Thursday, June 30, 2011

Migraines Suck

Therefore, no post today.  My head feels like my brain is trying to escape via my eyeball, and the nausea it brings on is no fun.  Love to you all.  See you tomorrow for Friday Photos.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The weekend where everything happened at once

We went to Denver.  Drove the entire thirteen hours on Friday, stayed for two days, then drove then entire thirteen hours in the opposite direction.  Whirlwind trip is an understatement.  And yet, in the four five days since I left:
  • The Festival held secondary auditions and prepared the cast list without me.
  • Nine gazillion people returned their contracts, making for a pleasingly large pile of work to welcome me back.
  • Miles started saying a bazillion new words, phrases, and even some sentences.  Favorites include: "Awant cook, pease," "Bess ooo" [Bless You], and the ever-popular, "Coco took it!"*
  • I learned that new allergens + altitude change + carsickness = one uncomfortable Mommy.
  • Grandmother LaDean, who is a beautiful 83 years young (and the primary reason for our visit to Denver), came down with a pretty nasty bladder infection that landed her in the hospital.  She is doing better, now, but it was kinda scary there for awhile.
  • Stacey finished a ridiculous amount of sewing for the various costumes she is making for performers.
  • Stacey and Bethany ran a rather successful rehearsal for my children's dancing group.
  • I took almost a thousand pictures.
  • We covered over 1100 miles laterally, and almost as much in altitude.
  • We discovered that certain SUV's are incredibly cool, but have ridiculously uncomfortable seats.
  • The owner of our faire visited while I was out and turned our world upside down once again.
  • Miles managed to polka-dot both of his shins with bruises.
  • I returned to work yesterday, only to find out that I had royally screwed up in regards to a promo, due to a severe lack of sleep and coherence.
I is exhausted.

Oh, and I won a blog award.  My very first.  But more about that tomorrow. :)

*This story is too good not to share.  While we were in Denver, Miles was playing ball with Patrick's cousin, Nicole (aka 'Coco').  He threw the ball, she caught it, and was teasing him with it.  He came running to me, grabbed my hand, and said, "Coco took it!" Complete with pouty lip.  One of my son's first sentences was a tattle.  This does not bode well. . .

Saturday, June 25, 2011



You have reached the voicemail of a Bad Mommy.  She is currently out of* communication until next week, as she enjoys a lovely vacation with her family.

Or she's trying to enjoy the 14-hour car ride with a teething, possibly screaming toddler.  Even odds, really.

Leave a comment at the beep, and she'll be sure to respond when she returns.  Provided her brain hasn't drizzled out of her ears by then.

*her mind

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Toddler Love

I've mentioned once or twice how much I adore having a toddler.  I have reasons galore, and discover new ones every day.  Here is my discovery from yesterday.

I love that Miles has become so very affectionate.  For eight hours a day, I am his favorite person in the whole wide world, and he makes sure I know it.*  He will run to the opposite end of the office, then realize that I didn't follow, and yell, "Mom-mom?  Mom-mom? Ere go?" [Trans: Mommy?  Where did you go?]  Because my little adventurer likes to know that Mommy has his back.  When he goes on an adventure with Cameron, or one of his other Faire friends, he always returns with a big smile and a hug for me.  When he's playing quietly by himself (so rare, these days), he always takes a moment to come over and hug my knee, or ask for a kiss, or a high five.

And then, there are moments like yesterday.  We had gone to Arby's for lunch, and were sitting side-by-side in a booth.  We were nomming on roast beef, and jamming to the awesome 80's music playing overhead.  Suddenly, a laugh bubbled up at the sheer joy of the moment shared with my son.  "I love you," I told him.

He blew me a kiss.

Then, he came over and gave me a real kiss, right on the lips.

Then, he jumped twice, and threw himself on me, wrapping his arms around me, yelling, "Hug!"

My heart threatened to explode with love for my little boy.  Even now, as I type this, I am blinking back tears of happiness.

This is what motherhood should feel like.

*Once Daddy is home, Mommy ceases to exist.  Not a terrible thing, at all, some days. :)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Cloth (Part 2)

Having discovered through internet research that the all-in-twos were the way we wanted to go, we had only to choose the brand.  We went to a local cloth diapering store,* and looked through their all-in-two options, and ultimately chose the cheapest.  Because, really, we couldn't tell any difference beyond that.

In fact, they looked almost identical to the pocket diapers we had already tried.
The difference, as I said yesterday, is in the lack of pocket.  The liner simply lays inside the diaper, and tucks in on either end.  Easy peasy.  Wet diaper?  Remove the liner, wipe down the cover, replace liner.  Dirty diaper?  Remove the liner, wipe down the cover, replace liner.  That's it.  After a few diaper changes, wash the cover and the liners together, hang the cover up to dry, and toss the liners in the dryer.  The covers dry so quickly, they're often dry at the same time as the liners.

Oh, but what if you're on the go?  Who wants to carry around nasty wet or stinky liners?

Well, you have two options.  You could buy a wet bag, and carry everything home, then dump everything in the washer.

Or, you can buy disposable liners.  For about half the cost of a disposable diaper.  And like the cloth liners, you simply pull it out, wipe down the cover, and put in a new one.  The only difference is that you can then drop the liner in the trash.  Or the toilet, since they're flush-able.  Either way, they're as easy as disposables on the go, and much cheaper in the long run.

Besides, who doesn't love this cute little cloth-diapered baby bum?


*Did I say "a cloth diapering store" because I meant "the only cloth diapering store in the area

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


As in, diapers.

Yep, you heard that right.  We're using cloth diapers.  Not exclusively, but we are experimenting with them.

Oh, dear.  I feel a story coming on. (You're surprised, right?)

It all started when our friend Bethany announced that she plans to use cloth diapers on her little one who is due in August (Squee!!!).  Knowing that we would share kids from time to time, and that eventually, I'd probably have to change that cloth diaper, I decided to do some research and get over my extreme "Ewwww" reaction.  What I found surprised me.  A lot.

See, when I think cloth diapers, I think of these:
Square pieces of cloth, folded into strange designs using what could only be described as mad skills and occult knowledge.  And fastened with safety pins.  No way could I deal with that.  I fail at origami, and I poke myself with safety pins every time I open one. (No, seriously, I really do.  Sad, isn't it?)

What I discovered is that prefolds are only one option among several dozen.  Literally.  There are so many cloth diaper options out there that they now break them down into categories: prefolds, flats, pockets, fitteds, liners, all-in-ones, all-in-twos, covers, one-size, wool.  Honestly?  It's almost overwhelming.

So, I started by researching the specific type that Bethany had chosen: pocket diapers.

These are diapers designed to look and function almost exactly like disposables, complete with velcro - or snaps - that fasten over the waist, and elastic at the waist and thighs.  The big difference is that a pocket diaper has a cloth pocket (thus the Very Creative Name) in which you place a liner.  Wet diaper?  Remove the liner, wipe down the inside cloth, replace the liner, and you're good to go.  Dirty diaper?  Replace with new liner and cover, rinse the old ones, and toss in the washing machine.  Really not the hassle I had thought.

Around this time, Miles began peeing through every disposable diaper we tried.  Slowly, the thought began to bounce around my brain: what if cloth works better?  As though reading my mind, other mommies on my forum boards began to suggest using cloth overnight to help solve our problem.

Eventually, I got brave enough to share my change in attitude with Patrick, who (as usual) was incredibly supportive of my Latest Crazy Idea.  We decided that we should try one.  Buy one, test it out for a few nights, and see what happened.  Worst case scenario, we'd be out a few bucks (about the cost of a box of diapers, depending on the style we chose), but it was worth a try.

Re-enter Bethany, who graciously offered to loan us one of the cloth diapers she had received at her baby shower for us to try.  So, we did.  And it worked.  For the first time in weeks, Miles woke up in a dry bed.  With his diaper still on.

After a few days, and some experimentation, though, we were finding that they weren't quite the perfect fit for us.  The cover tends to smell really bad after even one heavy pee night, meaning that it had to be washed every day.  Fine for using them only at night, not so fine if we decided to use them more often than that.  Which I was slowly becoming convinced that I wanted to do.

It was only by accident that I discovered all-in-twos.  Basically, the cover is exactly like a pocket diaper, except without the pocket.  In other words, you simply lay the liner inside the cover and tuck it in on the ends, and you're good to go.  Diaper changes mean removing the wet/soiled liner, wiping down the inside of the cover, and putting in a new liner.  Much easier.  No stuffing (which we found to be way more time-consuming than you'd think).  And most importantly, no lingering odors.  After a bit of searching, we had found the diapers that seemed like the best fit for our lives.

And this has become a really long post, so we'll finish with part two tomorrow.  In the meantime, enjoy this adorable picture of a soft, cloth-diapered toddler bum. :)

Monday, June 20, 2011

Bad Mommy Mondays

I am a Bad Mommy.

But you already knew that.  That's why you're here.  Because you love reading this, secure in the knowledge that you are (or will be) better at this whole parenting thing than me. :)

I have given you lots of reasons that I am a Bad Mommy.  Lots of things I've been judged for.  So many insecurities, all tied up nicely into weekly lists.  You may also have noticed that these lists have become shorter, and less frequent.  That's because of: a) modern medicine doing its part to combat anxiety, b) a lack of time to devote to caring what other people think, and c) a realization that all parents make mistakes and choices that other people will judge.

That being said, I am still human (and female), so I still have tons of insecurities.

I am a stay-at-home mom.*  Popular culture has two ways of viewing moms like me, whose primary job is caring for our homes, and our children.  The first paints us as ugly, honorable martyrs, working our days away scrubbing floors, and wiping snotty noses, but always putting on a smile because we know we're 'doing what's best'.  The second depicts us as beautiful, lazy, free-loading wives who spend their days watching soaps and eating bon-bons while our children run wild without supervision.

Let me tell you this right now: neither of those pictures is even close to true.  And yet, both have elements of truth.  We do have the ugly job of scrubbing floors and wiping noses twenty-four hours a day.  Sometimes, we do it with a smile, and other days, we just want to throw all of the good China at the wall rather than wash it one more time.  Some days, we never get out of our pajamas, and spend the day trying to relax, and not getting much accomplished.  But, even on those days, we are rarely just sitting and relaxing, because, let's face it, children don't really allow that for long periods of time, unless they're up to something.

My point, I guess, is that each of us approaches motherhood in a different way, and yet, we are all just struggling to do our best.  I have to keep telling myself that on days when I feel like I'm getting nothing done.  When I feel like Miles hates me.  When I feel like the housework keeps piling up, and I just don't have the energy to even bother with it.  When I feel like a Bad Mommy.

If you've read this far, congratulations.  You have managed to wade through my self-doubt and analysis, hoping to find a point.  Well, here's what brought all of this up.

I'm in the process of enrolling Miles in daycare next year.  It's only one day a week, for five hours a day, but it makes me feel like a terrible mom.  Not because I'm putting him in daycare, but because I don't have to.  I know several working moms who hate dropping their kids off at daycare, and would love the opportunity to stay at home with them.  And here I am, enrolling my son in daycare so I can have a day off once a week.

There it is.  My primary reason for feeling like a Bad Mommy this week.  Lame, no?  Aren't you all disappointed that you bothered skimming that, now?  Well, you shouldn't be, because you're about to be rewarded with cuteness.

Hopefully, tomorrow's post will be better organized and less stream-of-consciousness. :)

*Goodness, how I hate that term, but that's another discussion for another time.

Sunday, June 19, 2011


His patience, when Miles is having a bad day.

The way Miles lights up when he walks in a room.

The lilt of his voice, singing the final strains of a lullaby.

The pure delight in his eyes when Miles reaches for him.

His quiet, sweet cuddles with our son.

His loud, echoing laugh of unbridled joy when Miles says or does something unexpected.

The way he brags about Miles in small ways.

The softness of his voice when we talk about how fast our son is growing.

The gentle firmness with which he disciplines Miles, determined to teach our stubborn son right from wrong.

All he sacrifices, all he gives, all he is for the sake of our son.

These are the things that make my husband the best father imaginable for Miles.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Battles & Blessings


  • Time.  And it only gets worse from here.
  • Frustration.  Meltdowns.  Temper tantrums.  And that was just me. :)
  • Not enough sleep (is there ever?).
  • Technology hates me.  It's just a fact.
  • A rough week in many ways.

  • Cameron.  After a rough Wednesday without him, I realized how much of a blessing he is.
  • Tons of fun activities with some of my favorite people.
  • A long conversation with my sister.
  • A mother I can turn to for advice about my tutoring, when I find myself at loose ends.
  • A father who sees humor in every situation, and helps me to find it as well.
  • A husband who will randomly look up at me and say, "I love you," for no particular reason.
  • A son whose energy and determination I am trying to learn to appreciate for the positive qualities they are.
  • My faire family.  They make my life full and rich.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Bad Mommy. Bad Wife. Bad Blogger.

I guess it all goes hand-in-hand. :)

This week has been crazy-busy with work, Festival commitments, temper tantrums, and meltdowns.  Which leaves little time for things like taking Miles to the park.  Or buying a Father's Day gift for Patrick.  Or blogging.  Oops.  At least you have Friday Photos to look forward to.

If I have time to post them . . . :)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Lovin' That Feelin'

I'm getting better.

I can tell when I'd rather take Miles to a park than sit at home with him.

I can tell when he starts screaming, and I feel the urge to run to him, instead of away.

I can tell by the excitement I feel when taking him somewhere new, instead of panic.

Sometime after Boot Camp, everything . . . just clicked.  Panic attacks became less and less frequent.  I began to feel happier, more connected to the world, less afraid of what might happen.  And I feel myself falling in love with my son all over again.  Seeing him in a new light, and enjoying things about him that I'm not sure I would have noticed before.

Last weekend, I finally got up the courage to ask Patrick and Stacey if they had noticed a difference.  I was afraid that this change was all in my imagination - things were supposed to get better, so I was pretending they had.  So, I had to ask.

I was pleasantly surprised when they told me that I seem happier.  More myself than I have been.

When I first posted about my PPA, I received a wonderful letter from a family member who had gone through the same thing after the birth of one of her children.  She wrote to tell me I was not alone.  That others had survived it before me.  That depression and anxiety does not define those that struggle with it.  That it is possible to be happy and productive again.

She was right.  And I love her for sharing.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Lessons of Mommyhood

  1. Toddler boys prefer to be naked, and can become so in the blink of an eye.
  2. Strawberries are better than candy.
  3. New toys are scary.  For the first hour, at least.  I mean, the slide could attack you when you're not looking.
  4. There's a reason bathrooms are generally floored in tile or linoleum.  I can't imagine the damage a toddler in a bathtub could wreak on carpeting. . .
  5. It's a very good thing that Crayola markers are non-toxic, because the toddler will mysteriously produce one, remove the lid, and drool orange for the rest of the day.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Ten Years Ago

This was me.

A high school senior, celebrating after the close of my very last high school theater production.*  Only a few weeks before graduation.  A few months before moving into the dorms to take a crack at living all on my own.  Finishing up what my grandfather told me would be the best years of my life.  I look back at myself, and I think:

Wow, I had a ton of hair.

Of course, that thought is quickly followed by: Wow.  Ten whole years.  In some ways, it seems like yesterday.  Mostly, though, it feels like a lifetime ago.  I had different friends.  Different priorities.  Different dreams.

Yesterday was my ten year high school reunion.  I was unable to attend for a variety of reasons, but it still occurred, marking a milestone in my ever-changing life.  Ten years ago, I was an adult, but still so much a child, in so many ways.  I had not yet held a job.  I had never lived all by myself.  I had never had the freedom - the terrifying, exhilarating freedom - to make all of my own decisions.  I had already met many of my closest friends.  I had already been dating Patrick for almost a year and a half.

But many of the things that define my life had yet to happen.  The loss of so many I held dear, particularly my grandmothers, who each helped shape my concept of what it means to be a wife, a mother, and a woman.  The divorce of my parents, and the ensuing loss of my childhood home.  The things I learned both in and out of class in college.  The births of my adopted nephews.  The bliss of finally saying "I Do" to the man I had loved for so long.  Finding the festival, and all of the wonder and heartache it brings.  The birth of my son, whose existence has completely changed every facet of who I am.

I look at that picture of the happy, carefree, long-haired girl and I see the sheer naive joy of the moment.

And yet, I have no desire to go back there.  Because my life now, at this moment, is even better than it was then.

And I realize, those were not the best years of my life.  These are.

*Girl Crazy, for those of you who are interested.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Battles & Blessings


  • Time.  Not enough of it to do everything.
  • Insecurity strikes again.
  • Long hours at the office for Patrick, and Miles and me.
  • Frustrations brought on by uncertainty.


  • Cameron, a delightful young man who has started joining us at the office to help with Miles.  He is truly wonderful, and Miles absolutely adores him. :)
  • Donuts!  
  • Long talks with family and friends, usually about nothing in particular.
  • A playdate with some awesome women I met online, and their adorably huggable little girls.
  • Friends who understand when I forget, and are quick to forgive it.
  • Quiet time with my hubby, just enjoying each other's company, even if it's just for a few moments.
  • Patrick, who supports me in every sense of the word.  He is truly an amazing husband, and I am lucky to call him mine.
  • The feeling of pure joy I feel around Miles, free from anxiety and worry.  Thank God and modern chemistry for Zoloft.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Friday Photos!

Playing with GrandMary last weekend.
Building towers, and naming the letters (well, H and X, at least).
Getting lots of tickles from Granddad
Playing in the doorway of the dog house.  Yes.  That is a
dog house.
Closing Daddy into the dog pen.

Exploring GrandMary and Granddad's backyard.

Enjoying the sunshine.


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Itsy-Bitsy Spider. . .

Went up the water spout. . .
Down came the rain and washed the spider out. . .
Out came the sun and dried up all the rain. . .

And the itsy-bitsy spider went up the spout again.

More, please?