Wednesday, December 21, 2005

She's right...But I won't admit it.

My sister, aunt Cyndi, wanted to cease the exchanging of Christmas gifts this year between the adults, and just give to the two kids in the family. I wanted no part in that. After all, even though our income has been reduced this year by 3/4, I can still MAKE gifts. And to find the perfect Christmas gift for someone is an elation I wasn't willing to let go.

Perhaps if she had proposed this midway in December I may have been more willing to entertain the idea. After all, mid November we are still starry-eyed and naive to the fact that a) we'll actually FIND the perfect gift for each and every one on our list b) it is in our price range or something we can make, and c) we'll find the time to make it if it is the latter. But, she did not. She made the proposal in November.

OK, I'll finally admit I was short sighted. I realized that today at about 3 p.m. as I was wandering around Best Buy frantically looking for something - anything- that resembled that "perfect" gift for my parents. I was even willing to spend twice what I would have originally been willing to spend. I was desperate. It was probably the desperation on my face or the frantic look that made some poor guy in a blue "Best Buy" shirt came up to me. He naively uttered those words he probably was required to utter and learned in training "May I help you". I am sure he wasn't prepared for me to get down on my knees and grab his feet begging him to help me find a gift for $50 or less for a retired couple who live in a motorhome and can't gather a bunch of stuff and who buy whatever they need. I am also sure he wasn't prepared for the tear stained cheek as I looked up hoping for him to majically turn into a jolly old elf who would pull out the perfect gift from his knapsack. Oh, no. He wasn't prepared.

The poor boy did direct me here and there. And I finally felt sorry for him and pretended that he had solved my problem. I picked up a webcam and stammered around until he went in another direction, probably in the direction of store security. Then I put it back and snuck out of there before he could see my empty hands. I fully expect to see my picture on the wall at Best Buy with a sign that says "Do not help".

I wandered around town a while. I thought "A sweater? No, they try to travel where it is warm." "A goldfish? No, the water will slosh out while they go down the highway".

I was down to "underwear" and "belly button cleaner" before I realized the inevitable. It's gift certificates for a restaurant again this year. But worst of all I have to admit my sister is right.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Breastfeeding. The good, the bad, and the ugly.

The best decision I've ever made was to breastfeed. Oh, I could go on and on about how I love doing it because it is good for Rachel, because I feel so connected to her as she suckles from my breast, how I know my baby is getting the natural nutrients she needs to thrive and grow. Yes, I could go on. But I'd be lying. Well, not lying exactly. All of that is true, but...

It is CHRISTMAS TIME. We all know what happens at Christmas time. The family sits around eating Christmas cookies, chocolate covered cherries, and appetizers they normally wouldn't touch the other 11 months of the year because of the calories. We go to Christmas parties with the intention of just having a bite or two and end up spending most of the night next to the buffet table sneaking a bite when no one is looking. We make Christmas cookies as gifts thinking we will give them all away this year only to "sample" a dozen just like last year. We think they'll exercise extra the next day but then they get caught up in the things to do we forget.

Yes, on average Americans gain 5 pounds at the holidays, and my family is no exception. But, while everyone is whining that they are gaining weight, I'm still losing. I'm now 10 pounds below my pre-pregnancy weight and I'm still losing about a pound or two a month. Is it because I'm determined not to gain? Is it because I have the willpower my family doesn't? Oh, no. I can eat with the best of them.

I owe the weight loss to breastfeeding. Which makes me ecstatic, but on the other hand I'm a little worried. I've come accusomted to eating crap, and a lot of it. I had birthday cake for breakfast the past few days. Oh, I'll eat my vegetables and a well balanced meal so I get the nutrients to pass on to Rachel, but I won't pass up the chocolate covered pretzels my friend gave me as a gift. No siree, bub. I've been eating out the wazoo.

So, on to my worry. I can't breastfeed forever. In fact, Rachel has decided it is fun to clamp down while feeding and wiggle her head back and forth. This is fine right now that she doesn't have teeth, but they're coming soon. She also thinks it's fun to show off her new "grab the toys" skill and grab and pinch mommy's boob while nursing. As much as my mom thinks this is hilarious it doesn't fare well for future breastfeeding.

Next time mom laughs at Rachel's antics I'll just remind her I gave her my "fat" jeans that I no longer can wear and she has grown into. Then again, maybe that's not a good idea.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Just whining. Don't mind me.

Happy birthday. To me.

Today I got 2 seasons of Little House on the Prairie (YAY!) from my in-laws, a chocolate cake with cream cheese frosting (my favorite) from my hubby, and a cold from Rachel, who also chose to keep one for herself.

Actually, the best gift I am getting/got was my mom. She agreed to take care of Rachel tonight while I sleep. SLEEP! I can't wait.

We took Rachel BACK to the pediatritian today, whose office knows her quite well now, to speak of her sleeping. When I told the pediatritian what we've done/are doing and a typical day at our house she gave me a referral to the Sleep Disorder Clinic at Texas Children's Hospital. Sigh.

The thing is, she goes to sleep, but she wakes up within 30 minutes. She is tired ALL THE TIME. I've read Dr. Sears, Dr. Farber, the Baby Whisperer, T. Barry Brazleton, you name it. Nothing works.

Tomorrow I try the clinic. We'll see but I'm not holding my breath.

Thursday, December 08, 2005


It sucks to have a birthday in December. It really does. Besides getting your typical combo birthday/Christmas presents, the whole day is just overshadowed by Christmas. How dare Jesus's birthday be in the same month as mine.

Not only is Jesus's brithday in the same month, but so is my mother's birthday (December 10th), and my sister's (December 6th). How dare they! Mine is December 14th. So, growing up not only did I get combo Birthday/Christmas presents but I also had a combo birthday party with my sister. And what's worse is often friends didn't come anyway because their parents were making them go to some boring Christmas party at their work or something. At least that was what they told me. I remember when I was 10 my very best friend in the whole wide world didn't show to my party because her dad got her tickets to the Nutcracker. Humph. I would have run across the room on my toes if that's what she wanted.

My mom tried. She thought it would be fun to always get the Christmas decorations out on one of our birthdays. To make it sort of a tradition. And on another birthday we would make Christmas cookies. I guess she never really cared that her birthday was overshadowed, too, by Christmas.

When your birthday is 11 days before Christmas you also always end up with lots of sweaters and winter clothes, because you get them as gifts, but your summer wardrobe is a little lacking. At least that's the excuse I use for never being in style in the summer. Now that I'm a mom, though, I get my first summertime gift giving occassion this year with Mother's day. It better be good. (I wonder if my husband is still reading my blog?)

As adults my mom, sister, and I have made it a tradition to get together in the middle of our birthdays and go shopping. The problem is the malls are so crowded with holiday shoppers we can barely squeeze down the isle. This year we're going to go ahead and make the Christmas Cookies, too, if we can muster up the strength from fighting off old ladies in the perfume isle.

Then of course is New Years. But by the time we celebrate three birthdays and Christmas, forget New Years. We're going to bed at 9 p.m.

Now, please someone tell my WHY I got married on January 2nd? That screws another gift giving day for me and by then we're REALLY celebrated out from three birthdays, Christmas and New Years. We go to bed at 7 p.m. (Ok, Ok, on your anniversary going to bed at 7 p.m. IS celebrating).

You know, though, who I REALLY feel sorry for? My dad. After we spend December celebrating three birthdays, Christmas, New Years and our Anniversary on January 2nd, he has his birthday on January 9th. He is lucky to get a card.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

My Husband is Lucky He Still Can Produce Children

The other night Rachel woke up at 12:45 a.m. and I couldn't get her back to sleep for anything. The poor little one takes 2 hours to get to sleep at night. She usually sleeps 6 hours before she needs to be fed, but not that night. No way, no how. In a mere 4 hours she was up and wired. So, I was in her room trying to get her to sleep. She would fall asleep, and I'd think I was home free, then she would start crying and it was all over again. I closed our bedroom door and Rachel's bedroom door in hopes that it would not wake Bryan who had to work that day. Of course I realized that this was a mere pipe dream because my child is bound to be an opera singer with those lungs, and two small wooden doors would be like putting a piece of paper next to the sun to block it out.

So, the screaming went on and on. At about 2 a.m. the house was quiet except for the whails of a 4 month old. I was in her room which is lit only by a 2 watt night light. I was standing over the crib which faces the wall with her in my arms. It was cold that night. Well, cold for Houston, about 55 degrees, so I had on my big red fuzzy bathrobe.

Bryan couldn't sleep, apparently. Rightly so, as I mentioned the opera singer thing. So, what does he decide to do? He decides to come in there with me. Which is all fine and dandy, except he thinks he needs to be quiet and not talk as to not desturb what I am trying to do with this child. So, he comes up behind me when I am stading by the crib facing the wall and taps me on the shoulder. In my big red fuzzy bathrobe I thought I felt a tap, but deep down thought I was just imagining things because the tap was so light. I turned around and there was Bryan behind me. Except at 2 a.m. in my big red fuzzy bathrobe in a 2 watt bulb lit room with a 4 month old screaming at me I didn't realize it was my loving husband.

I screamed. Actually it was more of an "ah..ah..ahhhh...ahhhh...AHHHH!" He is lucky I had a child in my arms because instinctually I think I would have kicked his man parts. I swear I've never been so scared in all my life. Not even on that roller coaster at Six Flags.

As I was screaming he said "Sorry! Sorry! I'm Sorry!!" I finally realized it was him before any permanent harm was done to anyone. He apologized for about 5 minutes and I kept saying "It's OK" in a wifey "It's not OK" sort of way. Yea, he'll hear about this later when he thinks I've forgiven him.

Monday, December 05, 2005


I didn't mean to worry anyone. I haven't blogged in a month! That was rude and I'm sorry. I think I've been dealing a little with post-partem depression. I haven't had motivation to do much at all. I need to get out and find activities. I've never been one to sit idle and not do much. In fact, my usual is to get too much on my plate, say "yes" to everyone and everything (sorry guys, not to THAT), but since Rachel has been born I have pretty much been a hermit. I worry that I'm not doing this or that enough for Rachel, or too much of this or the other thing. I obsess about it. So much so that I obsess that I'm not enjoying her, either. It's constant worry and obsess and get depressed. And then get depressed because I want to get involved in stuff, but yet I feel like I am stuck at home because she is on a 3 hour feeding schedule. And, as much as others are willing, I am just not one to whip out a boob anywhere at any time. Also, the kid won't sleep unless she is on top of me, which is a wee bit inconvenient.

Anyway, enough whining. That's where I've been and I realize it was rude just to disappear. I promise to do better.