Tuesday, April 26, 2011

people who hate children probably have a miserable life

we went to the grocery store today. bella had decided, upon entering the store that she wasnot having it.

i buckled her in, gave her her sippy and her snack, and told her, "you know what we are doing. please behave." (because, as you know, reasoning with toddlers is so practical.)

we made our rounds about the produce section, and about the time we passed the bananas, this whole sitting in the seat, being well behaved thing had just about run its course.

so she started climbing out. bella has always been a little houdini, getting out of her swaddlers, early and often. and that talent has carried over to the grocery cart strap. there isn't one that holds my child in. we have tightened them as tightly as they can go without making it a tourniquet on her tiny baby body, and sure enough she wiggles her way up and out of them.

i put her back down and before her butt is even in the seat she is up again. i put her down and hold her by the arm, not allowing her to stand again. and so began the end of my sanity.

she began to wail in a way that i had not witnessed since she was a tiny little tyrant, screaming for the boob. and she would. not. stop.

i offered her food, water, to be held. but she was not going to stand in the cart. i was not going to be that mom picking her kid up off the floor, saying, "i don't know how this happened!"

for the next 30 minutes, she continued to scream. without cessation.

during that time, i walked around the store in a haze, like in the movies when everything  is blurry and kind of slow motion because all i could hear was her screaming.

i wish i could say i didn't care about what other people think. and honestly, i don't care about what they think. but i am not impervious to what they say or do. as i was finishing up my list, i began to notice that there were two very distinct groups of people around me. surprisingly, the delineating factors of these two groups aren't based on age, gender or race. or even if they have kids or not.

first, there was that group of people who, mostly, were probably familiar with children. they were sympathetic. they looked at me with a knowing smile, as if to say, "i know what you're going through lady. i'm glad i'm not you, but i have been there." or "it's ok. kids cry". some of them actually did say those things or stopped and to try and make bella laugh or smile, telling her how she is way too pretty to be crying so much. there were men and women, old and young. many of them there by themselves.

but then, there was a smaller group. the group that hates children. or hates mothers. or hates mothers with their children. or something like that. they would shoot me glances, like, "can't you get that kid to shut up??" trust me lady, if i could, do you think i would be walking around the store with a screaming toddler? there was one lady in particular. we got in line behind her, because it was the shortest line which usually means the fastest way out. as i pulled my cart and screaming child up behind her, she gave me this look that made me feel like the most insignificant person on the planet. and then she shook her head. and looked at me again, with an expression of disgust, a little anger maybe, some contempt. whatever it was, it was ugly.

and right there, in the middle of kroger, humiliated and defeated, i started to cry. just a few tears. but it was the only time in my recent memory that someone has made me cry.

maybe she was having a bad day. maybe she was tired of hearing her kid cry and the LAST thing she wanted was to stand in line and listen to someone else's kid cry. i get that. but give me a break. you've obviously had this moment once or twice. with a 5 year old in your cart, there is no way you have escaped the meltdown-in-the-store phase.

the thing that was the most frustrating is that, even though i felt like at any moment, my ear drums would rupture and i would be deaf for the rest of my life, the crying didn't bother me. there was the small moment where i couldn't really think straight and found myself standing in front of the basil, getting exasperated because i couldn't find it. but the crying wasn't what sent me over the edge. it was the feeling i got when that woman cast her judgement at me with such reckless abandon, the feeling that i was a gnat. that i was no more than a mosquito. that i had no business being in her presence.

people like miss snotty pants grocery shopper lady? you were a child once. you probably screamed just like this, in a grocery store similar to this one, while your poor, tired mother tried to shush you and get everything she needed to feed your cranky butt. if you have such a problem with noise and chaos, you may need to reconsider where you spend your time. a grocery store in the middle of the day may not be the best place for you. also, family restaurants are probably not the wisest choice.

Thursday, April 21, 2011


i may have just inadvertently passed on my bug phobia to bella.

it wasn't intentional. i swear.

first some background. i. am. TERRIFIED. of all things creepy crawly. i think with the exception of lady bugs and maybe caterpillars (if i don't think about it too much), anything that is small and insecty leaves me frozen in fear. quite literally.

a few years ago, while we were living in hawaii, i was in the back yard, doing some cleaning and mowing. i reached out to put the cover on the grill, threw it up over the top and began to spread it out. then i saw it. a big old ugly centipede. it wasn't the biggest i have seen-maybe 4 or 5 inches long, 1/2 an inch wide. centipedes may be the nastiest, ugliest, meanest, creepy-crawliest of all bugs. and my hand was less than a foot away from it. i jumped back from the grill. then i stood there, trembling, unable to move due to the fear that had taken over me.

that's what it's like when i see bigger bugs. i am frozen. i start to panic a little. sometimes i cry.

irrational? absolutely. but it is also absolutely real.

when bella came along, i didn't want her to have any of my fears. aside from bugs, there aren't really any. i do kind of freak out when i am in too small a space or am not able to move my arms. but other than that, i consider myself somewhat brave. i'm not scared of heights or water (i have a healthy respect for water, though), not scared of dogs, or birds, or being alone. but bugs, that's another story.

so, i tried to not freak out about bugs when bella could see me. it was hard at first. my instincts want to scream or cry. i start to shake, sometimes violently. but, especially lately, i have been trying really hard to hold it together.

then there was this morning.

we are walking out to the car and in the doorway, right outside is a roach. one of those big ones. and bella is reaching for it.

"NO!!!" i scream without thinking. 

she jumps back. looks at me with a scared expression. her lip juts out and starts to quiver, ever so slightly.

"i'm sorry, baby. it's ok. don't be scared. that's just yucky. don't touch it because it's yucky." i tell her, as i pick her up.

but i am shaking all over. and i know she can feel it. she squeezes my arms tightly and starts to whimper. 

"daddy, come clean up the bug please." i try to sound calm and confident. i am failing.

joel comes in with a box, scoops it up and shows it to bella. 

"see bella, nothing to be scared of." he touches it. a shiver goes down my spine. bella hides her face in my shoulder. 

joel takes it and puts it somewhere. i assume it's in the trash. outside. 

a little while later, i am doing dishes and i hear bella scream. it sounds like she is hurt. when she cries, we try to not make a big deal out of it, so i walk calmly to her and ask, "what's wrong?" 

then i see it. the box. on the floor, upside down and open. bella is standing several feet away. frozen. shaking. and crying. 

i throw our, "let's make her tough and not make a big deal out of things" stance out the window, sweep her up and go sit on the couch, far away from the little intruder. 

we rock and i tell her, "it's alright. nothing to be scared of. it'a just a bug. it's just yucky. but it's not scary."

i get up, hold her close and walk over to the box. i kick it over and let her look at it from the safety of my arms. "see bella? nothing scary." 

i flip the box back over and slide it out the door, being very careful not the let it open up, lest the nastiness inside jump out and land on my face. i shut the door and walk back to the couch. she is still shaking. still whimpering. 

"it's ok. it's ok. it's just a bug. nothing to be scared of." i tell myself, as much as i tell her. 

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

i was a slave to social media

if you haven't noticed, i have taken an extended sabbatical from blogging recently. saying we've been busy would not really convey how things have been going. but words are kind of escaping me right now.

the truth is? i haven't been on the computer much over the past 3 weeks.

and i have LOVED it.

there are drawbacks, sure. i am way disconnected. my inbox is currently flooded with mostly junk tons of really important stuff. i'm behind on all the juicy celebrity gossip. my reader is too full to ever catch up on. and mostly, there has not been a steady influx of cuteness gracing the interwebs with my baby's perfectly shaped noggin.

the upside? during bella's naps this week, i've been catching up on glee. why didn't anyone enlighten me on it's awesomeness!?!?! we have played more. we have traveled a bunch (also mostly the reason i haven't been on). and i have reconnected with my family. which is what life is all about, no?

i didn't intend to go away. not at all. but after we went camping, life got really packed with stuff. we flew out to california for a friends wedding, we went to florida to get my mom and move her up here, we moved my mom in, and we have been preparing for a deployment. then we all got the voms. it wasn't the flu, but each one of us spent 24 hours puking our brains out. lovely, right? for bella, it started an hour after we left my moms house. and continued the entire length of our 8 hour drive (which is usually a 6 hour drive. but stopping every 2 hours to clean up a sick baby, and following the uhaul that was towing my moms car added quite a bit of time on to our trip).

i have to say that i didn't really miss social media that much. i missed facebook a little bit, but it was a very little bit. i didn't miss twitter at all. and my blog? i mostly felt guilty about not writing. but i didn't miss it entirely. i missed getting stuff out. i missed the outlet and the creativity it inspired. but i didn't miss feeling like i had to keep up and perform.

i have a friend who once staged a photo shoot with a group of friends to post on facebook. it was an experiment of sorts, where he reasoned that everything people do, they do so they can post it on facebook to make everyone else think they have this exciting fun life. so he got together with about 12 other people and they went to a park with mallets and pretended they were playing croquet. they took hilarious photos, all posed, to make it look like they were having a blast. after it was over, he mused that, even though it was initially farce, it ended up being a really fun day that they all laugh about. i think about this a lot when i post stuff. sometimes, i will see something cute or funny and literally think, "i should put that on facebook!". and part of me hates myself for that.

this isn't some kind of epiphany or resolution. i have learned some about myself and my dependence on social media, but i am not vowing to avoid it for an amount of time. i don't want to be a slave to anything. especially not something driven by an innate need for human interaction and attention. so i will just continue to post when i feel something is worthy of sharing, and i will read things that i feel are worthy of my time. but i definitely want to make my real human interaction a priority. it's so much more rewarding and gratifying anyway.

Monday, April 4, 2011

DIY silhouettes

i've always looked at silhouettes and thought they were weird. i don't personally like my own, and they always seemed kind of ambiguously creepy. and old fashioned.

but apparently, they are big now. 

i have become obsessed lately with DIY blogs and especially in the home decor category, and have spent waaaaay too much time surfing around picking out fun little sewing and crafting projects. everywhere i look are silhouettes. and like everything cyclical in design, they've been modernized. and i saw people doing DOG silhouettes!! if you know me at all, you know duke was my first baby, and even after the birth of our first real child, our dogs are like kids. 

so i decided to give this project a whirl and i LOVE the outcome! 
-a camera
-a printer
-a cute baby or fur baby (they don't have to be cure, but it sure helps)
-cardstock in any color. i used black.
-fabric in any pattern/color. i used tan.
-a frame. 
relatively cheap. i used paper i had, and fabric i had. the frame was on sale at michael's for $4. i used a backless frame and used some cardboard from a package for the back. yay for recycling!! 
step 1: take pictures of silhouettes of your subjects, making sure they are all about the same size. mine were duke, lola and baby girl. 

step2: print the pictures out. i printed mine out on my computer on normal computer paper. 

step 3: cut around the outside of the subject. make sure to include details, like curls and eyelashes to add the extra personality and charm. 

step 4:  holding the cutout against a black piece of paper, cut again around the shape. for dogs, you can cut out the line of the ears to add extra detail.

step 5: iron and cut your fabric leaving about 1-2 inches around the outside.

step 6: center fabric on cardboard or the backing of the frame so that the fabric is on the bottom (right side down) and the wrong side of the cardboard is facing up.

step 7: using fabric glue, glue the edges of the fabric around the outside of the board, making sure to pull it tightly and smooth it out across the front.

step 8: figure out the layout of your silhouettes, and then secure them with fabric glue.

step 9: frame, and voila! DIY silhouettes of all of your babies!!

my next one i will attempt is a piece for our bedroom of joel and me. i'll be sure to post the follow up.