Tuesday, December 23, 2008

From This Moment Forward...

The Brooklyn Baby Family

Opening her first Chanukah gift

Feeding herself, of course!

Irritated at us invading her privacy!

Perfection, pure and simply!

If you know me at all, you know that beneath this Magic Shell exterior of off-color jokes and snide remarks lies a super-gooey, cheesy center of schmaltziness. Wow. I just invented a food that involves chicken fat, cheese and chocolate magic shell. Sounds like something Elvis would have eaten.
So, I'm posting this letter I wrote to Stella. It is so sincere and sweet that you might get diagnosed with diabetes after reading it, but hopefully it's worth that.
Enjoy, and try not to make fun of me too much!
Dearest Stella,
As this year draws to a close, I find myself really thinking about our relationship and how incredibly lucky I am to have you in my life. I've tried really hard to be a good mom to you, and it hasn't always been easy. There's been little sleep, little time for myself, and lots of tears. 98% of the time, I'm proud of the job I do, but 2% of the time, I lose my patience and get really grumpy. I've always told myself that my irritated tone of voice, my bickering with your father, my rolling eyes weren't great, but at least you won't remember it, and I will reform these ways before you can.
But then, last night, as I was giving you your bath, I saw you wriggle away when I went to wash your armpit, and I swear I remember feeling uncomfortable when my own armpit was washed. I have no idea how old I was, but I couldn't have been very old. They say you don't really develop your memory until age 3 or so, but I swear I'm remember more and more things from very early ages.
And then I realized that it doesn't matter whether or not your remember it, it's important to be the person I want to be in a year right now, right this moment. So, for 2009 and beyond, here is what I pledge:
From this moment forward, I will be the mom you deserve, not the best mom I can be, or better than some other mommies out there, or as good as the mommies I read about in the magazines. You deserve a whole other echelon of goodness from your mommy, and that is what I'll be.
From this moment forward, I'll try to imagine being you, try to figure out why you're cross or unhappy, try to figure out what would make you feel safe or secure, try to provide for your needs before you even know you need them.
From this moment forward, I'll also try to take care of myself as best I can so I don't get to a point of desperation where I feel resentful for taking care of you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. I'll go for more walks, take a night off here and there (because your father is amazing at taking care of you, anyway, and you adore him), take a shower each morning, eat well and exercise. You deserve a mommy who feels good about herself.
From this moment forward, I will focus on the forest, not all the little trees that stand in its way. Life will continue to throw challenges my way, but as long as I focus on how truly blessed I am to have such an incredible husband and such an amazing daughter, I can defeat anything!
From this moment forward, I will revel in your love every moment of the day. Through poopy diapers, constant teething, the 5th nursing session in the middle of the night, the fit thrown when I try to put your hat on, the 3rd day in a row we must stay in due to inclement weather, I will thank my lucky stars to have you in my life.
And from this moment forward, when we have a good week, a good day, a good hour, I will relish it like no other and expect nothing else. I will live in the moment with you. There is no better place to be.
Your mommy,

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Virtual Nurse-In!

A much younger Stella (4 months) chowing down!

Mmmkay...so Facebook has decided that photos of moms breastfeeding are obscene. I didn't realize that it was obscene to feed my child, but pictures of teenage girls' coinslots and cleavage are A-OK!

To show Facebook what a back-asswards, misogynistic piece of bull they're being, won't you join me for the big-time Nurse-In on December 27th?

You don't have to be a booby-mama to do so! Just put any picture of any mama nursing (yourself, your wife, your friend, your mom, a celebrity) as your profile pic on December 27th to show them who's boss! I'm going to post a much more risque shot on that day, but you can borrow my artsy one above if you'd like!

Boobies -- UNITE!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Pouring, Not Raining

A short, happy break from teething!
Where have I been, you ask? Too consumed with actual life to deal with my cyber alter-ego. I do apologize.
So much has happened, and there's lots I'd love to write. However, Stella's nap will most likely end any moment now, which means my blog must be short. These days I constantly hear the Mission Impossible theme music playing in my head as I race to clean, return calls, check emails, shower, eat lunch, or drink enough water to not be dehydrated while her majesty naps.
But can't you do any of those things while she's awake, you ask?
Well, in a normal week, I can slip in one or two things. But, you see, my amazing little girl is obsessed with people. She could take or leave most any toy you give her; she wants constant human interaction. Meaning if I put her in her exersaucer and try to do dishes, I am met with longing looks, cries of "momma" and "nee nee" (her term for nursing), and sometimes tears.
So, even in a normal week, my day is spent on the floor playing, on the couch nursing, on walks with Stella in the Ergo or stroller, and on the bed trying to get her to nap.
However, this has not been a normal week. Stella has been teething like crazy. (What I thought was an ear infection in the last entry was actually, thankfully, "horrible teething," as her pediatrician put it.) She has a million teeth all pushing against her gums and causing her nagging pain, but as of yet none have managed to poke through and bring her any amount of relief.
She drools constantly, has run a slight temperature, doesn't want to nap during the day or sleep at night, is cranky and unsettled, and wants to nurse literally nonstop. I actually have a hickey on one of my nipples. This is a first for me.
Add to that the intense cold she got this week, and we have a recipe for misery and insanity. Buckets of snot which were all sucked out by me and my handy dandy nasal aspirator, a constantly running humidifier (and wet floors), taking her into steamy shower after steamy shower, all while she screamed or coughed or sneezed or just looked completely wiped out and unhappy: this was the meat of my day.
So, sorry for the lapse in blogging. Again, the clock is ticking and I feel as if this blog could self-destruct at any moment, so a brief update for you:
*We had a great time visiting my dad, brothers, and niece in Las Vegas. Stella loved the lights and intensity, and was a crowd-pleaser, as always.
*The lead paint situation remains unsettled. I really don't want to get into details in a public forum, but the upswing is that the cogs are in motion to repair it in a safe way. The downside is there is some hostility and unhappiness involved.
*We are finally finishing Phase Two of moving in. Phase one was actually putting stuff in here and unpacking. Phase Two is decorating it with what we have currently and hanging window treatments (instead of the gorgeous garbage bags we were using to cover the windows.) Phase Three will be adding furnishings that need to be bought but for which we currently do not have the funds.
*I am picking up more tutoring jobs which helps both my mental health and our personal financial crisis.
*We are preparing to visit my family in Kentucky for the holidays and I can't wait!
Well, I hear her majesty stirring, so naptime is at its close. As 2009 approaches, you may wish for more money, lost weight, no more cigarettes, a more positive attitude. Really, all I want for Christmas are Stella's friggin' teeth.