Monday, June 13, 2011

Melissa's Must Haves (Summer Edition)

I've been wanting to compile this little list for a while now but I'm using the excuse that I'm too busy to sit down and really put it all together. Truthfully that's just a poor excuse for the fact I'm too lazy to charge my computer to write a list of really no worth whatsoever. I think of a lot of good openers for posts, posts that consist of more than the same blabberdy blah as everything else (my house is messy, my baby is cute/tired/sick/funny/naughty, I am sick, my laundry needs to be done, etc....), I don't ever pull my computer out and start that post. Or if I do I don't finish it and then my good writing moment is gone. Not saying I'm a good writer, just that sometimes it's better than other times. Anyway, this is what I'm calling "Melissa's Must Haves" and this is Summer edition because it's a list of things I've acquired this Summer that I am loving. A lot of it is Summer seasonal stuff but not all of it. If you have a must have list of your own please add it in the comments!

♥ colorful jams. I am referring to pjs for your kids but if you have none, or if you love sleepwear, then it works for adults too! I bought this Gap sleeper for way less than it  is listed on the website, I think I paid $11 for it? Anyway, there is nothing more adorable after a long, sweaty, stinky Summer afternoon playing than a baby who is bathed, lotioned, and dressed in comfy cuties. 

♥ Fresh herbs! I don't know how or why but I've waited until my 28th year (or is it called my 29th since I'm turning 29 this fall?) to plant and grow my own herbs. I've had other house plants that didn't last very long and the Summer before Mad was born I had flower boxes at our condo (they died when we went on vaca in late July) but always had some excuse for not having a little basil plant growing in my window. This year all that changed. I have basil, thyme, rosemary, pineapple sage, mint (mojitos anyone???), flat leaf parsley, and catnip. Aside from being useful in the kitchen (I'll dry some too and store it for the cold months) they smell fantastical on my front and back porches. And they are still alive which is really giving me some gardening confidence.
A fun variety of pots helps too. I have colored pots and some adorable brown terra cotta pots that were basically free at Lowes.

♥ Veggies. I don't have a picture of my vegetable garden, and at this point it's kind of blah to look at, but I'm having so much fun watching the progress on the vegetables we've chosen to plant this year. We only have one box so The Bear just picked a little of everything and we'll see what goes well and keep that in mind for next year. He has high hopes for the watermelon but I'm not going to hold my breath. If you don't have anywhere to grow veggies then head to a local Farmer's Market to enjoy the fruits of another man's labor. 

♥ A place to drink in the evenings. If you don't drink then a place to do whatever it is you do to unwind. As long as that unwinding doesn't include cleaning. I picked up a cute "chat set" for the front patio with an Amazon giftcard we got with reward points. The space has some annoyances, like the uneven surface that makes the chairs sit a little crooked, but overall I love it. The cat loves to stalk bugs and birds while we sit and I like to over analyze all the things that are wrong with my front yard. The Bear plays on his lap top, Ipad, & smart phone all at the the same time.

♥ Awesome baskets. Remember my dream pantry? Well, I took another step in the right direction when I found and ordered several wire baskets online. The original organizing job I had done went down the drain a month or so after I finished it all and so I got the bug to get it back into shape, found the baskets, and VOILA! I'm so in love with these baskets! I want more for this space (different than what my dream pantry has going on but better for what I have IN my pantry), and a few to organize my linen closet all pretty. Everything looks so much better in a fun container than it does just sitting all blah like on a boring shelf.
I feel like this looks worse than the first picture because it's so full right now....and the top and bottom is a bit of a wreck still waiting for some TLC. But, in real life it looks way better. I swear!

♥ Flip flops...for obvious reasons. I say one cute pair of sandals and a few go to cheap but comfy pairs that can be worn around the house, in the garden, at the park, & out for errands. My cheap choice is always Old Navy flip flops. The kind that are rubbery and soft so they are so comfy to wear.

♥ Adirondack chairs. I got some colorful plastic chairs from Home Depot and while they will probably only last 2 or 3 seasons before they crack they don't have to be sanded or painted and with all the projects I have going on right now (the projects I'm not actually making progress on BTW) that is kind of important.

♥ Swings. A park swing, a tree swing, or an entire Costco swing set (like us) a swing is a Summer must have for any kid. Mad will spend hours swinging if I will stand there and push her that long. I love that she loves it that much. It's made all the work putting the damn thing together well worth it. I mean, the hard work of watching Mr. Bear do the building of course.

That's not really it but this is getting wordy so I'll stop now! If nothing else this has been fun for me to write. Next up, a picture list of all the projects I'm NOT working on but really do hope to finish in the next month or so if I can just get some quiet time to myself.....

*I just read this to edit it and stuff....cause we all know how much I care about proper punctuation....and stuff.....but despite the several run on sentences and need for additional commas I decided to leave it as is so I could properly reflect the exhaustion I am feeling tonight. Because of the cat. And the mouse. And the ear infection.

Too Tired to Come Up With a Title. for reals.

You guys. I just have to say this. The last week of nights (does that even make any sense?) has been an absolute circus for this Bear house. I'm totally not even kidding. It all started over something so teeny tiny that you would almost not believe it (ok, you would)....a mouse. An itty bitty mouse. Seriously. Have you seen Coraline? It looked just like the circus mice, but probably even smaller! One night a week or so ago we discovered Mew (the cat, remember?) had a little mouse cornered in the hall. The Bear scooped it up in paper towel and let him go outside. One of the many things I super love about my Mr. Bear? His big ol' bear heart. He is so compassionate when it comes to animals of all shapes and sizes!
Anyway, that's the end right? This was for sure just a random event. Mew had just found this mouse in the garage so we'll put up traps or whatever and never worry about it again. That's what I was telling myself the next day while I was locked in the car, with Mad, sans shoes, while Mew chased another itty bitty mouse around the hallway. I actually called The Bear home from a work lunch (turns out he was test driving cars instead) to take care of the SURELY DEAD IN THE HOUSE mouse. However, the cat was snoozing and the mouse was no where to be seen, dead or alive.

Pest control came and set up super professional traps and told me that there was no sign of mice living in the house so that means they are coming from some random hole outside the house and entering our vents. NO BIG DEAL!!! That night I woke hearing the cat running around the bedroom like a crazed animal. I was tired and completely out of it so I shined my cell phone light on the floor where, you guessed it, I saw Mew chasing another tiny mouse around my bedroom. Mr. Bear got up, still in his sleeping stupor (which, I don't know if I've mentioned before but he can function completely while asleep and not remember a single thing the next day, kind of like the first 4 months of Mad's nightlife) and caught the mouse, again releasing it in the field outside our house.

Every night since then I have been absolutely petrified of Mew bringing a mouse up onto the bed and dropping it on my face, half alive. Because Mew just when it comes to my personal space at night. She will gladly sit on my nightstand taking a mini spur of the moment bath in my water cup before putting her nose to mine trying to check if I'm still awake (I AM NOW!!!) and settling down to bat at my hair until she falls asleep. I'm co-sleeping with my cat you guys. Anyway, several times a night now I wake from a dead sleep hearing Mew chase another mouse around the room. My heart will be beating out of my chest as I search wildly around the floor for a mouse, kicking my blankets in case it's been dropped at my feet, and waking The Bear only to be reassured that there is no mouse.

My energy level is suffering greatly from the lack of consistent sleep and nighttime stress and anxiety. I hear every little noise and I'm sleeping in genuine fear of waking up to another mouse incident. Last night around 2 AM Mew jumped on the bed and pounced right on my legs. It was a mouse attack! I bolted up and kicked my mouse infested blankets in the air, sending Mew flying across the room, mumbling incoherently and trying to catch my breath. It was just Mew's favorite mouse toy so, phew, I could go back to sleep. Except now my baby was crying in her bed. And she has a fever. And she's totally wired. And wants to roll around my bed instead of sleep. Of course as soon as she falls asleep Mew is mewing around my legs playing with her toy and attacking invisible mice leaving me exhausted and cranky in the morning just in time to take my feverish baby to the doctor, deal with multiple exhausted outbursts (her's not mine, but I totally wanted to), waiting 40 minutes at the pharmacy and then losing my keys. If I never hear the word mouse again it will be too soon.

Oh, she has an ear infection. Again. The third one this year. I'm convinced it's because the first infections never actually healed completely. Anyone have any magic tips for helping her little ear clear up once and for all?

P.S. I know the little mouse did try to come back, yet again, because I found it's teeny tiny dead body on my front patio. Ew!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

The (frustrated) Mama in Me

I lost my patience this morning with a little girl I call Mad. Even though I try to avoid writing too often about the frustrating times we are going through (terrible two's come early?) in real ACTUAL life those frustrating times are impossible to avoid. Lots of days are wonderful. She might throw a fit or two but it's nothing we can't handle. Other days end up like this one.
"Look mom, I don't have time for this, I've got better things to do, OBVIOUSLY!"
Mad wakes at the crack of dawn. Literally. 5:45 AM. I know it's before 6 AM if the sky has that lovely hazy color only captured as the sun is rising over the mountains. Since our mornings are pretty relaxed (lounge in bed watching Curious George and nursing) I don't mind that she wakes early. But by early I mean 6:30 because any earlier than that and she is a snotty wreck by 9 AM. Sure enough the moment the clock struck 9 the tears and fits began.

Somehow we managed to get through a couple more hours before....I. Just. Lost. It. Too many tears. Too many hits. Too many kicks. Too many "DOP MAMA!"s (STOP MAMA!)for the day. If you have ever had a toddler you know that there are days. Unwelcome, overtired, cranky, crabby, awful no good days when no matter how many times you look into their eyes and ask for a "nice" voice they just don't even acknowledge you and go right on screaming,  kicking and hitting their way through the day. And on some of those days we mama's just aren't the perfect women we want to be. I picked her fit throwing self up and took her to her bed. After I calmed down a little, a moment was really all I needed, I went in to her with a binky and blankey and told her to lie down and nap. I wiped her snotty nose, but didn't pick her up and nurse her like I normally would have, stroked her wispy hair, and tried to hold back my own tears while she fell into a coma like sleep.

I left her sleeping soundly but couldn't get the pit out of my stomach. "I didn't even nurse her!" was all I could think to myself. Not surprisingly I snuck back in the room, picked up her heavy toddler body and nursed her. She wrapped her arms tightly around my neck and buried her face into me. This little person makes me weep with love and even now, hours later, I feel so frustrated with myself for losing my cool. I'm not the first mama in the world to get frustrated with their child, of course, but it's not what I want to be as a parent. It's difficult to find patience and love in these situations but what my daughter needs is for me to step outside of my own anger and exhaustion and try to "listen" to what she needs. As a friend once said, their love tank needs to be filled, and then MOST of the time it gets better.

Tomorrow will be a better day. I will fill her love tank up until it is bursting and show her that I can be patient and hold her hand while she lets out her emotions (but, she still can't hit me).
Memorial Day outing to Ikea, one of our favorite mama and Mad day trip destinations.


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