Friday, January 30, 2009

Icing on the Cake

As you can see from the above pictures, all which were taken the first day of the storm, before the sleet and tree limbs laying in my backyard, we have been iced in since Tuesday. Going back to school on Monday is going to be Hard.

Monday, January 26, 2009

9 Months

Dear Norah
You are 9 months old. You have been alive outside my belly as long as you were alive inside my belly so I think it is appropriate for me to take a minute to talk about what it was like being pregnant with you.

Pregnancy, like motherhood, was not what I expected it to be. At times it seemed as if I would never stop being pregnant, that you were going to hole up on my belly forever and I was going to spend the rest of my life in a terrible state of not being able to have coffee whenever I wanted it. And then the next day I would look at the calendar and realize, Good Lord! This baby is going to be born in 5 weeks! I should maybe think about packing a hospital bag...
There were days when I was sure I was not ready to be a parent. But there were many more days that I was either too busy to think about it, or I was just so excited to meet you that it didn't matter. I knew things would work out in the end.

They have.
Norah, your daddy and I did not find out that you were a girl until the day you were born. I don't really remember how it happened, but we decided that we did not want to find out if you were a boy or a girl until you were born. I, of course, had a feeling that you were a girl the whole time. Since we didn't know for sure that you were a girl, we didn't call you by your name. We just called you Baby. And I think because of this, because we did not call you "Norah", I sometimes have to remind myself that I was pregnant with you. Norah. Not just Baby, but Norah. So if you look back through the things I wrote when I was pregnant, they were all about you. The times I compared your size to various foods, it was you that was the size of a lime, or a turnip, or a crenshaw melon. When I threatened to put your feet in silly baby shoes if you did not get those feet out of my ribcage, those were your feet. All that weight I gained, was for you. All the cheese burritos, Oreos, cheetos, and bowls of ice cream went to your development.
And in this picture, where my belly is all weird and pointy? That was your elbow or knee or foot sticking out and making my belly look like that.

Sometimes, especially in the months right after you were born, I miss being pregnant. It was nice to have you all safe and confined and near me all the time. I liked having that belly and feeling you move inside me was incredible. And it sure was nice having an excuse to eat ice cream. But when I think about it, it's better having you here with me like you are, all smiles and laughter and soft skin and crazy hair.
Little girl, you just keep getting better and better. I loved when you were tiny and floppy and depended on me for everything, and I thought that I would be sad when you became more independent. Sad that you needed me less and that you were not my tiny little baby anymore. So I am honestly surprised by how much I absolutely love this stage you are in.

You are crawling now. You can feed yourself most foods if they are fingerfoods. You can sit up by yourself and pull yourself up to stand. You can fairly easily make your needs and wants known. And I just love all this. It seems as though with this explosion of independence came an explosion of personality. There are some things, like the train whistles, that make you cry. There are other things, like when I crawl after you and tickle you, that make you laugh hysterically. You cry and ball your fists when you can't have what you want. You jabber all the time, say Mama when you are mad or sad, blow rasperries and curl your toes when you concentrate.

I love all these things about you Norah, and a million other things. But if I tried to sit and write all of them out, we would be here forever. Just know that you are incredible, fantastic, beautiful, smart, funny, and the absolute brightest part of my life.

It's been 9 months, and I am still surprised by how much I love you.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Actually Yes, I Think Topographic Maps Are Cool

I know I have mentioned this before, but I was not very cool when I was in middle school. Or high school. Or college. I mean sure, I can be pretty funny and I can talk to people and make friends but I also do well in school and I not very good at sports and I don't have any cool talents like superb painting skills or fabulous acting skills or even numchuck skills. So while I was certainly not the Creepy Dark kind of nerd and I was most especially not the Awesome Band Geek or Skateboarding or Art Girl kind of nerd, I was definitely a nerd. I was an I Read All The Assigned English Books And Liked Them kind of nerd and a Why Yes I Am In Choir kind of nerd.

I was the kind of nerd who won the school geography bee. The kind of nerd who not only won the school geography bee, but who also, by some weird chance happened to get to go the state geography bee. I think the actual representative got sick or something. I don't really remember, you'd have to ask my dad. But still, I got to go to Albuquerque to represent my region in the geography bee. I had inordinately high hopes for myself when I walked into the preliminary rounds in my red sweater with my dad proudly waiting in a chair near the back. I allowed myself to consider the possibilities: I could win these rounds. And the next. And go the State finals which would be held later that day. And maybe I would even get to go to Nationals which were held in Washington DC and were hosted by Alex Trebek. Wouldn't that be something!? I would no longer be an ordinary nerd, but a fantastically awesome nerd who got to see Alex Trebek in real life!

Those hopes were quickly dashed when I was asked a question about Aborigines and did not take that hint to determine that the correct answer was of course, Australia.

So I bombed out of the preliminaries and lost all hope of being an Awesomely Fantastic Geography nerd but I was still very proud of myself for being a winner, even on a small scale. I took my medal at the end of the year with excitement and joy and perhaps a bit of arrogance regarding my geography skills. I thought that the next year, my eighth grade year would be the year I would take state.

Unfortunately, when the geography bee rolled around my eighth grade year I lost the school champion title when I forgot the capitol of Peru. (LIMA!)

And I suppose it is the latent geography bee winner in deep in my soul that is so excited to be taking a geography class this semester. A freshman level, required, evening geography class that by all accounts should be motivating me to slip some of that bourbon into my in-class coffee cup. But! I get to make a detailed topographic map of the Ukraine! And I get to do it however I want! Which means I can hand paint it! And make it look authentic and old and really really cool!

Dad, I hope you are proud.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Adding These to My Resume

Being a mother entails many different kinds of jobs.

When I was pregnant, I was the Incubator, spending every second of every day growing a human in my belly. I ate, drank, exercised (ha!), slept, read and listened to the music with the health of that human always in the back of my mind.

Then for 17 hours on April 7th I served as the Vehicle of Birth.

Then, for 8 months I was a 24 hour all-you-can-eat buffet. If Norah was hungry or fussy or upset, it was my cue to resume the buffet act. Additionally since her birth I have been the Butt Wiper, the Bath Giver, the Entertainer, and the Personal Shopper.

Now that Norah is crawling I am the Mama-Gym.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

No Passing Zone

Today I drove down to my mom's house. I left at 9am (which, by the way, marks the 14th day in a row that I have gotten up before 10. Amazing!) and was supposed to meet Dawn at Starbucks. Unfortunately, that particular Starbucks closed down a few months ago, so we had to eat at McDonald's in a gas station. Yummo.

Then I went to my mom's and took some pictures of Norah and ate a tamale. With my tamale I enjoyed a Dr Pepper and two glasses of water. Then when we were getting ready to leave, I grabbed a large latte to take with me.

This was a bad move. A terrible move. An idiot of a move, in line with all the times I decided to go shopping in a thunderstorm. In order to understand how terrible this move was, the drinking of all the drinks, you would have to have known me when I was young. As a child, my entire family dreaded riding in a car for any length of time with me because I invariably had to pee every 3.5 minutes. I could dehydrate myself for hours before a trip but still, as soon as we were in the car and on the road I would feel that familiar pressure on my bladder. Something about the bouncing and the seat belt just kills me. I have peed in thousands of rest stops and gas stations, I cannot count the number of highways we have pulled off so I could pee in the bushes. I have never had the luxury of being picky about the places I use the restroom in. When you have a bladder as small as mine, you quickly learn that any filthy toilet is better than peeing in the car seat and having to sit there, wet, while everyone else snickers and scoots away from your puddles.

So with this knowledge in mind, look back at all the liquids I consumed before setting off on an hour long drive. One Dr Pepper, two glasses of water, and a large latte. An hour in the car with, literally, no rest stops or gas stations.

So 20 minutes into the drive, I feel it. And I think to myself, "Well maybe there is some kind of gas station or restaurant where I could stop." Nope. Unless I wanted to stop at that one gas station that looked like the perfect spot to film a slasher film. So I started looking for good pull off's and for whatever reason, only found ones that were in front of a house or a barn or embarrassingly devoid of bushes. So I kept telling myself that I would stop at the next good flat space, no matter what. But I never did. I just kept driving and waiting for my heavenly port-a-potty.

And just when I was sure I was going to pee in the car and in my new jeans, Siloam came into view. I pulled into the first gas station I saw and nearly punched a kindly old man who was sure he knew me, he just didn't know where from.

Then when I got back into the car I dumped coffee all over the seat. At least it wasn't pee.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

A Note to My Fat Blood

Dear Cholesterol,

Hello there. I have been ignoring you since the beginning of December, since I went to the dr's office and found out that you had dropped 46 points. Since that post-dr's office delicious egg and bacon bagel. I was so proud of you for dropping so quickly, proud of myself for making better food choices, that I decided I would ignore you until after the New Year.

So I did. I ate brisket and bratwurst and butter and steaks and burgers and french fries. And pies. Cokes. It was glorious.

But now I am back at my house, the new year has started and school and work will begin again soon. So I suppose I will resume thinking about you nearly everyday. I will resume eating Smart Balance and whole grains and lots of veggies. And oatmeal.

Thanks for being that constant thorn in my side.