Best Week Ever

Okay no, it wasn’t. I don’t have a whole lot to talk about this week, but I’ll round up some happenings and fill you in.

1. I’ve lost two more lbs. Finding the willpower is hard, especially when I get busy and have no time to sit and eat. But I’ve been doing the best I can with rare exception and that’s about all one can hope for eh?

2. Xavier is cutting a top front tooth, and started on meats. This means we’ve had a few tough nights as we figured out that Chicken & Brown Rice = Intestinal Concrete. But he’s a great kid, and everywhere I go, people stop and talk to him. He smiles  and talks back. He waved at a group of nurses at one of my mom’s Dr’s Appointments. I’m ignoring that he’s saying “Dad” over and over again.

3. My brother Tom, from Illinois, is coming to visit us in July. I am SO excited about this. He’s never been out here before, and he’ll be here for Xavier’s first birthday party, and we’re going to drink rum and be pirates. Holla!! Here’s a picture of Tom for your viewing pleasure.

Haha..trust me, that’s not even the most embarassing photo I could’ve posted. But here’s a better, more recent one.

Aww look how little Xavier was!

Okay moving on.

4.  I was lucky enough to have my first taste of wedding photography on Monday. I followed The Murphys (http://themurphysphoto.com/) around, snapped a few photos and got schooled. I can’t imagine doing it alone, but I had a great time. I feel like it’s time to get really serious about photography, because it might just be what I should be doing. I’m so excited to learn more and get really good.

5. You guys probably don’t all know this, but I’m super obsessive and picky about my nails.  I have been going to this one girl, at this one place, for over a year now. I loved her. She was fast, produced good results consistently, and didn’t chatter too much.  But for the last month and a half, she hasn’t been there. They told me she was “on vacation for awhile.” I knew she was gone.

I went to another girl. Then a guy. Then another girl. None of them made me happy. Last night, I went to the usual place and there was the guy who had done a decent job, and the girl who had done a wretched job. So I figured I’d snap up the guy and call it done. But after I had been waiting about 20 minutes, someone walked in with an appointment for him.  I sat there for a minute, deliberating. Sit through and pay for another shitty manicure..or take my chances elsewhere?

I left. I went to a place I’d never been. “Sure but there’s a 25 minute wait”. Nah, I’ll pass. Next place, I walk in and who should I see sitting there? MY LONG LOST NAIL LADY!! I had to control myself and play it cool. But inside, this is what was happening:

You guys can laugh all you want, but I was fucking pumped.

6. This is also pretty awesome news, so brace yourself. Are you ready?

John has a job.

A REALLY GOOD JOB THAT I THINK HE’LL LIKE AND DO WELL AT A COMPANY THAT SEEMS LIKE A GOOD FIT. I’m pretty sure that wasn’t a very well put together sentence, but I was yelling so it’s fine. I’m excited. He starts work on Tuesday. I’m kinda sad that that means I’ll have to stop being lazy and possibly do my own damned laundry. (Maybe) But I’m excited for him. And I get to take him shopping for new work clothes so he’ll look like this:

HOLLA.

I think that’s about it for this week. I’ll come up with some interesting shit next week, I swear.

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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.

My cloth diaper post.

Remember how I said I like to do hippie things? Cloth diapering is a major one. However, if I’m being totally honest, it wasn’t because it was greener that we decided to do it. It was because we saved a shitload (ha, get it?) of money. They’ve already paid for themselves, I think. (Read: math is not my strong suit.) But being green is a nice bonus. Plus I feel like they’re cute, and they’re nicer on his bum. Evidently, babies who wear cloth diapers are far less likely to get diaper rash, and are potty trained sooner.

When I was pregnant, I totally thought I’d go ahead and bite the bullet and spend the money for a fancy stash of BumGenius diapers.  These ain’t your grandma’s cloth diapers, lemme tell ya. My friends that cloth diaper (and I have a few!) mostly use BG’s. And I have to say, they’re well made, soft and absorbent. But they are expensive.  I considered buying used, as weird as that sounds. I have seven BG’s in my stash. I got two as a shower gift, and bought two on babiesrus.com with a 20% off coupon, and the other three I recently purchased on Diapers.com, they were on clearance, buy 2 get one free. These were justifiable purchases, because my mom babysits Xavier a lot, and with her Multiple Sclerosis, her dexterity isn’t all that hot. Snaps are tough, velcro is much easier for her. So the velcro ones are her stash.

Here’s some pictures of BumGenius:

I know, the whole thing seems intimidating, but it’s really not. They work almost like disposable diapers, only instead of throwing them in the garbage, I throw them in the pail. (Sometimes. Sometimes I leave them on the changing table and John puts them in the pail. Whatever.) The only extra step is pulling the liners out before throwing them in the pail, and then doing an extra load of laundry every other day. No big deal, I swear.  Even the poop, since it was almost all breastmilk poop, (read: water soluble) just goes right in the pail. This wasn’t a problem because for awhile there, the boy seriously would go like 5-10 days without pooping. I KNOW. But totally normal for breastfed babies.  Now that he’s on solids and pooping every day, we’re getting one of these and installing it:

And the idea is you just spray the poop into the toliet. Or sometimes, all over the wall, from what I’ve heard/read.  Six months after having a baby, the thought of poo on the wall isn’t nearly as appalling as it once was, I am sad to report.

We also have one Rumparoo brand diaper we got as a gift. It went into my mom’s stash, because it’s also velcro. It seems to be holding up nicely, but we’ve only had it since Christmas.

Same principle as the BG’s.

But the bulk of my stash came from Sunbaby Diapers.

Which, as you can see, are almost the exact same design as the BG’s, at literally half the price.  The quality is not AS good though, if I’m being honest. The inner and outer is less effective than the BG’s. They do leak sometimes, but to be fair, Xavier’s a serious super soaker. I don’t think anything could quite hold up. And for the price, you can’t beat it. $144 for 24 of them. Holla! One, the snap stuck together and therefore ripped off, but they have held up quite nicely.

http://www.sunbabydiapers.com/

 

I also have two Baby Beehindz brand. I ordered these from Totsy.com. I was dumb, and thought they were pocket diapers like the BG’s.

They are not. They’re hemp, with hemp inserts that snap in. Kinda weird, and when I got them I was like “Oh crap, these are useless.” But then I realized there’s no returns on Totsy. Shit!

They require a cover. I obviously didn’t have one, so I booked it over to Bellani Maternity, in Warwick RI, my local hippie baby store, and I was all “WTF Do I need here?” And they told me this cover would be a good idea:

 It’s a one size, and it’s pretty cool, because it has fancy gussetted leg holes that don’t let the pee leak out. This is our bedtime diaper now, the baby beehindz hemp diaper, and the Blueberry brand cover. What’s cool about the cover is we don’t have to wash it every night, we just wash it every other day. So I only have the one, and that’s good, because it was as much as a diaper!

Worth it though, because the boy pees buckets. Any other diaper, the kid wakes up soaked in his own urine, and I can attest from my drinking days that that is no fun. (Kidding. It wasn’t my urine.)

As for laundry, obviously you don’t want to wash poo in the same load as your fancy clothes. Cloth diapers do have to be washed special, with special detergent. Standard detergents and fabric softeners contain oils to make your clothes soft. However, oil does what? Repels liquid. So your diapers will become less absorbent when you have these oil residues build up on them. So you gotta get diaper detergent. We use Rock N Green.

http://rockingreensoap.com/

I don’t buy it online because it gives me an excuse to go to the hippie baby store. But the bag costs about $15, Xavier is 6 months old, we’ve been CDing for about 4 months, full time, and we’re on our second bag. So it lasts awhile, and they have fun smells like marshmallow.

I also will toss in a scoop of Oxyclean, and so far, my diapers are stain free. Lots of people dry them in the sun, and I did it a few times in the summer. But we’re kinda lazy and just usually throw them in the dryer.

So here’s a picture of my kiddo in his cloth diaper on NYE:

Aww look at his chubby little thighs, couldn’t you just eat them up? OH and one other thing, he has not had a diaper rash yet, at all. But you can’t use a lot of diaper rash creams with cloth either, so you gotta be careful. I’ve used California Baby Diaper Rash cream here and there if I spot some redness and it seems to clear it right up. I hear REALLY good things about CJ’s BUTTer too, but haven’t gotten around to ordering any.

So I’ll wrap this up with a list of links with more info than I gave you:

http://www.theecofriendlyfamily.com/2010/07/ive-never-looked-back.html
http://diaperpin.com/howto.asp
http://www.younghouselove.com/2010/08/the-much-requested-cloth-diaper-post/
http://www.jilliansdrawers.com/newtocloth

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.

 

My Obligatory Year In Recap Post..

I just wouldn’t be worth my salt as a blogger if I didn’t do something to acknowledge the new year. It being January third, I imagine that, like myself, you’re about all set with top ten lists. So I’m going to keep it simple, and talk about my number one high, and number one low, of 2011. I have to warn you, this might get a tad self indulgent. But, I’m nothing if not that:-)

Jimi’s death was probably the lowest low not only of 2011, but probably ever. When I got the news he was in a coma and probably would not survive the night, I was at work, on Easter Sunday.  I popped into the breakroom to grab a beverage, and snuck a peek at my phone. Saw that our mutual friend, whom I was on the outs with at the time, had called me. Why is she calling me? I texted Jimi and asked “Any idea why she would be calling me?” (How you like that irony?)  He didn’t respond, and he never would again. I checked my voice mail. I heard her voice crack as she said “It’s about Jimi.” I called her back. She told me what was going on. I said “Should I come home?” solidly expecting a “Nah, he’ll be alright.” Because he was always alright. But instead, “Ah..I don’t know man. It’s bad.”

My heart dropped into my stomach. I don’t really remember what happened next. I remember being bent over the toliet, hands on my knees, trying to catch my breath and keep the vomit down. Crying. Lots of crying. My makeup smeared and running down my face. Trying to get my locker open, I was getting the fuck out of there. One of my managers walked into the breakroom, assumably looking for me. He had just started at the time, didn’t know me very well, but took one look at me and said “Whoa..you ok?” I tried to form a sentence but I think it came out something like “My friend…coma..not gonna make it…leaving.”

He said “Go.”

So I did. I texted John. He didn’t answer me, he was taking a nap. I called my friend Tess. Tried to tell her what was going on but I couldn’t hardly even catch my breath. She kept saying “Jimi. JIMI Jimi?” “Our Jimi?” Because, he was always alright.

Well. This time he wasn’t alright. (Fuck it’s still so hard to talk about this.)

By Friday morning, I was on a plane back to Chicago, seven months pregnant and numb from the pain. I walked around those first few weeks in a haze. It was like my body was trying to protect me from the pain, so I went into an emotional shock, feeling nothing. I remember saying that I was in a shell. Every couple hours the shell would crack and the icy pain would seep through, I’d get a dose of the misery and it would knock me into the fetal position. I’d weep until the hole closed again.

I was not an easy person to live with for the next three months. Third trimester + extreme grief. But that shell protected me. I think, it protected Xavier, really. I put one foot in front of the other, I put my pants on, I went to work, I functioned because I had to. It distracted me enough. But when I sat still…   Hell, when I sit still, it gets bad.

Thank God I was prohibited from drinking. Smoking. Snorting. I’d probably still be on a bender if it weren’t for Xavier.

And that would be the number one high, again, not only from 2011, but my entire life: Xavier James.

I never wanted children. I can’t ever remember feeling maternal, or looking at a kid and going “Aww..someday…” In fact, I begged numerous doctors to just tie my tubes so I could quit worrying about it. I regularly referred to them as “Germbombs” (Oh but they are!). There were a few children I liked, but I definitely didn’t mind sending them home. They were sticky and annoying.

But..I was having extremely painful periods. I was smoking, overweight and getting older. The pain was under control as long as I was on birth control, but being on birth control with those three risk factors for extended periods is asking for trouble. So the doctors were trying to figure out a solution. One possible solution was basically lasering off the lining of my uterus. Which would “essentially wreck your fertility. Forever.”  So. I thought “Before I do this, I better be REALLY fucking sure, cuz it’s forever.” (When it’s forever, think HARD.)

So I sat with it for awhile. A few months, I thought about it. I liked my life just fine without kids. But would I regret it? Maybe. So..this is going to sound crazy, but one day I was watching tv, and a Pampers commercial came on. A chubby, giggling baby..and I thought “I could handle that.”

And just like that, I went from 60/40 against, to 60/40 for having a baby. Uh oh.

A few months later, I went to John with it. A few months later, we started trying. A few months after that, I was pregnant.

Now, I won’t bore you with my birth story all over again, if you want to read that, it’s a few posts back. But I’ll tell you this, today he’s six months old. Not once have I regretted the decision. In fact, it was the best goddamned thing I’ve ever done. For the first and probably the only time in my life, I made something perfect.  The moment the doctor laid that slimy, coneheaded little creature on my belly was the greatest moment of my life. I’m SO obsessed with, so owned, so consumed with this child it’s pretty disgusting. I’m everything I said I wouldn’t be. I post pictures of him on Facebook every day. I talk about his poops at work. I’m overprotective as all hell.  Believe me, I’m aware that it’s all going a bit far.

But I don’t give a fuck. That’s how far gone I am. He brought me back to life.

But they didn’t quite cancel each other out. I don’t feel any less joy at the birth of my son, and I don’t feel any less grief at the death of my friend. But because of the birth, I survived the death.

So that was my 2011.

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.

 

 

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas..

Christmas in Texas, anyway. How bout this crazy ass 65 degree weather in December here in Rhode Island? What the what?! Last week, I stood outside putting ornaments and lights on our potted stoop trees, and realized I was wearing a tank top outside. Comfortably. And my country ass was barefoot too!

On the serious, I pretty much love it. It’s just weird as hell. My brother, who is ACTUALLY in Texas, got two inches of snow. I’m starting to think that perhaps that whole global warming thing isn’t just a bullshit scare tactic made up by Al Gore. (Sarcasm. It totally was.) (Sarcasm again, did you actually think I thought that global warming is made up? Who thinks that!)

But at any rate..I’m fucktastically excited for Christmas this year. So, remember how I told you guys that we didn’t do holidays for awhile? Right, we didn’t. So when I decided we would start doing them, John agreed that I could pretty much do them however I want. And that means theme trees. Ridiculous, beautiful, cohesive, OCD theme trees. Last year, it was teal and silver. And I’m not dumb, I hit up the stores the day after Christmas, and bought all my coordinated shit in advance at like 75% off, so it cost me about $4 in total. (Estimate.)

So, here was last year’s tree, and it was the first tree I was 100% responsible for. This is a crappy cell phone pic, sorry.

See how pretty it was? *sigh*

But when I shopped last year for this Christmas, I knew I was pregnant. And I knew I’d be taking a boatload of pictures, and when I look back on those pictures of Xavier’s first Christmas, I wanted them to look classic and timeless and not too trendy. So I decided to go with a red & white theme this year.

However, I did not know my mom would be here this year, so I only purchased three stockings. Now I have one mismatched stocking and I can’t remember where I bought these, and I haven’t seen them on the shelves at all the usual suspects. So I have an odd man out. Screw it, it’s fine. It’sfineit’sfineit’sfineit’s fine.

It’s FINE.

Okay? Also, since Xavier’s little, no need to be stealthy, I can already start stuffing his stocking, he doesn’t care.

 

So. I also snapped up these cute little tree thingies from Target. (IfuckingloveTarget)

Cute huh?  I love them!  Here’s how I decorated the banister:

 

You like the way my balls dangle, don’t you?

Now…I do normally let the hubs do the outside. He likes to be spastic and crazy, with all the colors, like someone puked up Christmas Fruity Pebbles all over the place. But since he happily obliges me when I say “This tree is all wrong, please help me take it all down and start over”, I let him go nuts. This is his favorite tree, it reminds him of Charlie Brown, I guess. I’ll show it to you, and then we’ll never speak of it again.

 

 

He’s mad because I’m not showing it to you lit up. But…I think you get the idea don’t you?

Now. Let’s move on. We have two Arborvitae trees in pots right outside the front door. Like I said, normally I let him have the outside, but I’m pretty sure this still counts as inside. So..clear lights and red ornaments:

Notice the one that’s in the pot now? Yea…John found that in the driveway this morning, a solid 20 feet away. The hook part had been ripped off and split in half. Stupid raccoon I bet,  I hear they like shiny shit. Tried to jack my shit but didn’t make it too far before he realized it wasn’t food, or treasure, or what the hell ever he thought it was. John thought it was appropriate to just place it back in the pot.  Maybe if the little vermin returns he’ll take that one again rather than trying to pick another?

Okay so I’ll quit dicking around and show you my tree now. But before I do, I need you to know that both my mother and I are allergic to natural trees. We break out in hives, so don’t give me any shit about my fake tree.

 

Pretty awesome huh? That thing I said about taking everything off and starting over again? Totally happened. And yes, the wrapping paper is coordinated with the tree. Christmas just cranks my crazy right up.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And fun facts:

Xavier started solids this week. Not entirely unrelated, Xavier pooped on me. And the floor. He has also started giving drooly open mouthed kisses, so it evens out. We’re giving peas a chance.

An Xavier Update.

So we went back to the pediatrician today, and I think that means it’s time for an update.  I know it’s exciting, try to keep your pants on.  The last pediatrician visit was sort of sad. He wasn’t gaining weight, and we were instructed to start supplementing with formula. And we have been. I’m still fighting with my milk supply, and I’m still losing. And I was THIS close to giving up entirely. Then I got sick. But Xavier didn’t.

And this is where I’m going to thank boobmilk for that. So I’ve been doing a little bit of research and it appears that there are some moms who don’t pump at all. It looks like I can nurse when I’m home, and not pump when I’m at work (Because seriously, I’m getting such pitiful amounts it’s not even freaking worth it.) and my body will somehow figure it out.  So this week I’m taking it down to two pumping sessions at work instead of three. We’ll see how it goes.  Hopefully it’ll work out that way.

So I was pretty nervous about today’s visit, really hoping he’d gained some weight. It seemed like overnight, none of his clothes fit. I even had to crack open the six month sized stuff, because 3-6 is just all the sudden a joke.

So, his visit today went well. We showed the dr his head holding up skills, how he’s thiiiisclose to rolling over and sitting up. He measured his head. 17 1/4″ , putting him in the 75th percentile for dome size. It’s because of his big brain.

He had also grown a full inch, so he is now 25 1/2 inches long. Which is why none of his damned pants fit him anymore.

 

 

Finally , his weight. He was 14 lbs even at his last visit a month ago. But come on, look at how he’s filling out. I knew he had to have gained at least one pound. He gained almost two! He’s 15 lbs, 13 ounces. Woohoo!!!

So. I guess what we’re doing is working. We tried rice cereal a few times a week for the last two weeks. On Thanksgiving night, holy hell. This poor child was so constipated and uncomfortable, we were up until 2 AM trying to comfort him. It was miserable, he couldn’t sleep hardly at all. Finally on Friday, we gave him some prune juice and all was well in his world again.

But since then, I’ve been afraid to give him any more. We talked about that today and the Dr said maybe moving on to a single grain oatmeal cereal, or mixing in some peaches or pears with his cereal would help with the constipation.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I am blogging about my baby’s constipation.

So all in all, he’s looking good and healthy and cute.  And, I’m being totally serious when I say this, he is just the best damned baby ever, I got so lucky. During his entire appointment, he was cooing and kicking and giggling. Everyone kept commenting about what a happy baby he is.  Until the actual shot came, then of course, he cried. And I kinda cried but pretended not to. But then like 4 minutes later, he was sleeping and he’s been totally fine ever since. I kinda wish he could just stay this age forever.

In other news this week, I officially turned 30 on Saturday. I actually don’t feel too bad about it, it is what it is, and hell..looking at these pictures, I know I’ve accomplished something pretty fucking amazing.