One of the more fun surprises of the year was the email I received from BlogHer about possibly reviewing an Estée Lauder product. I'm a loyal user of Estée Lauder cosmetics. They work with my skin, especially their foundations. Based on that alone, I volunteered to do a review, should they need me.
Lucky me! They did! I also found out that I'd be invited to the product launch in Chicago the evening before BlogHer starts. Estée Lauder sent us reviewers a little questionnaire to complete so I am hoping upon hope this will lead to a make-over, because how fun would that be? Also, I hear bloggers take a lot of pics at BlogHer and I want to look good.
I've never attended a fancy launch party at a department store, but when I picture it, I see myself drinking champagne. Will there be bubbly? I'll be writing about the party in the weeks after BlogHer so stay tuned for an exciting re-cap.
Today I took some antibacterial wipes to my old girl, my blue medela lactina. I shined her up, wrapped her cord around her two, three times and gently (after two or three times, Medela, that carrier is not easy to figure out, F.Y.I.) placed her in the big, blue, limosine of a carrier. I snapped the fastners shut and placed her on the counter of the pharmacy where I remembered that I picked her up exactly a year ago this week.
I remember the heat, sitting in my Saturn, sipping a green tea latte, my belly ginormus, talking on my cellphone to my sister, hashing out my last minute, ever-changing, labor and delivery birth plan modifications. I remember how the clerk asked me what I was having and then immediately chastised herself, announcing it was none of her business.
I remembered being so skeptical that I would need it at all, but also remembered the panic that ensued the day I brought my first baby home, trying to procure a pump just like it, because you know, I thought that if I didn't have it with me at all times, the baby would starve. Literally.
I remembered how I remembered lugging a carrier case just like this one through the hospital. I drove myself, even though they tell you not to, to the hospital when I had a raging mastitis infection and I required admitting for IV antibiotics. I remember how hard I cried, in that hospital bed alone, because the baby coudln't spend the night with me unless my husband did too, when they told me I might have to stay for a few days. At least until the fever broke.
I remembered all the days I got to work, or almost got to work and realized I forgot crucial pumping bottles or funnels or those god damn little white shields that slipped off when I washed them. I remember bags of fresh, warm, breast milk tipping over in slow motion in front of my eyes, but still more quickly than I could catch them.
I remembered how the sight of a freezer door full of bags of breast milk made me feel equally tethered and yet liberated.
I remember that I remembered those things and more as I drove away.
Leaving that pump and that time, behind.
The other morning as I was putting the baby's bottles away in the day care refrigerator, his teacher helped him steady himself standing at the activity table. He let go and stood up on his own, as he has been prone to doing. Mama look! she said, drawing my attention to that sweet child, standing there like a big boy.
I smiled at him and his face turned up into a gigantic grin. I held out my arms. Come here baby, walk to mama, I said. It was instinctive, encouraging him to take that next step, but I was never thinking he actually would. Then he did. He took two or three wobbly steps towards me and collapsed into my arms.
The teachers and me, we all broke out in spirited cheers and applause. He looked from one face to the other, absolutely beaming from ear to ear. He was so very proud.
I'm not sure what scares me more, that he's on his way to walking or that he was eating up the applause like chocolate on a mint brownie with sprinkles on top. A boy child that loves attention spells danger to me.
But I won't think about that now. It's bittersweet, yes, but I'm not sad watching his babyhood fade away. I'm enjoying more than I ever thought I could watching him scoot on the floor and squeal with delight if his brother chases him. I love to watch his face as he picks up a new object and studies it. It's beautiful to watch his personality unfold before me a little more each day and I welcome it.
I have baby gates and a whole lot of practice kissing bruised knee caps and bumps forthe many tumbles he is about to take. I am looking forward to chasing him in the yard or watching him push a toy lawn mower down the sidewalk. I'm quite sure by the time summer ends we will running full speed into toddler hood.
Go ahead baby, take those steps. I'm ready to catch you.
I had both the kids on my own Saturday while the Husband was out of town. I planned some activities, one of which included a trip to the neighborhood "Learning Shop" for a puzzle or a game that would keep us occupied during that dreary, rainy, cold afternoon.
Turns out the Learning Shop is code for run-of-the-mill toy store with beaucoup stickers to try and give it educational street cred. The big little man gravitated like a magnet to every motorized, giant vehicular bright colored box he saw. Again and again I said no. No No No No No No. This was not what I had in mind.
I did everything I was supposed to do to try and thwart a meltdown. I made eye contact as I explained that's not why we were there. How we had talked and AGREED before we arrived that we would be getting a puzzle or a game. I was calm. I was firm. I gave choices and outlined the consequences.
He, on the other hand, lost his freaking mind.
A major, mach-15 meltdown started out slowly and then took off like a motorized plastic rocket ship with blinking lights. BeforeI knew it he was screeching at me. He was red in the face and he was jumping up and down. He refused to try to calm down long enough to hear me out and began running through the store with some piece of crap plastic motorcycle in a big box.
There I was holding the baby in one arm, the diaper bag slung over the other, chasing my boy around this store while he screamed like a banshee. Literally, running. Thankfully it was a small store and it was not crowded. As I did laps trying to keep myself from losing my cool as well, I noticed there were a couple of bored clerks at the counter pretending not to witness what was happening and a handful of other mothers there, only one or two of them with their kids. (Ding ding- should have been my first clue this was not a good idea.)
I was mortified.
Not because my kid was causing a scene. No, I'm beyond that. I was stunned that not one of these other mothers or women tried to lend a hand or intervene in any way. They wouldn't even make eye contact with me. I was trying to wrestle a box away from a squirming four year old while trying not to drop the eleven month old and they went right on perusing the overpriced Thomas toys like we weren't even there.
The one or two moms who were busy herding kids? You are officially off the hook. I don't expect that they would have stepped in as they had their own meltdowns to prevent. I'm cool with that.
But those parents who were un-tethered? I would have hoped at the very least one of them would have casually blocked an isle, making it harder for my boy to get through and give me some advantage.The gold star would have gone to the lazy ass clerk who could have come over and pried the box from the wild man's hands while I tried to reason with him.
Don't we look out for eachother? There is no way you could have been in that store and not known exactly what was happening.
Here's what I would have done for any one of you:
If it were me watching this drama unfold I would have hovered. Not got in the moms face or tried to convince the boy that everything was okay, but I would have stood close enough to let the mom know I was on her side.
If given half the chance, between screams, I would have asked if she needed a hand. If the mom was flustered, looked irritated or said no, I would have walked away, no harm done. Maybe I would have grabbed a cart for her so she could set her bag down while she wrestled that god damned motorcycle out of his hot little hands.
If she said yes I would have offered to hold her bag or have tried to intervene. I know you don't grab someone else's child but I would have made sure that boy wouldn't have gotten past me.
At the very least I would have given her the all knowing, "It's OK, we all go through this" look.
I got nothing.
Neither, by the way, did he.
I just realized that I should have taken a picture of the beautiful plate of food I made last night for dinner ala CityMama, but I was too hungry and couldn't be bothered. I was too busy thinking wow. I made this? I can't wait to EAT IT.
I don't usually write about food because I'm not a fantastic cook. Most of what I make must be able to be prepared in 15 minutes or less or be a one-pot wonder. But this? This was easy and FABULOUS and if I ever have a dinner party (ha, fat chance) I will totally make this and people will think I can whip up an amazing dinner and not break a sweat or the bank. Ready? Here it goes..
Sesame Crusted Ahi Tuna with whole wheat pasta, green beans and cherry tomatoes
Ahi Tuna steaks (@ 1/2 pound fillet per person)
Whole Wheat pasta
Green Beans (frozen will do but fresh is better)
Salt and pepper
Teriyaki sauce (I use Soy Vay)
I bought a grill pan recently, Calphon, $25, nothing fancy. I used that to cook the tuna steaks but I would imagine a frying pan would work just as well.
1. Take your tuna steaks, dredge them in the vegetable oil and sesame seeds. Place them on a hot grill pan. Cook 4-5 minutes each side or until your desired level of doneness. (Mine were bright pink in the middle. Oh so yummy).
2. Prepare whole wheat pasta according to package. Drain. Cut your cherry tomatoes in half, toss with pasta adding olive oil, salt and pepper.
3. Bring green beans to a boil in salted water. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until color is bright green. Drain then rinse in cold water.
Plate your pasta, lay the tuna on top, drizzle with teriyaki and place green beans on the side. Voila!
(This is not my tuna but this post just needed a pic. That's what my tuna looked like but mine was prettier surrounded with the red tomatoes and the green beans. No offense to 3.bp.blogpot.com who originally posted this pic.)
Yesterday I rushed home from work and pulled the Exersaucer up from the basement. I sprayed it down and wiped it off then rushed into the kitchen to start making dinner.
Not long after the doorbell rang and a stranger came into my home, looked it over, handed me twenty bucks, folded it up and carried it away.
Until I saw him cross the street and open up his trunk, it didn't really hit me. It's going away. That big hunk of plastic that held and entertained and supported both my baby boys was leaving and with it, a little piece of me. My experience of being a mother to babies. Babies who are not babies anymore.
I hope the next family loves it as much as they did.
(Yes, that is my son wearing a sweatband and his pajamas. Don't ask.)
My husband leaves for work early in morning. Still breastfeeding (YAY or UGH, depending on how I feel any given day or night), I do the nightly wake up and feed the baby wee hour shifts, so often times, me and baby are snoozing and trying to catch a couple of zz's as he is leaving.
Sunday night was particularly rough. Multiple wakings and a feeding at midnight followed by a teething and/or ear infection screamfest at four meant that at six, me and the baby crawled back into my bed for a few more minutes of sleep before my older one woke for the day. Still trying to provide what comfort I could, I fell asleep with him nestled snugly in my arms, his tear streaked face pressed against mine and my hair firmly tangled in his little fist. Not wanting to disturb us, my husband gave us each a light kiss on the forehead and said don't forget to get up as he slipped out the door. It was warm and cozy and the baby was sleeping with his mouth slightly agape, breathing deeply. I closed my eyes again and sank back into sweet, quiet sleep.
Mother radar activated. Still deeply sound asleep, my eyes popped open. Oh no. Where is he? He's at the edge of the bed. Going from zero to one hundred and eighty miles per hour I lurched across the bed as he tumbled over the side. Silence. Still silent as I quickly lifted him from the cold, wood floor. Silent because my heart stopped beating for a second too. Then the scream. The angry, surprised, hurt, confused wail that I was waiting for.
I cradled him, his beet red face in the curve of my neck. Surrounding his body with mine. Oh baby, I cooed at him, whispering in his ear, mama's got you. I've got you. Shhhh. I've got you. I wanted to cry but my tears took their rightful place at the back of the line. They would have a turn later. I didn't know what hit the floor first, I only heard the sound. THE BOOM. The mattressess are high and the floor is bare. It was time to check for bumps and bruises, for wobbly legs or anything out of place.
I found only a bruised spot on his temple, hiding under his wavy hair. No other signs of hurt, apart from the look on his face and the chill in my veins. I tried to hold ice to the tender spot but gave up after the fifteenth time he pushed it away. Surely, that was a good sign.
It's only now, a day later, that I can feel like the danger has passed by and the fog of worry that clouded me through the night, slightly lifted. I'm an anxious mommy by nature and clearly still smarting from the fall we took together on a playground when he was only two weeks old that left me with a scarred knee and him a night in the emergency room CAT scan machine at Children's Hospital. The dangers of a newly mobile child seemed to have doubled with another boy in the house and I spend so much time in a mode of vigilance,searching for hazards of all measures and sizes that are readily found. Add to this news all around of bad things happening to good people and I found myself struggling many hours to assure myself he was fine. These things happen all the time. Babies are designed to fall down, that's what they do. It's how they learn.
Got it. I learned my lesson.