Lessons Learned and Other Random Things From This Week

Friday, September 28, 2012

~ We're going to start doing that thing where you change the batteries of all your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors whenever the time changes.  There's nothing like trying to stand on a ladder with a golden retriever trying to crawl into your body cavity out of fear, a baby crying, the other dog acting weird, and that incessant beeping going off in your ear while texting your husband who is out of town for instructions on how to dismantle the flipping detector to make you want to just maintain all of them more regularly.  Also, having to give the golden retriever xanax to calm her down after isn't really fun either.

~ If you want something done...  sometimes you have to do it yourself.  I'm not really complaining, because I know B is always busy and stays so busy that he honestly has problems with relaxing.  That said, I've complained probably as long as we've owned our house about how squeaky the front, garage, back, and pantry doors all are.  They're ridiculously loud.  I'm talking so loud that they wake the baby when we open them.  That, well that in itself is enough to make me take matters into my own hands, and today I did.  Those four doors are no longer squeaky, thanks to my friend, WD-40.  Is is sad that I'm getting so much satisfaction out of this?

~ Monkey's Travelogue has been updated.  I was a little tempted to take Firecracker and Monkey down to Dickson today and people watch at Bikes, Blues, and BBQ with camera in tow.  However, after the smoke detector fiasco, I think we'll just stay home until we venture out for dinner.  You know, if not for the horrible traffic it brings, I don't think I would mind it nearly as much.  Of course, I'm not working in downtown Fayetteville anymore either.

~ I'm very disappointed that after one washing, Firecracker's beautiful black and white chevron shopping cart / high chair cover with the red back is now black and pink.

~ I was reminded this week why I never could have handled an eating disorder.  I like to eat too much, and I absolutely hate vomiting.

~ Also, I started the week with a great deal of gusto, wanting to get everything back into order after our trip.  Then of course the food poisoning hit me, and I have been dragging ever since.  There's just too much to wash (again), fold, put up, move, etc.  I hate it when I feel so overwhelmed I don't know how to start.

~ I also haven't felt up to the task of documenting our trip here yet, either.  I'm still processing RAW photos into JPG's, so it may take a while.

~ If Firecracker put as much gusto into trying to crawl as she does playing patty-cake.... Well, she'd be giving the dogs a run for their money.

~ Did you not cry a river during last night's Grey's Anatomy?  Seriously, next week's is going to kill me.  At least I'll be able to cry in private.  B will be in Chicago.

An Offhanded Insult

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Two days ago I became horribly ill at some point after lunch. I don't know if it's related or not, but I had been extremely tired all morning.  However after eating lunch, I felt a little worse than tired.  I planned on putting off folding the giant mountain of laundry that has accumulated since we returned from Colorado late Sunday and instead take a nap while Firecracker that afternoon.  Thankfully she went down easily for her nap, because not long after that all hell seemed to break loose.

I started throwing up oh, around two or so.  I let B know that I was ill, but thought (hoped) that I would be fine after purging whatever was making me ill.  I wasn't, so I called B and asked him to come home early from work.

I hated to have to ask him to come home early, because it was his first day back to work after being on vacation, and I knew that he had a lot of work to do - so much so that he expected to stay late one night.  I knew that I wasn't going to be able to take care of Firecracker though, so I called him.  Though I hated to do it, I knew that it was the best thing.  Just before B got home, Firecracker awoke from her nap, and didn't like me leaving her to vomit.  I didn't like it either.  I just knew that would be when she would decide to start crawling.

By Wednesday I could hold down things like water, but was so sore and exhausted from losing everything including the Tylenol I took that when we got up, I tried to see if I could care for Firecracker alone, and I was afraid to do so.  Carrying her around made me extremely tired and even dizzy.  I didn't trust myself alone with her.

So, B went in to the office long enough to sign some things and gather stuff to bring home.  While there, a coworker asked him something that was meant to show concern, but came off insulting instead.  His coworker asked, "Is Adrienne really sick, or is she just tired from her vacation?"

B told his coworker that I really was very sick, thank goodness.  I, well I've probably thought about it too much, but it really has insulted me.

Anyone who knows me knows that I take work seriously.  I believe in taking sick days when you're ill,  because you don't do anyone any good if you're spreading germs.  I used to work somewhere where some people would come into work, sicker than anyone should be but would call in for a hangover.  That doesn't fly with me.  I especially wouldn't call my husband to come home if I was just a little tired.

I mean, for heaven's sake, he's the only breadwinner in our family!  I know that if he doesn't work, we don't get paid!  I also was well aware how much he had on his plate when he returned from vacation.  I don't believe it would have been fair to have B stay home from work to watch Firecracker just because I was tired.  What kind of wife would do that?  Seriously?  Seriously???

I would never have called B to come home just because I was tired.  If I was going to do that, I would  have done it about fifty times at least since Firecracker was born.  I called him home, because I feared for the safety of my child while I couldn't hold down enough water to keep me from dehydrating!

In all the years that B has worked for his company, I have been a very supportive wife.  He has worked long hours, weekends, been away from home more than most of his coworkers, and I have been ok with it.  I understand that it's a part of his job.  I certainly wouldn't ask him to stay home with me, when he will likely have to work on the weekend.

Like B and I discussed, it wasn't probably meant the way it came off, but I take very seriously my job as a stay-at-home-mom.  It's not just sitting around eating bons bons all day while watching soap operas or talk shows.  It's the hardest, most important job I'll ever have, and I won't shirk it because I'm tired.  If I haven't yet, I don't expect to do so anytime in the future.

Where, Oh Where Have I Been?

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Things have been a little quiet here lately.  Why?  Well, last week we were on vacation.  So where all have I been?  Let's see....  Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas again, Missouri again, home to Arkansas, then yesterday I spent the afternoon and evening with my head in the toilet with one NASTY case of food poisoning.  B had to come home and take care of Firecracker.

I'll tell you all about the vacation soon, but not today.  Today, I'm just getting my strength back though. You can learn a little about our trip by reading a blog created for Firecracker's Monkey.  http://monkeyadventres.tumblr.com/

The Blue Dress

Friday, September 21, 2012

I originally posted this around five years ago when I was feeling the need to dust off my creative writing skills.  Read it and remember to comment.

The Blue Dress 

She was a rather quiet and introverted child; at least that's what people often believed when they met her. Those who knew her and had observed her in comfortable and familiar settings usually had exactly the opposite opinion of her. Her large, lively eyes betrayed her intelligence though she often became confused in the world of six-year-olds. This confusion stemmed from the reality that she spent most of her time in the company of adults and teenagers. Yes, she played like any six-year-old girl, but she could also hold a conversation with anyone much older than she. Sometimes this ability to converse with adults was a detriment when trying to talk with children her own age.   This didn't meant that she conversed with much of anyone about her feelings though.  Even at that young of an age she was quite good at talking a great deal about anything other than her inmost thoughts and feelings.

It was this exposure to those so much older than she that led to her being picked as the First Grade Attendant for the high school football team's Homecoming Court. It certainly wasn't a position that she had ever desired and would never have known how to jockey for, but even she knew that it was considered to be a special honor among the other girls in the First Grade.

Football Homecoming was considered the crème de la crème of the royalty courts for school organizations. There was also Band Royalty, Basketball Royalty, the Halloween Carnival (you had to sell tickets for that one), and Basketball Royalty in the winter. However Football was probably the most heavily attended. Suddenly she had friends that she didn't have before. Those "friends" assumed she must be something special to get to be in Homecoming. She wanted to believe she was special, but really she just didn't want to wear a pink dress.

All the girls in all the homecoming royalties wore pink dresses.  This wasn't a requirement like it was a requirement at some nearby schools for girls to wear dresses of certain colors, but because it was the most common color for little girls' dresses.  Also there was that pesky assumption that all girls loved pink.   She hated the color pink with a passion she wouldn't fully understand for a few years. At that time she only knew she didn't care for it. She didn't care for the pink wallpaper that hung on one wall of her bedroom. She loathed that most little girls' clothes were some form of pink. Her favorite color was red, but really she loved any bright, brilliant color; one her father would surely call "loud," because beneath that supposedly quiet exterior, was a bright, brilliant child.

The red crayons in her boxes at school and home were always the most used. Her favorite clothes were always those where red was the main color. She appreciated those clothes because that year she'd received scarcely few new clothes for school. Her father had had a heart attack in the summer that required triple-bypass surgery. While her mother worked different jobs to help out, the family largely had to make do until her father was able to go back to work. At six years of age, she very rarely noticed how lean things were in the latter half of that year.

She heard some whispers about her between the teachers but didn't know what to think of it. Quite honestly she could think of little more than watching cartoons on television, playing with her Strawberry Shortcakes, paper dolls, Hot Wheels cars, other dolls, and wearing the pretty royal blue dress her mother had ordered from JC Penny's for her to wear in Homecoming.

She loved that blue dress. It was just the type of dress that swooshed when she twirled around in circles. Swooshing will forever be a mark of quality for little girls when it comes to dresses. There was just something intoxicating about the deep blue color. It made her smile. It was the farthest thing from pink, even if it wasn't red. No little girl ever wore red dresses in Homecoming anyway. She felt confident in that blue dress. She felt not like a princess, but like a queen, unafraid of anything.

But then one day she found herself in the backseat of the family car, headed to town with the blue dress in tow. She was told that it didn't fit right, and that her mother didn't have time to alter it, whatever that was. They returned it despite the tears she tried to fight and hide when she couldn't fight them. They went home with a pink dress. Of all indignities, a pinkdress that was so flat that it wouldn't even swoosh in a tornado! She didn't want to be in Homecoming anymore, but they made her, and suddenly all the insecurities that disappeared while wearing the blue dress started to bubble up inside of her.

Oh how she missed that blue dress. It didn't matter to her if people told her how pretty she was. She didn't feel pretty. She felt small; smaller than her little thirty-five pound frame already made her. Yes, the older kids were all very nice with her. Yes, a little of that self importance came back in the midst of teenagers. However how could one ever have any amount of pride when wearing pink, especially baby-girl pink and with despised lacey ruffels? Then she had to learn that a cricket had been up her dress all throughout the ceremony on the football field and that the entire band was laughing at her. She no longer felt any sort of pride at all, she just wanted to go home and hide in a pile of Cabbage Patch Kids and Care Bears.

A mere ten years later she finally was allowed to wear a dress the same vibrant royal blue in a homecoming court. Though she was very fond of that new blue dress, she still thought longingly to the other one. A decade can change a girl's perspective though and two decades can change it all the more. She never knew what her parents must have sacrificed just for her to wear that one pink dress. She never knew how bad things had to have been for them to make her give up something that they knew she loved. The one thing she did know was that she would have given up that second blue dress as well, had her father been alive ten years later to see her in that Homecoming or seventeen years later to give her away at her wedding.

Sometimes the things that seem so important for a period of time, really aren't. Sometimes, with the passage of time, we can look back and understand when things don't go our way in the present. When it seems like it's the end of all good things, it really isn't.

The Firecracker's Favorite Things: TV Shows

Thursday, September 20, 2012

~ Mickey Mouse Clubhouse

~ Play With Me Sesame

~ Little Einsteins

~ The Local News

Adrienne's Favorite Things: TV Shows (Dramas)

Monday, September 17, 2012

In honor of the new television season, I've compiled a list of my favorite shows, both present and past.  I've divided it into Dramas and Comedies, though some fit into both categories.

The Dramas - Current

~ Grey's Anatomy - I started really, really watching this over the spring on Lifetime while feeding Firecracker her afternoon bottles.  I watched if before a little, but now I am probably unhealthily addicted.  So much so, I am on pins and needles to see what happens in the aftermath of the last season's plane crash and Lexie's death.

~ Downton Abbey - I watched this from the beginning.  It started airing during that time when B was away from home a lot, even on Sunday nights so that he could be at meetings on Monday mornings.  It was originally set during a favorite time period of mine, just before WWI in England.  Then the second season was set during WWI, which I've always been interested in, then became obsessed over because of Rilla of Ingleside.  I can't wait until January when Season Three starts.  I'll probably be reading spoilers online, because it started airing in England Sunday.

~ Private Practice - I watched this when it started.  Then I have come back and forth to it over the years, much like Grey's.  Also like Grey's, I have started really watching it this past year, though I prefer Grey's to it.  Grey's is a little funnier.

~ Bunheads - What can I say?  I love Amy Sherman Palladino shows.  At first I loved it, because it was so much like Gilmore Girls and used many of the same actors.  Now I genuinely love it for its characters.  Another reason I can't wait until January.

~Dallas (Reboot) - I watch this with B.  His mom watched the original, as did my Granny.  It's not my favorite show, but I will sit down to watch it.

The Dramas - No Longer With Us

~ Gilmore Girls - Favorite show EVER!  Seriously, I started watching this in my dorm room at NSU.  I went without watching FRIENDS to watch this show.  I love the writing.  I love most of the characters, I love the small town.  I especially love the Gilmorisms.

~ER - This show was on for fifteen years.  We watched characters come, go, and die.  It was riveting.  It was compelling.  Who didn't cry when Mark Greene died, or when Lucy and Carter were stabbed?

~ Brothers and Sisters - B and I watched this one together.  It was very soapy, but we enjoyed it and wish it had had a better ending.  We love the wine-swilling Walker clan.

~ Desperate Housewives - B and I started watching this about the third or fourth season, because it was on before Brothers and Sisters.  Then we became addicted to it.  We were sad to see it end this past spring.

~ The Road to Avonlea - A show set in the town where Anne of Green Gables was set.  Again, a favorite time period of mine.  Also, it has the heart of Lucy Maud Montgomery in it for the most part.  There's a fun innocence in it that most shows today lack.  I keep meaning to buy it on DVD for Firecracker, but I really with it would be released on iTunes.

Lessons Learned and Other Random Things From This Week

Friday, September 14, 2012

~ I'm very thankful that I don't live closer to the new Cabela's in Rogers.  We stopped in to pick up a couple of things after church on Sunday and ultried some of their freshly roasted cinnamon pecans.  We were both in Heaven.  They are WONDERFUL!  If I lived closer Firecracker and I would be there every day for a snack.

~ I won't get in the way of Lucy when she wants go beat Dory to a Frisbee.

~ We will never forget what happened on September 11, 2001.

~ In this house, we plan to continue to "Keep Calm and Woo Pig Sooie!"

~  We survived our first bout of bedtime separation anxiety.

~  Playing dress up is fun in little bits!

Toeing the Mommy Line

Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Firecracker has always been exceptionally good about going to bed.  She's been known to push her Daddy away, because she was ready to curl up in bed with Lady and Lambie.   Never has she ever shown any sign of separation anxiety when we've tucked her into her crib and gone downstairs... until tonight.

Tonight was a little different from the get-go.  She and I went grocery shopping at Walmart (having been to Sam's and Target the two previous days) this evening while B mowed the yard.  When we got home, we ate supper, and it was too dark to play outside with Lucy and Dory like we usually do.  I got her into her bath later than usual, because we were having too much fun downstairs, trying to get her to crawl.  After her bath, she took her last couple of ounces of formula, then I turned off the TV and sang "Baby Mine" to her.  She seemed calm and ready for bed.

I handed her to B, who had just gotten out of the shower, and he took her to bed.  My first sign should have been when she reached for me as I handed her to her Daddy.  I realized that I hadn't kissed her goodnight, and ran upstairs to do so.  We got ready to come back downstairs once she was tucked in, when she just started screaming and crying.

Once she saw me, she stopped.  We tried this again and again, so I picked her up and rocked her in her glider a bit.  I put her back in bed and more of the same happened.  Every time I walked out of her sight, she would cry - complete with tears streaming down her face.

Finally, I decided that I didn't need to foster this behavior and would just go on downstairs even if she started crying again.  I left, she started, I didn't come running, and she stopped very after just a few wails.  For some reason, she didn't want want me out of her sight.

As a mother, part of me is thrilled that she needs me and wants me.  Then I remember how my own mother still craves that thrill, and says and does things to her adult children to try to unhealthily cultivate that need in us.  Also, as stated earlier, I knew that I didn't need to foster a need to have me in the room with Firecracker at all times.  I want her to always love sleeping in her own bed.  I want her to not need to sleep in the same room as us.  Yes, she can join us when she's scared or doesn't feel well, but I don't think it's healthy for her to have to sleep in our room every night.  It's not healthy for her or our marriage.

Still yet, because she has never done this before, I was tempted to stay with her.  Hearing those cries; those "Momma don't leave me!" type cries, just tore at my soul.  I am not a cold, unfeeling person.  I don't want her to ever think that I'm a cold, unfeeling person.  I want to pick her up when she really needs me, and always - always give her love and comfort.  I don't want her to think that she needs me when she doesn't.  I want her to be strong on her own.  I definitely don't want to become the mother who secretly loves when her child is upset and needs her.  Oh what line we toe as mothers.

The good news since I started this post after midnight last night, is that Firecracker slept all through the night once she went to sleep.  She was fine, and she knew it.

Bulldozer Lucy

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Someday, long after she has crossed the Rainbow Bridge, I'll remember Lucy as I have both of my knees replaced.  Last night we were playing Frisbee with the girls while I wore Firecracker on the Baby Bjorn and we chased them.  We were standing still but right in front of B and the girl when B threw the Frisbee once.  Lucy was in such a hurry to beat Dory to the Frisbee that her whole body collided with my right knee.  B heard the collision and thought he heard when her head hit my knee.  I explain that her head didn't hit my knee, her body did, and that the popping, crunching noise was just my poor knee.

That's my good knee, or it was.  Several years ago, pre-Dory and pre-Firecracker, Lucy and I were playing hide and seek, and I was hiding in the master bathroom with the lights turned off.  She got excited and couldn't see, so she slammed her skull into my left knee.  It hasn't been the same since, though I don't think it bothered her thick skull at all.

Now both of my knees aren't in great shape.  I'm moving around more slowly these days, and I haven't the time!  Ugh.  I hate getting older.  My body doesn't bounce back as quickly as it once did.

Where were you???

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

What I was studying on 9-11-01.
Where were you when, as Alan Jackson sang, "...the world stopped turing on that September day?"

It was my senior year of college, and I had a Tuesday - Thursday Shakespeare's Histories and Comedies class at 9:30 in the morning, and a very good but challenging professor who gave a quiz every class.  So, I was going over my material again while eating a Pop Tart in bed of my dorm room (oh how I don't miss that room!).

I turned on the TV, and thought I was watching a movie on USA or something.  Instead I was watching the moments after the first tower was hit on CNN.  Once I realized what was happening, I turned the tv over to the ABC affiliate, because I had grown up watching Peter Jennings, and had to tear myself away just to shower before class.

Somehow I made it to class, everyone did though we weren't really sure if we were going to have class after everything.  My professor was late and prepared to Nuke all of Afghanistan.  Yes, my rather liberal Literature professor was ready to turn the desert into a giant sheet of glass.  It's interesting how things like that change people's opinions.

Anyway, that's where I was.  B and I were watching a documentary on Fox News of the events of that day.  Watching it now with the eyes of a mother who pushes a stroller, seeing the mothers and fathers racing from the dust clouds when the towers collapsed with their children screaming in strollers touches me in an even deeper manner now.  I can't imagine the terror those parents experienced, just trying to get their children to safety.

So, where were you when the towers fell?  Please leave a comment and share.  I really want to know.  I've even gotten rid of the annoying word verification.

Lessons Learned and Other Random Things From This Week and a Little From the Previous One

Sunday, September 9, 2012

~ We took the Firecracker to the County Fair last week.  She likes goats and finds chickens frightening.  I found it all rather gross.

~ This is what happens when I leave the room on a Saturday morning.  Four lazy sleepers.  Firecracker looks like she fell asleep looking out the window.

~ After being stuck in the house with a smoke detector beeping incessantly due to low batteries one too many times, Lucy now has a mortal fear of.... beeps.  So, last night as the wind blew like crazy, something outside made a beeping, squeaking sound constantly.  I awoke some time after 2 am with a golden retriever on top of me shaking, with her ears pinned back.  Not fun.  Not fun at all.

~ Watching and attempting to listen to Sandra Fluke speak at the DNC gave me a migraine.  I honestly thought that I was going to have a stroke, because we disagree that strongly.  She also just comes off so angry and either misinformed or is deliberately misinforming those to whom she is speaking.

~  I had to make several appointments this week for Firecracker, myself, and Lucy.  Both the pediatrician's office and the pediatric optometrist wanted to give us appointments for 8 am.  Firecracker doesn't wake up until 8 am!  Try explaining that to people.  Let's just say that our 9 month checkup is set for 10 in the morning, but our infant eye exam is an 8 am whopper.  Should be fun getting there.

~  We got a pool for Firecracker to swim in Labor Day.  She didn't really enjoy it until she saw Lucy in it.  Then it was fun.  She much more prefers to just look pretty in her hot pink bathing suit.

~  I'm pretty sure that Firecracker would be fine if I would take her to Target or Walmart once a day and just push her around in the cart.  She loves shopping like a big girl.  She especially loves being told what a pretty, sweet baby she is.  I love that she's big enough to push in the cart now.

~  If you like to watching lightning, watch this video that B took the other night.  If you like hearing sweet baby squeals, watch the video too.  While B took the video, I had Firecracker in the Baby Bjorn, and we played Frisbee with and chased Lucy and Dory.  That's Firecracker's favorite game to play.

Keep Calm and Woo Pig Sooie!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Source: etsy.com via Peyton on Pinterest

I am a fan of college football.  I am the fan of two teams in particular, the Oklahoma Sooners, because I grew up in Oklahoma, and loving the Sooners is kind of like breathing - unless you're a Poke.  However, I married an Arkansan, I've lived in Arkansas for almost nine years now, we live very close to the U of A, and I even worked at the TV station that is the home of the Razorback Nation for five years.  So, I'm also a very big hog fan now.  I've even been teaching the Firecracker to call the hogs lately.  I'm not going to quit teaching her, even after tonight's disastrous football game against Louisiana Monroe.

 Five months ago, the majority of the Razorback Nation stood behind Athletic Director Jeff Long and his decision to fire Bobby Petrino after the Jessica Dorrell scandal.    They even handed out shirts that stated "Integrity Goes a Long Way."  We even knew then that this season was probably going to be an ugly one.  Still yet, we hoped against hope that it wouldn't be.

Personally, I wanted them to win the BCS National Championship this year.  I want one of my teams to win it every year, but I especially wanted it this year for the Razorbacks.  Why?  To show that integrity does go a long way in this world.  I wanted to prove to all the naysayers that they were wrong.

I still think they're wrong.  I continue to believe that Jeff Long's actions in April were just as they should have been.  We've seen programs lately lose every ounce of their integrity for allowing coaches to do as they pleased and not do what is right.  We do not want Arkansas to become the next Ohio State or worse, Penn State.  This (so far) has only been one football game; only one loss.  It happens to the best of teams, especially when they mistakenly look at their  opponent like a cupcake or look beyond them to Goliath in houndstooth fedoras coming to Fayetteville the next week.  I'm a Sooner fan too, remember?  Losing to Boise State in the Fiesta Bowl taught me that you never look at any opponent like they're a cupcake.  You play each and every game like it's Texas or Alabama.  Every Saturday you're playing for the National Championship.

Source: via Jolene on Pinterest

As to the fans....  Well, it stings.  No, it downright hurts.  That said, Arkansas should not go groveling for Petrino to come back, nor should they demand that Jeff Long be tarred, feathered, and ridden out of Fayetteville on a rail.  Stand strong.  Supporting your team is like supporting your spouse.  You do it in health and in sickness, through good times and bad.  Like they say in Galaxy Quest, "Never give up.  Never surrender."  Now is the time your team needs you the most.  You can be disgusted with them.  You can be angry.  However, don't abandon them.  Attend the games!  Fill the seats!  Above all else, keep calm and WOO PIG SOOIE!

Source: via Jolene on Pinterest

Kids Stuff Is So Much Cooler These Days: The Music

Friday, September 7, 2012

If there's one thing I've noticed since entering into this thing called motherhood, it's that kid's stuff is so much cooler these days than ever!   Well, almost everything is cooler.  I honestly think cartoons aren't as good as they were when we were kids, because there's a little too much political correctness.  I was actually a little sad the other Saturday morning, because for Firecracker the first or second Saturday in September does not mean an awesome new season of Saturday morning cartoons.  I think I looked forward to the new Saturday Morning Cartoon season well into college.  I mean, she's never going to know the absolute awesomeness that was "Cartoon All-Stars to the Rescue."  Of course she's also not going to know what it's like to want to get up in time to hear "The Star Spangled Banner" being played on KFSM so she can watch "The Berenstain Bears" before "The Muppet Babies."  She does have awesome music to listen to though, and that's not something we really had back in the day - save for the occasional Chipmunks record of then-current covers.

I first started really looking into kids' music when Firecracker was just a week or two old.  I realized that I had to find something for us to listen to together other than Cee Lo.  For heaven's sake, our first night home, all I could think of to sing to Firecracker to calm her were Smash Mouth's "All-Star" and Olivia Newton John's "Physical," until I broke out into old hymns.  So, I did a little research.  As per usual, a little research has turned into a lot of research and almost an obsession of sorts with me.  What I've found is that there's a lot of really cool kids' music these days.  I've even caught myself listening to it in the car when Firecracker isn't with me.

The first songs I downloaded for Firecracker were off of Lisa Loeb's collaboration with Elizabeth Mitchell on Catch the Moon.  I really love a great many songs on this album.  Firecracker's first favorite song (other than "F You) was "Little Red Caboose."  I remember waiting in the exam room for my six-week post partum checkup with a Firecracker who was starting to get fussy, and singing this song to her to keep her calm.  Some of her first smiles came while I sang this to her.  Other favorite songs on this album are:  "Big Rock Candy Mountain," "Oh Susanna," "Catch the Moon," "Twinkle Twinkle, Little Star," and "New Morning."

After listening to these songs, I automatically became a fan of Elizabeth Mitchell and downloaded several of her songs.  I think my favorite album is You Are My Sunshine.  I love both of her renditions of "You Are My Sunshine," but I think my favorite song is "I'm So Glad I'm Here."  "Alphabet Dub" is fun, and I've always, always loved the old School House Rock song of "Three Is the Magic Number."  The whole album is just pretty good.

On Elizabeth Mitchell's You Are My Little Bird"I love "Peace like a River" and "Down In the Valley."  Frankly, I could talk about her stuff throughout this whole post, but I won't.

There's one special song that for the longest time I listened and sang to Firecracker every night after her bath, and that was Alison Krause's version of "Baby Mine."  I just love that song, and it's sort of our song.  On the rare occasion Firecracker wakes in the night, I can usually get her back to sleep by singing this to her as I rock her.  So many mothers share "You Are My Sunshine" with their babies as their song, but I just adore this one even more.  I think it may be because on of the songs that I sort of think of as mine and B's is "When You Say Nothing At All."  Both songs just melt my heart.  There, I'm being all emotional and stuff now.

My friend D posted on Instagram a while back the cover of one of the "Rockabye Baby!" Albums.   She got several different songs for her son, McFly.  They do lullaby renditions of popular rock music.  So, I found their stuff on iTunes and loved it.  Firecracker likes it well enough, but quite honestly she really prefers music with words and often with a good beat - if not some heavy bass.  She likes music she can get jiggy to.  Let me tell you she's starting get get really jiggy with it - not just in her jumparoo.  She loves to dance.  The lullabies are still better than so many out there though.  Oh, personally I wish I hadn't wasted $1.29 on Jewel's version of "Brahm's Lullaby."  That one's just a stinker in my book and kind of hacks me off when it comes up on a shuffle.

My latest discovery, thanks to suggestions by iTunes Genius, has been Frances England.  The Firecracker and I both love "The Books I Love to Read" on her Fascinating Creatures Album.  I am making it a priority that we read each book in the song.

Oh, I could just go on and on about Firecracker's music.  I even like They Might Be Giants, because Firecracker loves "The Hot Dog Song" and "The Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Theme" so much.  I won't take up any more time tonight (I started this post over twelve hours ago) though.  I'll just suggest my Pinterest Board devoted to Kids' Music and another I found informative to keep up with.  I plan to update mine whenever I find something new.  One thing I don't think you'll find me gushing over is Raffi music.  B has downloaded some for Firecracker, but I just can't yet.  He likes it.  Our tastes in kiddo music pretty much reflect the differences in our tastes in our music as well.

Well, it's after midnight here, so I'll bid you adieu for now.  Just remember, "there's no hokey without the pokey."  :)

What I've Learned In Seven Months

Thursday, September 6, 2012

~ Prairie Dawn is almost as cool as Mickey Mouse.  She is definitely clap-worthy.

~ Oh yes, we clap our hands now.  We especially clap while listening to Rush Limbaugh and watching Play With Me Sesame or Mickey Mouse.

~ We still love to go clothes shopping at Carter's.

~ Grocery shopping is fun now that we have a cart cover and can sit like a big girl.  Going out to eat is more fun now too.

~ Upon seeing another kid, we must yell, "Hey!"

~ "Da Da," was a frequently used word for a week or two.  It has sort of died down lately.   Still no real sign of "Mama."

~ Along with clapping, we wave from time to time, especially to boys.

~ B is going to have to start cleaning his shotgun now, because the Firecracker is a pretty big flirt.

~  Teething is a bi@#%.  After tooth #1 poked through, things seem worse at times.

~ For some reason, I'm trying to get Firecracker interested in crawling.  She's so much easier to take care of now, though.

~ Even though it's not my favorite color by a long shot, Firecracker seems genuinely attracted to hot pink.  She loves her pink bathing suit, her pink suede boots, her pink knit cap.  At least it's hot pink and not pastel pink.  It's the pastels I don't like.  I like living, vibrant colors.  I think Firecracker does too.

~ Bowls don't make good hats, but they're funny.

~ Stuffed animals are fun in all sizes.

~ The new TV season has to start soon, because my DVR needs to record something besides Firecracker programming.

An Open Letter To Old Navy

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Dear Old Navy,
I love your clothes.  More importantly I love the low price tag that comes with your clothes.  For the past few years, I have been buying my jeans from you and have been mostly pleased.  Last year I was especially appreciative of your maternity jeans.  They were nice and came at a decent price.
This fall, I have had to purchase all new jeans, yes several pair at once, because now that my baby-weight is mostly gone, I realize that the Size 0 and Size 2 jeans I have been able to wear since high school no longer fit.  They have all been donated to my church's clothing giveaway.  That's fine.  I honestly don't mind being a 4 now.  I do mind that since I last was able to wear regular jeans, you've decided to change them somewhat.
Right now, I am wearing a pair of The Dive skinny leg jeans in 4L.  They fit perfectly everywhere.... except for the thighs.  Now, I know that a lot of styles from the 80s have returned, but I really don't want to wear parachute pants.  I want to show off my decent backside, not hide it!  I don't want to get all Mom-jean yet!
My thighs are proportional with the rest of my body.  One of the things I hated about my body while I was pregnant was how my thighs rubbed together.  It was very uncomfortable, and I'm thrilled they no longer do so.  However, my pants legs do rub together now as they flap while I walk, because I can't fill out the giant thighs! 
Let me tell you, any woman whose thighs fit snugly into your jeans, probably can't or shouldn't wear the waist size jean that comes with the thigh.  Without the help of Spanx, muffin top should be spilling all over the place.  Trust me, no one will be gazing down at the ba donka donk.  They'll be staring at rolls of waist.
Maybe instead of trying to make a Size 8 feel delusionally good by fitting parts of them into a 4, maybe you should fit your jeans according to how people are honestly built.

Thank you,

The Non-Crunchy One

Road Trip Advice - Please Comment

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

I'm going road trippin'!
Soon, we will be embarking on our first major road trip with the Firecracker.  Yes, I said road trip.  We're not flying.  We're driving from our little corner of Northwest Arkansas all the way to Colorado to meet Firecracker's little cousin, Pistol, and also to do as much sight-seeing as possible with a seven month old and a two month old.

Now, the Firecracker is a pretty good little traveler, as long as we don't have to get her in and out of the car constantly in 100°+ weather, and we keep her fed and her bottom clean.  However, we are going to be traveling with a seven month old a very long distance.  So, any and all advice as to how to make this trip as easy as possible, please post in the comment section.

Also, any ebook suggestions for me?  There will be times when Firecracker isn't commandeering my iPad with Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, and I would love to finally get a chance to do some reading.

The Need For Routine

Monday, September 3, 2012

"That's another thing we could do today...."

B has been spouting that line off to me this long weekend.   It's hot again here thanks to Isaac pushing the jet stream to the north, and B is trying to fill his free time.  Yesterday I went along with some of it.  Saturday we already had plans, so it wasn't an issue.  Today though...   Today is pretty much a normal Monday for me, which means Laundry Day.

Now, don't get me wrong, I wash laundry almost every day of the week, but Monday and Tuesday are when I do the bulk of the washing.  I still keep the house picked up, do dishes, and take care of other every day things, but I mostly spend my work time sorting, washing, folding, and putting up laundry.  I hate to get behind in the laundry, because that means eventually there will be a giant stack of clean things that needs to be folded and put away just sitting, waiting on the spare bed.  Right now, we've got too much going on for me to not do the laundry today and instead find some other special project.  So, I  nipped that talk right in the bud and told B that he could stop finding things for me to do today, because my day was already filled, and that I also had the added job of ironing his clothes to wear to work this week today, because we didn't do that yesterday.

Basically, the thing is that I HAVE A ROUTINE!  DON"T MESS WITH IT!!!  Firecracker and I have a very good Monday - Friday routine that allows some flexibility to get out, go to appointments, see people, and such, but when we're home we try to stick to our routine.  It makes for a much happier Mama and baby.  I know, because it took us two-three months to develop a good routine.

When we first brought Firecracker home from the hospital, I don't know what I was thinking or even if I was thinking clearly or at all.  We were all three a little lost and rather than set up a routine, we just let things happen.  A bit of a routine started when we were told we HAD to make her wake up and eat every three hours.  Oy, I don't miss that part of those days.  I started trying to create a routine when B went back to work also, but Firecrackers napping schedule was all over the place.

By the time she was two months old, I had almost reached my breaking point, because I couldn't really tell if Firecracker was hungry, sleepy, or just fussy.  She wouldn't nap properly, and I wasn't getting any time to just breathe.  Then I realized that she really needed a set routine just as much as I did.  We both needed to be able to rely on knowing what to expect and when to expect it.  So I did a little online research and found info on The Baby Whisperer's EASY method.  Everything I read made complete sense to me.

Eat - Feed the baby.
Activity - Play with the baby, do tummy time, that sort of thing.
Sleep  - When the baby starts to show signs of sleepiness, put down for a nap.
You - Use baby's nap time for you to sleep, clean yourself, eat, rest, WHATEVER YOU NEED.

At first this routine should be repeated every three hours, until evening when you might not want baby to sleep so long, but eat more so he/she'll maybe sleep more through the night.  Sleeping through the night has never really been an issue for us though.  Anyway, there are charts to use.  When Firecracker was between four and five months old, we transitioned from a Three-hour EASY to a Four-hour EASY, with longer intervals between everything.   Basically now we've built our own routine based on EASY, but that works.

Firecracker wakes up in the morning, and I feed her a cereal/fruit mix breakfast.  Then she takes most of a six-ounce bottle.  We then go upstairs so I can shower.  She plays on a blanket in the bathroom floor.  Once I've showered and dressed, I clean her and change her into her day's clothes.  Then I dry my hair with her on the spare-room bed.  She usually passes out for a short nap while I do this.  Then we go downstairs, and play until lunch time.  At lunch she eats a jar of fruit then takes eight ounces of formula.  We play a bit, then she goes down for her long afternoon nap.  We'll play some more, then she'll have an afternoon bottle of eight ounces.  We play some more, and she'll usually take a cat nap in her jumparoo while I cook dinner.  She eats a vegetable while we eat dinner, then we play with the dogs.  After that, she gets eight ounces of formula, takes her bath, comes down for a moment and takes a night-cap two-four ounces of formula then is ready for bed.

I'll get up before Firecracker to take care of the dogs' morning needs, unload the dishes from the night before from the dishwasher, and start loading any that have since accumulated.  I may also pick up around the house and take the previous day's laundry upstairs to sort.  Throughout the day, I'll do my tasks that keep the house running in fairly good order.  This leads to a fairly busy and full day for me, but it works for us.

Everyone in our family thrives on routine.  The dogs expect to be fed and pottied at certain times throughout the day.  B has grown used to having a dusted house, clean sheets every week, clean and folded laundry in the drawers, and such.  Firecracker is happy knowing what to expect.  I'm happy, because there is order.

Some people may be better letting whatever will be will be, but in our house routine is a wonderful, wonderful thing that allows us the ability to enjoy ourselves more when we have free time, because there's little that needs to be caught up.  To me, messing with routine is a lot like wearing a bathing suit to go snow skiing.  It just doesn't work.

To My Unnamed Child

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Dear Little One,
Today or a day very near this one, you would have been two years old. It's hard to imagine that we could have a toddler running about, that we could be trying to potty-train you, and that you would probably try to be helpful with your little sister.
I don't know if you are a boy or a girl. You went away from us too early to know. We hadn't even grown used to the idea of you yet, and then you were gone. You did exist though, I know it. On two different occasions I saw your little heart beating via ultrasound. I have pictures somewhere, filed away to prove it.
Some, at the point in which we lost you, would say that you weren't a person - just a clump of cells, but that isn't true. I saw your heart beating. I couldn't feel you move yet, but I was aware that you were there, and I just remember the horrible emptiness I felt once you were gone -how your dad and I really already knew you were gone before we saw that empty ultrasound.
Your dad and I talk about you more now that we have Firecracker. She didn't replace you, but her being here does make it easier. I've learned that talking about you is good. Even though over two years have passed since we lost you, I've started attending a grief share group with a friend, and even now it still helps to talk with others who have similar experiences.
We're taught to hide early pregnancy to make it easier if miscarriage happens. The problem with that is that when that happens, few people talk with you about your loss. I don't know how many times people didn't tell me things I wanted to know about, because they thought they were protecting me. People withholding their good news for fear of hurting me only hurt more in the long run.
Since we lost you, I had to make some changes in my life. I had to decide to go after what I wanted, which was and is a family with children, rather than just allow life to happen. I had to cut off unhealthy relationships, some very close, because I realized that I was never going to have my own family and really life I was too busy being sucked dry by others. I stopped taking (pardon my language) crap from anyone, especially those closest to me. I finished growing up when I lost you. I lost what was left of my innocence along with you that bitter, cold January.
I have had this dream since at least high school of a particular Christmas morning. I always loved Christmas as a kid. I loved the magical, warmness of Christmas. Then your grand-dad died when I was ten. Christmas suddenly became a holiday about wanting and trying and never obtaining. When I was younger, I thought possibly it was because I wanted certain gifts, didn't get them, and had to live with disappointment. As I grew older, I realized that I didn't want things, I wanted that warm, magical feeling of when my family was whole. Then the dream started.
There was this dream of Christmas morning with a happy husband and two tow-headed kids running down the stairs to see what was under the tree. Three years ago at Christmas, I thought that dream was coming true, because I had you. Then you were gone, and Christmas suddenly became that much harder. Even last year when your sister was on her way, it was still so difficult at times. I'll never be able to listen to "Silent Night" without thinking of you. This year will be easier and happier, because your sister is here, but knowing that dream could have come true this year.... Knowing that you're not with us will always be with me.
As your sister reaches milestones, I can't help but wonder how you would be the same and also different. Would you have blue eyes too? Would you also have reddish-blond hair that sticks up straight no matter how much we brush it? Would you be a squealer like your sister or maybe a chuckler? Would your first word have been, "Momma?" Your sister's is "Da Da." Would you like carrots and squash too? Would you spend your days chasing Lucy and Dory? Would Mickey Mouse Clubhouse be your favorite TV show also, or would you prefer something more like Jake and the Neverland Pirates?
By now, you would probably be talking nonstop, asking millions of questions daily, reciting stories from memory, and just being a crazy, crazy kid. I wish I could read you a story and sing silly songs with you. Time is both my friend and enemy in regard to missing you.  The pain hurts a little less with time, but every day, every week, month, season, year that passes since you were here with us carries us further apart the emptiness of your not being here is sometimes more evident.  It was difficult accepting that time could and would go on without you here.
I wish that I could hold you, hug you, kiss your sweet head, and let you hear how very much I love you - will always love you. I miss you, dear Little One, but I know you're in a wonderful place and will never know pain or sorrow. Someday, I'll meet you there. We'll know each other, and it will be like no time has passed at all. You will always be my first baby. You will always be in my heart - the child of my heart.

I love and miss you Little One,


Hover to Pin

Designed with ♥ by Nudge Media Design