve the letter and he said there was no way. He looked through some stuff and typed them a letter saying, "No, sorry, you actually owe us $1310." I figured they'd laugh at him and come after us for the $800. BUT today in the mail we got a letter from them saying we are right and a check for $1310. Boy, it pays to be married to an accountant! Literally! :)
When we moved in this house one year ago, there were three houses/families on this street that I didn't like for one reason or another. Either I saw them kicking their dogs, yelling at and hitting children, or having loud drunken parties with fights in the street. Two of those families have since moved out, and I am happy to report that the third house is now empty as well. Yesterday on our walk Emma and I noticed that it had been cleaned up a bit and there were those signs on the window saying the property has been repoed. Wa-hoo! Thank goodness!

The other day I bought some beads to make play jewelry for Emma. I made her a necklace and she has been wearing it non-stop. She even wanted to wear it to bed last night and was very upset when I wouldn't let her. She also got some new soft soled shoes which she loves as well. She actually did wear those to bed last night because she refused to take them off.

Yesterday Emma and I went to the yarn store and I got some fun yarn for the next pair of Christmas socks. I started them last night. Now, if only I could make myself finish the fist pair I started!

Steve has to go out of town again all next week. Bah!
I have to point out that I just beat Steve at Scrabble with an amazing score of 315 over 263. Even though I had to turn in my letters twice, I got two amazing words that pushed me over the top: one worth an unheard of 68 points, and the other worth 48! Bwahahahahah!!!

Monday, August 22, 2005

My mom is staying with us and I'm really enjoying her visit. She arrived yesterday and last night she watched Emma while Steve and I actually went out for a date! We went to a fabulous restaurant and said it counted for our anniversary, which was a couple weeks ago. Today we went all over the place (like to the library, the community center, etc.) so my mom could see some of the things we do, then we went out to lunch. This afternoon we played Scrabble, then after dinner we all three played Scrabble while Ems sat in the high chair and colored. She is leaving tomorrow morning. :( I wish someone in my family would come and visit me every week. I do so love their visits.

Steve's car, which we can finally pick up tomorrow, left us with some bad news today. It's going to cost $1000. Wowza.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

As promised, here are the pictures of Emma's room. I am so pleased with the way it turned out!

Before (blah!). Posted by Picasa

After! Posted by Picasa

Pointing at her new letters, made by me. Posted by Picasa

Chillin out on her new rug. Posted by Picasa
Emma did the funniest thing today! I was making a cake and I had just put in the cocoa powder. I went to look for a teaspoon and when I turned around, Emma had crawled up on the table and was peering into the bowl. I was surprised to see her up there so I shrieked a tiny bit, which startled her enough that she fell face first into the bowl!

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Friday, August 19, 2005

Please bear with me while I whine for a minute.

I am so tired of Steve traveling! I don't know how single mothers manage because I am becoming seriously unraveled after one week of single parenting. Emma and I had a good day filled with fun things, but tonight she was super fussy. I gave up and tried to put her to sleep at 8:00. She was actually asleep in 15 minutes and I was so excited about having a whole evening all to myself. Twenty minutes later, she was awake again and, try as I might, I could not get her back to sleep. We laid in bed for almost TWO HOURS. She nursed off and on, switching rapidly from side to side, which really starts to bug me after awhile. She twiddled my nipples the entire time we were in there and finally I couldn't take it anymore and we got back up. She was so crabby! At around midnight Steve called and I just burst into tears. Anyway, she just now went to sleep and I am exhausted so I'm going to sleep too.

Sixteen more hours until Steve is home!

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

I've been working like crazy on Emma's bedroom and it's pretty much finished. There were some yellow shelves up before but they don't match anymore. I just have to figure out something to go in their place and I will be all finished. I'm so excited for Steve to see it when he gets home on Friday! I'll post pics when I'm completely done.

This evening I decided to go work out at the community center and leave Emma at the tot drop. She hasn't been there in a few months, but it was never a problem in the past so I figured it would be okay. Wrong. As soon as she saw the toys and other kids, she took off running. I tried to say good-bye but she didn't even notice. I went and put my stuff in a locker, then walked back up to the work-out area. Even though it's a pretty loud place and not very close to the child care area, I could hear Emma screaming. I went back to get her and she really looked like she was panicked. The lady handed her over and she clung to me and cried, terrified. I've never seen her do that before. The lady suggested I stay and play for awhile, then sneak away. I know you aren't supposed to do that, but after awhile Emma seemed happy again and was ignoring me, so I did sneak out. I didn't even make it one time around the track before I heard her screaming again. I went and got her and we left. She was still freaked out when we got outside so we sat in the car for awhile and nursed before going home. Poor baby. I probably won't try that again for a good long while.

Emma has two new very favorite activities: watching TV and picking her nose. The nose-picking is no big deal (and even kind of cute), but I'm a little concerned about the TV. I don't really want her to watch TV, but all day long she keeps bringing me the remote. If I don't turn it on, she turns the TV on herself and flips through the channels and whines until she finds something she thinks looks interesting. This morning she watched Barney and Sesame Street, then I decided no more TV for the rest of the day. Yeah right. Distracting her didn't work. We actually had to go outside or leave to take her mind off the TV. I need to come up with some activites for her that are more interesting than the TV. Other than a couple PBS shows, she has three movies that she will watch over and over if I let her - a Veggie Tales movie, a They Might Be Giants video with songs, and Disney's Robin Hood. I swear when I close my eyes I actually see those movies playing and when I go to bed, I can hear the songs playing over and over in my mind.

Oh, one more thing. When I was playing with Emma at the tot drop, there was a doll with a bottle. The caregiver handed them both to Emma and said something like, "Can you give the baby her bottle? Mmmm, babies love bottles!" I suppose it's really not that big a deal, but I'm sad that the minute she's out of my care, she's being shown that bottles are normal. She has never had a bottle and had no idea what to do with the one today. If only the lady had said, "Can you nurse the baby? Mmmm, babies love mama milk!", Emma would have known what to do!

Monday, August 15, 2005

Amazing. It's 8:24 and Emma is in bed. Maybe we should get up at the crack of dawn every day. ...nah! We got Steve off to the airport this morning with no major difficulties. I got a big cup of coffee to drink on the way, which ended up being a big mistake for two reasons. One, by the time we got home I had to pee so badly that it was actually painful. There is a sequence of three lights as you get off the highway for our house and this morning I ran every single one out of fear that I wasn't going to make it home in time. Two, I was a jittery mess for several hours after we were home. No more coffee for me for quite some time, thank you very much.

I have a fun project for this week! Emma's room is stark white and very boring. I started off thinking I would sew her some curtains, then I decided to buy a rug, then I just decided to go all out and redo the whole thing. We already have the paint, bought months ago in a flurry of redecorating excitement. I'm going to surprise Steve when he gets home on Friday. I'm so excited! Off to paint!
I just finished sewing these canvas sacks. I'm going to use them when I go to the grocery store instead of the paper or plastic ones.

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Sunday, August 14, 2005

I've been feeling sort of grumpy today for some reason.

Tomorrow Ems and I have to take Steve to the airport and we have to leave the house at 6:00 a.m. I am not looking forward to that long, extremely early drive. Hopefully the munchkin will sleep the whole time. I almost told Steve to just take my car and drive himself, but the thought of being stuck here for a whole week with NO option of leaving the house brought me to my senses. I will certainly be glad when his car is fixed.

So I've been working to slash our food spending and it's really been kind of fun. Today I did the shopping for this week and the grand total was...are you ready for this?...$39! I'm very proud! I'm loving this cookbook. I'm making every single thing completely from scratch. This week I'm planning on making two yummy and healthy soups, both of which call for veggie stock. So instead of buying the broth, tomorrow I'm actually making my own veggie broth in the crock pot. I will then freeze what I don't use and have it for the future. I've been making large amounts of things like chili, spaghetti sauce, etc. and freezing it and my freezer is getting so full! I'm tempted to turn on the deep freeze in the basement but the cost of running that would take away from my savings. Hmmm...who is this crazy person I've become? My mom, perhaps?

Saturday, August 13, 2005

We had a great time at my parents' house. Emma was a perfect angel on the trip there. The trip back was terrible, but that wasn't her fault. BAD traffic, an overheated car, and violent thunderstorms had more to do with it than little Emma did. She was a trooper through the whole ordeal.

While I was home my brother and I enjoyed watching some old home movies. We both agreed that we really had an idyllic childhood. I've often heard people say that they hope to be better parents than their own parents; they don't want to yell as much, be as punitive, as selfish, etc. I, on the other hand, have the opposite problem. I'm wondering how on earth I will ever measure up to my parents. I feel like my whole young life was filled with fun and interesting activities and trips. Add that to my mom's endless patience and my great relationships with my brothers, and that will be pretty hard to beat.

This morning we had to get up at 7:00 to return a rental car (Steve's car is getting fixed). That may not sound very early, but to us it is. When we got back to the house I was so tired and I couldn't get Emma to fall asleep - surprise - but sweet Steve offered to watch her while I slept. She came back a couple of times to nurse, but other than that I slept peacefully for three hours! That was so nice of him. For once it was him doing the watching and me doing the sleeping!

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Yesterday Steve and I were bickering about something. We went into the bedroom, where the bickering continued. Emma climbed on the bed as I was in the middle of a rant, very deliberately placed her hands on the sides of my face, and gave me a super slobbery minute-long kiss. I think she was trying to say, "Enough already, mom! Shut up!" Who can be mad with a kid like that around?

Today I bought some really cute canvas to sew grocery bags. When I go to Joann's, I just walk around in a daze, thinking of all the fabulous projects I could do. Then reality sets in and I remember that I already have about a gazillion projects going and it's doubtful that I will ever finish any of them. Sigh.

Monday, August 08, 2005

This morning I'm going to see my doctor. I have some moles that I think might be looking kind of funky so I want him to check them out. I'm not a huge fan of having things sliced off my body, so I hope he says, "They look great. See you later!"

Emma and I are going to stay at my mom's this week from Wednesday until Friday. I'm trying to decide if I want to use the cloth diapers while we're there. I did last time, but we only stayed one day. This time I'd have to wash them wile we're there and messing with it all might just be too much of a hassle. On the other hand, we don't have any sposies here and I hate to go spend the money on them. Decisions, decisions...