I Mind the Gap

When I quit my job last fall, the main reason was to be a stay-at-home-mom.  But the other reason was to have sort of gap year, I guess I’d call it.  If I were 18 and British.  I wanted to have the time and energy to do and try all the things I’d been talking about for years.  As my old job was quite demanding, I had very little of myself left at the end of each day to devote to other, more personal creative projects.  Like this blog.

You may have noticed I’ve slowed down with the posts. It’s not because I ran out of things to say or I’m bored. Quite the contrary. I’ve been working for several hours a day on material for some writing program applications. I won’t go too into it because:

  • I don’t want to jinx it.
  • Nothing will probably come of it.
  • As someone said to me at a party last weekend, I might be afraid to succeed.

But today marks a big milestone.  Not for Posey, but for me.  I finished the applications, and I sent them in. Cheers to me.  Now what?

I think I may have been devoting so much time on this one thing to avoid another thing. I need to start looking for a job soon. Maybe.

When is the right time to go back to work? I’ve had so many interesting conversations about this topic lately…

Stay tuned.  We’ll be right back.

 

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4 Things I Am Not OK With

I am kind of paranoid.  And due to said paranoia, I was pretty certain I was doomed to be an over-protective parent. It’s how I was raised (don’t deny it, Mom & Dad), and I reckoned it was encoded in my genetic makeup. And when she came out a preemie? I expected myself to have 8,000 items in my cart at http://www.plasticbabybubble.com.

This week, Posey will be 8 months old. I’m happy to report that I’m not as cuckoo as I expected myself to be.  Wanna hold her? Sure! Dirty hands? That’s cool– it builds up her immunity.  Nap time is lax– it happens every day, but not at the same exact time– and nothing is baby-proofed yet. However, there are a few things on my list that have recently floated to the top of my motherhood ocean, and I cannot skim them off.

They are:

Dogs

When I push the stroller past a dog on the street, my whole body tenses.  I am sure the leash will snap when that pit bull mistakes Posey for a Cornish game hen.  Today, we went to a barbecue, and the host’s giant pooch came a-sniffin’.  Beef didn’t react, so I decided to take his lead and not freak out.  Then the dog stuck its schnoz in the Pose’s face… and licked her.  She smiled. I did not. Later, Beef told me he didn’t jump because he didn’t want to scare the dog, but he was pretty sure our baby was gonna get dingo-ed.             So dogs = baby eaters.  This is a proven fact. Horrifying.

Slings

At this same barbecue, some friends were toting their infant in a fabric sling. The baby was so happy. She was sound asleep, curled up in fetal position– which is the first time I’ve ever used that phrase about someone who was recently an actual fetus.  It was so Mother Earthy. My baby, on the other hand, was sweaty and mad, strapped in her heavy-ass car seat that’s giving me forearm wrinkles from the increasing weight.  I was so jealous of the sling. But I have to stick to my guns. Slings = Baby Suffocators.  Also a proven fact.

The Sun

Huge sun hat, gobs of baby sunscreen.  Her skin is so perfect– how would I ever forgive myself for ruining it? All winter, I looked forward to taking her to the pool. She might have to wear a swimming snow-suit. For the coverage.

Nuts

I am nutty about nuts. Beef is, too. We also eat a lot of granola bars. I can’t tell you how many times one of us has eaten a peanut butter granola bar, smooched the baby, freaked out, and ran to wash her face. At least I’m not alone in this behavior, because it’s pretty specific.

What weird is that last week, we were both totally okay with her putting a pacifier in her mouth that had fallen on the floor of a church. You know, the kind that’s never had its floor washed ever since being built in literally 1899.

113 Year Old Dirt = Puts Hair On Your Chest.

To Market, To Market

Is it ever the “right time” to start a family?  And how do you know when that time is?

When Beef and I decided we wanted a baby, part of our motivation was the fact that stuff wasn’t as fun as it used to be.  It felt like a lot of places/holidays/activities would become magical again if only we could experience them through the eyes of a child.

Of course, I wanted to be a mom for all the “right reasons.”  But I also wanted to be one of those women rolling a stroller down the street with big sunglasses and an even bigger coffee.  I just wanted that.

Today, I lived one of the moments I’d dreamed of. The farmers market.  Read about it here on the HuffPost.

Posey’s 1st Opinion

The first time I took Posey on the swings, she hated it.  She sat there, in her fancy coat, and just hung. No smile. No movement.

Nothing.

The second time I took her, she had the time of her life. She grinned, she rocked, she rolled.

What was different? Another baby.

Posey didn’t seem to know how to form her own opinion.  The swings weren’t fun until she watched someone else enjoy them.  Sweet potatoes, peas, apples, carrots all got sad faces until I made a silly “Mmmmmmm!” sound after the first bite. Then they were delicious. She liked what we told her to like. I know she’s a baby, but still. This kind of made me sad. As a kid, I was really concerned with what others liked/did/wanted. I didn’t grow out of it until college.  I think I hoped my kid would march to the beat of her own drum at an early age.

And then, we went shoe shopping.

I held up gold gladiator sandals. Denim sneakers. White, flowery mary janes. Yellow ballet flats. And the glorious pink leather owl thingies. I used the bracket system. By process of elimination, the owl slip-ons won every time, no matter which hand I held them in. She reached for them– and only them– every single time. She liked something. I was so proud.

Posey wore her new owl shoes out on the town tonight. I would have chosen the gold sandals. She made a different choice than I would have. She has her own opinion now.

And I’m devastated.

My Mother’s Day Wishlist

For a long, long time, I wished I could be a mother. This weekend, it feels like I’m celebrating a dream come true. And while I appreciate every second, I’m not above wishing for a few other things, too.

What I’m Wishing For This Weekend:

1. The Bird Poop on My Front Window

I don’t need to wish for the poop stain, cause it’s already there. I hope someone will get something long enough to reach it with and clean it off. It’s a white smear on my psyche.

2. Stop Talking/Tweeting/Facebooking About Time Magazine

I get it– it’s controversial. I’m not ever linking to the cover here, because in 48 hours, I am so sick of seeing it. So have your opinion either way, and please move on to this…

3. ABC Family’s Momalicious Week

I have a confession to make. I have never seen The Notebook. I don’t even really want to, but I think I need to for the same reason I’m considering reading 50 Shades of Gray. When people make jokes or references, I don’t get them, and I feel left out. Thank goodness the network that brought us my favorite Christmas classic about a kidnapping involving Mario Lopez, Holiday in Handcuffs, comes a whole week of The Notebook and more!

4. Sleep

Such a cliche´, right? Thursday, I was up all night with my daughter and her upset stomach. And by that I mean my girl-cat had diarrhea. When she finally went to bed around 3 am, the motion detector alarm on the baby’s monitor went off (falsely) and woke her up. Screaming. BUT,  I went to bed at 9 last night, and Beef let me sleep in this morning– so I can cross this one off my list!

5. I’ve Changed My Mind on This One

Last year, I saw this infomercial–

 

I never thought of washing my feet as “a chore.” I thought this was loony toons. But yesterday, I woke up with aching feet, and in the shower– I remembered this. The reviews are terrible, but I have to admit, there are a few days this might do the trick. I think I’ll get a pedicure today instead.

Happy Mother’s Day to you and yours!

 

I Wish I Had a Garage

I need some advice on a situation:

It was raining pretty steadily this morning when it was time to leave the house. I had the following to carry:

  1. A baby
  2. A car seat
  3. A laptop
  4. A UPS package
  5. My purse
  6. Snacks for the car.

Since someone else was over at the time, I left the baby in the house– so I could pull up right in front and avoid getting her wet.

Thoughtful, right?

I left the car in front with my hazards on. In the ninety seconds it took me to get her and come back out, a meter maid had spotted my car (double parked) and written me a ticket. For $100.

I have never seen anyone writing tickets in my neighborhood. Especially when people without permits use up the spots on my permit-only street. Exasperated, I yelled over to the woman, “Really? I didn’t want to get A BABY wet.” I’m pretty used to a baby getting me out of things. It came in handy after the “I’m pregnant” excuse was used up. She just shrugged her shoulders and told me I should have parked in the spot that was right there, in front of the house. But I HAD tried that space, and it was too small. I wasn’t even blocking traffic, because there’s another lane.

Yes, I was double parked. For less than two minutes. To keep a baby warm.

Should I contest it? On what grounds?

At Least They Used a Hyphen

Back around Oscar time, I ran down the list of nominated films through the eyes of a mom who didn’t get out much. Now that some time has passed, I still don’t get out much– but I have been to the movies four (4) times. I am now going to rank the films for you in a segment I think I’ll call Liz’s Movie Reviews. I think it has a nice ring.

Worst to best.

4) The Five-Year Engagement

Jason Segel and Emily Blunt are engaged for five years. Mindy Kaling plays Kelly from The Office and Chris Pratt plays Andy from Parks and Rec and Allison Brie plays the part Anne Hathaway’s too big for now, since she’s kinda moved on from the sidekick roles.  I braved a potentially lethal hail storm to see this movie and I half expected to fall asleep during it, which I did not, but the nap would have been nice. All in all, I’d have to go with Peter Griffin’s assessment of The Godfather and say it insists upon itself. The jokes weren’t funny and the situations seemed forced, BUT I got to leave the house. Bonus point to them for punctuating the title correctly, though, unlike another film that shall remain nameless, but not link-less.

3) The Hunger Games:

I don’t have much to add that hasn’t been said.

2) The Muppets

This is why I saw The Five Year Engagement, and I played right into Jason Segel and Nick Stoller’s hands. This movie was delightful, and after reading all the press surrounding its release, I felt like Jason Segel was my friend from high school who finally made his dream come true… and I was happy for him. No, I was proud of him. And I don’t even know him. Now I’m sort of at that place where I might tell people he was a nice guy in the beginning, but now… he’s changed. But I won’t let it take away my memories. Of muppets.

1) 21 Jump Street

For real. This was one of the best movies I’ve seen in a while. Get the joke? I don’t get out much. But really, it was super funny and delightful and I am so glad it came out after I made up with Jonah Hill. (I really, really didn’t like him– and then I saw Oprah interview him, and  it was like I was blind and now I could see. I could see Jonah Hill, and his spirit was pure and white like a baby dove.) Honestly.

If you liked The Five-Year Engagement, please tell me what I’m missing. I’m curious.