Thursday, May 26, 2011


When Mad was still my little Baby Bear, about 10 months old, I was just starting to get back into the swing of things as far as cleaning, laundry, & oh you know REAL LIFE goes. I wrote about it a lot and here is one example. About that same time Mad was still napping 3 times a day for 45 minutes to an hour each time. The last nap of the day I allowed myself to sit on the bed and browse the computer, read, nap, or just do whatever I felt like I needed to do for myself. When you have a baby that seems like a foreign concept because every inch of your body and soul belong to that little being.

Still, I felt guilty about that time and felt the need to justify it to The Bear. Basically, I imagine he's upset about things and I get all defensive and stuff. Poor guy. ANYWAY, I was telling him that I felt like I worked hard all day, cleaning, cooking baby meals, playing, teaching, doing all the stuff that mom's do, and when that last nap time came I deserved to spend some time for myself not working hard. I can't recall the exact words he used but in a nutshell he said that it was fine but he didn't think most people got that time in their work day. Insert fiery, burning, flames of rage igniting behind my eyeballs.

Never mind what he was ACTUALLY saying (I've never quite figured out what his point was exactly but it wasn't meant to illicit such an offended reaction from me aka he wasn't meaning to be mean) I was entirely focused on my own interpretation. Apparently it's a habit with me. To me he had just said I was lazy and didn't deserve any time to sit quietly by myself because people who work at "regular" jobs never get a break for themselves! As if! If I had been thinking like a sane human being I would have laughed and asked him what he read on Engadget that afternoon and then I would tell him about his co-workers updates they had Facebooked earlier....while they were "working" without a break. I'm sure we fought about that one. Or I was mad and didn't speak to him until the next morning. Either way, me now is laughing at me then. Because this morning we had to talk about how I left him without clean undershirts and he was going to have to do his own laundry. And napping with Mad is a regular occurrence in my life. So is eating cheesecake for breakfast. I've welcomed the lazy in my life and I'm, mostly, ok with that. That is my first confession. It is kind of related to my third. But not really, I just wanted to tell this story.
Me being lazy with my leggy blond snuggled next to me.
My second makes me really sad to confess publicly. You remember that sweety sweet dog we adopted? Well, it just didn't work out. Yes, we were that couple who got a dog and then had to find a new home for him. He was so sweet and tender, and he loved The Bear sooo much. Too much. There was a constant struggle between he and Mad over attention from him and the poor doggie just didn't understand his actual HUGE size. The anxiety over Mr. Bear's affection didn't get better with time and when a baby is concerned there isn't a whole lot of wiggle room in the time department. We found him a home with two loving parents who had been searching for this exact dog breed at this exact age and for that exact price (free with all accessories included). So, with lots of tears we let him go with instructions to let him sleep in their bed and give him lots of hugs and made them promise that if he was too much they would call us. They didn't. I'm happy that he is happy. This leads me to my third confession.....

Mad loves every kind of animal. She has gotten so good with our parents dogs (there are 7 between the two houses!) and spoils them with unwanted affection and (very much wanted) table scraps. I wanted her to have her own pet to love and care for so when The Bear gave an opening I agreed to let he and Mad get......a cat. I know what you're all thinking. Ok, well, I don't, but I know what I'M thinking when I write that. I'm allergic to cats. As in, itchy eyes and hives if I have too much contact, nothing major BUT STILL! I don't even like cats, I think they are weird. That is how much I A) love my animal loving daughter and B) love my self proclaimed cat lover AngryBear. We agreed to look and see if there was one for adoption that was the right fit for us. There was, and now we have a 2 year old cat. Carly, I know if you're reading this you are totally disgusted with me (and amazed that I would do such a thing!) but Mew, that is what we named her her since that is all Mad will call her, is fairly easy going and non-offensive in all the normal "things I hate about cats" ways. Am I trying to convince you or me? Both maybe?
Meet Mew. She likes to sleep on our kitchen chairs.
We've had her for several days now and I'm ashamed to say that she hasn't bothered me one little bit and has molded right into our lives like she's always been here. She loves me. A lot. I don't know why but I'm guessing it's because we have one thing in common, she's lazy. She napped through two nap times today, in the baby's room, without making a peep. If I HAVE to have a cat she is the cat to have. And that, friends, is my big confession. I never ever ever thought I would have a cat. Ew. See below for why it is totally worth it.
"Hi Mew, hi Mew!"

"Oooooohhhhh Mew!"

Monday, May 16, 2011

Angel or Devil?

Rather than write about how this angelic face has tested my patience morning and night for the past few days I will remember the delight in her eyes while she pulled weeds in the yard this weekend. I will remember the squeal of laughter when her daddy gave her a bath in the late evening hour. I will remember that every tantrum means a long hug in my lap, her tear stained face pressed against my chest, her small hands stroking my arms, her little chest rising and falling as she calms down in my embrace. Instead of recalling the times I lost the battle against my own patience (news flash, I have none) for the millionth time I will recall all the moments I took a long breath and looked at her frustrated little face asking her to help this mama understand what she needed. Those were the moments I won.
Mothering a willful toddler is tough work. This afternoon, after a nice long nap, she woke with a frown. I rattled off a list of things we could do after a diaper change (aka HELL on Earth, for both of us). All of my suggestions were met with a scowl and a shake of her little chubby face. Finally we settled on a snack, only she didn't want to sit in her chair to eat the snack, she didn't want to share my arms with the makings of a snack, and she didn't want to actually eat the snack. So, I sat down beside her and took her bowl of fruit for myself. I ate her pears, exclaiming how delicious they were, and let her pick each piece out for me to eat. I made some toast, one of her favorite snacks, and smothered it in peanut butter and raspberry jam, a recently discovered treat. By the end of our snack time she had eaten half the pears and one piece of toast. Everything on her terms, this is how our house is run.

I call her my sweetest baby, my darling daughter, my small angel, and she is all of those things. Lately it just takes a little extra time to look beneath the furrowed brow into the eyes of a frustrated baby who just wants to have things go her way. Inside I feel the same way so I can hardly blame her.

Friday, May 13, 2011

The Sweetest Things

Has it really been 2 weeks since my last post? How am I supposed to keep up with my own thoughts if I don't even write them down! I guess it's a mixture of busy and lazy. I'm busy during the day and lazy at night. And I'm honest all the time, thank God!

When it comes to motherhood I really jumped in head first. I love my Mad, she is,without a doubt, my world and I love being that mother who never regrets all the vacations I potentially miss out on because I don't enjoy leaving my baby. Sometimes I know The Bear wishes I didn't have so much anxiety about having her away from my arms overnight. Both of our mother's are likely tired of hearing my long lists the few times we do leave her for a night. I know that the intense anxiety at the thought of being away is something only I truly understand. That is ok with me. I don't wish to change it completely but I do try to take control of my anxiety and let her go for enough time that my Bear can feel important too.

So, last week we packed our bags, and Baby Bear's bags too, for a few days away. This is the second time since she was born but for 4 nights instead of 2 (she stayed 2 nights with my family and 2 nights with the Bear's. I know his brother would appreciate me mentioning that he is an excellent overnight sitter and is adored by our Mad). We drove through the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California (let's not reminisce about how long of a drive it was!) to a little area in Amador County for much appreciated R&R (rest and relaxation, you know). A sweet bed and breakfast with our own cottage (shared with another friend couple of ours), 3 days of wine tastings, and quaint small town living (and by quaint I mean everything closes at 4 PM and from that moment on the only people you see are in one of the 3 restaurants or other tourists who didn't get the closing time memo) really recharged our parenting batteries.

It was beautiful and quiet. I drank several cups of coffee every day, the first delivered to my door at 7:30 every morning (which was perfect because I couldn't stay asleep past 7AM), ate until I practically exploded and....pumped a lot of milk, which The Bear says is not really the kind of information people really want to know when you have a 20 month old still nursing baby, but I'm pretty sure I don't care. Did I mention how beautiful it was?

I could look at this view forever! Although I could do without all the driving on winding roads to get there. The quiet in the air is something I am not accustomed to at all and it gave me such pleasure to hear only the wind blowing rather than cars speeding past and construction trucks grumbling all the day long.  You don't realize how noisy the world is isn't. You don't realize how many buildings there are until you see none. You don't realize how annoying all the rushing and planning is until you don't have to do either. On a side note, I'm not sure that our traveling companions enjoyed this trip as much as The Bear and I did. I'm trying to feel bad about it because I'm sure everyone else might not find out company as enjoyable as we do ourselves, but I can't really because there was nothing stopping someone from just enjoy what was. Relaxing while the time is there and available to you.

I'm glad to be home. I'm enjoying the day to day chores that I was feeling burnt out on before (though you might not know looking at my house/disaster area!). The sun has come out and the days are beautiful again; it was a long Winter in Utah this year. My garden might actually get weeded before Fall comes and my Mad has never been happier than she is putting about the yard like the little princess that she is. I know I'm a lucky woman to be surrounded by happiness and love in my home. My Bear and my Baby Bear fill my heart (I'm a broken record, I know) and I happy to be here, appreciating this life, and them.


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