Lucas and I got to enjoy a few (cold) minutes in the snow this afternoon. He is unimpressed
Monthly Archives: January 2013
Welcome to Michigan
And we have arrived! It was a loooooooong week but we’re all here (questionably) in one piece.
So first, the packers showed up, packed and loaded our entire house:
Which was pretty entertaining because the movers were from Grand Rapids, Michigan (45 minutes north of us) and had been gone for two weeks. They were dying to get home, so I think there was an added motivation to get everything in boxes and onto the truck. Towards the end of the packing of the van, the van driver was thinking the same thing that Angel and I thought: “is this really all going to fit?” And the answer was: hardly. There were probably at least 6 inches to spare, and the sweet folks from Atlas Van Lines are driving all of the way to Michigan with my stuff in their cab. Our BBQ rode on top of our 60 inch TV (which I assume was broken by the time that they hit the highway). And I have a number of Ikea furniture pieces that were completely dismantled into a pile of boards and a stack of screws. So good luck to the people who deliver this from storage trying to identify what items these wood parts resemble but that’s totally not my problem and I’m just planning on having to replace those.
While all of this was going on, Molly was pretty concerned that she was going to get left behind:
While the packers were there loading the van on Wednesday, I got a phone call from a realtor who wanted to come by the house to look at it for her clients. That night, the clients returned, we loved them, they’re from Portage, Michigan, and it’s just the two of them and a little Maltese dog. So we successfully rented the house the day before we left town to someone from the tiny city that we are moving to. Fate?
The next morning went my car:
And after my car left, literally everything that I owned was on a truck between Phoenix and my temporary housing complex in Battle Creek, Michigan (that I affectionately call our “Crap Castle”).
We flew out early the next morning with an infant and a dog. We had so much stuff that Angel dropped me off at the airport and then went to return the rental car and meet me at the airport so we could check in. Have you ever seen a woman sitting outside of security with a stack of suitcases, a baby in a stroller, and a puppy who is crying hysterically? Well, neither had anyone else until Friday morning.
We made it all of the way to Detroit and were on our final approach when this little dude:
decided to blow out his diaper. It’s bad enough trying to clean it all up when you’re at home, but when you’re on an airplane moving across the country, trying to clean it up in the airport added a whole new challenge. It took 30 minutes, but I got it all cleaned up and then quickly told Angel that we can’t change any more diapers until we get to our Crap Castle because I don’t have any more wipes after using half of a container on one diaper change giving my 8 pound baby-with-an-attitude a diaper wipe bath.
We make it all of the way to our Crap Castle, have friends drive in for the weekend from Chicago, and the boys went to the Detroit auto show while Laura and I stayed in with the babies and went out to lunch. This may be the first and last time that we plan a trip to Detroit because seriously, why else drive into that city?
I’m now in our Crap Castle and am reminded every 10-15 minutes why I am so grateful to have moved on from apartment living. Our building has an inside hallway, and our poor puppy doesn’t understand that it’s “normal” to hear people walking up the stairs and walking right by our front door. She’s also not used to people parking right outside of our window and all of these sounds make her bark like crazy every few minutes. I can get past the noise if the people living above us didn’t start practicing their Stomp routine at midnight every night (seriously, every night) if I didn’t have to take my fur ball out to the bathroom in snow and freezing rain every few hours. She’s not sure what snow is so my little princess just takes a few steps and then looks at me like “where the heater, mom?”
We’re getting settled. Lucas got his first stuffed animal that he seems to love:
and overall I’m loving my Lucas time at home. This afternoon, I had Lucas sitting on my lap while we watched tv and he thought that was a great time to blow out his diaper. Seriously, it came right out the top and he may as well not had a diaper on at all. At least this time we weren’t in an airport, and since he and I were both messy from this one, Lucas and mommy got in the bath together because his baby bathtub that would make this task easy is on a truck somewhere in this country. Before I had kids, taking a bath with a poopy baby was gross. But now when I’m here by myself it seems like the only solution to a poopy problem and I sort of love the naked baby cuddle time that follows:
Alrighty, it’s time for me to sign off so that I can start dinner before Angel gets home. And Lucas is starting to scream, so I can only assume that means that he pooped on something else.
My mom always told me that when you become a mom it’s impossible for you to be selfish. I always hoped that it would come that easy to me and I didn’t truly notice the change until I started putting piles together for our final flight to Michigan.
Because we wont get the keys to our rental until mid February, we have to plan a month in temp housing and our stuff to go into storage. So in the last 3 trips that we have taken I have been packing suitcases of things to leave in Michigan in the temp housing unit. Now that I am packing for our final trip I have piles all over the house for our 4 suitcases and 1 carry on and I have noticed that I have the largest pile of stuff. I was trying to think of how that could be possible when it dawned on me: the last 3 trips I have been packing for everyone else to make sure that they have what they need. Now I get the room that’s left and i am totally okay with this. Im okay with it because it means that everyone has what they need and if I’m forgetting anything or run out of room, I am the only one who will suffer the loss.
This must be the subconscious selflessness that my mom spoke of…
So Much To Do, So Let’s Drink Instead
The title just about sums up my week. I have so much to do with packers coming Monday and Tuesday and movers picking up everything Wednesday, so I spent the week at lunches and happy hours trying to say “goodbye” to everyone before I leave. Naturally, I’ll never have time to see everyone who I want to, so to those who I miss: I hope that you all know how much you mean to me but understand that I just had too much going on with a cross country move and a 2 month old on my own.
This week, Lucas learned how to smile:
Which is awesome because after 2 months of my boss screaming at me I was looking for some small sign that I was doing it all right.
The smiles are also great to keep me from realizing how gross it is that my son blew out his diaper while we were running errands yesterday. Who doesn’t love having to run home to change your shirt, your baby’s clothes, hose him down, and then wipe poop out of your car’s trunk? All the while I’m muttering profanity that I’m going to have to fill the swear jar from, Lucas is sitting in his car seat looking at me and smiling. I think he did it on purpose. Well played.
Today I came across two women who are desperately trying to have a baby and thus far have been unsuccessful. It serves as a reminder to me how lucky I am to have my son. I came to this revelation between his screaming in my ear while I was trying to burp him, and his throwing up on me after he burped. And you know what? I still feel lucky.
I also feel extremely thankful for the opportunity to stay home with my little man for at least the next few years. I always planned on going back to work because I never thought that I would be able to afford to stay home, and I feel lucky that I have the chance to stay home now. Now that my little guy is 2 months old, I can’t wrap my head around paying someone else to enjoy all of the fun firsts that are coming, see him smile, and play with him while I go to my marginally pleasing job.
In more lighthearted news, today I had another “Sorry about that, Mom” moment while I was at the mall with Lucas purchasing jeans that fit the new body that he gave me. I’ve been living 8 weeks in sweat pants and leggings and have decided that that’s not going to fly in Michigan where it’s a little bit colder. So I threw in the towel, went through my pre-pregnancy jeans, and gave away the American Eagle jeans that were made for girls who don’t have hips (I don’t fall into this classification anymore). My tummy may still go back to the flat that I once knew, but those hips are here for the long haul. While I was trying my jeans on to see which ones I can keep, I realized that a lot of the low rise jeans that I had weren’t made for a mom who constantly bends down to pick up a baby, a baby in a car seat, a pacifier that the baby threw on the floor, or to retie my shoes (What? Not everything in my life is “baby.” I still have my shoelaces). So I’m keeping this and my muffin top in mind when I’m out looking for jeans and end up with two of the most attractive “Mom Jeans” that Dillards sells. Don’t know what “Mom Jeans” are? I suggest you watch more old Saturday Night Live, or just check out this:
“Give her something that says ‘I’m not a woman anymore. I’m a mom!‘”
I used to make fun of my mom for these, and now this is totally my life! Thanks to my adorable baby, I have an ass that rappers love to sing about and the option to show plumbers crack or leave the pacifier on the floor of the store as another casualty of the situation.
The jean situation reminded me of this week’s Modern Family episode where the older daughter is babysitting the young son on New Year’s Eve. The boy invites a girl over and when the daughter kicks the girl out of the house, the son storms away and the daughter yells after him “Some day you’ll thank me for this!!….. Oh my God. I owe Mom a big apology.”
I have a feeling that I’m going to feel this way more and more for at least the next 18 years. Starting with my new Mom Jeans with a waistband so high that I can tuck in both my rapper ass and my hazardous boobs (because those took up a new home somewhere just north of my belt).
Babies are adorable so that we don’t eat our young because let’s be honest here- if he wasn’t cute, none of this would be worth it.
I’m going to go change out of my puke stained pajamas now and cross my fingers for 4 hours of sleep.
He’s lucky he’s cute.
Okay, you remember me telling you all about how I won Mom of the Year by ignoring my screaming baby to vacuum and clean my house with my ipod? Yeah, I was able to keep the house spotless, dishes washed, and have it ready to be shown to potential renters at a moments notice. ALL WITH A SICK BABY. No problem.
Until Friday night when Hurricane Angel blew through town.
I appreciated the help and having him back. And he appreciated the baby which was perfect because by Saturday morning I was ready to tap out. I actually left the house alone and it was ah-mazing. And then I took a nap, read a book… and no I’m totally kidding. But I was able to leave the house alone and it felt like vacation not having to carry around 8 pounds of baby in a 15 pound car seat being pushed by a 10 pound stroller.
On Saturday night Laura was in town so we went over to a friend’s house to see her. And because Lucas doesn’t really know the difference between 3pm and 3am yet, we took him along with. When we got home at 11pm, we put him to bed and I swear to you he slept from midnight to 7am straight and I couldn’t believe it when he woke me up and the sun was coming up. It was a refreshing change from stumbling for the light switch at 4am while screaming curse words.
On the topic of curse words, Angel and I decided that we were going to copy what our friends do with their daughter. She’s only 9 months old, but they have decided that they need to change their vocabulary and have a swear jar and for every bad word they throw $0.50 into the jar that gets deposited into her college fund. Luckily for our bank account, we decided to wait to implement this until after the move because I would hate to owe my baby that much money right off the bat.
Today when we were getting ready to take Angel to the airport, Lucas had the diaper blow out that we’ve all been waiting for. We cleaned him up, changed him, and about 15 minutes later I could smell him from across the house. So we cleaned him up, changed him, and went to the airport. After Hurricane Angel blew out of town and I returned to the dwelling that was once my organized house, Lucas blew out diaper number 3. At this point, painter’s drop cloths in my family room would be appropriate but instead my poor dog is hiding somewhere in the house far, far away from the explosions going on down south in the land of Lucas. I don’t blame her, I’m actually a little jealous that she doesn’t have to deal with this.
That’s it for tonight. I need to get some dinner and then bundle up because it’s been freezing (literally) all weekend. I had to turn the sprinklers off because they iced over my sidewalk. It’s been in the 20’s at night and 40’s or 50’s during the day and my heater broke. Luckily the one upstairs in the bedrooms still worked, so Lucas and I spent most of last week in our rooms and the loft until I figured out how to light the pilot light on the fireplace in the family room. Before you judge- we live in Phoenix so fireplaces here are totally asthetic and we’ve never used it in as long as we’ve lived in this house. We probably still wouldn’t use it if I had heat downstairs.
I can smell my son, so it’s probably time to stop typing and go change the plastic cover on the sofa because I am a classy lady.
This week my heart goes out to both single moms and parents of colic babies. If you’re a single mom to a colic baby, then for the love of all that is Holy you should be entered into sainthood (however that works).
This was my first week without Angel and there were only 2 noteworthy meltdowns and Lucas did pretty well, too.
The first meltdown on both parties came when my poor little man decided to take food in, but stop sending it out via dirty diapers. Yep, never thought I would have a post about poop and it’s importance, but there it is. Welcome to motherhood. On day 4, Lucas was screaming like the world was ending and looking at me with these horribly sad eyes like “Please help me, Mommy” and then “Why aren’t you helping me?!” which just tore my heart out and I started crying then too because my baby isn’t supposed to be an unhappy baby. He’s supposed to be a baby who is learning how to smile.
So on Monday morning, I promptly called the pediatrician who was busy with flu season on a Monday morning who probably was thinking “okay, crazy lady” and then I mentioned that my baby has been screaming for 4 days and that’s apparently the magic word because they fit me in immediately and I got a 5 minute lecture about the importance of not shaking my baby from frustration. I get it, but I feel like the moms who are trying to see the doctor when their baby isn’t feeling well aren’t the ones who you need to worry about. It’s like passing out flyers about the importance of reading to your kids in the library. Got it. Wrong crowd. So instead I laughed and then told the doctor about how clean my house is because it turns out that with my ipod earbuds in and the vacuum on I can’t hear a thing. We call this practice “Mommy survival.”
But seriously, my house is spotless.
Meltdown two came when this lovely thing came in the mail:
I think it’s safe to assume that both the models and the editor of Victoria’s Secret Swim 2013 catalog sent me this because they hate babies and want postpartum moms to feel bad about themselves. So instead I threw this sucker out without opening it and plowed through a bag of potato chips because it’s still sweater season and I think I can get another few months mileage out of the whole “I just had a baby” excuse. I kid. I really didn’t eat the whole bag. But you know the other reason this catalog met its demise in my trash can without being opened? Let’s discuss for a minute how I have boobs that start at my chin and have red warning flags hanging off of the ends so nothing hits them in traffic. I probably couldn’t fit into anything not made for nursing at the moment, but that’s fine because nursing tops conveniently hide the stand that I’m attached to to keep myself from tipping over.
So now that I’ve covered two important topics: poop and boobs, let’s move onto the move.
Here’s the house that we’re renting in Michigan (photo as promised last post):
Did I mention the best part of this house already? It comes with a weekly maid service. Now I neither work nor clean the house. It’s like I’ve died and am going to frozen heaven. But in all seriousness, this just clears the way for me to spend more time with the most important men in my life and not feel guilty about how dirty my floors are so I should probably put the baby down, order takeout, and locate the Pinesol. Now I get to cuddle with my little man longer, try that new recipe that I’ve had flagged in my cookbook for 3 years, and remind the maid about the spot on the floor where Lucas projectile vomited his breakfast.
Okay, so I’ve also gotten back into reading. I’m on the 3rd book of the Harry Potter series, and I’ve also read the new Ellen DeGeneres book that she talks about every day on her show that I now tivo and watch every afternoon. I’m only a few weeks away from soap operas and “Mommy and Me” groups. But I’m totally not joking about the “Mommy and Me” groups because I already have a few leads lined up for Michigan.
And I still struggle with the fact that I have a Masters degree and I’m now discussing the importance of poop, but my new boss is pretty demanding so I don’t have much time to dwell on it. Seriously, he’s a real slave driver who has outrageous demands at all hours of the day.
Speaking of, he’s sitting next to me crying for food so I should probably be a good mom and go put him to bed.
Cross your fingers for another 7 hour night of sleep (and quiet). 7 hours is winning the mom lottery.
Our Michigan Trip
I’ve been really bad about updating what’s been going on- I’m well aware.
So here’s a quick run down of where I’ve been the last week and a half:
Right before Christmas, this lovely thing was posted in my front yard:
(insert “booooooo”s here). But allow me to explain the sign real quick- our dream house is NOT for sale, just for rent. Our realtor has been made clear that any calls she gets about sale she can immediately ignore because we aren’t willing to entertain any. But since our realtor is only really posting our rental as a favor and it’s not something that she normally lists, she only has “For Sale” signs. Thus, the sale-but-really-for-sale confusion in our lawn.
My parents ended up coming down to Phoenix for Christmas! In the 10 years that I’ve lived here in Phoenix, I’ve never actually spent a Christmas here because I’ve always gone home. This was going to be the first year that I wasn’t coming to Colorado and babies make a great excuse to both: 1) not travel if you don’t want to and 2) get everyone to travel to you. So we bribed my parents with adorable baby photos such as these:
… and they practically beat down our front door like any proud grandparents would.
So we PACKED our adorable Christmas tree full of presents- mostly for Lucas- and didn’t get out of bed on Christmas Day until about 10am. I’m guessing that this is going to be both our first and our last Christmas morning that we’re going to be able to sleep in. We took full advantage.
Angel guessed before Christmas that my gift to him under the tree was a Keurig machine, so when Lucas woke us up at 10, Angel rolls over and says to me: “I was thinking that I should just go open the Keurig so that we can make coffee before we open gifts.” By this point I was laughing because I was thinking the exact same thing. This is why we’re perfect for each other.
Naturally, our adorable baby got carried away from the tree with the largest pile of gifts that he neither opened, nor was aware of. In fact, our little munchkin looked like this most of Christmas:
And yes, he’s wearing Christmas jammies which he was also unaware of. But I’ll be able to show him these photos and explain it when he’s older.
So overall, we had a lazy, sleepy, first Christmas with our adorable little man and extremely proud grandparents:
So that takes us through Christmas. My parents had to head home on the 26th, and the Rivas family loaded up and shipped our first car to Michigan:
So while I’m standing in the driveway holding the baby, watching the car get loaded onto the truck, and waiting for the realtor to come show the house, it took just about everything not to start sobbing. So the car leaves, and I spend the rest of the day packing suitcases because we left to move Angel to Michigan the next day.
Traveling with a newborn? Easy. Schlepping all of the crap through the airport? Oh. My. God. Tack on a cross country move for Angel and we’re left with 4 big suitcases, 1 carry on suit case, 1 diaper bag, 1 backpack, 1 stroller, 1 stroller bag, 1 car seat, 1 car seat base, 1 tote bag, and I’m sure I’m forgetting some but I think I’m making my point clear. Crap. Lots of it.
We were hoping to be able to arrive straight into our 2 bedroom furnished apartment that we’re calling home until March, but that got the red light until January 8th, so we were moving into a teeny tiny hotel room. With all of our crap. And a tiny baby.
Side bar: hotel rooms are HORRIBLE with a baby. Oh Lord, I can’t explain it, you’re just going to have to think back to having your kids in a hotel room if you’re a mom, or imagine trying to throw a formal dinner party for a litter of puppies in your garage and that’s about half of it. We got 2 nights of 7 hours sleep bliss from Lucas, followed by our first 8 hour night (which is considered “sleeping through the night”) and then we threw him on a plane, packed him into a freezing hotel room, and by the end of the week I brought him home with the schedule of screaming his head off every 2-3 hours. All day, all night, doesn’t matter. SCREAMING. In public, in the car, in the hotel room, in a crib, laying on mommy, cuddling with daddy, he did not like it here or there, he did not like it anywhere. He does not like green eggs and ham, he does not like them Sam I Am. So declaring victory and then being sent back to the starting line has been rough.
But I digress.
So we’re in a hotel. We go to look at the only 6 houses in a 30 minute radius of Angel’s work that are available to rent and will allow dogs. 6. I’m moving from a city the size of Phoenix to a 30 minute radius of 6 rental properties. The first 3 I was trying to keep an open mind while thinking in my head how I was going to live in an apartment for a few years with a baby and stroller and dog because these houses clearly aren’t going to work unless I plan on cooking meth in the basement as a side job. We drive to a different town, go to lunch, and then see house number 4: Winner, winner, chicken dinner. The house has 4 bedrooms, tile and hardwood, upgraded carpet, a fireplace, a kitchen that I could cook in without having to disinfect with bleach, and A FENCED YARD. Sounds so mundane, but apparently nobody in the midwest fences their yards. They like their neighbors, I like my privacy (and my dog not to run away when I let her out to the bathroom). So we jumped immediately. And then we learned why the house was so drastically different from everything else we saw: 1) because the town was where families lived in the area, and 2) the owners are moving to Singapore for 3 years with work and then plan on moving back into the house. The realtor tells us this and our reaction is: “Oooooooohhh, okay now it makes sense.” Anyway, we apply and get the house. We’ll be moving in February 11th. I would show you a picture of the adorable place, but I think I was in a state of shock at finding a house that I could live in that I totally forgot. I’ll have Angel take one when he goes back to Michigan tomorrow.
So we have a house, we’re struggling with a baby in a hotel, we’re freezing our Arizona butts off:
We peace out of Michigan, drive the 2 hours to Chicago, and spend New Years with the Gerstner Family who spit out their first kid and moved home to Chicago 9 months ago. There are multiple babies, we swap war stories, we cook, we drink, and we’re all yawning on the couch by 11pm on New Years Eve.
Enter: the reason why we’re doing all of this. Angel starts his new job. It sounds like he’s really going to like it, but more importantly I now get all of the Kashi cereal that I refuse to buy because it’s too expensive.
It’s time for the baby and I to come home and Angel to come with so I can schlep all of this crap back:
Lucas earns his wings when the flight attendants are all just eating him up and he’s being his adorable self and looking around while trying to eat his teeny tiny hand. So the flight attendant comes back when Lucas falls asleep and gives us his wings that I pinned on his seat belt for the photo:
We land at 6pm and Angel turns around to head back tomorrow at 3. Sad face.
Lucas started his new routine of evening screaming (thank you, hotel). So I give him a GIANT bottle, put him in a bath, put him in clean jammies, read him a new Dr. Seuss book, and put him in his crib to scream it out.
5 minutes later he’s half sleeping, half fighting it, 2 minutes after that I’m going to make sure he’s still breathing because he has passed out. Let’s see how long this will last.
But noteworthy- this is his first night in his crib and his first night spent in his adorable nursery that will be dismantled and moved in about 2 weeks. Another sad face.
So there you have it. That’s what I’ve been doing the last week and a half and now that you know, I fully expect you to forgive me for not writing while all of this was going on.