Saturday, July 30, 2005

Scenes From the Shower

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My Sis
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Peanut bobbing for ice cubes :)
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And the award for the Worst Mother Ever goes to...

The shower is over. Everything went well. The 15 kids (no exaggeration) that were there all swam in the pool and made so much noise that I had to shout during the whole party to be heard. The food held out pretty well and my sister received a lot of nice things that she really needed. (My aunt gets the prize for best find. She found two, very nice, strollers with cup holders, storage nets and the whole nine yards on clearance. For $9 apiece. They are every bit as nice as the one we bought back in 2003 for $180. They were on triple clearance because the company is changing colors next season.) Everyone seemed to have a nice, polite time, which is really a miracle with my strange and twisted family tree.

And then the worst, most scary moment in my parenting life happened. I was packing all of my serving pieces and tablecloths into the car, keeping an eye on Peanut at the same time. When I was done, I buckled Peanut in her seat, and went around closing the doors and trunk. When I got back to the driver's side, I discovered that the car doors were locked, with the keys inside. The car had been sitting in the sun all day and it was already hot. It was getting hotter by the second, and there was my little peanut trapped inside. My husband was at work with the other set of keys.

Usually I am so careful about this very situation. I never close the doors with my daughter inside unless I have the keys in my hand. A child can die inside of a closed up car that is sitting in the sun in less than ten minutes. I could see my baby laughing and smiling at all of us looking in the windows at her, the sweat pouring off of her face and matting her hair after only one minute. My Dad and brother were franticly trying to get the doors open and I was a shaking mess. I was two seconds from finding a rock to smash in the side window when my brother heroically jammed a broomstick between the door and the car and bumped the lock.

We grabbed the baby and dunked her in the pool, clothes and all. As I handed her a cup of water. I noticed how bad I was shaking. In fact, I'm shaking now, writing this. She was OK, aside from being soaked in sweat and a blochy heat rash. I on the other hand, am not.

I can not believe how stupid I was. My baby could have died because I was too tired and distracted to pay attention to what I was doing. My already raw nerves certainly didn't need this kind of scare today. I'm so glad we are going away Thursday.


I'll post some pictures of the shower later tonight.

The Day

Well, the baby shower is just a few hours away. Then it will be all over.

My husband announced yesterday that we are going to Myrtle Beach next weekend for a surprise vacation. He always seems to whisk me away when I need it most. I've never seen the ocean and I'm really looking forward to going!

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Milestone

My Peanut peed in the potty for the first time tonight! Before her bath she just sat right down and went! Maybe letting her play with the potty for the last year wasn't such a bad idea after all, lol!

Summer

With such beautiful weather and accommodating friends who were willing to share their jet skis, we decided that the beach was the place to be last Saturday. Peanut loves the water and she had so much fun digging in the sand and running from the waves made by passing boats. She kept saying "big pool! big pool!"

Mamma, with her Irish heritage of fair skin and red hair, spent the day under the shade trees, knitting and enjoying the breezes. My hubby loves the sand and sun, but I'm afraid that I have never been much of a sun bunny!

We ate our picnic, enjoyed conversation with friends that we hadn't seen in awhile, and went home happy, drowsy, and satisfied. What a good day it was!

I see you with that camera, Mamma!
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Sun Bunny
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Down Time with Daddy
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Monday, July 25, 2005

Pygmy Puffs

I belong to a Harry Potter knitting group, where we all work on knitting projects related to or inspired by the books, and then post our pictures or patterns for everyone else to see. The new hot idea, since HPaHBP came out is Pygmy Puffs. (For anyone who hasn't read the book yet, they are miniature puffskeins that Fred and George Weasley breed to sell in their joke shop. One of which, Arnold, becomes Ginny Weasley's new pet.) In the book they are described as "...round balls of fluff in shades of pink and purple, all rolling around the bottom of a cage." Do you think I came close? My little "Arnold" was so fun and fast to make (20 minutes, and I'm a slow knitter) that I think I will knit up a bunch!

For anyone interested in checking out the group or the patterns, go here.

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Thursday, July 21, 2005

Blue

I can feel myself slipping into a funk.

I'm having my monthly, (thanks HH, we really needed to know that!) thinking of sad things, and generally feeling down.

My biggest sapper-of-happiness is thinking about the baby we lost in May. My arms and mind just miss that anticipated child. I have whole weeks when I'm fine and then, bang, all I can do is dwell on the loss. We wanted that baby so much and it was already so loved. I just can't shake it. I guess having my period is reminding me that I'm no longer pregnant. I can't help but think of our loss, instead of seeing it as a confirmation of my child-bearing ability.

It doesn't help that I have two sisters who are pregnant right now. Both of them are expecting this fall and neither of them want to be pregnant. I have to listen to them wish away their babies. I wouldn't want to be in either of their life situations, but it just stabs my heart to hear their comments.

I'm in the middle of planning a baby shower for my sister with the twins. I have weekly trips to the baby and maternity stores to also remind me of my baby. I think throwing this shower is one of the hardest things I have ever done. I don't want to be bummed out and moody. I have no desire to ruin things. I just have a hard time facing all of it right now. Having a family party with all of our divorces and step-this-and-thats to deal with is never easy. Then add in listening to relatives spout to me about my sister's unmarried state, on top of my own emotional struggles with sadness, envy, and guilt about feeling those feelings. Things are quite a mess.

I don't know what I wanted to accomplish with this post, other than to blog out some of my grey thoughts. So here it is, a peek into my currently addled mind.

Monday, July 18, 2005

The Half-Blood Prince

I just finished the new Harry Potter a few hours ago and I don't know what to say.

I loved it, and I think it is the best written yet. But if you haven't gotten more than halfway through, slow down or stop all together, and savor the wizarding world as you know it, because their world is going to be blown apart by the end. That is as far as I will go with the spoilers for now, but remember, this is one to be cherished. It leaves lots of huge cliffhangers and J.K. has already announced another two year wait on the final installment.

If you can't tell by now, I happen to be a HUGE HP fan. I've read the books several times through, I really enjoy the movies, and I eagerly await the release of each new story. The books just have so many good lessons on friendship, good vs. evil, and being aware of the cost of our own actions on the people around us. I think J.K. Rowling is a very good and kind writer who knows how to tell and excellent engaging story.

I know some people out there disagree. All I can say is make an informed choice. Before you start spouting "black magic, Satanism, witchcraft, hate" talk, read one of the books. You are an adult, I'm sure your mind can handle a book originally written for eleven year olds. I will say that I have never met anyone yet who, once they had actually read the first book (Harry Potter and the Scorcerer's Stone), didn't find them charming and lovely stories. In my opinion, the HP books contain no more magic than your average fairy tale and usually it is used for a lot less selfish purposes.

To illustrate:

Snow White- The Queen is jealous, so she uses magic to try to kill her rival and be the "Pretty Popularity Queen"

Cinderella- She wants to go to the big party, so her fairy godmother gives her a new 'do, dress, and flashy ride. She goes off to snag the richest guy in the land.

Sleeping Beauty- The fairy is mad at being snubbed a party invite, so she death hexes the birthday girl.


I'm not saying that I don't like fairy tales (trust me, I love them), but that the magic of HP and the magic of fairy tales are one and the same; the magic of the imagination. Childhood and adulthood for that matter, would be a pretty bleak place without it. So if you have no problem with fairy tales, "The Wizard of Oz", or card tricks, don't be afraid of giving Harry a try. I'm sure you'll like him and his friends.


** On a side note, if you are reading them for the first time, keep in mind that they were written with an eleven year old and older audience in mind. If your kiddos are younger than this, read it together. They might find some of the happenings scary or confusing without Mom and Dad's help. The movies and merchandising may be aimed at much younger children, but that is not the author's fault. Besides, you should read together with your children anyway! :)

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Small World

I feel almost famous today!

A few months ago, I posted about my new favorite cooking book, "The Philosopher's Kitchen" by Francine Segan. The book ties together the history and menus of ancient Greece and Rome, and it is a history buff's dream! It really is such a great book, and everything I've made so far has been delicious.

Well, this morning Mrs. Segan came by and left a comment! And it was such a nice, modest, sweetly unassuming comment too. I was tickled pink when I opened my e-mail this morning! I honor of the occasion, I made her 'Chicken with Plums' for lunch. If she gives her OK, I will post the recipe here for you all. Her other two books, "Shakespeare's Kitchen" and "Movie Menus" are proving a little difficult to find for a preview at the library, but since I love "TPK" so much, I've decided to buy the other two for myself for Christmas, sight unseen.

All of you MUST check out these books!

Monday, July 11, 2005

Scenes from a Small Town

Overheard from my back yard ten minutes ago, while I was weeding my pole beans:

"Will, if you don't get your sister out of the toilet, I'm gonna send Mikey in to whoop you!"


Oh, life in my hometown!

Monday, July 4, 2005

The Feeding Debate

We have a family friend who has a 2 1/2 month old daughter. Like all new parents she is very proud, so she has started a website to show off pictures and post news about their little one. I visited the site last night and was shocked to see her feeding cereal to her two month old. Granted, not much appeared to be going in, but they were solids, none the less.

I breastfed my daughter, and I knew before I had even conceived that I wanted to breastfeed. I did a lot of research and reading, talked to people who used formula and who nursed, but when it came right down to it, I just knew that I should nurse my children. I am not militant about it, but I do encourage any new moms of my acquaintance to consider it, I have educated my family out of some of their long-held beliefs against breastfeeding, and have really struggled to make the people around me receptive to the "new" idea of breastfeeding your child. But the discussion about our family friend today shows me just how far I have not gotten.

I mentioned to my step-mom what I had seen on Anne's site and also told her that I later found out that the baby became severely constipated, so her mother had given her doses of Karo syrup, which led to enough diarrhea that they now had her on Pedialyte. I expected her to be equally shocked and concerned, but quite the opposite happened. I was informed that she had fed her children rice cereal from two weeks on because "they were starving to death. The doctor told me not to, but he didn't have to deal with screaming hungry babies. Besides, they turned out fine, and I even used Karo syrup myself. You young girls just believe everything some expert tells you, and most of the time they don't even know what they are talking about. Look how much of a hassle it was for you to breastfeed, always trying to find someplace to nurse, but you stuck with it, probably because you read it in some book somewhere. You should have just used bottles and been done with it!"

I was taken aback by her vehemence. I had no idea that she felt this way about my nursing. She had always been a little uncomfortable with my nursing in public, ("would you mind going into the other room, I don't think your nephew needs to see you with your shirt pulled up") but I always had written it off to the fact that she just wasn't used to nursing mothers. Apparently, I was wrong.

I don't know if she felt I was attacking her mothering by bringing up what I believed to be a serious situation, but that she saw as completely normal. Maybe I had been too pushy around her when it came to my "new age" ideas of mothering and baby care. Perhaps I am over-reacting to a two month old on solid food, and I am the crazy one.
All I do know for certain is that the body of the little baby concerned is obviously having trouble processing something, or she would not have her system so disturbed.


So what do you think? Have you dealt with similar situations? Did you start your children on solids at an early age? Did you have to deal with breastfeeding non-awareness? Drop me your two cents so that I can feel a little more enlightened.

Sunday, July 3, 2005

The Happy Housewife Gets Crafty

With a yucky summer cold coming on, I spent most of today inside with my Peanut. We did this and that all day and then this afternoon, I decided to make myself a new knitting bag. Here is the result.
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My bag actually started life as one of Peanut's sundresses. After she ripped the smocking beyond repair, I decided it would make a nice knitting project bag. So a few ribbons and seams later, I have a bag long enough to hold my needles and whatever yarns I need.

And speaking of projects, here is my current one.
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It's a Gryffendor scarf for my very pregnant sis for Christmas. I'm sorta proud, as it's the first thing I have ever knit that my husband has glanced over while I was working and said, "Hey, is that a..." and been right. It's actually recognizable to the layman's eye! Yea Me!


Today was also a banner cooking day for me. I made ribs for the very first time! Brian is the grill master around here, and I wouldn't dream of encroaching on his turf, so I braised my pork ribs in the oven. I think that they came out delicious. Brian's response was "good, but not super good. It's not actually barbecue, you know." Then he proceeded to eat 2/3 of the rack. I guess I'll have to settle for the high praise of no leftovers instead of rave reviews! :)