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Archive for August, 2010

Sometimes mommies have rough days. Sometimes they are just tired, worn down, and grumpy for no good reason.

And you know what?

That’s ok. We’re allowed.

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The Eyes Have It

(This may be my most vain post to date; just warning you.)

My son has the most beautiful eyes.  They are incredibly big, blue, and sparkling.  To make them even more alluring, C has the longest lashes of any child I have ever seen.

I am not alone in thinking this.  Every where we go, people lavish C with compliments.  “What big blue eyes!” “Why pretty eyes!” My chest swells with pride, a little.

Until things turn awkward.

How could things turn awkward when everyone is complimenting my son? Why would this be a bad thing?

It’s not a bad thing, at all.  It’s just at some point, whomever is complimenting my son will eventually look me in the eyes as I thank them.  It’s then that things get awkward.

Most people do a double take, or maybe a head tilt, like they’re not quite sure what they’re seeing.  Often their faces take on a look similar to my dogs when I ask them if they know where something is.  Whaaaaat?

Or if they don’t get awkward, I do.

(Here’s where I get vain.)

You see, my son has my eyes.  He has my exact eyes.  It’s as if God made a carbon copy of my eyes and plopped them in my son.  Everything is the same from the length of the eyelashes to the flecks of gold around the pupil.  It’s only one of two traits he has of mine, otherwise he is all his daddy.

Connor's baptism (10 months)

(This is not my favorite picture of me, but it definitely illustrates the eye situation.)

The fact that they’re exactly the same makes them more dramatic in my son, since his head is quite a bit smaller than mine.

Still it’s odd when someone says “What beautiful blue eyes” to my son and then looks up at me and sees the same pair of eyes.

People can’t really compliment strange adults on their eyes, though.  That would be even more awkward and inappropriate.  Those kind of compliments are meant for moonlit walks on the beach or to be whispered over wine glasses.  You don’t tell strangers how lovely you think their eyes are in the middle of the pharmacy aisle in Target.

No, instead, you smile awkwardly and walk away, decidedly avoiding eye contact.  Awesome.

Well, at least I know people like our eyes, even if my life is more bizarre because of it.

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While C was sick, he was extremely unhappy.  So much so, that C upgraded his normal fussy tantrum to the ULTIMATE tantrum.

It was crazy, over-the-top toddler behavior.  It was so bizarre that I had to completely focus my face so as not to laugh.

Let me paint a picture for you:

C would get worked up because, well, he felt terrible.  But he was so sick and tired and frustrated that his fussiness just kept escalating into tantrums that got worse and worse.

He would begin by whining.  Then he would move on to crying.  Then C would graduate to wailing, complete with big open mouthed howls and giant crocodile tears running down his cheeks.  He would toss his head back and forth, shaking it furiously as if to deny some fact I was forcing him to accept.  NO! NO! He seemed to be saying.  I won’t accept evolution! I am a creationist! You are making me so upset by forcing this “science” on me!  (Or at least that’s how I re-imagined his reaction to make sense of it since his denials and tantrums made not logical sense, much like creationism.)

I (or some other loved one) would attempt to soothe him.  I would pick C up, rub his back, gently hushing him as I rocked him to and fro. It was a true example of mothering patience and comfort.

For this I was rewarded with kicks to the stomach and thighs, accompanied by piercing shrieks in my ears, as C violently threw himself around, trying to break free from the prison of my arms; though minutes before he had begged to be held, rushing at me with open, upraised, pleading arms.

In response to his violence, I would put C back on the ground, to which C’s immediate response was to amp up the screaming.  C would stamp his feet, usually making himself turn in a small circle.  So mad!!  He would then turn and run the opposite direction from me, finding some boxes or pile of blankets to hide behind, throwing himself on the ground, crying and crying and crying.  He would sit there and furiously kick his little legs up and down on the carpet, screaming in frustration (It was extremely difficult not to laugh at this since it was just so ridiculous!).  Finally, C would look up, see me, and get up and run away from me again, repeating the whole thing all over again.

When C had sufficiently bruised his heels from kicking at the ground or was simply tired of being alone in his box forts, he would seek me out, arms upraised, face wet and red from crying.

If I was lucky, C would simply rub his snotty, tear-stained face into my shirt, snuggle into my shoulder, sigh and eventually sleep.  If I was not so lucky, well, then….let’s just not think about that again.

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Beginnings

I don’t even know where to begin.  The last few weeks have been down-right crazy!

For those of you out of the loop, we moved! Hurrah!  We now officially live in Orange County.  I love love love our new house.  Everything about it is awesome: the location, the view, the natural light, the dog friendly neighborhood.  It’s truly fantastic.

That does not mean that it wasn’t absolutely hellish getting here….because it was….HELLISH.

I don’t think I was ever more tired than I was last week during the move (ok, maybe after giving birth, but next to that this was pretty exhausting).

Let me take you back to the beginning.

About two-three weeks ago, C and I both had allergy attacks, probably from the packing and cleaning going on at the house.  We both have hay fever, but it usually passes.  So I wrote off my persistent headaches as allergy related and C’s crankiness as teething.

As usual, I was wrong.  I’m getting a little tired of being wrong ALL the time.  It is seriously annoying.

After about a week of crankiness, sleeplessness, massive drooling, and finally a refusal to eat I took C and I to our individual doctors. On our first visit, the doctors checked us out, confirmed my suspicion of a sore throat and ear infection (since I had the worst sore throat of my life, as well as some massive pressure in my ear, I figured C might be suffering a similar fate).  We were each given some antibiotics and sent home with orders to rest.

Rest is difficult enough when you’re trying to move an entire household in just a few days, but when you’re a psuedo-single mother dealing with a sick child and trying to manage it all alone, it’s damn near impossible.

For the week leading up to the doctor visits, as well as the first few days after I was averaging about 4 hours a night.  Sigh….It was….challenging.

My mother finally took pity on me and kept the baby overnight, while I drugged myself with NyQuil and slept for 10 hours straight.  I should have turned the corner after that, but I didn’t.  In fact, I felt worse.  And to top it all off C was worse.

After debating all Sunday about whether to make an ER visit or just wait until Monday morning, I finally packed us up and off we went to urgent care.  By the time we got there I was wheezing so badly it was nearly impossible to get a clean breath, while C screamed his head off for about 3 hours straight.

I begged, cajoled and threatened my husband until he left work and met us at urgent care so I could actually be treated for whatever was wrong with me without trying to keep a miserable toddler happy.  Good thing I did, because I had to have chest x-rays followed by a breathing treatment since bronchitis appeared to be forming in my lungs.  After a shot of antibiotic and a couple prescriptions, I was sent home.

C was no happier, so I took him back to his doctor in the morning where he also got an inspection, and a shot.  His single ear infection had spread to  a double ear infection as well as a raw, red throat.  No good.

It took about 48 hours for both of us to start feeling better, which wasn’t an ideal schedule since we were still sick on Tuesday when the movers showed up.

I opted for the more expensive and slower move by stretching it over two days.  It cost a bit more, but it gave us a chance to hole up in the master bedroom and stay in bed all day while the rest of the house got packed up and moved out.

Without going into too much detail, let’s just say it was an extremely stressful 48 hours (for which I would like to thank my mom and cousin A for getting me through).

I’m not going to think about it anymore.  Instead I’m going to focus on my lovely new house and the wonderful beginnings we have here.

(I’ll try to locate a camera other than my iPhone and post some pictures of the new house so you can see just why I’m so happy)

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Setup

Hi All! The internet is setup at my new house and I’ve managed to clear a path to my computer, so I will be returning with new posts shortly.

I also found my laptop, so that was exciting. I can now resume my lazy nightly routine of watching my DVRed shows, eating ice cream, and writing in bed. (Although I should stop with the ice cream. For real, my waist line is not happy.) Anyways, prepare yourself for more bizarre stories about my totally harried motherhood.

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For the last few days I’ve been getting a lot of double takes, some deep eye staring, and, frankly, a bizarre amount of attention.

The conceited part of me was like “yeah! all the weight loss is paying off! I must look gggggggggoooooood!”

I strut a bit when I think this.

But oh vanity, thy name is Erin!

Today I realized it wasn’t so much the thinner me people were staring at (though I still secretly hope that was part of it). People were actually staring at the crazy sick person who sounds like she’s been smoking a pack a day for the last 15 years.

For example, I came downstairs early the other morning to open the door for some handymen. They all looked shocked at my appearance at the door, but at least no one cringed. When I managed to whisper loudly that I was a bit under the weather, all of their faces changed to expressions of relief and pity. The foreman even managed a sad smile and said “That’s ok, honey. why don’t you go back to bed?”

I would have been angry at the patronizing tone of a stranger if I hadn’t actually been desperate to follow his direction and return to bed.

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Dear Boris

As I was standing in the pet store today, staring at the 72 different types of fish bowl water purifiers, I’m thinking how MUCH I hate my beta fish Boris.

He has to be the worst pet ever.

And please don’t give that whole “oh, fish are so beautiful”or  “it’s so relaxing to watch them swim” baloney.

Boris is neither beautiful nor relaxing.

Boris is stained with oddly placed birthmarks in a lovely oatmeal color.  They do not make him “dramatic”.  They make him ugly.

And watching Boris swim is either boring or disconcerting.

If left to his own devices, Boris spends most of his time pretending to be dead or, as my husband assures me, “resting” in various parts of his bowl.  He lies on the rocks on the bottom for hours.  Or if he’s feeling particularly spiteful, he floats at the top.

For the first few weeks I owned him, both of these activities would send me into a tizzy.  The laying on the rocks I worried was Boris actually dragging his body on the bottom, which the helpful “You Now Own a Beta Fish” pamphlet had warned was a sign of imminent death (ok, maybe the authors didn’t quite word it like that).  The floating at the top, I took to mean Boris was dying or actually dead.

To make myself feel better, I’ve taken to occasionally nudging Boris’ bowl to jolt him back to life (I doubt this is very healthy for Boris, but it’s good for my mental health).

Since Boris is lazy most of the day, he’s not much fun to watch.  If I do watch him, Boris chooses a very different type of behavior: attack mode!

When my face approaches his little bowl, Boris flares his fins and begins darting towards the glass closest to me.  He does this over and over, with quite a bit of ferocity for an animal no bigger than my pinkie.  My beta obviously would like to do bodily harm to me!

So you know what, Boris? Even though I feed you disgusting blood worms every day (because you won’t eat fish food flakes), change your water once a week, scrub your gross bowl, use water purifiers for you, add herbal drops to your water for your lasting health, I still don’t like you. My life would pretty much be easier if you died. You are a constant source of anxiety to me And YOU ARE A FISH!

However, if you did die, I would be plagued by guilt.  I would always wonder if it was something I did that caused your death.  It would be awful!

So, dear Boris, I hate you, but please don’t die.

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