Talk about cold!!!
Georgia had an ice storm this weekend...God was it cold out! We had temperatures in the high teens and low twenties, there was ice on everything, the grocery stores ran out of milk, bread, eggs, ground beef, you name it!
I'm a sunny California native. If I want snow I drive to it. I never expected to wake up with the winter wonderland in my front yard! We couldn't get out of our complex because the ice on the ground made our tires spin, and our exit gate is on an incline...fun stuff. We get snow about one week a year here...no, it doesn't make me miss California. So we get a little winter weather...big deal!
We burned A LOT of firewood, made pots of chili and soup, Ken baked, and we just stayed inside and stayed warm. We had PLENTY of milk, eggs, bread and ground beef. Thank goodness Jack is so young, or I'd have been out of my mind trying to find ways to entertain indoors. As it was, Ken spent a lot of time playing a computer game, I watched a lot of interesting television and got in some good naps when the baby slept, and Jack got to play with both of his parents all weekend long, lucky kid! It was so cold out that even Smokey didn't make her usual mad dash for the front door...smart kitty, she knew where the warmth was. She made a home out of one of the empty boxes of fire logs by the fireplace.
More of The Big Freeze
The Trials of Teething...
So what's the deal with teething? I hardly remember going through teething with Deanna. One day she was just gums and then the next day she had a mouthful of teeth. Jack is the kid who makes a Saint Bernard look dry. He drools like a mad man, he lives in bibs, he gets fussy when he can't get something into his mouth to chew on...but alas we have no fever and no painful gums, not that we know for sure.
Jack's been teething since he was three months old. I keep waiting for that one tooth, the one that starts it all, but I am ever-eluded. It just doesn't seem to want to come in! I know it's there, just below the surface, and Jack seems happiest when he's nawing on my finger, creating the need to constantly wash my hands. (just what I need, dried, cracked hands...) He's not disagreeable, but he's a little more high maintanence then usual. He also naps a little more because of this.
I think he's being stubborn frankly. Jack knows I'm waiting for this momentous occasion, and I think he's trying to get me to settle down about it. I know the tooth will come in due time, but when? I can just picture him at 16 with one tooth in his head! I know that the baby has no control as to when this tooth comes in, but this is getting ridiculous! Okay, so I'm impatient!
I guess I should consider myself lucky for the moment. Once he's got teeth this will mean he can start biting, and I feel for Smokey at this point...she's going to be in trouble. I think she'll become Jack's next chew toy when he can get a hold of her!
Happy Dad and Superbaby...Away!!!!
Ken and Jack have this weird sort of relationship, but that's fathers and sons for you. I am "Mommy", the all-wise, all-knowing, all-maternal nuturer, the giver of hugs and kisses, the one who coos and coddles her child, the soft voice in the middle of the night when Jack needs a bottle and a diaper change. Daddy is the drill sargeant who likes to hang his son upside down by his ankles, swing him around in the air, make the drill-sargeant voice when talking to him to make him laugh, who rings the doorbell when it's time for Jack to eat to make him open his mouth. We are apples and oranges here, but we both love Jack and both know how to make him laugh. Either way, Jack is well-rounded, and whenever he sees Daddy walk through the door from work, his whole world is right. Jack has become a Daddy's boy. All is right in our world.
Happy Dad now has a tremendous job opportunity. (I told you things would get better for us this year!) We're talking twice his income, benefits, 401K with match, vacation, sick days...the works. There's even travel involved in this job, but only to Florida, Texas and areas here in Georgia. Ken wants this job really bad, and if he gets it our income increases drastically, and then I can make the jump back into management to even the scales. We're talking an earning potential of six figures annually between the two of us...wow. We're talking buying a house and paying off all of our bills and becoming finacially stable...wow. My fingers are crossed, because when Daddy's happy, I'm happy. Let's hope for the best!
Mommy and her Man-Cub...
I actually took a decent picture with Jack last night! While he looks semi-amused, I was happy with the turn-out! Yeah, he's starting to look a bit like me now, but mostly he takes after my side of the family...in any case, he's still gorgeous, and Mommy's not too bad-looking herself!
Angels From On High...
I have never believed that Angels existed. It's just something mystical as far as I'm concerned, but proof does exist now, and the Angel I'm refering to comes in the form of my mother-in-law.
Ken and I are not exactly the most financially stable couple, but we try. We both work, and we make some decent money, but our bills are still a bit out of control, something we resolved to get in hand this year, no matter what. We don't live above our means, but sometimes the money I make is a bit unsteady, being that I'm working as a food server right now until Jack is old enough for me to jump back into a management position with my job. Ken bears the brunt of our finances, and his paycheck also takes care of our health coverage to the tune of about $450.00 a month. That's a large chunk of change for us, but it's also a necessity when you have children. We're pinched at times, but we don't argue over our finances. We live with the attitude that things will take care of themselves as long as we do what we're supposed to do. It keeps us strong as a couple to NOT argue over money. Neither of us married a Rockefeller, but we did marry the person that we love, so it's a trade-off.
We've been behind for a while now, and my mother-in-law has been super-supportive of us. She lives on a fixed income, and therefore can only help by being emotionally supportive, but she is the most supportive person we know. She always offers to watch Jack when she's in town, and has made the offer to come and spend some time with us when she comes back down to help my brother-in-law move into his new house in the next few months. (She reads my blog and thinks that we're due a rest!) Lydia is a mother always, and feels guilty for not being able to do more, which I think is nuts. She does more than she knows or even realizes, and she's always been there for us in time of need. I feel terrible because it's us who should be looking after her and helping her when she needs it, not the other way around.
Ken has a new job opportunity on the table right now, with twice, almost three times his current income potential and a little bit of travel to Florida involved. If he does get this job, it will definitely help us out financially, and I'll be able to move back up into management because we'll hire a nanny to watch Jack. I'm still leery about day-care, but in hiring a nanny, I can check references, and have her arrested if she even thinks about hurting Jack. I know it sounds extreme, but I trust no one when it comes to my son. I had some bad experiences with Deanna and nannies, so I've learned to say the words, "hurt my child and I'll have you deported tomorrow!" I wish Mary Poppins were real! If Ken DOES get this job, it'll be our turn to help our Angel out for all she's done to look after us. She deserves it, and if he soesn't get the job, well then my slush fund money will go to an elaborate mother's day gift this year as thanks. It's never enough, but it's something, and she is definetly worth it!
And the Verdict is in!
When we got Smokey we were TOLD he was a male kitten. We were happy about this, as female cats are a bit more "high maintenance" than males. As Smokey has grown we've been waiting for the emergence of the two little balls to grow from behind, and as of now, we have yet to see them.
I asked a guest of mine last night about it. I told him I saw not two little balls back there, but another "hole" instead. He confirmed that our MALE cat was indeed a FEMALE. Now, I may not be the sharpest tool in the shed, but I took the word of the woman who we got Smokey from, and I figured if anyone would know, it would be her. It even says male on his shot record. I've had cats before, and yes, they were female, so I knew what it meant when I was checking her out from behind to see what her sex was. When cats are kittens, you can't tell their sex just by lifting their legs...you wait and see and hope, at least that's always been MY experience! Unisex names are always a good thing as well!
We waited, and waited and waited some more, but no balls grew, and Smokey's attitude is decidely female. She's very protective of Jack and attacks me when she thinks I'm hurting him.(I'm actually playing with him!) You should see my hands! I wondered why I was becoming the cat's scratching post!
My only gripe about all of this is that I wanted to name Smokey Sadie if I had known that HE was indeed a SHE! Smokey is a bit of a butch name, but it still works, and she answers to it, so it's too late to change it now. I guess I'm NOT the only hen in the rooster house now, but I sure feel like a jack ass for calling her a him for five months! My worst-case scenario is that she'll have a complex about it, but I'd doubt it. I'll have our vet confirm all of this next month when Smokey goes in for her next set of shots and to be fixed. Her first set of shots were done at the animal shelter where we got her. Now I get to call the woman at the rescue shelter and tell her what a moron SHE is for handing us a female kitten and telling us that it was indeed a male one. At least I won't feel stupid all by myself!
Th Only Hen in The Rooster House!
I am surrounded by testosterone-driven beings. Even the damn cat is male! (or is he????)
I set the alarm for 6:15 every morning for Ken. He leans over me to hit the snooze at least twice before getting out of bed and turning on three lights; the closet light, the vanity light and the main bathroom light. No, I'm not still sleeping...at least not anymore. I woke up when the alarm went off the first time, and he smooshed me leaning over to turn it to snooze. I merely look like I am sleeping. Why would any wife want to sleep more than five hours a night?
Jackson, the dear boy, wakes up twice a night; at 2:00am and at 5:30, sometimes 6:30am. He gets a bottle and it's back to bed. Ken gets up with him first, then me. He wants to play when I get up with him. His diaper's been changed, he doesn't want the bottle, he wants to smile and laugh and play with mommy. No. It's not time for play yet, so he goes back in his crib where he plays until he falls back to sleep, a good hour later. The monitor is on in my bedroom, where I am listening, buried under the covers because of all of the lights being turned on. Why would any mommy want to sleep more than five hours a night?
Smokey our wonderful mini-cat, (still a kitten but looks like a cat!) feels the need to sleep on my chest. When I climb into bed at night, I wait for the beast to pop up onto the bed and make himself at home on me. It's a nightly ritual. He purrs and moves around on me until he finds "the spot", and then curls up and goes to sleep. The spot is usually underneath my neck, with my chin resting on him so that I can breath at least. If I roll over or get up to pee or deal with the baby, he follows me around until I come back to bed, then he claims "the spot" again. If I take a nap on the couch, it's the same deal. Why would any cat owner want to sleep more than five hours a night?
I've come to realize that being the only hen in a house full of roosters sucks. I pick up after my men constantly, make bottles ahead of time, prep dinners ahead of time, fold laundry during baby's naps, shower during baby's naps if possible, otherwise he gets hauled into the bathroom in his bouncer to watch, (scary thought, isn't it?) making privacy almost non-existant, I throw away diapers left on the back of the toilet and drain baby bath tubs from the night before, despite asking my husband to throw the diaper away when he's done bathing our child. This also has become a ritual, and frankly I'm not amused. We're talking fifteen feet to the trash can here.
I'm supposed to feel fulfilled, gratified that my family is doing well, proud of my home and my efforts to keep my family content, right? Oh yeah, I love being mad-dogged by a five month old cat while I'm trying to pee, and nothing makes me happier than having to shower in under three minutes with a baby staring at me, all in the effort to try and get ready for work. And my favorite; coming home to a trashed house that was perfectly clean when I left it because Daddy had a "high-maintainence evening" with Jack. We're talking five, maybe six hours here, and a nap in between all of this high maintainence stuff! Mommy has her way of doing things, Daddy has his way of doing things.
Yes, my husband tells me he loves me daily, and he cuddles me when we get into bed at night before the cat figures out that it's bedtime for us. My son smiles at me lovingly, and I know he loves me too. The cat, well, I haven't quite figured that one out yet, but I know he's happy for the food, the attention and the warm place to sleep. A friend of mine said that a spa day would be good for me. I think a joint, a bottle of Merlot, a pedicure and fifteen hours of sleep would be the ideal spa day for me. As it is, I'll settle for a glass of wine and eight hours of sleep... and the pedicure would be nice too.
Happy and Healthy...
Jack is five months old now. Where does the time go? Just so you all know, he's happy, healthy, and growing bigger and stronger with every moment. I can hardly believe the change in him in the past five months, it's like he's a different baby altogether! I'm grateful that he's finally starting to come into his own personality, and he's the joy and light of his daddy's life.
I miss Deanna at this age. She's now 5' 6", (almost my height!) weighs about 125, and has a rack on her like a grown woman! She's only 14! She is the terror of her daddy's life, and I think it's precious! Toddlers and teenagers, what an extreme difference, but what a wonder to behold. I think I did a great job with both of my kids. They're gorgeous, smart, fun to be around, well-loved, loving. I couldn't ask for more...
The Index finger and the Middle finger...amazing...
When I was a wee small thing I sucked my thumb. I did this until I was around five or so. I would pop my thumb in my mouth, take the index finger of my left hand and play with my eyeleshes, and I would just be as calm as anything, as long as that thumb was in my mouth. I think I gave up thumb-sucking to become a nail-biter. Ken also sucked his thumb when he was little.
My brother Kris and baby sister Melany used to do the index and middle finger combo when they were kids. They'd pop those two fingers into their mouths and hold their blankets, that was just their thing. I rarely if ever saw other kids who sucked those two fingers. Deanna didn't suck a finger as a little girl, she had a special toy that she lugged around with her instead.
Jack has been waking up around 7 or so in the morning, and I've kept the baby monitor on in his room and our room since we brought him home from the hospital. When he gets up around 3am, it's for a bottle, when it's around 6am, it's for a diaper change and another bottle, an hour or two later he wakes back up, and since I'm not ready to get up just yet, I sort of lay there in stasis, listening. Jack plays and giggles and laughes and makes cool noises, and after about a half hour of this he falls back to sleep. No crying, no fuss, he just crashes. I've usually gotten up somewhere in between to check on him. I pop my head into his room, make sure everything is okay, go to the bathroom, and then go climb back into bed for a little while until I hear Jack again around 9:30-10:00am.
This morning it was 7:30am that he decided to wake up, and I've been sick with a sinus infection so Ken has been doing the late-night feedings. Since I wanted to do a little light-housekeeping before work this morning, I decided I'd get up with him. I peed, went outside to smoke a cigarette, came back in and mixed a bottle and headed for the baby's room. I approached only to find him back to sleep, with the index and middle finger of his left hand in his mouth. This isn't the first time I've seen this, and I guess this is what Jack has decided are going to be the fingers that he sucks on. I'm not a big fan of children sucking their fingers, but since Jack has no teeth, I figured this is actually better than a pacifier, which is another thing I'm not a big fan of. I realize that the sucking puts babies back to sleep, so I'm for whatever works.
I think that the fact that Jack sucks on these two fingers is a tribute to my brother and sister, and it reminds me of when they were little. I thought it looked cute when they did it, and it looks cute when Jack does it as well. I really thought it was going to be the thumb, but the middle finger and index finger combo is fine...whatever works for him I say!
Update on "The Eye"...
So I just got off of the phone with Ken at work to let him know about his doctor's appointment. You'll be pleased to know that the eye has cleared up and is back to normal color. No more redness, no more swelling.
Ken said that he probably got something in his eye when he was in the shower this morning, or maybe he just scratched it too hard. Whatever it was, it's no longer, and I don't have to worry about a major bout of conjunctivitus running rampant through the house.
Ken was pleased that I cared enough to make a doctor's appointment for him, which I can now cancel, and was happy that I called to check on him, even though he's having the day from hell at work. I told him not to worry, that his day would be over before he knew it, and he'd be off for the next three days, so he'd have plenty of time to just chill, play his guitar, sit around in his jeans, be a daddy and husband, and sleep late. And he can do it all with two good eyes!
And here we go!
This is how my husband kicks off his New Year. As I'm sleeping soundly this morning he's getting ready to leave for work, and I feel him sit down on my side of the bed. He's decided to wake me to ask me to make a doctor's appointment for him because his eye is all red. He thinks he has pink eye.
Hmmm....Now I haven't seen pink eye since high school I guess, and that was from a group of girls who shared the same eyeliner pencil. I don't think Ken's been wearing make-up, unless he's playing bitch for someone I don't know about, so I'm perplexed about this. It's contagious, and a form of minor conjuntivitous, but I'm not worried, since I don't share eyeliner with him. He does however, need to wash his hands like a maniac if he's going to be handling Jack. Remember, we're talking contagious infection here.
Now the fact that sleep is a most precious commodity in my household made me do the one-eye-open, I'll-take-your-word-for-it thing. I didn't really get a good look at the eye, but he also didn't turn on the light when he showed it to me. My thought is that he has a cold in his eye, (yes, it IS possible to have a cold in your eye!) and that some Benadryl might help ease what's ailing him, but I'm not a doctor, and I don't know the status of the eye at this point, as to whether the swelling and redness is still there, but I've made an appontment for him all the same. In all honesty, unless there was blood dripping from the socket, I probably wasn't going to really wake up to look at it anyways. Does this make me a bad wife? I don't think so. I just believe that Ken being an adult, he probably knows what's going on, and we'll work it out. I'm still curious to know, if it's pink eye, where the heck he got it from!
Correction of an error. NCAA Football Days of wine and roses
In my last post I refered to the USC/Okalhoma bowl game as the Sugar Bowl. Ooopps! I watched the Auburn/ Virginia Tech Sugar Bowl, and also the USC/Okalhoma slaughter, known as the Orange Bowl.
Thanks to the few who pointed out my error. It was late, I was tired, and to be honest with you, the USC game was a crock of crap. What was the point? They should have just given USC the National Championship ring right then and there and spared the Sooners the humiliation. Here's the crap though. Auburn played a great game against Virginia Tech. Okay, so they screwed up in the last few minutes and gave up some glamour points, but they were still a billion times better than the now-ranked number two Sooners, who should be ranked number three in the BCS because of the shitty loss to SC, but will that happen? No. The AP and the BCS are making some kind of example of Auburn, who finished with their first 13-0 season in forever.
I'm not bitter that USC are the National champs, but lets be honest here; a Pac-10 school like SC wouldn't have these perfect seasons if they had to play the SEC or ACC teams. Who do the Trojans have to prove themselves against, Stanford, Oregon, Arizona? Oh yeah, these are the rough-and-tough teams to beat I'm sure, NOT! I like Pete Carroll, he's the only good thing that USC has going for them, and now that Matt Leinart is out of it, all I can say is good luck next year! I think that the Pac-10 and Big-10 need to expand out to play the much more seasoned ACC and SEC teams, and maybe then they'll really know what NCAA football is all about!
Just so you know, my father went to USC. Hey dad, we only lost to you guys this year by three points. UCLA WILL KICK YOUR ASS NEXT YEAR, but that's my opinion, and I could be wrong, but let's hope not! Thank God the season is over, now if only the pro season would end...
As I'm serving up pitchers of beer during the Sugar Bowl tonight I get a phone call at work from my husband, who is home on Daddy-duty with Jack. I proceeded to pick up the call, letting Ken know that I was aware of the slaughter of Oklahoma by USC, (I am hoping the Sooners are going to kick some Trojan ass, since I am a Bruin... but I am also a realist and put my money on USC to win.) as Ken laughs and tells me that Jack has done something new.
My son is now five months old, and in this short amount of time he's learned to roll over, to stand on his two feet while we hold him, to sit up with help, to do baby crunches which are truly hilarious, to drool incessantly due to all of the teething he's experiencing, (can we get a tooth already or what?) and to growl and yell. His newest feat is that he can now hold onto his own bottle without help, and this is what Daddy has called to tell me. Of course I had to tell everyone at work about this, as they are a big part of Jack's life, having known him since he was in utero. Ken has also captured this latest trick on the digital camera so that I could see it for myself.The funny thing is that Jack's been aware of how to do this for a while, he's just been clever enough to manipulate us into holding it for him as long as possible is all, and I know this as well. I just won't tell Daddy.
Something new is always a good thing where Jack is concerned, and it makes Ken feel as though his connection to Jack is even more of a close relationship the more he's there to see Jack's "firsts". I'm not in the least bit upset that I wasn't there to see this, as long as I don't miss the really important things that is!Life is full of small miracles, and every day brings something new and wonderful. Tomorrow Jack's going to wake up and walk and talk and tell me he's going out to get a job...and then I'll wake up, but tonight when he wakes up for that 3:00am feeding, he's going to hold his own bottle for a change...Amen to that!
A New Year, A New Outlook...
Ken and I had a wonderful New Year's eve, even if I did come home from work about 4:53 minutes before midnight. We popped the cork to Regis this year,(it wasn't the same without Dick Clark, but next year!) and proceeded with our full champagne flutes into our sleeping son's bedroom to look at our little miracle and toast each other. We have a lot of hope for this new year, and we look forward to seeing all of the changes in Jack, but that's just the tip of the iceburg.
We sat up talking until about 1:30 am. We discussed how lucky we feel to be in such a close-knit relationship, how we'd be more cautious financially so that maybe we'd be able to afford a nice vacation this summer, the fact that Ken is looking for a better job, something that will not only increase his income, but will make him happy as well, (retail sucks!) and how lucky we are to have the roof over our heads when so many people are homeless. It was one of those conversations that you have when you feel lucky to be alive and are with the person you were meant to be with. It just made us realize that no matter how bad things can or will get, we know we'll always make it through together and come out of it stronger.
A New Year always makes me look at myself. For the first time in years I don't feel like I need to make serious life changes. I have a wonderful husband, incredible children, a nice, spacious home to live in, good health, a good job. I'd like to be a little more solvent financially, but who wouldn't? I'd like to lose 30 pounds, but who wouldn't? If these are the worst of my troubles, then this year is going to be wonderful, and everything that happens is going to be minor unless one of my in-laws or parents passes away. I hope that doesn't happen. I can deal with eviction, I can deal with reposession, I can even deal with losing my job, but I couldn't stand to lose someone I love this year. I only hope for the best in 2005.
All in all I have a positive outlook for this year. I say bring on the new challenges, I welcome them. I relish my son's first tooth, his first step, even his little fits of temper. I know it's going to be alright this year...I woke up this morning, and that's the best thing of all!