Sunday, January 17, 2010

Hell is a Waldorf Astoria

I've seen Hell. It is a 10x10 room in a Waldorf Astoria in Key West, containing a teething infant with cabin fever and freak 40 degree weather plus monsoon. Oddly enough, Hell is apparently also my recent family vacation.

In January we took our very first vacation as a three-person unit which meant the vacation didn't revolve around ME and MY needs. It SUCKED. If Ben and I had weather ruin a beach vacation, I could handle it. I mean, give me lemons and I'll make a damn good lemon drop martini and new friends at the hotel bar. Give me an infant, a parka and a monsoon and I can't make shit except maybe a really bitter glass of lemon juice, squeezed to perfection because violence towards humans is frowned upon and something had to feel my wrath.

I mean OH MY GOD. Truly, I tried to write this post a few times and failed because I couldn't seem to adequately describe the sheer misery of our family vacation. Kate couldn't sleep because she was teething, we couldn't sleep because Kate was awake and I flooded the bathroom and bedroom very nearly electrocuting myself in the process. We didn't see the beach until the last day, we didn't have clothes that were warm enough for Kate and we couldn't walk anywhere because it was raining so hard most of the weekend. We spent too much money on crappy hotel food and spent $20 to walk for 5 minutes through a butterfuly museum because we were desperate to get out of the hotel room. We probably watched 48 full hours of cartoons because my whole "Kate shouldn't watch too much TV" parenting stance changed the instant I realized I had exactly FOUR toys to entertain a nine month old for FOUR days. I knew it was too much when I heard myself saying, "Oh crap, we've seen this Handy Manny. It is the one where he teaches the tools to wash their hands" I mean, shit. SHIT. We also watched about six hours of a VERY creepy show called Imagination Station, with a cast of grown men that I'm certain all share a nice joint after each taping.

We were so desperate to leave, we almost didn't stick around our last day, but decided that flying standby with an infant was a gamble that we just couldn't take. And lo and behold, the sun came out that last morning before we had to go to the airport. Kate got to feel the sand between her fingers, and I got to take the first picture of the trip to show "HA! We DID go to the beach when you were a baby." Then we headed to the airport where of course, the bad vacation fairy visited us again and our flight was canceled. Five extra hours in an airport with an infant? NO PROBLEM. Seriously, the Universe was being a complete ass-clown that weekend.
I have never been so happy to come home from a vacation. While Ben and I were seriously disapointed in our experience, I feel like somewhere deep down there was a lesson in there. One lesson I learned is that if the government wanted to crack some terrorists all they need to do is stick them in a small room with a few infants and no entertainment. Although, I don't think that is the life lesson I was supposed to come out of this with. Maybe it is the fact that while the vacation didn't meet expectations, it was time together, and I should be thankful for it. Because for all the crappy moments, it is worth that one single moment when Kate is experiencing something new, something joyful. Something that we get to be a part of.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Mommy lesson #8

No one tells you.

No one prepares you for the fact that your beautiful, amazing, wonderful bundle of giggly goodness will make you change diapers that are so unholy they make the baby Jesus cry.

Sure, infant diapers are messy and slightly stinky. I admit it is more than just a bummer when there is a "blow-out" or what I like to call "shit storm" -- those times that there is just too much poo for one measly diaper to handle. But I toughened up. I can take it. I can take THAT anyways.

But no one warned me about solid foods, and what they do to my sweet, innocent baby. Solid foods changed Kate. They turned her into a manly pooper and I don't think there is any going back. I certainly can't go back to the time when I was innocent and unaffected by her man-poop. The first time I smelled, and then changed a turd in a diaper, I knew things would never be the same. It is just unnatural, and after I picked myself up off the floor, I decided that Kate is going to be formula fed until she is potty trained.

Problem solved.

Monday, January 4, 2010

No Fear. No Kidding.

I'm fairly certain that my blood pressure has gone up in direct correlation with Kate's mobility. After having an infant and watching her grow into a mobile mini-toddler, I'm honestly shocked that we've survived as a species at all. If Kate were growing up in the stone age, it is highly likely that she would have already been stampeded by a rhino or eaten by a saber tooth tiger. Or just crawled off a cliff.

Because this chick HAS NO FEAR.

I mean, sure, I'm happy she feels all safe and content and has never had to know caution, but I'm a big believe in a healthy level of fear keeping us safe from doing stupid stuff, like laying in the middle of a highway, bungee jumping or cutting our own hair.

But take an infant and give her a room to sit in and she will discover something, ANYTHING that can potentially cause her harm, and she will be instantly attracted to it. Like a moth to a flame, electrical outlets, cords, the fireplace, the toilet, dog bowls, the bottom of my shoe (TOXIC!!), these things have a siren song that just can NOT be ignored by anyone under the age of 2. Or at least by my daughter. Maybe your kid is under two and content to just hang out with his or her toys and chill. You know what I say to that? SUCK IT.

The point is, you can baby-proof all you want, but unless your house is made up of ONE room that is empty save for padded walls and a soft floor, you are F-ed. Seriously. We have one room in the house that I can look around and feel fairly safe letting Kate roam, but the other day I looked down to write an email while Kate played on the rug, and next thing I know Kate has a random leaf in her mouth and she is choking and spitting up all over the place. Where she found the leaf, since I have to vacuum every damn day is beyond me, but likely she had been saving it in her diaper for just the right moment when I wasn't looking and she could savor all its earthy flavor.

I hope it tasted like crap.

Friday, January 1, 2010

New year, new blogger

New year, new blogger. You know, like the kind who actually WRITES on their blog instead of thinking about it constantly and never follows through. That is my New Year's resolution. Sadly, I have several months of silence to catch up on, and it seems that I may never be able to share all the wacky, amazing and straight out bat-shit crazy things that have happened in our lives. But, here is a top 5 list of things that happened in the past few months to get you all a little more up to speed.

  1. Last time I posted, Kate had sprouted her first little tooth. It was tiny and adorable and I ooh'd and ahh'd over it regularly. Flash forward three months and Kate is on her way to full barracuda status with FOUR razor sharp teeth that she uses to pry open beer bottles and intimidate baby sitters. Okay, I'm lying about the baby sitters but seriously, she has got a full set of chompers and OH LORD when she smiles her big ol' toothy grin, she looks like the cutest damn hillbilly this side of the Mississippi.

  2. In early October, Kate started army crawling, which quickly turned into regular crawling, which very quickly morphed into speed racer crawling, and immediately nothing in our home was safe. By mid-November (the week before Thanksgiving to be exact) Kate learned she could pull herself to standing on, well, just about anything. She has been standing ever since. In her crib, in my lap, in the bath tub... well, you get the picture. And now, (Ta-da!!) by the end of December she is "cruising" very tentatively. We are fairly certain walking around without assistance is just a few short months off. Okay, I'm kidding. I actually fully expect her to be walking into the kitchen to fix herself a snack by January 22.

  3. Speaking of snacks, Kate has quickly learned the art of eating and formed her very own carb addiction. While she still isn't a big fan of anything being shoved into her mouth by a spoon, if she can feed it to herself, she is on it. Specifically, she is a HUGE fan of bread, crackers, cereal and rice cakes. Veggies she can tolerate, fruits are the devil and if the meat comes in the shape of a stick (a la Vienna sausages) she would likely strike a deal to sell her first born for a bite.

  4. Since October, I've been doing part-time contract work, which lead to Kate starting Mother's Day Out two days a week. Kate loved it. I loved it. There was a bunch of loving going around until she started dragging home every single germ that existed on this big wide planet. This season, our family has had colds, eye infections, the swine flu, an upper respiratory infection and finally the croup. The season came to a head the week leading up to Christmas when Kate had not only her first trip to the emergency room, but also her SECOND trip to the emergency. Both trips lasted more than two hours and nearly forced me to check in to some sort of mental hospital. Long story short, a stinking cold that lead to croup nearly took our entire family down. Oh, and note to parents out there -- never EVER take your kid to a regular ER. They are stupid and will call you three days later to let you know your child has pneumonia, even when a pediatric specialist later reviews your infant to let you know that actually your kid DOESN'T have pneumonia and you spent the last 24 hours freaking out for nothing. But you know, whatever.

  5. Kate turned 9 months old this month and while we haven't had her check-up yet because of the holidays, she is an extremely happy and healthy 18 lbs. bundle of joy. She says mama, giggles when you tickle her and has a huge attitude when things aren't going her way. She is already a character and we can't WAIT to see what 2010 brings us. Stay tuned. I'm sure we have lots to look forward to.