Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Moose Hairs and Other Assorted Thoughts

My dear, sweet Emma has a lot to say. At three years old, her opinions are sometimes a little skewed and hilarious. Here are some of her recent thoughts:

On food and beverages:

Daddy ate all his toast. His belly button was sooooo hungry.

(To James as she pets his hair) Jim, you're a little Americano.

You're the best cooker and the best little honey pie in the whole world.

This is a beautiful rock. Will it grow into a beautiful tomato?

Emma: I am the mommy and James is the daddy and you are the Emma.
Me: So what's Daddy?
Emma: Daddy is a peanut butter sausage hamburger.

(While examining a McDonald's burger) Jesus Christ. I said I didn't want pepper.

On scents:

Your hair smells good. It smells like fruits and veggies.

Your hair smells very nice. It smells like ham poo.

This new toothpaste smells good. Like octopus.

On fashion:

I like your undies. All of your clothes are my favorite.

(Referring to James's booties) I like his flippers. 

I like your blue and white eyes and I like your white teeth.

People don't like you every day in those clothes.

I'm making your hair pretty so you can feel good, good, good!

(While pulling James's rat tail) Look at his moose hairs!

(moose hairs)

On numbers:

Emma: (while looking at the clock) What letter is it?
Me: You mean time? It's 6:45.
Emma: That's a lot of money, Momma!

E is for Emma and 5 is for Baby James!

Me: James is six months old today. It's his half birthday!
Emma: Does that mean he can talk with teeth now?

Me: Look at him! He's crawling!
Emma: He crawls now because he's 58!

On love and happiness:

I love looking at your face all the time cuz you are nice and polite.

Just be happy cuz we have lots of friends in the neighborhood for you!

Does the music from the jumperoo make your ears feel good? 

You're my best girl in the magic forest.

On animals and the state of her brother:

These are someone else's hugs. These are reindeer hugs.

Emma: Where's my blankie?
Me: In the wash.
Emma: Why? What's on it? Chickens?

Emma: I have something in my eye.
Me: Hmm. Is it a hair?
Emma: No. It's the Lion King.

(After James was cranky) I'm happy now cuz he's not cranked out.

Me: (to James) Bubba, you're so snuggly.
Emma: No he's not cuz he's made of plastic.

Thursday, October 31, 2013


Emma's take on Halloween: "Momma will color your cheeks and momma will color your nose and it'll be a kitty face."

It's a good thing we're going trick-or-treating today because there are only three pieces of chocolate left in the house and that simply won't do. 

Friday, October 18, 2013


Emma pooped in the tub for the first time ever tonight and I didn't Instagram it. I think I must be a decent human being.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

I'm the Boss!

Things are weird lately. Sometimes I feel like I have too much on my plate. Sometimes I feel downright lazy. We watch too much TV. Emma has almost completely potty-trained herself over the last couple of days, which is the one thing that tells me I haven't been a complete failure in life, even though it is her success. I have to remind myself that I must not be THAT lazy if the laundry and dishes are usually done and everyone gets fed, even if sometimes it's Ritz crackers and Sixlets. (Don't worry, sometimes I actually bake chicken and serve it with rice and vegetables, too.) But I mostly just want to sit on the couch with a blanket and zone out to the droning background noise of baby shows.

I know we should just GET OUTSIDE. I know. But it's so DREARY out there. The sky looks like a big gray machine waiting to eat us up and then turn us into...I don't know...robot parts? It's just not very inviting. I remember a couple of months ago when I was on Pinterest, looking longingly at fall outfits and I laugh now because I have no desire to wear any of them. I am in perma-jammies.

It's hard to be pregnant and take care of a toddler. I like to tell myself that there are women around the world who are caring for seven children at a time and if they can do that, certainly I should be able to manage my 1.5. But it's still hard. I am exhausted. I didn't think it would get like this-- somehow I thought that after a few months of breezing through this pregnancy, I was in the clear and my toddler would never take advantage of my hormonal, tired self. Oh, I was so naive.

Emma's new favorite phrase is, "I'm the boss!" and when I think of it I want to cry a little because it feels too true. It's like I'm under the power of this little person who is dictating my body and sleep and thoughts and whereabouts. Most of it I can handle because I've been handling for the last couple of years, but the new part is the worst of it: dry nursing. Yep, dry nursing. It is what you think it is.

My milk dried up...oh, maybe a month ago. I was able to wean Emma from our daytime nursing, but since we co-sleep and my body was always RIGHT THERE, she was not willing to give up what she calls her "hammies"during naps and bedtime. If you've never been pregnant, let me tell you a few things. Your boobs hurt. Usually they hurt A LOT. And your body is often a no-touch zone. So having a little monster mouth (full of teeth!) coming at your boobs and the accompanying little arms and legs flinging towards your sensitive, protruding body is not appealing.\

And yet, that's what we're doing. We're doing it for hours each day, and it sucks. We're doing it in the middle of the night, and that really sucks. It's hard enough to sleep when you have to curl yourself around your belly just right or you have to fight heartburn, but then to have a little person literally attached to you by mouth, whom you have to adjust your body for even further, results in terrible, terrible sleep. Which results in a terribly crabby momma. (And...super helpful...I recently read that women who are sleep deprived during pregnancy labor for an extra nine hours, on average. Yay!)

So, of course, the logical thing to do would be to phase out the co-sleeping and totally wean her. Super logical. Super appealing. And yet, we've been trying. Do you know how long Emma will scream at the top of her lungs if you deny her the hammies at naptime or bedtime? Neither do I because after two hour stretches (and legitimate fears that my neighbors will call the cops), I've given up. Several times. And then she's left hiccuping back her tears for an hour and I'm bawling because I'm in pain and I'm frustrated and don't know what to do and I hate everything. And I feel like I've gained nothing because, in the end, I gave in. Because...she's the boss.


I feel kind of shitty about coming on here to whine. And yet, I kind of wish I'd found the whining of another pregnant mom with a toddler a few months ago so I'd have known what I was getting into. Not that everyone will end up in the place we're at. Every situation is unique (which is basically the mantra of mommy blogging, or so it seems) but maybe someone out there will experience something similar. And then they'll just cry. So, yeah...this probably wasn't very helpful.

Let me at least throw a few positives into this post.

Emma has said the cutest things about her soon-to-be baby brother. The other day, she told me that her brother's costume is my belly. Like, for Halloween she is going to be a kitty and he is going to be my belly. Pretty insightful, yes?

And this happened in the car last week: after announcing, "I have a boy!" as she does often when wanting to talk about the baby, she had this revelation about our upcoming roles: "Momma be a momma! Dada be a dada! Emma be...a Emma! Kitty be...a Kitty Charlee!"

Many days, she also likes to stop in the middle of whatever she's doing and shout, "I have a boy! Get shoes on!" Then she'll grab her shoes and a babydoll and stand by the door waiting, presumably, to go pick up her boy from the market. I always have to tell her, "Not today." And then she nods and says, "Amorrow." (Tomorrow.)

Friday, October 11, 2013

Thursday Nights are for Rambling, I Suppose

It's nearly nine PM on a Thursday night and I'm thinking about how desperately I want some Ritz crackers, gummy bears, and cheesecake. I'm sending Tony texts about my cravings, hoping to inspire him to stop at the store on his way home from work. I'm also wondering why iTunes Radio is playing the exact Pearl Jam song that I just said "never play again" to less than ten minutes ago. I'm really excited about iTunes Radio, but it seems to have a lot of little glitches like this.

Emma is wearing her "bones" shirt (a skeleton shirt we picked up at Goodwill for 99 cents that she asks to wear almost every day because she thinks the bones are dog bones and dogs are her friends). Unrelated, I recently asked her if she'd pooped, and she replied, "No, I'm fine." She says stuff like that now. "I'm good. I'm okay. I'm fine." Like, "No need to worry about me. I'll let you know when something happens." Okay, Teenager.

Now it's midnight and my belly is full of Ritz and cheesecake and gummy bears because my husband is a good man who does nice things for me more often than I probably deserve. Emma is curled up in her footie pajamas on the twin bed next to Tony and I's "big kid bed". She's snoring, just a tiny bit, like little kitten snores. I will have to read for a while before my brain can shut down and then I'll fall asleep with my iPod tucked safely against me, just as if it were an infant child that I have to stay conscious of through my sleep so I won't  roll over and crush it. I wonder if I'm being doused with its radiation all through the night. Also, we need to buy a bassinet.

I went through all of Emma's baby clothes the other day and I didn't cry. I very calmly made piles of things to store forever and ever, things to send off to a friend, things to sell, and things for Goodwill. Then I felt immensely proud of myself. I was proud that my keep pile fit nicely in one of those zippered plastic bags for blankets-- you know the kind-- and I was proud that I didn't get all mega-pregnancy-hormone weepy, which I'd honestly expected to happen.

We're having a boy. It took me about ten minutes to get on board with the idea. I had thought I wanted another girl. But soon after the ultrasound tech said the words, "you are definitely having a boy" it settled in and I felt this sense of peace and completion. I really did. A boy. A boy and a girl, two and a half years apart. How American-dream-y. I don't mean that to sound mocking. It's just so...perfect. Neither of our babies were planned, but damn if it doesn't seem like they were.

Emma keeps saying, "I have a boy!" every day, usually out of context. She just randomly remembers this pending arrival and gets so excited. She was there for the ultrasound. She knows what's going on. And she's having a boy. According to her, we're all having a boy-- me, her, Tony, and Kitty Charlee. And, of course, she's right. She also says that inside my belly there is a brother AND a baby AND a balloon, which I totally understand.

A brother, a baby, a balloon, some cheesecake, gummy bears, and Ritz crackers. Better top it all off with my ritualistic nightcap of two Tums and plan on some fiber in the morning.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Not Perfect, But Right

(Painting by Xi Pan, photo borrowed from here.)

The thing that gets me most excited each day is knowing that we're one day closer to finding out the sex of our baby. For a long time, it felt like that wasn't enough to be excited for--that I'd turned into a lame mom without much going on other than what was going on with her kids. Shouldn't I be working on a novel or a painting or planning some exotic travels? I don't know whose voice was telling me those things, but I've finally answered back, "No." I am doing what I am meant to be doing right now. I am being a mother. Fully. And some days get long and boring. Some days are out of control. But there is no shame in putting all my focus into mothering. There is no shame in taking endless pictures of my daughter in this fleeting stage of her life. There's nothing wrong with writing about our days and the days I imagine with this new little person inside my belly. Because this is life. Life is not the thing that you think it's supposed to be. It is what it is. And what it is now, I know, is something I will miss later on and I will wish I had documented more clearly. Each time Emma's little two-year-old face looks at me and says something silly and toddler-ish, I just want to stop the world and record the moment to keep for always. Because this is the good stuff right here. This is joy-- the happy little life bounding around our apartment, her voice always filling the space with adorably mispronounced words.

I've wanted to come back here-- to blogging-- for a while now. When I left, I felt so vulnerable. I probably always will. That's what happens when you give your life story to the internet. You worry that there are jerks out there who will put you down. Or, worse, no one will read what you write. It's all very scary. It makes it hard to put up pictures of your precious child-- because what if a creep finds the pictures and prints them and hangs them in his basement...and I'll stop there. It makes it hard to reveal all the thoughts in your heart, because what if no one reads them or responds to them, and you're left feeling like maybe you're the only one who feels confused or frustrated or nervous about the things you do? And it's hard to admit when things are hard or to let out some swear words when you know your grandma might be reading, and you worry about destroying the "good girl" image you've held onto in your family. 

But I want to come back and try. 

I want a place to come to and remember that Emma has a book called "You Are My Sunshine" and she calls it "I Love You Sunshine". I want to remember how, when she wants to be read to, she says, "Momma, read to you." I want to remember that she gets mad when you start singing her favorite songs without her. That she already knows to eat the marshmallows out of Lucky Charms. That she likes to pretend to cook noodles in her play kitchen. That she wants to go buckle her carseat belts "by self". That she asks, "Play Momma hair?" and twists my hair in her hands as she falls asleep. That she wakes up each morning, with a bossy, "G'up! Snack!" (Meaning "Get up and feed me, woman!") 

And I want the people who want to know these things to know them, too. 

Here's the other thing. I want to be less sugar-coated. I want to talk about my fears and confusions. I want to say, "Hey, world, I'm freaking about about this. Have you freaked out, too? How did things turn out?" I want to talk about how scary it is to have a new baby on the way. How I worry that it will be a boy because I'll bawl my eyes out if I have to part with all of Emma's baby clothes. How I worry about the baby being sick or colicky and  how hard it will be and how it could suck the joy from our little family. How I already feel guilty that Emma won't have as much attention and fear that she could go from this cheerful, easy-going child to a sad and angry one. I worry that I will lose my patience, that it'll be too hard to get a newborn in a heavy car seat and a "I just want to run" toddler up and down the three flights of concrete stairs that lead to our apartment and we'll never leave the house, that sleep deprivation will kill me, that I'll get depressed, that I'll resent my babies.

Since Emma was born, I always thought that if Tony and I were to have another baby, I'd want to do it when Emma started school. That way I could have special time lavishing love on the new baby without Emma getting jealous and the baby and I could have a bond like Emma and I did- just the two of us, nursing for hours on end, doing little more than just staring at each other. I know this baby and I will have moments like that, but I worry it won't be enough. That I won't be enough of a mom to Emma anymore and that I won't get off to the right start with the new baby.

I don't always worry. Sometimes I'm just plain excited, too. I know how lucky I am to be having this baby and to be having such an easy pregnancy. I know this child was meant to be in our lives and that he or she will make me grow in ways that I need to. That he or she will bring us infinite happiness and teach us new things about love. I have to remind myself of those things on the nights when I'm sniffling into the covers as everyone else sleeps.

This is where we are these days. Me with my growing belly, Emma with her growing interest in books and learning the words to all the songs on Daniel Tiger by heart. Each day goes by slowly, but there are little moments-- completely fleeting-- in which everything is so right.

And this blog...well, it may not be perfect. But it, too, feels right. And so I'm back. We're back. Hello again, world.

Friday, May 25, 2012

A Nine Month Old Emma

This is what a nine month old Emma looks like. It's a cute little thing, don't you think?

Especially when it smiles. She's like sunshine, I tell ya.

She roars now. I'm not sure if it has anything to do with this lion toy or not, but she goes, "Rawr, rawr, rawr," sometimes while down on all fours. She looks like a little lion. My big little kitty.

She also goes, "Mmm," when I give her a bite of something she likes. The other night, it was tofu. God, it was cute. 

She can pull herself up onto things and stand for quite a while. She can also walk a little while holding someone's hands and do a little sidestep while holding onto table edges and the like if there's an enticing toy a few feet away.

This is one of her favorite "toys". Yes, it is a bulb syringe for sucking snot out of baby noses, but don't tell Emma that. She thinks it's a wind-making chewy ball of happiness. She loves when I squeeze it and air blows on her face.

This is what she looks like with the wind of the bulb syringe on her cheekies. I think the word for this is ecstatic.

Oh, and this may be the last time we see this gums-only smile because an itty bitty tooth is breaking the surface. A little shark fin of a tooth on her bottom middle-right side.

She's just been rolling her tongue over that tooth, exploring its foreignness. When I try to get my finger in there to feel, she clamps her mouth tight like a clam. This is my little toofie, Momma.

This is how we spend our days now; stretching and rolling around on the carpet. Laying like kitties in the sun. It's a good life.