Eating my words

First off, I think it is hilarious how many responses I got to the poo post. That combined with the responses from the vajayjay posts and I now know that you ladies like to hear about gross stuff. This is just one of the many reasons I love you all. Don’t worry lots of gross things will certainly be in our future together. It is good to know that many of you are shy pooers out there. It will be nice to know that I am not alone next time I am going to a different floor at work to poo, or trying to cover up a catastrophe at the in-laws. It is just reassuring to think that it could be happening to one of you too…..but probably not….but I am going to pretend it could.

Well no sooner had I written this post talking about my new found acceptance of my body, then old stupid negative brain snuck back in here and messed my shit up. I honestly don’t know what happened. I was fine, I was happy, I was like ‘hey out-of-shape-and-kind-of-flabby-body, you know what? you’re okay’…and then like switching on a lightbulb it all changed. Maybe it had something to do with Jack turning 3 months. Maybe part of me thought that before that I had a good excuse to be out of shape. When people ask and you can say ‘I have a two month old’, maybe that seems like you’re still under the umbrella of having a newborn. I mean two months? That means you just barely had him. But three months? That is like a quarter of a year. It must be that 3 months seems like adequate time to not be a lard ass anymore. Maybe it was our 8 year anniversary and I looked at that picture of us on our wedding day and there was a bit of longing in my heart to be that thin again…..even though I admit that was not a healthy weight for me…I still wanted to be that thin girl again. My brain = fucked up y’all.

I am not sure what happened exactly, but all of a sudden I felt like crap. I felt old and droopy and sad. I didn’t feel attractive. I wondered if Andy was still really attracted to me or just feigning it to be nice. It was a cluster-fuck up in this here brain. Stupid brain. If anyone knows a way of detaching them temporarily let me know. So here I am writing a retraction of sorts. I feel guilty. I feel like I am letting you and myself down. Here I was, standing up on this soapbox saying ‘hey ladies, come join me. Let’s feel good about ourselves for a change!’. Then I was on my ass thinking ‘yep, you’re still the same old person you were a year ago: insecure, self-degrating, just like every other woman on the planet.’ 

Oh well, I guess it was a nice break. But you know what? This isn’t a post about wallowing in self-pity. This is a post about grabbing the bull by the horns, picking yourself up by the bootstraps, and similar analogies. Because in the end, that is what I do best….but not on my own.

Oak and I were skype-chatting on Wednesday and I told her how I was feeling like crap. The girl kicks-ass anyway, but she is definitely good for a pick me up. Here’s an excerpt from our convo:

Natalie: OK. We could talk about how inexplicably shitty I have been feeling about myself lately? Too much of a downer?

Oak: Are you not giving your body a break anymore or is it more emotional?

Natalie: Yeah I think that break I was giving myself packed its shit and left. Well and it isn’t even so much just my body. But my face/hair/etc. GoDDAMMIT! Why can’t I just not give a fuck and relax?

I am breaking out like a teenager again.

Oak: Ugh. That sucks, zits totally suck. I recommend taking a shower (that might help)

Natalie: totally agree. I bet I would feel 100% better with a shower

Oak: And getting your hair cut by a professional (I know you hippies sometimes skip that)

 And getting a mini-make up consult at a make up counter

 And give yourself a break on your body.

 Ta da! better in no time!

 Although I get it, I lost a bunch of weight in my face, its skinner than its ever been and in turn I have all these new wrinkles I never had before. I feel like I look 40

 It sucks to look in the mirror and see this gaunt, pale, wrinkly face. I’m like “Who’s that, my mom?”

Natalie: hahaha. Your solutions are endless.

 I totally think a haircut and maybe a mini-facial will make things 400million% better. It is time to chop off the long hippie locks that I do nothing with. I sometimes style it on the weekend, but it seriously takes like an hour to blow dry it all because it is so long. part of me is like ‘cool! look how long it is’. the other part of me is like ‘remember when you had short hair and you could style it in 10 minutes?’

Also I have the makeup. I should use it. I feel wrinklier too. It must be because we are tired and a wee bit ragged

Oak: I believe that no one should have hair that’s longer than their mid chest…a shorter style will do wonders

make an appt right now
 
And long-story short that’s what I did. I called a salon I have been to a few times and they had a late appointment at 8:15 that night.
 
Long Story: I have been feeling the need to do something for myself for a while. I knew it was way past time to cut my hair. The four or five times I have actually taken the time to do something with it, I love it. I love the length, but considering the rest of the time it is up in a ponytail or bun….it just wasn’t doing anything for me. I didn’t have the time or energy to fix it everyday.
 
Of course knowing you need a haircut and actually going to get one are two different things. I felt guilty. Guilty to schedule an appointment for myself because it would invariably require Andy to watch Jack while I am gone. And he already does more of that than I do. By the end of the summer he will have spent 15 weeks home with Jack and I only spent 8.
 
When he met me for lunch on Wednesday I told him I wanted to go get a haircut, but felt bad leaving him alone with Jack even more than I already do while I am at work. He told me to do it. He said it isn’t like he hates being alone with his kid and would resent me for being gone for another hour and a half. That is what I needed to hear. I needed to be reminded that when I feel good about myself I radiate more love and affection outward. I am like a Care Bear when they do their “Care Bears, get ready to Care” and the light shoots out of their tummies…….don’t even ask where that came from. 

So with Oak’s push and Andy’s consent, I called the salon and made an appointment. Now I am sure most of you have like a preferred stylist you go to and what not, but I never have. In fact, more than once I have gone to beauty schools because it is cheap as shit! I can hear you put-together ladies gasping in horror. When the feller on the phone asked me who I usually go to, I was like ‘doesn’t matter hook me up with whoever has the latest appointent’…..my thinking there is two fold. As you might have gathered from the conversation with Oak, I hadn’t had a shower since Sunday night. You say ewww now, but if you’ve got/had a new baby your response would be ‘wow that sounds pretty regular to me’. I try to make a point to shower at least every other day on a bad week, but sometimes life has other plans. Anyhoo. I know it seems silly to shower before you go have someone shampoo and cut your hair, but I figure: late appointment, if I am already showered I can just crawl in bed and then voila! –  minimal styling required in the morning. Which is how that all played out. And of course the second reason for such a late appointment was to shove as much milk into my still-after-a-week-and-a-half-not-bottle-feeding baby (although the most current development is that he is starting to take about 4 ounces a day…..which is better than two and way better than none. My hope is by the end of this week he will be back in the saddle. Fingers crossed).

The only issue with making the last appointment available is the stylist wants to be at home. You are keeping them there at this point. So apparently this translates as the fastest haircut of my life and the most painful roundbrush/hair dry I have ever experienced. Hey but the upside is that I no longer have skin to develop any flakes, so there’s that. Of course there are other pluses, I was home in less than an hour. Jack was still taking the nap I laid him down for when I left. Score! And as predicted I felt 400Million% better about myself instantly. So moral of the story ladies, don’t be a weiner like me and put off doing something nice for yourself. There is a way to make it work. Whether it be letting the neighbor watch your kid for an hour or having the hubby squeeze in an extra hour during his shift. Don’t neglect yourself.

As for the body issues….well they are still back there in my noggin’. Although with the new hair, it is at minimum distracting me from it a little more. I am now forcing myself to give my body a break, as opposed to the break I was effortlessly giving myself a couple of weeks ago. C’est la vie I suppose. BUT I did get weighed on Saturday morning for my Life Insurance physical….another story…and I was down to 197. Score! That is 8ish lbs in like two weeks. Go breastfeeding! And probably the haircut helped also…well and um trying to watch what you eat too……*gulp*…well…um….as for that ice cream cake I have been eating?….yeah I am counting that as necessary Calcium for maintaining bone density. Sall.y Fi.eld takes Bon.iva. I take slices of D.airy Qu.een cake. Well that one might be keeping me from losing more before my “official” weigh in next month sometime. But whatevs. Life is short and ice cream cake doesn’t stay good forever. I think you get the justification.

My next “me” thing is to use one of the two massage gift certificates I have. One of those certificates I received for my birthday…..in 2009. Ooops. But the massage place assured me….last christmas when I was getting a gift certificate for my SMIL….that they never expire. But I still need to use it. Maybe next Friday.

The other thing I really want to make work, assuming I can prevent the guilt from overtaking me, is to get back to derby. Practice is Sunday evenings from 6-9pm…..and that is prime Mom-Nugget time. But I miss skating. It was such a blast and I was really getting into it, despite mostly starting it as a distraction from the fact that I couldn’t get pregnant. I have thought about just going to the skating rink to warm back up, but the only “adult” skate I found is from 10pm-midnight on Saturday…..um does anyone make it until midnight with a 3 month old? I am lucky to stay awake past 9:30p most nights. But my goal is to find a way to make it happen….I’ll get back to you on this one.

Now get out there and make yourself feel good about…yourself? Damn that sentence is ridunkulously silly.

Oh and before you ask, which I know you will, pictures of the new do will be posted as soon as I can find my freakin’ camera downloady cord…..I have no idea where it went.

One for the Hommies

So I know how much you guys love it when I do silly/stupid shit. Well I do love to deliver. Here’s the latest.

Saturday morning I was toying with ideas for what to have for breakfast. My milk has a “Best By” June 15th date on it so I was thinking ‘have to eat something that requires milk’. Well I just recently purchased a new box of Car.nation In.stant Bre.akfast with the exact intent on conquering this gallon of milk that is threatening to expire any day now.

I pulled a glass down from the cupboard. Walked to the other side of the kitchen where I keep the C.I.B and grabbed a packet. In my head I was strategizing ‘don’t get the milk now, to maintain extra coldness I should first empty the powder into the glass, then throw the packet away, then get the milk, then mix it’. Apparently my brain was slower than my hands because as I was thinking of the steps to accomplish this ridiculously simple task, my body walked over to the trash can while simultaneously opening the packet. I pushed on the foot thingy to open the lid and dumped the powder into the trash can. Then holding the packet I turned to look at my empty cup.

‘Wait a sec…..what just happened here?’. Then I started busting up laughing. ‘I can’t believe that really just happened!’. As I was laughing I walked back over to the cupboard to get a second C.I.B packet I thought to myself ‘well that one was for my hommies!’. Because let’s face it people, our hommies usually only get dribbles of beer…..bad beer, like Mickey’s. Maybe if they’re lucky they get a shot of Evan Williams or Smirnoff. None of that is very well rounded. But C.I.B? Now we’re talking nutrients. Let’s take a look shall we? 

2x the protein of an egg
2x the calcium of yogurt
2x the vitamin D of a glass of milk…..hey wait a minute isn’t there technically a glass of milk included in the breakfast? So does that make the mixture 3x or does it just mean the powder is like 1x and the milk is 1x = 2x? Oh the questions this raises.
2x the vitamin C of a glass of juice…..see this is clear cut. No juice in there = understanding that there is 2x. I am still a little fucked up in the head over that 2x the vitamin D thing.
21 vitamins and minerals.

So hommies, just remember, it was me that was giving you the nutrients and vitamins that you really need…..even if you do prefer the beer/alcohol over my C.I.B.

Why’s my kid broke?…and my ass

So I hate to post this, but I know how many of you out there are struggling with the same things. So here it is. Apparently my kid is broken again. He went almost two weeks of bottle feeding like a champ, taking 10-15 ounces a day, and then….stopped. !@#$%^&*((()(*&&&&&^!@#$%^&!@#$% Obviously there are not enough cuss words in the world to express the frustration there. Mostly it sucks for Andy. Because he is dealing with a screaming baby and Jack recently got his big boy lungs, so the screaming has taken on a much broader range and higher pitches than it used to…….arg! Maybe I should just call the lactation consultant again because the day I talked to her was the day he magically started eating. Soooo back to where we were. Reverse cycling can suck it. I will let you know if/when we achieve success again. Until then, Andy is coming down to work for lunch today. We didn’t go out for our anniversary dinner, so we thought sushi lunch sounded like fun to warm up for a big night that will hopefully happen sometime in the next couple of weekends…..since obviously I overbooked us for this weekend. Opps my bad. So I will feed Jack at noon and hopefully that will make Andy’s afternoon a bit easier.

In uplifting news: I almost annihilated my in-laws toilet during our vacay to Philly last weekend. Here’s how. So I am kind of a shy pooer. I talked about this like a bagillion years ago…or maybe I didn’t? If I didn’t, then here’s a new fun fact about me, I hate pooping anywhere besides my own toilet. Now when I was pregnant my tune had to change a bit. The name of the game became “poop when you can” because there was definitely a struggle every so often and if I didn’t take the opportunity when offered it could be a while until another opportunity arose…..do you get my drift there? Constipation people. I am talking about constipation and the few and far between opportunities when your bowels suddenly decide to grace you by doing their job. Well if I thought constipation would end when nugget left the womb hahahaha was I wrong. No matter what I eat, things that would normally have me shitting my pants if I coughed, the bowels do their own thing. Jack is the only one who benefits from my poo-enducing food choices. I still generally struggle. 

Before we left for Philly though, things were working great. I was pooing like everyday or pretty close to it. Victory. Then we arrived at my in-laws and the shy pooer in me reared her ugly head. Now on a normal visit we would have been alone upstairs in one of the two guest rooms and no one else would be using the bathroom up there. But since Andy’s Step-dad’s mom was visiting from Florida and has trouble getting up and down the stairs, she slept in the master bedroom on the first floor and his parents slept in the other guest room upstairs….thus sharing the bathroom I otherwise might have been less shy to poo in.

So the first day, no poo. Got about halfway through the second day and started worrying about getting clogged up again, so I decided to take matters into my own hands. I bought myself some chocolate covered raisins when we were at this amish-run flee market. I ate a handful and gave it time to work its magic. Well by Saturday morning and still no poo, I decided to up the dosage…plus I like chocolate, so I may have gotten a bit carried away. On Saturday night I took Jack up to give him a bath and I could tell something was a-brewin’. I got him ready for bed and took him back downstairs to hang out with everyone. I literally said ‘be right back’ because the plan was I would be right back…..um yeah.

I thought it would just be a normal “portion” but apparently those raisins just got everything out of there. I sat down and literally pushed once. When I stood up I thought ‘holy shit! what do I do now?’. Now why my in-laws do not have a plunger in their bathroom is beyond me. I have a plunger in both of our bathrooms because there is only one thing more embarrassing than clogging someone elses toilet and that is having to go ask them for a plunger…..which I wasn’t about to do.

Armed with a toilet brush and some prayers I somehow was able to get everything to go down….after about 5 flushes. Thank bejesus their walls are heavily insulated and the upstairs bathroom doesn’t sit above the living room. Otherwise they would have totally figured out what was going on…..but there was an issue after the flushing. The toilet brush was not in the same condition I had found it in. ‘Okay how can I fix this without giving myself away?’. I decided it had to be cleaned in the shower….and I would have to then take a shower to show that there was a reason the shower was running and I was gone for so very long. I snuck out of the bathroom to get my shower things and tiptoed back to the bathroom. After cleaning the brush and putting it back where it belonged, double checking there was no evidence of what just went down…literally…I took the speediest shower I possibly could.

In the end no one was the wiser. The whole time this was happening I was picturing what my mother-in-law would say if she had found out what was going on. ‘you should have flushed a few times during’. Every time we are at the lake she reminds us that the toilet isn’t very powerful due to being on a septic system and suggests if we have to do anything besides pee (are there really that many other options?) we should flush mid-way through. But believe me there wasn’t an opportunity for that. But I definitely wasn’t expecting that volume in the first place.

Basically the moral of this story is, don’t be a shy pooer and if you are, then don’t try to remediate the problem by forcing the system. Just wait until you get home….or ‘run out for something’ and annihilate a Walmart bathroom somewhere. You won’t see those people again.

Seemed like a good idea at the time…..outcome unknown

This weekend will be the true test as to whether I will be running and screaming to the doctor’s office next week to get on some form of B.C. As I stated in my long ass vajayjay post we are not using protection…..but after this weekend we might change our minds about ‘how awesome would it be to have our kids so close together’.

Our next door neighbor’s kid is exactly 9 months older than Jack. They have tickets to this big country music extravaganza up in Grand Junction this weekend. Apparently it is like a Thursday – Sunday kind of a deal and she bought tickets for their anniversary. When she had some trouble finding childcare she thought about just going up each day and then coming home, but they would miss the shows they really wanted to see…….so Natalie volunteered to take their baby for the weekend so they wouldn’t be driving 8 hours a day and missing the whole purpose of going to the shows. Yep Saturday – Monday morning we will be attempting to parent, and you should know my definition of parent is “to keep the kid alive”, two babies.

Now first off, their kid is fuckin’ easy….or at least what I know of him seems easy. He is a super happy little guy and sticks to a strict schedule. He is in bed at 7pm every night and sleeps until 6am. Holy shit! Maybe he will rub off on Jack. The only thing I am worried about….his strict schedule. Contrary to popular notion, we are not schedulers with Jack. I loosely follow the Babywise method of Sleep.Eat.Play. And in general I try to get Jack down around the same time every night. But the neighbors are way more strict. Probably down to within 10 minutes. We tend to be a little more flexible. If Jack is happy and we want to finish a movie, he’ll stay up with us.

In my mind, flexibility works better for us. The neighbors can’t go out to dinner with us on the weekends unless we meet at 5pm and they have to be home by 6:30pm to get him in bed. I am big on lingering at restaurants and chatting….that doesn’t so much work for them.

So my worries are that this weekend might suck basically. Not from a difficult child, but from a difficult schedule. And I need to nail down the details with the neighbor. All we’ve talked about is that we will do it, we haven’t broached the subject of whether he will be staying at our house with us. I would assume his “schedule” would still work if he is sleeping in a pack-n-play at our house, rather than us moving Jack and ourselves over to their house for two nights….. I hope that is what she is thinking too. I get that our houses are only about 30 feet apart and there will probably be a lot of back and forth anyway. But I love my bed way too much to be that close to it without enjoying its comfiness.

But it will be good. It will give us a sneak peek at what we are potentially setting ourselves up for, if we continue on this ‘throw caution to the wind’ kind of thinking. I bet it will go great and hopefully it will be kind of fun. Jack is getting more into interacting with people, so I am curious to see if Nolan and him will just spend the entire weekend giggling and drooling on one another.

One way or another, it is only a few days…..The only thing I am seriously not looking forward to? The poop. I have been happily living in my world of exclusive breastfed poops…which smell like playdo.ugh to me….solid food poop = oh shit what was I thinking?

8 Years 100,000+ miles.

8 years ago I married this one really awesome dude. I noticed my odometer this morning read 91,052 miles and we bought it in 2005. Meaning our previous car took us at least another 20,000 miles. Now some people might look at that and think ‘holy crap! you have put way too many miles on your car’. But to me this is a symbol of all the places we have gone together over the past 8 years. It has been an amazing ride and I can’t wait to see what comes next. ´╗┐To another 1,000,000 miles and 70 years……well maybe 60 years. I don’t want to spent too much time eating pureed foods there at the end.  

To Grandmother’s House We Go

Sorry for the bombardment of posts. There is a shit ton going through my brain, as you can tell. We take off tomorrow morning for Philly. We are spending the weekend with Andy’s mom and step-dad. This being my third airplane trip with Jack, I thought it might be a good time to tell you all how I travel with a baby. The first two trips were seamless so I am hoping this one follows suit.

First off, I got a TON of advice from friends and co-workers who travel/traveled with their kids. And from there I figured out my own “plan of attack”. So the most critical thing I have learned is that slings are invaluable. I used the Moby wrap on our first two trips and it was perfect! But here is what you need to know: you can’t wear your baby in your sling through security. You know, in case you have hidden a gun between you and your baby and what not…..huh? Whatever TSA. I knew this beforehand thanks to Carolina the apprentice midwife, so here’s what I did.
Step One: Go to the ticket counter with Jack in his Sit-n-Stroll. These things are flippin’ awesome for traveling. I won mine off e.bay for $140, brand new they are $250, but I still think it would be worth it. The travel benefit: you only need this one thing. It is a carseat (narrow enough to fit in the airline seat if you are rich and can buy your baby a seat) and stroller. The wheels pop out from underneath the seat and there is a handle that extends, sort of like roller baggage. It isn’t the sturdiest stroller. It is a little wobbly….or at least my used one is. But let me tell you, it works just fine for a few days out of town.

Sleeping on the shuttle in the Sit-N-Stroll. This thing is genius!

Now I check the Sit-N-Stroll at the counter. You can haul it through security and to the gate and they will check it at the end of the ramp. If that appeals to you, go for it. But the way I did it was so much easier. I was basically traveling alone on the first two trips. So it was amazing to be able to check the carseat/stroller and my suitcase and just take the baby and the diaper bag to the gate. Note, I put all Jack and my clothes in one bag….I am not that girly so I only packed one pair of shoes, a few outfits with shirts to wear with the same one pair of jeans. 90% of my bag was Jack’s stuff. Including diapers (10 per day eventhough I didn’t use that many), wipes (I pack one of the refill ones that are just wrapped in plastic), at least 3 outfits per day (you can consolidate this a bit if you think of simple things for your kid to wear. Onesies and pants. Like me: one pair of pants can go with several onesies….usually if we have a blow-out the onesie is the victim and the pants survive), 2 or 3 receiving blankets, socks. The great thing about breast feeding and the fact that Jack doesn’t care for pacifiers is that I didn’t have other things to pack.  

The diaper bag is the critical part because you have to think of a few things. Primarily “what if my bag doesn’t make it?”. The trips we’ve been on so far there was a washing machine at the destination. So I knew worse case scenario I could wear my outfit until my bag finds me or I will just go buy a new outfit. With a baby, there is no telling if their outfit will last all day, or if they will be shitting on everything they have on and the one spare outfit you brought. So here is usually what I pack: two onesies, one pair of pants, two sleepers, a pair of socks, 2 receiving blankets, around 6 diapers, as many wipes as I can stuff in that little plastic case, and then I shove the Moby in on the top. In the side pockets I put the camera, my cell phone, a book to read, my purse/clutch (babies are a time to cut back on your bags ladies. I have a small clutch that holds my ID, my credit cards and that’s about it). Remember if you can fit everything in the diaper bag then you are only carrying one thing besides the baby.
What to wear: the first trip with Jack I fucked up. I am a master traveler. I traveled so much for work that I got good enough that i could get everything out/off of my person and through security in like 10 seconds. Something happened my first trip and I forgot all my “travel rules”. When I was packing I decided to put my dress flats in my suitcase because they were small and with all Jack’s stuff there wasn’t much room. And then I wore my tennis shoes……bad bad choice! luckily Big Butter was with me on the first trip, but if I had been alone, like on the second trip it would have sucked the big one to try to get my shoes back on while holding a baby. Another note: TSA will not hold your baby. Caroline told me this because she had her nugget in her Moby before security and had to take it off. If you have a Moby, or have looked into them. You can’t exactly get them on while holding anything else, let alone your child. So when she got through security she wasn’t able to put it back on and the TSA agent wouldn’t hold her baby so she could put it on. This is why I kept the Moby in the diaper bag until I got through security.
Okay so wear shoes you can just slip off. DON’T wear a belt. You shouldn’t do this anyway when you travel, such a hassle, but definitely not with a baby. The benefit of checking your bag is that you can check all your liquids and not worry about pulling that out. If you travel with a laptop…..if you have time to use a laptop and have your baby with you on a plane kudos, but you on your own there.
So basically everything I would have to pull out of my pockets is in the diaper bag. So I just pull off my shoes. Bend down and grab them while holding Jack in the other arm. Then walk on through security. Cinch…..The biggest key to traveling with your infant is RELAX!!!!! Don’t worry about rushing to get out of the way of the people behind you. If you are like me, you will have given yourself plenty of time to get to the gate. If someone behind you is in a rush, they will go to a different lane. They can take care of themselves.

Oh on the subject of time: DIA is about 30 minutes from our house, but for the first time in forever I was parking at the long-term parking and taking the shuttle (the difference between paying for parking yourself and having work pay for it). So rather than taking off from my house an hour and a half before my flight and parking in the garage next to the terminal, for these trips I left two and a half hours early. I had already printed my boarding pass, but I did have to go to the counter to get Jack’s “companion” ticket and check the bag/stroller. This was really quick for me though because I was able to go to the “ticketed passenger checking bag” lane.
All you need is your kid’s birth certificate. They check it at the counter, but TSA doesn’t look at it (or at least they didn’t for me). So once you get it out at the counter you can stash it in the diaper bag…again most likely. Be able to get to it just in case.
If you’re by yourself at the counter here’s what ya do: get out your ID, ticket, and the baby’s birth certificate. I put it all in an envelop and just handed it to the lady. Then I got Jack out of his sit-n-stroll and collapsed it (one-handed, practice at home before hand). Put it on the weigh table. Lift the suit-case. You now have a baby and the diaper bag on your shoulder. She will hand you back your shit. Then you are on your way. I just kept my envelop in hand. Then when I got to TSA, again I let them get it all out. You are alone with a baby, the can take shit out of an envelop. Don’t feel bad asking them to do it.
I already covered security. Now Jack hates security. He was all happy go lucky until we hit security. Of course this was probably due to the fact that we were fast approaching his feeding time. But Andy thinks he just agrees with the rest of America, that security check-points are a pain in the ass. He made it through just fine, but when I was putting my shoes back on, melt-down city.
At DIA the hard thing is once you get through security, you still have a ways to get to your gate. Awesome. Both of our first trips I got on the train with a crying baby. Whatever people can deal. The more important thing is getting him calmed down before he is stuck on a flight with them. They can live through a 10 minute train ride.
I got to the concourse and found an out of the way seat and started nursing. DIA concourses have an upstairs area that is pretty vacant. So we went up there, nursed, changed his diaper and while he was laying on the floor post-diaper change I put on my Moby and popped him in. Then I walk/bounced around to get him to fall asleep. Once asleep, I went back downstairs, went pee (the benefit of a sling, you can pee while wearing your baby) and headed to the gate.
‘Holy crap where are you taking me mom’. After being secured in the Moby
The first flight I was on the flight attendant told me while boarding ‘you can’t wear him in that when we take off or land’. Mkay….so here is where you make a choice. You can A) Listen to this rule or B) Thank her and then disregard……I went with B. She didn’t come over during take off or landing to yell at me….probably because she was strapped into her seat belt too. In my opinion say we have to emergently evacuate the plane…wouldn’t it be better to have the baby still strapped to you rather than flopping around freely? Yeah that rule makes no sense. None of the other flights I have been on said anything to me about having him in the sling. Probably because they make like $5 per flight and don’t get paid enough to tell people to obey a stupid rule.

Okay here is where I had to do some calculations. So I knew I wanted Jack to nurse during take-off so his ears would pop as we moved up. That meant that when I nursed him after security I had to not fill him up completely. But you also want him to not be pissed. It is a slippery slope. You’ll figure it out though. I waited until the plane pulled back from the gate and then whipped out my boob and fed him some more. At least one of our flights this involved waking Jack up…..one of the flights I didn’t really get him awake and he was fine. He didn’t cry at all without being fed during take-off, but I still think if you can do it, it is good for their ears.

The best seat to sit in while exposing your boob is definitely the window. You can kind of turn towards the window to hide. But if you like showing off your boob then sit where you want!

Once you make it through take off, you’re golden. Jack nursed (most of the time) and then fell asleep. He did stay awake through some of the flights, but he was just quietly content. Now that he is getting older I am curious to see if he will need more distractions while flying: toys, etc. I hear once they get to a certain age the want to move around and grab everything….hopefully we’re not quite there yet. But we have another flight in November. So I have a feeling i will have more to tell at that point.

So yeah. That is how I travel. It isn’t too bad. Again the biggest thing is just to RELAX. Stay calm. Don’t rush yourself. Give yourself plenty of time to get to the airport, through security, etc. If your baby cries it is hard to not stress out about that. Just apologize to the person next to you and do your best to quiet them down. The good news? even if they scream the whole flight you probably won’t see 80-90% of those people ever again. 

Sleeping on Great-grandma (yes Crazy Grandma for those who wondered).

I Suppose it is Real

I didn’t want this to go out so close to such a happy time of our life. Jack is amazing. Andy is just wonderful. Life is beautiful. I have so much more than I ever expected. But as per usual, life is full of ups and downs, goods and bads, happys and sads.

I saw my mom’s death certificate for the first time this weekend. It has been 5 1/2 years since she died. But this was the first time I saw it. And while I knew she was dead. There was still a part of me, a desperate part, that thought ‘what if she just ran away?’. ‘what if she needed a long vacation from life and she is still out there? she is just about to come back. I will have her back’. I can’t even tell you how amazing that would be if it were true. I would be a little mad, sure, but I would get over it in no time.

Seeing the certificate sort of dissolves those ideas…..although I have to tell you my first thought was ‘you can fake a death certificate so easy’. Which just goes to show how much I am obviously desperately clinging to any possibilities of her still being alive.

I’ll have to get into why I had to get my mom’s death certificate from my dad some other day. It is all tied in with my grandpa’s death and involves lots of juicy family drama. So stay tuned for that.

But when I opened the pdf and read: her name; her date of death: November 12, 2005; cause of death: Acute subdural hematoma; “other significant conditions”: Metastatic Breast Cancer, Acute Pneumonia; and under “manner of death”, the box checked “accident”. I told myself ‘I suppose it is officially real’.

It isn’t like I wasn’t there. She fell on November 1st. I flew to Colorado that day and saw her in ICU. I was there when we moved her to hospice. I heard the doctor’s say ‘she isn’t going to recover from this’. I let those last threads of hope go and told myself ‘this is happening’. My dad, my brother and I rotated nights staying in hospice with her. I said my goodbyes. I willed her to let go so she wouldn’t be suffering any more. When it looked like she wasn’t going soon, the hospice nurses said she might not want to go while we were there, I decided to fly back home on the 11th to take my GRE…..I knew she would be pissed if I missed it. She wanted me to go to grad school more than anyone. So I left. As hard as it was, I didn’t want her to hang on any longer than necessary and I knew she would want me to take that stupid test. She died the next morning. My brother called before I left for the testing center. It was strange. I was obviously horribly sad, but strangely relieved. Most people would probably have said ‘fuck it’ to the GRE. But I went. Like a little robot. It was weird. It was probably irrational. I know now it was the beginning of my ‘distract yourself from really dealing with the loss of your mom by focusing on school for the next 4 years’ plan. I know because after school was over, I really started feeling it.

I guess this is a sign I should really stop trying to deny that she is gone. She isn’t coming back. I think I have had to tell myself that several times in the past three years. Especially when dealing with the whole Dad and Shelly thing. I was holding on so hard. Slowly my grip started to slip and I think now it is time to let it go the rest of the way. She’s with me in my memories, I hear her laugh, I see her in my smile, I look at my hands and see hers.

I was lying in bed the other night, softly rubbing Jack’s head as he nursed. I imagined my mom rubbing my head as a baby. It made me cry, but happy at the same time. Weird. I don’t know if I will ever be able to not cry when I think of all she is missing. But it is slowly getting better….it is slowly getting easier. And I am slowly letting go of that rope that tethers the idea of her still being alive. I have a plan. A plan of how to really, officially let her go…..I will share it with you soon.