Saturday, July 24, 2010

Day and Night

When I was pregnant with Cookie, I remember torturing myself with my impending labor by watching one of those shows on t.v that follows a family through the birth of their child. One particular birth stood out in my mind. It made me feel comfortable with what was to come. Made me feel at peace.

The new mother described the moment her child was placed on her chest as the most beautiful, most wonderful, full of love and warmth feeling she had ever felt. It made me cry. I couldn't wait to feel this. I couldn't wait to have my baby in my arms and know that all was well. I couldn't wait to feel that all encompassing love for this new being that I had made. Maybe I set myself up for disappointment, but the moment they placed Cookie on my chest, what I felt was the complete opposite.

My labor with Cookie was intense. Fast and intense from the moment I felt the first contraction. Pushing was equally fast, just ten minutes. I'm not sure why, but when they placed Cookie on my chest, I was expecting to feel that glow of love, that feeling of rightness that the mother in that show had described, instead I felt relief, annoyance, and indifference. Here was a perfect beautiful baby and I felt, ehh. I had some tearing and it was taking forever to sew me up. As I watched my husband bath our new baby and clean her up, all I felt was relief. Relief that it was over, relief that she was okay, and relief that they were taking care of her and I didn't have to.

I tried to force myself to feel happy. To feel that all encompassing love, but it wasn't there. Then I felt inadequate, horrible, like the worst mother out there. What was wrong with me? Why couldn't I feel better? I wasn't depressed. I didn't feel hopeless. I felt nothing. My emotions were everywhere. I felt confused and hazy.

Bringing home Cookie didn't go so well either. I had trouble nursing, she became jaundiced and lost weight. The lactation consultant seemed concerned. All I could do was cry. I was a failing mother. I couldn't even feed my child, the most natural thing in the world...or so I thought. No one told me nursing was work. No one had warned me that there might be issues. But, I was stubborn and determined to make it work. And my parents were on their way. Frankly this upset me more. I didn't want to show my mom what a failure I was. Hubby and I were just not up to hosting guests. It would be my parent's first time in our home, their first time visiting us since we moved, and I was a wreck.

On day five, just like our Lamaze instructor said, I broke down. It was the middle of the night, I was trying to shove my nipple into Cookie's mouth so she could eat. She was screaming, and it was not working. My Dad came in, kissed me on the head and said, "you can do it, she can do it, it will be okay." My Dad has never really known how to talk to us girls, but at that moment, it was the words I needed. He made me believe when no one else could.

Nursing was an uphill battle, but eventually Cookie and I worked it out. Really what made the difference was a call from my mid-wife. When I described how Cookie seemed to be colicky. That no amount of colic tabs, or plain chicken and rice diet seemed to help. That she cried and cried and ate and ate until she pooped, that something seemed wrong, and the nurse at the pediatrician just kept telling me she had gas and I could only give her so much mylicon, that she suggested it might be a problem with her sphincter, that it might be too small. Well, let's just say, an insisted Dr.'s visit, and exam confirmed the mid-wife's diagnosis...and within a couple weeks things quieted down.

My love for Cookie of course grew and my post pardon reduced. By month six, I felt the fog lifting, like I was being weighted down, and when I felt my hormones shift, I felt more alive, more in love with my daughter, and frankly happier. I think my relationship with Cookie will mirror my labor, will follow the aftermath of her birth. We will but heads, it will be fiery, and there will be intense feeling.

Fast forward two years and Jelly's birth was the complete opposite of her sister's. I went into labor as I was going to bed. Contractions were slow and irregular....5 minutes, 7 minutes, 3 minutes....etc. I let hubby sleep until 3 a.m. before waking him. Even after they broke my waters, labor was more painful, but soooo different. Pushing took me close to an hour. And when they placed her on my chest, I felt that glow, that love, that perfect fit. There are pictures of me after having Jelly, where I am ebullient. I felt even. I felt right. I felt myself. It was wonderful, it was fantastic, it was slightly depressing knowing that I had missed this euphoria after Cookie.

Hormones are an amazing thing. What I feel today, what I felt after Jelly was completely night and day compared to Cookie. I wish someone could have helped me understand that you don't always get that automatic feeling of "rightness" of well being, of love. But for now, I know that what I felt with Cookie was not wrong, it just was.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Borg Babies

I think my kids are part of the Borg Colony. Resistance is futile. No matter what I do, this house does not, can not stay clean for more than 2.3 seconds. Last night, I didn't bother cleaning up, as I was in the middle of putting back together Cookie's train tracks, after having taken it apart for the carpet cleaners.

Hubby went out this afternoon, and came home to Jelly in only a diaper. He commented that we had finally achieved "white trash" hood. I lost it a bit today after taking one look at my home and threw in the towel. Laundry was piled up, toys scattered everywhere, model magic pieces strewn here and there, allowing Jelly a nice mid-morning snack, and the kitchen....well, let's just say it was in such a state as to match the rest of the house (which is rare, since that is the place I keep the cleanest), food littered the dining room floor, milk had encrusted the couch, and I cursed myself for putting up the ball pit again.

Any attempt to curb the chaos was met with a fight. Whining and crying ruled the day. Resistance is futile. You will become Borg. You will conform. Resistance is futile.

I have a friend who kinda reminds me of my Dad, she's anal about cleaning up. My Dad is the type take your water glass and put it in the sink if he sees that you are not holding it. Go to the bathroom, you can guarantee that your drink that you just poured, will be down the drain. My friend followed the kids around picking up after them as they went from one thing to another. It drove me mad. I have long since given up the fight. Resistance is futile.

But sometimes, just sometimes I get an itch to clean, a bug to remove the clutter and the chaos. But, like I said, Resistance is Futile. Yep, I have Borg Babies.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Yo Ho Ho and a Bottle of Rum

We used keep our alcohol in the pantry, on the highest self, until hubby moved it to the basement...where we have a beautiful bar, albeit unused. However, after fixing a bar shelf for the alcohol to sit on, hubby decided that the basement is where it should be. Thus causing me my current see, the rum, which I fetched last weekend from the fathoms below, is still sitting on the kitchen counter mainly because I am too lazy to bring it downstairs, but not to be discounted my sensibilities that I will just want some in a caffeine free diet Coke after I put the kids to bed. ( I know, here I am strictly adhering to no caffeine, but will consume alcohol while nursing, makes no sense.)

When the alcohol was in the pantry, I rarely noticed it. Since I have spent the better part of the last four years either pregnant or nursing, it really hasn't been in my repertoire so to speak. However, I fell off the wagon earlier than I did after Cookie. I think I rarely drank the first year after having her. After Jelly, I think I lasted about six months and then the stress of having two got to me. I had to have a Margarita or a rum and coke, or a glass of wine to wind down an evening.

I still try to leave alcohol drinking until the kids are asleep, and only on the weekends, but there the bottle of rum sits, on the counter calling to me. I pass by it in my daily routine and I say, "Oh! Hello Rum. There you are." Of course I spend a large portion of my day in the kitchen, either cooking or cleaning, and the Rum keeps calling out to me like a bottle from Alice in Wonderland, "Drink Me". Most nights I don't want a drink, or don't "need" one. And most nights I don't...but some days drive me to drink.

One of my biggest fears is becoming an alcoholic. Not sure why it concerns me, other than my Mom once told me there was alcoholism in the family. Maybe it was the large amounts of beer my Dad and the neighbor men consumed that bothered me. Or it could have been that my best friend grew up with an alcoholic father and I saw first hand the result of alcoholism.

I remember reading an article in one of those "family" magazines about a mom who slowly turned to alcohol. And let me tell you, I got it. I can see how being a parent might drive one to drink. In fact sometimes I am surprised that there are not more people who are alcoholics once they become parents. One day a thought crossed my mind that maybe they were all drinking and just hid it well, or maybe everyone is on some kind of mood altering drug. That's the only way they can hold it together right?

Having kids is tiring, it's emotionally heart wrenching. When you are not loving that little ball of sweetness, you are cursing them for their destructiveness, their rudeness, or their just plain sociopathic behavior that only children can have. Your love for them is so overpowering that yes, sometimes, a little drink helps take the edge off. But when does that "little drink" lead to too much? When does it become alcoholism? I have never been much of a drinker, I don't like being out of control, at all....which is why I might have had such a hard time transitioning to parenthood, I realized that I had absolutely no control over anything anymore...even when I went pee.

So why am I so concerned about drinking when at the most I have maybe one to two shots of rum a week? Call me prude, call me kill joy, but I am not one for overindulging in booze. I enjoy a beer, I enjoy a margarita, but I do not enjoy loosing control. Which begs the question, why is that bottle of rum calling my name, again?

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Never alone

So one thing no one shares about Mommy hood is the fact that you are never ever alone again. While this sounds kinda nice, it is actually quite frustrating at times. Like when you have to take care of some women business and your toddler is grabbing at your legs and hands. Or your three year old wants to know what that thing is your removing and all kinds of other questions you are just not ready to answer quite yet.

Recently Cookie has decided that she wants to shower with me. I would really be annoyed if I didn't have specific and very clear memories of jumping in the shower with my mom. What comes around goes around I guess. I recall laying in bed, listening for the shower to turn on. Then I would jump up, undress and run into the bathroom in order to take a shower with her. I guess it was special time for me. I also vividly remember the day I stopped. I heard the shower, jumped out of bed, got undressed, opened the shower door, and there stood my dad naked in the shower. I am not sure who was more shocked, him or me, but I never tried showering with mom again. I had to be at least seven at the time, since I remember being in the front room as opposed to the one my brother ended up occupying.

Even if Cookie isn't in the shower with me, she is in the room. And now of course there is Jelly. And the last couple times, hubby has come in. I like the fact that we have a shower that has glass doors, that it faces the bedroom without a door between it and the rest of our room, so as the kids play, I can see them. Because of this set-up I can usually get in a nice shower....even shave my legs, that is, if Cookie is not occupying space.

So with kids, I am never ever alone, even sleeping their monitors crackle, and I can hear their sound machines, heart beat for Cookie, ocean for Jelly. And of course, hubby is next to me, usually, accept when he falls asleep in the basement watching t.v. I know that one day I will miss Cookie playing ring around the rosey in the shower, I will miss her dropping the soap a dozen times, or asking me to move so she can have most of the water. But sometimes, I just want quiet shower, alone.

Saturday, July 17, 2010


I am sure that everyone eventually experiences the horrifying moment when you realize you've become your parents. Even if you like your parents, even if you think they did a phenomenal job raising you (like my parents), the idea that you are quoting them, becoming them, is disconcerting. There are key moments in my day where I hear my mother coming out of my mouth....even to the tone of voice. Of course what makes it worse is that you realize that your parents were right. You now have a better understanding of why they said and did what they did while you were growing up. While me becoming my mother is cause for some concern, what's more scary is that my husband is becoming my father.

I kid you not. Hubby has a strained relationship with his folks. I don't want to go into detail or reveal too much of his own personal issues, but I think he sees my parents are surrogate parental figures. I find it funny that he has started to adopt what I like to call "Garyisms". Garyisms are sayings and phrases my Dad is known for making. Things like, "I've got no problem with that." "Are you in or out." or my all time favorite, "you snooze you loose." So in this household, not only are my kids getting a little flavor of my mom, they are also getting my Dad. I just hope we do as great a job with them as my parents did with us.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Customer Service??? Hello??

Have you ever gone to check out at a store and found no one at the check out counter? It seems as if this is happening more and more. Big conglomerate stores are replacing human beings with computers and technology, in "self-checkout" kiosks.

It's as if these companies have brought the ineffective automated phone menu to our stores. Where one pushes button after button, getting no human being to answer any questions, just more options, only when one finally reaches a person, they are located half a world away, and their English is sub par at best.

What frustrates me is the lack of customer service in general anywhere. In my town there is a movement of "shop local, buy local." After a melt down by yours truly at the self checkout at the grocery store today, I am looking into the food co-op and the CSA (no, not the Confederate States of America, but the Community Supported Agriculture).

First, my melt down happened because I was trying to use my own bags at the self-check isle. Since the only check out counter available was the express lane, and there was no clerk standing there, I was given no other choice but to self-check out. If you have ever tried to go shopping with a toddler/3 year old, you will know that half your attention needs to be on them at all times, or disaster will strike. Because I am not the kind of parent to ignore my children's misbehavior, or them while in public, self-check out is pure torture. Let's just say 5.6 seconds into my attempt at ringing up my purchases , things went afoul. Cookie started wondering towards the toys (which are conveniently placed across from the area) as I was struggling to put my own bags in the "bagging area" thus receiving a message that a clerk was needed. As I am looking around for someone to help me, wrangle my 3 year old, and figure it all out....I lost it. I started throwing the items back into the cart, announcing that "self-check" is crap and that is why I would prefer to be helped by a human. Of course now that I was making a scene, a person suddenly appeared saying, "ohhh but I will help you figure it out." Then I really lost it. "what is the point of you helping me here when I can have someone else help me the entire transaction at a regular line?" And miraculously the clerk for the express line appeared to "help me". This all left me grumbling like my grandmother, "this is why I hate technology replacing humans with computers, etc." Not only did I make a public scene in front of my child, I cursed and sounded like my grandmother. It was not my proudest moment by far.

Anyway the by product of this lovely shopping trip got me thinking about where I purchase our groceries. Which has me contemplating the local food co-op and the CSA. I've looked into the CSA before, opting not to participate, as I was concerned about getting 10 pounds of beets when I needed lettuce or potatoes. I have yet to visit the local food co-op, but am going to try it next week, even if it is on the other side of town. Since I am spending a third of our budget on food, I expect good service, I demand good service, and the idea that I have to bag my own groceries and check myself out makes me angry. This lady ain't takin' it no more.

Monday, July 5, 2010


For the second year running, we have had rain on the Fourth of July. And not the soft drizzle kind some might be used to during June gloom of California, but the Colorado, "here's a summer storm" kind. Thunder, lightning, hail, and torrents of water at once.

We had planned on having Hubby take Cookie over to the cities' fireworks display this year, but of course it was wet beyond wet, and cold. Not sure if the firework display was going to happen or not, we opted to stay home.

Hubby's good friend is visiting and the two of them had gone to Cheyenne, WY.....not once but twice over the weekend to buy fireworks and set them off. You see in Wyoming, it's legal to buy the dangerous kind. It is also legal to set them off there, too.

I had given Hubby the job of buying some smaller firecrackers for Cookie. And I emphasized Sparklers. But Hubby is a rookie, and was hypnotized by all of the ones that went "BOOM." Therefore, he came home with ones that made big noise, but not a lot of color. And sparklers, well he's just lucky his friend was with him, who bought just one box!!!! Yes, just one box.

Growing up, my dad would buy a good dozen boxes of sparklers. They were just good to have around for birthdays...or just because moments. Cookie was obviously let down....hubby, besides himself with embarrassment, started talking trip to Wyoming in a downpour at nine o'clock on the fourth of July. However, he got off easy, down the street a vendor always sets up, selling pretty tame stuff, yet all of the wizzers and poppers and sparklers that little kids adore and don't find too frightening. Even though the firecrackers were twice as expensive as those in Wyoming, hubby gladly plopped down the money to see our Cookie smile....and smile she did.

Next year I have a feeling that hubby will no longer wear the title of "Rookie".

Saturday, July 3, 2010


Since moving there are many things I miss about California. Sometimes I miss a good Mexican dinner or Korean food. I miss being able to go to the beach and smell the ocean air. I miss teaching and the challenge it presented daily. I miss my grandparents, where sometimes stopping by their house meant hearing a story I had miraculously never heard before. I miss my mom and dad. I regret that my kids don't get to see their cousins more than once a year. I miss seeing my brother become a man and get a "big boy" job. I miss monthly dinners with my friends. Yet, despite these things that I miss, they are not enough to make me move back.

This week I have been feeling a little down. Maybe it's hormones. Maybe it's feeling penned in by the kids and attached at the boob a little too long with Jelly. But really I feel lonely. A year and a half ago I made a new friend here. A new friend that really made Colorado feel like home. Someone who, when I called, would gladly change her plans in order to meet me and the kids anywhere. A friend who made me remember what it was like to feel welcome and liked and understood. I miss my friend. I miss going to the park and her and her kids being there. I miss someone here who understood.

I guess that there used to be nothing to miss about here, which was why it was so great. But now, there is one thing or people I should say that I miss and it makes me sad and it emphasizes all the things I do miss. I'm just missing.