Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Bad Dog

Wow do I have a problem. I never thought I'd be in this situation and am horrified that I am. Horrified. Sick. Embarrassed. Sick. Horrified. I don't think I know enough words. Big M bit someone. Ugghh. It hurts to say, it hurts to type. I am so sick about it. The only fortunate side (as if there was one) was that it was a 'dog person' who has six dogs of his own and has been bit far worse by his own. I've known him for years. There was blood though. Visual top and bottom teeth marks but it wasn't deep and didn't bleed much. I'm so horrified. I keep using that word, I don't have another one. My brain shuts down when I think about it.

It's an issue with me, that we've known about. Big M doesn't react like this when my husband is around. It's me. He has decided it is his job to guard when my husband isn't around. So, Big M is grounded. His access to the house while we're gone is now limited to the dining room and the kitchen. The dining room windows are closed, shades down. They are not allowed to hang out in the windows and bark at everyone walking by the house. When I am home, he is attached to me. He has to go where I say, when I say, sit, down, stay and don't move until I say. I feed him handfuls at a time and has to leave it until I say he's allowed to eat. Sometimes, I put the handful down, leave it there, and then pick it back up and pretend to eat it myself. He is not allowed on the couch and not allowed on our bed. If he is not attached to me, he is in his bed. If I get up to go somewhere, he gets up too. If I have to go upstairs with Baby A. He has to go too. He has to sit before exiting and entering the house and I go in or out first. I am the leader. He is the follower. I dictate his every move. He does not. I allow him to eat. He does not decide.

Every time I start to feel bad for this harsh and complete shut down of privileges, I say out loud, He Bit Someone. He is a dog and I need to have complete control at all times and I currently do not. He Bit Someone and it is my fault. I knew he was really keyed up and I didn't take the time to calm him down before allowing this person to enter my house.

I've been doing lots of research and reading up on training methods for fear based behavior, because that's what it is. We've known that. It should have been addressed a long time ago but it was never a 'real' problem. Now, it's a problem. A very real, very big one and I am so angry at myself for letting it get here. I thought we had more control. We did not, clearly.

I don't even know how to end this. Apologize? Ask forgiveness?

I feel like such a failure.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Mommy Day

Tomorrow is my Ladies Night Out! I'm pretty excited! Going out for drinks with 14 other women!! Yikes!! It's really nice to know that I"m not the only one who's been trying to get out of the house. I have a feeling that that many women is going to result in a restaurant take over. If you're in the Shallowford Rd area of Marietta, and were planning on eating out, you might want to wait until Wednesday night for fear of an Estrogen overload.

Baby A and I did attend the Baby Sign Language class on Saturday morning. It was nice but there was only one other mom there and Baby A had ZERO interest in sitting still with me for any length of time. Not that unusual for her, but I spent most of the class chasing her down. She thought it was hysterical. We did learn some new words and have started to put them into action. The other mom hadn't started any signs yet so for her I think the class was a little more useful. We've already got eat, dog, all done, bed and bath. We're working on 'poop'. Sounds odd, until you think about the frequency of that word in daily mom/daughter conversations. Baby A also has rather sensitive skin and the goal here is for her to tell me when she's dirty. She's started signing it back to me, but without real knowledge of what it means. Pretty typical, start with word/sign recognition and then attach it to the act/object. It's so rewarding to see her sign and her face lights up when I say the word back to her, understanding what she's telling me.

I've been working on Baby A's Halloween costume, however, I have recently realized that there are no activities in our town on Halloween. There are several festivals the weekend before, which we'll have to plan on attending at least one, however, for the actual day, there's nothing. As in, absolutely nothing going on. I expected our church to have something 'safe' for the children of the congregation for kids that were too small for trick or treating or just to have a safer 'something' to do. Nope. Nothing. Now I'm not sure what to do. Clearly a one year old isn't going to understand or care at all about trick or treating. Add to that, her daycare is closed that day because it's Mama T's birthday too (insert witch joke here). So, she's not even going to be able to wear her costume to daycare and have a little party with the other kids. I'm feeling disappointed already.

On the plus side, we do have plans this weekend with one of my actual mom friends. Not sure what we're doing yet, but we're doing something with the kids. Maybe one of the festivals.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Crock Pot Cookin'

I love fall because that's when I pull out the crockpot. I love soups and stews and chilis and the ease of having dinner ready when I get home. I'm not sure why I don't use it more in the summer, but crockpot meals just scream cool weather to me and I can't make myself want chili when it's 99 degrees outside with 10000% humidity. To be fair I will do the occasionally pork shoulder for BBQ during the summer, but that's about it.

So, we tried a new recipe yesterday and I felt the need to share because it was AWESOME and there was NOTHING in it. Seriously, when I was putting the ingredients together I kept thinking I was missing something. This is from the Crockpot cookbook.

Italian Sausage Meatball Soup
1 lb mild italian sausage either already ground up, or remove from casings
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup milk
1 egg
1/2 tsp basil
1/4 tsp garlic salt
1/4 tsp black pepper

Mush together and make marble sized meatballs. Toss in crockpot with:

4 cups chicken broth
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper (I added a little more than that)

Cook for 5 hours on low

Add 2/3 a cup of mini pasta shells. Cook for another 30 minutes.

Stir in a bag (10 oz) of baby spinach and serve with a little grated Parmesan.

It was so good! Putting this one in my back pocket for the next family get together when I have to make a dinner.

Monday, October 15, 2012

No more Mrs Nice Mama! I"m breaking out!

After several days of thinking, and after writing my Goal-less post, I have realized that it's not a goal that I'm lacking. It's me. I'm lacking me.

This weekend my husband had his annual 'boys weekend' homecoming football game at VT. They've been doing it for 10 years and look forward to it all year. It's always on the calendar and it's never a big deal. He even went the weekend when Baby A was only 6 weeks old.

Saturday evening I realized I was sitting in the house resenting him. Resenting his being away. But not just being away this weekend. I was resenting his Monday night bible study class. His running schedule and running buddies. His beer Friday's that happen once every two or three months. His afternoon at the firing range with W. I was resenting the fact that he has a life, and I have a baby.

Don't get me wrong, if there's ever anything I want to do he's more than happy to take care of Baby A. Every time he goes out for a weekend, or spends the whole day out doing something with a friend I say 'you totally owe me' and he says 'yes, go, do'. And yet, I never 'go, do' anything. I sit at home, do laundry, and stew.

I've never been very good at making friends. I'm not the social butterfly of our marriage, my husband is. They're his friends that I married into, and they're great, I love them. But, they're his friends, they have a long history together and I'm the wife. There are really only a couple of the other wives that I would call, independently of the husbands and make plans to hang out with just them. Prior to having a baby, this never bothered me. I was perfectly content with the life my husband and I had together. We both had routine exercise schedules. I kickboxed and went to yoga, he ran and went cycling. We'd go to dinner once every couple of weeks. The weekends were projects around the house, renting movies, ordering chinese, and we used to go dancing fairly regularly. Now, when I say dancing, I"m talking Fred & Ginger, not J-lo and P-Diddy. We had taken ballroom lessons before we were ever engaged and then continued throughout the engagement and the first years of our marriage  The studio has parties every Friday and Saturday night, $15 per person which gets you two drinks and dancing from 8 until midnight. We had a good little life and while we hung out with friends periodically, we were both very content with each other.

Somehow, I've lost my side of that happy little life. I've gained an amazing and beautiful daughter, and I wouldn't change that for anything. But, I've been missing something and I didn't know what. My husband doesn't seem to have skipped a beat and works it all in. I feel like I can't go do anything because I have to take care of Baby A. So I thought about why I have to be here to take care of Baby A. Why? Why? Why? Because my husband doesn't know what time her naps are, so I have to be here for that, or leave detailed instructions on when and how to put her down. Huh?  Because my husband doesn't know what or how much to feed her for lunch so I have to be here for that or leave detailed instructions on where in the fridge her food is and what snacks go with it. Huh? Because he's usually busy. If he's home, he's doing yard work, or work work, or has a run or ride planned and so I feel like I have to do these things rather than upset his plans. Huh?? Now, I have a very intelligent husband. He's quite a capable person. I have no idea at what point I decided he's a moron and I'm June Cleaver.

So as I sat around this weekend (as much as you can just 'sit around' with a one year old) I realized the only person keeping in the house was me. It's all me. There is no reason I can't go find something to do and someone to do it with and, in a nicer way, tell my husband he's on his own - figure it out. So, the grass doesn't get mowed. Oh well. He'll just have to play with his year old daughter instead. Why do I feel like I can't say that?

Well, I'm saying it!

First - I joined a local Mom's Meet up club. Baby A and I will attend at least three events each month. We will socialize and make friends! This coming Saturday there's a sign language work shop. How cool is that?? We've been doing some sign language with Baby A already, but it would be great to get some instruction and input on how to continue.

Second - I called one of the few 'wives' I know and made plans for a picnic outing with the kids at a park next weekend.

Third - I have joined a few ladies night out groups. If you haven't seen meetup.com, you should check it out. There are so many groups on there, books, hiking, language, singles, etc, etc. Anyone looking to get out of the house can find something on there to join. I will attend at least two events each month BY. MY. SELF. Just me. No baby, no dogs, no husband. I will talk with other women. I will have a good time. I will make friends.

I will no longer sacrifice my happiness so that my husband can tear up the paneling in the living room. I will no longer sit and home and stew so that my husband can go for a three hour bike ride with his friends. I will not be June Cleaver and if my husband has to cook dinner one night while i go out, he is perfectly capable of doing so. I will be social. I will be active. I will make me a priority and not feel guilty that I didn't have time to make baby food and Baby A will have to eat (gasp) prepackaged dinners.

And, I will get my toes done! Damn it!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Her Royal Highness, Queen Old Lady

I call her Old Lady because she is my old lady. My girl is almost 11 years old, grey in the muzzle where she used to be all black, stiff from arthritis, walks oddly from a knee replacement two years ago, has a big scar on her shoulder where we had a tumor removed, she's basically falling apart slowly and it hurts my heart. She's my first baby.

However, she is also a spoiled rotten diva. D.I.V.A.

Once the air starts to get a little chilly Old Lady prefers to curl up in my chair in the living room. She doesn't want to curl up with me, she wants me out of the chair so she can be in it and she will stare me down if I sit in it when she's decided it's her turn.

She's developed a new preference. Yesterday evening Old Lady followed me around the house being a pest. She'd already eaten, I tried letting her out, I thought maybe she wanted some quality Mama time and I spent some time snuggling and petting her. No. This was not what the issue was although she wasn't going to argue with a good ear scratching. She eventually gave up and went to her bed in an obvious pout. I started cleaning up the room a bit. As part of the clean up, I folded the blanket that I keep in the living room for me (ME) when I get chilly and I dropped it in my (MY) chair. Two seconds later...

Yes, that was the issue. There wasn't a blanket in the chair for her. My blanket, in my chair. That's what she was being a pest about.

Spoiled. Rotten. Diva.

To top it off, this morning, she hopped up on my bed while I was getting ready for work. This is fairly normal, that's where Big M and Old Lady tend to hang out mostly as an effort to keep out of Baby A's reach. Instead of curling up, Old Lady just stood there and stared at me, from the middle of my bed. I sighed, left the room, came back with a blanket that is usually at the foot of our bed, but had been moved during my stomach bug issue while I slept in the guest room. I put the blanket back on the bed where Old Lady immediately curled up on it.

Yes, Your Majesty. Will there be anything else Your Royal Highness.

Queen Old Lady rules our house with an iron paw.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Spanx it - The Update

Don't wear Spanx if you plan on going to the bathroom that day.


I feel like I need a new goal to work toward and I'm not sure what that should be. I'm (happily) eating again after a miserable two day stomach bug and waiting an extra couple of days to get some calories in my system before heading to the gym. I think if I tried to go right now I'd fall off the treadmill. I did walk the dogs this morning though.

I eat well, I'm exercising ok, not great, but enough to maintain and to be honest, I haven't hit the point where I"m willing to give up my wine to be able to lose the last three pounds from pregnancy. I'm doing well with the pre-planned grocery shopping and have been better organized lately. I'm involved with a dog rescue organization.

I feel like I need a new goal. I don't suppose 'get pregnant' can really count as one but that's definitely something that's on my list. I can't wait to add another peanut to our family. That's actually another reason I'm not willing to give up my wine in order to lose a few pounds, I'm expecting to not be able to drink for 9 months soon and will just put those three right back on with the next one, so, what's the point?

I need something for me. That's fun, easy, inexpensive and has a flexible schedule.

I'd love to dance, but, not cheap, not flexible.
I'd love, love to get back back into boxing, but schedule hits me again.
Yoga - stupidly expensive and schedule
Reading - cheap, flexible - horrible guilt complex just sitting on my butt and 'doing nothing'. I never had that problem until Baby A came into the picture. I used to spend every Sunday afternoon reading. Now, there are so many other things I feel I have to do instead. Plus, it's quite hard to do while she's awake, I have a limited nap time window and usually use that time to clean while she's not around to play in the dirt piles I sweep up from the kitchen.

I want to want to run, does that count? It just doesn't sound fun.

Searching for a goal. I'd like to make year 34 be something more.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Silver Lining

The only good thing about a stomach bug is the unintended weight loss. I"m down a pound and a half in two days. I also haven't had coffee in two days. That part stinks. I like coffee. I miss coffee. The thought of coffee makes me want to hurl right now. I've had a handful of Ritz crackers today and a small bowl of cheerios this morning.

It's so hard being a mom while sick. Baby A wants to play and get out and do things and all I can manage is to lay on the floor with a blanket and pillow and halfheartedly dance her little bear around. Picking her up takes all my energy. I have to rest part way through changing her diaper. Literally, stop and wait a minute until I can continue.


Friday, October 5, 2012

'Spanx' It

So, my birthday was Wednesday. Not a milestone one, just a regular one, 34. Oh well. I actually got my present from my husband last Sunday because he was leaving for work Wednesday morning and we wouldn't really have been able to celebrate anyway. Plus, I knew what he had gotten me since I very, very specifically asked for it and said I didn't want anything else. Music in the kitchen. I spend so much time in there and I love to dance and cook at the same time. So, now I have music in the kitchen. It's been great and the cutest thing is that Baby A will be crawling around doing her regular thing and then stop and do a little bebop dance and then keep crawling and playing. It's awesome. Super cute.

I also got a package from my mother in law. She loves to buy me clothes, probably because I love to get clothes and because my two sister in laws are impossible to shop for. She also always buys me things that I would never in a million years have even thought to try on in the store. The dress she sent me this year is a light shimmery chocolate brown knit, fitted pencil skirt bottom with a loose, draped cowl neck top. Pretty much the exact opposite of any dress I have ever owned and something I typically avoid.

The shape of it looks a little like this but with short sleeves and it's fitted in the middle too, just the top is loose and blousy.

And, she bought a size small. I have lost just about all the baby weight from my pregnancy but things just aren't quite what they used to be. There are some lumps and rolls that never used to be there and I'm very aware of that. I haven't worn any of my dresses all summer because they just don't look the way they used to. Not that they're super tight and not that I really have anything to be embarrassed about, but I hadn't quite decided to give in to my post mommy body and was really dreading trying on this dress and having to tell my mother in law that it either didn't fit or looked terrible. I even think it looks a little dumpy on the model.

I, however, look fantastic and let me tell you why.

I bought a pair of Spanx. Well, the Target brand variety, but still. After trying on the dress and realizing it wasn't half bad, in fact it was mostly good I decided it had room to be better. 

Why the HELL have I not purchased these before?? They're amazing!!! I spent all of Wednesday even after Baby A went to bed going through my entire dress wardrobe realizing what a difference a little bit of spandex makes! Panty lines, GONE! Love handles, GONE! Last little bit of belly roll that I have't lost yet, GONE! 

I will be investing in several more of the wonderful, magical undergarments. And I highly encourage anyone else who hasn't, and has some minor post baby body image issues like me, to run, don't walk, run to your closest Target and stock up!!