Stepping back. Or to the side. I’m not sure.

A friend of mine posed a question on Facebook recently: When was the last time you got annoyed with anyone that wasn’t because of something they said on Facebook? I’m paraphrasing awfully. Her question was much more eloquent. But it rang true for me. I get SO ANNOYED by people I usually treasure by things they share, post, or do on Facebook. These things are starting to define these people for me, and who knows how many people think less of me from the BS I post on a daily basis (for the record, mostly Henry pics). But still! I got into a heated exchange with a girl that I have known since 2000, an ex college roommate. I love this girl and think the world of her. Then I post an article she doesn’t agree with, she kinda attacks the article, I attack her, and now a bitter taste is left in my mouth even though we hugged it out. Over what? A Facebook post? Ridiculous.

On a larger scale, I’ve had to hide the feeds of people I care about because everything EVERYTHING they post makes me roll my eyes. It isn’t their fault, it’s mine and my weird hang ups on different topics. In real life if these topics come up, we can discuss them, laugh about them, move on. On social media, it sits there and stares at you all day until more crap pushes it off your page. A cycle of never-ending stupid. I’ve lost friendships over misunderstandings on Facebook. Real, long-standing friendships. They see a picture and jump to wild conclusions and delete me and never talk to me again. Yes, this happened. So I’m taking a break. I doubt anyone will even notice, unless they read it here or wonder where their daily Henry pic has gone. And those who do notice will text me and we’ll talk and then I will re-activate it soon, and most will be none the wiser. Either way, I’m backing way off. Maybe I’ll have more time for blogging. Wouldn’t you be so lucky.

 

 

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A little bit of whine in wine country.

I have written several posts since arriving in California, and I end up typing a looooong diatribe of nonsense and whining and I scrap it.

There is so much good in my life but I’m having a really hard time getting over the homesickness and worry. I think that’s just part of my personality. I will always and forever be worried about money and always and forever miss something and/or someone. Anxious and nostalgic, that sums me up. Sounds like a party to be around, right? I’m sure Chris just loves coming home to this mess every night (he’s very sweet to me).

I miss my mom. I miss my friends. I miss everything. I’m super lonely. But here’s the thing that’s been getting me lately: I’m INCREDIBLY SUPER DUPER LUCKY. I have a healthy, happy, funny, amazing toddler who is my world. I’m blessed enough that I get to stay home with him every day. Sure, money is tight. Like, stretched to the penny, but we make it work. What set off a panic attack tonight was getting health insurance for myself and Henry (Chris’s is 100% paid through his new job — again, grateful). But just looking in our already tight budget and trying to fit that extra necessary expense is stressful.

So anyway, this town is beautiful and I love it. I just need to put on my big girl panties and get out there and discover more of it. I’ll get on that after just a little more wallowing, ok?

In the meantime, here’s a little bit of what everyone comes here for, pics of the kid and other misc. I promise I’ll get back to normal soon.

BiscottiSharing some really great biscotti with chocolate mousse and hazelnut whipped cream with daddy. My inlaws took us to a great little italian place for Mother’s Day.

MD FlowersMother’s Day flowers. Our allergies have been going insane but they’re too pretty to throw away yet.

CarouselCan you see us? Henry looks unimpressed, but lemme tell you, the kid had a blast. There were very vocal protests when it was time to get off. This was at Pier 39 in San Francisco.

mmmm yeahYESSSSS!!!!

mom san franLunch with a view. I miss my mom.

Henry ThroneHenry on his new couch. Yes, his. We’re allowed to sit on it sometimes (like when he’s asleep).

Henry SlidingMy big boy. 

 

Tonight is rough.

A week and some change before we hit the road. I’m starting to feel anxious and nervous and excited and terrified. Part of me wants to get there and get settled in already, but the other part of me wants to slow down time. I’m just not quite ready to say goodbye. I don’t like that I’m texting my best friend telling her I want to see her just one more time before we leave. There’s also this nagging feeling that I’m leaving unfinished business behind. But that business wants nothing to do with me as far as I can tell, so it’s probably best I leave that in the rear view, however difficult that might be.

But let’s talk about happier things: Henry. OMG you guys, this kid is growing up fast. I know he’s just your average 16 month old (tomorrow) but he’s amazing to me.

The kid is so well behaved in public. The tantrums he throws at home are epic, but in public he’s an angel. He holds my hand, minds me when I say “don’t touch that” or “put that back”, and he’s so patient. We went to the bookstore, just the two of us, last weekend and he stood there in line with me, holding my hand for a good 10 minutes while a chatty German woman checked out. I was honestly shocked.

Ok he’s not always an angel in public. When it’s nap time and I won’t let him dump the salt shaker all over the table in a restaurant…yeah that’s our cue to exit swiftly.

Honestly though, I love these toddler times, tantrums and all. He’s starting to become a little kid with a personality. He loves his shoes and would wear them all day and night if I let him. Daniel Tiger is still his BFF. He is a pro at navigating the iPad and taking lots of (mostly black) photos and some pretty cool videos, really. He likes to grab a book and sit on his Sesame Street chair. I bought him a back pack and it’s his new favorite thing. I could go on and on, but I don’t want to bore you. I’ll leave you with some pics of my growing little boy.

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Getting closer.

We have an apartment. It’s in a little town called Petaluma. On one hand, I am so relieved we have a place to move into on April 29, even if it is tiny. It’s got a washer and dryer. I’d forgotten all about California and how most apartment complexes do not have a washer and dryer in unit. In LA, our apartment had a garage parking spot and a w/d. We thought we hit the jackpot! In ABQ, you just kinda expect it. And parking is never an issue here. So after a couple weeks of searching and finding larger places for the same price sans washer and dryer, we settled on the smaller place with them. There is no way in hell I’m dragging Henry to a laundromat. That’s my idea of hell.

Anyway, we leave on the 26th and embark on a fun little road trip with a toddler and a U-haul. My excitement level is negative 100, if you can’t tell. I know it’s going to be great eventually, but I’m still sad about the whole thing.

On Saturday, my husband and I got out of the house for a couple hours after Henry went to bed. My BFF Natalie had us over to her new house for food and games. We had so much fun, but I cried almost the whole way home because I’m gonna miss her so much. Gah, I’m crying now, so change of subject.

Henry had his 15 month well baby check last week and he screamed the entire time. Well, from the moment the nurse tried to take his temp and all the way through the shots. If you have a kid who loves his naps, don’t schedule things at nap time, k? But, regardless, he’s perfect and right on track. Also has some healthy lungs on him.

Henry will be up from his nap soon, so I’m gonna go to the bathroom in private while I still have a chance. Later.

Real problems.

Chris got the job offer, we’re going to discuss is over the weekend but really. I mean, option a) take good job in the Bay Area but be a little broke on one income for a while or b) stay here and be unemployed until unemployment runs out and then do….what?

We sat down tonight and did a spreadsheet of our bills vs income. It’s doable, but tight. I don’t know why that panics me so much seeing as how we’d done the exact same thing here last year. I guess it’s because I won’t have a support system at all. Maybe that’s the root of all my anxiety. I can’t just run over to my mom’s with the baby to watch Real Housewives and eat dinner. I can’t go to Natalie’s house on the weekend and paint my nails while we chat. And any part-time job I get will have to be on the weekend, meaning I’ll never get to see my husband.

I’m being too negative aren’t I? There are much bigger problems in this world, I know. Oh, poor me, my husband got a great job in a beautiful area but I might get lonely sometimes. Drones are blowing up people in the Middle East and I’m crying about moving two states over. I need to get over it.

So I’ll start looking at it as a new adventure, a fresh start, and I know everything will work out for the best.

Someone in New Mexico better send me green chile though.

Henry break! This is his “Daniel Tiger is doing what?!?” face. If he’s not watching the show, he’s carrying around this book. Obsessed is an understatement at this point.

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Oh! And after doing baby sign with him forever, he can now do “all done,” “more”, and “fan.” I’m really working on getting “food” and “drink” down. Those would be super useful.

Side note: after he finished eating tonight, he did the sign for all done. He had pasta, so it was straight in the bath with him. As he approached the bathroom, he turned around, did the sign for all done again, and ran in the opposite direction. We had a good laugh over that.

Night guys.

Saturday night is alright for blogging.

Ugh, I’ve had my Dexter fill. I’m actually super excited for the series to be over. We’ve committed to it now, no turning back, but c’mon! End already!

That’s why I’m blogging on a Saturday night. After this, it’s the first half of SNL and lights out. That’s if I make it that far. I postponed a much needed girls night with my bestest and her homemade cookies because I am so exhausted. Stress will do that to you.

I just realized that I haven’t given a Henry update in a while and now is the time when he’s actually starting to do things. Here’s the low down for this 13 1/2 month old:

  • He can point to nose, toes, tongue (his favorite), hair (or ear, they sound similar), and belly button. The kid is a sponge. We have a body parts board book that he brings to me every day, so we’ve been practicing and he picks it up so fast.
  • Climbing. I think he’s a little behind in this area because I have friends whose kids were terrorizing them with their climbing skills much earlier. I actually felt blessed that Henry showed no interest in climbing. NOW IT IS THE MOST FUN THING TO DO EVER. Especially after he gets up onto something and then does a fake cry to help him down so he can do it again. I try not to let him see me laugh so he will know that no, mommy does not want him on the coffee table, but it’s pretty hard not to.
  • He has a new word: “bear.” He’ll say “bear, bear” when bringing me his other favorite book (ok, alright, he brings me ALL of his books all day long. I think that’s pretty typical toddler behavior, but I like it.)

henryreadingAn old classic.

  • Elmo has taken a back seat to Daniel Tiger. I wish I liked anything half as much as this kid likes Daniel Tiger. I know kids aren’t supposed to watch TV before 2 or something, but it’s on PBS, so it’s ok, right? Actually, it’s really educational so I let him watch a couple episodes a day on Netflix. “If you have to go potty, STOP! And go right away,” is a little ditty that should not be stuck in my head 24/7 but is. Anyway, it brings the kid joy and brings me some down time, so I’m all for it.
  • The fine motor skills are getting better. We let him draw with a pen or crayon and paper (which he loves) and I give him a spoon or fork with dinner now. He prefers the latter because it’s much more fun to stab food repeatedly until it’s sufficiently stabbed and ready to eat. Also, I taught him all about the joy of stickers today. All kids needs stickers in their lives.

henry stickers

 

  • He’s still super snuggly and super clingy to mommy. It’s like WWIII every time I need to use the bathroom for 30 seconds. That’s ok though. My biceps can use the workout from carrying those 22 lbs of love.
  • He laughs every time he sneezes. Not really a milestone, just insanely cute.

There’s a lot more, but it’s probably more boring than what I’ve already listed, if you can imagine that. He’s my kid, so of course everything he does amazes me. When we have baby number 2, I might not be as amazed. Or maybe I will, I don’t know.

News on our situation: we will probably most definitely be moving out of here at the end of February. Unless Chris gets a job in the next week or two, we are moving in with my mom temporarily. They are graciously giving us the master suite so we will have lots of privacy and room. Chris has some pretty good opportunities he’s looking into (some out of state – eek!) and I know one of those will work out. If we can get through this period without draining (or even touching) our savings, then it’s worth it. And that’s what we’re on track to do. Honestly, we are pretty lucky to even have the option. Plus, my parents have cable, so there’s that.

Alright, I apologize for the late-night blathering. Please come back later for more though, ok? Ok. Goodnight!

 

 

 

33

Today is my 33rd birthday. I still can’t believe it. I was thinking last night about how 17 years ago, I was 16 (seems like yesterday, really) and 17 years from now, I’ll be 50. What the what?! I’d say that I hope the next 17 years go by slower than the last, but we all know that’s not how it works.

Anyway, I had a GREAT day. Slept in a little, Henry wasn’t in teething pain and spent most of the day dancing and sleeping. After his morning nap, I snuck out and went shopping BY MYSELF. My dad sent me a very generous visa gift card. I spent most of it on the baby/things we need. I know, I know. My mom did the same, and I’m saving that for a pedicure and something else just for me next week. I also received some nice gifts from friends, which was a total surprise.

Tonight, my mother made me a great meal and cake from scratch. She broke out the real cloth napkins. And had proper place settings. The tv wasn’t even on. Lights were dimmed. Ambiance was very calm. Guys. That’s a big deal in our house. It meant a lot, all of that effort to make me feel special. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it forever. I’m a lucky girl.

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I like how she even set out Henry’s own iced tea (his favorite beverage)

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Blurry photo of Henry eating cake. Like I said, lights were dimmed.

Also, today was a huge day for my very dear friend Natalie, who has overcome so much in the past few years, only to close on her own house today. HER house. No one else did it but her and I’m very proud. What an accomplishment. Really. Also she will now live 5 minutes away from me so that’s also cool. I’m so excited for her!

Alright. Dexter and bed. Goodnight!

Just words.

I still haven’t written my letter to Henry, even though his birthday was 3 days ago. I’ll get to it before Christmas. I hope.

I love the holidays, but it’s tough when you’re struggling financially. I want to be able to get my parents decent gifts. Or my husband. But that’s just not going to happen this year, and it bums me out. We need every cent we have in the bank in case Chris is unemployed longer than expected. Or before one of us gets a job, I mean. It might still have to be me, even though I’m not really ready to leave Henry yet. It kinda breaks my heart to think about it, but I also know that he needs things like food and shelter soooo…yeah.

Anyway, now that he’s a walking pro, Henry is starting to talk more. He’s into Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood on PBS right now and can say “tiga” and “grrr.” We actually found this out as we were strolling him around Toys R Us and he spotted a Daniel Tiger doll. I showed it to him and he said “tiga grrr.” So we bought him the doll. Other words in his limited vernacular (besides the basics): cack-a (cracker), nigh-nigh (night night), and mo mo (elmo).

On Thursday, we took him for his one-year well baby check and he did excellent. The doctor said he couldn’t be happier about his growth and development. Seeing Henry walk around the room with a sippy cup in his mouth, then stopping to “talk” to the doctor really tickled him. He sees a lot of babies, so I’ll take that as a good sign. I got a little emotional at one point reminiscing with the doc about this time last year, when Henry was losing too much weight and I was panicked. It’s not a pediatrician’s job to calm a crying new mother, but he did, and he told me we’d be alright, that  I was doing all the right things. So on Thursday, when he looked at me and said, “You are doing such a good job, mama.” OH MAN TEARS FELL FROM MY FACE. Being a mom is hard. Being an exhausted new mom is harder and I’m glad I chose him to be our pediatrician/my therapist.

Chris and I have started Dexter on Netflix. Only about 8 years late to that party. It’s good. So time to go do that before passing out. THANK YOU TO EVERYONE who has sent well wishes and prayers and love galore to me and my family. You make me all warm and fuzzy.

Just a little bump in the road.

Today we took Henry to get his Christmas portraits taken. Oh my, he was so sweet. He loved all of the attention. I got a lot of compliments for him (and, oddly, our stroller, which I love if you’re in the market for one) from the waiting parents in the studio. But honestly, I was fawning over a few of babies in there too. Specifically, baby girls. I’ll admit that I’ve been thinking a lot about baby numero dos lately. Maybe it’s because Henry is a week away from being one year old and getting so big and I miss having that little squishy baby. Or maybe it’s because Henry sooo needs a sibling. The kid plays catch with himself. He’ll throw a ball, go fetch it, and repeat. It’s simultaneously cute and sad.

But of course, inevitably, any plans for another baby came to a screeching halt last month when my husband was laid off. To go from 2 incomes, down to 1 income is a big sacrifice, but we made it work. We even built up a pretty nice savings. Thank GOD we did, too. But to go from 1 income to 0 income, AND a child to support. Well, yeah. Crappy. And scary.

To be honest, though it’s been a very stressful month, Chris and I have been shown just how truly blessed we are. It sounds so corny, and it is, but this situation has brought us closer with family and friends and each other. My mom is paying for most of Henry’s birthday party because she knows how much it meant to me to do something for him. She also paid for the portraits today because, again, I wanted it (we also had a coupon). My mom and step-dad have bought us groceries and diapers. My in-laws bought the babe presents for his birthday and Christmas and took us to Costco for some bulk dried fruit (and other things, but we have a lot of dried fruit in our house right now. I have an open bag of dried cherries I’m eating at this moment). My BFF checks in every day and always makes me feel better. She also makes me dinner and gives me wine and bakes cookies for my son’s birthday party. And then I have so many other friends who’ve sent us money and gifts for the baby, all unsolicited. Or they just let me talk and vent to them and probably want to tell me to shut up, but they don’t. They just tell me they love me and it will all work out  (I should specifically single out Mandy Jo, since she’s a daily victim of my woe-is-me). It just warms the cockles of my heart, you guys. There are a lot of beautiful people in our lives, even ones we don’t talk to all the time.

Because of all these above blessings, I’ve been trying to stay positive. That doesn’t mean I don’t still break down into tears occasionally. I do. Maybe every day, but I’m not telling. In the end, I know it will work out. I might have to dust off my old resume and get back out there, and if that’s what I have to do, then so be it. For now, I’m focusing on our beautiful, funny, healthy baby boy and all the people in my life who love us and we love back. We might not have much money, but we’re not poor. Not in any sense of the word.

I know you want to see some portrait shots (only the last one made the cut in terms of actual prints, but the other 2 are ones I still love):

henryport12drool face!

henryport3Baby Gap called and they want their model back.

henryport1“Oh, hey, I didn’t see you there.”

Our first family vacation.

Last month, our little family of three got up at the ungodly hour of 4 am to catch a 6:30 am flight to Florida. I was nervous and exhausted. Thankfully, the baby was not happy about getting up so early and slept almost the entire time to Florida, waking up to play in the Atlanta airport, then right back to sleep before take-off again.

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We had a great time visiting my dad and step-mom. Side note: my dad is very ill right now and going on week 3 in the ICU, so to say that I am very happy with our timing is an understatement.  I hope, and in my heart know, he will get better and go home soon, but I’m just glad he got to see Henry at this age. Henry loved crawling around his house and playing with his dog and kitties. And for the most part, he ate what we ate, and he really enjoyed eating new foods.

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Of course, we went to the beach. We were only there for about an hour because when it’s baby’s naptime, it’s baby’s naptime. I’m sure parents out there understand. He wasn’t having any of the sleeping in the shade at the beach either. But whatever, he loved the water and ate a fair amount of sand, so I’d say it was a success.

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I also got to visit with a couple old friends of mine and by far that was the highlight of the trip.  (Henry with his Auntie TJ above)

The flight home started great. Henry slept during the first flight from Florida to Atlanta, but I had to sing Elmo’s Song over and over and over and over (sorry other passengers) to get him to sleep.  The second (and longest) leg from Atlanta to New Mexico, he slept the first half and then woke up READY TO ROCK AND READY TO ROLL. Thankfully, he was giggly and funny, but very squirmy and wanted down. We let him hang out between our legs and the flight attendant held him for a little while, which passed some time. I’d say it was a success because we didn’t have any meltdowns (well Henry didn’t, I’m another story).

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One thing I’ve learned from the experience (and my husband did too), is that people need to have more compassion to crying babies/kids on planes. I’ll never complain again. When a kid has a tantrum, there’s very little a parent can do, and often, the cabin pressure and altitude changes hurt their ears and freak them out. We got a lot of comments about how good Henry was, but the looks on people’s faces when they saw they were seated next to ours was pure annoyance. Just cut people some slack, mmmkay?

A couple weeks ago, Henry also attended his first wedding. He had a tough time sitting still for the ceremony and we ended up checking out a tree for a little while. But he LOVED LOVED LOVED the reception. He made a new friend in one of my old co-worker’s 11 year old son, he danced with mom and dad, and had a tiny taste of wedding cake. We left the party at around 9 pm, which is WAY past his normal bedtime, but you wouldn’t know it. No tears, no meltdowns, he was as happy as a clam. We gave him his bath, he fit in some playtime and then crashed. Crashed hard. It was cute.

henry suspendersHe also looked really handsome.