Saturday, October 11, 2014

Pictures that make no sense

If you've every asked yourself "I wonder what it's like to get a cooking spice out of a toddler's eyes" let me confirm it's not fun.

After a long week at work, Charlie's dad, "Boom", invited him to attend an NC State football game on Saturday afternoon, which implied that I was solo parenting again today. Which honestly is fine because, Monday I'm back at work (all of the tears).

.256 seconds after Charlie left I was texting a good friend Meredith to come over and make scones with me, as that is just what we do. She came over with exactly all of the ingredients because I was look "busy" to actually see what I had here and what she needed to bring.

She was being super with MM and asking her to help mix things and pour things into the bowl when it came time to add the Clove. We had those measuring spoons that look like hearts, which I believe my mom had given out at my bridal shower or something, and of course we haven't upgraded because, why would we. Meredith asked "Do you think she can grab it" meaning the 1/4 measuring spoon of Clove "ohh sure" I said. Then BAM! MM had flung 1/4 tsp of Cloves directly into her face.

Aside from wanting to bust out laughing, I sprung into action telling her not to rub (but why would she not? It hurt) and trying to get her still enough to get the spice out. After a brilliant effort, I bribed her with an apple and she was right back to normal. We are still finding Clove coming out of her tear ducts, but all-in-all she's fine.

Pep talk about tummy time

Also, I'm not sure if it happens in all parts of the state, but here in Raleigh, NC. October is fruit-flies-come-and-invade-your-house-and-make-you-feel-like-a-discusting-person-and-drive-you-insane month. At first I thought it was just our house, with all of the breast milk and diapers and food and I'm a lazy cleaner. BUT after Meredith confirmed that she had them in her house too, and she is a pretty clean person.

She mentioned that she was going to Bed Bath and Beyond to see about getting a fruit fly cleaning something and ran into an old co-worker who mentioned blue Dawn (which apparently is the coconut oil of the cleaning world) and Apple Cider Vinegar.

After all the nap times (or cat naps for the infant...45 mins is NOT a real nap) we sped our way over the grocery to get said tools of the fruit fly killing variety. You need to put just enough Dawn to cover the bottom of a small dish then add vinegar and leave it for a while. I plan on putting a dish on every flat surface of the house.

It looks like she has fangs here, "I vant to suck your boobs"

Monday, October 6, 2014

Back to the grind, almost.

You'll come to find out, that is the cheesiest title ever.

I had written this post in my head as I was putting V to bed last night, and of course I can't remember it this afternoon as I try to get it down...

Either way, it revolved around the newest and essential member of our family.

Our coffee maker.

Photography at it's finest

Our past coffee maker was a hand-me-down from my parents who had used it for at least 5 years before we procured it and have used it for close to 4 ourselves.

My mom came this weekend with an early birthday present from my dad. It was picked out and wrapped by him and the whole 9 yards. I had no idea what it could be. Upon opening it, I was elated! I don't think I've ever been that excited about a kitchen appliance. I seriously talked about how excited I was for 30 minutes after opening it.

There isn't anything supremely fancy about the maker, it doesn't grind beans, or make espresso, or take a K-cup or anything like that. But, like any fancy lady, looks great in black (doesn't show dirt or stains) is sleek and unreachable by a toddler. It also has a handle to reach the place where the grinds go, so you don't have to dig your (potentially) nice clean hands into the basket to get the filter out.

Our past maker was white and had it's buttons on the bottom easily within toddler reach. So, if pre-set you might not know if a toddler had changed the brewing time to 3am (although, recently I've been up at 3 am... and coffee sounded good).

Birthday Boots with Houndstooth pants, natch. 

Anyway, this little beauty, along with the amazing "real" fall weather we have been having the last few days and pumpkin spice creamer is making up for V's not-getting-better nighttime sleeping habits and the persistent nap strike we're getting from MM. Along with the fact that today marks my last week of Maternity Leave (insert many many cries here).  It seems like it's been really fast and really, wonderfully slow all at the same time.

This is probably going to be the only talking I do about Maternity Leave (only because it's almost over) but if you know MM, she's not overly clingy and is very independent. Which is great because she doesn't "need me" all the time. The only thing is that over this 3 months I've gotten to spend more time with her than I ever have (even on my Maternity Leave with her, which was shorter than V's) and we have really gotten much closer. She is happier to see me when I come home from someplace without her, and she snuggles more with me daily. Yes, I have been able to see, first hand, how hard toddlers and newborn are to schedule and napping is a blessing and curse (at least for being social sometimes) but this time has been special for me as I have bonded with both of my girls in ways I haven't before and didn't really expect.

To touch back on V's sleeping. Naps are going well, most days, we're getting her used to napping in her crib (kudos to me for starting early) and she most of the time goes to sleep easily.

She is doing this thing, where she'll sleep for 4 hours at night and then wake up and fall asleep nursing, sleep for 1.5 hours then fall asleep nursing, sleep for 1.5 hours (maybe 2 if the stars aline) then I'll put her into bed with us and nurse her to sleep and we're up at 7-7:30 almost daily. That has been the normal for the last 2 weeks. BUT, on Friday we had a little happy hour at our house and I had a glass of wine (or 2...) and get this: V slept for 7 hours(!!!!) and then went back for another 3 hours. I really really hope she wasn't drunk from the wine but it hasn't happened since and I'm wracking my brain on what I could do to get that sweet sleeping back. Why tease me V???

OK, I'm done complaining about her and the sleeping. She's a much happier baby and big picture we have had great luck.

Keep an eye out for tearful posts coming about leaving my girls 4 days a week (thanks, work for the "part-time" option!!) in another city. I know they will be in amazing hands, but they won't be my hands and that hurts.


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Another WIN as a mother

Is 3:00 PM on a Wednesday an appropriate time to start drinking?


I really wish it were, as I can now take the title of the world worst worst mother.

It was seemingly innocent scenario, we were having lunch with friends who also have a young child and an infant.

MM and the other family were going to the play place at a busy Chick-fil-a on a very very rainy day. As MM was walking to the play place, I notice that she'd peed through her cloth diaper and her leggings. Good, win for me.

Then, and here is when the big one happens, I have been nursing V at our table and see that there was a free seat in the play place area. So I put V into her car seat, not buckling the harness like the horrible mother I am, and start moving thinking I could start nursing her again when I got settled in the play place. Half way through I noticed that the car seat was lighter suddenly, I turn around and there is V on the floor face down in the middle of a Chick-fil-a.

Now, seeing your infant on facedown on the floor in public (or anywhere unexpected) is something that is burned deeeeeeep into your motherly mind. I am fully prepared to have night terrors about it for the coming lifetime.

It took everything in my power not to sit down and cry clutching V in the middle of the fast food joint.

As I was trying to nurse my crying daughter,  I notice that the very helpful and polite Chick-fil-a staff was mopping up behind my chair. Apparently V's last little burping session left a little more than just some spit up on my shoulder. You're welcome teens that had come to do their lunch-time devotionals. This is what you have to look forward to in motherhood.

After going back to a friend's house and letting MM run around bottomless for the rest of our visit, I called the peds office, like a chump, which they told me to of course... watch her and make sure she's acting OK and breathing OK and you should be fine. I also googled this little ditty from Dr. Sears and held her for the rest of her life.

To make ourselves feel better I got her all dolled up in baby jeggings and a headbad because that is dolled up to me.

At one point when I was overcoming my inability to mother. I was thisclose to snapping a picture of MM's urinary ensemble, but thought that was bad taste.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

"Leavin' here, arrivin' there"

I figure I should keep up the trend of banging one of these out every blue moon.

We faced our parenting fears this weekend and traveled back to Charlie's grandfathers' stomping grounds in Andrews, SC.

We did have some foresight and split the ride up into ridiculously small legs of 2 hour drives each day. Compared to some of you out there, it's like we're going to the grocery store or something, because we are such scaredy cats for babies crying in the car.

First, we left on Friday night and made the trip to Laurinburg, NC to squat at our friends' house while they were gone for the night.

Not only did was assume they didn't use the A/C, and apparently V hates sleeping with wind on her or something, because she was a real pill that night. I ended the evening by 1/2 sleeping with her snoozing beside me in bed, until I gave in and got up.

Saturday we jumped in the coche' to make it down to Andrews. We got there just in time for lunch and for MM to get attacked by fire ants and ruin everyone's mood for .8475 seconds. Because through her crying, she wanted to jump on the tractor that was among the farm equipment and the 100 acres of farm land.

Nothing like rockin' Lilly among her ant bites. Back to normal.

This is day 3 after the bites, they last a while and are super itchy. She had about 25 bites on both feet and legs. Poor girl, she is such a tough little trooper.

We had a great time celebrating Charlie's Grandfather's 90th birthday. The hospitality was outstanding, including 15 additional grandmother-ish ladies to push the sugar on MM including cookie, cake and icing which she would run over and pop in her mouth before I could stop her.

It was certainly worth the trip south and we may even make the trip again 'round Christmas as they promise pulled pork, and I am certainly fond of the pig.

We did the same wimp-like 2 hour trip back to Laurinburg to camp out with our friends who were there and also showed us fabulous hospitality. We even got one of those cliche' bath time pictures.

Ruthie loves to drink bathwater and was working on some beard action to keep up with her dad's outstanding beard.

Back at the homestead we're back to lovely play dates (LOVING THEM! Let's keep them coming!) and weekly (sometimes bi-weekly) trips to the library where MM uses them also as a playground, and I sweat to keep V from crying because, hello, we're at the library and I imagine a crying baby isn't the norm.

My goal this week has been to get a handle on V's naps and clean the bathrooms. I can confidently say I've done neither. I have one day left.

AND, Charlie and I will be going to dinner without either babe, for the first time this weekend. Wish me, V, and my soon-to-be-busting boobs luck that we all survive.

Monday, September 1, 2014

6 weeks

6 weeks, 6 long tear-filled weeks. Someone told me the first 6 weeks are like baby-bootcamp and then things start getting better. Did they mean, like right when you hit 6 weeks, or more like 7. Because things getting better now would be perfect.

I guess I was just fooling myself when I thought things were getting better around here, they are not.

I think we had a little glimpse of what good sleeping and napping was like, but then all hell broke loose at nighttime and I've only almost cried twice this morning thinking about how frustrated I am with the whole thing. Anyone who has solid advice on what to with an infant who dislikes the big aden and anais swaddles, SwaddleMe swaddles, Ergobaby Swaddlers. PLEASE LET ME KNOW. Because the frustration is real.

I will say daytime is getting better, we get to play more and have awake - stare at each other- time, which is great. But God knows I'd love to get a smile or something. I mean give me a LITTLE SOMETHING.

I constantly worry that something is wrong, because we haven't smiled or cooed or had more than 45 second of tummy time. As much as I don't want to brag, MM was a perfect little baby in a majority of aspects. Which makes this little one SO MUCH HARDER.

To make matters worse, I was trying to feel like a person again (why even try, right?) and start working out with a kettlebell. I believe I was doing some things wrong initially and really hurt my shoulders, which has become a rectorial thorn in my side (shoulder) for the last week. Which doesn't make sleeping, picking up a 30 pound toddler or even a 12(?) pound infant any easier.

Now, on the bright side, MM has been a semi-wonderful toddler through this whole thing, and breastfeeding has been nearly the pill it was for MM's newborn-hood so that is all good. Had it been as hard, there would have been lots more problems. Days are going by quickly which have been leading to the dreaded evening/nighttime. We have been scheduling playdates for the mornings which have been excellent (and anyone that wants to plan one, hit me up! We will travel to you too! did that sound desperate? oh well) but I'm sure are no good for napping.

What else? Sleeping frustration, physical pain, house a complete mess... I think that about covers it.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Becoming Mrs. McCants Part 3

Find parts 1 and 2...

Charlie gets back from Spain, finally, and we make our way to his parent's beach place for Charlie to watching Everybody Loves Raymond marathons so he could acclimate.

After that, things went pretty smooth. Charlie started back at school, I found a job working as a temp at an HOA property management company which turned into a job I would keep for almost 2 years.

Charlie had mentioned in passing that "November was going to be a great month". Charlie and I both have birthdays in November and mine being the last day of the month. So my over analytical mind was assuming that he would propose in November.

Every weekend and event I was on edge that "it was going to be then" that he was going to put a ring on it. Every weekend that is didn't happen I was looking forward to the next, for some reason I assumed it was going to happen on the weekend. The as we got closer to my birthday I would try and set Charlie up, giving him the time/place, for him to propose. Morning coffee walks to the Capitol building, downtown walks in the evening, ANYTHING for him to make the grand gesture.

Fast forward to my birthday. I was FOR SURE confident that it was going to happen, obviously, because it hadn't happened any yet. I'd told people at work, made a big stink of it, so confident.

We go out to dinner, fancy italian place, I'm on edge. We hold hands, talk about our future, so excited about what would be coming. I was waiting, waiting, waiting for Charlie to get on his knee. The wine is flowing (that will be important later) and Charlie had made plans for us to meet up with friends after dinner. At some point, I believe we were back at The Foundation, and I was getting worried things weren't going to happen. So I asked something to the effect of "Umm, are you going to propose to me?" and he said it, I will remember my whole life "I will, but not tonight" CRUSHED.... tears started to flow. And I wish I could say I kept myself together for the rest of the night, but it didn't happen. I cried in front of our friends at two different bars.

The wine + completely disappointment = uncontrollable crying in public. Not my best performance.

I come into work the next morning extremely hungover and bitter. Not knowing what had gone down (or not gone down) a co-worker asked if I'd gotten engaged the night before. More tears. She didn't know but it triggered me again.

So from then on I didn't think anything was going to happen for a while. I went along like normal with the understanding that sometime in the future he would propose but no date.

Friday, December 10: Charlie e-mails me about a dinner date, there is a Christmas meal deal kinda thing and it was for Thursday nights, not Friday. All the while I'm concerned Charlie will think he's getting the deal, and he isn't.

I mention his date night invitation to the same co-worker and she goes "He's going to propose tonight". YES! I hadn't even thought about it! Dinner time rolls arounds, Charlie has brought me some cupcakes before dinner.

Keep in mind I again had proposal in the back of my mind.
First stop was the Busy Bee Cafe for drinks, a restaurant's soft opening we'd gone to a one of our first dates. Next we walk around the blocks a few times and make our way to Cafe Luna for a great meal, lots of hand holding, wine, etc. Next we go back to the bar we'd met out, The Landmark Tavern. I have a few bloody marys (a specialty that I can enjoy at any time of the day). All the while I'm texting with a friend's wife telling her to come meet up with us at The Landmark. After discussions on our future and kids and our life he says "come with me" and we leave abruptly. As we are leaving the friend and her husband walk in the door. Charlie says "Wait here, we'll be back". Now I think something might be up. We start walking to the skating rink that downtown Raleigh sets up around Christmas. It's incredibly windy and cold that night, and Charlie wants to go skating. I tell him I really don't want to, and ask if we can start walking back. As I start to put my gloves back on Charlie says "Wait, before you put your gloves back on" and starts digging in his pocket.

The rest is a blur but involved tears and the next thing we're calling parents and telling them the good news. Of course they all knew what was going on, but were all very excited of course.

We walk back to the bar, I find that everyone knew this was going to happen and we were meeting them all later for a concert of a great cover band The Old Habits.

I wish there were pictures of this, but at the time I didn't have a smart phone or a digital camera and we'd taken pictures on a disposable camera.

OK folks, from meeting in February to December we'd met and gotten engaged.

We would get married the next August and the rest is history

Friday, August 22, 2014

Becoming Mrs. McCants Part 2

We go on our first date which was I'm sure more than Charlie should have paid. Also, on our first date, Charlie introduced me to his best friend Michael, which should have been a good sign.

And then a few more dates, and then Charlie drives a group of us down for the Carolina Cup, holding my hand the whole way (again with the sweetness).

April 24 2009, Charlie and I head to Asheville, NC for the Ray LaMontange concert. We drove up after he got out of work, camped out after the concert and had a great time. At this point, Charlie and I fell in love with each other.

Charlie then convinced me to move from Wilmington to Raleigh. Which also implied I wasn't going to be going to Taiwan (my parents were BEYOND thrilled I wasn't leaving). He found me a job working as a lifeguard at a country club and I found a room to rent in town. Pretty much anything to keep me around.

We wined (and wined and more wined) and dined around downtown Raleigh, with one night in particular at our favorite whiskey bar The Foundation, where among whining I said "I just want to marry you!" Cryptic no?

As our relationship is going along, Charlie and his good friend Matt are planning on going to Spain to walk the Camino de Santiago de Compostela it is a month long pilgrimage from southern France to the middle of Spain. Leaving me in Raleigh with no way to contact him but e-mail that he may get to check at an internet cafe.

Right before he left for Spain we went to a good friend's wedding where he was a groomsman. After the rehearsal dinner we all went to the Busy Bee where he relayed a conversation where he'd told Matt if I was still around after the Camino, he would be putting in the moves to propose.


Charlie goes to Spain, I stay in Raleigh attached to my phone for updates and stalking the mailman for postcards.

OK, so part 3 it's the last one, Promise!