Monday, June 30, 2014

I live for the weekends

First, I'm going to get political for just a minute. If you come here to read about Wilson, just skip this part. But fuck the five assholes on the Supreme Court who think that one families' personal religious beliefs can dictate the health and well being of thousands of employees of that families' corporation. I am so angry over this. My bleeding liberal, feminist heart is breaking. I could go on, but for my sanity's sake I'll leave it at that. And Justice Bader Ginsburg is my home girl for life. 


We had a great weekend at home. For one, we bought a car!

It's a 2009 ford focus. It's definitely nothing fancy, but we got a good deal and we were able to afford it without trading in our current car. Caleb and I decided having two cars again was more important than one nicer car. We are currently fighting over who gets the new car. It has 4 doors (our current car is a two door hatchback) and cruise control! I've never owned a car with cruise control! We are really excited about it. 

We are in the thick of sleep training Wilson. I gave up on getting him to nap in his crib, for now. It's just not worth the tears and frustration right now. Night time sleep is our main concern so that is where we decided to put all our energy. We are doing a modified Ferber method (for those who know what that is). For three nights, we sat with Wilson closely and patted his back, held his hand, or rubbed his tummy while he fell asleep in his crib. It took nearly 2 hours the first night but by night 3 it only took an hour. He really didn't cry much at all doing this. He played around and goofed off a lot, which kept him up. He was actually pretty hilarious. He was sooooo tired but determined to stay up so he acted like a little drunk person falling down and stumbling and slurring his babbling and laughing hysterically at nothing. 

 After those 3 nights, we moved further back from Wilson's crib so we could still verbally comfort him, but no touching. This is where the shit hit the fan. He did not reapond well to this. He screamed the saddest and most pathetic cries for nearly half an hour. I've had to leave after about 15 minutes because it absolutely breaks my heart. He would reach out for me with both arms and cry for me. Every ounce of me wanted to pick him up and hold him. Thankfully, Caleb was there to remind me that this is for Wilson's own good and he didn't let me pick him up. I left the room and went to bed crying but Wilson quieted down and went to bed within minutes of me leaving. I'm so thankful for Caleb helping both me and Wilson through this transition. We are on night 3 of this stage. After this, we are to move by the doorway for 3 nights. I hope it is easier on us. 

On the bright side, wilson has been sleeping 10-12 hours straight in his crib at night. My allergies have been straight up awful so I have to take a Benadryl before bed if I want to sleep. Thank goodness Wilson has been sleeping so well because Benadryl puts me in a coma. Any medicine that lists drowsiness as a side effect always knocks me out. I'm just really sensitive to medicine that way. 

I don't think I've ever mentioned here how much Wilson adores stuffed animals, especially bigger ones. He has this Christmas bear and a pooh bear that he constantly hugs and kisses. It's so sweet. He sleeps with his Patty panda every night and chews on her nose. I always loved stuffed animals as a kid, so it's just super sweet to see Wilson love them as well. 

Wilson has 4 teeth now. The top two have a huge gap between them. It's so funny and goofy when he smiles. I think his top two incisors will be coming in soon, too. I'll be he has 6 teeth by his birthday. I'm also going to bet he will be walking with full force by then, too. He has been walking tons more this week. He will walk across the room unassisted and unprovoked. His balance is still a little off but I see him making strides (pun intended haha) every day. Gosh he is growing up too fast. 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

What we call Wilson

All parents inevitably come up with nick names for their kids. I'm not sure what my parents called me, but I'm sure it was cutesy and adorable and slightly obnoxious. Before I was a parent, I would roll my eyes so hard at parents calling their babies "sugar muffins" or "baby bubba" or whatever.  It sounds dumb. It does. But as a parent, I now realize just how easily those words slip out of the mouth. 

Just another thing I swore I would never do that now feels 100% normal and natural. 

I'd say about 50% of the time we call Wilson by his name. Nearly a year and half after we chose Wilson's name, I still really like it. As a person who changes her mind constantly, this is a pleasant surprise. So half the time I call him by the name I gave him on his birth certificate. 

The other half is a mixture of his nicknames he has acquired over his 10 months of life. 

The second most common thing he is called is Bud. Sometimes Buddy but usually Bud. I'm not sure how or why this started, but we have been calling Wilson "Bud" since he was itty bitty. I quite like it.  It isn't an uncommon nickname so it isn't strange. It's even better because that's what my grandad (who Wilson's middle name Alva came from) went by. It's easy and special at the same time. I hope or grows with him and Caleb and I keep calling him Bud through the years. Plus, if we ever have another boy, Wilson and his brother's nicknames would make an awesome folk duo band name. (Yes, I think about these things.)

The only other thing I call him is "honey bun" or "honey bunny".  This started about a month before Easter. We were talking lots and reading lots about the Easter bunnY and I somehow came up with Honey Bunny. I call him this more when he is upset and crying for some reason. Caleb never uses this name. 

Caleb calls Wilson "little champ" or just "champ". Caleb is sooooo not into sports so I have no idea where this comes from. I never use it but I think it's pretty cute that Caleb has his own nickname for Wilson. 

This photo is completely unrelated to this post but I love this look he shot me when I distracted him from his morning fruit cocktail (packed in juice and water NOT heavy syrup, thank you). 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The good, the bad, the ugly

-- The Good --

We finally got to spend a day in the pool! On Sunday we drove up to my in-laws and swam in their pool. Wilson was a little unsure at fury, but he ended up loving it. I can't wait to get back in there! 

The 9 month sleep recession is over! Praise baby Jesus. 

Next weekend is the 4th of July. Caleb has a long weekend and Wilson is going to his grandparents. We are going to take a day trip somewhere, just not sure where yet. 

-- The Bad --

We are sleep training. For naps, we are trying to get Wilson to nap in his crib for at least 1-1.5 hours. It's hit and miss. For night, we are trying to put him down drowsy but awake. It's been rough. It has taken over an hour each night. I'm not sure it's working. 

I've been in a crappy mood lately. I haven't been especially patient or kind to Caleb or Wilson (or even Sadie) and it makes me frustrated with myself. 

-- The Ugly --

I was woken up at 5:30 am to a living room and bedroom full of dog diarrhea. I know that's gross. It was terrible. Overnight, Sadie found a bottle of tums and ate them all. Soooo, dog owners, don't let your dog eat tums. It was the grossest thing ever. Thank baby Jesus (again) we don't have carpet. 

 (I called the vet and they said she would be fine. Apparently the fake sugar in the tums is what caused the problem.) 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Parenting confessions

Being a parent does strange things to a person. I do and say so really weird, strange things now that I would have never imagined. I can actually hear how crazy I sound sometimes, but that doesn't stop me. I think most new parents do these things, though. Why don't they write that in parenting advice books? 

Sometimes while I'm rocking Wilson and he has his mouth open, I'll lean in and smell his breath for just a second. Baby breath does not smell bad at all and it distinctly smells like Wilson. I kind of love it. 

To have 10 guilt free minutes to myself, I'll  "go to the bathroom" and just sit and read an article in a magazine. I even fake flush and wash my hands so Caleb doesn't know. Caleb would definitely give me some quiet time if I asked, but I hate to ask. My sneak bathroom method works for me. 

I'm planning Wilson's birthday party already. A party he won't remember. A party that he couldnt probably care less about. But I've spent hours on pintrest planning. 

I have a lot of opinions on diapers. I could go on and on about the best brand, best value, materials, etc. I really, really care about diapers. 

I've googled "is my baby a genius". I've also googled "how to deal with a slow learner". Probably googled on the same day. 

I count putting soap in his bath water as bathing him most nights. 

Puffs are baby crack and my kid as an addiction. Need to distract him? Puffs. Need to get dressed? Puffs. Need him to stop crying? Puffs. 

I kiss him on the mouth all the time. I get slobber in my mouth sometimes. I don't care one bit. 

I'm not a particularly religious person, but I beg the sleep gods every night before I go to bed that Wilson sleeps through the night. I seriously beg, plead, and bargain. Maybe I should offer a young goat. 

I take so many pictures of Wilson. Most of them aren't even of anything in particular. Just us around the house. But I would be devastated if I lost them. 

My parenting philosophy changes weekly. Drastically. 

I've banged Wilson against many a door frame. I also rolled him down some steps in his stroller. He managed to burn his finger and I have absolutely no clue how that happened. 

So, I'm not the only one, right? Maybe? 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The weekend

How is it the middle of June already? Summer is halfway over just about, or at least school's definition of summer because summer doesn't really end in Mississippi until early October. Time is flying. 

We went to visit my gran on Saturday. Her house and oxford will always be two of my favorite places in the world. She loved on Wilson and bought me and Caleb a new pair of shoes each. We were all spoiled. 

Saturday night on our walk, we had an accident and Wilson got a good bonk on the head. His little forehead is bruised and scraped, but it's healing quickly. I felt awful because it was mostly my fault but Wilson was fine just a few minutes after it happened. 

Wilson is still not sleeping well and it is slowly killing me. I don't think I've slept longer than 2 hours at a time in over a week. It's like having a newborn again. I know lots of moms don't get full nights sleep so I hate to complain. But Wilson started sleeping through the night around 2-3 months so I'm used to getting a full night or rest. I know it's only temporary but I wish whatever it is, be it teething or separation anxiety or just a sleep regression, would stop soon. 

Wilson has been much happier the past few days, though. He babbles and talks all the time, to us and to himself. He has started laughing whenever we laugh, even though he obviously has no idea why we are laughing. He also has started giving me polar bear kisses (aka Eskimo kisses. I renamed them because that term seems a little non-politically correct and perhaps even offensive to some). It's the cutest thing ever. 

The city of Cleveland is moving up in the world. We got a brand new Krystal that opens tomorrow and a Japanese to-go restaurant is opening next month. It's really sad how excited I am over both. Small town life at its finest. 

Sunday, June 15, 2014


Growing up in north Mississippi, going to Graceland (Elvis Presley's Memphis home) is kind of a right of passage. It's cheesy and dated and expensive, but it's something you just do. And I have never been. 

We moved to Memphis when I was 8 and around that time, I started begging my dad to take me to Graceland every year for my birthday. My birthday is in January, the same month as Elvis, so he always gave the excuse that we would go at a "more quiet" time. So again, sometime in the summer I would mention going but Death Week is in august and it's crazy then, too. Maybe in the fall. The year would go by and then it would be January again, another year without a trip to Graceland. 

As the years went by, it kind of became a joke between us. When I turned 18, I reminded my dad he still owed me a trip to Graceland and we laughed. Surely we would go before I went to college. Or before I moved out. Or before I got married. Or before I graduated college. Or before the baby was born. 

Needless to say, we have still yet to make it to Graceland together. 

I think our Graceland trip (or lack thereof) is a pretty fitting representation of our relationship.

We always say we are going to talk about things but we never do. We say we are going to call more but we don't really. We say that we are going to Graceland but never make it. We have good intentions, but never quite bring them to fruition. 

But that's ok. That's the way we are. We certainly aren't ones to confront any issues. We both know they are there and what we ought to do. But we chose to put them off, saying we will eventually get to them. It's an unspoken understanding between us. And it's ok. 

One day we will be ready. One day, we will make it to Graceland.

This is my favorite picture of me and my dad. It was right before we walked down the aisle at my wedding. I just love that we both have this expression of "o shit" on our faces. I'm sure we started smiling 2 seconds after this was taken (because we were quite happy) , but I love how this conveys all of our nerves and anxiousness. We are nervous, anxious people, my dad and I. 

Soooo, I'm pretty sure my dad reads my blog (hey daddy! (Yes, I'm a grown woman and still call my dad 'daddy'. Deal with it)) so if you're reading this, I hope you don't mind what I've written. This is my journal of sorts and I felt like writing this today.  If you never want to talk about it, that's ok. Or if you do, that's ok, too. I love you. Happy Father's Day. 

Friday, June 13, 2014

Things and stuff

We have been a little stressed and worn down around here. Last week was an emotional one and it took its toll on me. This week, all I wanted to do was rest and sleep to try to recover. But with a 9 month old, that doesn't get to happen anymore.

 I'm having a really hard time with the lack of "me time" lately. I know I need some time to just chill, but there seems to be not enough time in the day. Caleb tries to give me time on the weekend, but I hate to hear him and Wilson playing and having fun without me. Or worse, I can't stand to hear Wilson crying. It's like an impossible to ignore urge to rush to my crying child. 95% of the time, he is crying over nothing and it doesn't matter if I am there or not. But I'm always afraid that it's the other 5% and he really, really, really needs me. I think I may be overly attached to my child. 

We took Wilson for his 9 month well visit Wednesday. Wilson is growing and developing right on track but the kid SCREAMED through the entire appoinent. He did NOT like the nurses and doctor touching and holding him. He held on to me so tight the entire time. It broke my heart that I had to make him let go. I felt like I was breaking his trust by making him go away from me to the doctor. It was hard. He has some very serious "stranger danger" right now. I know separation anxiety and fearing strangers starts around 9 months but I didn't realize how bad it was until the doctors visit. 

On top of everything else, Wilson is cutting his top left tooth and it has been rough. He has been so cranky and irritable. He cries over everything. His little feelings are so sensitive already, and tooth pain on top of that is just recipe for a miserable baby and mom. His sleep has been off too. I got so tired of getting up every 45 minutes (I am not exaggerating) that I finally just put him in our bed between us. Wilson and Caleb slept like babies but I was uncomfortable and barely slept. We did that every night this week so I'm putting my foot down tonight and making Caleb get up with him. I need some sleep. It's the only me time I can get these days. 

And for the cherry on this (so far) sucky month, my great aunt died today. I only met the lady once so I'm not really sad. But I'm sad that I'm not sad. I'm sad I didn't get to know her. I recently saw some pictures of her when she was young and it is eerie how much she and I look alike. It's odd to see a photo of an almost stranger but almost mistake them for yourself. I'm mostly sad for her family and for my dad. 

Just a whole lot of crappy emotions over here. I'm hoping next week will be better. 

Here is some Wilson to make your day. 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Around here

We had a nice, semi-quiet (because babies are never really quiet) weekend. 

We got Wilson ANOTHER stroller. This makes 3. But his other two were just not holding up on our old, uneven sidewalks. We were constantly getting stuck or nearly tipping over. So when we saw an almost new jogging stroller at a local consignment store, we jumped and bought it. And we are determined to get our money out of it. We have taken a walk every evening since we got it and I'm really enjoying it. It eve has built in speakers that I can plug my phone into and we can jam to BeyoncĂ© while we walk. 

I binge watched 'Orange is the New Black' in 3 days. Great show or greatest show ever? I'm obsessed. It's refreshing to see so many diverse women leading such a successful, thoughtful, and funny show. It's one of the few shows that will have me laughing and crying at the same time. So good. Go watch it. 

Wilson cut his 4th tooth over the weekend. This one seems to be bothering him a bit and he has even cranky and not sleeping well. Poor baby. He is going for his 9 month well visit and shots tomorrow. I hope that goes well. 

I sorted through all of Wilson's baby clothes yesterday. I'd put them away in boxes months ago, but I sorted them into keep and sell piles. I cannot believe he was ever that little. There is no way. I'm trying to talk Caleb into investing in a small sewing machine for us so I can make a quilt out of Wilson's old onesies. I've never sewn a day in my life, but there are lots of tutorials online. It can't be that hard and it certainly doesn't have to look perfect. 

There is a huge and awesome consignment sale coming up in Oxford that I cannot wait to sell all of our baby gear and some clothes at. It's kind of ridiculous how many things you buy for kids, use them a month, and then never again. I'm excited to get rid of the clutter. But honestly, I'll just use any money I make to buy Wilson more things and perpetuate the cycle. 

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Wilson -- 9 months

I realized this morning that Wilson has been outside as long as he was inside me. Wow. He is getting so big. 

- Wilson weighs 23 pounds 4 ounces and is 31 inches long (if I measured him correctly. Caleb says it's impossible he is that long, but I think he is). 

- He is wearing 12 month and 18 month clothes. The 12 month tshirts and rompers are almost too short, but 12 month pants fit perfectly. For Wilson to be 23 pounds, he really doesn't have a big belly. Still in size 4 diapers.  

- He is still taking 4 bottles a day. 8 ounces during the daytime and then 10 before bed. 

- He has become a much better eater this month. He eats 3 meals a day with a small afternoon snack. For breakfast he has a grain (pancakes, Cheerios, toast) and fruit (oranges, apples, berries). Lunch is a deconstructed sandwich with meat, cheese, and bread. Dinner is usually two vegetables and a bite of what we are having. His favorites are oranges, sweet potatoes, broccoli, and turkey. 

- Sleep is still about the same, too. He takes an hour and a half morning nap and a two hour afternoon nap. He goes to bed around 9 and gets up between 8-9. 

- He has become so vocal this month. If he is unhappy, he lets us know about it. If I take something away from him or move him away from where he wants to be, he flails his arms and starts fussing. He doesn't cry but babbles angry sounding syllables at us. It's pretty hilarious because he really sounds like he is telling us off in baby language. He also babbles to himself while he plays with his toys. I love his sweet voice. 

- He has 3 teeth now with the 4th not far behind. His top left tooth came through about a week ago and I think I can see the other about to come in. 

- Wilson learned a few new skills this month. The biggest was walking, both assisted and unassisted. He can walk on his own about 3-4 feet before he gets unsure and falls. He uses his push walker and goes all over the house at about 50 mph. He is so fast. He learned to wave hello and to give kisses. 

- I can tell he is starting to be really attached to me. If he wake up at night, he usually doesn't want Caleb and will scream abs cry until I come and get him. He also will cling on to me or sit in my lap if we are somewhere new. It's really ok with me and I'm glad he feels safe with me. 

- Likes: stuffed animals, Daniel Tiger, Sadie, going for walks, playing with anything he isnt supposed to, when daddy gets home

- Dislikes: diaper changes!!!!!!, baths, getting in trouble

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

To lighten the mood around here

The last few posts have been kinda heavy so I feel like I need to lighten the mood a little, and the best way I know to guarantee a smile is picture of Wilson. Here is what we have been up to lately. 

So many selfies. 

Wilson was sleepy in the car but the sun was in his eyes, so he came up with a solution. 

I can't even handle this cuteness. 

Around 4:50 everyday, I open our front door and Wilson and Sadie watch for Caleb to come down the driveway through the screen. 

Wilson went to a luau party and had the perfect outfit. 

And finally, Caleb made Wilson's birthday party invitations over the weekend. I wanted to order some off Etsy, but Caleb promised me he could make something just as cute. I didn't believe him, but I was so pleasantly surprised. We still need to tweak the fonts, picture, and wording but OMG my baby is going to be ONE soon! Of course, we are having a Daniel Tiger themed party. 

Monday, June 2, 2014

On my mother

"O, my mom died when I was little."
"It was cancer. I was 6."
"It's ok. It was a long time ago."
"Everything worked out alright in the end."  

Those are the lines I have ingrained in my vocabulary. The lines I have rehearsed with a gentle, fake smile. The lines I can pull off easily, without a waiver of emotion. 

My mom's death comes up every once in a while and that's the conversation I have with people. I am rehearsed enough that I can pull off those lines and come across as well adjusted. That I have made my peace with my childhood trauma and moved forward. It's a nice facade to have for the world. 

Except it is complete and total bullshit. 

It is absolutely, 100% NOT OK that my mom died. I am NOT ok. Even though it has been 18 years, it does not feel like a long time ago. I experience the aftermath of her death every single day. And while many, many good things have happened to me, they are all tinged with sadness and loss. 

This week marks 18 years since my mom died. I hadn't really realized how long it had been until I did the math the other day. 18 fucking years. That is a long time. More than half of my mother's life time. 

18 years. It was so long ago. I don't really remember life with my mother. I have some very distant, fuzzy and fragmented memories of her, but I don't remember our life together. I don't remember my family. 

Every year, I dread two days. Mother's Day and the day my mom died. As fate would have it, those days fall within a month of each other. It's hard. Some years, I'm ok and it barely bothers me at all. Some years I am an emotional wreck for weeks. Either way is terrible. If I'm having a "good" year and I don't think of her too much, then I feel overwhelmingly guilty. If I have a bad year, I shut down for a couple of weeks. It's a lose lose situation. 

But with a dead mom, I don't really see how any situation can't be lose/lose. I mean, my mom died. She died. When I was just a little girl. And I never had outlets or therapy to deal with it. It just got pushed deeper and deeper down until I can't even think of her without a nervous breakdown. 

Obviously, since I'm writing this, this is a "bad" year. I'm sure it's because I'm a mother myself now. In some ways, I'm glad that by being a mom has brought me to greater understanding of my own mother. I don't know anything about the kind of relationship she and I had, but I feel like I have a base-line understanding of what it must have been. I'm pretty confident that she loved me like I love Wilson. And it feels good to understand her in that way. But at the same time, it makes it hurt even more. I know how much she must have loved my brother and me. I also know how much it must have hurt her to not be there for us. I don't really know if she knew she was dying, but I can only imagine the absolute agony she must have felt knowing she might die and leave her children. 

It's hard. And I'm struggling. I don't talk about her or my pain with anyone. I don't have the words to describe how it feels. Sometimes I feel dumb for letting what happened 18 years ago dictate my emotions and mental state. I feel like I should have moved on by now. I feel like I shouldn't still be grieving. 

But the pain and sadness is undeniable. I'm really good at putting it away and keeping it in a deep, dark place that no one sees. But it is there all the time. I'm sure it's what contributes to my ongoing struggles with depression and anxiety. 

But I'm writing how I feel here. It's the first time I've ever written it down. I want to talk about it, even if it's just posting here and no one ever reads it. At least I said it. Maybe one day I'll be able to say the words out loud. I certainly want to. I owe it to my son to be able to explain everything to him. I want him to know about his grandmother. I want him to recognize her picture. I want him to ask questions about her. I know that she would love him so much and be the best grandmother. Just because she isn't alive doesn't mean she can't have a role in Wilson's life. I want her memory to live on. I hope one day Wilson will tell his children about her. It's very "circle of life"-ish but I know a part of my mother lives on inside me and inside my child. We were both made from parts of her. 

This post is probably incoherent. I've had about 3 drinks and I'm feeling overly emotional. But these are all things I want written down, for myself and Wilson.