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The world famous, awesome comedian, Kerri Pomarolli!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

 

Letters to Lucy - SuperStar!

Dear Love Bug,
It's July 19th and I'm pretty sure this book will have about 10 pages by the time you're ten. Every time I try to get to the computer to write I'm stopped by clothes to clean, food to pick up, diapers to change or an impromptu game of "let's chase Lucy" around the house. Luckily our place isn't that big because you're super duper fast Ms. Mario Andretti. (I know you won't know who that is..look him up in your history book.)

You're literally almost walking. I'm not lying. I knew you were advanced when you rolled over at 3 weeks and started trying to climb out of your crib at 6 months. In fact to this day every time we put you in your crib you immediately make a break for it as if you're about to be put in prison, which is how you refer to any crib or enclosed environment. You're almost 9 months and you not only can cruise all around the furniture unassisted, you can balance all by yourself with no hands. Then you fall down and eat it on the floor. Then you repeat the process. You're a tough little cookie.

Your favorite thing is to go next door and have Uncle Danny hold your hands and let you run around their kitchen over and over and over and over. He has not quit the gym because you're enough cardio. He and Aunt Anne are expecting baby Sydney in a month or so and I'm not sure you're going to like sharing his and Auntie Anne's attention. You've had them all to yourself your whole life. I laugh because Uncle Danny seems terrified of children and babies in general. But when you're around he's the one you want to hang out with. He babysat for you last night and he said all you did was want to run around their place with him holding you for 3 hours and then sit on the couch with him. You won't sit still for many people but when you're over at their place you're totally chill. Ok, maybe it's their big screen TV ? You seem to like the food channel and I hope that parlays into some child genius cooking skills so we can be a well fed family. I'm still not cooking. I have cookbooks out and they sit there and stare at me like some homework assignment I will never get done. Ironically, I'm making your baby food though. I think that's more because I'm cheap and competitive and I want to save money and also brag that I did it homemade to other moms and your Nana especially.

But this walking thing is pretty amazing. I know I'm not supposed to compare your milestones to other babies but everyone does it. And since you're ahead of the curve I'm totally ok with it in this case. I just love it when other moms ask me "Is she crawling yet?" And Dad chimes in like a proud peacock but trying to seem humble "Yes she's also trying to walk by herself" We try to seem like it's no big deal when they ask "How old did you say she was again?" It's fun!

In other cases like weight and height since you are lower on the % , I take no stock in any of those statistics. You are 50% in height and 25% in weight. My friend referred to that as "Average" and we just don't say that word in our house. Ask your dad about his Asian upbringing. There was no average. That's why he's so stinkin' smart! I asked him one time "Honey do you think Asian kids are genetically smarter?" He said "No. Our mothers just beat it into us!" Isn't that sweet? So now I'm that mom. Just Kidding.

But seriously you're awesome. I don't have to push you. You are going to walk by yourself any day now. I, on the other hand, didn't walk till I was 15 months and your father was at least a year old. Yes, I was telling jokes at about 1, but we see where that got me. No health insurance. I used to try harder to get you to talk, but basically you just say" Ba Ba Bu Bu" and that's because you learned that from your friend Alexa. We try to pretend you're saying Ma Ma so we can record it in the baby book that you talked and said your first words. But I can't find any word that sounds like Ba Ba so we're stuck on the talking thing. But that's ok Daddy talks enough for all 3 of us!

We thought for sure you'd be this big talker and fat and lazy like your parents were when we were babies. But you've been a mover and a shaker this whole time. I think you're planning your escape somewhere more exotic than our little home. I'm no more allowed to sit at this computer while you are in the room. It's much more fun for you to make me watch you run around and try to eat things like coffee table handles and pieces of paper that you've stolen from all over the place. Speaking of stealing, you have this obsession with tags. Do all babies have this? You love tags on everything especially clothes. When we took you to Macy's the other day as I was holding you, I noticed you had systematically ripped off the price tags of three items and had them in your hands. If I was raising you to be a thief I'd say you have a bright future. But let's see if we can do something else with those fast hands of yours. How about sculpting? Naa...no way to get scholarship with that. What about cards? Professional gambler? Well your Nana does like the slots, it might be in your blood. Well we have some time still to decide your life's calling and what it is exactly that is going to pay for your college. With your amazing physical agility at such a young age we're now thinking track or cross country running or the ever faithful Korean Irish Italian super model route. You have choices, honey. You have choices!

Love,
Mama

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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

 

Letters to Lucy - Working

Dear Munchkin.

I'm trying to be a good mom and write this book so you can have something to look back on and realize that you were loved and cared for and every moment with you was sacred. Well I've done a bang up job so far because every time I think I have something profound to write about I can't make it over to the computer to record it. I'm too busy cleaning spit up out of my couch, washing and drying baby clothes stained with brown iron supplements or most recently chasing you around the house trying to explain in your language why it's not a good idea to chew on electrical cords or eat paper. You're so into eating paper while we were in the security line at LAX airport the other day you ate my boarding pass. Literally you ate it. I felt like a kid with no homework when it was time to show it to the security officer and I was sitting there holding my puppy/baby trying to explain why I didn't have a boarding pass! Nice Lucy..really nice.

Today you are 7 months old and in the past three months I've not done much writing in this so-called book I vowed to author. It seemed like a good idea at the time. I, after all, am a professional writer and I've written entire books before, believe it or not. But something happened after I gave birth you and all of my brain cells have somehow been sucked literally out of my body. I'm sort of a walking robot that breastfeeds and cleans and changes diapers and manages to sing a song or two once in a while and then collapses at the end of a long day and wakes up to do it again. Is this motherhood? Is this what they were talking about when they told me it was the best, most difficult thing I'd ever do? The joke with me is that I've attempted to keep my job. I've attempted to convince other people I can do anything else but be a full-time mom. Because no matter what, every mom is a full time mom. Just some of us are crazy enough to think we can handle other obligations. Maybe some other women can handle it, but I'm going stark raving mad! I love you to pieces and I wouldn't change having your cute little face in my life for anything in the world. And when you become a mom someday you too will wonder how it's all to be done and you'll probably call me and ask "Mom how did you survive?" I'll tell ya when we get there!

Love you.
Mom

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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

 

Letters to Lucy - Bald is Beautiful

Dear June Bug,

My daughter and I are balding! Yep Lucy, that's what I'm telling people. You and me kid! We're in this together. We both came into this world with a lot of hair and a cool Mohawk. You still have yours but the rest of your head is suffering. These days you're still my beauty queen and people still fawn over you wherever we go but honey your hair looks like a cross between Albert Einstein or the Nutty Professor! You look like you stuck your finger in a light socket. And so much of your hair is gone we have to do the old man "comb over"! I can't lie. The other day because you were in blue...this lady comes up and says "How old is he?" I almost smacked her. I really did. Daddy calmed me down. The thing is that happened to me when I was 6. I had this beautiful hair and your Nana cut it all off into one of those absolutely appalling "bowl cuts" claiming I'd look like Dorothy Hamill. (She's a famous ice skater...looks her up in your ancient history books.) I vow never to cut your hair off in the shape of a bowl, Honey. As God as my witness! What was she thinking?

Anyway who am I to talk now either? I just started losing hair in the shower by the handful. My hormones are running amuck! It's pretty emotional for me and I keep running out with fistfuls of hair yelling at your daddy "Look! Look! I'm going bald! I'm losing all my hair. Life is over! The sky is falling! The sky is falling!" So I know I sound like a raving lunatic but I think anyone male or female can understand that our hair is a hot commodity and we'd like to keep as much of it on our heads as possible. Even your dad understands this one, Honey. I immediately went to my friend the internet and www.babycenter.com to read that many others new moms experience the exact same thing with their hair shedding after delivery. I just thought it wouldn't happen to me. No matter who I talk to that has gone through it. I don't believe it's normal because it's now happening to me and it's new. I hate the unknown. Every single symptom I had in pregnancy scared me because it was new and unknown. I hate not knowing if and when my hair will stop falling out in mass amounts and when it will grow back. They say weeks or months and there's not much I can do to slow or stop it. I'm still trying though. Of course I'm loading up on fish oil and Vitamin E and anything else I've heard can help. I'm proactive that way.

I take the fish oil because since I'm still nursing you (because I'm awesome...thank you...thank you). The fish oil is what I took when I was prego with you and it's supposed to help your gifted brain to develop even more so you can grow up to be extra brilliant and discover the cure for cancer or baldness or play the violin and get a scholarship to college. Whatever you pick...we have several options laid out for you including: golf star, math genius, Olympic ice skater or world famous Dr. You don't have to marry a Dr. It's 2008..you can be a Dr. Your nana would love it. She could get free prescriptions!

But the thing that makes me laugh in all of this hair loss drama is that you as usual, don't seem to care at all. The more I get to know you and your happy go lucky attitude the more I aspire to be like you. You smile when you're fed and after a nice long nap you wake up ready to face the world and play to your heart's content. Whether you're in your favorite hand-me-down flannel PJ's or some ridiculous sequined number your mother has forced you to wear you still know you're a star and that you're beautiful inside and out. I pray to God you never EVER lose that attitude. I don't want the world and all its TV commercials and fashion magazines to influence you to think you're anything less than sensationally perfect in every way. God made you amazing and I don't want you coming home from school someday thinking your body isn't absolutely flawless. I think that one boils down to the fact I think my heart will break if I ever see that you are sad. I don't care that your thighs are adorably chubby. You have these delicious rolls on your belly that everyone wants to take a bite out of. I wonder if that bothers you. I don't think I'd like people biting my stomach all the time but it seems to make you giggle. Most things in this life seem to make you giggle.

What is your secret Lucy? Can I join you in your world for just one day? Can I put away the worries about my chubby thighs and roly-poly belly and come lie in your crib and stare at the Winnie the Pooh mobile and drift off to a peaceful dreamland? Maybe I should stop trying to fit into sexy lingerie or skinny jeans and just wear flannel footy pajamas all day long? I'll ask your dad what he thinks. It's not like he's trying to fit into skinny jeans or sexy lingerie. (Sorry for that visual baby...my bad).

I think if I was 5 months old and no one told me having hair was a big deal. I could relax a lot more. I am so overwhelmed every day as I watch you take on life's big challenges with total peace. You are learning to grab things now and sometimes you try and try with all your might to hold something in your tiny grasp. When it doesn't work and falls from your little hands you just smile and try again. You're really exploring how those hands of yours can work to your advantage and it's precious to watch. You can't crawl yet but when we set a toy in front of you, you find a way to scoot up to it as best you can. It's funny that you enjoy fancy baby toys and pieces of wrapping paper to play with the same enthusiasm. When we took you to the show this weekend and they let you play with these fancy sitting tables in the nursery you were in hog heaven. I felt kind of bad because our little home is so small I don't think we'd be able to fit a big swing or rolling table for you in it. I sometimes wish we had a bigger place and a yard for you to play in. For now we have a 4 ft patio and a living room/office which is all of 110sq ft for you to exist in. But I hope you don't mind because we'll always make sure you have food to eat and some kind of toys to play with and 100 kisses a day from each of us. For now you're convinced playing with mommy's headband on the floor is a true delight and I hope that doesn't change for a long, long time.

I love you little bug!
Mom

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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

 

Letters to Lucy - Mommy Magic

Dear Little One,

I realized I have magical powers tonight. You were so sad and crying uncontrollably. People would say you were "teething" or have "baby gas" or a myriad of other issues. But all I know is that when I stuck my pinky finger in your mouth you happily accepted it and then sucked and sucked with all your might. You smiled at me as if to say "Thanks Mom!" and then you closed your eyes in pure bliss and drifted off to dreamland. I realize I have that power in my little finger and also in my very own bosom as you nurse for your food. I can make it all better very quickly. If only I could keep that "magic finger" for when your first boyfriend breaks up with you with a note in gym class, or the other girls don't pick you for their kickball team, or any of the other terrors I fear you will have to face before you make it through adolescence. Oh it can be so hard. I know this from firsthand experience. I pray to God of course you will never have to go through any pain or trial whatsoever. But unless Jesus comes back first I'm pretty convinced every day of your life won't be a total cakewalk.

You'll probably be blessed with my sense of humor which has been described as "inappropriate or lethal wit" at times. That can get you into trouble. The rule of thumb my dear is "sometimes we think things that are funny in our heads but we don't have to say them out loud!" As I watch you sleeping and kiss your forehead. I wish there was a way for me to permanently attach my lips to your soft little brow for the next 20 years or so. I wonder if my mom felt that way about me. I wonder if she thought her kisses could bring healing throughout my childhood and growing up years. I know there is nothing quite like a mother's hug or even now a mother's encouraging words. I think that is why so many daughters just crave to hear the words "I'm so proud you're my daughter" from our moms even when we're all grown up. Because you my dear will always be my little baby.

I will always want to be there to make the bad things in this world go away. I'll use my pinky finger, my lips, my mind or my whole body if needed to shield you from harm and heartache. I wish my kisses could be contracts to promise that you'll never be hurt. But alas I don't think that's completely true. I just wanted you to know as long as I'm able and on this earth. I'll keep kissing you, singing you made up lullabies because I don't know the words to the real ones. I'll keep pulling the car over to make sure you're still breathing in the back seat when you're quiet. I'll keep rocking you at 3:00am and doing whatever I can to make your tears go away, even when you're 33.

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Wednesday, March 05, 2008

 

Letters to Lucy - Sugar Sugar

Dear Lucy,

Here I am again. It's like old times. I'm sneaking into the kitchen reaching to the very back of the freezer to find the Ghirardelli chocolate mint squares that your daddy brought me. I was trying not to eat candy and so I put them far away out of my reach. But I could hear them calling to me tonight. They were calling my name so I had to get out of bed to sample them. On the way to the comedy show last night your Auntie Karen brought dinner. We had Pepperidge Farm Milan Chocolate mint cookies. Then at the show I ate eclairs with chocolate frosting for dinner. Then tonight after dinner of pizza and Coca-Cola I stopped at Starbucks and had a large hot chocolate. This is not good.

I'm supposed to be cutting back on all the bad stuff. I'm working out in the mornings at that beach boot camp for mommies. I'm burning calories and slimming down so I can once again wear my old pants. But I can't seem to get a handle lately on the sugar addiction. Yes that's always been a vice in our family. Your nana and grandpa in Georgia are the worst. They raised me with a major candy addiction because our house was filled with it. Everywhere I looked there would be bowls of M & M's or mini Snickers. I so don't want you to inherit this craving that I always seem to have for chocolate. I call it "stress eating" but I must be stressed a lot because I eat it allllllllllllllll the time!

People tell me to go on a sugar fast but then I say, "what would I eat?" I think you're young enough I can master this bad habit before you're old enough to want to eat like mommy. I do realize all my little treats have been getting into my system and feeding you since you were in the womb and now through my breast milk. I bet my breast milk tastes like chocolate. Lucky you! But I read I'm not supposed to feed you any sugar at all until you're at least one. The other day when daddy was gone and I had eaten some chocolate gooey candy I came back to bed. You saw the leftover morsels on my lips and you were just crying out to me for a kiss. So I gave you a big old "chocolate kiss"! Maybe you tasted some of it then? Who knows? But this madness must stop. I don't want to raise you to be 200 pounds and end up on some talk show about childhood obesity. I don't want to be that tree-hugging, granola-eating, Whole-Foods-market, organic-only-eating mom either. If I raise you like that, you'll end up at some other kids birthday party freaking out the first time you eat cake. I'll come home and you'll be on the ceiling. So there has to be a happy medium.

There's no way you're my kid and you won't love the taste of Godiva chocolate covered cherries. They are healing. That is just a fact. But maybe it won't be so abundant around our house? Maybe I'll shop at Trader Joe's sometimes and get some vegetables for you eat? Maybe I can learn to cook healthy food for you? I really would like that. I would like you to be that kid that actually likes salad. I think most lettuce tastes like soft cardboard but that's just me. In this instance we must re-train our brains and start some better habits. I bet every mom sets out this way when her children are so young. That's why I'm breastfeeding. I want you to have the best nutritional start possible. Also I'm not into the guilt you'd give me later if I didn't at least try to nurse you. But I'm also an avid watcher of the food channel. My new challenge is the actually take some of the healthy information I've gleaned from Rachel Ray and Paula Dean and put it into practice. Ok, seriously who are we kidding? You'll find out someday that there's nothing healthy about Paula Dean's down-home southern cooking. That's why it's so good. But I'll keep trying.

My mom was a great cook and she had some awesome southern recipes that started with a stick of butter and a pound of cheese. She fed me the all-American breakfast when I was a child of Flintstones Fruity Pebbles cereal and a Flintstones multi-vitamin and grape Hi-C. Then in my BeeGee lunch box (They were a great band that mommy used to roller skate to her in basement. Roller-skates were these things with 4 wheels...yikes we'll talk later about history like this). I'd have Grape Hi-C juice box, a hostess chocolate cupcake, peanut butter and jelly on white bread or a ham and Kraft cheese sandwich. I never ate the crusts I would throw them away before I got home. When I came home my snacks would be Fruit Roll Ups, Chips Ahoy cookies Oreos, or whatever else sweet was in the house. We didn't have any huge restrictions on what we snacked on. I always felt sorry for those kids. The ones who's mom's only let them snack on fresh fruit like my friend Kelly would come over and eat a whole box of ice cream and binge at my place. When my dad would come home the first thing he would do was reach for the bag of salt and vinegar potato chips and then drink Coca-Cola from the bottle in the fridge. We weren't allowed to do that but I'd sneak drinks from the bottle anyway when I thought no one was looking. It was a big 2 liter bottle and my dad just drank right from it. I know it's gross but he worked hard all day and no one questioned him. He'd stand in the kitchen and talk to my mom and me about our days munching on potato chips. It was a fun treat when he'd take me to the convenience store sometimes to pick up Salt and Vinegar chips and a video rental. So what do I love to eat now? You guessed it...Salt and Vinegar Chips and M & M's. It's a dream come true when I'm suffering from PMS. I hope you don't suffer from that my dear. But if you do, that'll combo will do ya right up. Sweet and salty never fails. Oh what am I saying? You're not going to eat that stuff. You're going to munch on carrot sticks and other organic specialties that are overpriced at these gourmet markets because we're all convinced that the food they tell us is "organic" is healthier.

I was so stressed today I told your daddy I needed some "mommy time." I was driving around and then I turned into the McDonald's drive through. I thought of you as I ordered my chicken McNuggets. I thought, "I don't want Lucy to like fast food! I don't want her to end up like me with my eating. It's terrible!" I have this relationship with comfort foods from my childhood. It's simple. I find them comforting. I'm sure I could find a way to make something else comforting but I must confess to you I absolutely love McDonalds Chicken McNuggets and their Coca-Cola. I'm also a sucker for a beef mexi-melt at Taco Bell? So should I deprive you of those joys when you are young? I don't know. Am I a bad mom if I don't let you try it? Am I a bad mom if I let you eat it too much and then you become a terrible eater like me? I was raised on "Restaurant Row" as kid. It was McDonald's, Burger King and Long John Silver's on Michigan Ave. I loved all three. I loved going with mommy to Burger Chef too. We had some fun times there.

I try to cook honey but honestly I'm not the best at it "on the fly". I just buy sort of pre-made meals and then eat them on the couch like I did tonight. Dad was gone so I got out the "Stroganoff Steak" and put it in the microwave. It was meant to be served with veggies and some noodles. But I ate it right out of the box it was heated up in. On a scale of 1-10 it was a good solid 6. I don't know the solution. But I've been eating dinners like this for years. When I was single and bored I'd go to the grocery store and by cheap caviar, crackers, expensive cheese and prosciutto and pate. Don't ask me why I'd buy that combination of foods. Maybe I was having my own little party and I wanted to make a platter? I don't know but it was good at the time. But when you grow into eating solid foods I can't have you eating meat out of a box or liver pate on crackers for dinner. I also can't have you eating all the sugar cereal I'm so in love with. I've started buying Gorilla Crunch at Trader Joe's to transition from the Cookie Crisp cereal.

Well I'm trying honey. I really am.

I love you,
Mom

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Thursday, February 28, 2008

 

Letters to Lucy - Winnie the Pooh

Dear Pooh Bear,

You kind of, sorta crawled last week. Or maybe you didn't. I saw you inching your way forward on your knees. I put a toy right in front of you. You stared at it and made an effort to get it and then you just kind of sat there and thought about it for a long time. I could tell you were contemplating reaching for the toy and all the effort that would go into the venture. You decided to roll over instead...smart decision. I sometimes feel like I'm training a puppy with you down on the floor and me waving and clapping in front of your face yelping "Come on girl. Come and get it girl!" I'm sure you're just enamored with my antics.

You started really rolling over more often. I put you in the crib the other day just as I always do and I came in and somehow you had rolled yourself over and to the center of the crib and gotten your head under the decorative blanket. It freaked me out. I'm glad you're able to roll but it just happened one day and I wasn't expecting it. Sometimes you roll over on your face and you stay there as if you don't mind. I wonder if it's just too much effort to get back to the original position.

You remind me so much of Winnie the Pooh. He had great intentions for going out and getting honey and doing his tasks but most of the time he got stuck in a predicament and just muttered to himself "Oh Bother." And then he'd go on his merry way. He wasn't worried about much at all. He wasn't depressed and down like Eeyore the donkey or fretting around like Rabbit. He just basically was his cuddly wuddly rolly polly old self. Your whole nursery is decorated like the Hundred Acre Woods from Winnie the Pooh. I wanted you to be surrounded by all the wonderful characters that I loved as a child. I took that video with me to college and whenever I was sad. I would pop in the movie and pretend my bottom bunk bed was like Pooh's tree house in the Hundred Acre Woods. It was always a good day there with Pooh and all of his friends.

I think I'm more like Rabbit and you're more like Pooh. We're a good match. You just love to eat and cuddle. Please Lucy, please let me cuddle with you when you're grown up. I just don't think I could bear the thought on not scooping you up in my arms and holding you close. It's different when you're older I know. I wonder if my mom ever looks at me that way. Does she see me as her little baby still? Cuddling with you is my pure joy in life.

Your father is definitely a "Pooh "like you. If you feed him and let him nap. He's good to go in life. That's basically all he needs. Why can't I be that simple? I think if I left you and Daddy alone the two of you would have a grand old time never leaving the bed. Well as a matter of fact that sounds like a lovely day. I should take more days of doing nothing and just enjoy this time with you. Why can't I do that? I'm always rush, rush, rush. I'm always thinking and planning. It's like I have this ticker in my head and it won't go off.

Sometimes when I hold you and we're playing the world does stop for awhile. You're one of the only people in the world that can have that effect on me. I can stare at you when you're playing or sleeping and just be so in the moment. The world stands still. It's just a learning process I'm going through right now in learning to be that way more than once every so often. I don't want to miss these incredible moments you're giving me because I'm worrying about a phone call or an email that needs to be written. For instance, you just love to suck on your fingers. It gives you sheer delight and I could sit there and watch you forever just taste each and every finger one by one. It's like they are flavored with strawberry or something. You love them so much. I will take your hand out of your mouth but then you just put it right back in. It's hilarious. I hope I'm not missing these moments by being as Pooh would say "a silly old Rabbit!"

There's another character like that in the storybook "Alice in Wonderland" called the White Rabbit. He's always singing "I'm late, I'm late for a very important date. No time to say hello good bye I'm late, I'm late, I'm late!" Why are rabbits always in a hurry? They're faster than all the other animals but they're still stressed about it. Hmmm...yep...I'm a rabbit for sure. I hope you don't grow up to be a rabbit. Stay the cute little "Pooh Bear" that you are. Life is nicer that way. Believe me.

When we went to Mommy and Me the other day there was this other little girl about your age who was completely round. She could sit by herself. Being the competitive mom that I am, I tried to make you sit by yourself but you refused to bend your knees. You'd much rather have me hold you and stand. When you finally do sit you just totter right over to one side and laugh. I know this whole thing amuses you to no end that all these adults are trying to make you move in ways you're just not that interested in.

You're perfectly content to just lie there on your back and watch the clouds that we painted on the ceiling. In fact you love ceilings and anything on the especially lights and fans. You will sit there for hours just staring at a light on the ceiling. I wish my life was that simple. Maybe I should take more time to just stare at the ceiling. Do you find it relaxing?

Your whole world seems relaxed to me and I somewhat jealous. I know the whole teething thing is no piece of cake but you don't seem to let it get you down. I also realize when you have that gas pain in your tummy it must hurt a lot. I ate salami the other day for lunch, about 5 pieces. I'm sorry because I think it bothered your stomach that night. I didn't think about it. I ate it all the time when I was prego with you in my belly. I'm so sorry honey. I won't eat salami anymore.

Love,
Rabbit

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Wednesday, January 02, 2008

 

Happy New Year to Me...Me and Lucy McGehee

Ok admit it, New Year's Eve is anti-climactic. It's this overrated so-called holiday where most of us just make grandiose plans to compensate for the fact that we're obsessing about all we want to accomplish in the new year and all we didn't get done in the one that's passing. We paint on our "Party Smiles" and go to some crowded place and toast with everyone else while secretly wishing we were somewhere else and in some cases with someone else. I know this because for years I've struggled more on this day than any other. It was the cause of many "break downs" evaluating my life and where I was on the journey or my case "Rat Race". If I was single I wished I was married when I was married I wished for a baby and so on. I made 5 pages of detailed resolutions last year in every category of my life from Spiritual to physical and then I lost the notebook. I know I wanted to have a baby in 2007 and also lose 10lbs among other desires. Well this past year I gained 40lbs and one 10.6 oz baby girl.

Instead of going to some lavish party I spent this New Year's Eve with my new daughter. It was me and Lucy McGehee from morning till night. It's actually 5:01AM as I write this. Daddy had to go to Texas so I decided to treat this like a "Snow Day" back when I was a kid. I didn't draw the curtains, I didn't get out of my pj's and Lucy and I had a grand old time watching Lifetime Movies and the Food Channel drifting in and out naps on the couch. It was truly glorious.

Finally at about 4:30 I decided I'd venture out to get us some munchies (ok she's breastfeeding but I didn't want to leave her out of the decision making process. After all she's 9 weeks old). I have to admit most of our trips involved daddy basically doing all the heavy lifting when it comes to car seats, baby slings and strollers. I don't even know how to use our stroller yet unless it's already set up and the baby sling hurts my back. I bought this "wrap" contraption but it's a total mess and when I tried it out it looked like a bad unsafe scarf swaddled around my body and no baby would want to come near it and I don't blame them. I can't believe I spent $70 dollars on that thing just because Tori Spelling had one for her baby! But I was getting hungry so I vowed to myself I could make this trip out alone. I got Lucy in her little "Bear" blanket that I'm sure causes heat rash with all that fur bundled around her in southern California, but I'm a first time mom and I'm obsessed with her being too cold. I got her to the car and with the help of my trusty friend the pacifier she got in her car seat and buckled up and it only took 20 minutes. I'm learning, ok? I spent 10 minutes speculating if the car seat was properly in place before I drove off. Then I realized I didn't bring her sling so I'd have to find a way to carry her in the store. I called my husband in a panic and he told me I could take that car seat thing and put it in the basket. With 10 more minutes of manipulation I got the car seat out and into the shopping cart. I didn't know how I'd fit anything else in there like groceries but I had the baby and we were off. Already I was exhausted. Note to self for first trip out with baby do NOT Venture to the Supermarket at 5:00pm on New Year's eve to fight cart traffic with hundreds of angry savages, I mean shoppers. People were literally jamming the aisles and fighting over the free samples of "Pomegranate Juice" like it was crack cocaine. Ok I was one of them, but that's not the point. I had to show my child the importance of free samples when we shop. It was a mad house and as soon as I'd grab something I'd have to literally stuff it in my purse because her car seat took up the entire cart. This older lady was laughing at me and giving me that "Oh you're new at this " look. She said," Honey, don't you know you can install that car seat on the top of your basket?" I was thinking "Thanks lady, but since you didn't offer to show me how to do it and you're just sitting there smirking I'm going to run you over with my cart and keep stuffing salami in my purse like a shoplifter!" I didn't have time to try to re-install her seat. She was sleeping like a champ through the madness. You'd think these people were preparing for Y2K, whatever that was!

So after an hour of standing in line and $56.00 later I was back in the car driving home. But I kept thinking the car seat wasn't installed correctly so I kept pulling over to make sure the baby wasn't going to fall out of the back seat when I was driving. My cell phone died so I was a nervous wreck. Then I realize it's 7:00pm and my kid hasn't eaten since 3:30. This is a huge no-no and now I was concerned I was starving my child. She's fat as a butterball turkey weighing over 13lbs at 9 weeks but nonetheless, I was convinced she was starving. I, of course, didn't pack any bottles of milk so I was forced to pull into a Fat Burger parking lot and pull the child out of her car seat, which she hated, and into the front passenger seat and breast-feed her in the most awkward of positions. She's so adaptable she fell for it and ate happily for about 5 minutes. I love this kid. She has no idea what she's in for. Then I decided this was ridiculous so I stopped mid-feeding and put her back and drove home to finish feeding her there.

I pulled into my parking garage and realized I had one baby, one diaper bag, one purse and 3 bags of groceries to carry. How did women do this? I don't have a nanny like I always dreamed I would or a personal shopper so it was just me and Lucy and the garage. She was just chillin' in the back seat so I stood back there trying to prioritize what items were refrigerated and needed to be taken inside ASAP. Just then my neighbor Ben pulls in with his friend and I flag him down asking if he can help me. His hands were full of pizza and snacks but he said he'd drop all that off and be right back to help me. I got Lucy out of her seat and began to hold her and sing to her in the garage. I don't know the lyrics to any nursery songs so I usually make something up or revert to something by REO Speed Wagon or Journey because they were comforting to me in my teen years. As I was holding her and Ben was carrying my groceries I started to smell something like burnt popcorn but worse. I didn't know what it was but it was getting worse. Was it Ben? Did something in my bags spoil? The smell became more like bad food and as I examined my bags with my sweet daughter in my hands I felt something warm on the outside of her clothes and I looked down and let's just say "Lucy was expressing herself in free form letting me know her bodily functions were well intact!" This was an intense and large "expression" of her bowel movement abilities and only to be matched when she did the same thing last week on Mommy's new white bed sheets while she was in the middle of diaper changing and talking on the phone. Rookie Mistake.

This foul-smelling explosion was all over the place and I didn't know what to do. Of course then the phone rings and it's Ron and I'm panicking because she always chooses to do these things when he's not home. He calmly told me to take Lucy out of her clothes and get her in the bath. But I hadn't fed her enough. She wasn't bothered by any of this. She's just laying there with the same grin that lady had in the grocery store as if this was somehow funny to her. Ron's telling me" Kerri you can't feed her first. That's gross. You have to wash her off!" I'm saying "Are you sure? Can't I call a neighbor to do this for me? I can't handle this type of clean up alone!" So now I've got the wet slippery baby fully clothed in one hand, phone in the other, on my way to the bathroom but stopping off to warm a bottle of breast milk in the kitchen. I get her in the bathroom and lay her down on the floor on a towel. I realize the bottle is burning in the warmer so I go to leave her and get that. I run back and Ron's talking me through this as if it's a 911 call. He's saying "Kerri, first you need to undress the child. Then you run the water in the baby tub. Then you put the baby in the baby tub using both hands." I got flustered and hung up on him. Where was my mother when I needed her? Georgia, that's way across the country because she thinks California is going to fall into the sea.

So it was just me and Lucy McGehee. I got her bottle and placed it on the counter and it was now scalding hot. I ran the cold water in the sink and dropped it in there. Then I got the tub water all nice and ready and it became readily apparent that I myself had to use the bathroom facilities in a huge way and if I didn't do that immediately we'd both be in trouble. I was after all in a bathroom so this was no problem. Then I realized that the toilet in this bathroom had been broken and was unusable until Ron came home to fix it. Of all days the toilet had to malfunction today! I was like a little kid about to have an "Accident!" I know how Lucy felt but she luckily had a diaper and the luxury of knowing someone would be there to clean her up. I was on my own and it was getting worse. I made a choice and left my laughing child on the towel and bolted like OJ Simpson in the airport to the other bathroom for the fastest trip of my life. I know, I know. Never leave the child, bad parenting 101. I was desperate and she luckily isn't old enough to roll yet. I came back relieved to see her still lying there in all her glory and the smell was so bad it was probably offending all my neighbors. I took off her clothes trying not to get too nauseous at the site and odor. I couldn't stand it so I again took her outfit and hurled it towards our washer next door because I didn't want it in the same room with us. She being the trooper that she is was calm through all of this. The Lord has blessed me with a mellow child because it was the only way we'd both survive. I got her in the tub and did the best I could bathing her and making sure she was all cleaned up. It was quite the scene because my sweater was soaked so I ended up tossing that off as well. So it's me in my sweat pants and nursing bra and her in her bath splashing up a storm kicking like Esther Williams. I tell her she's obviously gifted and already learning to swim. I picture her college scholarship in swimming and allow her to continue soaking me. I take her out finally and drop her all bundled up on the couch and realize she still hasn't eaten enough and now it's 8:10pm.

I managed to find the strength to get a diaper on her and collapse onto the couch and got her to breast-feed with the sounds of "Bobby Flay's Boy Meets Grill" on the TV in the background. Within 5 minutes little Miss Lucy fell fast asleep. I couldn't help but smile. She had a big fat grin on her chubby little face. None of this had phased her at all why should I be surprised? She's just like her daddy "If you feed her and cuddle her she's good to go!" Life is simple when you're 9 weeks old. I could learn a lesson from this girl. We spent the rest of the evening sleeping and watching a Food Channel Marathon. At about 10:00pm when she was done with another feeding, instead of drifting off to sleep as she should have, Lucy decided to perk up and play because she knew mommy needed to laugh and have someone to celebrate with at midnight. I've had a lot of "Midnight celebrations and New Year's kisses", but this one topped them all. We called Daddy on the cell phone and sang and laughed together and Me and Lucy McGehee rang in the New Year just the two of us. Yes, it would have been better if her daddy was with us but he was out making a living for our family so I could enjoy more nights of pure joy and real simple celebration like this one. Not once did I make any resolutions or think about the size of my checkbook or waistline. Me and Lucy McGehee laid on the couch as I munched on peanut butter pretzels and ice cream and soda and she with her breast milk. We were both truly undoubtedly content. Me with my hair frazzled in a sloppy bun and no make up to speak of looked like the most beautiful thing in the world to one young lady and I knew it. Thank you God for miracles like this and giving me hope in all the New Year's past that you know you had a plan for me and it was beyond what I could imagine. You're good God, you're really good! Please help me to remember that as my one real resolution in 2008! You ARE GOOD! Thank you so much!

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