Thursday, April 30, 2009

Hotel!

This past weekend was the much hyped, much anticipated family trip to the hotel.

I could care less about staying in a hotel. To me a hotel is a means to an end. Staying in a hotel means you get to go somewhere, hopefully somewhere cool. A room is a room. It doesn't need to be fancy. In fact I've stayed in a hotel where you could close the door and flush the toliet from the bed. But it was in London so it didn't matter.

But this trip was all about the hotel because the hotel has a pool and Bunny is all about the pool. We had a trip to a children's museum planned the first day. It was a very cool museum, a lot nicer than the one in our city. But of course it didn't have a pool so we didn't stay too long before we were off to the hotel.

The first thing Bunny did when we got to our room (before we'd even put the bags down) was take off all of her clothes. She proceded to dance around (naked) and sing a little song about the pool. Well all right, I guess its time to go to the pool (with her bathing suit on of course). Since I am not quite ready to be seen in public in a bathing suit, I took a few pictures of the swimming and then hit the workout room (working out sort of made up for the vacation cheeseburgers but not really).




Now Bunny could have stayed in the pool all day. But her fingers were getting pruny and Bubs was getting tired so it was time to go. This is where the problem with the mini vacation came in. There was nothing really for us to do. It was grey, cool and rainy. Not exactly the weather you want to explore the city in. And other than the aforementioned children's museum, there wasn't a whole lot of stuff for kids to do.

If it had been just Bubs and I, we would have found a local establishment and drank up some of the culture. But that is not appropriate with a toddler in tow. So we sat in the hotel room watching TV. Fun! We had a movie set up for Bunny on her portable DVD player and we watched baseball. More fun!

After dinner we all watched Bolt together. I loved it. Bubs loved it. Bunny liked it I think. It was hard to tell. All I could here was "Can we go to the Pooooool?"

Finally it was time for bed. I shared a bed with Bunny. Well sharing isn't really the right word. There was a small spot for me. I could lay on my back or side. But there was no room to manouver because Bunny had decided to lay perpendicular to me. She had plenty of room. Me, not so much. So I spent the night trying not to get pushed off the bed when she decided to throw her hands over her head. FUN!

All and all it was a nice trip. Not fun, not enjoyable but nice. For Bunny.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Isolation

I am a loner at heart. I like people but I do not make friends easily and that bothers me to no end. I am afraid that I will be hurt, laughed at or ignored so I tend to hang back at the fringes of the group. I want to be friendly, to make a connection but I don't have the words. I don't know what to say or how to say it.

If I am lucky enough to make a connection I will be a loyal friend. I may not always call, social anxiety still affects me. But I will be there for you if you ever need me.

This has always bothered me but I have accepted it as fact. I am not meant to have a lot of friends. I am meant to be a lone reed, if you will.

And it really doesn't bother me. The friends I have I will cherish forever.

But then there are days, days like today, where I would give anything to have that ability to converse easily. To make friends that I can call at any time for any reason. To have that person close by (because I do have those friends who live far, far away) that I can call when times get tough. Someone to say come over, I am here for you.

Things have been rough with Bunny. We are going through a growing phase. She is testing me and I feel like I am failing. I know so many others have faced these problems. But I don't have that access to them. I don't have anyone to call and say how did you handle this.

My friends who have children do not live here. They are not SAHMs. We are not going through the same things at the same time.

And so I flounder. I try and I fail. And then I try some more. I have some success and then more failure. I cry and I laugh and then I cry some more.

I want to have the personal connection. The ability to connect with someone, to commiserate, to share stories. But I am awkward. I am all angles and sharp edges. My pieces do not fit in easily to the communal puzzle. I know that if I could just shave an edge off, I would fit in. But I don't know how. So I sit on the edges, a piece belonging to a different puzzle long lost. If there were a land of misfit toys, I would be there. The elf who wants to be a dentist, a train with square wheels, a cowboy who rides an ostrich.

And I get mad at myself for this. Its my fault. If only I could be less like myself, I could have what I want. I could have that friendship, I could be less alone.

And I know its true. How would you know how lonely and afraid I am? How would you know how much I want a friend? How would you know unless my tounge could speak the words only my fingers can say?

So every day I say, today I will try. Today I will make a connection. And every day I fail, I remain quiet. Every day my fingers type the words I cannot say.

(I worry about hitting publish here. Should I say this? I am lonley but not alone. I have support from my husband and from my family. I just miss having friends around who know what is going on. I will get through this. I will survive. And maybe just maybe I will make a new friend . . . someday.)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

One Year

In the past two days, I've started and abandoned several posts about Hamstack newspapers, about my budding scientist, about coming out of our cocoon and experiencing nature again. I tried to write them but the time was not there to fully flesh them out. Maybe I'll go back, maybe I won't.

Those abandoned posts sent me on a little search through my archives. How many posts had I started and abandoned? What were they about? Why did I stop writing them?

As I was doing this exercise in self-reflection I noticed something, something big. Its my blogiversary. That's right. I started this little experiment one year ago yesterday (to be exact).

When I started I had no idea what I was doing or why I was even blogging. Partly it was to record Bunny's life for our friends and family who did not get to see her on a regular basis. Partly it was because I felt a bit isolated as a new stay at home mom. Partly it was because I have a lot of crazy shit in my head and I needed a venue to get it out.

Whatever the reasons were, this little blog has been one of the best things I've ever done. I've discovered quite a bit about myself. How much I love writing. How much I love connecting to others through what I type out on my keyboard. I've made friends through this blog. I feel like this blog has given me so much more than I've given it.

So thanks for stopping by. Thanks for reading what I've written. Thanks for leaving comments. Thanks for just being the incredible people you are. If it weren't for you, I probably wouldn't have made it this far.

P.S. I know that gifts are not required on a blogiversary but I'm going to ask a big favor . . . could you please press that shiny button on the side bar and vote for me. You will have to register and set up an account but its worth it (to me). I've only got 11 votes so far and I'd love to get a few more for my blogiversary. Thanks again.

Monday, April 20, 2009

I Don't Want To Love You Right Now

It started so simply. A day at the dino museum. We saw dinos and bugs and butterflies. We bought a strawberry candy stick and her lips and face turned pink from eating it.

Maybe it was the sugar, maybe not.

The trip to the gift shop resulted in running and ears falling off. She would not stop running despite repeated requests that she stop. So she was carried out of the store without a little dino trinket.

We made it home with no further incidents. But then naptime came, and so did the tears. The tears came fast and hot. With them came screaming. Non-stop. So I made a visit to her room in an attempt to calm her, to soothe her.

As I lay in her little bed, my body contorted into an awkward position, I assured her that we loved her. "No you don't. You don't love me." Yes we do. We always love you. I showed her the heart I had made for her so she would know that I've loved her always and I would love her forever.

She clutched the heart but repeated her denials. "You don't love me." Why would you say that? "Because I don't want to love you right now."

Her words hit me like an open hand. "I don't want to love you."

I know that I am not the first mother to hear these words from her daughter. I know that this will probably not be the last time I hear these words from Bunny. I understand that her words were motivated by frustration and anger.

But those words hurt.

The day did not improve from there. Sassiness insued. Ears were not reattached. Hand actually struck face (hers to Bub's face). Toys were taken away.

Finally, slowly, the equilibrium was restored. Apologies were issued. Ears were firmly placed back on her head. I love yous were exchanged. Hugs and kisses were given. My heart was soothed.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Sunshine, Rainbows and Monkeys

Because I think we all could use some.





(Technically not a monkey. Orangutangs are actually apes, but still darn cute)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Today

Today I wear purple.

Today Mike and Heather will bury little Maddie. Today I wear purple to honor Maddie, to honor her life and her memory. Today I wear purple to stand with Mike and Heather.

Today I hug my child just a little bit tighter, just a little bit longer.

Today another mother knows the pain of losing a child. Again I do not know her but my heart breaks for her loss, for the loss of her son Thalon.

I know that words are not enough. But, today, words are all I have for Mike and Heather, for Shana and her family, for the countless others who have know the pain of losing a child.

Today I stand with you.

Today I honor the memory of your sweet children.

Today I wear purple

Monday, April 13, 2009

Seven AM

It is ridiculous to control time. It is a fools errand. Time is fast. Time is fluid. Time is an artificial construct created as a measure for humans.

How long is 60 million years? 39 years? 11 years? 3 years? Yesterday? Today? One hour? 5 minutes ago? 3:30? 7 am?

In reality none of it means anything. Those numbers are just a measure for marking the passage of time.

But I try to control time. I try to set schedules. I try to hold on to some semblance of order. If I am master of the clock, then I am master of my life. It is not true but I try to believe it nonetheless.

Things must happen at a certain time. We must get up, we must eat breakfast. Mommy must shower. We leave the house. We return. We eat lunch. We nap. We wake. We play. We make dinner, we eat dinner. We play. We bathe. We sleep.

This is the routine that makes up our lives for better or for worse. This routine is dictated by the clock. Or at least I would like it to be. Other members of my family have other ideas.

They (she) pushes sleep until the last possible second, until eyelids cannot remain open any longer. They (she) wakes with the sun no matter what time the eyelids were shut.

I fight the good fight every day but I cannot control time. I cannot control her interpretation of time, her interpretation of when it is appropriate to sleep and to wake.

But I can control one thing. We do not under any circumstances go downstairs before 7:00 AM. Regardless of when she wakes, 6, 6:15 or 6:30, I gather her up all warm from sleep. I bring her to my bed. We snuggle. I try to ignore her requests to play. I try to teach her to read the digital clock. I try to control time for just one fleeting moment.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Please Help If You Can

I feel so silly that I posted a request for votes in the Blogger's Choice Awards. That was just to stroke my ego, to make me feel appreciated. It is not important.

What is important is that my blog friends, Mike and Heather Spohr, are buring their sweet little Maddie on Tuesday. Of course our hearts go out to them and families like them who face these horrible tragedies. What can we do in times like these?

We can help them.

Last fall, Heather was laid off from her job and had been caring for Maddie full time. Mike is an independent contractor. Due to this tragedy he is not working. They have no income and now they have to pay for their daughter's funeral.

The wonderful Meghan of A Mom Two Boys has set up a paypal account to help with the funeral expenses. I know that times are tough all around. However, I am asking you to help if you can. Even a donation of $1 or $5 would help.

If you would like to donate, please click the link on the right. Thank you.


Photo courtesy of Maddie's mom, Heather

Friday, April 10, 2009

Can We Go Now? Not Yet. How About Now?

I have learned recently that you never, under any circumstances, tell a three year old about any plans you may have. Because unless the plans are for right now, you will never, ever, ever, hear the end of it.

I made the mistake of telling Bunny that we were going out of town to stay at a hotel. I told her a full month and a half before we were actually going. Now its all she talks about.

"Can we go swimming at the hotel, momma?" Yes, you can swim at the hotel.

"When are we going to the hotel, momma?" At the end of April. "Is that now, momma?" No sweetie, not for a while. "How long is a while." 16 more days. "Is 16 a long time?" Yes it is.

We've tried marking the days off on the calendar to no avail. She is fixated on the hotel and wants to go right now. "Can we go now, momma." No sweetie, not now. "How about now, momma." No. "Now?" No! "Right now, mommma?" NO! "Now?" Momma then goes in the bathroom, shuts the door and curses herself for ever bringing this up. All the while hearing "Now?" "I wanna go to the hotel momma. Right now." "Why is the door closed, momma? Are you packing for the hotel, momma?

And I only have 16 days left of this nonesense.

And by the way we are going to another hotel next month, but its going to be a surprise. I don't think she'll even know until we are in the car on our way there. That is a much better idea.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Sadness

Today I received some bad news. A little girl whose smiling face I had come to know passed away.

Now I never met Maddie or her parents Heather and Mike in person. I only knew them through their wonderful blogs.

The funny thing about the impersonal internet is that it is not impersonal. You can meet wonderful, funny, smart people who are willing to give you a glimpse into their lives. You get to know them, to care about them. You laugh with their joys and you cry with their sorrows. And today my heart breaks for Mike and Heather.



If you can, please support the March of Dimes in Maddie's name so other families do not have to go through this tragedy.

The Genius At Work

video

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

I'm An Underdog

I don't know if you've noticed the pretty little button over on the sidebar. The one that says I've been nominated for a Blogger's Choice Award for Best Parenting Blog.

That's amazing, right? Little old me, who has been blogging less than a year was nominated for an award. An award I have no real chance of winning, but I was still nominated. And its an honor to be nominated (or so they say).

But I feel like I need to fess up, to tell you the truth: I nominated myself.

Why would I do such a thing? Well its because I love blogging and I love this blog. I feel like I write some pretty darn good stuff and why shouldn't I be considered with the blogs that have hundreds or thousands of readers. I hope that all of you reading this feel the same way.

I might never have gone ahead and nominated myself if it weren't for the awesome Kate of The Big Piece of Cake. Kate was nominated for an award by a friend of hers and then decided to nominate herself for another. And then she started encouraging other bloggers to do the same, to take control, to put yourself out there. She even started a new blog to showcase the little guys, the Underdogs, as it were.

UnderdogsUnite

So here is what I am asking you to do. If you like what I write, click on that shiny new button and vote for me (please, pretty please with sugar and sprinkles on top). And then check out the Underdog's blog where you can find some new, extremely talented bloggers to read. Just think, you'll be getting in on the ground floor. When Kate (or myself) becomes the new Dooce, you can say I've been reading her forever.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Threeasaurus Rex

January 14, 2008. That is the day Bunny turned two. I braced myself for the toddler maelstrom that was to follow. I looked at my sweet baby and wondered when she would turn into a terrible tyrant, when would she start throwing tantrums, when would she become TWO.

I waited and I watched. January became February, winter became spring, became summer became fall and finally winter again. And it never came. Not that there weren't the occasional outbursts, there were. But the terrible part never came.

And I wondered why. Was it because she was so verbal that she had the ability to make her feelings known? Was it because she was so sweet natured that terrible was beyond her comprehension? Was it because she was so curious about the way things worked that she figured it out on her own?

Or was it because, as some people told me, three is much worse than two?

Well January 14th rolled around again. January became February became March and there were no problems. Maybe, just maybe we would luck out. Maybe we would not be the parents of a Tyrannosaurus Rex of a three year old.

Well I was wrong. I just learned that it is really difficult to be three years old.

As she loves to tell me, Bunny is not a baby. But she is also not a big girl. There are things she can do all by herself and there are things she can't. There are things that she wants me to do for her and there are things that she wants to do by herself. But her ability does not always match her desire. She wants independance and control. But she also wants the security of knowing that Mommy and Daddy are around, just in case.

She wants to try out her new found abilities, exactly when she wants to whether or not its appropriate. Running becomes running away from you. Jumping becomes jumping off of things way, way too high.

There are days when her ears appear to have fallen off. No matter how many times you repeat yourself, the message does not sink in. Days when you are hoarse from trying to get her to listen when you are only met with a "Huh?" and a turn of the head. "Why don't you listen Bunny?" "Because listening is no fun, momma."

Slights, real and perceived, can result in uncontrollable sobbing. "Why did you put baby allosaurus in the dino cave?" Toys that cannot be found in 2 seconds must have been deliberately hidden by a parent. "Momma where did you put parrot? You hid him from me."

Opinions are exerted more forcefully. A simple no becomes "NO!!!!" accompanied by stomping of the feet.

In other words Bunny is behaving in a completely normal, age appropriate way. And mommy is left trying to figure out how to deal with this new Threeasaurus Rex.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

The Littlest Trainer

In my quest to lose a few pounds, I've actually started working out. Right now the weather is a bit to cold to exercise outside a lot (well you could but I'm a whimp and I don't like it cold). And Bunny really doesn't dig the gym daycare, in fact she hates it. So I've been doing exercise videos.

I (along with a millionty other bloggers) have started the 30 Day Shred with Jillian from the Biggest Loser. I love that show. It always made me feel better about myself, even if I was drinking a glass of wine or eating a brownie while watching it. I figure if I were ever on the show, I would want Jillian as my trainer. She's crazy when it comes to work outs. Bob, on the other hand, is nice and everyone loves him. But I would rather have a trainer I hate who is willing to kick or beat my ass in the gym until it falls off or shrinks in size. So Jillian it is.

I used to "do" workout videos before but I would always try to squeeze them in at nap time. But with the potential for no nap or the need to clean or sleep during nap time, I never really got anything done. So this time around I decided to do them in the morning with Bunny around.

I try to occupy her with paints, crayons or toys. Most of the time it works but sometimes she likes to sit and watch me exercise. But today, she decided to join in. When it was time to lift weights, she grabbed one of her cardboard blocks and mirrored my movements. During cardio she hopped around flailing her arms in what I am sure was a spot on impersonation of me. She even joined me in doing squat thrusts (which by the way are a form of torture that I thought I'd left behind in gym class, holy crow they suck). During ab work she literally tried to push me off the mat because it was her turn. "I want the green mat momma, its comfy."

She of course thought the whole exercise things was utterly hilarious. Me? I was panting and wheezing (today was my second day on level two which is much harder). If I wanted to take a break she would say "Don't rest momma, its not so bad." Maybe not for you and your cute three year old tushie but for me and my 39 year old butt its hard as heck.

But its a good thing. I've got Jillian yelling from the TV and Bunny pushing me from the sidelines, with trainers like that you can't go wrong.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Just Call Me Babe

Bunny is growing up. She is not a baby anymore. And she no longer wants to be called baby.

I cannot call her My Baby, Angel Baby, Baby Girl, Sweet Baby or any combination of words including baby.

When I utter the word baby she says "No mommy call me babe." And so I do. But in my heart I know she'll always be my baby.