Thursday, January 31, 2008

Home Improvements 2

This is my kitchen (and I thought we'd had every square inch of that wallpaper eradicated from our house):

This is my holey family room ceiling:

This is my mailbox:

You wish you were this cool.


Home Improvement

One of the biggest misconceptions I had about babies when I first became a mom was that once they started sleeping through the night they would continue to sleep through the night. So when little 10 week old Emily first slept for an 8 hour stretch I was ecstatic! I had heard horror stories of 3 year olds who had never yet slept through an entire night at one stretch, and my mom told me my sister didn't sleep through the night until they let her cry it out when she was 6 months old. 6 months! However did they manage? I couldn't believe they let that nonsense go on for that long.

Fast forward to weeks 18-26 or so, and Emily was back to her old tricks, getting up 2 or even 3 times a night. Since then she has gone through phases, she'll sleep through the night like a champ for a week or two, then it's back to getting up for at least one snack and visit at night.

I know I shouldn't complain. I have a friend whose 8.5 month old still wakes up 5-7 times a night and often screams for an hour or two while she's up. I don't know how this amazing woman is still alive, let alone coherent during the day.

The last two days Emily has awakened in the night, and at 5:00AM decided that sleep is for chumps and insistently declared that she is ready to start her day. Usually she eats at 5 but then goes back to sleep until 8, allowing me time to get breakfast and Will's lunch together and get the morning dishes under control. It makes a big difference, not having those couple hours baby-free. Going on less sleep than you're used to and being responsible for a baby for more waking hours than is customary is stressful, and stress breeds more stress.

Will is having his single most stressful time at work ever, with closing down the Job Shop, selling off the equipment, placing employees in new positions and moving into a new position himself in the new building. I have been very stressed recently, because every single day this week we've had construction workers tromping through our house, putting in overhead lights, installing microwaves, waking up Emily when I FINALLY get her down for a nap etc. I've made more trips than I care to think about to Home Depot, where they put products on display that are actually special order items but there's no way for a customer to tell that unless they track down an employee 5 aisles over who has no idea what's going on in the appliances department (but who you suspect would still be giving you that bovine stare even if you were in his area of "expertise") and 40 minutes later after contacting 3 other employees and paging a manager you find out you're out of luck.

Even as I write this, it was discovered that the microwave I ended up buying because it was the only one available right away had been returned by the previous purchaser not because it was "Too big", but because the idiots who tried to install it the first time stripped a screw on the back and pushed two lug nuts INTO the back of the microwave so it is completely useless. HOORAY, ANOTHER TRIP TO HOME DEPOT TODAY AND ANOTHER DAY WITH WORKMEN IN MY KITCHEN AT 8AM!

Even the dogs are stressed. Remy barfs if you look at him sideways, which means I have to wash the floor constantly lest Emily goes crawling through a pile of dog vomit. Heck, taking in the view that will be on display for our party guests on Sunday of the bare light bulbs hanging by wires from my ceiling and the gaping hole in my kitchen where a microwave used to be makes me want to barf. I am on day 2 of starting up Weight Watchers to lose this baby weight, which takes some time and planning, which stresses me out, which means I want to eat. Or barf. When your stomach's constantly in a knot it's hard to distinguish the two feelings.

Do you ever feel like your like will never be under control again? And if you chuckle to yourself and say "That's parenthood honey" then so help me I will drive over to your house with my dog and we'll both barf on your floor.


Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Emily the celebrity

I think it's going to her head...she's not returning my calls anymore and she refuses her pureed pears unless I serve them to her in a crystal goblet.

Emily won the Goodmama photo contest this week! If you're wondering what Goodmamas are, they're ONLY the most fabulous diaper ever to grace a baby's bum. Emily's picture is up at We get to be the envy of the cloth diapering world for a week, and mommy gets to choose a free diaper for Emily! I was so excited when I got our congratulations email that I squealed and jumped around, scaring my husband who was in the other room at the time.

Well, it's a big deal to me!


10 years

As of this Wednesday, January 30th, Will and I have been a couple for 10 years. It's hard to believe it's been that long since Will picked me up in his old Volvo after my all-county chorus practice and we went to Ruby Tuesday for dinner and saw Phantoms afterward. A lot has changed since then. We used to repeat our first date every year, but that movie theater is now super-ghetto and we don't go there anymore. We also don't go to Ruby Tuesday anymore, since they can't seem to make any food (including steamed broccoli) without dousing it in butter before serving it. We celebrate our anniversaries a little differently now.

First of all, we have to find a babysitter to celebrate these days. We left Emily with my mother...I guess that's one good thing about Emily deciding to almost completely wean herself early, it makes it easier to go away for any amount of time. This was my second night ever spent away from her, and it's still very hard.

We really enjoyed our stay at the Fairmont Mayakoba in Mexico last year, so we decided to stay at the Fairmont in DC and it was fantastic! Free breakfast buffet, afternoon tea, hot hors d'oeuvres in the evening, and even chocolate fondue at night, although we were out and about at that point so we missed it :-( The best part though was when we returned to our room after turn-down service had been there, and were greeted with rose petals in a heart shape on our bed:

and a bottle of champagne chilling in an ice bucket (and yes, I mean champagne, not sparkling white wine!) with a personalized and signed anniversary card.
Gotta love it!

We went to dinner at Zaytinya, which is a tapas-style Lebanese/Turkish/Greek restaurant and is rated as the #1 restaurant in DC on tripadvisor. It was really good...nothing to complain about at all, but I just expected more based on the fact that it was #1 out of thousands and the chef had lots of accented letters in his name.

After that we did a limo tour of the DC nightclubs. We hit Hudson first, where we got into an argument with the bartender. I ordered a "Lo-jito", which is an 80-calorie drink made with splenda syrup and low-cal rum. We watched him put 3 sugar cubes and Cruzan rum in my drink, and when we asked him about it and pointed out that it says on the menu that it has syrup and not sugar cubes in it he got defensive and said that the only difference was the rum. Funny, he put regular rum in my drink too. And besides, that would have to be one seriously weak drink, considering that each sugar cube is 25 calories, leaving for only 5 calories worth of rum. We eventually gave up, and I grudgingly drank the nastiest (and most expensive) Mojito I've ever had.

Next we went to Fly, which is a airplane-themed nightclub. Once again, my drink was messed up, but oh well. It was a neat place, probably my favorite of the night. After that was Ultrabar, which had a $20 cover and a line wrapping around the block but was actually a fairly unpleasant experience. It was hot, loud, packed and disorienting. They were playing Oceans 13 on a screen on the wall though, so I passed my time watching that. There was no sound, so all I know is that there's a blonde lady who is all about Matt Damon even though he has a huge fake nose.

Last was 1223, which was billed as a "Champagne and Caviar bar", but was fairly indistinguishable from any of the other places we went. We could have gone across the street to Club Five after that, but it was 1AM and for this mama whose bedtime is 9, that was late enough already!

I make it sound bad, but we did have a good time on the tour overall, the company was good and the price was totally worth it. I was just a little bit underwhelmed with the DC bar scene.

After messing with the metro again on the way home, a tasty lunch at Lebanese Taverna in Rockville and a quick stop at Whole Foods and Buy Buy Baby, we were home! A whirlwind tour, but we packed a lot in and I've actually never spent the night in DC before so that was neat.

So now we've officially celebrated our 10th anniversary in style...our 5th wedding anniversary happens this year too, so we'll have to think of something fun to do for that as well. By that point Emily should be completely off the milk and formula, so no lugging the breastpump along and limiting my number of drinks on our romantic weekend. I won't know what to do with myself :-)


Thursday, January 24, 2008

Uh oh, better call Graco

Today I thought to myself: "I'm sure Emily would behave for a really quick shopping trip to get mommy a dress". I don't know why I continue to convince myself of such ridiculous things, but I do. That is why I ended up in the parking lot of Ann Taylor Loft today juggling clothes, a couple bags of groceries and a screaming baby, a fashionable stream of baby barf trickling slowly down the shoulder of my coat. I was one of THOSE moms. You know, the ones you saw when you were young and childless and thought "I will never look that dishevelled and out of control when I'M a mom". Well maybe you won't you silly young childless people you, but I certainly did.

It was no surprise then, when I started to pull out of my parking spot and heard "Thunk!" from behind my car. I pulled back into my space, jumped out of my car and, casting casual sidelong glances to the right and left to see if there was anyone watching, sheepishly folded up my now broken Graco stroller and threw it in my trunk.

Now some people have said "At least Emily wasn't IN the stroller when you hit it". Yes, that is true. But do they really think I would've forgotten my BABY was sitting behind my car? A stroller is one thing, your very own flesh and blood is another. And maybe I'm just a little irritated already because I was informed while I was shopping that you would never see a baby in China dressed as scantily as Emily was during the winter (apparently this woman was so horrified by the tiny strip of skin showing where Emily's pants had pulled up above her socks that she failed to notice the baby sized fur-lined parka and earflap hat lovingly knit by her mother that she was also sporting) but I would hope that people don't see me as the type of person who would accidentally run over her own child because she left her sitting alone (and dressed in next to nothing!) in a chilly parking lot. Because the way Emily was yelling, only a deaf person could have forgotten her...

But the good news is that upon further inspection it appears only the wheel is broken, so I will be putting a call in to Graco tomorrow to try to wheedle a new wheel because those strollers ain't cheap.

My dress was though! $17 for a black satin evening dress at Ann Taylor Loft! Now I'm set for all the glamorous events I will be attending the next two weekends. I think that makes the trip totally worth it, stroller casualties and all.


Wednesday, January 23, 2008

My first post here

I have found that in order to have a good blog that people want to read, you need at least 1 of 4 things:

#1 An interesting life
#2 Writing talent
#3 A unique world view
#4 A high post rate

I can't say that I have any of these things...and yet I have heard and heeded the call to blog nonetheless.  

I have taken stabs at blogging before, and if I can figure out how I will try to consolidate my other blogs into the archives here so that all of my loyal readers can follow the intermittent but still enthralling story of my life over the past few years.

I am 26 years old, married for 4 years to my high school sweetheart (the 10 year anniversary of our first date is next week!) and am living in the suburbs in Frederick County, MD.  We have a beautiful daughter Emily who is 8.5 months old, and she takes up most of my time right now.  We have two irritating dogs, an Australian Cattle Dog named Mingus and an Australian Shepherd/Beagle/who knows what else mix named Remy.  When I am not actively dealing with Emily or cleaning up after her, I like to knit, read, bum around the internet, and go to the gym.  In the grander scheme of things I love to travel, but I haven't been anywhere notable of late because I have been at home nesting and caring for my young.  

I am currently a stay-at-home mom, but in my former life I was an Analytical Chemist and I worked at an environmental water testing lab for the 3-year stretch between graduating from the University of Maryland/getting married and deciding to stay home with Emily.

I am writing this blog mostly for myself, but hopefully despite my lack of interesting blog writing qualifications readers will find it amusing if nothing else.