A Very Good Day

A note from Pineapple (since Mama has been SLACKING)…..

Today was Father’s Day…and I had a BLAST. Mommy was away from home for work all last week and I was so looking forward to spending some quality time with her this weekend. So, when DH announced that he wanted to go spend some time at the driving range, I was all for it.

Mama and I decided to drop DH off and head to the mall for some “girl fun.” And boy did we enjoy it!

First, we parked at Macy’s…we were IN LOVE with the purses…and then IN LOVE with the jewelry…and then IN DOUBLE LOVE with the makeup counters! We squealed at all the bright shiny things and smacked the glass covered cases with joy! We were particularly thrilled when ladies came over to see if we needed any help and told us how ADORABLE we are. We know…but it’s nice to hear sometimes. We also really liked the perfume sticks the nice lady gave us…they smelled soooo good but they didn’t taste so great…mama took those away pretty quickly.

Next, we went down to the yogurt shop. I had blueberry/banana and mama had plain. Mama put blueberries and blackberries on mine and she had lame old granola and coconut…she tries sooo hard to be good. I struggled a little bit with the texture…and the cold…but in the end, it was great! I ate all of mine (well, the parts I didn’t drop on the floor) and some of mommy’s, too! I sat in the chair in the yogurt shop like a big girl and so many people said I was cute! (Which, of course, I am…so…you’re welcome! 🙂 )

Next, I pushed the stroller down to the Disney Store. That place is AWESOME! There are toys EVERYWHERE! There were lovies and pretties and balls and wind-ups. OMG. I could LIVE there. I tried to crawl up in the mountain of lovies but mommy said I probably shouldn’t do that. The nice lady that works there said that I was very cute and could hang out there if I wanted but mama said that was not such a great idea since I drool a lot and she didn’t want to buy me all of those lovies. I did find a kitty that I liked a LOT but in the end, I decided I didn’t need another lovey.

After that, we went to Bath & Body Works. That place smells so good! And they have the GIANT rubber duckies! I spent a lot of time looking through the window and waving at the duck…it never waved back….rude…but I supposed it gets waved at a lot during the day and it probably gets tired. I had so much fun in that store. There are sooo many pretty, shiny things to look at and smell. Mama let me smell some candles and I’ll admit, I liked the Pineapple Orchid smell the very best. 🙂 We saw mama’s friend in the store and they stopped to talk. I took advantage of that time to find some anti-bacterial hand sanitizers…I couldn’t get them open though, darn it. Mama helped me pick some out and then we got in line.

That’s when daddy called. He said he was all done and ready for us to come pick him up. That was OK, too because I was getting pretty tired. I wasn’t grumpy at all though because I had my mama and she held me when I told her “up please” (mama minds really well…I’ve done a great job training her). After we checked out, she buckled me into my stroller with my baby and a blankie and we hustled back through the mall to the car.

All of the shops and windows flashed past and there was so much to look at but I just couldn’t stop yawning. At the car, mama made me a bobby and I got in my big girl seat – all cozy and warm. Only a few minutes later I was out.

I guess everything went OK while I napped because when I woke up, mama and daddy were there with me at home and ready to play some more. We went for a long walk and pretended to be ballerinas. We jumped and twirled and spun and balanced. We’re warmed up first with some good stretches…and I touched my toes!

It was a great day…a fun day…a family day. The best kind. Yep…it was a very, very good day. I hope yours was, too!

Where’s the baby???

Pineapple has become baby obsessed. “Bu-beh, bu-beh” we hear all the time! When we pick her up from daycare, she squeals, and runs in circles and points at the two new babies they have there, shouting “bu-beh, bu-beh!”

It’s VERY cute.

It’s not so cute when she gets MAD because that “bu-beh’s” mom or dad has to take the “bu-beh” home. Then, it’s not cute to the point of being quite ugly. She screams and yells and says “peez, peez, peez!” pointing toward the door through with the baby just departed.

Oy vey.

But yesterday, she did something so, so, so, so cute…DH and I couldn’t help but giggle.

She brought a book over to DH and climbed up on his lap and started flipping through. This was one of those big board books with animals, shapes, numbers, and touch and feel pages. Well, the touch and feel page has a fuzzy bunny – which regularly receives a thorough petting – as well as a puppy with floppy ears – that are almost rubbed right off the page. It also has a “mirror” for baby to see herself. DH decided to point the mirror out to Pineapple. This is how that went:

DH: Look Pineapple…a mirror! <points at mirror>

Pineapple: Leans in closely….<licks mirror>

DH: No, silly! Look in the mirror!

Pineapple: Leans in….looks in mirror….smiles!

DH: See?! There’s a BABY in the mirror! <points at mirror>

Pineapple: <with look of confusion> Leans in…looks in mirror….flips book over to look behind book for baby.

DH: No, silly! That baby is YOU!

Pineapple: <sideways look at daddy> Leans in….presses forehead to mirror…leans back, looks sideways at mirror….flips book over, AGAIN.

DH: <laughing now> Where’s the baby?!

Pineapple: <forehead now pressed to mirror> “Bu-beh!!!!!” <tapping mirror>

It was cute, folks. To say the very least.

I Never Knew….

I never knew so many things until I had Pineapple. For example…

I never knew fear. I never knew what it was like to have your heart live outside of your body. (I can’t remember where I read that or who said it – but it is the truest description of being a mom that I’ve ever heard.) She’s so small and fragile…and important. I worry for her well-being every second of every minute of every day…and I’m thankful for each of those moments.

I never knew that a lot of moms are at work missing their kids. I didn’t know what it meant that I would have to go to work each day and leave my child with other people. That I would miss her and wish for her and want her so much that more times than I care to admit, my keyboard has been damp. I feel bad that I never knew that about those women – and they maybe I should have cut them a little slack.

I never knew that I was resourceful. I mean, I knew I had some tricks up my sleeve, but I never realized how truly resourceful I can be when necessary. I have found that I can entertain a grumpy child with nothing more than a ponytail holder and my shoelaces…at least for a few moments. I can also change a diaper on nearly any surface and not care in the least when my kid throws up down the front of me in the store. I didn’t realize I had that in me. But I do.

I never knew DH would be such a good dad. I suspected he would be fun and sweet but I never knew he’d be tender and generous and comical at times. I guess I totally lucked out there.

I never knew how hard it would be to live so far from so much of my family once I had a child. I feel like they are missing her life…and mine. My life is not the same – it’s so different as a parent and I feel like they are missing it. I also feel more like I’m missing theirs…life is precious – too precious to be far away from people you love. It’s very, very hard.

I never knew that pushing a child in a toy car could be so exhausting. It is. So is playing with the same blocks and puzzles for hours. So is replacing all of the clothes that she just removed from the drawers. So is replacing all the pots and pans after playing in a makeshift band on the kitchen floor. And so is rocking a child who refuses to go back to sleep. It’s exhausting…but it also makes me feel like for that moment, I am REALLY alive…really present. Those activities just require your full attention – guess that means they’re worth it. 😉

I always think to myself, “Pineapple needs me.” I’m here to guide her and help her and be her mommy. I’m here to help her through her life – the good days and the bad. I’m here to nurse her when she’s sick and teach her all the things I can so she can be prepared for the world. So isn’t it funny that now I find I’ve learned more from her – and from teaching her – than I have in the last 34 years without her? So the biggest thing I never knew until I had her? I never knew I needed her.

Daddies Do OK

DH shared some interesting daddy-daughter bonding moments which he experienced while I was recently out of town for Blissdom. So, I thought I’d share them with you….

According to DH, Pineapple is the ‘safety police.’ She goes straight for things she shouldn’t be touching, reminding you that you haven’t taken enough security measures. For example, just as he finished vacuuming, Pineapple spotted a missed hair band on the floor. As DH walked over to take it from her, she looked directly at him and popped it into her mouth. He had to pry it out and neither party was pleased by the process.

Apparently she is very resourceful. She was unable to reach the lotion basket on her changing table, so she pulled her activity table over and used it to climb up and dig in the basket. DH informs me that lotion is a b^%ch to clean up.

When Pineapple is quiet, there is naughtiness afoot. DH says he was cleaning up the breakfast dishes while Pineapple played <loudly> in her room. After a few moments, he realized it had gotten pretty quiet in there. So he went to check and found that he’d forgotten to move her changing table bins to the top of the table. There were diapers scattered all over the room and Pineapple was sitting in a pile of wipies which she had removed from the oversized tub.

Finally, a constant battle over the weekend took the form of Pineapple’s repeated attempts to follow the cat under the baby gate. Clearly, she wouldn’t fit. But DH tells me that it wasn’t for lack of trying. She also got sort of stuck at one point..and she knows how to say ‘stuck’…only it doesn’t sound like ‘stuck’….you get the drift. She did not appreciate being regularly removed from the floor under the baby gate – nor did she appreciate that darned cat who kept running away!

He also managed to successfully deal with pink eye! Pineapple awoke Saturday morning with two bloodshot, oozy eyes. DH cleaned them and when he realized they needed to be cleaned again only an hour later, he called the doctor. Medication was prescribed and he collected it from the pharmacy and became the ‘eye drop champ.’ (She still won’t let me do it but doesn’t even squirm when he puts the drops in her eyes.)

They also had some lovely moments. They enjoyed Sesame Street in the wee hours of the morning, they played lots of games (including chase the dog – which is not a mom-approved activity) and read lots of books. All in all, I think he did a very good job while I was gone…which makes me feel much better about the fact that I’m heading out for Mom 2.0 next week!

Please share your ‘Daddy is in Charge’ stories – I’d love to hear them – and let me know if you’re going to Mom 2.0! I’d love to grab coffee…or a cocktail…or both! 🙂

XOXO Rachael

Bliss Within Reach

I am so excited…I’m headed to Blissdom ’10 this week…and I’ll be hanging with some AMAZING blogging women and seeing HARRY CONNICK, JR. perform!!! Yowza!

There are so many things to be excited about:

1. Blissdom is in Nashville this year at the Opryland Hotel! If you’ve never been, it is amazing. There is a FREAKIN’ RIVER running through that hotel. I’m not even kidding.

2. Did I mention that Harry Connick, Jr. is performing? Oh, I did but not loudly enough? Oh – OK…HARRY FRIGGIN’ CONNICK, JR. IS PERFORMING! Let me know if y’all can hear that in Canada, mkay?

3. Amazing sessions – I’ll be learning from the best and getting to know my peers…well, hopefully they’ll think of me as a peer instead of a novice. I can’t wait to meet some of my blogging heroes, too!!! SQUEE!

4. Sleep. I plan to sleep in a bed in a hotel room without interruption or disturbance. Ahhhhhhhhhhhh….bliss.

5. The parties! YAY! Party! Party! Party!….sleeeeeeeeep. *sigh of contentment*

6. The Blissdom folks sent me a care package to prepare DH and Pineapple for my absence. It included a nifty Orville Redenbacher popcorn bowl and popcorn, and ConAgra Poken (high five!), a cute Hallmark card for Pineapple (it’s Madacascar and plays ‘I like to move it, move it’ so DH just LOVES that – I’ve filled it out for him to give to Pineapple once I’m gone!), and a ConAgra coupon book full of freebies like Blue Bunny Ice Cream, and Chef Boy Ardee ravioli to keep their tummies full. Oh – and I shouldn’t forget the Red Box coupon! DH is planning to pick a fun movie for both of them to enjoy!

Reasons why I’m NOT blissed out by the trip…..

1. I’ll MISS Pineapple and DH…sooooo much. It’s always hard to be away from them and though I considered bringing Pineapple (I hear lots of moms are brining their kiddos – and if you are, be sure to check out this link on @FromDatestoDiapers for some FUN stuff for you baby weilding moms!), DH and I decided that given how sick she’s been recently, and how much that messed up her routine, it might be best for her to just stick to a pattern this time. *BIG, sad, sigh*

That’s the only downer reason I can come up with – everything else is looking pretty darned exciting for this conference.

In other words….I. Cannot. Wait!

Let me know if you’re going! I’d love to meet in person! (I’m talkin’ to YOU HC,Jr…JUST KIDDING, DH!…not really, HC,Jr. Not really.)

XOXO Rachael

We All Fall Down

I am clumsy. There, I said it. I’m seriously clumsy. I regularly have one bruise or another. Last night, I set a cup of water on the counter, preparing to make some Sleepy Time tea (haha – like I sleep…) and turning from the counter, my robe sleeve caught on the corner and I knocked water all over the place.

A couple of days ago, DH and I were lying on the couch – him with his feet pressing against my hip. It hurt and after a while I complained. ‘What’s wrong?’ he asked. I told him my hip was hurting for some reason…and upon some bathroom inspection, I realized it was completely bruised. Most likely from running into a counter.

I’m also a ‘fall down the stairs’ kinda person. When you see me on the stairs, I’m most likely gripping the rail. There is a VERY good reason for that.

Well, I’m afraid Pineapple has the same issue. In the past month, she has fallen down the stairs at daycare, run into 3 door frames, run into the wall 5 times, fallen off/out of something that SHOULD be age appropriate for her to climb on/crawl in approximately 10 times, busted her lip once, and had 2 black eyes.  (She has also busted MY lip, given me a goose egg on my forhead, and smacked me so hard across the eye – when she was simply intending to point at something – that I seriously thought it would be black.)

Before you go calling the authorities, you should understand that her bumps and clumsiness have led to daily updates from daycare of ‘no unusual bonks today’ and they now refer to the tiny new table and chair area as ‘Pineapple’s OOPS area.’ She hasn’t had any ‘oops’ there yet, but they’re preparing for them. I also get panicked calls from her grandparents, when they are sitting for her, saying ‘she keeps climbing up on her toy picnic table – and we can’t keep her off of it – should we put her in time out?’ Um, a resounding YES to that question. In other words, she’s not exactly AFRAID of a fall, either.

So now the question is, do we bubble wrap and foam pad everything around her….or bubble wrap her?! Anybody else dealing with this or have any good suggestions? I’m at my wits end. And I seriously did not know how to respond when last week during a doctor’s visit the nurse gave us a pamphlet on ‘How to Prevent and Identify a Head Injury’ stating ‘toddlers fall a lot.’

No way…really?! Glad I spent $300 to have the doctor tell me my kid falls.

Help!

Divorce?…never. Murder?…frequently.

My sister has been begging me to write this post. And I’ll admit…I didn’t want to write this post. Not only because it is utterly ridiculous and I like to hope that folks believe that I live my life with more dignity than I actually do, but because it represents an all-too-accurate portrait of what my life is really like.

So dear reader (and dear sister)…let’s raise our glasses in a toast to honesty and a good look at what married life is made of….

A few months ago, I had the supreme pleasure of contracting the insidious H1N1 (aka Swine Flu) virus. DH was out of town as the onset of the virus hit me, and was spared from exposure as a result, and thankfully, Pineapple had received the vaccine due to a hefty amount of begging on my part.

Despite the fact that I am a self-proclaimed hand sanitizer-a-holic, I still caught it. Why? Because these days I have the immune system of a gnat (or some other comparable tiny creature with very litte-to-no immune system to speak of). As a result of the virus, I developed bronchitis and upon DH’s return from his trip, my dad and stepmom invited us to come stay at their home so they could help take care of Pineapple and I. This way, DH wouldn’t have to manage us both on his own.

So, there we were. At my dad’s house on a Saturday night. The four of us (Doodle – that’s my dad, Stepmom, DH and I) downstairs, piled up on the couch, watching Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian while Pineapple played in her playhouse. DH had just returned from getting a glass of water. I was lounging with my feet up on the ottoman wishing I had additional nasal passages as well as exchangeable lungs so I could breathe just a wee bit better. I was also thinking that this movie was pretty darned cute when I felt DH grab my hand. I looked over at him and smiled weakly and he grinned back. I was just thinking that this particular grin was a bit odd when I hear a very distinctive ‘click’ emanate from my right wrist area and felt cold metal settle there.

I looked down and honestly had a blank moment thinking ‘huh – that is so weird – where did that handcuff come from’ before looking back up at DH just in time to see an odd look dance across his face…then he clipped the other handcuff onto his belt buckle.

What just happened? I asked myself. Then realizing that DH was still grinning I said “haha, where is the key – this isn’t funny and I feel like crap.” DH just stared at me with this little boy expression and said “I don’t have a key.”

“Not funny,” I replied – “Now go get the effing key and get this thing off of me because I don’t feel good and this isn’t a funny joke anymore.”

But I really don’t have a key” says DH.

Oh crap” I hear from the other couch as my dad sits forward and asks DH, “where did you find those handcuffs?”

DH is starting to look worried now…”they were in the drawer in the wetbar” he says.

Now, I’m starting to feel panicky and DH is starting to LOOK panicky and my dad is shaking his head back and forth and Pineapple is yelling for her ‘baba’ and my stepmom says “ooooooh no” as she carries Pineapple up the stairs and into her bedroom with a juice bottle.  

It is important to note here that my dad has been involved with law enforcement to one degree or another throughout his life – from instructing officers on physical engagement with criminals to acting as a juvenile parole office – and there have always been spare sets of handcuffs around his house. Why on earth these were in the wetbar drawer downstairs, I do not – nor do I ever need to – know. Why the hell they didn’t have a key with them is a question for the ages…but I digress….

This was the moment I totally lost my shit. And when I say ‘lost my shit’ I mean I crossed over to the dark side in a way that Anakin Skywalker would have been proud of (yes, I’m a geek – and?). I tried to pull the cuff off of my hand – no go. I tried to pick the lock with a paperclip – impossible unless you are Houdini. I tried to yell at the cuff to get off of my hand – my powers of persuasion are weak. And then I started yanking at the belt and demanding to know “who in the hell handcuffs someone to a belt anyway?!” DH’s response to this question was “well I thought about it for a second (I’m betting that was the fleeting look on his face just before he clicked the cuff to the belt) and I realized that cuffing you to me might not be a good idea in case we couldn’t find the key and you decided to kill me.

My dad who was frantically searching his desk drawers and old key chains for a handcuff key turned to me at this point and asked if I needed anything. “Get your gun!” I shouted. “I’d like to shoot my husband!”

Nobody ever does what I ask, so my request went ignored but DH went into a frenzy. Running all over the downstairs, randomly pulling open drawers and dumping the contents in search of a key while I stood alone in the living room crying and coughing and basically wishing I really did have some sort of torture device to use on my husband and thinking maybe the dog’s bark collar cranked up to 10 would be a good way to punish him….when DH reentered the room and announced that he had it “taken care of.”

“What do you mean you have it taken care of?” my dad and I asked in unison noting that I clearly still had a handcuff attached to my wrist. “I’ve called the cops” DH declares. “They’re on their way now!”

Ho-ly crap.

Once again, the dark side beckoned and I willingly went…“now I have to EXPLAIN to the POLICE – PERFECT STRANGERS! – why I am HANDCUFFED to my husband’s BELT – IN MY PAJAMAS – on a SATURDAY NIGHT – in my PARENTS’ home!!!!! DAD – GET THE FRIGGIN’ GUN THEY CAN ARREST ME FOR HUSBAND-ICIDE WHEN THEY GET HERE!!!”

As I stood there watching my dad and husband search for a key for those damned cuffs, I recalled one of my favorite quotes about marriage. Several years ago, I read an article about a little old lady who was celebrating her 80th (yes, 80th) wedding anniversary with her husband – they were both around 100 years old and they sat together on the couch – so cute, holding hands after all those years. The reporter asked the woman, “did you ever consider divorce in all those years?” The woman’s response: “Divorce?…never! Murder?….FREQUENTLY!”

Dear little old lady, wherever you may be….I CAN TOTALLY RELATE!

The handcuff dilemma ended when my dad found a key on an old key ring in his bedroom cabinet and DH called the cops to let them know all was well at our home. I cried and sniffled a little and felt sort of sorry for myself in general. And then I went to bed. Later, DH and I had a chat. I agreed not to kill him if he agreed never to do anything like that again. And then we – finally – had a little laugh about the whole thing.

Despite DH’s promise, Dad has removed all handcuffs in his home and placed them in a lockbox. Just in case.

This is my life folks. Giggle away. I always try to.