Thursday, November 12, 2009

Merry Crazy Ass Christmas

Leave it to me to put an unbelievably high standard on myself for Hell’s Bells’s Christmas card debut. But, truth be told, I have been planning her card since LAST Christmas. My vision is something angelic. My little tootie all dressed in white, in front of a sparkling Christmas tree, a slight smile on her face, eyes looking upwards filled with the magic of the Holiday.

Here’s what you can’t see, The Hubs and I jumping around behind the photographer like jesters burning calories and breaking a major sweat just to get that slight smile. A tiny hand, out of the camera’s view trying to grab whatever it can to pull the tree down; and the sound of a wet burp that you know just had a little extra something to it that at any minute is going to dribble down the front of that white dress.

The other day, I was holding her as I flicked on the hallway light. She stared up at the ceiling fan with the exactly look I wanted for the Christmas card. “That look,” I said, “That look right there!”

So, The Hubs devised a plan. I should decorate the tree and never let Hell’s Bells see it lit until that very moment. I should sit behind the photographer with my foot on the switch until the right moment (that moment being BEFORE I hear the wet burp) and then hit the switch. However, I am deathly afraid that plan will backfire and the sight of all the colors and lights will scare the child out of her wits. Or, worse, I will get a face so confused that it might be mistaken for her poop face sans the grunting and bright shade of red she gets.

Did I also mention that I have three outfits picked out for this picture and everyday I find another one. I will be lucky to get one good picture in a single outfit, much less attempt to get the miniature Cher into THREE different ones. As it is now, it takes a good TEN MINUTES and ALL my patience to get her dressed for daycare in the morning. I can't imagine how many bottles of wine I would need to settle my nerves after three. But, come hell or high water, I will probably attempt to try all of them. I know I will get the perfect look in the not so perfect outfit and I will have to Photoshop her head onto another picture.

Oh great. As I type this, yet another outfit came in the mail. Four!!! Can I possibly have four wardrobe changes for one Christmas card? Yes, yes I can . . . . . I think.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Google. Sometimes better than going to the Doctor and wasting 15 bucks

So yeah. Lay this one on your husband when he comes home after a long, hard day of work.

"I need a new engagement ring and wedding band."

Some of you who have been following my Facebook Status with all my whining of my corroded finger know that very recently, I developed a nasty, itchy, blistering rash under my wedding ring. Now, I know I packed on some LBs with the pregnancy so my rings have gotten a bit snug but a blistering rash. Really???? I haven't worn my rings for more than a week and it is killing me because I HEART my rings. I wore them my entire pregnancy except for one week when I retained enough water to fill a pool. And during that week, I STILL tried to get them on every morning.

Like I do with every rash, cramp, ache, pain I get, I Googled "ring rash" early on. Just as I suspected, I would have to have very sensitive skin to be allergic to platinum. I may scar easily but thankfully I don't have sensitive skin and unfortunately Hell's Bells did not inherit that from me. But, hey, who knows, my body has defied science before so it could be likely I might be allergic to it. From my findings, I pretty much determined that the weight gain caused my rings to get a bit tighter and since I wash my hands about 150 times an hour now, water and soap was getting trapped under my ring thus irritating it. After I thought it cleared up I wore my rings again one day for a couple of hours. The next morning I woke up with an alien finger again; I decided it was time to call the Doctor. It was going to take almost 2 weeks to get an appointment and that was not even with the doctor, it was with a Physician's Assistant.

I spent a very itchy week coating my finger in a mixture of Neosporin and Cortisone five times a day. The blisters spread and I popped them and poured Hydrogen Peroxide on my finger. It itched so bad I wanted to cut my finger off. I called the Doctor everyday to see if there was a cancellation. I was able to score an appointment ONE DAY earlier. By that time, my finger was almost completely healed with just some residual redness and chaffing. I felt dumb even showing up for the appointment but I was hoping she would give me a steroid cream to use the next time it broke out. AND THERE WOULD BE A NEXT TIME.

I sat there with the PA and showed her my rings while telling her about the oozing blisters and the itching.

"I know I am not allergic to platinum. I am pretty sure of that. It is probably just getting irratated by water getting trapped under those holes and soap so I probably just need a cream and to lose 15 lbs."

"No, you are probably allergic to platinum." She said.

"Um, platinum is the most hypo-allergenic metal out there. There is a very SMALL percentage of people allergic to it and those are probably the same people allergic to air. Are you sure it is not just soap and water under a now tight ring?"

"No. You are allergic to platinum."

"Well, do you want to test me to make sure before I go home and tell my husband that I need new rings?" I mean, really. JUST A THOUGHT!!!!!

Turns out they didn't have a platinum test patch because that is how rare an allergy to it is.

"Let me go ask the doctor," she said before leaving the room.

Lucky for me, the doctor was eating her lunch across the hall (despite it being almost 4) so I could hear everything Dummy and the Doctor were talking about. Basically, I heard the Doctor tell Dummy everything that I just told her. That it was unlikely I was allergic to the metal and it was most likely soap and water getting trapped under the ring. Basically, the only cure is to let this rash clear up entirely for another week or so and then put my rings back on. When I come home, take the ring off and make sure when I wash my hands move the ring to another part of my finger so my finger dries. That doesn't solve the whole water in the hole of the rings tho but in Dummy's world it make perfect sense to trap the water under the ring on ANOTHER part of my finger. Genius.

"Well, I guess I will just take them off when I wash my hands," I said. Sounds logical.

'No. I don't recommend that. I had one patient lose her ring that way."

"Could happen but isn't that why we have insurance?" Now I was arguing with Dummy. I was going to get my $15 co-pay's worth.

She had no answer for me. Shocker. It became blatantly obvious to me now that she got her degree because she had great skin. She gave me some steroid ceam samples and told me to come back in 3 weeks to see her. Why don't I just use the samples and give myself $15.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Stranger Danger

Since we put Hell's Bells in her own room I have slept like crap. For starters, I am on the other side of the bed (see two posts ago as to why) and I cannot get used to it. I have also become a SUPER LIGHT sleeper which is a drastic change from the there-could-be-a-bomb-going-off-in-my-room-and-I-would-have-no-idea way I slept pre-kid. I now have to sleep with the door open which for some reason makes me think that the Nightstalker is going to sneak in and behead me by morning. No sense in telling me this couldn't happen because I will tell you what I tell The Hubs. YES IT CAN and i bet at least one of his victims said the same thing. I guess this is where watching all the ID Network while i was preggo kicks me in the ass.

But, I also can't sleep because of my fear that someone is going to steal our baby in the middle of the night. The bedrooms are on the second floor, my husband argues. And yes, they are. But, if anyone wanted to steal a baby, they would find a way. I almost did a no-sleep-until-we-get-an-alarm protest. I can again attribute this to watching the ID Network and now all the Law & Order I watch. Particularly, SVU. I have this fear that I am going to wake up in the middle of the night just in time to see hands snatch her from her crib. Or, I am going to wake up and see an empty crib. I relay this fear to my husband and he tells again that I am nuts. I always have the same response.

"I bet Polly Klaas' dad said that to her mom too."

And it always renders the same response from The Hubs, "Who?"

Apparently, I am the only person who remembers the names of abducted kids.

Regardless, I think it is pretty legit fear that my husband laughs at. I am haunted by it in a major way. The other morning, after The Hubs left for work, I was drifting in and out of sleep when I swore I heard someone whispering to Bella in her room. The person was whispering to her like they knew her. I sensed danger and immediately sprung out of bed just in time to see a small, skinny woman with a black hooded sweatshirt standing at the top of my stairs holding my baby. The person saw me flying out of the bedroom door and darted down the stairs. I am not too steady on my feet when I first wake up so it felt like I was running after her with broken ankles. I woke up. Obviously, I was dreaming but it was very realistic and I woke up with my heart pounding and scrambling to look at the monitor where Bella was fast asleep. I was too freaked out to sleep.

Needless to say, that afternoon, I fashioned my own Stranger Danger deterrent but too much CSI made me way too paranoid about the teenage boy living behind me.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Date night and the reason why I am why I am

So, Friday night my folks were kind enough to watch Hell's Bells while The Hubs and I went out alone. Of course, they would have done this very nice gesture if I said, "We really need a night out alone" but it helped that our night out alone included going to watch their grandson, my nephew in his second school play. I talked my husband into asking his boss if he could be home by 5. Kinda sad that he has to request that but in the day and age of "I'm lucky to even have a job" most people would work until midnight if their boss asked them to.

The Hubs made reservations at Kona Grill because he knows how much I like their filet and wok tossed veggies. Honestly, I didn't care what I ate so long as I knew I could use both hands because one wasn't busy rocking a stroller or shaking a carseat to calm a crying baby. Hell's Bells has gone out with us many times but it was time for mommy and daddy time, no matter how good I got at rocking the carseat with my elbow as I ate a cheeseburger.

My folks came just in time for me to change out of a spit up stained Fish Taco T-shirt and into something cleaner. They were probably in the house 3 minutes before The Hubs and I flew out the door while I yelled back, "See ya, suckers!" It wasn't until we were halfway out of the complex when I realized what terrible parents we were. Neither of us said goodbye to the kid. I contemplated going back but we were too giddy with excitement that we didn't want to cause a possible upset should she realize we were leaving her.

We got to Kona early which was a good thing because after hearing there was half price apps in the bar area, we decided to sit there forgetting the service was going to be a lot slower because more time waiting meant more time drinking which is their plan but not mine. I wanted a wine, a margarita, a martini, even a beer but I don't drink so after two sips The Hubs would be leading me to the car like a stumbling drunk. I stuck with my diet coke. It didn't take either one of us long to say that it felt like something was missing. That it was completely weird getting out of the car and not having to pull out the carseat and unfold the stroller. Soon, a familiar face from work walked through the door. Since I had not seen her since I left for maternity leave, she wanted to see pictures of the baby and I was more than happy to oblige.

Now, I have a problem. I cannot ever accept a compliment for myself but if someone comments how cute Hell's Bells is, all I can say is, "I know!" The Hubs informed me the correct response should be "thank you." Whoops.

Soon, we were left alone again and I started commenting on the people around me. Of course, being home for 10 weeks, I was totally over stimulated by looking at so many people, I didn't know who or what to comment on first. It didn't take me long to hone into three guys huddled around talking to each other ignoring two girls standing next to them talking to each other.

"That is the problem with your gender," I said. "Three guys standing there ignoring two girls."

"The problem with my gender?" The Hubs said. "Why aren't the girls talking to them?"

This turned into a whole debate about how meeting people in Fairfield County sucks. I lived in this county my whole life so I can't really comment but I have enough single friends to know that this is probably true.

"It's easier to meet people in other places," The Hubs said. "When we would go to Cancun, we would always meet people."

Yes, but it was usually a drunken spring break in Cancun thus making it easier to meet people because your standards are lower and you aren't really looking for much else than a vacation fling.

"It's not even this hard to meet people in New York City." He added.

Can you tell The Hubs is a wee bit more passionate about this topic than me? This is for two reason. 1.) I was never a bar person. I hated bars. Still do. 2.) I was never a single guy so I didn't feel all that pressure his gender feels. I mean, sure, I was a single girl but out on the town, the pressure is more on the single guys. I just kind of sit back and laugh because all the bar hopping his friends did. All the drinks they bought for girls. All the hopes of getting some numbers on a Friday/Saturday night? All the rejection they withstood. All the games of wingman? And where did almost all of them end up meeting their wives/girlfriends including him? Yup, Go figure. I wanted to mention this point but probably thought it might be a sore spot so I stole the last piece of sushi roll while he wasn't looking.

I was reminded of something a friend said to me recently. A newcomer to Stamford, she said she was surprised a native like me was willing to meet new people because it has been her experience that FFC folk are unwilling to meet new people. That we seem to have our people and we stick with them. I went through my mental phonebook and it turns out that I must prey on people new to the area because I have about as many newcomers as I do natives. I don't know why but I like extolling the virtues of Stamford on newcomers. Not even so much what a great city it is, but all the great food we have and how nice it is to be so close to NYC without paying to live there and still not have to take mass transit. But, honestly, FFC folk are, for the most part, snobby and keep to themselves. We tend to not be friendly to outsiders because we have this mentality hence why a bunch of single guys from Monroe with decent jobs, relatively handsome, overall nice and snappy dressers couldn't meet a girl in a bar here no matter how many drinks they paid for.

Dinner was over and the debate had ended on a positive note, as all debates should end, with my husband telling me how lucky he was to have met me. And I responded to that the same way i respond to compliments about my kid, "I know." On the way out, my familiar face from work was sitting outside with other familiar faces so again, I was forced (read: willingly whipped it out) to pull out my phone to share pictures of Hell's Bells.

"Oh my god, she is so cute."
"I know!"

Obviously, I learned nothing from my husband's prior lecture on my inability to be humble when it comes to the kid.

We had time to kill before the play so we decided to stop home and drop off the leftovers and say proper goodbyes to Hell's Bells. I was sorry the second I walked through the door. My parents looked like they had been through the wringer. She was calm now but we evidently just missed a screaming and crying jag that outlasted my parents' nerves. "Grrrrrreaaaat," I thought. "They are never going to want to do this again!" My father still had hearts in his eyes for his granddaughter, but my mom looked shellshocked. Then again, I have found that most men can tune out a baby's wailing but women just can't do it. But, they were both willing to stay while we went to the play. We kissed Hell's Bells goodbye and thanked my folks profusely before running out the door again.

I can tell now, it is going to be a looooooong time before another Date Night.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

I appreciate your concern, but get away from my car

So, it finally happened. Actually, it happened two weeks ago but I am just getting around to telling the story now. When I say "it finally happened", I mean that someone thought I left my crying kid alone in the car while I got my coffee fix.

My mom and I were out on the town with Lady Bells. I offered to buy her a coffee (actually, she ended up buying just because she wanted to escape the car that was slowly filling with screams). We pulled into the back parking lot of the DD on High Ridge. My plan was to go in and get the coffee but my mother beat me to it flying out of the backseat before I could even get my hand on the handle and say "my treat."

Lady Bells was REALLY starting to go at in the backseat. In an effort to calm her down, I hopped in the backseat with her and leaned over her to start soothing her which was useless because she has proved to me countless times that she will calm down whenever the hell she is damn well ready to and anything I have to say is just more background noise for her to scream over. It was relatively warm that day and the windows were down. I felt bad for a group of high school kids eating their high school specials on the hood of their car. They kept looking over at the car, because obviously, it sounded like I was murdering my child. I mouthed "sorry" to them and continued my useless soothing attempts.

That it when "it" happened. I saw some guy creeping around my car peering into to the windshield first and then coming around to the driver's side. I thought he was going to steal my car and my baby so I immediately sprang into acting, popping up quickly in a defensive stance. The guy was unphased (I have to work on my scary face) and just nodded and walked off. It occurred to me, he was checking to see if someone was in the car with this crying kid. I got really freaked that he called the police before he checked to see if anyone was in there and within seconds dozens of police cars were going to come flying in the parking lot and see a very alarmed Dr. Horder. I started to panic and began having visions of standing in a courtroom (on the wrong side of the bench) defending myself that I was in the car. That is when I remembered that the high school kids saw me get out from the front seat and get into the back thus never leaving my kid unattended in the car for more than the time it took me to get from front to back and if my ass wasn't so big, I would have just climbed back there. Phew! I have witnesses.

Finally, my mom came out and I practically had the car in drive before she even got in. I was getting the hell outta dodge ASAP. The po po ain't taking me down for something I didn't do.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Crib day and how I woke up on the wrong side of the bed

No joke. Lady Bells' room is the nicest room in the house. The Hubs dreamed up a nursery in his head and I did everything in my decorating power to make it happen. He wanted the perfect nursery for his daughter. Altho' he regretted not dreaming that it had a flat screen TV he could watch sports on during night/morning feedings. Her room is a sanctuary that remains virtually untouched with the exception of some feedings and diaper changes altho I have the cleaning people clean it religiously .... just in case.

"Is she in her crib yet?" The pediatrician asked me at her 7 week check up. I hung my head in shame and said no. I knew the day had to come. I was ready for it. I was preparing by watching The Sleep Solution over and over until ever tip was etched in my brain and I began referring the hosts as "those two uppity estrogen pumping bitches who obviously never encountered a child like my child who was slowly killing my Dyson."

The Hubs and I figured a move to the crib should happen before I went back to work in case there were incessant nights of crying. We decided to do it on a weekend so he could stay up too. We spent the early evening making sure the video monitor worked, the camera was in a good position relative to where I was going to place her and the nightlights were all in place. He also moved the bassinet out of the room because he knew if it was still there, I would be weak against her crying and take her back into the room with us. He put my nightstand and lamp back.

We gave her a bath, fed her a bottle and when she was nice and asleep in my arms, I carried her up the stairs. The Hubs left the stuffed monkey in the spot I was going to put her in so I had to run the risk of putting her down, then picking her up again. Lucky for me, she was so tired from barely napping that day that she barely woke up when I moved her twice. I quickly snuck out of the room and into the bedroom where my eyes immediately became glued to the monitor. She woke up. The Hubs and i took a deep breath and waited for the raging to begin.

Surprisingly, it didn't.

I started thinking of things we did wrong and safety measures I forgot like how close was the bassinet bedding to the nightlight.

"I should move it," I said.

The Hubs all but pulled me back by the straps of my nightgown. "Wait until she is asleep again."

I agreed and walked into the bathroom. I had to flush the toilet though (usually we don't in the night if its just pee but since Flow is in town, I had to flush) so I closed the bathroom door and flushed. I quietly opened it again and sprinted back to the bedroom.

"Well, she WAS sleeping." The Hubs said.


We turned off the light, laid in bed and watched the monitor. She wasn't doing much but trying to find her thumb which is pretty amusing to watch.

"I should have put the old nightlight in the bathroom," I said.

"You are not going in there. Wait until she falls asleep." The Hubs said.

Obviously, no matter how many times I watched that video, I had it all wrong. I kept wanting to go in thee BEFORE she cried out. I am such a tool. Finally, she fell asleep and The Hubs gave me the green light to tip toe in and ease my fears that the bassinet drape was too close to the nightlight and retrieve the old nightlight and set it up in the bathroom.

"The hall should really have an outlet," I said making my mental list of things I will improve in the near future.

I crawled back in bed where The Hubs was already in a light sleep with his sleep mask on shielding him from the faint light pouring out of the bathroom.

I checked the monitor, she was still asleep. However, note that i was not asleep. I was nowhere near sleep for someone who had 4 hours the night before. I should have been asleep with my sleepmask on but alas, I was wide awake. We had the room to ourselves but now a new set of problems ensued. I had to sleep with my bedroom door open. Anyone who knows me knows two things have to happen for me to sleep tight. The closets have to be closed all the way so the clowns stay inside. The bedroom door must be shut and locked so the serial killers stay away. Now, the door was open and I was closest to it. It was going to be a long night.

"Um, I hate to wake you up again," I said, tapping The Hubs. "Would you mind switching sides of the bed." And to justify my middle of the night lunacy, I added, "You know, I never sleep closest to the door in hotels."

"We're not in a hotel. We're home," he said (but note, he was already starting to move.)

"I know. I know. But, you know me." I said. Then, the clincher, "And you married it."

We switched sides which proved harder on me because now I had to get used to a new side of the bed and one which smelled funkier than my side. The Hubs said he had to get used to a whole new side but then he passed right now. I must have fallen asleep because I woke up on the wrong side of the bed, literally, at 7 a.m. when I finally heard crying from the monitor. She made it through the night but I barely did.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Dumping Ground

Ever since I passed by first trimester, I got the urge to purge. I'm not talking about throwing up, just getting rid of stuff in the house we didn't need to make room for the baby. Of course, that meant dumpling way more of The Hub's stuff than mine but I compromised on some things. Lucky for me, I have a truck and also lucky for me, I have several Goodwill bins very nearby.

Now, I know you're not supposed to dump anything outside the bins but everybody does it under the cover of the night. Any day, you could drive by and see baby toys, furniture, computers, lawn chairs and the same green pick up truck. Not sure if that is for the taking but it never moves so maybe it is. Sometimes The Hubs and I will boldly dump something there in broad daylight. Other times, we wait until it is very late and we are sure nobody is around to dump the larger items. I can just imagine getting busted and having to go before a Judge I work with because I got arrested for dumping an old office chair. Embarrassing! But, some items are not as easy to hack up with a hammer and my hands as other items are (wooden vanities and dressers, that was a fun day).

I remember one night, The Hubs and I waited until we were sure the parking lot would be empty and nobody would witness the multiple illegal acts were about to scatter. Before we left the house, I contemplated covering my license plate with a garbage bag but he talked me out of it. When we arrived at the Goodwill bin, there was a car full of people parked facing the bins, headlights on illuminating the only area I needed to be completely dark. We hope they were lost and just trying to read directions so we circled the lot. They were not moving. After a few minutes, I got impatient and threw caution to the wind, pulling up to the bins and telling The Hub's to get out and start unloading as fast as possible. Within seconds, he was done and I peeled out of the lot yehawing like a cowboy screaming, "catch me now, fuckers!" I was sure they were following me but I think I was just conjuring up some excitement in my own head.

The next morning, we took a ride by to see the carnage we left and it was all gone except for one thing. In fact, anytime we put anything there, it is gone within a matter of hours. Sometimes, we will drive back in half an hour and it is gone. It becomes a game to see how popular our garbage is compared to the garbage of others. Apparently, my stuff is coveted. What does that say about my taste?