Monday, July 30, 2012

A sicky weekend

Ahh man this weekend has been brutal.

Okay, it started out with so much promise.  Well, it started out annoying, but once I "gave in" a little, things felt promising.  On Friday afternoon, after nearly two hours of trying to get Gus to nap, I finally just said, "screw it".  Let's go to the pool.  We had a lovely time with Dan's mom and the kids, and I forgot about how annoying it was that for Gus insisted on singing songs and reciting stories and throwing toys and pillows down the stairs, rather than napping.

Yes, toddler naps are going to be the death of me.

So the boys and I met my mother-in-law and kids at the pool, and it was lovely.  That was the promising part.  Gus had fun traipsing through the water and stealing other children's toys and gave me looks as if to say, "See mom, this is waaay better than napping, why couldn't we have just done this an hour ago?"

Anyway, fun afternoon.  And no nap meant actually went to sleep at an early hour and Dan and I could have a few hours of "us" time once Louie was asleep.

Well, Louie of course didn't go to sleep early, but that's okay.  Finally around 8:45 the children were both officially taken care of and we decided to order a movie on Demand.

A MOVIE!! We seriously never watch movies!  I was so excited.

And then.

We started the movie.  Didn't even get through the credits...

Gus woke up pissed at about 9:15, and Dan went up there to investigate.  I listened on the monitor and when it sounded like things were seriously NOT GOOD, I ventured up there.  Gus was just inconsolable, acting insane, rambling about nonsense and monsters and saying, "I sorry mommy, I sorry!" and screaming and choking on his own phlegm and acting completely ridiculous.  Poor thing.  He was just not right.

Then he started vomiting.  Just a little bit, we were thinking, maybe he was just having a night terror, and we interrupted, and he was puking just because all the crying was making him cough and choke?

I asked him what was wrong, did he not feel good?  What hurt?  Tell mama what hurts?

He just continued to wail and hug me and then vomited some more.  Oh no.

After clean-up and new pajamas and a new comforter we laid him back down.  I stayed with him until he fitfully fell asleep, and we finished (started & watched) the movie when I got downstairs nearly an hour later.  

Just as the movie finished, way past the point in time that we would have normally gone to sleep, he woke up again.  So Dan just kissed me good night and said see you tomorrow, resolving to spend the evening tending to the sick toddler, while I spent the evening nursing a baby who still definitely wakes up pretty often.

The next morning it was clear things were just, really not okay with poor Gus.  He camped out in the basement watching movies on the couch and would barely touch his drinks, let along breakfast.  Then immediately after I got some tylenol in him, the excruciating process of which made him super upset, he just threw up everything he had eaten the other day.  It was horrible.  

He was so sick, pitiful actually.  He spent the whole day feverish and achy, watching movies on the couch and eating popsicles.   I cancelled my birthday lunch and shopping date with my friend Lisa and tended to his every need all day, forcing Tylenol down his throat every four hours to keep the fever down.  Mid-day he started complaining that he was "choking" which we took to mean his throat was hurting.  Ugh, just really, there's not much we can do about that.  Poor thing.  

There is nothing worse than a helpless child sick and hurting.  Really. I suppose if we had been sick at the same time, that would have been worse.  But still.  Just breaks my heart.

So that is how I spent my Saturday, and most of our Sunday, my 31st birthday.  Dang.  

We had to cancel yesterday's trip to Como with friends.  All in all, just no fun at all.  Super big drag of a weekend.  

He was definitely on the mend yesterday, we even walked to the park in the evening and he was running and  laughing and acting like kind of a jerky toddler, so we can tell he's doing better.  And he's eaten some real food!  An apple, and then cake later, when Dan surprised me with this lovely little homemade cake he and Gus whipped up while Louie and I snuck out for my cousin's Bridal shower in the afternoon. 

So friends, cross your fingers and pray my little baby doesn't get this sickness, and hope the same for Dan and me.  Such a bummer.  


Thursday, July 12, 2012

Just call me awkward

Okay, I’m annoyed. 

I’m sure more than I should be, but those are the facts, I’m annoyed.  

Before I go into why, here’s a little background on my personality…I’m definitely an introvert.  Sometimes I’m able to disguise this a bit, I am able to hide some of my social awkwardness and have normal conversations with strangers.  I am even sort of funny, and when I can tell someone else is an introvert, that’s when I’m in my best form.  I can make that person feel comfortable, I ask questions, I am interested in what they do and what their children’s names are.  I find ways to relate to them. 

Anyway, so I can do that.  I can actually function in social situations.  I am not completely weird… well maybe a little but I try really hard not to show it, and I’m pretty sure I don’t make people nervous. 

I’m definitely better one-on-one than in groups.  In groups I fade away into the background.  In groups I find myself unsure of where to stand, or how to interject myself into a conversation.

I can hold my own though, one-on-one, despite how much I may be freaking out internally. 

So yeah, I’m an introvert, and here’s the thing - the idea of approaching another mom at the pool or park in an actual effort to “make friends” is somewhat terrifying to me.  And while I loathe how awkward the whole process can be, that is just what I want to do, I desperately want to make some local mom friends. 

Friends that I can text at 8:30 AM to meet up with at the park. 

Friends that I can email the night before and say, “Hey, do you and the kids want to come by tomorrow morning for popsicles and pool time in the backyard?”

Friends that can keep an eye on my two year old and make sure he doesn’t run into the street or push a kid off a play structure while I sit on a blanket in the shade and nurse my baby real quick like. 

I want neighborhood buddies.  I want to be able to chat with someone while pushing our kids on the swings and not have to plan a week in advance and drive a half hour to do it. 

And also I want Gus to make friends.  He doesn't go do daycare, and with my part-time schedule sort of lives the SAHM/nanny lifestyle, and I don't feel like he gets to play with a lot of other kids his age.  Some of his aggression issues seem to be getting better (knock on wood) and the only way he's going to learn how to interact with other children is to actually do it.

So I want all those things, but to get them, I need to go beyond my current mode of operation.  Which looks something like this - we’ll be at the park or the pool or something, and Gus is playing with another kid and the other mom or dad and I will awkwardly smile at each other and sort of laugh together at the funny things our children are doing.  The knowing, commiserating, smiles. 

We will discuss the typical boring nothingness, like “How old is he?” and “Oh, and what a cute name!” or “That’s about how far apart these two are.” But then it never goes beyond that because I am too much of an awkward person to make it go beyond that, or to make the conversation turn into the actual exchanging of the digits. 

I don’t know how to say, “Hey man, so do you guys come here regularly?  Maybe we could meet up here next week?  Same bat time, same bat channel?” without sounding like and coming across as a total jack hole. 

We may converse a bit as we push our kids on the swings, but then they’re leaving and I’m all, “Gus, say goodbye to your new friend!”  When what I want to do is say, “Hey, you seem cool, I’m cool, it’d be fun to come to the park and know that someone else who is cool will be there, can we exchange email address or phone numbers or something?”

I mean really?  Why is that kind of thing so hard for me?  How do you go about actually saying that without not feeling like a total nerd and getting pit stains?
All that to say, yesterday I took a leap and thought, whatevs, why don’t I attempt to make local mom friends INTERNET STYLE? 

My little neighborhood has its own club, which really is just a word-of-mouth Facebook group of which I’m a member of.  People post stuff about new shops popping up in the neighborhood, city-wide events happening, fitness classes being offered, crime prevention, happy-hour meet-ups, that sort of thing.  So I thought, why not?  I’ll just post a note to see if anyone would want to set up a little mom-group thing.  Very informal like, but create a way to do the “let’s do this again sometime” thing online, rather than in person.

I thought it was worth a shot and figured there were other introverts out there like me who would like to make mom friends with others who have young chidren, but also find the whole thing super awkward.  
I also know my sister-in-law would like to talk to someone other than my two year old when she’s watching my kids three days a week… maybe have a grown-up conversation that doesn't revolve around Thomas trains and building and knocking down towers. 

You see where this is going?

I would have been happier with NO RESPONSE than with the few "helpful" responses I did get:

I’m sure they are well-meaning, but I can’t help being annoyed, for a number of reasons:

The first lady’s comment, its just soooo typical, the kind of comment moms of young children can’t seem to escape.  That same old cliché that you hear from more experienced moms, or moms of grown children – Buck up and get over it! Enjoy every moment because the time goes by so fast!  GAH!!!!  This kind of thing makes me SO FURIOUS because encouragement in the way of offering “perspective” is not always the answer to what ails me.  This lovely lady wrote about this phenomenon in a much more articulate way than I could.  In short, what she said.  

Chris’s suggestion to just go to the park and meet other moms that way is exactly the sort of thing that is hard for me, thus it is why I’m doing this thing on the internet.  A way of pushing myself out of my comfort zone and making the awkward park meet-up just a little less awkward by getting the “introduction” out of the way ahead of time.  I know I’m not coming out and saying this in my post, but I didn’t think I had to.

Here we are at the park.  Alone.  Easily making friends.
Oh, and yeah, thanks Lesli.  I see those moms.  I go to that pool.  The last time I was there it was a whole group of them, and they all seemed to know each other and the furthest thing from my mind was interjecting myself all in the middle of this entity. 

And finally, the thing that I find the most annoying?  That two other ladies had to go and “Like” Chris’s comment on my post, making me feel like even more of a tool.  Making me feel like an idiot for even attempting to do it this way, when the answer is clearly SO OBVIOUS.  I need to JUST GO TO THE PARK, and TALK TO PEOPLE!  DUH!  Like how stupid am I?


I told you, I’m way more annoyed than I should be.  But still.  I am annoyed, and I didn’t feel like I got the appropriate amount of venting out when I ranted on and on to Dan about it. 

Feel free to tell me if you agree with Chris, who so clearly thinks I need to let loose and simply stop being such a dork about it and go to the park and easily make friends. 

Because it is that easy for everyone.  

Monday, July 02, 2012

Teeth and Avocado

My little blue-eyed Michelin man is doing a number of new things lately.  

First and foremost, food!  Baby Louie is already eating food!  I say "already", but really, the kid is 6 months old, some might say, "It's about time mama!"

We were honestly in no hurry, and I think that's okay.  Clearly the kid has been growing just fine on breast milk alone, and I know from experience that this milestone, while exciting, is also one more thing to fit into the daily routine.

Anyway, it is about that time, so we're doing it, a little reluctantly.  I would never wish away my kid's babyhood but I do sort of wish we could skip over the pureed food part and jump right into table food.  It gets so much easier when you can just give them bits of whatever it is you're eating.  I know that I'm basically describing the baby-led weaning method of introducing solids, but multiple intense gagging incidents have scared me away from fully embracing that philosophy, not to mention that I am a really impatient person and have a hard time not getting involved and letting my baby 100% feed himself.  I can't seem to stop myself from sticking a spoon in the kid's mouth!  

Totally just a personal preference thing.  

So yeah, slowly but surely, we'll do this thing...

...starting with avocado.  I also made and froze some sweet potato puree, and we've done mashed up bananas and pears.  The little guy also really loves gnawing on peaches and different types of melon in one of those mesh feeder things (probably one of my favorite modern baby contraptions).

I tried to get a picture of  his teeth, but he's a squirmy little guy.  I took this picture weeks ago, they're much bigger and more prominent these days.  Stick your finger in his mouth AT YOUR OWN RISK!  

Squirmy... and HAPPY!  SO HAPPY!

How cute is this?  Gus is reading Louie a book here, totally unprompted by his mother, I was so happy that my camera was sitting right there on my bedside table.  So darn cute.  Yay for brothers!

Next up... crawling!  No not quite, but this weekend he started getting up on his hands and knees and rocking.  Gracious me, I'm not sure I'm ready for him to be mobile, I thought I'd have at least another month before I'd have to worry about that, but I'm guessing he's anxious to be able keep up with his big brother.

Now I'm off to start taking inventory of all the "little pieces" toys that we might need to put away for a while, or at least quarantine to Gus's room.  I have a feeling this increased mobility stage will be challenging in a very different way the second time around.