Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Cute from the 'Zilla

Today's epsiodes, Cutezilla woke up from her nap this afternoon, and cried out for me. I was upstairs, so I came out onto the balcony, and she started to "shhh" me, which is her way of asking for her pacifier... However the paci was IN her mouth, so she lifted up her finger to make the shhh gesture/noise, and was really surprised when her hand hit it. She pulled it out, looked it over a few times, popped it back, and laid back down, happy as a clam.

This morning when I went to get her out of her room, she decided that the only way I was going to be allowed to change her diaper was if I proved I was worthy of the challenge -- which is to say, I chased her, tackled her and wrestled her to the ground, and pinned her to the floor while I got my dirty work done. She was none-too-thrilled. So when I picked her up from the nursery today, you can imagine my surprise when the ladies who look after her informed me how helpful Cutezilla is when she needs a diaper change -- to the point of unlocking the little staircase under the changing table, pulling out the stairs, climbing up and handing them the latex gloves they use when they change diapers. The upside is, she's also the only kid in the nursery who can open the locks on the changing table. The downside is, she can open the locks, and they look suspiciously like the "childsafe" ones on my dishwasher.

A Post? Really?

Yeah, really. I'm as surprised as anyone is, I'll bet. But while I haven't been blogging much, at least I have a few good things going on -- mostly, that I've been pretty happy, and I'll say that's pretty big. Not that I'm not usually happy, but most of the time I'm just preoccupied by whatever cloud is hanging over the horizon. I'm your consummate worrier, and I'm really an overachiever here. However, what with Cutezilla's new nap schedule, there seems to be more time to take care of things, and get to things that have been driving me up a wall. Not that this means the house is clean, mind you, but for example, it means that today I was able to mop the floor. And since I haven't done that in at least six months or longer, that makes it kind of a big deal.

Today I even managed to make the bed (again, HUGE, if you know how often I normally make the bed... that's probably the second or third time this year), mop the floor, and start laundry. Okay, I haven't done laundry in about three or four weeks, I think, but still, I got it started today, and for a change, I even got some of it hung up within 24 hours of starting the load. This time, since it was within 12 hours, it's even more of a miracle. Seriously crazy. I even got to do some leisure writing, which I've had a serious jonesing for lately.

The other huge thing that's happened lately: I sent off my/our manuscript. It was in the mail on July 9th, arrived on July 13th or 14th, and as they instructed on their website, I sent along a self-addressed, self-stamped postcard, so that when they opened it, they could drop it in the mail to say, "Hey this thing's been opened." I guess that heads off a lot of phone calls from neurotic wanna-be writ-- uh, I mean perfectly reasonable persons who want to know that their manuscripts reached their intended destination. Um, no, no completely neurotic wanna-be writers here... :looksnervouslyatblogtitle: But I actually have no idea what that could possibly mean, other than the manuscript has been opened entirely. I'm just going to assume it's sitting on someone's shelf somewhere, waiting for said someone to briefly browse a page or two just far enough to send my "you suck" letter. But hey, I sent it, and that's a start.

Beyond that, Cutezilla has been pretty happy too, and even moderately manageable. I have no idea if this is a function of me getting extra time to myself because of the extended nap, or if she's napping longer, because I keep her moving and happy... but either way, the result is something I am supremely happy and thankful for. Life does not get any better than this.

Or does it?

A few weekends ago, while we were in Houston, I was finally compelled to buy new underwear -- and not for the normal reasons like, say, it disintegrated in the wash because it was falling apart, or the elastic finally gave out, or a hole developed in someplace uncomfortable. I realized at some point, that my underwear was wrinkly and loose because I'm finally seeing some sort of result from all of my hamster-wheel-workout routines... and I am ecstatic and elated. My jeans are finally feeling loose, and this past weekend, I bought a pair of size 6 capri's and found they too were a little more loose than I realized.

Okay, so I wasn't in the junior's section this time, but WHO FREAKING CARES???? My pants are finally loose, and my husband is severely complaining about my butt-crack showing. It's freaking awesome. My legs even look a little thinner, which is nice because they felt like hamhocks or even mammoth thighs, especially during my pregnancy. I'm not going to tempt myself with actually trying on my old jeans yet, but I'm starting to feel a lot better about things, even if my scales say I'm still up fifteen pounds from my pre-pregnancy weight. If I can get back into my old jeans, even if I stay at this weight, I'll still be completely thrilled. They'll have to sedate me I'll be so sickeningly happy.

I tried on my engagement ring today too, and while it's not quite ready to go back on my finger, it's certainly more comfortable that it has been. I'm really hoping to get it back on by Cutezilla's birthday in a few weeks. I honestly think that could really happen.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Back in the Airport, The Return Trip

So I'm here in the airport again, and we have another hour or two until the next flight takes off. (From Charlotte to Greenville, so technically we could have been home two hours before we will land, but we originally scheduled our flights to accommodate having Cutezilla with us. But it's relaxing, and it's all just fine with me.)

We had an excellent weekend with our Notre Dame co-exile-ee's. We came in from the airport, got picked up, no problem. Our luggage even showed up. Got back to the house, the boys left for the bachelor party, and the girls went out to go see the new baby, Libby, and have a little stitch-n-bitch, minus the stitch'n. After awhile we went out to dinner, and the table next to us was very obviously celebrating. They came over to see the baby -- who was quite happy to accommodate them with smiles and flirting -- and after playing with the baby for a few minutes, told us that they were celebrating their own future new addition. When our food came, they came over and asked to hold the baby while we ate -- which was awesome, I thought. Libby seemed happy, so we got a nice peaceful meal without having to juggle her around. Next thing we know, we get the baby back, and they've paid for our meals... including the margarita! So the baby is already ahead of the game in the flirting department.

The next day, Phil took me out for a bike ride in Memorial Park, I got in a little mini-workout, since I knew I would be spending the weekend gorging myself. (And I did.) Then we went to the pool and played water volleyball, and it was AWESOME. We got home, and Phil made some rockin' stuffed spicy peppers and sausages. And somehow I managed to drag his wife out dancing with me at a sister dance studio to my own, and it was WONDERFUL.

The next day we drove out to Gonzales, Texas for the wedding, grabbed some kolaches (KO-lah-chees) on the way (one egg, ham and cheese, two cinnamon twists, and a blueberry for ME) and spent the day catching up with the rest of the exile-ee's. Our buddy got hitched; we got a little blitzed. (We were sitting on top of the margarita machine. Poor seating choice? More like inspired.) We spent most of the night too, chatting it up. We didn't get back to Houston until 2am, and got back up around 9am and headed out to the Cadillac Bar for an amazing brunch. The Belgian waffle bar, crepes, blintzes, fruit, the taco and fajita bar with four or five different kinds of meat, every topping you could imagine, the omelet bar, and the dessert bar. I didn't eat until again until 9:30 that night. I haven't been that full since I was pregnant. I felt swollen. And it was delicious.

I also managed to talk our buddies into one last hurrah at The Cafe Adobe. It has a dish that was so good, I had it twice the last time we were here, and I've been thinking about for OVER TWO YEARS now. An avocado, stuffed with shredded chicken and cheeses, battered and lightly fried. It may not sound great, but it's freaking amazing. It comes out looking like a softball covered in salsa. It's so damn good. I cannot for the life of me figure out how they batter this puppy and FRY it. It's baffling to me, and I don't think I can wait another year to have it again. What if they go out of business, and I can never have it again? This would be a crisis of epic proportions.

After that, though, we went home, and I watched Twilight while everyone else went to bed. We said our goodbyes, but I think they're planning to come out our way soon, and I think this will be an awesome trip to look forward to. So yeah, I'm sad to be leaving, but happy we got to see our friends, and happy to be getting back to Cutezilla.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Up, Up and Away!

I love airports. I really mean LOVE airports. Nothing to think about, nothing that needs doing, no one that needs my attention. The only way it could be any better is if it had a tub, a bed, and a tv. I don't even need the tv. Obviously, though the computer would be nice. You know, so I could blog or write, for a change.

Cutezilla is in Charleston with her Grammy and Grandad, and apparently having a blast. But I'm a little disappointed we couldn't bring her with us. It will make arrangements infinitely easier. No car seat to haul or rent, no nap schedules or bathtimes, no insistent demands for the pool-- oh wait. No, we'll still have those. I brought my bathing suit, and Houston is supposed to be BAKING this week. Despite that, I also brought my workout wear. I've been feeling pretty good about my workouts, and frankly, Houston scares the crap out of me, since the food was freaking amazing last time we went. Cafe Adobe has this amazing chicken stuffed with cheeses and avocado, Texadelphia has a perfect Philly Cheesesteak, that in my opinion is even better than the real thing from Philly, although the natives would probably disagree with me. And then there are the kolaches. KO-lah-CHEES. OMG. The perfect breakfast. Pastry stuffed with cheeses, sausage, bacon, ham, fruits -- whatever you want. I love them! I need to get some recipes. And to top it all off, being so close to New Orleans, they also have beignets. How did I get this lucky to have real beignets twice in one year? Because you bet your rear end, I'm going to have one. And probably more than one.

And thus the reason Houston scares the crap out of me. I'm going to leave this city as big as I was last time, and I was at least 6 months pregnant then. Every time we ate, I loaded up until I hurt. I mean my skin felt like it was literally splitting. I was afraid to go near any sharp-cornered coffee or dining room tables in case I leaned in too much and popped a seam and exploded right there as I tried to sit down for dinner. I would hurt for hours after I ate, too. It was awful. And delicious. Probably one of the reasons I gained sixty pounds during my pregnancy. If I had lived IN Houston, though, I would have gained twice that.

The additional problem? I can have beer this time around. And my buddy, PG, has a favorite little bar right down the road from his place. And it's a cool little bar, with an open air beergarten in the back. But the hot weather may be a nice deterrent at least for going to the bar and getting schnockered. Which of course means we'll be getting schnockered elsewhere. One of the other grad students from the hubby's ND days will be getting married too, so we'll be driving out to Gonzales, Texas for the wedding, and I'm spectacularly excited about it. Again, there are some good things to come out of leaving my little booger at home with my folks. Getting schnockered with my friends while she's awake doesn't exactly nominate me for Mother of the Year, but it might get me down-graded from Beta Mom. And personally, I like my status as Beta Mom.

But I'm excited about our trip. And we're loading, so it's from Airport Bliss that I leave you. Hopefully I'll blog more as the trip progresses.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

One Or The Other, NOT BOTH

Well, I think I'd told you that I'd has a few days where I was feeling pretty down. Then the last weeks or two, Cutezilla started napping... and I mean SERIOUS napping, especially for Cutezilla. Her naps are normally 30 to 40 minutes, with an upward limit of an hour and a half. The last two, almost three weeks, she's been napping for two and a half or three hours.

Unfortunately, I think I figured out why: she's not sleeping at night. AT ALL. Last night she had a stretch from 10pm until 2am. The hubby -- bless that man -- was up with her for over an hour, and by the time he came back downstairs, she was up again. We've been trying to let her cry it out, which is the advice everyone tells you when your kid won't sleep. Five minutes... ten minutes... fifteen minutes... twenty minutes... thirty minutes... forty minutes... forty-FIVE minutes... etc. And she just keeps going. We can't pull her into bed with us, because she tosses and turns, punches and kicks ALL NIGHT. That is, if she doesn't wake up completely and want to play. And this screaming is just that: SCREAMING. It's not little whines or howling. It's SCREAMING. Like someone hit her favorite dog with a truck or something while she was watching.

On bad nights, it's every hour, hour and a half. We go upstairs, settle her back down, wait until she's out... and twenty minutes later, she's at it again. And on those nights, even when she's NOT screaming, I can still hear it in my head like a soundtrack or something. I think technically, it's called an earworm, but that mostly refers to a song you get stuck in your head. This is not nearly as friendly. So I spend ALL NIGHT listening to her scream in one way or another.

Benedryl doesn't work on her. Neither does Zyrtec. We give her ibuprofen before bed, to make sure her teeth aren't bothering her. We have NO idea what's going on or how to fix it.

But on the other hand, she is napping, and it makes me obliviously happy during the day. I can even take a shower AND eat! It's amazing. And today? I'm getting to blog, and I'll probably work on another project I have in the dining room. Last week, I MADE A SHIRT! I've even gotten to load AND UNLOAD the dishwasher here and there, AND I've made some headway in the house. Not a lot, but it's enough to let me feel a little less crazy about it than normal.

I've also been able to get to the gym and get in some good workouts. The weightlifting and kickboxing class additions have been doing me some good, I think, although the scales are only slightly moving downward. Nothing drastic. On Friday, I'm going to try and get on one of those scales that will tell you what percentage of body fat you're carrying around -- Body Mass Index or BMI. I haven't been as sore lately as I want to be, but I think that just means I need to step up the weight I'm using. But maye in a few weeks, I'll see something definite. At least for the time being, I feel good. Even with the nighttime issues, which says a lot really.

I'm still not sure if she's A) having night terrors, or B) if she's teething, or C) if she's just screwing with us. Some nights, I think it's C, because you go upstairs and see her sitting there at the gate, and she says, "HEY!" Then she jumps up and runs back to her bed, and climbs right in. The night before last, she even brought me a pillow before she climbed into bed. Which makes me not feel terrible about when things like last night happen, and she falls asleep at the gate while she's screaming for you to come upstairs. But Sunday night, she was in misery. Her tummy hurt, and I think her teeth were bothering her, too. She hadn't eaten anything in almost a day and a half either, and if you asked her if her teeth hurt, she'd point to them and say, "OW." Not a definite sign, mind you, but more of a possibility.

So... apparently it's EITHER sleep at night... OR sleep during the day. Not BOTH. But if anyone has any suggestions, I'd love to hear them.