Monday, June 30, 2008

Random Acts of Monday

Well, we got a car. It's pretty. I won't eat lunch for the rest of my life if that means paying it off early. Hey, maybe that'll help with the weight loss! I'm all about the multi-tasking.

I went to the dentist today. Guess what I got? My first cavity. Bleh.

I was so proud of the fact that I made it all my life with no cavities. What little pride I had to cling to is now gone. What I wanna know is...were my teeth really crappy all along and this is the first good dentist I've had (he was kinda cool) or did my teeth just give up. I mean, it's not like I'm a twice-a-day brusher or a regular flosser. Maybe I've just been lucky all this time and now my teeth are waving the white flag like, "Heiffa, you don't appreciate us!"

It's really a tiny cavity, but I am a freak about my teeth if you can't tell. So, after all the poking and prodding today, I have to go back two times to get a semi-deep cleaning and then another time to get a teeny filling. I am so paying extra to make it tooth-colored or whatever you call that because a tooth freak.

I'm scared to get a filling. The receptionist said not to worry cause I'll be numb, but, uh, don't they numb you with a needle to the gums or something? Ick. Ack. *dead*

So, after that and a really long day at work, I came home very late, deflated, and BD tells me to go upstairs. Get this: My dear BD had jazz playing and candles lit and the jacuzzi tub that I never had the chance to use was all full with bubbles. My towel and washcloth we laid out all nice and he told me to just relax.

How sweet is that?!

So relax I did.

And now the ceiling is leaking. From the tub. That I used for the first time tonight.

Yeah, Monday.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Me and My Big Mouth

So, about a week or so ago, when I first began this blog, I made a little comment that has come back to haunt me.

That whole sleeping through the night thing. Yeah, about that...

Malea, in her infinite wisdom, has decided that one year of rest for the 'rents is plenty. This week alone, we had 2 nights in a row where she woke up at 1am. First, she'll play in her crib, babbling to herself. Ok, that's not so bad. It kept me up since the monitor is just that good and we can here ants talking about their weekend plans through that thing, but no biggie. But then the whining begins. Nnnnnnaaaaaaaaahhhnananadadadadadadadaaaaaaaaaaaaa. Over. And over. And over.

Thus begins the dilemma. As The Big Ones, we must assess the situation. Is she hungry? Probably not. Is she in pain? Hmmm. Is she bored? Perhaps. Is she PLAYING US? Yet to be seen.

The first night, we pretty much just caved. I mean, yes, she's been a great sleeper in general, but there have been a handful of times when she woke up in the middle of the night and since it was so rare, we'd just bring her in the bed with us and voila - problem solved. No harm, no foul.

But when you hit that second night in a row? That changes things. Cause, as The Big Ones you can't help but wonder if she's testing boundaries. And that's kinda scary cause - hello...she's 1. What are we in for? (don't answer that)

I know some folks are all about the Family Bed, but that's not our thing. Malea slept in her Pack-n-Play bassinett from the time she came home from the hospital until she was about a month old. Then, she moved on to her crib, in her room. We chose that route because we were trying to avoid scenes like the following.

It went a little something like this:

Whining begins. We wait.

Whining continues. Time to huddle and come up with a plan.

"We can't give in. I saw this one episode of Super Nanny and Jo was all, 'Be strong. Just pet the baby and let them know that you're there, but no talking.' Or something like that. So, yeah, let's do that." If all else fails, I suggest turning on the mobile. BD is all, "We haven't used that in months. Pfft."

Seriously? She's not tired yet? Doesn't she know some people gotta go to work in the morning?

I go into the room and try the technique. I even give her a little bear to keep her company. Whew! That actually worked. We are sooo good at this. As soon as I leave the room - Nnnnnnaaaaaaaaahhhnananadadadadadadadaaaaaaaaaaaaa

BD gives it a try. Changes the Playette's diaper. (cause she's playing us for sure now) Rubs on some Orajel in case, just maybe, she's in pain from teething. Rocks in glider. Lays on floor with the Playette. The Playette attempts to actually play with BD, but, um, it's 2:30, so he's not feeling it. I go in the room to see how things are going, see them on the floor, pet BD reassuringly this time, and go back and get in the bed and start watching Shear Genius cause I'm up now.

Minutes later, I hear the mobile. Ha!

BD brings the Playette to our bed. She quickly, happily falls asleep.

Score: Playette - 1, The Big Ones - 0

Shear Genius is over and I don't have much left to choose from on TiVo. My recording of Army Wives is of some other show. Ugh. I look over and see the Playette sleeping and get a bright idea. This heiffa needs to get back in her crib. I take her there.


I bring the Playette back to our bed. She quickly, happily falls asleep. AGAIN.

Score: Playette - 2, The Big Ones - 0

This isn't looking good for us.


We went out last night (Wanted and P.F. Changs) so the Playette stayed home with a sitter. She fell asleep around 8:30 we were told and slept through until 6am. If she was up in the middle of the night, we missed it (probably because we got so little sleep the night before). I can't help but think that she knew we weren't home when she fell asleep so she didn't push the envelope. We'll see what happens tonight.

We're on our way to Oakland today to look at cars. It's two hours away and if BD is as happy with this one car in person as he is with what he saw on the internet, we're going to be a 2-car family again. Which means that I'll have to drive the truck back. I so don't want to do that. And I hate car notes, but that's a post for another time.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Mobility + Curiosity = Time to Babyproof

Lea is a commando crawl queen. She gets exactly where she wants to go and does it so well that sometimes I fear that she'll never opt to bring those knees up under herself and crawl in the traditional way.

I'm sure she'll surprise us one day soon and just pop up there and start zooming around and then next thing you know I'll be whining about how fast my baby is growing up.

You can catch a glimpse here of her hair when it's flowing free. She likes it much better that way, but as the Moma, I will continue to win the battle to attempt to keep it tame for years to come I'm afraid. It is a lot of work though. I don't blame her for fighting me every morning.

Maybe one day we'll both win and she'll rock the cutest little shape-up you ever did see.

I'd stick a velcro bow on it or something.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Summer's On Vacation

I am such a summer person. I was born in the summer. I could swim before I could walk. I don't mind sweating. I feel better about myself when I'm just a shade or two darker, sun-kissed if you will.

And here I am in a place where the average summer temperature is what? 65 degrees?

I just checked and we're actually on par with Anchorage, AK today. Yes, I'm obsessed, but seriously...when you think of California, you think of sunny, right? Pfftt.

At least we have the ocean.

Mind you, it's too cold to actually get in the water, but it's there.

It's supposed to be up to 69 on Friday. That's honestly the best we've got to look forward to in the 10 day forecast.

I hope I didn't just scare anyone off from visiting. It's supposed to be nice in the fall, I heard. Snerk.

Oh, and Jessica Simpson and Randy Travis are the headliners at the county fair in August. It just doesn't get much better than this, folks.


Oh, maybe it does...

As I sit here listening to Malea and her daddy play while she takes a bath (this takes skill - there are days when she acts like baths are painful), a smile crosses my face and lingers for a while. I just have to take a moment to pause and take it in. I am queen of multi-tasking (albeit not so well at times) and rushing around trying to get things done. I'm forcing myself to enjoy the moment just a little more often. BD isn't afraid to be silly and do whatever it takes to make the Littlest laugh. He is so going to be her first love and I couldn't be happier about that.

I made it though my second day back at work today. Overall, I'm feeling much, much better. So much so that after BD got done with Lea at speech therapy (ST), they came and picked me up and we all headed to the farmer's market. As much as I bag on living in a small town, I love that market, dang it! We strolled down the main street, people watching ("I know that lady did not just stick her finger right in the olive oil sample? Ewww!"), taking in the sights and smells, buying a little Korean Barbeque, Indian, and Vietnamese food to bring home and enjoy. And I've never had better strawberries.

I guess I can deal with wearing a sweater in the summer for that.


Sunday, June 22, 2008

Back to Life, Back to Reality

Well, we're back from Las Vegas. It was a nice get-away and Malea was just fine without us. Her grandparents enjoyed her immensely. I reminded myself that a good friend left her 1 year old with his grandparents to come to our Vegas wedding a couple of years ago, so if I didn't think poorly of her for that, I could surely let myself off the hook.

Back to life, back to the day we have
Let's end this foolish game
Hear me out
Don't let me waste away
Make up your mind so
I know where I stand

Wow. Hm. Interesting. Ok, so a song from 1989 (!) that just happens to be stuck in my head because I was sitting here thinking of having to prepare for work after a week out sick actually is profound? And relevant? Take that everyone (me) who thinks that I waste too much brain space on things that don't really matter and struggle to come up with the word "vacuum" more times than I care to admit! (Overheard in my house: "You know, the sucker, blower thingee.")

No more room for trouble or fuss
Need a change, a positive change look
Look it´s me writing on the wall

Since the internet became a daily part of my life back in college, I've used it to its fullest, so it was no surprise that when I found out I was pregnant, I went right to an online support group of women like me, due to deliver their first children in June 2007. Shoot, I was scared of what I had gotten myself into.

I have kept up with those ladies and their lives from maybe November of 2006 until today. I still can't believe it, but I just kicked myself out of the group. I met some really nice people along the way, some even in person. But, have you ever been in a room and someone says something that you feel so deeply is wrong, but you don't say anything for fear of disrupting the "harmony" of the meeting/clique/family reunion/checkout line? Even when you know soooo much better? Well, yeah, I had reached that point. It had to be expected. We are from all over the North America, raised with all different types of morals and values, running the gamut when it came to financial, marital, and a myriad of other issues. I'd say the age range was a good 14 years.

In ideal circumstances, so what. I consider myself a pretty diverse person, thanks much to the manner in which I was raised. I moved from one cultural extreme to another, and then back again, rinse and repeat. Among my closest friends are those that live in urban areas (in my 'hooood) and a couple that just bought a 10-acre farm (shout-out to Kansas!). So, yeah, I'm open. I like good people. There are enough bad people not to like out there without getting too picky about weeding out the good ones because they don't match your color scheme or sound like you or live in the right neighborhood or have the same IQ.

Show me how, decide what you want from me
Tell me maybe I could be there for you

It was hard enough to remain a part of the group after Malea's dx. My heart ached as I watched those adorable children, her peers, reach milestones well before she ever would (little ones with Ds experience delays in fine and gross motor skills - think sitting, crawling, walking, self-feeding, etc.). Though I never verbalized my feelings, some people were inherentely loving and kind and understanding of the differences, while others just were not. I guess this is a good time for a mini lesson:

1. Parents of children with special needs do not appreciate people telling them that their child is not "normal." Nope. Doesn't work for many of us, myself included. [My child is as normal as they come. I will call her crazy though, but I love her so I get to do that.] So, if you consider yourself a martyr for putting your child in a daycare where children with special needs are "mixed in with the normal kids"? Oh, please please please, if you must express that with pride, try not to do so in mixed company.

2. There is nothing wrong with Malea or any other child who faces challenges that a typical child may not. She was born just the way she was supposed to be and I happen to think she's pretty damn interesting and amazing. Saying that you see someone's child, ANYONE'S child, and posting, again - in mixed company - that the child "looks funny" and that there must be something wrong with him? Not cool. If you don't know why, [insert your child or one you care about here].

I'm off my soapbox for now. I didn't even mean to write all of that. But I'm not backspacing one little bit. What gets me is that some people just don't get it. NOTHING in life is guaranteed. Nothing. Someone was able to look at my child when she was only hours old and make a generalization about her future health, intelligence, life expectancy, social skills, and more. Not much thought was given to the fact that the majority of new parents are not given this type of information about their newborns or that these doctors were no more sure about my child than they would be about most others (Yeah, I know that 3rd 21st does tell us some things, but there is still tons of wiggle room.). Things happen. Instead of feeling all high and mighty, try learning something.

And if you need something else...People, if you don't want to go to a mall with "the blacks" tell a friend who agrees with how you feel about black people and not me. Good grief.

So, yeah, I needed to leave. I did provide a link to here though. Maybe we can all grow together.

However do you want me
However do you need me

Friday, June 20, 2008

Wobbly Steps

No, not for Malea. For the Moma.

You can thank the quality MTV programming of My Super Sweet 16 for "Moma" as in "Moma, where's all the people for my grand entrance?! Moma, no one's outside and I'm in the hella-coptuh! Mo-Muhhh!"

Ok, so the response has been great so far. It seems that many of you are like me, sitting at your desk all snotty and reflective this morning, wiping away tears and all that. My appreciation knows no bounds.

Well, in the midst of all this'm leaving. Not by myself and not forever. The Big One (my baby's daddy, let's call him BD) and I are going to Vegas this afternoon. Yes, I'm taking my sickly self to Vegas. The same self that was in the ER twice this week and was finally diagnosed with pneumonia. I'm not cured or anything, but I'm on the mend, have my meds, and received a good report at my follow-up appointment yesterday. I figure I could lay around here (of course it's actually going to be hot for once and I'm going to miss it) or I could do the same thing by the pool at the Flamingo (yeah, we don't have outdoor pools here cause it's - say it with me - never hot enough. grumble grumble).

We planned this several months ago since BD is on vacation from school for just a short time and he loves Vegas and it's a short trip and it's birthday and anniversary time and $49 each way! and Malea could stay here with her grandparents and...

Yup, that's the kicker. My baby's staying behind this time. She's already out and about today and I'm sure she'll have a great time and be well taken care of this weekend. But it's still the first time so it's awkward. I'm not really bad about separation, but she is starting to be and I can't help but think of that. As it is, I haven't been able to hold and kiss her much this week due to my cooties. I've been wondering how that's made her see me, reach for me, wave at me, and have me not rush over or reciprocate? And now I'm just not going to be here when she gets back? Seems cruel in a way. Please tell me it's not.

BD and I need this time together. We've got dinner reservations somewhere nice tonight and tickets to see the Flying Freaks tomorrow. We'll be home Sunday afternoon, refreshed in mind, body, and spirit.

I guess I don't have any excuse for not going back to work on Monday after this, huh?

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Happy 1st Birthday, Unkin!

It happened. Time passed, as it does best, and my baby turned a year old today. I'm not one for parties and such, but I still think we did her just fine. Her paternal grandparents flew in for the occasion and we took her to get some photos taken at a portrait studio. Once we got home, I rested some before we had a modest gathering of five where we sang an unfamiliar song to the Littlest One and tried to force her to eat the kind of food that many of us wish we had the power to avoid. She wasn't all that interested, but it was just fine.

After that, I sat with her for a while...looking at my little girl and marveling at how much she's changed in the last year. I told her that she's learned a lot and that we've learned a lot from her as well. As she gummed a piece of my pizza crust, she looked so sweet and serene and pure and happy and just, beautiful.

I thought I'd take a moment to explain the title of this blog. As you may have been able to tell from the initial post, this first year of motherhood has, at times, been overwhelming. Well, now that I've gotten my feet wet in the circumstances of it all, I'm ready to move on with the knowledge gained and make the best possible choices for Malea's future. So, that first year? It's ok that it didn't all get written down for the whole world to see. The Somewhere we're starting is at More Than One. And the One More? Well, that's a shout-out the designer genes my baby's rockin'.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


I've always heard that you have to start Somewhere, so this is it.

For the past year, I've been reading other people's blogs in order to help adjust to Malea's diagnosis of Trisomy 21, more commonly known as Down syndrome (Ds).

What a HUGE help those blogs have been...strangers to me in real life have allowed me to laugh with them, cry with them, but most, and best, of all, they've allowed me to learn from them. I feel like now, on the eve of her first birthday, I have wrapped my head around our existence enough to share with others and help show them that life is probably nothing like you think it will be. And that's not such a bad thing. Did I believe it? No. But it's true. Now that I can see a beautiful little girl with opinions and a sense of humor and a love of her drum and a distaste for getting her hair combed into the cutest ponytails I can muster every morning? Wow, has my perspective changed. I don't know if I'm talented enough to put it all into words, but I'm now committing to try to share a little at a time for as long as I can.

When Malea was born, Ds was the scariest thing I could imagine. There was nothing worse in my mind (the medical community has done a pretty good job of keeping folks antiquated in this regard). I was devastated by the news and consumed myself with getting all the best I could for her. When I wasn't busy, I was crying. My husband served as my rock, going through his own internal battles, but nothing visibly near the outward collapse he witnessed with me. And all of this just in time for our first anniversary!

I didn't tell many people. One thing I remember reading online was that people would take their cues from me. I didn't want them to pity us, or Malea. So only those who I trusted the most or who reached out to see if there was anything they could do to help or maybe just caught me at the right time got the news directly from me. I didn't want to risk crying and "screwing it all up." I didn't want to risk my baby's diagnosis (dx) becoming the latest gossip amongst a group of "friends." I didn't want family members who hardly came around to use that as a judgment against me. Oh, there was so much initial inner turmoil. I recall the one person I told who I felt was a close friend - and I've never heard from them again to this day. So, yeah, for any new parents reading this: it's not the baby that will cause you heartache. Your child will more than likely sleep like an angel (other new parents will marvel!) and be much more typical than you first imagine when you receive the karyotype results.

I began drafting an email to family and friends while still in the hospital with Malea after she was born. I felt like I owed so many people any explanation. I had already drafted the typical "Mother and baby are doing well" message to be sent out and well, I wasn't. So, what to say? All or nothing? Based on the last paragraph, you can see what I chose.

All that to say, here we are 365 days from me being all loopy in labor and we're F-I-N-E. Not to say that some days aren't more challenging than what some parents of Malea's peers may go through, but I'm thankful for what we have. We are not suffering. We've since moved across the country. The good part of that being that it's allowed for some seamless relationship purging, the hard part being missing out on the presence of those that really did come through when we needed support.

As we move from tomorrow and beyond, I'll keep you updated with the happenings of our beloved Little Crazy (per Daddy)/Bourgie-Bourgie (per Moma). Milestones will be celebrated, myths will be put to rest, lessons will be taught (I'm already drafting a post on the "r" word in my head), venting will be done, and you will see that we're just as "normal" as any other family...with just a little something extra.