Thursday, August 29, 2013

I probably won't be getting a raise

I'll start by saying that we have a really great pediatrician. like, she gets it. At our first appointment, when I had been a mother for two days and wondering why my baby wouldn't eat or sleep and what I had gotten myself into, she said it was absolutely ok to supplement with formula and it was absolutely ok to use a pacifier and that everything was going to be alright. She's great.
But. I can't help but feel like Dr. R is my boss and every wellness checkup is a job performance review. An evaluation of my effectiveness as a mother.The last appointment didn't go so well. I think the only reason I walked away with a satisfactory rating is because I'm not on meth. I pretty much failed every question on the exam.
"Has Ivy switched from a bottle to a sippy cup?" Ummmm....
"Is Ivy eating fruits and vegetables?" Does feeding the dog her carrots and fruit snacks count?
"Are you brushing her teeth twice a day?" Wait, what?
"Is Ivy talking?" No, but she does say "meow" whenever she sees a puppy.
We've had a few months to up our game and have made some real progress. She takes a bite out of her carrots before giving them to Ollie.  She sucks on her toothbrush for thirty seconds before Stephen or I wrestle her and convince her to open her mouth so we can do .3 seconds  of real  brushing. She still thinks puppies say "meow," but she knows that goats say "aaaaaaah" and roosters say "doo dooo dooo doo doo" and cows say "moo." She's also learned a few actual words. "Ollie", "poopy", "no", "puppy", "doggy", "daddy", "cookie",  "grandpa" and "go away."
Progress aside, we still have some work to do. Our appointment is next Tuesday, and I'm really hoping to get exemplary marks. However I know that's not going to happen unless we switch from the bottle to the sippy cup, and all my efforts on this front are not going well. Just seeing milk in a sippy throws Ivy into a complete melt down. She collapses on the floor and yells "NO NO NO NO NO". She runs to the kitchen, points at the bottle cupboard and looks at me with her best impression of  a starving child. So I guess I'll be packing a bottle in her kindergarten lunches.
Maybe I can get Ivy to memorize and recite the preamble to the constitution before Tuesday. Dr. R. will be so distracted by this show of brilliance that she'll totally overlook the bottle failings.  I honestly think  it would be easier than trying to convince Ivy that milk is milk regardless of the container holding it.

Monday, August 26, 2013

And we're back

I forgot how much I like our Colorado home. While driving from DC to Salt Lake to spend a week with family (Ivy and I flew), Stephen made a pit stop at our apartment and sent me a text that read, "I feel like a king. Our apartment feels like the Hampton's". As in, we have so much space. So much cheap, rural, quiet, non-humid space. And props to our sub-letters for leaving this place in mint condish. I mean sure, I keep finding long dark hairs in the bathroom and we have a drain that doesn't, but they sure went above and beyond for never having put down a deposit.
Ivy spent all last night and most of this morning running from room to room, squealing at the toys we left behind.
Ollie rediscovered his stash of raw hide bones and is currently passed out on the floor in sleepy bliss.
Stephen left for his first day of his final year of law school.

And even though I'm the world's worst law school wife and constantly complain about loans and missing Utah and missing DC and the lack of In and Out or decent tacos in this state, I'm feeling really happy to be home with my kitchen-aid and my bed and my family. 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Dear Beyonce,



First you name your baby Ivy.
Then you dye your hair blond and cut it short.
What's next?
Are you going to ditch Hova for a tall, skinny, vaguely Jewish looking white guy?
Maybe you'll buy a schnauzer and name him Ollie?
Start driving a 2009 Honda Civic?
Move to a Colorado suburb?
Grow your right leg a  little longer  than your left so it swings when you walk?
Develop a Diet Coke addiction?

Get your own  life.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

A conversation with a customer

"My friend called and was all like 'I think O'Reilly's dead' and I was all 'Oh my gosh' and I was there and he wouldn't touch it so I was holding that cat and I said, 'Dude, this tiger is dead,' and so we put him in the back  of my explorer and I told him I know a guy who can cremate him and do some really cool things with him and so he said okay. I went out and bought a pack and now I have to fly and I really hate flying. I can do all these things with cats but I can't fly, you know?"

Monday, August 12, 2013

Where the heart is

And so ends another summer in DC.

This morning I had  every intention if writing a love letter to The District, but then I walked outside and saw that someone keyed our car. Now I'm feeling a little less sunshine in  my soul and a little more YARGGGHHHH about city life. So let's talk straight. This place is kind of a pain in the butt. Every other street is one way. Tuesdays smell like garbage. Grocery store aisles are half the size they should be. Cockroaches thrive in drain pipes. The air is sticky and heavy. Our neighbors set off fireworks in dumpsters. Pedestrians treat traffic lights as loose, rarely followed guidelines. Parking either costs half a pay check or requires parallel parking skills that far surpass my ability. There's a sign in our alley way reminding residents that it is illegal to use or sell drugs, the implication being that using or selling drugs happened often enough to require a written reminder not to.

But. I already miss it. Because while I have a list of one million things that bug me about DC (900,000 of them being actual bugs), I also have a list of one million things that I adore. Like Eastern Market on Saturday mornings. And afternoon walks to the Capitol. And Shake Shack. And the playground at Lincoln Park. And the other playground at Turtle Park. And the monuments at night. And the yachts on the Potomac. And our ward. And the goats at the cemetery. And free admission at the zoo. And the young professionals wearing business suits with tennis shoes. And the people who love their dogs like children. And the cheese selection at the grocery store. And old friends and new friends and people I wish I was friends with. Etc.

We don't know where will be in a year when Stephen will be a JD, bar-certified (fingers crossed), attorney. There's a world of possibility and endless locations. But if a job brings us here to The District of Columbia, I'll be okay with it. Nay, I'll be stoked.

Love you. See you soon?

Friday, August 9, 2013

It's her party, so...

This morning Ivy cried and handed back the fresh bottle I had just presented her. It was the wrong temperature.
Ivy cried when I changed her diaper.
Ivy cried when I changed her clothes.
Ivy cried when she pressed the home button on the ipad and unintentionally exited her Elmo app.
Ivy cried when I threw away the crumbled oatmeal cookie she left on the bed.
Ivy cried when I gave her a small piece of  nectarine to try.
Ivy cried when she dropped the nectarine on the ground.
Ivy cried when I gave her a new slice of nectarine.
Ivy cried because she liked the nectarine and wanted more.
Ivy cried when  I  took away the plate of nectarine chunks after she had stopped eating and started throwing.
Ivy stopped crying for a minute when she caught her reflection in the mirror.
Ivy started crying again when I wouldn't let her have my Diet Coke with a straw.
Ivy cried when I put a straw in her sippy cup.
Ivy cried after she removed the straw from the sippy cup and insisted that I put it back in.
Ivy cried after she removed the straw from the sippy cup and insisted that I put it back in.
Ivy cried after she removed the straw from the sippy cup and insisted that I put it back in.
Ivy cried after she removed the straw from the sippy cup and insisted that I put it back in.
Ivy cried after she removed the straw from the sippy cup and insisted that I put it back in.
Ivy cried after she drank all the water from the sippy cup.
Ivy cried when I changed her diaper again.
Ivy cried when I wouldn't let her close my laptop.
Ivy cried when I opened my laptop she somehow successfully closed.
Ivy cried when I put her down for a nap.
Ivy's asleep now.
I'm bored.

Monday, August 5, 2013

The night-time sniffling, sneezing, coughing, aching, stuffy head, fever, so- you-can-rest and abandon all responsibility medicine

The annual summer time cold swept through our home this week. Most of us have come out unscathed. Ivy had a couple restless, runny-nosed nights, then miraculously recovered. Stephen drank a Red Bull and called himself cured. I, however, have turned a mild virus into a severe substance abuse problem.

I'm no stranger to addiction (see: Diet Coke, Pretty Little Liars) so I should have known better than to get back on the NyQuil wagon I've had to work so hard to get off of so many times before. But three hours into a sore throat and I was first in line at the pharmacy, my bottle of beloved blue liquid in hand. That night I happily welcomed the sweet, sleepy, sensation that the drug brings. When I woke up at 2:30 am, I was anxious to  chase that feeling again, so I took another dose. Like most decisions post-midnight, this was a bad one. I'm not a big person. At 5'6 on tip toes and a buck twenty after a large drink of water, 60 ml of NyQuil comes out to a lot of NyQuil per pound/inch. At 8 am, I woke up, threw up, and went back to sleep until Ivy stirred at 10 am. I think  I changed a diaper and got a bottle with my eyes closed, then turned on Sesame Street, plopped Ivy next to me in bed and closed my eyes for just a second until an hour later when the episode ended and Ivy started hitting me out of boredom. It was 11 am and I had to use what felt like every muscle in my body to keep my eyelids from drooping. Deciding a little exercise would cure the cold medicine hangover, I grabbed the stroller, which, let's face it, is practically heavy machinery, and embarked on my second terrible choice in a twelve hour period.

I should probably note that at this point I was lucid enough to look out for my child's safety. I was capable of obeying traffic signals and avoiding eye contact with the scarier vagabonds. But I was in no condition to be in the blaring light of the sun, or to be moving any part of my body. We made it as far as the corner store, where I purchased a large Diet Coke, then headed home where I spent the rest of the day trying to clear the fog from my mind.

Stephen, knowing me and my sick sense of humor all to well, bought me a copy of Crime Times at 7-11. It's nothing more than eight pages of  mugshots captioned with the crime the suspect allegedly committed. There I sat on my high horse, judging these haggard, squinty-eyed, nasty-haired criminals, until I spotted this:

and it hit me that I'm no better than Richard, here. Was I drunk? Technically no. Should I have been out in public? Absolutely not. We're all just one NyQuil shot away from Crime Times. 

I wish this story ended with me swearing off the drug forever. Instead it ends with me having taken it every night for the past week and sleeping through church on Sunday morning. But I promise to never double dose again.

*I feel like I should acknowledge that there are people who actually suffer from substance abuse, and I hope that this in no way makes light of their pain. I also feel like that I should make it very clear that Ivy was perfectly safe through this entire fiasco. Please don't call the authorities. 

Thursday, August 1, 2013

In Defense of the Quiet One

A while back, a coworker observed me reaching for a tootsie roll and said, "You eat candy? That's weird. You usually don't seem to like fun things."

Lately I've seen a lot of articles about introverts floating around the internet. The titles are usually something along the lines of "Understanding The Introvert." It's strange to be part of a group that is apparently so misunderstood. I get a little defensive and think "Come on. We're not that weird." But then I think about my coworker's comment and realize that quite a few people really just don't get me/my kind.

And that's fine. I don't have to be got. But I'll be darned before I consider myself un-fun.  I just have a different idea of what fun means.

If we don't actually know each other, you may be confused. You may wonder how someone who puts so much time and energy into sharing the details of their life with the internet via this blog could possibly be an introvert. It's not that I, the introvert, don't want to speak or be noticed. It's that I'm much more comfortable having my writing read than my voice heard. Writing is fun. Talking is stressful. As are large groups, loud noises, pleasantries, team sports participation,  and anything that requires speaking above  normal conversational volume.  I was really, really bad at dating.

It's also not that I don't like talking to people. I really like people. And I actually really like talking to people, so long as we're talking about something we both find fascinating.  I am incapable of talking small. It's also not that I don't like spending time with people. It's just that I need alone time to process the time I've spent with other people. And, believe it or not, it's also not that I'm shy. I just need a reason to talk.  As a college student, I remember going eight to twelve waking hours at a time without talking to another soul. But I was stimulated and content to listen to professors and fellow students. The classes that required participation were the worst, because all my participation was in my own head. I like to think long and hard before speaking. I always regret it when I don't.

My point is, I'm not weird. OK fine. I'm kind of weird. But not any weirder than the other twenty five percent of the population who find solitude soothing. And tootsie rolls delicious.