Thursday, September 29, 2011

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Party Like It's Your Birthday

On Friday, there was this:
KB made Jackson's first birthday cake, which proved far less interesting than the plate it was on:
After we put him to bed, KB and I enjoyed some damn fine devil's food cake. Someone had to eat it.
And then Saturday, we unleashed the gates of hell...I mean, we invited the whole family and some friends and neighbors to celebrate Jackson's birthday with more cake!* and presents:
He wore that bow on his head for quite a while, which is more than I can say for his birthday hat:
We took this picture mere milliseconds before he enthusiastically ripped the hat off and chucked it.
He also got to play with a friend**:
And spend some time with his only cousin***:
I sent everyone home with these:
And to ensure they all got The Diabeetus, some of these, too:
And at the end of a long day, Jackson got to enjoy his loot:
That stinkeye was directed at some irritating neighbors.****
That's better.
Disclaimer: I did not make any of the crafty-type stuffs you see above. What I made was this:
And the highchair banner here:
I mean, come on, you guys: I sewed! I have sewn! (Not to be confused with the conjugation, "I sew.") Most everything else was from Etsy. (I heart Etsy, people. Hard.)

*The cake is from Cake Nouveau in Ann Arbor. The owner has competed (and won!) on Food Network cake challenges, which I became addicted to watching while pregnant and melding with the sofa. That and HGTv. I know how to build, fix, landscape, and/or stage a house, y'all.

**I have a mommy friend! For real!

***I don't count my stepsister and her redneck clan, since I don't really even know her. Plus, I bet she would think my party was lame since it wasn't at Hooters. Backyard barbecue, boring! Not a single stripper or a clown in blackface or a confederate flag or a gun or a can of Bud to be seen!

****Oh, the annoying neighbors. They walked in and stood in front of the small pile of gifts, refusing to put theirs down. I had Jackson in my arms and had to put him on the floor to take the gifts from their hands, pivot 15 degrees, and bend over slightly to place on the pile for them. Then they shouted, "Where's the alcohol?" (When you think, "Kid's first birthday party," don't you always also think, "Let's get shitfaced!"? They pounded a bottle of wine and about half a dozen beers by themselves.) And then...we had made a decision before the party started to not open gifts since Jackson has the attention span of a gnat and the patience of Joan Crawford on a wire hanger rant; everyone seemed to get this. Most everyone. After all but a couple of people (family members) had left, and we were starting to clean up, we realized the neighbors were parked on our sofa staring at us. Drinks in hand, natch. They sternly requested we open their gifts, right then and there, thankyouverymuch. So we did, to avoid their wrath, which is when I captured Jackson's insightful look, above. I look forward to moving, you guys. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to write a thank-you note to these charming people and then sprinkle it with sugar and perfume and maybe wipe my ass with it before mailing.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Where the Buffalo Roam

Well, we were not eaten by bears. And we did not drive off the steep side of the mountain a la Thelma and Louise. We also did not see a single goddamned buffalo. My life is not yet complete.

Jackson did remarkably well for about 75% of our air travel, falling asleep during takeoff and napping through much of the flight. That is, for three out of four total flights (two each way). And so he made up for it on the fourth, which happened to be the Minneapolis-to-Detroit leg that brought us home. Holy hell, y'all. He squirmed, he cried, he fussed, he bit, he hit, he rubbed his weary little eyes BUT HE WOULD NOT SLEEP. And that was how I lost my mind, The End.

Other than that, we did fine. After the first night of adjusting to the time zone change and the day of travel, he slept through the night and awoke cheerfully every morning. We took him to the wedding rehearsal Friday afternoon and he charmed everyone with his toothy grin and played peek-a-boo over the church pews. There were a bunch of the bride's family members there with even more bunches of kids (this is a rather fecund Catholic family) including two newborns who are merely days old. They were dragged, er, invited, along to all the events and their parents were run ragged trying to get them to sleep in strollers and carseats, late into the evening during the rehearsal dinner and late into the night during the wedding reception. Dude. I am so grateful my sister was able to come and "nanny" for us during the wedding events because I would have lost whatever is left of my marbles if I'd had to deal with that on top of the travel stress and the nervousness of singing in someone's wedding. (Thank goodness I didn't mess it up. We'll see -- and hear -- when the wedding video is edited.) We were able to actually relax and enjoy the dinner and the reception. We even danced! Well, white-people-style, but still. (Actually, KB got down on the ground and did a little breakdancing for us. And I moonwalked, as much as someone in high heels can.) We had a little fun. Maybe even more than a little. Go us!

And so with our extra days there, we got all vacationy and saw wildlife, the Badlands, Wall Drug, the Crazy Horse monument, and Mount Rushmore. See? See:
And now we are home (sweet home!), cleaning up the house and preparing for a certain little man's first birthday party on Saturday. And I keep muttering under my breath, "serenity now!" as if it will keep me sane. Because, you know, having the whole family over plus kid-centric event plus a couple of other kids to entertain divided by it might rain equals Mommy is scheduling a massage for next week.

And on the next edition of Jen's Random Infrequent Updates: how I became friends with my therapist.*

*She shares an office with the groom, our mutual friend, and so was at the wedding; we socialized as civilians, and now KB and her husband are like bona fide friends. And I think my therapist and I might be, too. So....huh. We'll analyze this, my Interweb Armchair Psychologists, another day.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Thing 1 and Thing 2

Packing for Le Trip: We haven't been gone this long on our last couple of semi-local trips (Chicago, Saugatuck) AND we'll be in the prairie-boonies, so I want to be sure we have what we need for das kind. They have a washer and dryer at the resort, so I'm bringing cloth diapers (although we'll stick to disposables for the airport and while my sister is babysitting). The poor bebe has raging diaper rash right now that gets better for a day, then worse again, then better, then...lather, rinse, repeat. I think it's partly due to formula *blech* making his poops disgusting with the contribution of the teething/increased saliva/fever constellation of shitty symptoms *rimshot**pun*. I have extra bottles of pain reliever and numby-gummy gel to stash in my purse (after we clear airport security, of course; until then it will be crammed into a fucking useless if-we-put-our-belongings-into-tiny-goddamned-clear-plastic-bags-and-take-our-shoes-off-then-the-terrorists-won't-win bag). Because, oh yeah, tooth #6. The weather is supposed to drop from 80 to 60 while we're there, so lots of clothes will come. And we'll have to bring actual socks and shoes for Jackson...his barefoot summer days are coming to an end. I'm not sure how sleep will go since we'll be 2 time zones behind his 7pm bedtime, and coming in and out of the cabin while he's sleeping. I guess we'll see. Fingers crossed for minimal horribleness. Okay, I guess we can be a tad more optimistic and hope for actual pleasant fun. Why not.

Look Who's Talking: I initiated (or re-initiated) the conversation with KB re: when-to-go-back-to-the-RE. Here's some relevant info: KB has been followed by a urologist since we received our super-awesome severe male factor infertility diagnosis, and the only clinically significant physical or biochemical flaw ever detected is a testosterone level just below normal, which could explain the fucked up sperm. On our last IVF cycle, KB was on Clomid and we actually saw our 0% normal morphology leap up to an incredible *brace yourselves**are you sitting down?* 1% normal. I'm no mathematician, but that's a 33% improvement relative to the 3% cutoff for normal! Yippee-ki-yay-motherfuckers! Motility never showed improvement, but I dare not dream for actual normalcy. Even since discontinuing Clomid over a year ago, KB's testosterone level has remained in the normal range, which might (key word) mean a prolonged period of better sperm production. Maybe. Possibly. We don't know. (And there it is: hope. Creeping back in. Asshole.) Although I wouldn't bat an eyelash at a surprise pregnancy (bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha...that cracks me up), I think that 2-3 years between kids is about right. This would mean trying to get pregnant over the next year. So I asked KB if he thought we could make an appointment with the RE after Christmas to repeat all the testing that led to our diagnosis in the first place, and he thought that sounded fine. It's not a commitment to do anything just yet, but it'll tell us where we stand. Gawd, would I love it if our RE told us we were candidates for timed sexiness, or medicated IUI, instead of IVF. Wouldn't that be something? *le sigh*

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

And Then There Were Five

Five ta-ta-toothies. They JUST. KEEP. COMING. Fortunately (I guess?) the cutting of this new tooth was masked by the head cold we've all had for the past week. I just noticed this new little bottom tooth had already cut the gum this past weekend, having assumed all the fussing and nighttime waking and sniffles and whatnot were from the cold.

Because, yeah, that's how we celebrate holiday weekends -- Sudafed and Gatorade-tinis! We went ahead (foolishly?) with plans to have the whole family over on Labor Day and hoped for the best. And did not get it. Things were fine until, well, the people showed up. I was trying to feed Jackson before the Distractors were here but one of them arrived early and proceeded to hover and talk and shake toys at and otherwise prevent the feeding of one hungry little boy. We asked politely (as we have had to before, as always to no avail) for the distracting to wait and, predictably, the request was ignored. Whatevs. I shoved some food down his gullet anyhow and we moved on. Then a while later, when Jackson was rubbing his eyes and falling down from exhaustion (did you know the Distractors are also masterful Overstimulators?), I took him back to his room to try and settle him down for a nap. He's become a great nighttime sleeper, but daytime naps are not as easy. We usually take him for a walk or a car ride, which I thought might be kind of rude with people over at our house. Plus they had my car blocked in. So I rocked, sang to, and walked around with a fussy, sleepy boy for half an hour before he finally sacked out in my arms for another half hour. I stayed back there for my own respite, and because sleeping moppet = bliss. When I re-emerged with a well-rested baby, there had apparently been serious dramaz. KB was accosted by an older family member who sneeringly accused him of "coddling" the baby by asking people to keep their voices down while Jackson slept, and he didn't back down from his request nor did he take this insult lying a brief fight ensued and the family member stormed out of our house. Jayzuz. Who's being the baby, here? He got an apology today that included something to the effect of, "...but YOUR words hurt me deeply..." so it's not 100% apologizing, more like insinuating that by pushing back against her stupid remark, KB drove her to madness or something. Ferchrissakes. Can't we all just get along?

In other news, I am starting to prepare for our 1-week adventure to South Dakota. Yes, one of the fly-over states is our vacation destination. KB and I are in a friend's wedding, and my sister is joining us for a couple of days to watch the munchkin. I am hopeful (but not counting on) that away-from-home sleep and cloth diapering and airport shenanigans will not break me. I already think I have a touch of the crazy, and it might not take much of a push to get me over the edge, y'all.