October 2010 - Baby Steps in High Heels

Friday, October 29, 2010

My First Birthday

9:21 AM 7
My First Birthday
Today is my birthday!

It’s my first official birthday as a mom, and I think it’s fair to say that this is the first year I didn’t wake up with a list of gifts that I hoped to receive.

Sure there are things that I’d like to have and surprises that would be wonderful … what girl doesn’t have a wish list in her head?

Of course, I’m probably a little more sentimental and even a bit sappy since I’ve been away for the last few days, so it’s a good thing that Husband did come through with a nice birthday gift … Coach Outlet, here I come! And maybe a few other stores while I’m at it!

But I really did wake up this morning thinking that the absolute best birthday gift would just be time with my family, time to laze around, snuggle with Baby, have a hot cup of coffee, and enjoy the morning.

And that’s exactly what I got!

Happy Friday, everyone!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

PINT: Notes to myself

4:38 PM 5
PINT: Notes to myself

Monday, October 25, 2010

Mushy Monday Meltdown

10:24 AM 7
Mushy Monday Meltdown
(Read at your own risk…)

I’m not sure what’s more crippling …having to leave a sick child behind for a business trip or having to leave a happy, giggling, energetic one.

Last week, Baby was sick, and I left. This week, she’s happy and fun-loving, and I’m leaving again.

It’s hard. I can’t believe it’s still so difficult, even though I’ve been doing it, week after week after week. I can’t believe how debilitating it is despite the logical, rational voice in my head that constantly lists all of the reasons why this is a good thing.

I never quite expected it to be such an emotional roller coaster, such a constant emotional roller coaster. I literally have to talk myself into leaving every single week. I literally have the exact same conversation with my self every single week. And it doesn’t get easier. In fact, I think it might get harder.

In my head, I know that it probably just feels like it’s getting harder because I’m tired, worn out from being on the go for the last couple of months. In my head, I know all of this traveling will be over in just a couple of weeks. The end is in sight.

The problem is … logic apparently has no influence over a mother’s heart or guilt. None whatsoever. Rational thoughts? Nope, those don’t seem to work either.

All I can think about is that I’ll be missing out on 3 (yes, 3!) Halloween outfits I bought for her to wear this week. And that we’re going to have to squeeze in a trip to the pumpkin patch some time at the last minute, because I’m not here to do it sooner. And, all I really wanted to do this week, which happens to be my birthday week, is wake up every single day and hold my baby girl … which isn’t going to happen. Because I won’t be here.

It is going to be okay. I know that everything will be just fine. It will.

But right now it is a drizzly, humid, gray Monday morning, and I just needed a minute to wallow …

Friday, October 22, 2010

More fragments this Friday ...

8:47 AM 5
More fragments this Friday ...
Wow, it’s been a whirlwind of a week … well, a couple of weeks, actually. Thanks to all of you for your thoughts, prayers, and kind words. It has definitely been a roller coaster of many kinds – emotional, mental, physical. We’ve been up and down and all around, happy, sad, sick, exhausted … you name it, our family has probably seen it somewhere in the last few weeks.

Since it’s Friday and I feel like I’ve only blogged about the tough stuff lately, I think I’ll take today to focus the silver linings. I’m linking up with Friday Fragments because … well, things are getting better, but I’m not sure I’ve got it all together just yet!

Mommy's Idea

-Baby woke up with a rash yesterday morning. I was worried. Thought it was an allergic reaction, and a thousand thoughts ran through my mind in a split second.
Silver Lining: Nope. No allergy, just viral exanthem. As far as I can tell, it just means the infection is leaving her body, and it doesn’t cause any negative side effects.

-Work! Work! Work! I’m sooooverwhelmed (that’s a word!) with work right now. Sometimes I don’t feel like I’ll ever catch up.
Silver Lining: I closed several fairly large sales this week. Even when I’m tired and stressed, I’m still good at my job. I need to remind myself of that fact a little more often.

More silver linings ….
-This weekend. It’s my high school reunion, and we’re getting together with lots of friends – both old and new – to hang out and have fun! Baby is spending the weekend with her grandparents for some much needed rest and spoiling, and Husband and I plan to enjoy sleeping ALL NIGHT LONG!

-Shoes! So, I bought a new pair of shoes. They’re very cute. The heels are reeeally high. They’re semi-designer. And I only paid $32 for them at TJ Max. Yep. I’m wearing them this weekend.

-Wine ... plan on drinking lots of it this weekend!

-Sleep! Getting more of it. Baby seems to be on the mend, so she’s sleeping much better recently.

-Family. Husband and Baby are amazing. Just when I think it can’t get any better, we find new ways to have fun … even amidst sickness and exhaustion.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Change of plans. Again.

8:47 AM 5
Change of plans. Again.
Morning plan: Drop Baby off at day care. Work. Work. Work. Possilby with a pumpkin-flavored coffee from the new shop in town.

Change of plans: DR visit for potential allergic reaction to Baby's 3rd round of antibiotics. She's covered in a rash and has been screaming all morning.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

WMW: What's in your bag?

8:37 AM 7
WMW: What's in your bag?
Julia at Work, Wife, Mom … Life has prompted us this week with the question …

What’s in your bag?

In attempting to answer this question [yes, I know, there should be no need to “attempt” … just list the contents, right? But …], my first thought was: which bag? Purse? Computer bag? Diaper Bag? Suitcase?

I have so many bags, and I use them all on a regular basis. Fortunately, I went back and read the prompt again, and she actually just asked us to list the “Things in your purse,” so here goes …

-GPS (because I’m at a hotel, and I’d never leave it in the car overnight)
-Make up. Probably one too many lip glosses.
-Burp cloth
-4 tiny sample tubes of diaper cream the doctor prescribed for Baby (don’t worry, we filled the Rx, and it’s at home with her)
-Receipts – oh my, the receipts
-Medicine: Zyrtec, Xanax (which I’m proud to say I haven’t taken since that first business trip in August. But you never know, so I keep it with me!)
-Hand sanitizer. Lots of it.
-Business Cards
-My Hilton Honors card. I got downgraded to Gold when I stopped traveling for a while during my pregnancy. Oh, how I miss the Diamond status.
-Pens (let’s hope I pull out the pen and not the diaper cream during my meetings today!)
-Loose change. My (designer) wallet sucks. Probably because I got it at the Outlets, but the change part does not stay closed.
-Misc: A packet of splenda, a contact case, random coupons that we didn’t use at Costco last weekend, and a paperclip

Funny, but it seems that the contents of my purse are much more telling than I would have initially thought. It’s a pretty decent glance into the contents of my life. Who would have thought? What’s in your bag? Tell us and link up!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Post It Note Tuesday!

2:57 PM 2
Post It Note Tuesday!

Friday, October 15, 2010

I'm going anyway ...

7:08 PM 8
I'm going anyway ...
I’m tired.

I’m emotionally spent.

I’m physically worn out.

I haven’t showered since yesterday.

My good jeans are speckled with Baby’s white antibiotic from when she spit it all out.

But, I’m going anyway. I’m going to my book club meeting tonight.

I haven’t finished the book. But I am going anyway.

Because, well … this mama needs a break. And a glass of wine. And, an opportunity to have a social life and maybe make a friend or two in this town I’ve lived in for two years.

So, I’m going anyway.

Hopefully the concoction of lotion, deodorant and hair spray will be enough to masque the spit up and yogurt that I can’t seem to fully eradicate.

Perhaps my charming and witty personality (aka the red wine I’m bringing to share) will sufficiently hide the dark circles under my eyes and the peas in my hair.

Even if it doesn’t, I’m going anyway.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Being there

8:14 AM 8
Being there
Another week. Another business trip postponed. Unfortunately, this time it is not due to a simple ear infection or bad weather.

As much as I love my child, I’d almost rather be away on business this week than be home for the reasons I am …

We lost my uncle, very unexpectedly, on Friday. Initial thoughts were that he had a heart attack. This was shocking to all of us, especially because he was so young. Not even 50-years-old yet.

Recent developments have indicated that it may be more complicated than we thought. My uncle, Greg, had been scuba diving and spear fishing in the Gulf of Mexico, and it’s more likely that his death was the result of something related to that … though the results won’t be in for up to eight weeks.

In reality, those details are trivial. The big impact is on our family – his wife, my aunt. And their two young children, both under the age of 10.

It’s heartbreaking. It’s terrible to think about those kids growing up without their dad.

And it’s so hard to know what to do or what to say.

For me, it’s difficult because I can’t just drop everything and be there. Before Baby came along, I would have packed up and immediately made the trip. All I want to do is be there.

However, I can’t just pick up and go now. I have to think through everything. Make logical, rational choices. Do what’s best for Baby and Husband.

My business trip is canceled, and Baby and I will be heading to Houston early tomorrow morning. We’re meeting my mom somewhere along the way, so I don’t have to make the entire trek alone with a child who does not like long car trips. Husband will follow as soon as he can get away from work.

I just hate not being there. I hate that I couldn’t go immediately. The truth is, the only thing I really know to do for them is to be there.

We’re praying constantly. It keeps hitting me over and over again. I think about my sweet cousins, who probably can’t fully grasp the finality of what’s happened. Then again, they probably get it a lot more that we realize.

If you have a moment, please say a prayer for my aunt, my cousins, and my whole family.

Thank you.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Friday Fragments!

9:17 AM 11
Friday Fragments!
I have so many bits and pieces this week, so I’m linking up again …

Mommy's Idea

-Bad Blogger: me. I’ve been sooo busy with work that most of my posts are memes (which are still a lot of fun!). I am still reading your blogs … just not commenting as much as I’d like. I tried to keep up for a while. However, after several bouts with writing looong, thoughtful comments and then either missing the word verification or some other problem … I just kind of gave up. I'm sorry! I’ll be better about everything when work slows down next month.

-Annoyed: me. For two reasons …

First, why? WHY? Why does a doctor’s appointment for my child that ultimately takes 12 minutes (from the time the pediatrician walks in and including a flu shot and scheduling a follow-up appointment) need to be a two hour experience. Why?

Second, I know the economy is tough. Perhaps it’s also taken a toll on pharmacies. However, must they fill Baby’s prescription in a bottle twice the size of the actual amount of medicine? Seriously, have you ever tried to take one of those syringes, extract exactly 3 ml of meds, and get it into your child’s mouth? Add to that, that with the first dose, the syringe barely reaches the medicine because it’s so low in the container. What am I going to do on day 10 (after 2 doses/day)? With a sick, screaming baby in one arm no less! I wonder if the pharmacy would let me bring my own container?

-Tired: me. It’s that time of year where work is really busy. The end is in sight. Just a few more weeks of traveling and being swamped with work. But, more than being physically tired, I’m just tired of having to leave Husband and Baby every week.

-Happy: me! The weather has finally turned to ‘fall’ like conditions. In Texas, that just means that the humidity has disappeared and highs are only in the 80s, but I’ll take it! It’s perfect for hanging out with Husband & Baby, taking walks, playing outside. We’re having so much fun! (when I’m home)

-Guilty: me. Yes, I’m guilty. Guilty of actually enjoying myself when I’m away for work. Part of me feels like I shouldn’t feel guilty … then I feel guilty for thinking that way! But, I’ve been working out, reading, sleeping. Plus, I’m getting a ton of work done. It’s amazing what you can accomplish when you don’t have to worry about bottles, diapers, etc. I miss my family when I’m away, but it’s also nice to have a little time to myself.

-Excited: me. For all of the fun things coming up in the next few months … fall festivals, Thanksgiving, Baby’s First Birthday, Christmas … it’s going to be so much fun to experience all of these things with our daughter for the first time. Yes, she was here last Christmas, but let's face it: we were weeks post-partumn ... she might have been here, but was I? It's going to be fun to watch her take in all of these new experiences.

-Working: me. Now.

Happy Friday, everyone!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

If I could stop time

1:35 PM 4
If I could stop time
Mama Kat asks, “If you could stop time for 24 hours, what would you accomplish?”

What would I accomplish? Hmmm …

-Play, play, play with Baby. All day long. If I have the time, there is no need for day care. None whatsoever. If there is any time left over, I’ll do the following …

-Enjoy my cup of coffee. While it's still hot. Maybe even two cups. While they're hot.

-Finish my book for book club. And maybe start a new one.

-Make a fabulous dinner ... that would produce delicious leftovers so I don’t have to cook again for a couple of days (wonder if I'm assuming too much: stopping time doesn't exactly guarantee other miracles, does it?)

-Get in a nice, long work out

-Order invitations for Baby’s First Birthday!

-Put all of the pictures we have of Baby from the last year into albums

-Go out and buy the other curtain I need for our dining room and put it up

-Hang out with Husband!

-Go for a walk with Husband & Baby

-Enjoy a glass of wine with Husband ... outside on our patio in this beautiful fall weather

-Snuggle, snuggle, snuggle Baby. All night long. If I have the time, there is no need for that crib!

-If there is any time left over, I will sleep. Ah, beautiful sleep.

Notice what’s not on my list … work, laundry, running errands, or cleaning anything! Nope, not in my 24 hours. I’ll squeeze those things in some other day.

Mama's Losin' It

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

9:32 PM 6
(Almost) Wordless Wednesday
Missin' this sweet little face ...

PINT: More notes from the road

7:48 AM 9
PINT: More notes from the road

Monday, October 4, 2010

Because when Gucci calls ...

6:25 PM 1
Because when Gucci calls ...
It is our duty as women to answer.

Mama Still Wears Gucci, one of my favorite bloggers, is asking for our help. This is not something she does often, so you know it's important. And, because this could happen to any one of us, please take a moment to read this family's story, then pray/donate/help in any way that you can. Thanks!

In Gucci's Words:
Oh, my Gucci babies, I've been staring at this blank screen for almost an hour trying to figure out where to start. I don't know how to fix this; I can't fix this and I don't know how to deal with something I can't fix.

I am devastated.

I hate being helpless. I hate seeing my loved ones hurting and struggling and being powerless to take the pain away. I can't fix this. I can't fix cancer. I can't heal it. But I can help with the struggles this family faces. And so can you.

I've known Renee a few years. Though I've moved out of state and we haven't seen each other in quite sometime, I just love her. She is sweet and loyal and smart and talented and strong. She is a giver, a fixer, a helper. Her heart is as beautiful as her face. She loves fiercely, she works without ceasing, and she sacrifices without complaint.

And her husband has been diagnosed with a very aggressive cancer. He was the sole breadwinner and is now too sick to work. We all know the state of the economy. We all know how difficult it is to find work and to complicate things for Renee, willing as she is to do whatever she must to keep her family afloat while her husband fights for his life, she homeschools her three children, one of whom is autistic. She's been a homemaker for so many years and when employers have the luxury of choice, as they do now, they are not interested in a woman who's been out of the workforce so long.

They have lost their house. They are currently living in an RV in the parking lot of the hospital where her husband is being treated. Because they have no running water, Renee and her children are going to Sassy's house, which is thankfully close by, week after week to fill buckets and jugs with fresh water. The children are growing rapidly out of their clothes, and the clothes they do have are becoming worn with use.

Right now the hospital is generously allowing them to keep their RV in the parking lot and use their electricity, but this is a temporary solution to what is rapidly becoming a permanent problem. And winter is coming. Montana winters are cruel and long.

The amazing thing about Renee is, she remains hopeful. She finds the good in the midst of this nightmare she faces. She squares her shoulders and raises her chin in the face of this overwhelming adversity even though the stress of this situation must be almost intolerable. She is holding her family together, taking care of her husband, teaching her children, and trying to make a home out of a travel trailer parked in a hospital parking lot while stretching six hundred dollars a month to feed and clothe a family of five.

She needs our help. It's time we help her shoulder some of this immense burden. Her need is great, but our power to meet her needs is greater. This blog has 511 followers as of this writing. If each one of you donates five dollars, Renee and her family will have $2,555 to give them a start toward finding more permanent housing, nutritious food, clothing for the children, and so much more. This blog averages 1500 hits a day; if each person who reads the words on this page donates just five dollars, Renee and her family will have $7,500. Imagine that! Imagine the difference a sum like that could make to this family.

Renee has done so much for all of us who know her and she's done so much even for those who don't. She's an immensely talented photographer, and she's donated her time and skills to organizations like Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep, The Human Society, and Montana Mamas. She is always first in line to lend a hand where a hand is needed and now it is time we extend a hand to her.

Certainly the best thing we can do to help Renee and her family right now is to open our pocket books. But there are other ways we can help her. We can send gift cards, clothing, blankets, and other sundries.

I've set up a Paypal donation button so you can give what you can conveniently and safely online. If you are more comfortable sending a check through the mail or you'd prefer to send gift cards, email me at admin@mamastillwearsgucci.com and I will give you my address. If you come to my house and try to watch me through my windows, that will cost you fucking extra, you pervs. Apparently they let just about anyone through the gate here, so if I give you my address, you'd better not be a freak. Similarly, if you would like to send clothing for the children or other items, I will give you the specifics on sizes and such if you ask me.

Please stand with me in making whatever difference we can for my sweet friend Renee and her family. We may not be able to fix the cancer, we may not be able to fix the troubles she faces, but we can at least remove some of the seemingly insurmountable financial burden so she no longer has to worry about getting her children in clothes that fit, being able to make real meals of nutritious food for them on an actual stove, and getting them into nice warm beds with a strong roof over their heads before the snow flies.

It's time to put our money where our mouths are. We are a community. We are bonded together even though most of us have never met. One of us has stumbled, and those of us who can need to help her get back up.

Please give what you can to Renee, her husband Carl, her daughters Inger and Kelda, and her son Benjamin. They need us. Thank you.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Friday Fragments

8:20 AM 5
Friday Fragments
Because I’m too tired today …

Mommy's Idea

-What I get for going away on business: I left a sweet, ever-so-loving baby girl. I came home to a … zombie child. No, really. Husband taught her to bury her face in his neck, shake it savagely with her mouth open and make zombie noises. At least it’s almost Halloween. And, it is kinda cute.

-Speaking of almost Halloween, hello fall weather! Thank God the high humidity and hot temperatures has finally passed. And, by fall weather, I obviously mean that today the high will only be 88 degrees. That’s Texas for you.

-Husband: It’s finally fall weather! Red wine, evening walks, pumpkin beer, sitting on the porch, being outside and not melting, fall festivals … we’re going to have so much fun!

-Also speaking of Halloween, I LOVE this time of year. Baby has two costumes and at least a half dozen shirts for this particular holiday. I’m barely resisting temptation to buy her the Thanksgiving tutus and “I’m stuffed” shirts that I’ve been seeing.

-We’re going to our first fall festival tomorrow, and I’m making my first chicken and dumplings recipe for a cook off. Um, we’ll see how it goes. The first hiccup? Husband won’t eat dumplings or any “soggy bread” type foods. I’m substituting potato gnocchi, but it’s completely experimental. I don’t even know how to transport a hot food item to a destination that’s 2 hours away. I think I probably need to buy a crock pot today …

-Enfamil: seriously? If you’re going to switch to refillable tubs, the least you could do would be to actually sell the refills for said tubs. Okay, maybe it’s the stores in my area – every single store – but it’s a little irritating.

-Fisher Price: really? Recalling 10 million items? And I was the genius who bought a FP toy right after reading about the recall yesterday. I guess we all have our moments. Luckily, I don’t think it was on the recall list.

-Wanna be a Macaroni Kid Publisher Mom? Ask me how you can write, edit, publish AND make money! It’s fun and easy!

-Mabel’s Labels: I LOVE YOU! I honestly thought it would just be neat to do one of my first reviews with you. But, you have transformed my life. No more writing and rewriting Baby’s name of every single item that goes to day care. Just slap a label on, and we’re good to go. Thanks!

-Baby: Not sure why you loved the diced apples I fed you last night, but spit them in my face this morning. You don’t like them cold? Is that it? Or you just like making your mama guess? Either way, you sure are cute lately.

-Happy Friday Fragments, y’all!