The Birthday Post!

Today is Xavier’s 2nd birthday!! I can’t believe my little baby is definitely, certainly, NOT a baby anymore. And as if on cue, the last few days have shown us a taste of the terrible twos..let’s hope this is as bad as it gets. Toddlers be crazy, yo.

So let’s talk birthday party. We had to do it a bit early this year, due to a combo of the vacation schedules at work  and Xavier’s social circle having quite a few birthdays in June & July.  This year, we found a GEM in the Scituate Community House. It was inexpensive, HUGE, AIR CONDITIONED, and extremely conveniently located (for us anyway, only 10 minutes from home!)

I’ll let pictures tell you the story, I guess.

IMG_9787 IMG_9797 IMG_9792 IMG_9791 IMG_9802 IMG_9805 IMG_9806 IMG_9810 179713_10200650644140052_1096012574_n 1002273_10200650643380033_1401416376_n IMG_9811 IMG_9832 IMG_9837 IMG_9829 IMG_9828 IMG_9827 IMG_9825 IMG_9824 IMG_9823 1043847_10200650642820019_755457276_nIMG_9887 IMG_9885 IMG_9884 IMG_9883 IMG_9878 IMG_9877 IMG_9868 IMG_9861 IMG_9859 IMG_9855 IMG_9853One of the most frequently asked questions so far has been “Where did you get those posters?!” They ARE seriously amazing, right?  I am telling you, there are artists EVERYWHERE. You just have to look. One of my coworkers did them! Here is her Etsy shop, go buy some stuff from her!

http://www.etsy.com/shop/VivaLeArt?ref=top_trail

She does custom stuff too, and also she’s the sweetest girl ever.

Don’t try to make those monster horns, they sucked ass and didn’t even taste that good. I steamed sugar cones until they were soft, dropped a few chocolate chips in the bottom and then dipped. Candi-quik worked the best for that, but these were seriously, the biggest pain.

I forgot to take pictures of a lot of stuff, the goody bags, the outside..I suck.

You’ll notice the ambulance photo..yea. The hubs decided to put the grill on the stoop..and the smoke got inside and set off the alarm. The very LOUD alarm. Since it was a public building, we had to evacuate and wait for the fire department to come shut it off. It’s a good thing it wasn’t an actual fire..because I see no fire putting out apparatus in that AMBULANCE. Way to go!

Did you see my big kid blew out his own candle? After his laying on the floor, don’t want to sing protest, that is.

As far as activities, the kids were all pretty small still, so we just read the book, and I had a basket of musical instruments for them to mess around with. It worked well enough, I think. Oh, and the fire drill.

Yes, I went a bit overboard, but I figured it was okay since I saved so much on the venue and centerpieces!

Today is his actual birthday, and I woke him up with a room full of balloons, and made him peanut butter banana French toast. When he wakes up I’m taking him to the Providence Children’s Museum.

My very good friend Katy was kind enough to make that cake. Isn’t it AMAZING? Then we just set these Hallmark ornaments on top.

Feel free to hit me up with any questions about anything.  This was a REALLY fun theme to work with, but WTWTA Merch is outrageously expensive. If you’re doing one, either link your credit card up to Etsy, or get ready to DIY some shit and rely heavily on a few key elements and color scheme to keep your theme cohesive.

 

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The Pirate Party Post.

I know, I’ve been gone forever again. Xavier has EIGHT teeth coming in and he’s cranky and busy as hell. He can walk, btw. He can RUN.  My house is a series of barricades. Barricades that need work.

But I’m going to make it up to you today. This is the pirate party extravaganza!!!

Are you pumped? You better be, hillbilly.

We rented out the Aspray Boat House in Warwick RI for his party.  This place is seriously a hidden gem and I almost don’t even want to tell you about it. I heard about it from a friend, and got super lucky that they still had a Saturday in July open.  Everything regarding this place was exactly as it should have been, and the best part was I didn’t have to waste time meeting with anyone. Much, much easier than picking a wedding venue. And much, much cheaper.

Here’s the link for info:

http://www.gaspee.com/AsprayBoathouse.html

The pictures leave a lot to be desired.  But it’s right on the water, there’s a dock and everything. Which..is a great thing for a pirate party.  Day of however, a giant, disgusting dead goose washed ashore.  I just did my best to pretend it wasn’t there, and when John finally arrived he disposed of it. Phew.   The ONLY major problem we had was that the place has NO AC.

NO AC.

NO AC!!!!

In July. In HOT AS BALLS JULY.

So I walked around lookin like Fat Sweaty Betty all damned day.

Here’s some pictures of the place:

 I know, perfect for a pirate party, right?

Okay so I’ll get down to the details, you know you want them.

Outside, I did this to pick up on the treasure map thing. (Okay, I had my brother do it.) Basically we just cut up pieces of red cardstock and taped them to the ground so it made kind of a dotted line to the door, where I was going to make a giant X out of crepe paper streamers. However, I expected to be able to CLOSE the doors. I had to leave them open to let air in because it was just too hot. So we improvised with a smaller X.

I hated that the tape was showing. But my brother was being a really good sport about helping while I was inside running around like a loon. He had already taped them once the wrong side up, gone back out and redid them, so I didn’t care complain about tape:-).

So there’s our smaller X, a pair of cuties, and some toddlers too. Ha!

Btw, those last two photos and a bunch of others from The Murphys will be smattered in here. Thank God they were there with their camera or I would’ve gotten jackshit.

I printed up free coloring pages from TwistyNoodle.com and just trimmed off the edges where the ads were.

Well, I had John trim them off anyway:-) Then I scooped up some Pirate Crayons from Iparty. Yes, I could’ve just gotten regular crayons. But PIRATE crayons weren’t very expensive at all, at 29 cents a box. I just put 4 packs on each table and it was a hit with kids and grown ups too.

I also did a pirate accessories table. I put eyepatches, hooks, swords, mustaches, hoop earrings, temporary tattoos, bandanas, paper pirate hats and even a few pirate masks. I wish I had taken more pictures of this because it was so fun.

We set up the gift table in the entranceway, and kept the decor there simple with just a net tossed over a little table. Didn’t matter anyway, it was covered very quickly anyway.

The cake was one of my absolute favorite things. I’m pretty sure my wedding cake wasn’t this awesome.  One of my mommy friend/coworkers tipped me off that we had a little cake boss working right under our nose at the store.  Who knew?  This girl was a freaking DREAM to work with. I gave her almost full artistic license, I said just make it pirate themed and delicious. And she showed up on time, with this freaking masterpiece.

I know. It was amazing, just look at it!!

Also, she did a smash cake. All I asked was no red or black frosting, and no chocolate. (Xavier hasn’t had it yet.) I didn’t say what I DID want though, which I know, is a bitch. But she came through for me with this adorable little creation:

How cute is that?!

Now, I am not going to put her name on the interwebs cuz she’s not officially in business. (But she fucking A should be.) So if you email me and ask me very nicely I will give you her info. I’ll stop raving about the cake now.

You might have noticed surrounding the cake are some cookies. Cookies that are so amazing, this whole time you’ve been like “OMG shut up about the cake and tell us where you got those amazeballs cookies right now!!” Brace yourselves.

I made em. NBD.

(That was sarcasm, in case you didn’t pick up on it.) I did make them, that part wasn’t. But it was just Betty Crocker mix and a whole lot of cussing.  Funny story about those though..I was actually running on schedule, shit was getting done and I was feeling good about it. I EVEN had a little time to relax penciled in for the night before the party to be all “I’m done lalala”  I just had to run a few errands first.

While running those errands I received a phone call from my husband, and he was using his “approaching a bear on bath salts” voice, so I knew it wasn’t good news the second I heard that tone.

“Baaabe? Yea..you kinda left the cookies down low..and Squirt kinda….ate them.”

And at this point I don’t remember much. But my brother says I recited this lovely monologue from the film The Boondock Saints:

What I sounded like (NSFW!!)

So..my “LALALA” time turned into “Bake and ice and package 35 more goddamned cookies” time. AND HERE’S THE PUNCHLINE:

After the party..I had about 40 cookies left over. Didn’t even have to do that.

Don’t you dare ask about the dog. DON’T.

Moving on. In May, a friend of mine had a popcorn buffet at her baby shower. I couldn’t wait to do one. So even though that popcorn has absolutely nothing to do with pirates, I was going to do that shit. And so I did. I borrowed the containers from her, and ordered from www.popcornpapa.com. Another easy transaction. The bags didn’t look very big though, so I ran around RI looking for backups of these flavors, only to be eating the shit for a month because I bought way too much. Figures, eh?

They have like a bajillion flavors to choose from, but we went with Kettle Corn, Hot N Spicy, Chicago Style, Extra Butter and Cheesecake.

Chicago Style was awesome, my total fave. It’s a mix of Caramel and Cheese.  Cheesecake, second fave. Extra butter and Hot N Spicy, they mean it! Kettle Corn..I’ve had better but it was decent.

It took all I had not to bust out the Xyron Machine and personalize those bags, but I had to draw the line somewhere. I wrapped the containers with twine and affixed the labels to the twine. As you can see, that was kind of a fail. Next time I’ll just cut to the chase and bust out the glue gun. No more fucking around with these polite little glue dots and what have you. (It’s late, can you tell?)

Oh! See that banner behind the table? That was SUCH an easy project, it was pretty much just like doing the invitations all over again. Leftover pocketfold invitations, brown cardstock, typed up in Word and printed it out and attached it to twine. I made it adjustable because I knew we were going in sight unseen to the Boathouse and was just guessing as to where the hell I was going to put it.  Here’s where I put it:

Are you getting bored? Here’s a picture of my kid smashing his cake to bring you back:

Hell yea he’s cute.

The centerpieces….geez these things had me stumped. Everything I found on the interwebs was just a little too pricey for 8 tables. I considered balloons, but on the serious, balloons cost too damned much to look that cheap. (Again, much like your mom.)  So these are my $5 centerpieces, and I’m sure they’re going to blow your mind.

I got the buckets, flags, beads and coins at iParty, and the shells and “gems” in the dollar bins at Michael’s. Oh, and I stole that sand from the beach. Yes, really, I did that shit.  Be damned if I’m buying bags of sand when I live in RI!

Don’t worry though, I paid for it. While I was scooping eight buckets o sand and loading them into my car, a large winged insect came zooming out of the sand I’d just disturbed and stung the shit out of my ankle. I screamed and drew a bunch of attention to myself and the eight buckets o sand I was stealing. Pain and embarassment, paid in full.

A couple days before the party, I took eight gallon ziploc bags and put everything for each table into it. Gems, beads, shells, crayons, tablecloth, coins. That way it was super easy to enlist my friend’s help without being a hypercontrolling beotch. (More than I normally am, anyway.)

I think that’s about it on the details. So I’ll wrap this up with a few more photos and call it done. I hope to be around more!

Hi!

I know, I know. It’s been FOREVER.  And I’m really sorry, but I have some pretty solid excuses.

1. Due to my work schedule at my real job, combined with shooting weddings with The Murphys, and one awesome little birthday party, I did not have one single day off from June 10th til July 2nd. Not one.

2. Xavier’s Birthday party ate up my entire week last week. What wasn’t spent on his birthday, was spent entertaining my brother Tom, who made it to RI on July 2nd.

3. Xavier has been kind of a lot recently. Very clingy towards me in particular. Unless he’s sleeping, if I leave his sight or his 5 ft radius, he FLIPS THE FUCK OUT.  He’s got yet another goddamned tooth coming in, #10, and I think that’s partly responsible.

 

I think the birthday party needs a post all on it’s own and I don’t have time for that right this minute.  So I’ll just give you a little bit of an update on him first. He is ONE. I cannot believe it. He’s increasingly mobile, and has taken a few drunken, zombie like steps on his own here and there. He stands unassisted, climbs down from the couch, tries to climb up my legs, gives kisses, kicks his legs, dances, and makes pigfaces on command.

That’s his pigface. I guess it’s also his “Beach Face”, because he made it all day that day. My brother and I took him to the beach on his actual birthday. He was being super clingy and didn’t want me to put him down, so I almost didn’t bother taking him down by the water. But I did, and man..he looooved it.

LOVED IT.

That night, we did cake at home with just the five of us.

This was the first time he’s ever had anything like this.

I also bought a seperate cake for us, but unfortunately, I dropped it.

 It still tasted okay though.

Ha! Happy birthday, Tom!

 

Now, onto the smashing!

Yep, that’s my husband, in crocs. Eat your hearts out, ladies..all mine.

And yea, the baby with the lighter.

Jesus.

 

At this point, he still has no idea that this is FOOD. He’s just happily making a mess.

 

And that was it for the little cupcake:-)

Now, I don’t think he actually got much into his mouth, but he was up well past 10pm that night. So clearly, he had some lol.

Yesterday was his one year pediatrician’s visit. He is 27.5 lbs, and 31 inches long. Both of those and his head circumference were off the top of the charts. HUGE kid. I put size 2T Pj’s on him last night and they fit well.

But he’s awake now, so I’ll post more on the party later!

 

Xavier, Month 9(ish)

Well, technically, he’s 10 months old today. But I was busy as fuck this month so I failed on taking his pictures, and we fell behind on vaccines so he didn’t see the pediatrician until yesterday.

Obviously, he’s still really freaking cute. Which is good, because he’s the goddamned devil. Kidding..he’s actually insanely freaking charming. I can’t take him anywhere without getting stopped because he’s smiling at strangers.  He’s a really happy kiddo, and I’m lucky.

But yea, he still has no damned hair.

What he lacks in hair, he makes up for in head size. Still chillin in the 9oth percentile.

He’s got seven teeth. I’m pretty sure there’s one straggler coming in now, but it’s taking it’s sweet ass time. He is pretty good with his seven teeth. (So is your mom.) We’ve started on finger foods and he’s doing great. The thing is though, I have to literally sit and feed him one cheerio at a time, or he grabs handfuls of them, shoving them into his mouth, until his mouth is crammed full. (Again, just like your mom.) Chubby little fistful after fistful. And it’s not just cheerios or even little finger foods. Mum Mum Crackers? Teether Biscuits? NOM! He breaks them in half and shoves the two halves into his mouth.  He probably thinks my chunky ass is gonna try to take his shit. He doesn’t know yet that there’s way better foods out there than plain cheerios and diced carrots, I don’t need his crap.

I shouldn’t write when I’m tired. Let’s move on.

He’s down to four bottles a day now,  3 are seven ounces, and bedtime is 8 ounces.  We feed three meals, and one snack. It appears to be working, he’s 23.75 lbs. He jumped from 50th to 83rd percentile.

He’s a super busy little booger, he started crawling about a week ago, and he cruises along the furniture. He prefers to stand and cruise to crawling, he only crawls as a last resort. Don’t ask me. We have had to really step up our game in the childproofing department, because he’s into EVERYTHING now.

“What? I’m just standing around, nbd.”

Those jeans he’s wearing, btw, are size 18 months.  They don’t even fit him when he’s wearing his cloth diapers! So is the hoodie. When my friend Tess gave it to me I thought “Oh this will be so cute come Fall 2012”

But the hat? The hat is a size 3T/4T. I shit you not, his head is that effing big.

He’s 29 inches tall, having grown an inch and a half since his last visit three months ago.  He jumped from 50th to 60th percentile there.

That’s the look I get about 400x a day now.  “No, Mom, I def was not playing with that electrical outlet. You told me no like 400x…sheesh.” (Goes back to playing with said outlet.)

Sleeping..oh sleeping. Sleeping has become a serious problem around here. I think..I might have spoiled my child. I don’t know. I talked to his pediatrician about it, and he tells me that until we teach him to put himself to sleep, he won’t learn how to put himself BACK to sleep in the middle of the night. Which..he sleeps through the night like 1 out of 5 nights, so I know he totally can do it. (And what awesome nights those are!) But the other four nights, he wakes up at least once. And sometimes, I’m tired/lazy. And the quickest way to knock his little ass back out is to put him in bed with me.

 He basically recc’d crying it out. Which, I don’t wanna stir the shit here, for some babies, and some moms, that’s totally fine. Do what works for your family. If I’m being honest, I don’t think I have the stomach for it.  So, this is me, looking for some hippie sleep solutions.

I can’t believe my little baby is going to be a year old in just two months. I’m starting to lag behind on party planning because I’ve been so busy, but I need to get crackin.

“When you’re a Jet..”

Confession: I have a strange desire to put my kid in a pageant. But not really. But kinda. But I won’t. Probably. I think I just watch too much Toddlers and Tiaras.  And the way Xavier blows kisses and claps and dances..well, I think he’s just really talented alright?

Nah..but he is wicked cute huh?

Alright that’s all for now. This weekend, I’m tagging along for some more wedding photography with some heavy hitters.  Here’s hoping I don’t fuck it up. 🙂

When your fan club aren’t fans.

Sorry for the crappy cell phone pic, it’s all I had on me when this was going down.

I’ve always said having pit bulls is like having your own personal fan club. They follow me around, thinking everything I do is awesome and interesting. They’re happy to go anywhere, do anything.

A couple of things have made something completely obvious here:

My dogs don’t really like my baby.

Which..all the dog people reading this are going “Duh!” Babies are annoying. They screech, grab body parts, take all the attention, they have all these cool toys that you’re not allowed to eat, their faces get covered with food and you’re not allowed to lick em.  It’s a lot of bullshit to ask of a dog to put up with, when you think about it. But..I don’t know I guess I just expected that they would. I have the kind of dogs who like EVERYONE and EVERYTHING. They’re happy, GOOD dogs.  So..I have to confess, I didn’t bother with a whole lot of baby preparation. People would ask, I’d say “Well they’ve been around babies and kids, so I’m not too concerned.”

Sure, they’ve been around other people’s babies and kids. Babies and kids that go home.

And it doesn’t help that Xavier is freaking OBSESSED with them. He’s always trying to grab at them, screeching in their direction, offering them toys they’re not allowed to take, dropping food they’re not allowed to have. (Yes, I’m that mean. They have allergies, dammit.)

I just expected they would tolerate all of this, because they really do like everyone, everything, all the time. I can count on one hand the TOTAL number of times I’ve seen these dogs react to anything with less than unabashed enthusiasm. But now, I see things like that picture above, and I’ve realized I’ve been pretty fucking unfair.  I’m embarassed to admit all of this, but between work and the kid, there just hasn’t been much left for them. I feel like I’m always telling them to be quiet, go away, leave that alone, stop that, get out of there.

My dogs deserve better.

So, we’re really focusing now on creating positive associations between dog and baby. And I’m trying to pay more attention to the four leggers, and yell less. We’re taking them for walks together. Hopefully, they’ll start to enjoy the company of little bald people soon.

Some other things that are happening around here:

1. I’ve got another niece on the way! My brother Joe and his wife Teresa are expecting their third baby this August. SO EXCITED.

2. It looks like we might have a LOT of company for Xavier’s birthday party in July. My bestie Tess and her FOUR children are coming out too. Also, my brother Ben and his wife and their daughter (who is three weeks older than X and super cute!!) are trying to come out for a visit. And my brother Tom is still coming!  I’m thinking I won’t be attempting the birthday cake myself.

3. My nail lady disappeared again. The last three times I’ve been back to that salon, she’s not there. The place is pretty scummy looking and they use cheap products, so I decided it was time to go somewhere else. The new man did a pretty damned good job, the place was clean and he used quality products. He did make me bleed in three places….but it wasn’t on purpose and he was really sorry. I’ll give him another chance.

4. Xavier can pull himself up and cruise along the edges of things.  His 9 month visit is on May 2nd (The day before he turns 10 months.) I am DYING to see how big he’s gotten, everyone keeps telling me he’s a tank. All I know is his 12 month size cl0thes are tight.  And that I bought a size 4t hat for him yesterday that fits him.  Hopefully, there’s a big brain in that big head, one that can get his little ass a scholarship because I spend all his college money on hats.

Word to your mother.

An Xavier Update

 

It’s that time again ladies & gents, get ready to have your worlds dazzled with captivating information about the amazing things my child is doing. He went to the pediatrician today and got all measured up, he is 19 lbs even, 27 inches long, and has a giant 18″ noggin. The height and weight are average, but the head is giant, 97th percentile! That means only 3% of 7 month olds have bigger heads than he does. I wonder what they look like.

There’s his giant dome there. And the face he made after he got his two shots.  We decided to skip the flu shot. His pediatrician said it takes two weeks after the 2nd round of flu shot to even start working. By then, we’d be in March, when flu season is pretty much over. So we’ll just get one in the fall. He was pretty happy with where Xavier is at as far as milestones, sitting unsupported, rolling, etc.

He has two teeth on the bottom.

 

And lemme tell ya, those bad boys are sharp. You have to watch your fingers, he’s like a puppy.

The other night, I was changing his diaper and talking to John, and I hear him making this weird sound. I look down and he’s got his frank n beans clamped in his chubby little fist. Oh crap. So we enter a new chapter, and he’s kind of obsessed. As soon as his diaper comes unsnapped, THWAK, it’s all hands on *ahem* deck. I’m trying to ignore it and play it cool.  At first I kept removing his hands and telling him no, but that only made it more appealing, evidently. So I gave up and maybe he’ll get bored with it.

That’s the face John made at me when I said that.

Another big milestone, we are swaddle free! I thought I’d be swaddling this little monster into college. He just wouldn’t even consider it. But the more he rolls, the less safe it becomes. And besides, his big ass was breaking out of it a couple times a night and we’d have to get up and reswaddle anyway. So we just quit, cold turkey. And he’s done pretty well. He doesn’t seem to know what to do with his hands as he’s drifting off. Naptimes are harder than bedtimes.

But bedtimes are harder now too. He got his first cold this week. We had to run out and purchase a humidifier. It was mostly chest congestion and a bit of sneezing, but no fever and he stayed in really good spirits.

He sits up pretty well. He seems to be stuck at the almost point, where he gets excited and falls over about ten seconds in.

I know, he’s so damned cute I can barely stand it.

He’s obsessed with being in his jumperoo. BUY A FREAKING JUMPEROO.

He screeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeams, mostly while in said Jumperoo. You probably don’t believe me, but he’s trying to talk. He looks RIGHT at the dogs and says “OG” or “DGGG” or “DAH”  He also growls while trying to say “Hi”. Again, you walk into a room, and he looks right at you and says “HAAAA” or “EEEEY”

The doc gave us the go ahead to start trying meats. Meat in a jar seems unnatural and weird  to me, so I dusted off the magic bullet today and I’m going to try some chicken and apple for him. We’ll see how that goes.

He’s still nursing (YAAAAY!) and we’re still supplementing a few bottles a day of formula. I know that once the 12 week limit is reached with the Reglan, we’ll probably be done nursing. But that’s alright. He eats 2-3 jars or pouches of pureed food a day, plus a mesh feeder snack. His fave is mango. The little booger is batshit for mango.

He’s into everything! We all look like we were mauled by a honey badger, with claw marks on our faces and missing patches of hair from him grabbing and yanking and clawing at us. You can’t take your eyes off of him for a second because as soon as you turn your head, he’s into some shit. He’s SO close to crawling, and when he does…we’re SO screwed.

And here is my favorite picture from this little naked baby photo session.

“Draw me like one of your French girls”

The End.

Playdates & Petri Dishes

It is my completely unscientifically based theory that breastfeeding sucks (ha) all the immunity out of you, and gives it to your baby. Which, hey, I’m doing all of this for that exact reason, I don’t want him to ever be sick, ever ever. But holy crap, can I NOT be sick for a few days?

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I am freaking sick. AGAIN. I’ve seriously been sick three times since Thanksgiving, with different, crazy random shit that lands me in the ER. And this time, I’m pretty sure it was something I picked up at Xavier’s playdate on Wednesday. Children are disgusting little petri dishes and carry around more diseases than a third world prostitute. Or your mom. Last Wednesday, I found myself in a room full of cute little germbombs.

If I’m being perfectly honest, I don’t know how much Xavier got out of it. He pretty much just sat in his bumbo and watched the older kids.

And tried to steal his Bumbo Buddy Andrew’s stuff.

And drooled a lot.

The three older kids got a bit more, learning to share and stuff. But mostly, it was nice for the moms to have a chance to chat.

I know, it’s a LOT of cuteness huh?

But under the cuteness, evil lurks. An evil deathplague that attacked four adults and five children this weekend. Highly contagious, apparently. Friday night, it claimed it’s first victim, keeping the dad of one child up all night praying to the porcelain gods. Saturday, it set in around the rest of that household. Sunday I went to work, fine and dandy. Sunday night, I started feeling a big queasy at around 6 ish. I barely finished my dinner, not feeling right.

By 8 pm, I was feeding Xavier his bedtime bottle when I told John “I’m going to need you to take him, right now. I need to go vomit.”

And so I did. And I continued as such until around 3 am. Oh it was awful. PAINFUL. I always forget how much puking sucks. It really sucks though. At 2, John got up to check on me, and I laid there on the couch, moaning, with the trash barrel next to me just in case. He was all “Aww poor thing, this sucks!”

By four, he’s on the bathroom floor himself. The shit sets in FAST.  He didn’t leave the bathroom until approximately 9 am. It was HORRID.

Mercifully, Xavier and my mom appear to have been spared. Monday night, Xavier woke up 3x and just wanted to be held, but other than that he seems okay. Please let it stay that way, because I just can’t imagine a poor little baby going through the horror that was inflicted upon us.

I really need to look into some immunity boosting hippie shit or something. I can’t keep doing this. Also, need a hippie cure for Roxie’s arthritis. Any of my dog owner friends had any luck with things like acupuncture or water therapy? The Rimadyl is working but I worry about her liver & kidneys. More on that later, someone just woke up.

Show me your teeth.

My baby has two teeth. And he’s going through his six month growth spurt. Or someone fed him after midnight and he’s turning into a Gremlin.

I know it’s not just the teeth, because he’s had those coming in for awhile. This growth spurt business can suck it though. Yesterday, my normally sweet, angelic, Buddha baby actually beat on my chest with his tiny, chubby fists while screaming in my face.  He had napped approximately 30 minutes for the entire day. (normally, he’s a rockstar sleeper.) And he’d been kind enough to wake us up at 6:30 in the morning, and hour and a half early, after he stayed up an hour and a half past his bedtime.  I know, two or three days out of six months isn’t shit, and there are lot of people with way bigger problems when it comes to their offspring.

Today seems better though, he’s actually down for his second nap. So please, baby Jesus, let that be all of that crap. I want to tell you bitches about some shit that’s helping the little gremlin be more like Gizmo, less like Stripe.

Here’s Gizmo, because he’s cute.

Look at him driving the little car, saving the day. Awww.

Anyway. I’m by no means a baby expert. But I am using some doggie wisdom on my teething baby. For instance, when he bites down on any of my body parts or something he shouldn’t, I tell him “AH AH!” in a sharp sounding voice. He seems to notice the difference.  I swear.

So the first toy I want to talk about is Sophie the Giraffe.

Sophie is made of the same damned vinyl that cheap dog toys are made out of. She even squeaks.  I’m pretty sure that the getting richer by the minute folks over at Vulli are laughing their asses all the way to the bank. I have multiple momma friends who swear this is their kid’s favorite toy, that their child is obsessed, it’s totally worth it.

Xavier doesn’t have Sophie, and unless someone else shells out the $20 for something that will ABSOLUTELY be shredded by one of these dogs, he never will. I have been tempted. The thing is cute, and come on, I have spent $20 on stupider shit.

But I think I’m taking a stand on Sophie. Especially after I read all the reviews on Amazon about that killer front leg of hers..all these kids almost choking to death. Pass. There’s way cooler stuff to choke on. (That’s what she said.)

One thing he does have and is obsessed with and came with a reasonable price tag is this guy:

Link:  http://www.amazon.com/Razbaby-009-RT-RaZ-berry-Teether-Red/dp/B000JWSO9I/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1325796806&sr=8-1

Okay, on the serious, it looks kinda weird, like a diseased nipple or something. But the kid will lay there holding onto this thing and babbling for like days. And he chews on the sides and the ring part too, all made of silicone. Which holds temperature pretty nicely so I stick this bad boy in the freezer between uses. And for $5 if the dogs should eat it, whatevs.

Next up, the craziest thing about these things is how long it took people to invent them.

Link:  http://www.amazon.com/Munchkin-Pack-Fresh-Feeder-Colors/dp/B000GK5XY2/ref=sr_1_1?s=baby-products&ie=UTF8&qid=1325797022&sr=1-1

Holy shit are these things awesome.

We’re dabbling with Baby Led Weaning. Cuz I’m kind of a hippie and I like to do hippie things. (We’ll come back to this.) But the other day Xavier bit off a big ass hunk of his avocado wedge, and it was only thanks to my cat like reflexes that he survived. I’ll be honest, it scared the bejeezus out of me.  So we’re kinda backing away from that, I can’t take the scariness. I figure eating purees like the rest of us poor saps for the last 20 years probably won’t land him a seat on the short bus. Besides, if I’m being totally honest, I have shit to do.  I want to enjoy my kid, not spend it watching him like a hawk while he rubs a slimy ass banana all over his face and trying to catch the shit he drops before the three lurking beasts do. (Again, cat like reflexes come in handy. And a good “Drop it.”)

So this takes the scariness out. I put that banana hunk in there, hand it to him, and now I can actually do stuff while he’s rubbing it all over his face, not much is hitting the floor, more is landing in his mouth. Plus, I freeze stuff before I give it to him, so it helps soothe the pain from those evil little pearls of doom.

Moving on..I’m not a huge fan of medicating the shit out of my kid. I’ll medicate the shit out of myself, but that’s another post.  So when I spotted an Amber teething necklace on my friend’s baby, I thought “Oh how cute, jewelry on the baby, I love it!” But this is functional jewelry, not just bling. Sometimes hippie shit works, alright? So when my friend said this crap actually appeared to be helping, I thought hey, wtf, I’ll give it a shot.

http://www.amazon.com/Inspired-Baltic-Amber-Teething-Necklaces/dp/B004EFC6O0/ref=sr_1_10?s=baby-products&ie=UTF8&qid=1325798024&sr=1-10

This is not my kid, but it kinda looks like a made for tv movie version of him.

Okay, no it doesn’t. But he’s sleeping, goddammit. SLEEPING. So I’ll take a picture of him in it another time, but he looks cute. Like Tommy Pickles decided to go on tour with Phish. It’s not designed to chew on. It uses magical powers to make the pain disappear, or something. Look, I don’t know science. But I do know, this kid sleeps longer when he has been wearing it. And sometimes, I double it around his ankle and let him sleep with it on, inside his feetie pajamas. (Even in my most paranoid mom hypothetical worst case scenarios, I’m just not sure anything bad could come from that.) And even John, who laughed at it and called it “hooey”..admits that it works. And it helped my friend’s baby too, so there. Don’t be stupid and leave it on your baby overnight or unsupervised.

He has a bunch of other teething toys and stuff, but none rock my world like those do so far. But I’m betting this won’t be my last “OMG FUCK TEETHING” Post.

A couple of other things before I go.

1. I have finally hopped on the Pinterest bandwagon. Productivity has slowed to a halt around here.

2. I am officially planning Xavier’s first birthday party. It’s going to be a pirates theme, which I’m pretty sure means I need to drink my weight in rum and fantasize about Johnny Depp a lot. Which is pretty much like normal times.

 

Phew.

Thank you sweet baby Jesus, Christmas is finally over.

My job makes us work the seven days leading up until Christmas. The way my days off played out, I worked 10 days in a row. The ten days before Christmas. Which for those of you who work in the retail slash service industry, you know that those are the ten worst goddamned days of the year. IN A ROW.

That does something to a person. Somethin uuugly.

It also seriously must compromise a person’s immune system, because guess what? I’m sick again. And not just a little cold, no no. That’s not how I roll.  Friday morning, Christmas Eve Eve, I woke up with some ear pain. As the day progressed, it got worse and worse. By Saturday morning, Christmas Eve, I was in quite a bit of pain. Even with enough ibuprofen in me to stun a yak, I was struggling. I got lucky and got out of work early, and raced straight to an UrgentCare. But they were already closed. So..I sat there, thinking well, first thing Monday morning, I’ll go in.

But it just kept getting worse and worse. It woke me up a bunch of times that night. I was really in a lot of pain. So..at 3:30 in the morning, I woke up John. “I’m going to the ER. I can’t take this shit another day. Might as well go now. I’ll be home by the time X wakes up.”

Well..I wasn’t. Apparently, earaches fall pretty low on the emergency scale.  Eventually, the doctor made his way over. Said “Yea..that’s doubly infected, inside and out. Here’s a stack of prescriptions. CVS is open, head on over.”

So, I did. Eardrops, antibiotics, and two kinds of pain meds. Oh yes. I made it home about 9:30. Xavier had pooped on his Christmas pajamas. Mom and John were waiting, Xavier’s excitement was palpable:

And Squirt could barely contain his overwhelming joy:

 But John was ready: (to start drinking. Ha!)

So, let’s start the show. We start with stockings. First, my mom looks through hers. Finds a chocolate orange. She’s pumped about it.

John tricked her into wearing that hat. I love this man.

Then we opened Xavier’s stocking. I handed him his first gift, expecting him drool as he dropped it on the floor. But instead, this happened.

DUDE. LOOK AT HIS LITTLE FACE!!!!

How cute is that? He’s all “Oh yes, this is relevant to mah interests!”

Stupid little set of teething keys dazzled his world. Babies are so funny.

I’d like to post more pictures, but stupid WordPress is being slow and if I keep waiting around to do that, I’ll never get this finished before Xavier wakes up.

So..the day after Christmas, John, Xavier and I made our yearly trip out to the stores to get the goods on next year’s Christmas decorations. My theme for next year is certainly more challenging than red & white was, but I think I did okay and I am pretty damned excited about it.

Also..next year, my mother has decided she wants a tree for her area also. So that’s TWO trees to decorate. I don’t think she’ll let me get all OCD on her tree. But I really wish she would. She’s probably going to get all obnoxious drunken fruity pebbles vomit on the damned thing just to drive me batty. *sigh*. I suspect she just doesn’t like next year’s colors. I’d tell you what they are, but then you’d try to copy me. So you have to wait, suckas.

Anyway. When I went to the ER Saturday morning, they told me if I’m not much better by Tuesday morning, I needed to go see my For Real Doctor. So..Tuesday morning I was still really struggling. I tried to go to work..and it was a fail. I couldn’t take the serious pain meds they gave me and drive or groom dogs, and trying to groom dogs in that much pain…well. It didn’t work out. So I left work and went to the doctor.  It was worse, my face was swollen, and now my left ear was aching and crackling.

And this is where we discuss bedside manner and it’s importance. A doctor should not take one look at a person’s ear and say “Oh no! It’s really bad. Like..REALLY bad. You need to go see a specialist. NOW. Right NOW. It’s reaaaally bad. I’m going to find you a specialist to go to, right now. This is serious, I’ve seen people go on IV antibiotics for less. YOUR BRAIN IS IN DANGER!”

And then disappear for 10 minutes.

Leaving me just…sitting there. Apparently, in grave brain danger.

So she comes back, gives me an address and a number and tells me to “Go right now. Just go NOW okay?”

OKAY I’M GOING!!! FUCK!

In a rare exception from my usual stubborn to the core independence, I had had John accompany me to this appointment, in case they wanted to dope me up or something.  So he was with me, thank God, because I was actually sort of scared. MY BRAIN WAS IN DANGER, for fuck’s sake.

So I went to the specialist. And waited for over an hour and a half before he wandered into the exam room. Which had a big scary dentist like horror movie chair in it with lights and pokey things. And there were all these instruments that looked like something out of the SAW movies. GAH.

I might have peed in the chair.

So he takes a look in my left ear, the newest arrival to the party in my head. He’s like “Yup, infected. We’ll flush that sucker out and give you some drops. NBD.” Then he looks in my right ear, and says “This is really bad.” He says my ear is completely clogged up, and the antibiotics they had given me in the ER were not strong enough. Since my ear was closed up, there was no way for the drops to get down in there, so they just kinda built up and gummed up the works even more. So..we’ll have to suction that out. Then flush. Then we’ll have to insert a wick so it can drain.

Oh..that sounds magical.

He says “It’s going to hurt. If it doesn’t hurt I’m not doing it right. Sorry.”

So he pulls out this thingy. It has a four inch or so metal tube that’s very narrow, like the inside of a ballpoint pen. He STICKS THAT IN MY FUCKING EAR. And then he turns it on. And it’s like the suction thingy at the dentist, only it’s metal and it’s in my ear. And it’s sucking the danger out of my brain.

It was unpleasant. But I have to say..it almost felt better. There was a lot of pressure in that sumbitch, and that relieved a good chunk of it. Then he goes around to my left side. Takes this giant metal syringe thing..and a metal vomit catcher pan, you know, the kidney bean shaped guy. And he comes straight for me. This ain’t gonna be nice.

But again, not that bad. He sticks the giant metal thing in my ear and it’s like a firehose jammed into my brain. The kidney bean was to catch the excess.

(Are you grossed out yet?)

SO THEN. He comes back to my right side. And he’s being very descriptive about what he’s going to do my ear. Which I appreciated, I don’t think I would’ve taken too kindly to someone just cramming stuff and shooting and suctioning on my orifices without an explanation. (That’s what she said.)

He shows me the wick he’s going to put in my ear. He shows me what he’s going to use to put it in with. Explains it’s purpose and when it needs to come out. I really liked this doctor.

(Dr Tarro at RI Ear Nose & Throat in Cumberland RI)

So then he tells me it’s gonna hurt again. And I brace myself. But it wasn’t that bad. Certainly no walk in the park. He says “Wow. You must have a really high threshold for pain.”  If you’ve read my birth story, you know why that is.

So..I did take the day off work today. I’m in quite a bit of pain,  and I can’t hear very well, and I’m still quite loopy from the Vicodin regimen. But I’m getting better, I can tell.

And one last thing before I end this, speaking of getting better. The Reglan is working like gangbusters for my milk supply, it has totally pulled me off the ropes in that battle and I’m in the fight again and swinging. When I first started breastfeeding,  I honestly wasn’t sure I’d last the week. But when I did, I said “Six weeks. I probably won’t be able to do it after I go back to work.” But I was. so I said “I’d like to make it til Christmas, that’s just about six months.” I wasn’t even sure I’d be able to make time to pump because it gets so insanely busy. But I did. I made it. So. I’m not going to set another goal. I’m going to keep going until I stop. So far, I have had zero side effects that I can’t handle. Hopefully that continues. HOORAY FOR BOOBIES!

Everything & Nothing.

I don’t really have anything specific I’d like to talk about this week, so I’m just going to do a general update. I just realized, just this second, that today is my last day off until Christmas. That’s a big ol’ FML for you. Had I realized that…oh well.

We have to talk about my hair, as it is the most important thing ever. (Sarcasm.) It has been falling out in clumps. Xavier has been ripping out what’s left. Birthing a behbeh does weird shit to your body. MY baby sucked the goddamned life out of me. He was like “Bitch I don’t have any hair, you don’t need any either.”

My hair has been a point of pride with me for a long time. I don’t have big boobs or a tiny waist or big velvety lips or long legs. I had pretty hair though.  But about six months into my pregnancy..it got duller. I changed shampoos roughly 120 times. Finally, towards the end of my pregnancy, I gave up, and into a ponytail/bun it went.

And there it stayed..pretty much until yesterday. It also refused to take color properly..so I couldn’t get it all one color to save my life. Finally..I decided it was time. Fuck it, cut it off.

Now..I’ve had my hair short before so it wasn’t total terror, I know it looks okay short. But last time, I had sideswept bangs, and I feel like it made me sorta look like a little kid. My six year old niece has the same haircut.

So this time I wanted something kinda grown up. Maybe even a little sassy and sexy? I don’t know.

I scoured pictures, got a few ideas..but really, you just have to have a good stylist that you trust. I was lucky enough to find one pretty quickly after I arrived here in Rhode Island. She’s the only one in the 401 who I’ll go to, and she has never done me wrong.

Sue, at Allure Salon in Warwick. GO.

Now that I did that little shout out, I will show you my before, during and after shots. My before picture is pretty embarassing. But it’s the most recent that shows my hair. I want to clarify and really, really, stress the fact that I was attending an UGLY SWEATER PARTY and I DO NOT WEAR SHIT LIKE THIS NORMALLY.  And neither does my friend Cara. Swear to God.

Ready? Okay!

So…yea, we’re idiots.  But don’t let it distract you. Notice the hair. THE HAIR.

That was Friday. So on Tuesday, I donated this to Locks of Love:

Sue participates in the program and donates hair for you, free of charge. Which I think is pretty dope.  This is the second time she’s lopped off and mailed in a metric fuckton of my hair.

I was very scared. And she just kept. fucking. cutting. I reminded myself that she’s never done me wrong. I reminded myself I look okay with short hair. I reminded myself that it grows back.

And when she took clippers to the back of my neck, my bladder released a little.

But..here is the final product:

 And I must say, I really, really dig it. Thanks again, Sue!

Now, moving on to other business. Xavier is AMAZING the shit out of me lately. Like..a week ago maybe? He rolled over, belly to back. He was a little behind on this, but his Dr insisted not to worry, that everyone is on their own timeline and he’ll get there. I was so proud. But then..a few nights ago, he started doing this:

Sitting up, all by his damned self. How bout that!

He’s doing okay with solids. Still struggling a lot with constipation, even after we’ve integrated fruits like prunes, pears and peaches..he gets bound up pretty badly, pretty often. Not sure what to do about that. I guess it’s normal to have an adjustment period, but man oh man, I feel so damned bad for the poor kid.

And..speaking of foods.  I went to my doctor today, and we talked about my breastfeeding & supply issues. I told her about my hair falling out, my milk supply going to hell, my body hoarding calories like I’m a starving Ethiopian..and she thinks I may have a thyroid issue. So she tested me for that, and I’ll know the results soon. But she also prescribed a drug called Reglan to help with my supply. One last ditch effort, and if it doesn’t help I can say with certainty that I absolutely tried everything. Even a drug that has been known to cause hallucinations and a disease called Tardive Dyskensia, and “rapid stomach emptying”. But if it’s the thing that works and buys me six more months of nursing, then bring on the hallucinations. Okay..maybe not. But formula IS freaking expensive. Just saying…maybe a few hallucinations aren’t so bad.

(That my friends, is desperation talking. And I’m kidding.)

One more thing I want to discuss before I wrap this shit up. In late October, I wrote a post titled “Six Months.” It was a two parter, about my feelings surrounding the death of my best friend Jimi. It was insanely hard for me to wrap words around the things I was feeling, and even harder for me to put them out into the world. I have recieved a LOT of feedback about these posts, from his friends and family, my friends and family, and our friends that are like family. And overwhelmingly, what people are saying to me is “Ditto. I feel the same freaking way.”

Now, here’s the thing..ever since I wrote that..no. Even as I was writing it, I could feel the healing starting. Believe you me, I am never, ever going to be the same again. But talking about it plainly and honestly was evidently precisely what I needed to do. I really haven’t talked much about my feelings since he died, and my reasons for that are kinda stupid. 1. I felt like I was being sort of whiny, and I didn’t want to make anyone uncomfortable. I do want to be pleasant company and pleasant company doesn’t spread melancholy around. No one wants to be Debbie Downer. 2. I don’t want to use the word arrogant..but it almost was. I didn’t feel like anyone could possibly understand the pain I felt. People would say “Oh I know how you feel..” and I would think “NO YOU DON’T! YOU DON”T KNOW! IF YOU KNEW I COULD SEE YOU’RE BROKEN INSIDE LIKE ME AND YOU’RE NOT!”

Finally, the few people I felt were close enough to me to actually speak frankly to about my feelings, were the same people I worried about hurting if I were to say “No one’s ever understood me like he did.” or “He was my most loyal friend.” By saying things like that, while true..I worried that I would be saying “YOU don’t understand me. YOU are not loyal.” But that’s not how it was, of course. I don’t hang out with people who don’t get me, or disloyal sonsobitches. It’s just that those were HIS strengths….and other friends have other strengths that are equally valuable to me and I would certainly mourn the loss of those just as much. But that’s a lot to try to explain, and rather than do that, I would simply clam up.

My point, and I do have one is this: Ever since I put those words out into cyberspace, I feel better.

I didn’t realize how damaging it was to my soul to be repressing it. That’s why it was leaking out at random times, and I was bursting into tears over music, any music, all music. I would be standing there washing a dog at work and start to cry and try to hide it before anyone caught me. I was bursting at the goddamned seams with grief. So when I opened the valve I released a lot of pressure, and the healing is beginning.

I can listen to music now. New music only. Music that has nothing to do with anything, is totally shallow and topical and light. But no more talk radio. No more random bursts of tears. I still think about him every day, and I always will, I know. But it’s not so bitter and dangerous anymore.

So if you are one of those people that called me, emailed me, texted me, saying “Me too”..my advice to you is to find that damned valve and GET IT OUT. Go see a counselor, start a private blog that no one can read. Or be an attention whore like me and let everyone read it. I’ll read it. Figure it out, scream it out, swear it out, sing it out. Do what you gotta do, but letting that repression fester in your soul is going to spoil you, like a bad apple in the barrel.

That’s all for today.