Thursday, December 18, 2014

66 weeks

Some moms in my local mom group still talk about their almost-three-year-olds in months.  "Johnny is 34 months old today!."  I feel weird saying Hamburglar is 15 months.  So, when people ask me how old he is, it normally takes me a moment to answer while I try to figure out how many months he is and whether I should say one, one and a half, or maybe one and a quarter?  When he was six months old, I would just tell people, "half."  Because it was funny.

Now that our Christmas tree has been up for almost two weeks, most of the candy canes have been pulled off the tree and had their tops broken off and the ornaments have been moved higher and higher up the tree as a certain 15-month-old (who shall not be named) removes them and brings them over to me.  We got our standard six foot tree, but now that it's up and I know things I didn't know a few weeks ago, I wish I had done two things differently:
1) I wish we had purchased a four foot tree and put it on a table so it would be harder for baby paws to reach.
2) I should have used yarn to hang the ornaments rather than ornament hooks.  (I could still do this, but I'm also incredibly lazy, so it is very unlikely that this will occur.)

So, there you go.  For all you mamas out there that are going to have walkers and crawlers next Christmas, thing about these things.  I also kind of wish I had waited a bit to put out the stockings.  I mean, they were hung by the chimney with care, until tiny little toddler hands pulled them down over and over and over again.

I am pretty much done with Christmas shopping (I do it year round).  I still am on the look out for dog beds (they tend to destroy them) and I'm thinking of just hitting the thrift store and getting them quilts or blankets or something for their kennels.  I would like to get them another Bark Box, but we are trying to not spend tons of money since we are still on a single income and blah blah blah.  I also found this cool thing called Kiwi Crate, which is like a Bark Box for kids!  Little Miss Adventure's birthday is in January, and we are thinking about getting her a 3-month subscription.  Because kids love receiving mail.

Now, for the Christmas Breakdown:

For Chumbercules:
1) We got a couple wind-up toys for his stocking and a toothbrush and a little wooden car with wheels.
2) Santa is bringing him this wooden rocking horse (we got it for $23!  Um... I mean Santas elves are totally building it right now)
3) RC Willey was having a flash sale and we scored this super rad fire engine play set for $20!  We haven't put it together yet, but I hope the little man is as excited about it as I am.
4) The moms in my group with toddlers all swear by books like Little Blue Truck and Goodnight Goodnight Construction Site.
5) I love Mo Willems books.  I'm particular fond of the Elephant and Piggie series.  And Can I Play, Too? is hilarious.

For the Little Miss:
1) She is still struggling a bit with reading (her dad and I were both super early readers, so we are constantly trying to think of ways to help her figure things out) so we got her a LeapReader.  It has a pen that you upload the stories to or something and if they struggle with a word, they can use the pen to help them.  We also got the Cinderella LeapReader book to go along with it, because she still totally digs princesses.
2) I got her a really nice duvet cover, duvet and flannel sheets.  I'm not sure that she will love them a ton, but they're so soft, she will be super cozy in her bed all winter, so that's exciting.
3) Are you familiar with the Heavenly Nostrils Chronicle?  It's super funny.  In the first book, Phoebe and Her Unicorn, the main character meets a snarky Unicorn and wishes for it to be her best friend.  It's written graphic-novel style.
4) I realized we didn't really get her any toys, so we got her a Monster High Doll (Lagoona Blue, daughter of the Sea Monster!)
5) And she doesn't have any male Barbies and these went on sale, so Ever After High dolls!
6) For her stocking, I found some thin, metal bangles, some nail polish, a tooth brush and I don't remember what other little things.

And we bought this pint-sized broom for the kids to share.  Because kids love to sweep, right?  I figure we should take advantage of their desire to help.

We are also getting a family pass to the Discovery Center.  And Mr. Adventure's stocking is never complete without his annual bottle of Beard Oil (we are trying a new oil this year).  And our younger dog, the one that eats all of our socks, has purchased us all socks this year.

So, there you go.  Every Christmas, I feel simultaneously that I'm getting too much and not enough.  I'm assuming it will feel even more like too much once it is all under the tree.

If I don't post before next week, Merry Christmas!  And Happy Hanukkah.  It's the festival of lights, y'all.

Monday, December 8, 2014

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

... is a pain in the ass.

We had big plans for the weekends.  We were going to get our tree and see Santa and maybe go ice skating on Saturday.  It was going to be sooo amazing and Christmas-y.  We would be all bundled up in our coats and sip hot chocolate as the kids ran around... the Little Miss (LMA) looking for the perfect tree (while inevitably picking a Charlie Brown tree) and the baby wandering around until he knocked over a tree or tripped over one or whatever cute things babies do.  I don't know.

We were all up early on Saturday.  I fed the kids and looked to see what time the tree lots opened.  We like to support local businesses and causes with our purchases, so we decided to go to the Rescue Mission to get our tree, but they didn't open until ten.  At 9:30, Hamburglar was demonstrating his need of a nap, so we laid him down.  He woke up at 11:00.

We left the house and went to the Mission.  Where it was $60 for a 5-6 foot tree (we have 7 foot ceilings, because our house was built in 1950 and people were little then, I guess.  Or they just really liked having ceilings they could reach up and touch.  I mean, it DOES make for easy dusting).  We are a single income household and $60 for a tree is crazy.  But I had read about a place across town that allegedly had trees for $20.  So we drove across town, stopping at various tree lots along the way who all had prices starting around $40 or more.  We made it to the $20 place across town, but the address was a greenhouse that was obviously closed for the season.  I had seen a place when I picked up LMA from school on Friday that was advertising $30 trees, so we went over there.  The kids wandered around, there was another couple there with their 7 year old daughter and <year old baby who were admiring Hamburglar's fedora (Target.  $8.  He has a rather varied collection of fancy caps and hats).  We picked out our tree (it was crooked on top!  Perfect!) and when I went to pay, the fellas told me they were a cash or check only operation.  We had to use our Christmas Tree cash on a situation, so we were tree shopping on credit.

By this point, I had to use the restroom and we were all really hungry.  I think it was 12 or 12:30.  We decided to stop at the next lot we saw and, upon pulling up, LMA said, "this is where me and mommy and *mom's boyfriend* got our tree."  Mr. Adventure looked at me.  I asked him if he wanted to go somewhere else and he said, "I know it's petty, but yes."

So, we ended up at the same lot we've been to for the past 3 years.  The people there were really nice and we found a great tree for $30 pretty much instantly.

Next was food.  Mr. A had talked about a super delicious pizza place that had cheap lunches that was just down the street, so we stopped there.  They only do the lunch deal during the week and only offer whole pies on the weekend, and they were $20 each-ish.  So, we went to the Argentinian empanada place, which was so crowded there were no tables, and we got our food to go.

After lunch, Chumbercules was ready for a nap.  So, we laid him down around 2 and he slept until about 4.  Then we brought in the tree and decorated and made dinner and whatever, determining we would put off Santa until the following day.  I had also wanted to hit the library to get some books and take the kids to the library puppet show, but Chumby needed to nap.  So, we decided to see Santa Sunday.  But that didn't happen either.  At least we made it to the library.

Also, I heard the Santa I wanted to see wasn't in his sleigh on Saturday anyway.  He was at the local running store or something.

In other news...

Since we put up the tree I feel like I've told Hamburglar not to touch the ornaments about 1000 times.  He has removed and broken three candy canes (and the way he does it is hilarious) and he's been learning new words like crazy.  He said rooster the other day while looking at a rooster.  He knows  owl.  He says "diggle diggle" when he's tickling people and he will say "you're welcome" but it comes out more like "gell-come."

We are still working on weaning.  We've been down to just the before-bed feeding for a long time, and he's not ready to give it up yet.  But I'm ready!  My goal for this last leg was 15 months, which gives us 9 days.  Wish us luck!

Monday, November 24, 2014

On Stepparenting

I think I've said this before, but having a child hasn't made me understand my parents any better.  But having a stepdaughter has not only given me some insight into how fucked up my parents were/are, it's also given me tremendous amounts of sympathy and understanding for my own stepmother.

So, I'd never dated anyone with children until I met Mr. Adventure.  I wasn't interested in the responsibility, so I respectfully kept myself out of the single-parent dating pool.  I had a pretty rough weekend that kind of confirmed my reasons for never doing it before.  I read in Suburban Turmoil that over 70% of blended family marriages end in divorce.  Those are some freakishly high statistics.  And I can see why.  It's tough on parents who didn't/couldn't communicate well when they were dating or married to communicate after a break-up when there are a lot of negative feelings floating around.  And it's hard on stepparents.  I've kind of viewed my role as one of support.  Because I'm not Little Miss Adventure's (LMA) mom and I know that.

98% of problems stem from miscommunication.  And LMA was going to be with us through Thanksgiving this week, but her mom changed plans at kind of the last minute and it really bummed me out.  The kid loves to cook and I had already planned out how we were going to do all the prep work on Wednesday night and she would help me make pies and how fun it was going to be.  Now it's just going to be me and a bottle of wine, making Thanksgiving dinner and feeling sorry for myself because a kid, who I really have no claim to, isn't there to help me.  Boohoohoo.  Poor me.  Blah blah blah.  If I start early enough, I can always get Hamburglar to help me by pulling all the pots and pans out of the cupboards...

So, Suburban Turmoil wrote a piece called "10 Brutal Truths About being a Stepmom" and number 9 really hit home for me.  You can't fix what you didn't break.  My desire for everyone to get along and be super respectful of each other and be this super collaborative co-parenting team for LMA isn't going to happen any time soon.  And there's not really anything I can do other than be supportive and help out when I'm asked.

So, I'm just telling myself two things when situations come up and I don't like how it is being handled: 1) Not my monkeys, not my circus and 2) You can't fix what you didn't break.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Gender and sexual identity for children!

I picked up Little Miss Adventure (LMA) from school on Friday and, while we were driving, we got on the subject of love and marriage and I don't even know what.

LMA: When I grow up, I'm going to marry two girls!  I mean, two boys!

Me: You can marry a girl if you want to.

LMA: That's silly.

Me: Girls can marry girls and boys can marry boys.  I have friends in Chicago who are both girls and they love each other and they are getting married and my old roommates, who are both boys were recently, married, too!

LMA: When I grow up, I'm going to marry a house!

Me: You've lived in Idaho too long.

I've come to the conclusion that politicians and people who argue that "next people will want to marry animals or inanimate objects" or whatever are obviously getting their logic from first graders.  And I figured I should save the polygamy talk for another day.

LMA has a reading assignment for the month of November.  For every 15 minutes she reads or someone reads to her, she gets to color in a turkey on a piece of paper.  I was reading her a story called, "Yuck!  That's Not a Monster!"  In the story, a super cute little pink monster is born to some monster parents.  The pink monster is a he in the story.  We've been working on not correcting adults in our house and LMA corrected me when I was reading the story.  Mr. Adventure sent her to the corner and talked to her again about correcting adults and asked which of us is the better reader and so on.

She said it looked like a girl to her, which sparked a conversation in our house about gender and how boys can wear pink and girls can wear blue and liking a certain color doesn't mean that you are not a boy or girl or whatever.  Then she said that gay people wear pink, which spawned a whole other conversation about how liking certain colors is not indicative of sexual preference and blah blah blah.

Basically, we all learned a lot this weekend.  Hopefully some of what we were saying stuck with the Little Miss.

In Hamburglar news...

He's in the fussy phase of Wonder Week mental leap 9 and he's teething and crying a ton and getting into EVERYTHING.  I think I like him better when he wasn't mobile.

Not really, but I'm really glad to be at work today.

He and I went on a downtown adventure on Saturday and went to the different shops and bookstores and visited all of our favorite downtown people and got some coffee and a new wooden toy.  Then we went to a puppet show at the Library!  Then home for a nap.  It was fun.

He and I also got some new socks, since Owen keeps eating them all.

And that's about it.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

The park, the zoo and a lot of poo

We went to Boo at the Zoo on the 25th.  Little Miss Adventure and I had sparkly masquerade masks we'd picked up for $7 each at Pier One, Mr. Adventure wore Groucho glasses and the wee babe was dressed as Chucky.  It was fun and funny.  I saw about 3,000 little girls dressed as Elsa, but no little Elsas came trick-or-treating at our house on Halloween.

Hamburglar and I are still in the weaning process.  We hit a bit of a lull because I wasn't sure how to stop the morning or night feedings, but we've skipped out on the morning feedings four days in a row, now.  He's waking up a little bit earlier, but that's okay.  I keep wondering if each session is going to be the last.  He's becoming less interested in the night feeding, too.  Which means my goal of being completely done breastfeeding by 15 months is likely going to happen.

It's the end of an era.

Mr. Adventure experienced the Poo-Pocalypse about a week and a half ago.  Chumbercules slept in late the Friday before last and he normally sleeps in a disposable diaper, and nothing else.  Mr. Adventure woke up at 9:30a and went into the babe's room and found poo everywhere.  It was in Hamburglar's hair and eyes and mouth and on the wall and all over the crib and in between the crib mattress and the crib frame... When Mr. Adventure went in there, Chumby was balling it up and dropping it on the floor.  Mr. Adventure has a sensitive stomach and is easily grossed out (I'm assuming it's because he was an only child) and he claims to have vomited twice during clean up.

Events like this make me feel better about working all day.

Halloween came.  We took Little Miss Adventure trick-or-treating.  Or, her dad took her.  She was dressed as Aurora and was pretty damn cute.  Chumbercules and I stayed home, watched Elvira, and handed out candy.  He was really into the Monsta Rap.  And yelling excitedly at trick-or-treaters.  I think we'll take him out when he's 3?  Maybe 4?  I don't know.  The following day, the Little Miss put her princess crown on Owen.  He looked very handsome.

Saturday Hamburglar and I went to story time at the library.  And we went to the Nordstrom rack and I found some rad baby toys, including this guy from Skip Hop.  I love wooden toys, and I love this giraffe.  It was $6 at the rack.  I also got him some bath toys for $3 and talked myself out of spending the rest of my paycheck on adorable dresses for the Little Miss.  I think I may take her out to find a fancy holiday dress the next time we have her.

Saturday it monsooned all afternoon and all night.  So we were going a bit stir crazy.  I baked muffins Sunday morning and Rupert ate most of them off the counter, because he's a dick.  Then Chumby and I went to the park.  I was trying to get him to walk to the play area from the car, but the play area is around the bend and he really wanted to put leaves in his mouth.  Once I got him to where he could see the playground, he headed straight for the swings.  because the swings are obvs the best thing ever.  I got some really good pictures.

One of my favorite bloggers posted a while ago about photo wallpaper, and I've been mentally putting together our wallpaper photo thing in my head for a while now.  After we paint, it's going above the couch in the living room.

I think I want a real camera.  Since I'm the one that typically photographs our lives, I think my old Galaxy S2 isn't really cutting it anymore.  I have 1700 photos on my phone, because I don't want to delete them.  Because I'm a photo hoarder.  Even though I have them all backed up in the Cloud.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Three things

Thing 1) We went apple picking and pumpkin patching last weekend and it was awesome.  It was way better than the more carnival-like pumpkin patch we went to last year.  And Hamburglar really enjoyed eating apples and walking around in the orchard.  Though, he wasn't strong enough to pick up the pumpkin he wanted.

Thing 2) This is a thing.  And this.

Thing 3) Did you know that I have a Tumblr page?  I have 4 followers and I only know three of them!  I kind of love Tumblr.  one of my coworkers said it's for porn, but I haven't seen much of any of that on there, so I don't know.  But they do have this.  And Skeletor is Love.

Also, just a heads up, The Ugly Volvo has a new post up.

Other than that...

We are going to Boo at the Zoo this weekend and we are going to carve and paint pumpkins.  And maybe make some pie.  Because pie is delicious.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Hamburglar is 13 months!

It's doubly official.  Hamburglar is a man.  He's 13 months old today.  And he's been getting in to EVERYTHING.

He climbed into the dishwasher when I was putting away dishes earlier this week.  And he's become quite adept at removing disposable diapers and peeing all over his bed, then crying about it.  I don't know why he yells at me about it.  I'm not the one who peed all over his bed.

I really need to get a second mattress cover.

I went to Macy's last weekend and found some fleece footie pajamas with moustaches all over them.  So I bought them for Chumbercules.  I know what you're thinking.  "Why doesn't she just put clothes on her baby at night, then he can't remove his diaper."

You're so smart.

Months ago when Hamburglar and I went to visit a friend in Seattle, Chumby was just hanging out in his diaper.  My friend's fiance, whose family is from the Yucatan in Mexico, remarked, "White babies.  They never wear clothes."

Since then, one of my favorite things to do is text her pictures of Hamburglar in his diaper with the caption, "White babies."

He will be wearing clothes more now that the weather is changing, but I figure he should enjoy running around in his underwear as much as possible while it is still socially acceptable.  There are only two times you can really do that in your life.  One is when you're a baby/toddler and the other is in college.

We haven't started potty training yet, though if Hamburglar's desire to put his hands in the toilet is an indication of potty-training readiness, I would say we are ready.

We also haven't really advanced any further on the whole weaning-from-breastfeeding thing.  We're down to two feedings per day, morning and night, and I would really like to cut those out soon.  But this baby is like a vengeful God and I would gladly sacrifice lambs or the bolt from the fireplace door or whatever to get him to stop expressing his disdain for things in such a loud manner.

I also came across this piece in elephant journal yesterday.  Every time I breastfeed Chumbercules now, I wonder if it will be the last time.  It's weird watching him become a boy.  One of my coworkers has a 13 year old and his voice recently changed and he said something to her when she was in the kitchen with her back to him and she said he scared her because her first thought was, "Who is this strange man in my house."

And that's it.

We are going to the pumpkin patch this weekend and we are going to find Little Miss Adventure her Halloween costume.  And we got Rupert a Halloween costume.  He doesn't seem to like it much, though.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

If I could do it all again: Things I learned in Year One

Maybe it's the scientist in me, or maybe it's my low self-esteem coupled with my narcissism, but I spend a lot of time thinking.  Traditionally, most of that thinking has been about myself.  For the past year or so, most of it has been about everything else.  (Though I do spend significantly less time thinking about environmental quality issues.  If patchwork-wearing, Volkswagen-driving, dreadlock-having 19-year-old me could see me now, I don't think she would approve. I don't think she would disapprove necessarily, but she (and I) both know that I could be doing much more).  Mostly I think about my family.  Mr. Adventure, Hamburglar, Little Miss Adventure and the dogs.  I think about how I could be more patient and listen better and schedule more enrichment activities or even just leave the house more.

For the most part this past year, I've followed my instincts. But there are some things I really could have done better.

1) Ask for help and accept it when it's offered.  

How many first-time parents out there feel like they have to do everything?  Even now.  I have a new member meet-up tonight with other moms of young babes for a group in my area and the meet-up time is 7:30.  That is also baby bedtime.  I have never not been there for baby bedtime.  What if everyone is still awake when I get back?  What if the house catches on fire (again)?  Or (worse) what if baby Hamburglar and Mr. Adventure don't need me at all and bedtime goes super smooth?  Sometimes I'm not sure which is worse: being needed or not being needed.  You know?  But really, people can't read minds.  And if you keep telling everyone you don't need help, they will eventually stop offering.  And maybe think you're a dick.

All I know for sure is that I need to get out of the house more.  And you can't get out of the house without help.  Speaking of getting out of the house...

2) Get out of the house more.

Those first couple of months when Hamburglar's neck was all floppy were really hard.  I was afraid his head would fall off if I put a shirt on him.  So I had some of those kimono-wrap-style shirts.  (They were also good so he didn't have a onesie rubbing on his belly button).  I also didn't really get out much.  I envisioned myself going on long, lesiurely strolls with Mr. Adventure, the dogs and Chumbercules every day.  We would walk at least a mile, sometimes four or five.  Realistically, we hardly made it out of the house.  Part of that is because as soon as you have a new baby fed, rested, changed, burped and dressed, the cycle starts all over again.  Also, Hamburglar was a really high needs baby.  Moreso than other babies, from what I understand.  And that's okay.  The best way to get your needs met is by asking for them (see number one).

In addition to getting the baby out into the fresh air and into the world, you need to get out, too.  With your partner.  By yourself.  With your dogs.  People say this over and over again and it's written everywhere, but that's because it's true.  And I know there isn't time.  I work 40+ hours a week.  I really need a pedicure and I want to go back to Jimmy and get my hair done again (I've decided I need to go back to blonde).  Realistically, though I've been thinking about how I need/want to do these things, I'll feel accomplished if I get half of one of them done by Christmas.

3) Determine your priorities

My priority is sleep.  For everyone in the house.  I go to bed at 8 o'clock some nights and it's awesome.  I don't worry about the house being clean.  I mean, we wipe down counters and vacuum pretty regularly (you have to with two dogs and a baby who has developed a taste for clumps of dog hair, preferably fresh from the dog) but sometimes the laundry sits for a long time without being folded.  After sitting for a long time without being washed.  I've thought about getting a 4th laundry basket, but that would just mean one more basket of laundry I would fill and eventually have to fold and put away.

4) It's okay to make your job easier

This isn't really that important, but I wish I had a Moby from day 1.  I got mine from a friend when Chumbercules was 4 months old and it was nice, but I think it would have benefited us both earlier.  I've since given that Moby to a friend who had her baby boy in June and they have been using the shit out of it.  She is (crazy/amazing) working on her Ph.D with a newborn.  I had a hard enough time being in grad school while pregnant, I don't think I'd be able to do it now.

Also, instead of my super fancy Hushamok Baby Hammock, I wish I'd had an arms reach co-sleeper.  Or maybe just bought the $30 mattress from Hushamok and put it in a cardboard box next to my bed for baby to sleep in.  I am glad we didn't bed share, though.

I also wish I'd had a Boppy or it's equivalent.  I probably would have gotten one if I'd understood how it worked/what it was for.  I thought you were supposed to put the baby on it while you fed him and it didn't make sense to me.  Maybe that would have prevented me from getting DeQuervain's Tendinitis?

I also kind of wish I'd rented a hospital grade pump.  I've heard they are amazing.  But I bought my pump for $100 off Craigslist.

5) You don't really need as much stuff as you think you do

We have a lot of bottles.  My mentor bought the Dr. Brown's pack, plus my boss bought us 6 Life Factory glass bottles, four 9-oz bottles and two 4-oz bottles.  We didn't need nearly that many.  I think two of each would be good.  A 4-oz and a 9-oz in each type.  I liked the Dr, Brown's for when baby boy was little, though.  And now that we are weaning, we have ten million bottles.  Half of them (or more) have never been used.  We still use the Life Factory ones, though.  Because you can turn them into sippy cups with these super awesome caps.

I also have so many freaking clothes.  Really, since he's not in daycare and we don't get out much, he spent most of Spring/Summer running around in his diaper.  But you can never have too many baby fedoras.

6) Research how to clean cloth diapers

There's a facebook group called Fluff Love and CD Science.  It's really helpful.  I'm in the process of re-vamping my diaper wash routine yet again.

7) I'm running out of steam here/getting distracted, so, just do what feels right.

Unless what "feels right" to you involves doing horrible things to your baby.  Then you should refer to number one and get some counseling.  And it's okay if you need counseling.  You're not some huge loser/terrible person if you have postpartum depression and need professional help.  You're awesome because you realize this and seek out the assistance you need to be the best parent/person you can be.

8) Baby snuggles are pretty much the best thing ever.

And baby laughs.  And baby words.  And baby back flips.  And claps.  And running.  And walking.

Now, for a funny story that is unrelated to any of this:

I picked up Little Miss Adventure (LMA) from school last Friday so she could spend the weekend with us.  She had a note from her teacher and Mr. Adventure read it when we got home.  It had said that LMA had used bad language and got into trouble.  She told her dad that she had called a little girl in her class a "peanut."  After several minutes, we learned she had called her a penis.  And I still can't stop laughing.  But I did good while her dad was talking to her and did not laugh once (until I couldn't take it any more and I left the room to laugh).  I guess another girl in her first-grade class had asked if LMA liked her drawing.  LMA said no and the other kid called her a penis.  So she said, "I think you're a penis."  Hahahahaha

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The end of an era

Well, folks.  Here we are.  It is baby Hamburglar's birthday.  My baby is now a man.  I've decided the best way to celebrate is to send him out in the woods with the pocket knife I got him at the Bonneville Dam gift shop to kill his first bear.  And make his own diapers from a deer hide.  Or maybe beaver skin.  It's time he put all of the skills he's learned over the past year to use.

Or not.

But we are going to start potty training.  One of my coworkers gave me the potty chair she used for her oldest son.  Yeah, a used potty chair seems kind of gross, but this one sat in her attic for, like, 15 years.  I'm not sure exactly why, but that makes it seem better/less gross for some reason.  I figure that, since Hamburglar is walking now, he can start walking to the toilet.  Now we just need to figure out the best way to go about it.  I'm thinking about just putting him on the toilet every hour so he gets used to it?  I don't know.  more research is needed.

Also, it's the end of my 22 month run of no periods.  I started my period yesterday.  And, whereas it's nice to have a physical sign that I'm not all knocked up again, I'm going to miss not bleeding every month.  I'm converting from a New Mom back into a Real Human.

Hamburglar's birthday was a big hit.  We had his party on Saturday and there were kind of a lot of people there.  We had a barbecue and I set the time from 1-3p.  We didn't start the grill until just after 1 and, if I were to do it again, I would have had Mr. Adventure start the grill a bit earlier and maybe do the pinata while the food was grilling.  But the food was great and it was a hit.

(Ignore the man texting in this picture.  He's the only person we let visit us in the hospital after Chumbercules was born.)

Well, the pinata wasn't a hit.  Because it was a pull-string pinata.  I stuffed it with bubbles, wind-up toys and Minion graham crackers.

I had a friend over on Friday night who helped me do things like: pick up dog poop and make little hot air balloons.

We made the hot air balloons out of paper lanterns I got on clearance at Pier One, some yarn I had lying around, and little gift boxes I found at the dollar store.  And the vases of flowers came from Whole Foods.  Today is Nick the Florist's birthday, too!

After she left, Little Miss Adventure helped me make cupcakes and a cheeseball.  The cupcakes burned.  Because my stove is old and the temperature gauge doesn't exactly work well.  But they were only a little burned, so I rolled with it.

For the cake, I made a Poke Cake.  Kind of.  I used a box of Devil's food cake, baked it, let the cupcakes cool over night (because they were burned and I was contemplating throwing them away).  The next morning, I saw that Mr. Adventure had eaten one of them, so I figured they weren't too burnt to eat.

I made concentrated cherry jello (I only used one cup of boiling water instead of adding a cup of cool water, too) and I poked holes in the tops of the cupcakes with a fork.  When I tried to pour the jello, I made a giant mess.  So, I decided to rip the top/center off of each cupcake and try again.

After successfully jello-ing each cupcake, I made the frosting.  I used vanilla pudding, concentrated (I only used 1 cup of milk to mix it) and beat it with a tub of Cool Whip.  It was pretty good.  Hamburglar got frosting in his eyes.

I also made an angel food/pineapple cake.  It's my go-to cake if I need a desert in a hurry.  You just take a box of angel food cake and a 20 oz. can of crushed pineapple, mix them together in a bowl, pour into a baking a dish and bake at 350 for about 20 minutes.  I only set the kitchen timer about half the time, so I'm never exactly sure how long things take.  I also use my hand as a measuring cup a lot of the time, so in half of my specialty recipes, I have no idea what is in them.  Like my hot wings.  People ask for the recipe all the time and I've given it to them, but no one can ever reproduce it.  I think because I do a lot of things by taste?  I don't know.

Anyway, that's about it.  Mr. Adventure has school tonight, so I think I'm going to take the baby on a dinner date somewhere.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Cold Turkey

I have a confession to make.  Pictures of breast milk gross me out.  I'm a member of a first time mom group and one of the moms posted a picture of her milk and I didn't like it.  I don't really like milk at all, so I would likely have the same reaction to milk of the bovine persuasion.  I can't even drink milk without thinking the word "pus" which automatically makes me put it down.  Milk is gross.

That said, I am 12 days away from my goal of breastfeeding Hamburglar for one year.  I was so focused on meeting this goal, I kind of neglected to research how to stop.  Just like when I was pregnant, I was so focused on being pregnant, that I kind of forgot about the delivery aspect until it was looming.  I mean, I know I can't quit breastfeeding cold turkey because that would just lead to mastitis or a plugged duct or something.  It seems like he's just kind of naturally eating less and less milk as time goes on, but I don't know.

I've read that you just cut out feedings here and there to wean a baby from the breast.  Like, one every three days.  But this is all so new and weird.  I'm excited to have my body back.  And I am proud that I have gone this far and not had to supplement with formula at all.

There were times when I thought I may have to.  And two nights ago Mr. Adventure suggested we start giving him formula at night when he wakes up hungry.  I just looked at him and asked why he doesn't want me to reach my goal?  Sure, I was overreacting and whatnot.  But at least I didn't start crying.  Which is probably what would have happened a couple of months ago.

We go see Dr. Soulpatch on the 19th and I figure I can ask him all my questions about quitting breastfeeding then.  Like: do I give him something else?  Like cow milk or donkey milk or something?  What are you supposed to feed/hydrate a baby with during that weird in-between baby and child stage?  What should I dress Hamburglar as for Halloween: Alex from A Clockwork Orange or the Chucky doll from the movies?

Only the important questions, of course.

With Hamburglar's birthday party right just 8 days away, we need to get the house cleaned and yard ready this weekend.  I used this rad website called to convert pictures of Hamburglar into coloring sheets for his party.  Mr. Adventure called me a narcissist.  I am neither affirming nor denying this claim.  I still need to figure out what to put in the pinata.  Maybe liquor bottles for the grown ups and crayons and bouncy balls for the kids?

Chumbercules is no longer walking.  Now he is running.  Yesterday, he covered his eyes and ran across the living room, tripped over a toy, fell and started laughing hysterically.  That's my boy.

He also says the word "hat" while touching his head.  Sometimes it is a question.  Sometimes a statement.  Always the word hat.  No matter the situation.  It's pretty cute.  So, I have determined that he needs all the hats in the world for his birthday.

In dad/brain tumor news: It is cancer.  It's called plasmacytoma, a marrow cancer, and those have a really good rate of being treated with radiation therapy.  They're keeping him in Utah for at least another week at the Huntsman cancer center, which is allegedly very good.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Head to toe

Things have been a bit out of hand in the Land of Adventure.

First was the Portland road trip, which was probably the shittiest trip I've had in a very long time.  Hamburglar was great.  He is still my favorite road trip companion.  In fact, we had so much fun in the car on Mama Baby Road Trip 2.0, we went for a 3.0.  But more on that later.

We were staying with a friend in Portland who has always been a bit like a second mother or an older sister or something.  But she's getting divorced and has gone kind of crazy.  We were going to stay four nights with her, but we stayed two because neither of us were getting any sleep.  So we decided to go to the beach and get a hotel.  Silly me didn't think about the fact that it was the second to last weekend before school started, so we drove from seaside to Astoria while Mr. Adventure, back at home, called every hotel in the world.  They were all booked.  We ended up driving to Longview and got the last hotel room in town.  Mr. Adventure said it was called the "Town Shallot."  It was the Town Chalet and it was GROSS.  And creepy.  And room 13 was the only room available.

We then had to go back to Portland to get my Boba out of the friend's dining room, then we went to brunch with another friend.  On the way back home, we stopped for the night in The Dalles.  We had a swim in the pool, a shower, some food and Sophie the Giraffe and I shared a Lemon Drop.

The best part of the trip was stopping at the Bonneville Dam on the way down.  Though, there was a van full of a family of people that looked pretty imbred that parked two spaces away from me, where I was sitting in the back of the car breastfeeding the baby.  The dad walked around to where I was sitting in my car and stared through the window at me while he walked by and I gave him the finger and his kids and grandma all hung out at the back of the car.  When one of them leaned on it, I may or may not have yelled, "Get off my fucking car you cunt!"  They were all wearing matching orange shirts.  Except grandma.  But I bought Chumbercules his first pocket knife from the gift shop!  It even had his name on it.  Well, the abbreviated, casual version of his name, but I wasn't expecting to find a pocket knife that actually said "Chumbercules."  And what 11 month old doesn't need a pocket knife?

Last weekend, my best-friend from college came out to visit Chumby and I.  We went to the Farmer's Market and wandered around downtown a bunch and she bought a fancy new belt and buckle.  Sophie the Giraffe and I shared a beer.  I think she might be a lush.  But this Kolsch from Ninkasi was pretty good.

And Hamburglar started walking on Monday!  He's getting better and better at it every day.  If I want a good laugh, I just put a pair of shoes on him and watch him walk around.  I read that 3 out of 4 babies are walking by 12 months.

Then, on Tuesday, I was making dinner and my dad called because my stepmom was out of town and he needed a ride to the ER.  He has a brain tumor behind his right eye.  We all (me, stepmom, Hamburglar, local brother) drove him down to Salt Lake to see the Neurosurgery specialist guy at University of Utah hospital.  My oldest brother and favorite sister-in-law got into town that night, so they're staying with my stepmom and my dad is scheduled for surgery on Tuesday.  They are hoping they can pull it out through his nose.  I guess we will see.  People keep asking if I'm okay, and I'm fine.  Worrying won't help anything.  And, statistically, people that have family and friends with them before surgery have a more positive outcome.  I think I'm going to fly back down to SLC on Tuesday because, right now, I kind of never want to be in my car again.  Keep your fingers crossed that it isn't cancer.

In non-brain-tumor news: Chumby is going to Dog Park Baby's first birthday party tomorrow!  And I'm picking up Little Miss Adventure from school today and am excited to hear about her first week of first grade.

And that's about it.  Like I said, it's been kind of crazy around here.  Hopefully they get dad's brain all sorted out and my favorite baby continues to do awesome and amazing new things.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Late bloomer

Hamburglar isn't walking on his own, yet.  but that's okay because I guess I'm a bit of a late bloomer, too.

I didn't realize it, but it seems I was coming down with a case of the crazies.  I remember around 6 months postpartum, I thought that I might have a delayed postpartum depression or something, so I googled it to see if it's a thing (it is) and then I pushed the idea out of mind.

Not sleeping for about a year, combined with anxiety and worry about the baby and everyone's well-being and not taking care of myself... I was becoming unbearable to be around and I didn't even realize it.  I wasn't feeling as bonded to Hamburglar as I had earlier on, I was really short with Mr. Adventure and Little Miss Adventure.  Apparently it got bad enough that Mr. Adventure was done.  He called me on my shit and we had a super serious conversation.  I Hadn't realized that most of our conversations had been reduced to exchanging information about when Chumbercules last napped/ate/whether he'd pooped that day...

So, after our conversation, I found a local postpartum support group.  I said I need sleep.  Mr. Adventure said he needs to not be micromanaged when he's caring for our son and that just because I'm mom doesn't make me right.  He made me let him help me.  The first night he cared for the baby through the night so I could sleep, I left the baby monitor on and I didn't sleep well because I was worried.  And that's when I really and truly realized that I can't live like that.  I need to take care of myself and let some stuff go.  I went to the postpartum support group and I was the only one who showed up, so I got a counselor all to myself for a little bit before I headed back to work.  She told me everything I already know - take care of myself, get rest, take time for myself and my partner, no one likes to be micromanaged - but it was good hearing it from a third party.

I re-read "To My Post-Partum Self: Things I wish I'd Known" and then I thought, "Hey!  This lady says things I need to hear more often."  So I googled her and found her website and her post "Self-Care for Moms."  And you know what she wrote in there?  She wrote this:
I’m teaching my kids—in the purest way possible, by modeling—that self-care is a priority. I can’t help but think this is a gift we’re giving them: You deserve care. You deserve time. You deserve health."
And I needed to read that.  It's so true.  What better way to teach my son to value and take care of himself than his father and I valuing and taking care of ourselves?  And my favorite 6 year old is going to be a teenager before we know it and I think we all know what can happen to a young lady who doesn't value and care for herself.

So I slept.  Mr. Adventure let me sleep.  I went to the chiropractor and got adjusted.  I spoke with that postpartum counselor, who is also a survivor of postpartum depression.  I went to the salon and paid someone to cut and color my hair.  And it looks amazing.  I'm also going on a five day Mama-baby road trip this weekend to spend time with my tribe.  Some of the most amazing strongest ladies I know live in the Portland area and I get to see them.  Chumbercules and I are going to hit the beach while we are out west, too.  It should be good.  And it will give Mr. Adventure time with his daughter, just the two of them, before they both have to go back to school.

And I've realized this week that I have to take care of me.  Because doing that makes me a better mom, a better step-mom and a better partner.  And probably a better dog-mom, too.

In other news:
Hamburglar used the word 'down' in context!  And he is taking two running steps, here and there, typically careening between the coffee table and the couch (or me).  And he has been invited to Dog Park Baby's 1st birthday party at the end of the month!  I mean, he's so handsome, who wouldn't want him at their party?

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Don't forget to take your vitamins!

If you go back and read my posts from when I was pregnant, you will see that I talk about vitamin k shots here and here and about vaccines in general here.

Vitamin K shots have been in the news a lot lately because of several infants dying in a hospital in Tennessee.  What these infants had in common is that their parent(s) refused the vitamin K shot at birth and the babes were exclusively breast fed.  I guess formula is chock full of Vitamin K.  Who knew?

I read this article on Slate this week and they kind of grouped refusing the Vitamin K shot in with the anti-vaccine movement.  At first, I thought that was a bit unfair because they are different, but I think I only felt that way because my friend group views anti-vaxxers as a bunch of crazies and I was uncertain at first whether I should let Hamburglar have the vitamin K shot.

What's interesting is that, had I not known the shot was optional, I would not have questioned him getting it.  I wouldn't have done the research.  But, my midwife gave me that fancy birth plan worksheet (which I'm pretty sure nobody read) and it had 4 procedures that were optional, that I recall.  There was circumcision, hepatitis b vaccine, eye ointment and the vitamin K shot.  We didn't circumcise or do the hep B vaccine at birth because, as I told the doctor and my midwife, we aren't planning to let him have unprotected sex or use IV drugs until he's at least five and the hep B vaccine is included at the 2, 4, and 6 month check-ups.  And I didn't want to be stuck in the hospital any longer than necessary and the shot makes babies groggy and not eat well and can cause a slight fever and blah blah blah.

Anyway, after deciding those two factors, I turned my attention to eye ointment and vitamin K.  (Mr. Adventure left all these decisions up to me because I have stronger opinions about them, I guess).  Since I didn't want him to go blind or have brain damage or die, I opted in favor of both of these procedures.  The website Evidence Based Birth has a great piece on the vitamin K vaccine.  It breaks everything down really well and explains the risks super clearly.

After reading that Slate article, I started thinking about why?  Why do people opt out of vaccinating or vitamin shots or whatever?  I think it is because when you deliver in hospital, you aren't given very many choices and there's a lot of pressure placed on women to come up with a birth plan and define how they want their birth experience and how they want their baby to experience his first moments in the world.  Since the Vitamin K shot is one of those choices, I know that I did a ton of research and asked a lot of questions before I gave my consent.  But that's only because I knew it was a choice.  Making something optional makes some people think it is unnecessary.

I also think this is more about control than anything else.  In a society where parents can be placed under investigation for allowing their child to walk to the library by herself, desperate parents are grasping for control wherever they can.  But I also think there is a better way to do it.

 So, that's what I've been thinking about.

In Hamburglar news, he's been standing unassisted longer and longer.  I think walking may happen soon!  He's also been cruising around the house with his Radio Flyer Walker Wagon, though he hasn't mastered the art of turning.  He's also figured out that things (like the bed) have edges and he is no longer keen on leaping to his death.  And he had his first Mongolian Barbecue and it was delicious.

Monday, July 28, 2014


So, back when I was pregnant last summer (and it was hot as balls outside and I thought I was going to die) I read a lot about how my body would change during pregnancy but there were some things that I was completely misinformed about, in spite of all my reading:
  1. You know how your areolas get all dark during pregnancy?  I thought they would stay that way.  They don't.  I think they only get dark so the baby can find your nipple right after he's born.  But I'm too tired to find an actual link to support that theory.
  2. I already wrote about how my ribs moved when I was pregnant.  I had no idea that this would happen, so it's not really a misconception, but it still freaks me out.  And my ribs still haven't moved back, so I'm either going to have to start wearing corsets or burn half of my wardrobe.
  3. I thought that you bled for six weeks after the baby came.  I was all excited about not having a period during pregnancy, then I interpreted something I read as saying, "you're going to bleed for six weeks" so then I was less happy, but then after the baby was born and I talked to my midwife, I learned you only bleed for a couple of days, but weird fluids can come out of you for up to six weeks.  Gross.  
  4. I thought breastfeeding would be super easy, but it wasn't in the beginning.  And I thought pumping would be super easy, but I still hate it.  And you hear about ladies having over supply and under supply, but I have just enough supply.
And I think that's it.

Chumbercules is 10 months, still.  And he's still cruising and he stands independently sometimes and he's started climbing things, like his sister's step stool.  Maybe if the pediatrician is still concerned about his weight at his 12 month check up, I will get him a stair master.  Because that would be funny.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

It's (not) a competition

I didn't think I would catch it.  That weird, hyper-competitive thing you see between parents on TV.  And I don't think I have it bad... yet.

I've been talking to Dog Park Girl.  Her daughter was born a few weeks before Hamburglar and she started standing independently and took her first steps all right at 9 months.  She sent me a video of her baby walking the other day and part of me (the part that responded to the text) thought, "How wonderful!" and the other part of me thought, "Fuck you."  Because I'm awesome.  Or terrible.  Or both.

It was all fine that she was walking back when she had to wear a helmet for her flat spot, but now she got her helmet off, too.

It's totally dumb that I have to remind myself that just because other babies are accomplishing things earlier doesn't mean that Hamburglar isn't super rad.  And I feel like an asshole.  Probably because I am one.

At least Chumbercules is still cuter than dog park baby.

In other news of babies that are stupidly adorable...

Have you guys seen the pictures of Prince George?  So. Fucking. Cute.

Also, I got a bubble machine from Target.  The baby loves it.

And he has started giving hugs, which is pretty much the best thing in the world.  If he gave hugs and slept, I would be over the moon.

I was carrying a bag of dog food the other day and Little Miss Adventure asked me, "How much does that weigh?"
"35 pounds," I said.
"How much do you weigh?"
"36 pounds."
"Wow!  You're really strong!"

Six year olds are awesome.

I've decided I'm going to start trying to make friends/impress people the same way little kids do.  So, internet, look how fast I can run!  And look how big of a bite I can take!

I need a nap.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Muscle shirts, nursing manners and contact paper

Something devastating happened to me this morning.  The wee babe, Hamburglar, woke me up at 3:45a, and for a few brief moments, I thought it was Saturday.  Thinking Tuesday is Saturday is probably in the top five worst things in the world.  Right up with there with genocide, starvation, contaminated water and ecological destruction, or something.  I'm not saying it's the worst thing in the world, but it's probably at least tied for number five.

I googled "My baby is cuter than your baby" the other day (because he totally is), and I came across this funny post by Steve Volk about his twin boys.
"Your babies, I hate to be the one to tell you, are perfect - as in perfectly ordinary - and smell of sour milk.  When they wail and scream it's so unpleasant it shaves a minute or two off the lifespan of everyone within earshot.  But my babies bear the perfectly symmetrical faces of the cherub.  When they cry, they do so in warm bursts - reminiscent of Mozart or birdsong."
Ha!  He includes pictures of his boys and they're cute, but I wasn't wowed.  Some of my friends in Seattle have the handsomest (most handsome?) baby I've ever seen and they are pregnant with number two now.  If they have a little girl who is half as cute as their boy, they may need to change their attitude on having guns in the home and invest in a shotgun.  4rlz.

Also, he's right about the mighty cry of Chumbercules.  It breaks glass and curdles milk and has also been known to turn men to stone.  His cry is more deadly than making eye contact with Medusa.  Now I want to make a snake wig to put on the baby.

Speaking of babies in snakes, I put Chumby in a red muscle shirt, blue shorts and put a temporary snake tattoo on his arm for the 4th of July.  Because America.

Anyway, after reading that first Steve Volk piece, I went digging into the Dad Files and found this one called, "How to Stay Happy in Marriage - Even When you Have Kids."

In other news, here are a few pictures of things we've done to the kid's room.

We had Sherwin Williams do a color match of Benjamin Moore's paint color Kiwi.  I think it turned out well.

The above is obviously before we put the baseboards in.  We still need to do window and door casings.  I've also recently discovered all of the amazing things you can do with contact paper.

I used contact paper and duct tape to turn the two door, ugly ass captain's bed we found on craigslist into this amazing purple piece of furniture that my favorite 6 year old loves to sleep on.

Did you know that you can buy chalkboard contact paper?  I found some!  I put it on the door crooked (this is the same door from the above photo), but Mr. Adventure said it just adds a Tim Burton-y feel to the closet door.

I have one more outlet cover to cover.  I think I'm going to go moustache, but I haven't decided yet.

Chumbercules does this thing when he's nursing... he likes to put his hand in my mouth and grab my teeth.  I didn't mind at first because I figured babies learn about things by touching them, so whatever.  but then he scratched my gums with his baby talons and Mr. Adventure thought it was weird, so I did what I always do and I looked it up.  I came across this post over at BlissTree called "How to Teach your Baby Nursing Manners."  The scenarios are my fave.  Hamburglar definitely falls into the Dentist category and is also a bit of a Scratcher.  He's currently working towards gymnast status, but that all depends on the time of day and I think it may be related to milk flow or whether he has air in his belly.  I don't really know.

And I think that's it.  For now.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Things that happen without adequate sleep

One of us filled the dog's water bowl and put it in the oven. I like to preheat the oven without checking it first. So... partially melted dog dish!

The best part is, we have no idea which of us did it.  Neither of us remember putting the water bowl in the oven.  I've determined we either need more sleep or metal dog dishes.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

A conversation

We went to the train depot yesterday with Hamburglar and the Wee Lass Adventure (Lady Adventure?  Tiny McSixyearold?  I'll think of something).  They have a koi pond and a rose garden there, as well, so we had fun.  Mr. Adventure took a picture of the babe and I (I'm normally the one taking the pictures, which means that if I were to suddenly die, the babe wouldn't have many pictures of the two of us.  And I think there are only two pictures of the three of us and none of the four of us).

After showing me the picture, this is what was said:

Me: My arms look like honey hams.
Mr. A: You just had a baby.
Me: Yeah, but not in my arms!

I have full blown bingo wings.  I figure I have two options.  Option one is to start using the baby as a weight for doing tricep curls and option two is to say fuck it, buy sweat pants and a lotto t-shirt, and start playing Bingo.  I'm assuming I would also need a small trove of "lucky" items I set up in front of me in a certain way and should yell like a crazy person if anyone tries to touch them and accuse them of jinxing me, right?

Also, Mr. Adventure and his daughter saw the Mr. Peabody movie recently.  We had a barbecue on Sunday and some friends have a daughter her age that they brought over and Lady Adventure was telling her friend about the movie.  I overheard her saying, "His name was PEA BODY! Pea body!"

And, finally, are you all familiar with Garfield Minus Garfield?  Well, one of my favorite writers of things on the internet over at The Ugly Volvo did a post on why/how having a baby reminds her of garfield minus garfield.  It's mom minus baby and it is hilarious. I had tears in my eyes from laughing so hard.  But that could be because I'm finally cracking up.  You can check it out here.  I think I might love the Ugly Volvo more than the Pregnant Chicken.  I want her to be my friend.  I'm even willing to move to the East Coast to make that happen.  Should I start stalking her?

In other news, baby  is healthy and happy.  We are moving him in to his room this week.  And we are gearing up for the fussy phase before mental leap 7.  Sequences!  If you haven't checked out the Wonder Weeks, you should.  Because I'm a mother and a scientist and I'm telling you to.  Also, I had a realization yesterday.  Parents are people.  It's weird.  I should probably swear less.

I keep a journal for the baby and I was flipping through it and thought, "Holy fuck I should probably swear less in this thing.  Should I edit it?  No.  We'll keep it this way so we can see how/if my language usage evolves over time."  For posterity or something.  I don't know.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Baby fat shaming

Chumbercules and I went to the Baby Vet (aka Pediatrician) on Friday.  Throughout all the pediatricians I interviewed when I was pregnant, I got the impression that they all think parents are stupid.  And we probably all are.  (Or you can read this one.)  And I'm okay with that.

But I was a bit bemused when I left Dr. Soulpatch's office on Friday.  Hamburglar is growing well and weighs 22 pounds and is 28 inches or something tall.  He's in the 80th percentile for weight, the 75th for head circumference and right in the middle (55%) for height.  Because I have hypothyroidism and take synthetic thyroid and I am still breastfeeding and the thyroid is the hub of the endocrine system, I asked about the babe's height and my hypothyroidism.  Dr. Soulpatch said it's all good and that we shouldn't worry unless he stops growing and he is still progressing and blah blah blah.  He then said that the thing we want to keep an eye on is his weight.  Since a baby's food for the first year is predominately milk, he said after 12 months we may want to monitor what Chumbercules eats a bit more closely.  Which I read as putting fatty on a diet.

I know his heart was in the right place.  He was telling me about the increase in really young children being diagnosed with diabetes and how that should be an adult disease, which I get.  But the punchline to the whole visit was on my exit paperwork.  It listed the baby's stats and his Body Mass Index (BMI).  I don't know what the BMI scale is for baby's, but I checked it on the normal adult BMI chart thing, and he's on the low end of normal.  But you know, that baby does have some serious thigh rolls.  It's probably because he's stopped spitting up all the time.  Most likely due to his baby bulimia support group.

I also asked the Doc about sleeping.  Because my favorite baby hasn't been sleeping lately and the doc recommended the book "Good Night, Sleep Tight" by Kim West.  For those of you familiar with popular baby sleep training trends (Cry it out, the Ferber Method, the suggestions from attachment parenting), Good Night, Sleep Tight is a kinder version of the Ferber Method and something I'm more willing to try.  Though, I haven't read the book yet.  I got home on Friday and told Mr. Adventure that the wee babe should be sleeping 8-9 hours a night straight.  So, that night, he swaddled him and Chumbercules slept for 8 hours.  I swaddled him with an arm out on both Saturday and Sunday nights and he slept for 8 hours both nights.  I was looking into whether it was okay to swaddle a baby that can roll over, and I mentioned it to the pediatrician.  He didn't tell me not to and we aren't using a crib bumper, so I feel okay about doing an arm out swaddle.  I would feel less comfortable if we had a crib bumper on.  Hopefully he grows out of it.  I didn't swaddle him for naps over the weekend and he slept for about 2 hours for each nap.  I guess we won't really know until I get a phone call from college, asking me to come out and swaddle him.

Other than that, dude has been super active.  I'm doing research and planning a trip to South Korea and Cambodia for next year to visit friends.  Mr. Adventure is in school, so it may just be me and the babe.  We don't know yet.  I've never been to Asia, so I'm kind of excited at the prospect.  It will be my first international trip since I moved back to the States from Nicaragua in 2010.

And in nursery news, we got the baseboards put in on three walls!  Mr. Adventure is working on patching the hole for the old heating vent then we're going to put casings on the doors and windows and get everything moved in.  The idea of this room being finished is becoming a reality!  Yay!

Thursday, June 12, 2014


We are all incredibly sleepy over here in the House of Adventure.  Hamburglar gave up sleeping for more than 2-3 hours at a time for Lent, and it appears he may have given it up for good.  So, Mr. Adventure and I are working on learning this song by Tim Minchin.  Once I figure out the piano part for it, we will be wheeling the piano into the babe's room (if it is ever finished) and will play it for him every night.

Also, we are done painting and we bought baseboards yesterday!

Now, for your enjoyment:

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

It happens

Everyone seems to have a diaper blow out story.  If you type "diaper blow out" into google, you get over 2 million hits.

But this is not my story.

If you don't want to read about baby poop, you should probably stop reading now.  Because it's going to get gross.  And maybe a little graphic.  I'm not sure yet.

Sure, Hamburglar had a tiny blowout once when I was holding him and I got a little bit of poo on my arm, but it wasn't a big deal.  And he peed in his own mouth once, when he was about two weeks old, which was kind of funny.  He didn't think so, but come on.  He peed in his own mouth!  I can't wait to tell his prom date or future spouse.

Here's a little background:

Chumbercules stopped pooping on the weekends a little over a month ago, I think.  Or maybe longer.  I don't know.  I haven't changed a shitty diaper in a long time.  But he typically poops once a day, around the same time every day, except on weekends.  Mr. Adventure says the Monday poo is the worst thing in the world.

Last week, I had family come to town on Tuesday, so I left work early and picked up the babe at his normal poop time, so he didn't poop.  I'm assuming it's because he loves me best.  Or maybe because I traumatized him by asking, "Who did this to you? How did this get here?" every time I changed his poop diapers.  But who knows?

I was getting ready to leave work last Wednesday when I received this text message:
"So I put him in his chair so I can go out and smoke.  I heard him fart when I set him in the chair and figured I would just check his diaper after I got back.  When I came back in after smoking he was covered from his feet up in poop.  The chair was completely covered in poop.  And he was sucking on one of the straps, that was completely covered in poop.  Should have been more careful [since] he didn't poop yesterday."
So yeah.  Gross, right?

We just had a three day weekend and I thought I would be changing a poo diaper yesterday, but nope.  Dude held it for an extra day and this morning, at 8 a.m., I received a text that said, "There's the poop."

In related news, our ducky bathtub has been getting plenty of use.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Bumper to bumper

I'm pretty sure it was the same day I made my last post that I went home and Hamburglar sat up all on his own.  Sure it was a week ago, but he's so good at it now one would think it had been longer.  Also, in other exciting development news...

We have cruising!  Chumbercules is still "crawling" like a worm, but he pulled himself up on the laundry basket and used that to stabilize himself to get to the couch and used the couch to get to me, who was sitting on the floor eating grilled cheese and tomato soup.  It was only about three or four steps, but Fatty McTwochins is cruising!

The Wonder Weeks says if you observe your child during leaps, you can see what he/she has a preference for skills-wise.  Chumby likes to watch people, first and foremost.  He is highly observant in new situations.  And he's also a pretty rough and tumble physical kid.  A friend of mine had a little boy about two weeks after Hamburglar was born and he isn't crawling yet, but he's talking.  He says words in order to portray meaning.  Hamburglar is still babbling.  He likes to say dadadada and Mr. Adventure pretty consistently asks him, "What?" when he starts with the babbling das.

Hamburglar McCloud had been banging his head on his crib and getting his little legs stuck in the slats up until a couple of days ago.  Not stuck stuck, but stuck nonetheless.  And more stuck in the sense that he wasn't quite coordinated enough to pull his legs out and get on with his life.  He needed help and was not afraid to ask for it.  Very loudly.  The head-banging and leg-sticking got me thinking that maybe I should put a bumper on his crib so, I looked to the internet!

I don't know if any of you do much internet research, but pretty much no matter what you search for (like, "Is it safe to use a crib bumper?") you get results ranging from, "Sure!  No big deal!" to, "Oh my God.  Even asking that questions assures that your baby is going to die."  And often times, both of these responses can be found in the same sentence.  So, what do you do?

I asked a friend who is a green family blogger and knows a ton of stuff about everything I want to know.  From sustainable toys and baby gear to free schooling and independent learning.  Plus she has a pre-teen son who she was obviously able to keep alive through his infancy.  She advised me that most babies stop doing things once they get irritated enough by them (Chumbercules is no longer smashing his head or getting his legs stuck.  Or he's just complaining about it less).  And she also pointed out the American Academy of Pediatrics is advocating against their use.  Many consumer groups also want crib bumpers banned and the state of Maryland has successfully banned them.

In other news...

I thought my favorite baby had six teeth now, but it turns out he only has five and is working on busting out the sixth and he is driving me mad.  He's also preparing for Leap 6, per the Wonder Weeks, which means he's in a fussy phase.  But, fussy phase combined with teething means I am not sleeping and it's starting to wear on me.

Also, the nursery still isn't painted.  Maybe this week?

And here is a link to the 15 things you should really register for for your baby.

All I know for sure is that I'm about ready to trade in breastfeeding for self-whisky-bottle-feeding.  Or something.  I need to make up a solids schedule for the babe so we can start transitioning him to people food.  In four more months, he will be a year old.  I'm 2/3 towards my breastfeeding goal.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

First Mother's Day, more teeth and stories to tell

Here, in the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave... Mother's Day was Sunday.  It's a Hallmark Holiday, but Slate has an interesting piece from 2009 on the origin of Mother's Day.

My oldest (and current favorite) brother came to town on Friday and I brought him and his wonderful wife to a drag show at one of the gay bars downtown.  It was Caravan of Glam, a Portland drag troup, and they were spectacular.  One of the girls was doing back flips in 4 or 5 inch heels.  Later in the night, she kicked her heels off and did a no-handed back flip!  Phenomenal!  Mr. Adventure stayed home with our favorite baby, and it was nice being able to go out and enjoy myself and not feel bad/worry that Chubs McBabylegs wasn't sleeping or was terrorizing whomever we were able to trick into babysitting while we both went out.

Saturday, we did some yard work then went over to Grandpa's for a bit.  The grandparents remarked on the wee babe's ability to pull himself up on to things and his knack for finding the two things on the floor that he shouldn't be playing with (the power strip and the dog's toy bone).  The dog, however, saw the baby going for her bone and she grabbed it and ran off before he could get to it.  Probably a smart move.

Mr. Adventure handled all the night wakings on Saturday night so I could sleep.  I guess Chumbercules thought it was an all night party with dad and I woke up Sunday morning and saw text messages from 2:30am proclaiming the babe was still awake.  And he was up by 7.

We did a few things around the house, then we grabbed lunch on our way out of town to the hot springs resort.  We went to the same one that Chumbercules and I went to on Easter.  He had even more fun this time and was, once again, a big hit with the little girls.  There was another baby there who was born five days before Hamburglar and both the babes were delivered by the same midwife!  I don't even know how it came up, but it was kind of  a Georgianna love fest for a few minutes, because I love my midwife.  I kind of want to have 30 more babies just so I can spend more time with her.  But I dont' think that's really a good reason to procreate.  "I liked my doctor so much, I just kept having babies!"

Something I learned towards the end of my pregnancy that has reinforced itself since, is that women love to tell their birth story.  Or stories.  I think the first tellings or writings of the birth story are kind of a right of passage, but I was at a birthday party a couple of months ago, I think Hamburglar was only 3 or 4 months at the time, and it was like these moms were clamoring to have their birth stories heard over each other.  So, if you feel like you haven't had the opportunity to tell your birth story enough, here is a link to TheBirthSurvey.  It's also an excellent resource to view intervention rates and information about people's personal experiences and opinions with specific doctor's and midwives.

In other news, we are up to six teeth now!  SIX TEETH!  Chumby isn't even 8 months old yet (though he will be in four more days).  Realizing he is nearly 8 months old, and gazing upon his shark-like mouth, I realized we should probably be feeding him solids on the reg, so I started giving him organic peas.  I don't know that he likes them, but he ate some of them and made some pretty hilarious faces.

You know what he does like, though?  The Talking Heads.  And he thinks it's hilarious when I sing Psycho Killer.  He's also been watching people's mouths really closely when they talk.  So, he babbles, he pulls himself up on things, and he's still mobile, but he doesn't sit up by himself.  Mr. Adventure was asking me if it's normal and I have no idea.  So, I just told him yes.

I want to take Chumbercules to the beach this summer.  I think he will like the sand and the waves.

And I think that's it.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014


There's a first time for everything, or something, and some of those firsts are exciting.  You get the first tooth, the first steps, the first words, the first time you get a phone call asking to bail you out of jail...  We here in Adventureland experienced our first illness.  I think Mr. Adventure brought it home from school and we were all pretty sick, though I was the only one that had a fever.

Taking care of a sick baby when you are sick is one of the worst thing in the world.  He made all the crying and whimpering sounds I wanted to make and he sounded so darn pathetic.  His face was all snotty and he needed lots of extra love, which was fine.  He was all snuggly which worked well with my inability to move more than a couple feet without needing a nap.  One of the other worst things in the world is taking care of a healthy baby (or a baby who is feeling better) when you are still sick.  I felt like I was dying and Hamburglar felt well enough to get into everything.  He had his first taste of dog food.  He didn't seem to mind it and Rupert didn't get mad that someone else was eating out of his bowl.

Fatty McTwochins is almost 8 months old.  Dr. Soulpatch's office called me yesterday to schedule his nine month appointment.  She was trying to get me to schedule it for the end of this month.  She said that you can have the nine month appointment as early as eight months, and I told her that would make it an eight month appointment.  I know he won't be getting vaccines or anything at this appointment, but I just thought it was weird.  So I scheduled it for mid-June, when Hamburglar will be 9 months old.

Mr. Adventure got a great video of Chumbercules making Chewbacca sounds last night.  He was also making weird gurgly sounds that made it sound like he was under water.  It was hilarious.  And it was nice to have fun with him before he STAYED UP NEARLY ALL NIGHT SCREAMING LIKE HE WAS GOING TO DIE.

Every hour and a half.  I was so tired, I brought him to bed with me where he proceeded to spit up everywhere.  Then I changed him and he peed everywhere.  Finally, after I got him back to sleep, I was faced with the choice of showering or sleeping for another hour before work.  I chose sleep and I still smell like baby pee.  I'm hopeful that the chemicals in the lab will mask the smell.  Or I may go take a whore's bath in the lab bathroom.

I was supposed to go to Seattle last weekend for a baby shower and to visit friends, but because I was so sick and missed two days of work last week, I had to postpone/cancel my trip.  I'm still trying to recover, paid time off-wise, from maternity leave.

I've had to switch up Hamburglar's bathing routine.  I've traditionally just brought him into the shower with me, but with his wiggliness combined with his desire to grasp everything in sight (or at least flail his baby arms about and knock everything down), it is becoming dangerous.  And slippery.  So, during a mid-night baby soothing/Amazon shopping session, I ordered an inflatable duck tub.  And Chumbercules LOVES it.  Or, at the very least, he loves splashing in it and making a giant mess.  I like being able to set the tub on the kitchen counter and bathe him standing up.  No stooping!  And it was super easy to inflate.  We have a pump, but I just blew it up and it didn't take long at all.  Of course, I have no concept of time whatsoever anymore because most days feel like they have lasted several weeks.

Speaking of things I would like the baby to do that he is not doing: I would like him to not bite me.  He grew two more teeth and has bit my nipple a couple of times.  I've read various ways of how to deal with it.  My boss's boss warned me this would happen and told me to just flick him on the cheek.  Other things I've read have suggested putting him down/ending the feeding session.  I'm trying the latter one and it seems to be getting better already.

And you know what else?  It's been almost 8 months and I'm still breastfeeding.  Hamburglar McCloud has never had formula and I bet I've saved a ton of money.  So that's nice.  Though, I think we should probably start feeding him solids regularly at some point soon.  We give him tastes of things, but feeding solids hasn't really become part of our routine quite yet.

And I think that's all.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

A hot tip

Being pregnant and having a baby brings with it tons of advice, mostly unsolicited.

The best advice I received while pregnant was from an ex's wife at my baby shower.  She told me to only read positive birth stories and to keep negativity out of the birthing suite.  I think it helped.  but who knows?

My second favorite piece of advice was for post-baby.  A friend whose son will be two this summer told me to smell my newborn baby's head as often as possible and just soak in the smell, because it fades pretty quickly.  And she was right.  I think he was only a month old when his head started smelling like head.  It reminded me of Garp in The World According to Garp when he would sneak in to his son's room and smell his breath while it was still sweet, before it soured.

So, after careful consideration, I have determined what my advice will be to new mothers.  Hopefully I will only give it when solicited, but who knows?  On the plus side, I have condensed it into two simple words: Pee first.  It doesn't matter what you are about to do or that "it will only take a second."  Chances are it will take way longer (because nearly everything takes three thousand times longer with a baby, particularly when a baby is crying).  I have to remind myself that Hamburglar won't die if I take an extra two minutes getting to him because I need to use the loo.  Really, it just means I will be able to better care for him when I'm not worried about peeing myself.  So, there you go.  Pee first, ladies and gentlemen.

I took Chumbercules swimming for the first time on Sunday.  There is a hot springs resort less than an hour from town that has geothermal pools and Sunday is family day.  So, the water was warm and there were other kids there and he seemed to really like it.  I want to go back again.

Also, I'd like to give a shout out to Amazon customer service.  I had the day off yesterday and decided it was time to put together the Radio Flyer walker wagon I had purchased about a month ago, and one of the pieces was broken!  I was very sad.  But, they are sending me a replacement and I have thirty days to send back the broken one (Radio Flyer doesn't just send replacement parts, I guess) and the lady at Amazon suggested I put the wagon together first before packaging the broken pieces up and returning them, just in case I'm missing something else or something else is broken.  She's a genius.

We also went to the mall where I purchased two new bras from Dillard's (that actually fit!) and we saw the Easter bunny.  And it got me thinking:

The Easter bunny is creepy and weird.  Why do kids sit on his lap?  I mean, with Santa there is a purpose.  You are telling him what you want for Christmas.  There is communication.  With the Easter bunny, you are just sitting on the lap of a person in a costume who says absolutely nothing.  And you can't read their facial expression.  What's under there?  Also, I bet the inside of that head smells really bad.

So, I've decided that there should be a leprechaun at the mall for St. Patrick's day.  And maybe Lady Liberty for the 4th of July.  And why not sit on the lap of a headless turkey for Thanksgiving?  The possibilities are limitless.

That is all.