Saturday, October 31, 2009
Friday, October 30, 2009
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
For some reason, I had hopes that this wouldn't hit daycare for a while. Don't ask me why, considering schools are closing all over this state because half the kids are sick.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Monday, October 26, 2009
First of all, I just wanted to say thank you to those who responded to my pathetic needy need for comments. It made me feel popular. It shouldn't have, of course, but it did.
Anyway, yesterday the whole fan-damily, including the dogs, drove up to Greg's alma mater, UConn, so he could re-live the glory days and so we could go visit the cows and horses and shit (literal and otherwise). It was fun and I was going to take a bunch of great pics, maybe even some Christmas card-worthy pics, except the camera died after about two minutes. So here they are, and they are not even that good. But boy, do I love horses.
Sunday, October 25, 2009
This is quite a week of anniversaries of milestones in my life - two years ago today, Jane started at daycare. I know to some people, this would be no big whoop, but that was truly one of the most traumatic days of my life. I looked back at what I was writing two years ago on this blog, and here are some excerpts:
Everyone tries to make me feel better about these things - obviously babies don't have real schedules anyway, and of course other babies spit up a lot and have reflux and weird sleeping habits - I just don't want her going in being the strange baby that no one wants to take care of because she has issues.
Daycare starts this week. I am heading there after her nap this morning to drop off all of her stuff and to go over their procedures. I have bought new clothes for myself that actually fit right. I have filled out a million forms. We are as ready as we can be, at least with all of the stuff. But inside, I feel like my heart is breaking.
I have all sorts of questions. Will she know that I'm her mom when I pick her up at the end of the day? Will she take her first steps and say her first words at daycare? What will I miss? Will she change during the day, so when I pick her up eight hours later, she's not the same? Is this OK? Will she be OK? Will I be OK?
I gotta tell ya, this kills me to read, because it brings me right back. God, it was so hard for me to go back to work. And I am a person who had not a single doubt that I would go back to work. But, wow, once you have that kid, it beats the hell out of anything you ever expected parenthood to be. And bringing her to daycare just ripped me to shreds.
I wish I could talk to this person who was so scared, and tell her that, yes, everything - daycare, Jane, me - would be OK. That Jane would not only be OK, but would thrive at daycare, and her teachers would love her so much they would cry when she left their rooms. I wish this person would know how much she would become attached to Jane's teachers as well, women who have Jane's surrogate mothers during the work day.
This new mom should also know that I ended up deciding that her firsts ONLY happened at home. It didn't count if it happened at daycare. It only counted if I was there, preferably with a camera in hand.
This new mom should know her baby NEVER forgets who her mom is, and will plow down a row of kids just to get to her at the end of the school day.
Daycare is NOT all roses and loveliness. Jane gets sick. A LOT. This is not a shock to anyone who has read this blog even super-casually. She has also gotten bit at daycare, a couple of times. I have had other issues as well, not the least of which is the enormous check I write out each month. She had a terrible time transitioning into her new room earlier this fall, and it was so heartbreaking to hear her screaming for me as I left the building each morning. There were about three weeks this fall that, whenever I dropped her off, I sat crying in the parking lot, wondering what the hell I was doing with my life and to my family, and had to compose myself before I drove off.
BUT. I know she's getting so much out of it now. I see her language and social skills developing in a way I know I can attribute to all this time she spends with these other children. As an only child, I think it's super-important for her to have this time with a diverse group of kids and caretakers.
So yes, two years later, I can say everything is OK.
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Saturday: Oh rain. I loathe thee. In ye olden tymes, I used to take days like this and read all day. Now I have to be the song and dance girl for a demanding toddler. For example she just pulled me into the bathroom with her so I could watch her not go potty. Oh, we go through the whole routine - the pants removal, the throwing out of the pull-up or diaper, the sitting - and then two seconds later she's done. No peeing. And we do it all over again and for every five millionth time, she pees, for a total of only two times so far. I'm not really invested in the potty training yet, because I'm lazy. But I know I have to get it done, although I think I'm the only parent in creation who just doesn't want their child to be out of diapers (a $40 savings per box!) because I don't want to contend with bringing her into public restrooms (NASTY). Anyway, I'll do it, I'll do it. So, I'll be entertaining Jane today with a trip to Target, probably the bookstore, and God knows what other fantastic adventures. The grocery store? Who knows. She lives the life of Suri Cruise, this girl.
But tonight! Greg and I are going out. Out! With the people! I think we're going to see Paranormal Activity. I'm afraid I might crap my pants in fear. But I REALLY want to see it, because I loved Blair Witch. Also, I have only been to two movies in the past 27 months, and I am really jonsing for the popcorn.
Sunday: Um, repeat of Saturday, except no rain, so we will hopefully be outside. Also, no going out at night. We will go to my mother's. Jane is obsessed with my brother (who also goes to my mother's on Sunday evenings) and my mother's cat. She talks about them all week, as well as the pizza we have there. It's hilarious, especially because my brother is so not a kid person. But she loves him. She's already drawn to boys who aren't giving her attention....sigh.
I took Jane to get the H1N1 vaccine on Friday morning. I was absolutely NOT getting her the vaccination up until recently, but I started doing a bunch of research and talking to doctors and fellow parents and while there are tons of people NOT getting the vaccine for their kids, I went ahead with it. I'm still nervous about side effects (which I'm watching for this weekend as well) and have some fear about the long-term effects, but "they" say this is made in the same way every flu vaccine is made, and I do get her the regular flu vaccine - so, there you have it. I still feel unsettled, but since she is in daycare and the probability of them getting slammed with it is a million percent, and since healthy kids are dying of this stupid virus, I went with the vaccine. I really hope I made the right decision.
Have a great weekend!
Friday, October 23, 2009
Yup, today is our five year anniversary. Despite the big cash I spent for a photographer (who did take great pics, I will say) one of my favorites is this one that Alan took. Now that couple looks ready to party! And party we did. It was a great day.
PS I cannot believe no one commented on my Jimmy haikus. Come on, that was funny! So sad.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
To celebrate the birthday boy, Greg and I came up with some haikus about Jimmy. Now, I'm really tired and kinda sick-feeling, so I think these could be better, but they make me laugh, and that's really what counts.
I see you are asleep
But I thought I heard a noise
So now I must bark
Ew, what is that smell
It is Jimmy's yeasty ears
Time to clean with foam
What is he doing?
Why, dragging his butt downhill!
Scrape, scrape, itchy butt.
You are four years old
It feels like we have had you
For a hundred years
A designer dog
You're a pug and a beagle
What freak thought of that?
Remember the time
Your inside parts were outside
Man, that was gross
Happy Birthday, James
You make us laugh constantly
You're one of a kind
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Over the past six months, I've had a series of health issues that are telling me, in no uncertain terms, that I have to slow down. That I have to manage my stress better. That, to put it bluntly, I often need to chill the fuck out.
I have never really been a chill person. But at this stage in my life, I find that I am multi-tasking from morning until night. At 6 a.m. I may be giving Jane breakfast while feeding the dogs while shooting off a couple of work emails. At 6 p.m. I may be cleaning up, giving Jane dinner, doing laundry and making lists. At 9 p.m. I have usually collapsed on the couch, with the TV on, a magazine nearby, and the laptop where God intended it to be (on my lap).
This is utter insanity. I need to focus on simplifying. I've said this before, and I've known it's important to not have ten things pulling at you at any given moment, but now I'm hurting physically and I need to make my life better. I have all the ingredients for a great life, but when you're running around apeshit crazy all the time, it's hard to pull back and "feel" that great life, if I'm making any sense here.
This is going to be really hard for me, because I've been a multi-tasking lunatic forever. But I've never landed in doctors' offices because of it. So wish me luck!
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Monday, October 19, 2009
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Saturday, October 17, 2009
Friday, October 16, 2009
Tonight: Catching up on some DVR - watching last week's "Survivor" right now and might watch "Ugly Betty" season premiere tonight if I can stay awake. I kinda think I won't be able to.
Saturday: Well, it's going to rain/snow (effing stupid weather) so, as long as I'm not bed-ridden with some nasty thing, we will keep Jane on the go, possibly going down to see my in-laws at the beach.
Sunday: Continued bad weather, continued keeping Jane on the go - perhaps a pet store visit, maybe a trip to the boat so Greg can do some work, no doubt some intense Dora-watching. Also weekly visit to my mom's.
All weekend: Insane jealousy about Lisa's trip to a beautiful land far away.
This very well may be the lamest of all lame weekends. I literally do not have one official plan. But considering how I feel right now, that is probably a good thing. Please share your much more exciting plans in comments.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
I was truly lucky in middle school and high school. There was every reason I should have been picked on - I was a classic nerd, with the giant 80's glasses and the funked-up teeth that later had braces and retainers, the horribly-permed hair, the sad attempt at looking like my idols Madonna and Cyndi Lauper - I was a hot mess (this was mostly in middle school - I just turned into a grungy metal chick in high school). For some reason, I was lucky enough not to be bullied. I think part of it was that for seventh and eighth grades, I went to a very small private Catholic school. I truly believe if I continued on to public middle school at that point, I would have gotten my ass kicked handily. By the time I went back to public school for ninth grade and beyond, I was looking a little less geeky and a little more...scary, so I assimilated pretty nicely. And my high school (in my town, at the time, high school was only tenth, eleventh and twelfth grades) was sooo huge that you really had to stand out to get picked on.
Now, people could have been ripping me to shreds behind my back, and they probably were. But I feel so fortunate that I'm not left with the scars of a really horrific middle/high school experience. I mean, it wasn't perfect - not by any stretch - but I can look back at those years semi-fondly.
But now I have a daughter. A sweet, funny, adorable, wonderful, perfect daughter. I know she's not all of those things all of the time, but I would do ANYTHING for her, throw myself in front of a bus for her, protect her from things that will harm her. Until I can't anymore. And it's then - when she comes home crying because someone said something mean about her in school (and I fully understand that this happens in elementary school too, and hell, probably preschool), that I really don't know what I'm going to do. Because I don't think it's nice, or really even legal, to punch other kids.
But I think I'm gonna want to. Scratch that - I know I'm gonna want to.
Another blog I read, Mike Adamick's Cry It Out, hit on this same subject, but with far younger children. He does it with humor, but I was crying by the end. Check it out.
Ah, parenting. Such fun!
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
American Gothic and me
Monday, October 12, 2009
Sunday, October 11, 2009
Saturday, October 10, 2009
Because I am such an interesting blogger, I'm going to tell you how my weekend has switched up. My mother has blown me off for the craft fair (not really - she's busy - but how can I feel sorry for myself unless I say she blew me off? it's much more dramatic that way). Anyway, instead we are headed to the boat for quite possibly the last time this year tomorrow. I took this picture last weekend, when I THOUGHT it was our last time down at the beach. For some reason, I love it.
Friday, October 09, 2009
Friday night: I am sitting here trying to keep my eyes open, watching "The Biggest Loser." Greg is about to go out and perform at an open mic with his band. It's weird not to go watch them play - before Jane, I always went.
Saturday: I am once again going off in search for fritters at that local festival I never made it to last weekend (although I did stop by there during the week, I must admit. Or did I already admit that on here already? Who can keep track). Tomorrow afternoon we are off to a chili cook-off at a friend's house. This is an annual event that has gotten pretty huge.
Sunday: Going to arts and crafts fair with my mom. Oh Lordy, I know how to live it up! Please tell me what your no-doubt much more exciting plans are!
Thursday, October 08, 2009
Wednesday, October 07, 2009
1) The annual festival in my hometown that features the best apple fritters EVAH. People wait in line for extremely long amounts of time for these little nuggets of supreme joy. They must be eaten warm for maximum pleasure. In fact, I love all festival food, and luckily, there are lots of fall festivals in my area.
2) The fact that I live in New England. This is the only season where my area of the country rules.
3) The crunchy, colorful leaves. Is there anything more satisfying than marching over a crispy pile of leaves?
4) Not having to apply sunscreen to Jane every day. For those who have to do this with a toddler, you know what a reprieve the colder months are.
5) The impending holidays. Commercialism or not, I love the October-December holiday season.
6) Halloween. Specifically, the candy. We have a whole trick-or-treating extravaganza at my workplace every year where full-grown professional-ish adults dress in costumes and run from office to office to fill up big bags of candy. I work in a very candy-centric office, which is obviously awesome. So we totally bring it for Halloween.
7) Candy corn. (This does deserve its own entry.) My favorite favorite favorite candy. If anyone wants to purchase me a bag, I will be your best friend for the day.
8) That first-day-of-school feeling that September brings, even if you're not in school. I always feel the urge to stock up on notebooks and a new Trapper Keeper (remember those?). It feels like a new year, even more so than the actual New Year does.
9) Hello - my BIRTHDAY. I will never be ashamed at how much I love my birthday, and how much I love everyone's birthday. Particularly if it means I get some cake.
10) Getting to break out the jeans and sweaters (the fall sweaters, not the big bulky winter sweaters) and scarves and having an excuse to go replenish my wardrobe a little bit. Even I, who adore wearing flip-flops and shorts so very much, gets sick of wearing them by the end of September. I'm clearly no fashionista, but I like one or two new things every now and then. Having to buy Jane an entire new wardrobe every season is a little bit daunting and expensive, but as it turns out, these kids - they grow. A lot, in fact!
And my very LEAST favorite thing about fall:
The fact that it means winter is coming.
What's YOUR favorite thing about fall?
Tuesday, October 06, 2009
Monday, October 05, 2009
Yesterday, Jane was feeling under the weather a tiny bit, so we spent a couple of hours on the couch dozing to “Dora the Explorer.” (Actually, I was dozing, she was enthralled.) (Also, the songs in that show WILL NOT LEAVE MY BRAIN. AT ALL. I cannot tell you how many times today I found myself with that catchy hit “I’m the map, I’m the map, I’m the map, I’m the map” in my head. It is taking up way too much important real estate in my head. Where I could be remembering all of the lyrics to the Madonna songs on her new greatest hits CD that I just got, Celebration. LOVE IT.)
Anyway, she was being very cute and leaning on me while we watching, which she doesn’t typically do when she feels great, because that girl is on the GO like nobody’s business. So to have her snuggled up with me was pretty awesome. And it got me to thinking about when I would do the same with my mother, how I would sit close while she read books to me and my brother. And I can remember it all so vividly.
And then I realized that I – ME –am that person to Jane. And I know you’re probably thinking – DUH, Amanda, you are in fact her mother, and we’ve had to listen to you rambling about that for over two years now, plus nine months of pregnancy – but it still comes as a shock to me that I’m someone’s MOTHER. That when she grows up and talks about her mom, she will be talking about ME. For better or for worse.
And no, I’m not drunk right now. It just makes me feel very grown-up, I guess. (And if you are polite, this is not where you remind me that I’m 36, and I passed the grown-up threshold long ago.)
Sunday, October 04, 2009
My other book club is newer - our second meeting is tonight. This is made up of my core group of friends I've been tight with since I was 8, along with some of their associated girlfriends, boyfriends, what-have-you. So far, the books this club reads tends to be a little more serious, Pulitzer Prize-winning and what not, and so far, the two choices have been great. The last one, which is about a traveling circus in the 1930s, is definitely not something I would have read on my own, since it talks about the abuse of the animals in the circus, but I really liked it. And I guess that's the whole point of book club -reading stuff you normally wouldn't. This second book club takes itself very seriously, with prepared discussion questions and themed snacks. It's kind of hilarious.
Tonight, it's my turn to reveal what book I've picked for our next meeting (we had to pick numbers to determine the order of the picking). I'll let you know what I picked tomorrow! (Because I know you are desperate to find out.)
Saturday, October 03, 2009
2) How is it possible that Jon Gosselin is such a douchebag? A year ago I was really getting bored with "Jon & Kate Plus Eight" because it was so annoyingly NORMAL and BENIGN-the kids are cute and all, but Jon and Kate were so bland/annoying I couldn't really take it much longer - and now their gross divorce is the top news story everywhere, and he fancies himself the Playboy of the Western World, and worse, the laydeez seem to be responding to him as if he is some sort of hottt ticket instead of an unemployed, not really attractive, lazy, idiotic douchebag. And now he's decided that the show is bad for the kids? The very moment he's been kicked off? When all this time he's been insisting that it's OK to have their flock in the spotlight from the moment they were born? OH MY GOD THE BAD PARENTING OF THESE TWO.
And there is my very early morning rant on some of the most annoying people in the entertainment headlines.
Friday, October 02, 2009
Friday: This used to include me going out to bars and stuff. Instead, tonight Greg and I will attempt to go out to dinner with Jane, which will no doubt end up in a mess/tears. But we keep trying! Because we're suckers like that. After she goes to bed, I will be catching up on some TV, including trying out the show "The Good Wife." Then I'll read more of this and fall asleep before 10, no doubt.
Saturday: Chores, possibly some alone time at my favorite Borders, and, if it doesn't rain, heading to the Apple Harvest Festival for apple fritters. I mean, to celebrate the harvest. The harvest of fritters I will stuff in my mouth. However, it does look like it's going to rain, so I'll probably entertain Jane by letting her run rampant throughout the mall. Because I've become one of those parents. And by "those" I mean "annoying."
Sunday: Greg has a fishing trip, so Jane and I will be solo that day. We'll probably visit my mom, and then we have a birthday party to go to in the afternoon. In the evening, I have a book club meeting, where I will have many, many things to say about this.
What are you doing?
Thursday, October 01, 2009
As a refresher, here is why I participate - when I was preggo with Jane, the results of my quad screen blood test indicated I had a 1/77 chance of having a baby with Down syndrome. And while the level 2 ultrasound didn't indicate any markers for Ds, I still felt I had to prepare myself - to answer all of the "what ifs" that were clogging my head. In doing my research I became addicted to several blogs written by parents of children with Down syndrome, and still read them today. While it turned out that Jane did not have Down syndrome, I hope in some way, although my own child does not have Ds, I have been and will continue to be an advocate for those with Ds.
So let's rock and roll! Can I do this? YES WE CAN. (oh wait, that was last fall's mantra...)
(in the meantime, please check these ladies out. Pretty inspirational moms, don't ya think?)