Thursday, December 23, 2010


Happy ones to you.

We are off tonight to journey to the West Side to visit with family and friends.  This will be Aggie's first "real" Christmas, meaning she'll get gifts and there will be a Christmas tree, etc.  I'm interested to see how she reacts.  I'm worried she'll be overwhelmed.  I'm worried the dog will be overwhelmed.  I'm worried about a lot...not focusing as much on the fun of being with people I enjoy and the eating and the presents.

My No Complaining pledge?  Not going so hot, but I'm determined to keep trying.

Thank you for all the name suggestions.  We are considering them all.

Something to ponder during this season of joy and abundance: a story, the nonprofit making a difference

Since I will be traveling, I probably won't post again until the new year.  So...

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


So, we are trying to pick a name for the BD2.  Granted, we do have 105 days until her arrival.  BUT (my OCD screams)...omg, what if we don't find a name?!?

Okay, here are the contenders:

Jason: Bianca is his favorite

Cora: Esme is my favorite

Jason's second favorite is Lydia.

We also like Phaedra, Persephone and Penelope.

We're trying to go for a Greek name because all our names are Greek - just a fun, little family tradition.

But none of these names seem right.  They're almost right.  We're on the right track, but we just haven't reached the finish line.

Any suggestions?

Pink: The Follow-Up

Last Saturday, we went to purchase a portable hair chair (because some folks, rightly, do not have high chairs in their homes and trying to feed a squirming Ags when visiting is a royal pain).  We found one that we liked and that was on sale.  Only issue - it was branded by Disney - Cars and The Princesses were our two options.  I, of course, wanted Cars.  But Jason rightfully insisted she pick, so he hoisted up both to show Ms. Ags.  I turned my back and pretended to look at other things so I would not sway her decision.  She looked and looked and then picked guessed it, The Princesses.


And when we put her in it the first time she stared and stroked the images of The Princesses on the tray.

Double sigh.

I'm actually not all that disappointed.  At least she picked it and didn't have it foisted on her.  I could argue that she has, thanks to all the genderfication that goes into products, especially baby products, but I'll leave that alone.

I guess I should confess that we had our first pretend tea party yesterday.  She got a tea set for her birthday that I busted out yesterday.  I poured the tea and we took turns drinking, while she put the unused dishes in the dog's basket.

Side note - she can now put things in boxes/baskets, she can stack blocks and walk with her cart.  Over the course of two days, she busted out all these new skills.  Seriously she could not (would not?) do these a week ago.  Amazing how her little brain put it all together and produced these three skills all at once.  Now, on to teaching her how to fold laundry.  And shovel the drive.

Thursday, December 16, 2010


I'm a blogging fool today!  (Or perhaps every day...)

So, my friend, Kim, is using gDiapers, a cloth diaper hybrid.  The outsides are reusable, the insides are disposable, flushable or compostable.  Or, you can get a cloth diaper insert.  And the price?  Affordable!  About what we pay for disposables now.  And washing the outsides - like washing anything else!

I'm in love.  Now, how to convince Jason...

A Challenge

Hello again!  I wanted to write this down before I forget.  The lovely blogger at Cup of Joe made a pact to not complain for a week.  She said it was really great and made room for a lot of positive to come in.

I am a complainer.  Though, you knew that.

I need this.  So, here goes nothing...

The real test will be to see if I can keep it up after the Christmas holiday with all of my in-laws (whom I do love and adore - hopefully, not complaining will let me experience that even more!).

BTW, it's a lovely, lovely day outside.  With sunshine.  Le sigh.


So, baby girl's been sick - that is my excuse for missing posts.  Not that I really need any.  But...I feel the need to make one.

Anyhoo, this morning she woke up cheerful, so I got her dressed for day care.  (Is it awful that I wanted her to feel better so she could go to day care?  Yes, I wanted her to be healthy again, but my first priority was me time.)  I held up a cute new onesie and asked if she wanted to wear it - she said "ga."  Then I held up pink flower print pants and asked if she wanted to wear them - again, "ga."  Paired with floral socks and pink cupcake booties*, it was a total girlie (well-coordinated) outfit.

You might think, "what's the big deal?  She's a girl."  Well, it bugs me, and I'm not sure why.  Since I learned we were having a girl, I've been focused (okay, obsessed) on making sure she is not too girlie.  Not  a lot of pink, no princess dolls, no ribbons for her hair, etc.  I've deliberately bought her clothes in the boys section.  I've also bought her a few pink things.  And her room - totally gender neutral.  The focus has been on raising on a tomboy.  Yet, in addition to today, there have been a couple of times she's reached out for the doll in the frilly dress.

But with BD2, I've been drawn more to girlie stuff - not sure why.  Jason thinks it's because the pressure is off.  But, having two girls, I worry about people thinking we're a super girlie household and getting us only pink things.

I don't want to squash the girlie in Ags or her sister, if it's there - I don't want to force them to be something their not.  And, really, if they get obsessed with the Disney Princesses, it will be equally as annoying as them being obsessed with Thomas the Tank Engine.  

I think, it comes down to providing the opportunity for them to explore their world as they want.  I was raised by a mom who really liked the girlie stuff and raised by a dad who bought me my own size-appropriate rifle.  I had a variety of wonderful experiences.  I want that for the girls too.

*Why are there no navy blue or brown cupcake booties?  Don't boys like cupcakes?  Why is food gendered?  Aaaaaahhhhhhhhh!!!!!

Thursday, December 09, 2010


So, I started off the day grumpy, but then I got on-line and the Internets whisked my grumps away.  Hooray, Internets!

Despite this change in mood, I'm still going to write about something that has been bothering me lately.  It relates to a posting on Facebook (I want to add, "posted by a friend," but duh):

"One of the kids on the tree at Shopko only asked for a laptop and an iPod. How poor are you, really?"

I replied: "What's wrong with a little wishful thinking?"

And her friends (people I don't know) replied:

"nothing except when you want some of the most expensive stuff in the world when there are kids who are really really in need"


"If these kids are THAT poor I don't know why they wouldn't be wishing for something that doesn't require someone else to spend hundreds of dollars. An IPod is like $300!!! Not everyone is rich.. as they seem to think. Whatever happened to good old fashioned board games, puzzles and books? And IPod is an inappropriate gift request from a stranger. Then when they don't get it? Who's the bad guy?"


What bugs me is that: 1) iPods and laptops are not some of the most expensive things in the world; she must not get out much; 2) the assumption that because someone is "poor" they shouldn't know about or want things outside of their means; 3) the assumption that the 13 year old doesn't still believe in Santa (who would then get the blame for not delivering the requested gifts); and 4) the assumptions about people living in poverty.  It's the second and fourth assumptions that bug me the most.

First, I think a lot of assumptions are being made about how one gets on the Giving Tree at Shopko - I (and I assume these other folks) aren't aware of the requirements.  Perhaps I could, since I am unemployed - who knows.  Second, most Giving Trees (perhaps this one is an exception - again, don't know the rules) are about giving a child a present for Christmas.  Do kids really "need" Christmas presents?  No.  They "need" food, clothing, shelter and love.  I doubt many kids asked for a brussel sprouts, wool socks and a hug on their gift request.  Third, because someone is "poor" (such a vague term to start with), does it mean they cannot want the finer things in life?  And do only "rich" people own things like iPods and laptops?  No and no.  (Plus, she's going into high school - I think a laptop is a very practical request.)

It just bugs me how many rampant assumptions about people living in poverty went into that exchange.  And how many assumptions run rampant in our society about people living in poverty (not "poor people").  And how rarely we look at how privileged we are (myself included).

If it was my child that requested the laptop and iPod (and I was aware of the request - it's her request, why do I need to know?), I'd counsel her to dream big but keep her expectations realistic, that many people might want to give her those things but it's tough for most people to afford to do so, especially at a time of the year when they are buying gifts for others as well, and if she'd really like a gift, to perhaps scale down her request.  Then we'd have a lesson about run-on sentences.

I think, sometimes, people forget the purpose of Giving Trees - to give a gift.  In the past, I've done it because I want to feel good about myself by giving a gift to someone "less fortunate" (what an awful phrase) rather than it being about sharing my abundance with someone who was brave enough to ask me to share it with them.

So, there.  I didn't want to post this all on Facebook because...well, it didn't seem like the right kind of forum.  And I didn't feel like arguing with people I don't know.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

So, I missed a day...

Oh well.  Moving on.

As you may know, I am a reader of blogs.  Love, love blogs.  Well, mainly "mommy" blogs, but I tend to gravitate towards the artistic and hip "mommy" blogs.  I also read a "daddy" blog - Pacing the Panic Room.  He's being doing a video series for The Gap entitled "Do What You Love."  Very cleverly, he is doing what he loves - making movies - about people doing what they love.  While wearing Gap clothing.  I really liked the most recent episode (though all are fantastic) about Jessica.

Growing up, my parents did not appear to do what they love.  Now, with hindsight, I understand my dads where doing what they love - my Dad loves to work (any job) and my Father loves thinking technically (he's an Engineer).  But my mom never seemed to find a job she loved; she had those she was very good at, but didn't love.  I "suffer" (for lack of a better term) from the same fate.  I'm good at many things - accounting, writing, organization, phone banking, etc.  With the exception of writing (and it depends on the type of writing), I don't love doing those things.

I'm really not sure what my passion is.  I thought I had found "it" in the past but it got tedious after a while or boring.  Am I just easily bored?  Am I fickle?  Am I never satisfied?  I envy those people who are passionate about what they do - seeing the sparkle in their eyes, hearing their ideas, seeing them in action.  I want that - those feelings - for myself.

But, I wonder, is it a reasonable expectation?  Lots and lots of people work at jobs they don't love and get along just fine.  Am I putting too much emphasis on finding a job I love instead of finding a life a love?  I think that's the key.  And I am working on that - finding a life I love.  I have two job interviews this week, one full-time, one part-time.  Jason and I discussed the pros and cons of each and I felt drawn to the job that will allow me a bit more balance between work and home time, more time with my girls, more freedom, though all for less pay.  Which doesn't seem quite so important anymore - thankfully, we have the luxury for it to not be such a concern.  We'll see how it works out.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Making Peace with Cloth Diapers

Before I even got pregnant, I wanted to use cloth diapers because they were supposed to have less of an environmental impact.  And, it wigged me out to think of Anthropologists in the future finding my kids' poop in a landfill.

Once pregnant, I registered for a bunch of different kinds so we could find the one we liked best and then invest.  I got one cloth diaper (thanks, Hilleri!).  So, I bought a bunch from a consignment store, not realizing that the diapers and covers did not go well together.  I tried to use them with Aggie, but every-time she wore one, she'd pee right through them.  We were already using disposables, so we stuck with those.

When I became an F-TP, I decided to try again and had the same results.  I consulted my cloth diaper gurus (thanks, Becky & Maralea), who shared some diapers with me.  They said they change diapers every two hours (yikes!), have about 24 of them and wash them every other day.  Now, most cloth diapers cost about $15-20 a piece, so buying 20+ of them is a big financial commitment.  Yes, yes, disposables are too, but I pay $14 every two weeks, so laying out a huge chunk of change at once is a big decision.

I kept hemming and hawing.  Disposables are so darn easy.  Cloth is sustainable and will likely not cause a diaper rash.  We're used to disposables and we're very lazy.  Etc., etc.  Back and forth.

Until.  Until I read about how you have to wash cloth diapers - one wash cold, one wash hot, one rinse hot, line dry.  Despite being the main laundry doer in the house, I know I would mess this up.  Ask Jason how many of his clothes I have shrunk.  And when you mess up with the cloth diapers, you can ruin them.  Yes, it seems like it would be a relatively easy thing to teach myself, but I know me.  And with a second baby zapping my energy and memory, proper wash-age so would not happen.

Plus - all that water!  We live in an arid region.  With giant landfills that no one can find - out of sight, out of mind, right?

I'm still plagued my nagging doubts about using disposables but I'm trying to block them out.  And trying to make peace with the fact that I am taking the easy way out and there's really no good justification for it.  Sigh.

Friday, December 03, 2010

Cora's Rules for Being a F-TP

What's an F-TP, you ask?  Full-time Parent.  I hate the phrase Stay-at-home Mom because it feels so claustrophobic.  And, really, I don't think F-TP fully describes what I do each day, since I also manage the household - doing the chores, paying bills, grocery shopping, cooking meals, etc.

Anyhoo, these are the rules I try to adhere to remain a sane, social human being while also being a F-TP:

  • Change you underwear every day, even if it's 4 pm by the time you get around to it.
  • Brush your teeth twice a day.
  • Shower every other day (in my dry climate, showering daily wreaks havoc on my skin).
  • When leaving the house, look presentable (and by this, I mean cultivate a look that would not leave you embarrassed if you ran into someone you know); if you're not working out, do NOT wear sweats!
  • Pick one area of your physical appearance to cultivate - hair, face, etc.  I have chosen hair and try to have it look neat, if not stylish, when I leave my home.
  • Leave the house once a day, even if it's just to go to the mailbox (if just going to the mailbox, you don't have to dress up).
  • Exercise daily for 30 min. (walking the dog counts).
There you are.  These are my rules for me.  I encourage any F-TP to create their own set of rules to function by.  The importance of these rules, for me, is to keep me at a level of functionality in the world around me.  Otherwise, I could become a total sweats-wearing, stinky hermit.

Thursday, December 02, 2010


RAWR!  This is how I've felt for the past week.  Short-tempered, easily frustrated.  And to make matters worse, I've been taking it out on others.

It dawned on my this morning that it's probably an indication that something(s) are out of whack with me.  Here's what I've pinpointed so far:

  1. I need to go to bed earlier.  Ags goes to bed about 7ish; I stay up to 11ish.  It is nice to have some time with J after she goes to sleep and it's also nice to have some time all to myself as well.  But, I think I can do those and still have the lights out by 9:30.
  2. I need to take my meds regularly.  About twice a week, I miss a dose.  I don't really have a morning routine any more, which is when I take them.  So, I need to try to get in the habit of taking them right after I eat breakfast.
  3. I need to exercise regularly.  Before the snow and cold arrived last week, I was taking a walk or doing yoga everyday.  Then, we became kinda housebound and for some reason, all exercise came to a screeching halt.  I can manage 30 min. a day.
  4. I need to eat less carbs and sugars.  I feel so much better when my diet mainly consists of veggies and meat, which it hasn't.
Now, to go locate some momentum.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Daily Post #1

You may have noticed that I did not do a post about Aggie on 11/10.  And that was on purpose.  Not the, "Shoot! I totally forgot but now I have a good reason for not doing it," but a genuine reason.  I'm bored with those posts.  Not posting about her, per say, but the format and such.  And, since she just turned 1, I figured it was a good a breaking point as any.  I've been blogging mainly about her for more than 20 months, and I thought I'd move on to something different.  (In case you're worried, I do continue to keep track of her baby milestones in her baby book.)

That's that (*dusts hands*).  On to something different!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

'Bout Time

So, as Nan correctly reminded me - it's time for a new post.  I've actually written several posts - all in my head - but that doesn't do you, my dear reader, much good.  Or me, really.

Things, they are going great.  It is heaven having Aggie back in daycare - I say that with just a twinge of guilt.  Yesterday, I actually missed her.  I actually thought about calling daycare to see how she was doing or sneaking down to pick her up early so we could play in the snow before dark.  The latter feelings - that's the first time I've had those.  And I don't miss her often - in the past, when we've been apart, I've been so relieved and grateful.  So, what do I do with myself on my child-free days?  Chores, errands, napping, doctor's appointments, shopping, web surfing.  And I get to do it all at my pace - that's the heaven part.  No trying to cram it in during a nap or getting it done during the span of Aggie's patience.  As a bit of a control freak (ahem) it's been difficult getting used to doing things on another person's schedule; I do it and we're all better for it but the yearning to do it at my own pace, on my own time, has not lessened.  I cannot imagine what it will be like trying to manage with two little dictators.

Speaking of being a control freak, this is my new favorite blog: Things Organized Neatly.  It's like a massage for my brain, all those images of things organized so precisely.  I literally sigh every time I look at one of the photos.

So, now that I have these two blissful days a week, I'm really starting to get the hang of being a full-time homemaker.  I had a job interview last week and I was hesitant.  It sounded like a good job - interesting work and people.  But I'm really digging this being at home thing.  Also, it required long, not 8-5 hours and I knew I'd miss the time with my family.  It was a great feeling.  (P.S. I don't think I got the job since they wanted to make a decision by last Friday and I've heard nary a peep.)

When Aggie is home, I'm working hard on finding fun and interesting things we can do together.  We're down to an hour of TV during the day and I try to make half of that the Spanish language DVDs we watch together.  On Monday, we went out and played in the snow - she loved it.  I dressed her up in her snow suit, plunked her down in the snow, gave her a snowball which she promptly shoved into her mouth and I built a snowman (a Jason snowman, in fact).  We had a great time.  She is starting to skip her afternoon naps, which makes for a long stretch of together time when my body would like to nap, but she makes up for it by taking long morning naps and going to bed early.

I worry that I sound like I don't love my child or like her or really want her around.  None of that is true.  What is true is that every time she smiles or laughs or claps her hands, my heart leaps.  Snuggle time is the best way I can imagine spending my time.  I just have a lot of internal struggles when we're not doing those things and those wipe me out - not her.  And when I lose my patience, I explain that to her and immediately change my behavior.  These are my issues, not hers, and I try not to make them hers to deal with (goodness knows I had to that enough as a kid with my mother).  Plus, I'm preggers, which is another full-time job on top of my already big job.

Speaking of which, BD2 is doing great.  We had the ultrasound last week and it's another girl!  Jason is thrilled.  I keep thinking we're having a boy and have to remind myself that no, it's a boy (see! I mean girl!).  Not that it really matters, I just find it interesting that I keep making that slip up.  I've been feeling her move, which is fun.  Monday, Aggie and I sorted through the infant clothes we kept - we still have so much despite giving away so much!  We are so very fortunate. And that which we did need, my dear friend, Hilleri, has supplied - thank you thank you!

So, that's what's up with me.  Other posts I've mapped out in my head - my chore calendar (yes, I made one and I'm very proud of it), living frugally, going green, marriage and the holidays.  I'll try to get to those.  One thing I would like to do is to start posting every day.  I want to become a better writer and I'd love to become one of those bloggers whose site attracts enough readership to generate income - essentially, I want to get paid for writing about my life and my interests, i.e., being me.  How great would that be?!  But, this blog is not currently doing that, so I gotta ramp it up.  I figure, writing for 15 minutes a day is a good place to start.  Now, I have to get over the hurdle between thinking about it and doing it.

Happy Thanksgiving - my very favorite holiday of the year because I love giving thanks.  And I give thanks for all of you who read my little blog and esp. for those of you who leave comments or send me emails about postings - it means the world to me.  Thank you.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010


Thanks again to all of you who responded to my last few posts.  I really appreciate the support.

As I mentioned, I've been thinking a lot about your responses and my responses to both what you said and what I said.

I'm doing better.  One reason is that Baby Girl started back at day care this week - two days a week, 8 am to 4 pm.  Meaning, I get two whole days a week to myself.  Is it right to be this giddy?  I was so joyful dropping her off this morning.  And so was she - she was so excited to see her beloved teachers and friends.  I feel this new arrangement is awesome - not only do I get time to myself, but knowing this time is there waiting for me helps me get through the screaming fits, the multiple middle of the night trips to her crib, and to appreciate the fun time we do have together.

On Facebook, a high school friend of mine shared this quote from Battlestar Gallactica (the recent series): "Listen, you may feel like hell.  But, sometimes, lost is where you need to be.  Just because you don't know your direction doesn't mean you don't have one."  Reading that helped a whole lot.  

And on the drive to day care this morning, I realized something - in the past, I have really enjoyed supporting others to succeed at something they love or thought they couldn't do.  Over the past few years, I have received a lot of support from Jason to do what I love and thought I couldn't do, mainly in my career. He's been amazing.  A couple of weeks ago, he got a big promotion and is now a supervisor for the first time.  He's trying really, really hard - and I'm so proud.  Now is my time to support him.  And to support Baby Girl and Baby D 2.  It's time for me to support my family and help them do what they love and think they cannot do.

For most of my adult life, I have declared often, perhaps at times loudly, that I would not be a stay-at-home mom or a homemaker wife.  And, like so many other times in my past, that which I have so strongly protested has come to pass (the same holds true for Baby D 2).  It seems that which I resist the most is what I bring in to my life, probably because I'm focusing on NOT having it in my life, instead of focusing on what I want in my life. But the experiences always teach me valuable lessons and help me really grow as a person.  It's likely that those experiences are what I'm most afraid of and what I need to face.

My fear is that being a full-time mom and homemaker, I'll lose myself.  I'll become some sort of robot ala Stepford Wives (which I've never seen but am guessing is an app simile).  Yes, like many fears, is ridiculous and not based on reality.  But it's my fear and I need to confront it.  I have by setting up a housecleaning schedule and spending this past Sunday cooking and baking.  I'm trying to focus on what I do want from these situations and moving from a "I don't want that" frame of mind to a "this is why I want this" frame.

I am getting more excited about BD2.  I heard his/her little heart beat last week - that is always such an amazing sound.  It was thumping away so strong.  Later, I realized that Jason and I get the great gift of learning to love another little person like we love Ms. Ags.  And to watch this other person develop and grow and delight in that process, just like with Ms. Ags.  And that's exciting.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Other Projects

Thanks so much for the support in response to my last posts.  I will respond - things are still percolating.

I did want to share what else I've been up to during my time at home.  With extra special thanks to my Mom & Dad for their immense help during their visit, I was able to do a lot of redecorating on a small budget.

I don't have any before pics, so for those of you who haven't visited or haven't in a while, you'll have to take my word that it looks a lot better.

First - the upstairs kitchen and living space:

We're saving up for matching dining room chairs and additional seating.

(Psssst....Heather....the pictures over the chaise - your pic of the lanterns is on the right.)

Jason's bathroom:

Yes, that's a picture of Heather in Jason's bathroom.  He picked it from a set of four prints we already owned.  It's fun - at least that's his story.

Our bedroom:

Bella approved!  And yes, I could've made the bed for the shot, but then you wouldn't get to see it in it's day-to-day state.  BTW - the bed side table on the right is gold - my mom spray painted it and it's awesome.

Downstairs living room:

Not huge changes here but some art work got changed.  And look at the inexpensive, yet stylish solution to keeping Aggie out of the entertainment center.  Working so far...

I'm also working on my cooking and baking.  I cook dinner most nights (as well as breakfasts and lunches for me and Ags).  And last night I peeled, cored and sliced dozens of apples and froze them for future baking adventures.  Apple crisp, apple pie - here we come!

Monday, October 18, 2010


So, I've got a few things to get off my proverbial chest - hence the two posts back-to-back.

Since being laid off, I have really felt blocked.  Or, perhaps, because of my ample free time, I'm noticing the blockages I've had for a while.  Regardless, I feel rudderless, without direction, without a purpose.  I feel like I'm mentally standing in a five foot by five foot box and have no idea how to get out.  I take that back, I do know how to get out but don't feel like doing what it takes.

Not only is that feeling frustrating and suffocating, but I also feel like I'm losing precious time and squandering valuable moments with Aggie.  We have our good moments, for sure.  But I often feel like I'm counting the minutes until her next nap or until Jason gets home.  I haven't been very creative about how we spend our time together - we watch a lot of TV or I try to otherwise distract her so I can do stuff on the computer or chores.  What I'm trying to say is that it doesn't feel like quality time.  And I feel it's because I'm not trying very hard.

Part of me thinks I'm being too hard on myself - taking care of a one year old is difficult, tiring work.  And I'm pregnant.  But I don't feel that I'm really challenging myself.  Here I have this wonderful opportunity of time with my daughter and I'm squandering it.  And the guilt that comes with that is tremendous.

I like to sometimes blame it on unemployment - if I didn't "have to" search for a job, I'd be free to enjoy my time.  Sometimes the baby - if I didn't "have to" take care of the baby, I'd be free to enjoy my time.  Sometimes the lack of car (which has been remedied) and living in small town - if I had something to do, I'd enjoy my free time more.

But those are just excuses.  I do think I'm expecting too much of myself to enjoy every minute of every day.  But I'd like to do away with this feeling of...listlessness...frustration...depression, perhaps?  Taking new meds isn't an option right now, so I'm going to have to get myself out of this without chemical assistance.  And the first step is to call the doctor.

Thanks for listening.

Oh, wait.  Not quite done yet.  A couple of more things need saying.  Part of this depression or blockedness or what have you, is being without work.  I need to acknowledge this.  I had really become defined by my job.  It was a defining job.  I was on the front lines of a very controversial and deeply emotional issue and I took it to heart, to mind and to pride.  I really pushed myself in that job and did very well.  Damn it, why can't I say it - I succeeded, I was successful at my job, a job I was terrified of doing at times (not safety wise, just believing in myself enough to succeed).

While I needed to leave that job for a variety of reasons, how it ended was abrupt and heartbreaking.  Initially, I took some good steps to help me transition - I unsubscribed from all the action alerts, stopped reading the blogs and news, just unplugged.  And that's helped me clear my head, helped the the swirliness, for lack of a better word, of my previous work life to settle out.  But now I'm getting anxious and want to fill that space back up with more work.  I'm really resistant to letting being a mom fill that space back up, which is both positive and negative, I think.  Part of me wants to just fall back into the routine of working and let that monopolize my attention, but a wiser part of me knows that is not what I need to do.  If only that part would hurry up and show me what it is I need to.  I'm not a very patient person, in case you hadn't noticed.

And there's the whole resistance to being a full-time mom.  I know why and I kinda hate myself for it - because I don't want to become one of those women whose only focus is their children, who can only talk about their kids, who can only do things for their kids.  That is totally stereotyping, since I don't actually know any of these women.  It's a fear, really - fear of losing myself, which is ironic because I do so in other circumstances, such as with my work.  So, why doing it with my daughter is a fear, I don't know.  Probably because I did have a mom whose life revolved heavily (though not solely) around me and that was a big burden to bear at times (at other times it was wonderful).  I guess I don't want to do that with Aggie and the new baby.  The wiser part of me also says this is not what I need to do, that I should have multiple interests and passions, including my children.  Again, I wish I could know what those other interests are already.

I think what I really want is a guarantee, a guarantee that what I choose to focus on and put my efforts into will be successful, rewarding and long lasting.  I thought I had found that with my last job and set my life up accordingly.  Same with grant writing.  I keep thinking I've found that "thing" and then I quit or become disillusioned or it becomes obvious that I need to move on.  I want security, damn it!  But, the wiser part of me says that I do not, that I do want uncertainty and challenge.  Sigh. 

Pregnancy the Second

If you were a reader during my first pregnancy, you might have noticed things are a bit different here, the second time around.  Because it feels like I just went through a pregnancy, this one is lacking the novelty of my first.  I hate saying that because I worry that it sounds like this one isn't special.  But, I just don't feel like blogging about this pregnancy like I did my first and haven't come up with a good alternative.  So, the second child is already getting shafted.

But, I thought I would share some pregnancy similarities and differences that I've found interesting:
  • Cravings - same: sub sandwiches, apple juice, mango smoothies, fig newtons; different: canned beef raviolis, cranberry juice
  • Nausea - same: can't drink hot tea; different: less of it, no puking, high tolerance gag reflex
  • Insomnia - different: started already, only for an hour or so every few nights
  • Hair - different: continuing to fall out
  • Boobs - different: waited 12 weeks to enlarge, now up to a DD (!)
I've also put off blogging about this pregnancy because, as many of you know, this was not a planned pregnancy.  In fact, we had not planned on having any more children.  J was supposed to have gotten a vasectomy (not that I'm blaming him, just emphasizing our sincere intention not to have more children).  And, like many people, thought one time sans protection that, yes, pregnancy was a likelihood, but would not be a reality.  I mean, it took us six months of trying and temperature taking and ovulation tracking to get pregnant with Aggie.  I know, I know - silly us.

When we found out, I was angry.  Yes, angry.  Because this is not what I had planned for my life.  Since I was a teen, I had planned to give birth to one child and adopt the second.  That was the plan and, in my opinion, the "right" thing to do.  I was trying to the right thing!!!  Plus, here I was, already a full-time mom when I didn't want to be.  I was not prepared or all that willing to become a full-time mom to two babies under the age of two.

Jason and I talked about abortion.  But it didn't feel like the right option.  As unprepared as we were for the undertaking of two children, it felt like that was the way to go.  And in the days following, we realized that we subconsciously choose to have a second child.  I found the box of emergency contraception under my sink (duh - work for a reproductive health care provider for three years - think I would've remembered that option).  J didn't get that vasectomy; I didn't get on birth control.  That helped with the processing.

Also, I had been consciously missing pregnancy.  Crazy, I know.  But I really missed the feel of my full belly and also the warmth that radiated my way from others while pregnant.  I even dreamed a couple times about being pregnant again.

Because of this, it's very important to me that the child not be told it was an "accident."  We knew what we were doing, just not consciously.  So, perhaps the child isn't planned but it was not an accident - we like to think of it as a bonus.  We hit the jackpot with Aggie and now we're entering the bonus round. 

With that said, half the time I forget I'm pregnant.  I'm not really showing and my symptoms are much milder this time around.  And I have a one year old to focus on (who is sick again, btw).  We pretty much have everything we need for the little one - really, we just need a name and some infant diapers and we are good to go.  I figure as we get closer to the due date, the excitement for baby 2 will grow.  Right now, when I think about having two kids, all I can picture is them both screaming their heads off at me, exhausted and alone.

So, that's why I haven't blogged - this is not the rosy picture of pregnancy that is so often painted by others and by me during my first one.  And I feel really bad about that.  This is a wanted a child.  It's just the circumstances are so different and I feel guilty.  I know that if I keep focusing on the child being short changed then the child will be; I need to focus on loving it.  I'm just having a hard time keeping focused.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

1 year, pt. 2

Team D did it!!!  We all survived the first year.  Except Rachel (sniff - though Aggie was not the cause).  And I'd like to think we're all the better for it.

The last month has been a blur of visitors and birthday parties.  Which is great, because I spent most of the first month of being a full-time mom letting others entertain and care for Aggie.  A very nice way to ease into full-time parenting.

And the birthday parties - four (!!!!) total!  Ags especially enjoyed the cupcakes and the singing.  And the crown wearing.

Oh yes, I almost forgot - Aggie started crawling.  One day, she just went for it but she wasn't very happy about it.  She had a look on her face that read: "Must I really degrade myself in this manner?"  But, she's gotten over it and is a crawling champ.  We have gates now but don't have to use them too often.  She prefers to get into things like the dog's water dish and the DVDs, rather than heading off into other rooms (though her father's bathroom intrigues her, likely because she takes her baths in there).

She is practicing her walking and the other morning she stood up and balanced all by herself.

Aggie has also grown even more adventurous with her eating - she really enjoyed tofu, seaweed and ribs.  And if you feed her ice cream, woe is you, because when you run out, she screams as though her heart is being torn out.  Something she also does when you take her out of the swing at the park.

She has two favorite games now - peek-a-boo and throw an object, crawl over to it and throw it again.

Jason and I are looking forward to year 2.  As hard as this part year has been, it has been infinitely more fun and rewarding.  Aggie is just an awesome person and I am excited to watch her develop.  With that said, though, I was watching a blogger's (Amalah) recap of her son's second year and you could see him go from baby to toddler.  And that makes me a little sad - in the next year, I will lose my baby.  A different blogger, Finslippy, wrote a great post about the millions of goodbyes parents say during their child's adolescent (here) (I will admit, some goodbyes won't be bittersweet, like when we say adios to diapers!).

I know, I know, we're having another baby, but still.  Baby Aggie is the Aggie I know and love, so I am both sad to know she will be leaving us but also excited to meet all the other Aggies waiting down the road.

Pic of the month (thanks Aunty Roo!):

Sunday, October 10, 2010

1 year

Holy moly.  365 days of Ms. Agatha Heathre Davidson.  And what a year it's been.  And what a day.  I am too tired to write a proper post at the moment, but I just wanted to say:

Happy Birthday, Love Bug.
You've brought more love, laughter, sunshine, fatigue and frustration into my life than anyone I've known.
Everyday you help me be a better person and are so very kind when I fail to do my best.
Thank you for sharing your journey with me and your papa.
We're very honored to be your guides.

Now, I'm going to go shed a few tears, then pass out.  And do it all again tomorrow.

Love you, Baby Girl.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Here we go again!

Baby D 2 is due April 5, 2011.  Aggie will be 18 months - yup, we'll have 2 under 2.

More about all of this later - just wanted to share the good news.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

11 months

This past month has been a whirl of vacation, sickness, visitors and big changes.  I'm also exhausted, so trying to remember what we did prior to last weekend is a struggle.

One big change is that Aggie has finally left day care.  Sigh.  More for her than me - as I've written before she loved her day care and they loved her.  They have asked to have her back for her birthday, so they can make her a cake and celebrate.  Isn't that sweet?  And one of the day care owners teared up when it was time to say goodbye.  So far, being a full-time mom is all right.  It so helps that my parents are in town, and they've watched her while I went shopping, took a nap, etc.

She is very interested in the walking and the standing, and a little more interested in the crawling.  I think she's tired of being left in one spot while others walk away from her.

Aggie's new favorite food is soup - any kind of soup, she cannot get enough.  She's also very in to soft foods, like pancakes, bread, etc.  She still has no interest in juice and little in water.

She's developing quite the vocabulary.  In addition to "mama" and "dada," she says "dog" (or "dah"), "cat" (or "cah"), "good" and "gling."  She's also becoming quite the chatty cathy, which is fun to listen to.

She's also developing new dance moves.  She'll stand at her music table, put her weight more on one leg, then shake the other, ala Elvis.

And...I got her to laugh at her farts.  My work here is done.

Two not so wonderful developments - whining and crying at bed time.  Both don't happen often, but when they do, she does them with gusto.

Jason and I were talking one more morning about how great it is to be a parent and the parts we thought would suck - well, some of those don't actually suck and the others don't suck as much as we thought they would.  Mostly, it's pretty awesome.

Pic of the month (the only pic for the month!):

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Life List - Bigger, Bolder, Shorter

Ah, insomnia.  I was lying in bed, thinking about my Life List and decided it was a bit, well, weak.  Where was the bold, spicy flavor?  It's too safe, too...achievable.  So, I'm takin' some of the items up a notch.  Wha-bam!  And takin' some out - some that weren't really what I wanted to do, just what I thought I should want to do.

  1. Write an international best seller that's published in 17 languages
  2. Road trip, in a camper van, around New Zealand
  3. Hike The Trail of the Buddha (a grueling, multi-week hike through India, China and Tibet)
  4. Plant a sunflower garden
  5. Plant a poppy garden
  6. Bake bread from scratch
  7. Swim with dolphins
  8. Attend the bi-annual festival in Marostica, Italy
  9. Learn to blow glass in Venice
  10. Celebrate the winter solstice in Antarctica and the summer solstice in Barrow, AK
  11. Learn to Tango in Argentina
  12. See the Moai on Easter Island
  13. Visit the pyramids in Egypt
  14. Attend stunt car driving school
  15. Sing with Sleater-Kinney
  16. Learn to scuba dive
  17. Care for a big dog (i.e., Great DaneIrish Wolf Hound) - woof!
  18. Visit Grandma Cora's grave
  19. Run for an elected position
  20. Attend the Olympics
  21. Raise a bilingual child
  22. Ride in a dog sled
  23. Drink real Champagne in the Champagne Valley of France
  24. Soak in a hot springs in Iceland
  25. Touch a Viking ship in Denmark
  26. Kayak the fjords of Norway
  27. Hike the Great Wall of China
  28. Participate in a traditional tea ceremony in Japan
  29. Help baby turtles make it to the ocean
  30. Drive the AL-CAN Highway
  31. Send a telegram
  32. Pet a whale
  33. Sit on the shores of Lake Ponchatrain, LA
  34. Sleep in a hut over the ocean
  35. Wear a bikini in public
  36. Picnic at The Getty
  37. Travel via Zip Line through a rain forest
  38. Live in a foreign country again
  39. Own my own business
  40. Hike Antelope Slot Canyon in Page, AZ
  41. Serve as an Executive Director or CEO
  42. See the Terracotta Army
  43. Plant a vegetable garden (completed June 2010)
  44. Own a Prius (completed Oct. 2008)
  45. Give birth (completed 10/10/09)
  46. Own a house (completed Dec. 2005)
  47. Get my Master's degree (completed Dec. 2003)
  48. Get a tattoo (completed May 2000)
  49. Attend college in New England (completed May 1999)
  50. Travel Europe (completed 1997-1998)
  51. Live in Europe (completed 1997-1998)
  52. Go nightswimming (completed August 1997)
  53. Travel by myself (completed summer 1997)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

10 months

Just a little late - we spent last week at the beach, having a grand time.

Now, Aggie has been out of my uterus longer than she was in it.  I keep searching for the meaning in this, but can't find it.

The romance continues.  Hugging is a new favorite activity.  She sometimes stops playing to give her papa and I hugs.  They are the best things in the whole wide world.  Except when she sneaks in a bite.  Or pinches my neck.

She's also started singing - it is so dang cute.  Sometimes she sings along with a tune, sometimes she just sings.

This morning she did the cutest thing (technically it should be saved for the 11 month update, but I don't want to forget it) - she was pushing her train car around and going "grrrr...grrrr."  We interpreted that as making car sounds.  How freaking adorable can you get?

And she had her first tastes of chocolate - cake and cupcake.  And she luuuvvved it.  Takes after her mama.

Still no crawling.  Still no pulling herself up.  I'm taking it as a kindness.  Our friends visited with their 10 month old, who can crawl and pull herself up and walk along furniture - whoa.  Aggie, though, was not impressed.

We did have a couple of rough nights thanks to teething.  One night, she cried for 45 min. straight.  Every time I touched her, she'd just scream louder.  Finally, I put her in her crib and walked away.  Five minutes later, she was sound asleep.  Poor thing.  And poor me too - it was hard seeing her in so much discomfort and not being able to do a damn thing.

Pics of the month (thanks, Hilleri!):

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

I read a post on Girl's Gone Child and commented:

"Now I want to cry because in your pictures [of her son] I saw my little baby getting bigger and leaving pre-school, though she's only 9 mos.  I keep saying to myself, adamantly, "I'm not ready for this!" (this being her getting older), as though by saying so, often enough, it will stop her growing.

Though, I don't actually want to stop her growing - watching her become a little person has been amazing.

This parenting gig, it's a tough one."

I am sensing a theme to my view on parenting.  And an uncanny ability to state the obvious.

But look - she started out here -

Just kidding!  Here - 

And just a short 9 months later is now here - 


I am not ready for this!

Monday, August 02, 2010

Quotes, Links & a List

Just some random stuff that's been bopping around my head...
  • "If I had to live my life again, I'd make the same mistakes, only sooner." - Tallulah Bankhead
  • "The most important thing in life is to learn how to give out love, and to let it come in." - Morrie Schwartz
  • "Begin to see yourself as a soul with a body rather than a body with a soul." - Wayne Dyer
  • "Don't ask what the world needs.  Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it.  Because what the world needs is people who have come alive." - Howard Thurman

Fun blogs

60+ Things - A Life List

Two bloggers I follow, Mighty Girl and Making it Lovely, have Life Lists, aka things they'd like to do during their lifetime.  Being inspired by them, here's my list (in no particular order):

  1. Plant a sunflower garden
  2. Plant a poppy garden
  3. Plant a vegetable garden (completed June 2010)
  4. Bake bread from scratch
  5. Attend college in New England (completed May 1999)
  6. Swim with dolphins
  7. Run a 5k (scheduled for Oct. 2010)
  8. Run a 10k (scheduled for Oct. 2011)
  9. Back packing adventure, multi-day
  10. Publish an article
  11. Travel Europe (completed 1997-1998)
  12. Live in Europe (completed 1997-1998)
  13. Travel by myself (completed summer 1997)
  14. Attend the bi-annual festival in Marostica, Italy
  15. Take Aggie to Paris
  16. Take Jason & Aggie to Venice
  17. Visit Antartica
  18. Visit Lhasa, Tibet
  19. See the Taj Mahal and drink Chai in India
  20. Get a tattoo (completed May 2000)
  21. Visit Bali
  22. Learn to Tango in Argentina
  23. Visit the Galapagos Islands
  24. See the Moai on Easter Island
  25. Visit the pyramids in Egypt
  26. Attend stunt car driving school
  27. Sing with Sleater-Kinney
  28. Own a house (completed Dec. 2005)
  29. Learn to scuba dive
  30. Care for a big dog (i.e., Great Dane, Irish Wolf Hound) - woof!
  31. Visit Grandma Cora's grave
  32. Run for an elected position
  33. Attend the Olympics
  34. Give birth (completed 10/10/09)
  35. Raise a child (started 10/10/09)
  36. Ride in a dog sled
  37. Drink real Champagne in the Champagne Valley of France
  38. Take a dip in a hot springs in Iceland
  39. Go nightswimming (completed August 1997)
  40. See a Viking ship in Denmark
  41. Kayak the fjords of Norway
  42. Walk the Great Wall of China
  43. Participate in a traditional tea ceremony in Japan
  44. Help baby turtles make it to the ocean
  45. Drive the AL-CAN Highway
  46. Send a telegram
  47. Touch a whale
  48. Get my Master's degree (completed Dec. 2003)
  49. Visit Taos, New Mexico
  50. Visit the Isle of Women, Mexico
  51. Visit Lake Ponchatrain, LA
  52. Visit the Statute of Liberty and the Guggenheim in NYC
  53. Sleep in a hut over the ocean
  54. Wear a bikini in public
  55. Get another tattoo
  56. Own a Prius (completed Oct. 2008)
  57. See a manatee close up
  58. Visit The Getty
  59. Travel via Zip Line through a rain forest
  60. Visit Andorra
  61. Live in a foreign country again
  62. Own my own business
  63. Visit Antelope Slot Canyon in Page, AZ
  64. Serve as an Executive Director or CEO
  65. See the Terracotta Army

Sunday, July 11, 2010

9 Months?!?

Actually, I keep thinking she's 10 months.  Already, I'm forcing her to grow up too quickly!

The kid is still awesome.  Even though there are moments that I wish someone else would magically show up and step in for me, you know, until she was over her grumpiness.  Or to change yet another yucky diaper.  Or until it's 6:30 am.  Aggie's internal alarm clock somehow got set to 5 am.  Occasionally, she'll hang out in bed until 5:45 am.  And she still doesn't sleep through the night.  So that 5 am comes mighty early.

BUT, the girl finally likes swimming!  I have my water baby!  This is very important to me, that she loves swimming.  As a girl, I LOVED swimming - I'd stay all day in the pool, if I could, mainly playing my underwater make-believe games.  I swore I was a dolphin in a past life.  I spent last summer dreaming of taking her to the pool in town.  After our first trip a couple weeks ago, I was a little worried  because it didn't go well, but I chalked it up to the super cold water and waited a couple weeks for it to warm up.  Both the water and the baby warmed up and we had a great time this weekend.  We went TWICE!  After our first trip, I thanked her for making my dream come true.  And now I'll have someone to play with after Jason wimps out and leaves the water after a measly 15 minutes.

So, I have a confession to make - sometimes, when Aggie is screaming her head-off, I laugh at her.  Out loud, no attempt to hide it.  She just gets so worked up and dramatic over seemingly nothing.  It's just so overblown, that I laugh.  To clarify, though, if she's crying because she's hurt or scared, I don't find it funny.  But, I'm starting to feel badly about laughing because, obviously, Aggie has feelings and she's justified in having those feelings.  I don't want to belittle her.  Maybe if I laugh inwardly?  Or, will that teach her to take herself too seriously?  Sheesh, this parenting gig is tough.

P.S. Still no crawling.  I am appreciating it, every time I leave her and come back to find her in the exact spot I left her.

Pic of the month - The Secret Club

Saturday, June 12, 2010

8 months

So, as you might be able to tell from previous posts, I'm totally besotted with Aggie.  She's just awesome.

We survived her first ear infection, which wasn't too bad, probably 'cause it was just a minor one.  She and I spent several days on the couch, just laying there.  It was kind of nice, in a way, because she just wanted to be held.  Minus the fever and crankiness, it was a great week.

She's got two teeth coming in on top, which explains last weekend's fussiness, which unfortunately coincided with me getting a cold.  Poor Papa - two sick, unhappy girls at once.  Don't feel too bad for him, though - he was handsomely rewarded with a new BBQ/smoker.

I started back to work this week and was surprised to find how much I missed Aggie.  I miss being able to enjoy the mornings before Papa whisked her off to daycare and being able to pick her up early and go to the park.  Last night I got home and she was already in bed - I hate that.  My chest hurts when I don't get to hold her.  It is nice to watch her sleep, though, esp. when it's not the middle of the night and I have time, not trying to rush back to sleep.

Dancing!  I almost forgot the dancing!  She likes to spontaneously dance to music in her head or music playing.  It's more jerky spasming and the waving of hands, but it's so cute and she gets the biggest grin on her face.

We (ok, just me really) are still anxiously awaiting the arrival of warm temperatures so we can make our first trip to the pool!  We have the swimsuit and summer membership fee (thanks to my mom), sun hat and sunscreen - all we need is for it to warm-up!  And we (ok, just me again) need it to warm up so Aggie can wear the adorable anchor print shorts I bought her - too much longer and she'll have outgrown them without actually wearing them.  Hop to it, summer!

No crawling yet.  We keep hearing that at daycare she's crawling a little.  Part of me is a little jealous of this - I want to see her crawl too!  The other, bigger part of me is content with her being immobile for now.  I can tell that's a whole can of worms that Papa and I are not ready for (Bella and Hugo either).

Speaking of Hugo, he has become and indoor/outdoor cat.  He kept trying to sneak outside, so we got him a collar, which freaked him the heck out.  Once he got used to it, we let him out.  That was so hard for me.  I kept envisioning him running away and never coming back or being hit by a car or being eaten by a cougar (not as far fetched a scenario as you might think) or taking up with a rough crowd.  But I also saw him discovering the millions of bugs outdoors (he LOVES bugs) and making friends and being happier.  So, I let him go, along with a little bit of my heart.  And, you know what?  He hasn't left the deck.  He's taking it nice and slow and is enormously happy for his expanded horizons.  And that's what parenting is all about, isn't it?  You let them go with a piece of your heart, trusting they'll do what's best for them and that they'll come back and tell you about their adventures and love you for it.  Too bad it can hurt so much and cause so much worry.  Joy and pain - the two sides of the parenting coin.

Pic of the month (thanks, Victoria!):

Friday, June 04, 2010


Every smile, every laugh, every kiss is a gift.  It sounds cheesy and trite and something you'd read on a greeting card. But it's true.  And I'm so proud of myself for continuing to feel it, every single time.

A Letter to My 20-something Self

Blogger Cassie Boorn is collecting letters from older women to their 20-something selves to help other 20-somethings navigate their 20s, which can be an awkward, intense time (they were for me).  To read more about it and post your letter, visit HERE.
Here's my letter:
Dear 20-something Cora –
Shoulda, woulda, coulda – none of these words are helpful. As much as you can, banish them from your vocabulary.
You are an amazing soul and things will get better. Just keep saying that to yourself and when you see an opportunity to make things better, take it, regardless of how big or how small, for yourself or for others.
Stick with the therapy, if not the medication – you’ll eventually get the right diagnosis and things will be better.
These are not the best times of your life – you have many more best times coming. Collect the best times and know you’ll have more to add to your collection.
Give into your lazy side more often – it serves a purpose, a very important one. You’ll find out what that purpose is when you start being proactively lazy.
Life is not a sprint, it’s a marathon, so don’t worry if you haven’t done things that are important to you – there’s still time.
Trust your gut. You know yourself better than anyone and do what is right for you, as kindly as possible. You’ll disappoint others, but give them a hug, tell them you love them, and get on to doing what you need to do for yourself.
Go exercise – you always feel better after doing it. Always, despite the lies you tell yourself. This is the one time not to indulge in laziness.
Now, go look in the mirror and give yourself that look that you think is cute and revel in the feeling.
And believe in yourself. You are enormously capable, smart and personable. Believe in yourself and others will to.
I love you.
30-something Cora

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Cello for sale - $300 OBO

Cello for sale - $300 or best offer

Full size
Klause Mueller Prelude
Made in Korea
Model No. 205F
Serial No. 6300
Neck is repaired but not in danger of breaking again
Great condition

Free with purchase - hard case, 2 bows, extra strings, stopper and sheet music

Depending on location and offer, delivery is possible.

Yup, I'm giving up on it.  I've wanted to for a while.  I did enjoy learning to play it, when I worked at the music school and got free lessons.  But, since then, five years ago, I've lacked the desire and discipline to practice.  It's time for this beautiful instrument to have an owner that will play it regularly and release it's wonderful musical soul - yeah, I'm a little sad about selling it, can you tell?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


So, it's also been an epic month for me.  As many of you know, I lost my job.  It was dramatic and sad and not unexpected and sudden.  I don't really feel like going into the details of it all again.  It's been 2 and a half weeks since it happened, and I'm focused on moving on.  One, because I have a tendency to dwell on things (thank you, OCD) and make myself and those around me miserable.  Two, so far, the change has been a good thing and I want it to keep being a good thing.  Three, summer is arriving, with all it's sun, warmth and blossoms - I just don't have the motivation to be bitter.

So far, I've applied for 22 jobs.  I had an interview yesterday.  I'm collecting unemployment.  J and I are trying to figure out how to make ends meet - a tricky but not impossible task.

I'm also trying to just enjoy.  Because, again, I'm funemployed (as I try to refer to it) during the best time of the year!  Plus, I can stay in my pjs all day, if I want.  I can watch endless hours of Bones, go for long walks with Bella, make coasters and read.  What I haven't done is pulled Aggie out of daycare.  One, she loves, loves, loves it.  Two, I am not a stay at home mom - it's not part of my biological make-up.  Three, finding infant care is difficult, so if we give up our spot and I then get a job, we'll be in a bind.  Four, honestly, I dread spending all day, every day with my child.  A couple days a week, not back to back, plus the weekend - doable.  Anything more, Aggie and I might both develop twitches.

Can you tell I'm a wee bit defensive about this?  I am because I've been asked about it.  And I know there are many moms who would love to be in my position to have so much time to spend with their babies.  To those moms, I send you my truest, most heartfelt wishes that your desires become reality.  Please send yours that I get a job I enjoy and that has a compensation that matches the duties the position requires and the skill and experience I bring to it.

I'm also just trying relax.  A couple days after losing my job, I made a long list of all the projects I could do while unemployed.  I've done a few.  But, I don't want to frantically fill up my time, then start a job and feel exhausted.  Also, I want to take this time to acknowledge that I'm a very different person than when I started my last job three years ago.  I have changed and learned so much.  Rarely have I given myself the time to slow down and take stock of who I am, what I have.  And I'd like to do that.  What are my interests, my passions now that I'm a mother, now that I've done a job, successfully both by my standards and others, that I thought I wouldn't be able to do when I started.  Now that I live in a small, rural community.  Now that I'm 33 years old. 

I've been asked by many how I'm doing and I answer them truthfully - pretty darn good.

(With that said, if any of you have piles of cash just lying around, looking for a home, I will gladly take those orphaned dollars in.)

7 months

What an epic month this has been.  Little girl is now a sitting super star.  She's so good, she can catch her big orange ball with her feet and hold it up over her head (with her hands).  She can bend over at the waist, touch the ground with her nose and sit back up.  She can kick and kick and not wobble.  I'm in awe of her talents.

She has two teeth, smack dab center bottom, that are sharp!  She likes to explore them with her tongue and use them to gnaw at the fleshy parts of my fingers.

She now weighs more than 18 lbs and is 27 inches long.  The very same as my friend's 4 month old baby boy.

She can wave, though does not yet really use it as a greeting or farewell - she just likes flapping her hand.

Her new favorite phrase is "Dadadadadadadadada."  And she loves it when it's repeated back to her.

She slept through the entire night for the first time.  She wakes up with big smiles in the morning, so happy to see me.

We celebrated our first Mother's Day together by going to her first livestock show.  She loved the pigs and the auctioneer the best, demonstrating it by jerking her body back and forth and wildly kicking her legs.  She petted bunnies through their cages. 

She still loves day care - all the big kids shout out her name when she comes through the door and she rewards them with one of her giant, beaming smiles.

She loves going on walks, in her stroller.  Being outside is heaven for her.

She likes standing now.  Rolling over is still no fun because it lands her on her tummy.

I can't believe she's already 7 months old.

Picture of the month:

Monday, April 12, 2010

6 months

Where to start?  I feel like it's been months since my last post - not just one month.  In the past month, Aggie has really blossomed.  I think it's the combination of her age and the developmental growth she's undergoing (nature) and her new day care (nurture).  Her day care plays no small role - they are fantastic.  When I drop her off in the morning, the older kids (ages 3 to 5ish) generally say "Hi, Aggie!"  She always has a great big smile for the ladies in the baby room.  She's a social girl getting her full daily dose of socialization and we're all the better for it.

She can now sit up all by herself.  She loves to eat solids, and prefers vegetables - squash is her fave - and would rather not eat fruit (so the opposite of me).  She really enjoys being outside, even if it is cold or windy, she doesn't fuss.  She made her first trip to the coast - Neskowin, Oregon - and saw but didn't get to touch the ocean.

Today, Aggie and I did our first full-on playing.  In the past, she's been too fragile, or I've worried she was too fragile, but today we bounced and rocked and hugged and giggled - it was so wonderful.  I really feel like we're becoming pals and becoming mother and daughter.

I feel like I've lost my words - that I can't put into written language what I'm feeling and experiencing.  Part of that is 'baby brain.'  I get half way through a sentence and completely forget my train of thought.  Words evaporate just as I'm about to utter them, or stumble and bump out my mouth.  This used to happen on occasion, but now it happens with embarrassingly regularity.  A co-worker said she's finally coming out of her baby fog - 7 years after her last child was born.  Though, she has three children - perhaps it won't take me quite as long.

Another part is the continued sleep deprivation.  Aggie still wakes up a couple times a night to eat - 6 oz. or more - and though she goes to sleep right after eating, it's still sleep cycle jarring.

A third part is the love.  For me, loving a child is very different than anyone else I've ever loved, including pets.  I have loved a child before - Christopher, a family friend's son, who was born when I was 10.  So, it's not that Aggie is my child, but that she is a child.  Loving infants - you see how beneficial love is, how it is as vital as food and sleep.  And you feel it, because they return it, but not deliberately - they are just sharing what they are receiving.  

Pic of the month (with cute-pie, Ailie):

Friday, March 12, 2010

5 Months

The day care crisis is over!  Aggie started this week at a day care center that has other babies, older kids and multiple care providers.  And she loves it!  I dropped her off today and she was all smiles.  And the program is bilingual - English/Spanish.  And crazy affordable.  We hit the day care jackpot.  So, all the drama and stress worked out for the best - just like y'all said it would.

Aggie also started eating solids.  She loves her fruits and veggies, just so, so on the rice cereal.

She had a check-up and weighed in at close to 16 lbs!  She has sumo wrestler thighs.  And she's now 25 inches long. 

The stress of motherhood is getting better, partly because she's been in a better mood.  And having found a great day care - my gut was right - and it's nice to have that positive reassurance.

Also, hearing y'alls feedback and support was enormously helpful.  Thank you.

Today I played hooky from momhood.  I've been working a schedule that allows me to take every other Friday off.  Instead of keeping Aggie at home with me, I dropped her off at day care and had a me day.  I took Bella to the park, did a fun project, exercised and went to a move (Alice in Wonderland).  And when I got home, I kissed her silly.

Pic of the month (that's her with her Grandma, laughing at her Grandpa):

Friday, February 19, 2010

Being Brave

I was inspired by the fabulous Nanimal and her post HERE to practice some truth telling.  I am always so grateful when people share their struggles and warts - so I'm going to return the favor and hopefully get a little help myself.

Being a parent is hard.  Despite the fact that eleventy-billion people have done it before and will do it in the future, it's still hard.  I think I've been trying to convince myself it's not because I don't like struggling with things.  I either get them after a couple of attempts or a I quit.  But that's not really an option with parenthood - well, it is, but not one I'm ready or willing to take.

Yesterday, our baby-sitter wrote Jason and I a letter stating that she couldn't continue to care for Aggie because Aggie screams a lot and demands a lot of her time.  She is 8 months pregnant and has a 2 year old.  I very much understand and saw this coming.  It is causing a little chaos right now but nothing too big - we've got some stop-gap measures in place, so we're not running around desperately trying to find a new sitter.

For the most part, this has played out smoothly and maturely and I fully expect to remain friendly with the sitter.  Since we live in a small town, this is important, especially since 1) she's from here; 2) a lot of her family lives here; and 3) she and her parents bank where Jason works.  Plus, it's not really anyone's fault this hasn't worked out - she and Aggie just aren't a match.

But there have been two things I've been struggling with - first, admitting that Aggie is indeed a fussy baby.  Why that is so hard for me to admit, I don't know, but she is and we're going to have to be honest about it with the next sitter so s/he can be honest with us about being able to care for her.  Little girl does not like to take her afternoon nap and fights it hard; she doesn't like to be left alone or feel that she's being ignored; and she gives you about a five minute heads-up period that she's not happy about something - after that, she lets you know in no uncertain terms that things must be fixed now.  The first couple of months with Aggie, I really struggled with the last issue - I kept trying to make her fit to my schedule and my desires.  Thankfully, I realized we'd both continue being miserable until I learned to work on her schedule.  Now, things are good - she gives me the warnings, I work to meet her demands and very rarely does she fly into a rage.  But, if someone isn't willing to do that with her, then Aggie will make them pay - and boy, has she made her sitter pay - and they are both miserable for it.

The second struggle was in the letter from Aggie's sitter, she seemed to infer that Jason and I do not take Aggie's health seriously.  She thinks something is physically wrong with Aggie.  Every time she has mentioned something, we have looked it up, called the on-call nurse or taken her into the doctor.  We  (including the medical professionals) are just not seeing it.  Yes, she's often congested (just like her parents are), she has weepy eyes, she spits up a lot and she's fussy. Doctors are not perfect and can miss things.  But my gut tells me that nothing is wrong - she's just a baby and probably a baby with mild dust allergies.  Her inference (and Jason agrees with my interpretation) felt like a sucker punch to the solar plexus.  And really let me know that we needed to end our relationship with her right away.

So yeah.  There you are.

Hi, my name is Cora and I'm the mother of a fussy baby who drove her sitter to quit.

P.S. Aggie gave me a sympathy laugh today - we'd been playing peekaboo and I kept at it too long, but she kept politely chuckling, long after she was done being amused.  I think her dad had a talk with her about humoring her mother.

Friday, February 12, 2010

4 months!

Little girl is getting so big!  Well, to Jason and I, anyway.  She can now blow raspberries and will occasionally laugh on her own.  And she can roll over - almost.  She gets to the shoulders and gets stuck.  But so close!  She's started to hold and pick-up things and most go into her mouth.  For some reason, she prefers to suck on fabric rather than plastic.  Well, she prefers to suck on her hands and sometimes makes a suctioning sound, kind of like Paul the cat used to make when cleaning himself (aw, we miss you, buddy).

I'm doing pretty well.  I did decide to increase my medication because the exercises my doctor gave me to help my OCD - well, they're time intensive initially and - yeah - I don't got a whole lot of spare time in my day.  So we upped the meds and they're helping, but I might increase more.  That did mean I had to stop breast-feeding.  Aggie didn't seem to notice, since she was mostly bottle fed by that point, and I didn't really mind.  But I was a little sad to end, seeing as it was something only I could provide for my baby.

So, I had some interesting discussions with myself and others this past month about motherhood and if being a mother intrinsically makes you a better person.  I cannot - and will not - speak for others, but for me, I say no.  I think, eventually, it will make me a better person - the whole experience of caring completely for another person - but just having a child did not miraculously change me.  Every day, I work to be more patient, understanding and compassionate - and to do all this when extremely tired.  And stressed.  Motherhood is stressful, esp. when I read the baby magazines.  I'm stopping that - they provide me with so much to worry about!  I wrote to a friend that I was worried I wasn't helping Aggie's neural pathways develop properly - yes, I actually said that.  Even before she could smack me upside the head, I realized how ridiculous I was being and taking myself way too seriously.

One change I have noticed is my feelings towards other children.  For example, when at the park, I used to notice them and if they were alone, worry a little that they were safe, or if they were with their parents, if there parents were potentially abusing them.  I think I have the same worries, but it feels differently in my chest.  I just want to gather them close and give them kisses and let them know that just as they are, they are loved.  Not sure why this feeling is only reserved for children (up to age 18ish).  Probably just my maternal instincts kicking in.

Favorite picture of the month - we have to get somewhat ridiculous in order to catch her smile on film.  Once the camera comes out, she just stares at it in quiet fascination.