You can buy them new at Ikea but I'll be damned if I have to drive all the way down there so I lucked out and found the set on Craigslist for $25...located right on the way to Anna's daycare from work. Of course there is a catch - the kid before "decorated" the table with some black permanent marker on top. I scrubbed away at it last night and I think I've worn it down a bit and today I'm going to try a little sand paper. DH asks why I even bought the table if the marker bothers me so much but at first it didn't and now it does. Also I didn't want to spend more on a table/chair set and find out Anna wasn't into it.
I saw this one on Amazon and MIGHT get it if the marker won't stop bothering me:
But I don't know. It's an awful lot more money even if it is made of wood, has one more chair, and isn't pre-decorated. The thing is, the table is probably going to take some abuse anyway so maybe I should be fine that it's already ruined a little bit.
DH shared a story with me that his mom told from her travels; a monk walked right up to her and ripped her shirt. The message is that you shouldn't be too attached to material things or too proud of them and such. Both DH and I adhere to this theory with lots of our things. We are always buying floor sample furniture that might have a few dings or whatnot and we don't care. And I've scored some pretty great finds on Craigslist. Because life happens and stuff is going to get dinged up anyhow. So the table is just an extension of that I guess. So yeah, whatever, marker.
The important part of this rambling mess is that Anna LOVES eating at her table. She was very interested in it from first sight when it was crammed into the back seat of the car next to her on the way home from school. As soon as I put it down in the house she was sitting in the chair and very thrilled about it. And she does enjoy eating there very much. I can tell that it's much better for her to be in a chair that she can get in and out of herself instead of being lifted into the high chair and strapped in. She is definitely an independent child who likes to do things on her own.
I was a little skeptical about whether I should share my feelings of anger this past weekend. I felt like a bad mother and wife to have these feelings bubbling up inside. Now I am so glad that I did. I received some very thoughtful comments here on the blog as well as emails that reassured me that I'm not alone in feeling this way. It surprised me how many people shared my experience - just getting overcome by anger sometimes even though we love our families without exception.
THANK YOU to each and every one of you who responded with kind words or sympathy. I can tell you that getting it off my chest was the first step to healing but then hearing from all of you absolutely set me free. It was a ray of sunshine bursting through the clouds. I'm not going to say that anger has been banished from my life for good, but I feel like I acquired some more weapons for my next battle with the beast.
I eeked out 15 more minutes of yoga on Tuesday morning and I felt like I gained that much more control over my life. I have turned over a new leaf!
On a (semi) related note, I read this book yesterday (a really quick read):
I totally recommend it! Another Janet Lansbury tip. This is not exactly a RIE book but it goes right along with all the principals. It discusses some great tips on living with toddlers and it also has a whole chapter on being a good parent by taking care of yourself. Yes people, we all need to do this. It actually suggests going out and doing something alone (like browsing through a book store or taking a walk) once a week. Wow. Once a week. I can't even imagine. But I'm going to work up to it and I want all of you to try too. In fact, I think you should tell me the thing you want to do this week. Because then you are saying it out loud and it will be harder to flake. Me? I am going to take my watch in for a new battery and get some maintenance done on a few other pieces of jewelry. I know, it's not exactly FUN but it's a step in the right direction. It's for ME.
Also mentioned in the book and central to the RIE philosophy is making sure that children play by themselves - self-directed play. This is probably the hardest for those of us who are working moms. For me, since Anna is in daycare for so many hours each day, I feel like I have to be absolutely present with her at all times when we are at home - even if I'm just sitting near her and observing her play. But now I realize not only is this tiring me out, it's not good for her either. So this morning she was playing with her books in her room and I left her there and went into the kitchen to make her lunch. I did tell her I was leaving the room (also important for RIE). She played happily for quite some time before calling out for me.So that worked out pretty well and I'll be doing it more and more.
So folks, I can't thank you enough. Some days I wonder what I'm doing with this blog but it's times like this that I know for sure. I'm part of a community of supportive friends and I am so grateful. Let's all promise to take care of ourselves a little better...I'll try if you do.
This weekend should have been perfect. We didn't have too much to do and I was able to catch up on sleep. (Although we're still waking up at 5 am - arg.) But for some reason I spent a lot of time with anger dwelling in the pit of my stomach. It would come and go, this anger, but it was not a very fun companion. At one point I was doing a little vacuuming and I felt so angry that I almost had to leave the house. I don't know what happened. It scares me to feel this way - when something is off inside. I don't want to be an angry wife and mother.
I talked with DH about it and I think a large part of it is that I still don't have any time to myself. We've discussed a million different ideas of how we can improve our quality of life and nothing is working as a solution. I'd really like to exercise a bit but I am still having a hard time fitting it in. I just feel so trapped by my daily routine.
I realize that what I miss most about my pre-parenthood life is the luxury of time. I miss browsing through the sale rack at my favorite store, having time to fill the prescription I've been carrying around for two weeks, getting a new watch battery that I've needed for a year now, doing something for myself. I miss meeting a friend for dinner when DH is out of town instead of doing the single parent thing. Nowadays everything has to be so damned efficient. I was efficient before I had Anna but now it's like a sickness. If DH gives her a bath instead of me, I am running around the house cleaning up toys and getting her things ready for bed or for school the next day. Every time I have a free minute, I'm rushing to fill it with something productive - something productive for Anna our for our household because I always put myself last.
Today instead of just whining and complaining about it - I decided to take one small step in the direction of doing something. Anna woke up at 5 am (surprise!) so I got up, fed her breakfast, and then put yoga on TV and tried to do some of it. Wow I am out of shape. I was able to do a bit though and it felt good to use my body and do those stretches. I have my jump rope here at work and damn it I'm going to jump a little bit today. This doesn't really solve the problem - it's not giving me any more time in my day... but at least it's a small gift to myself. Feeling like I did something for myself and not anyone else.
I'm also going to the Blathering soon and that will be just for me! Two whole nights! So hopefully it will help to reset my clocks a little so I can get back to being the best wife and mother that I can be. It's a start.
Yesterday did not start out as a good day. I knew that I would have a work event in the evening so DH was responsible for taking Anna to school and picking her up. (We only have one car that can fit a car seat so the same person always has to do drop-off and pick-up - this person is usually me.) Anna got up early as she does lately and we were having a decent morning.
At 7:20 my phone rang and it was my boss. He decided that instead of just showing up for the dinner in the evening, he wanted me at the whole event we had been planning. In Westwood. At 8:00 am. Well, at least DH was taking Anna to school. I was presented with the problem of what to wear - I had to be more dressy since I was going to the event and not just the dinner. I don't have shoes nice enough to wear my black skirt suit (I know, lame) so I dug through my closet and found my other10 year old suit. I didn't get rid of it because it is a nice wool herringbone pant suit and last time I wore it, it fit. The last time I wore it was before I even had an IDEA about getting pregnant. But, it was my only choice. I somehow managed to get it on but then I heard a rrrrrip and there you have it - the stupid pants ripped at the seam. Luckily it was on the side not the seat but I had to take them off and sew them up. At least I can sew.
I eventually got everything on and got down to the car. I arrived at the event and went to the bathroom and realized I forgot to wear mascara. I felt NAKED but I just had to go with it. The event actually turned out great and I was glad that I went since I had worked hard on it. I was able to talk with some great contacts and listen to interesting perspectives on private equity (my field).
DH picked Anna up from school, did some grocery shopping with her, fed her and got her bathed and to bed. They had fun and he did a great job. I got to enjoy a nice event as well as a dinner at a restaurant with no baby to entertain. I got to have uninterrupted adult conversation! Enjoyable conversation at that. One of the many perks of having a child is that it's a great ice breaker with most people. Most people have children and everyone who does enjoys talking about them. So it always can get a conversation going.
It was a day that made me proud of the work I have done and glad to be a working mom. It was a win.
Well, Anna has been making a little more progress with walking. It's funny because before she attempts to walk she will do the following:
Stand on her own
Make sure she has everyone's attention
Take a few steps
She is such a ham! She wants to make sure everyone knows she's going to walk! And of course we praise her afterward and she loves it.
I've done a little bit of helping her walk by holding one or two of her hands but I try not to do it too much because I feel like that's giving her the wrong sensation - it's totally different than walking on your own.
She's still been quite the little early bird. Today was harder than others, I don't know why ... I just felt sooo tired. Also it's been rainy so I just want to stay in bed for as long as I can. But clearly that's not in my cards.
It looks like her bottom molars are getting ready to come through. She's been showing some mouth discomfort and I looked in there and it seems like the bottom back gums are swollen. It will be pretty cool if they come through because then she will finally be able to really chew things. She already has the top molars. This will really change the bite sizes and types of food she can eat. I tried giving her some chopped up broccoli yesterday and I could tell she liked it but it was hard for her to chew the hard stalks. (Yes, it was cooked broccoli.) So if these molars come through broccoli will be no problemo.
I wish I had something funny or even a bit more interesting for today but my brain feels so mushy from all the early mornings.
Uh oh, Anna has learned a new word: mine. I overheard her saying it to our cat when she was playing with him. She had one of her teething toys and she was putting it on his back (gross, I know) and he would try to bite it. Well everyone knows that is HER toy to bite and so she would grab it away from him and say "mine!" to him. Look out world.
Yesterday we went to Mr. Bones Pumpkin Patch. Thankfully our friends brought their camera because we forgot our memory card. (My fault, I had it in the computer to download some pictures.) Anna had fun - she enjoyed the pumpkins somewhat but what she really loved was the petting zoo.
I tried to get her to wear the panda hat but she only left in on for a little bit:
The cutest kangaroo, however, kept her costume on the whole time:
Wagon ride... okay.
We did get quite a few pumpkins and I'm thinking of decorating some with glitter like Rachel did, we'll see if I get it together enough to buy glitter.
I try to read Garrison Keiler's Writer's Almanac every day. There is always a great poem and then some interesting historical information. I really liked today's poem so I thought I would share it with y'all...
i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go, my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you
here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart
i carry your heart with me(i carry it in my heart)
Tonight after Anna ate a dinner that included applesauce, I put her down to play with her BBQ a little bit. She crawled into the other room off the kitchen and I let her explore a little bit. We have the cat food in there and I've told her that she can't play with it before. I knew she was over there by the cat food because I heard her saying "no, no" to herself. She knows when she's doing something I've told her not to do.
However, I was cleaning up and I figured that she was probably just investigating a little. I left her there a bit and then I checked on her and she was basically just looking at the three little bowls: a bowl of water, a bowl of dry food and a bowl of wet food. She splashed her hand around in the water a bit and I moved that bowl away.
Everything seemed fine so I went into the other room. I was happy that she was playing independently and I figured there wasn't much harm in it so I left her to it.
10 minutes later I hear "mama?" and little legs crawling across the floor. I go over there to check on her and LORD if she isn't COMPLETELY COVERED in canned cat food and stinking like a fish. My only regret is that I did not take a picture of this. She had been dipping her hands into the wet food and using it as a medium for expression - on the chair, covering her pants & shirt, on her face, spread across the floor where she'd been crawling, mixed with dry food in that bowl - just a cat food disaster.
I laughed and laughed because it was such a funny site. I was glad it was almost bath time and also that the housekeeper comes tomorrow. I did have to strip her clothes off and rinse them out in the sink and I went through at least 10 paper towels wiping her off and then wiping the majority of the cat food off the floor. The cats were VERY confused about why she was covered in their food and also why their food was all over the floor.
I can't wait until DH gets home and asks me why the house smells like cat food!!
Before I had Anna, cleaning up smelly cat food would have probably really ticked me off. But just seeing her covered in it like that and imagining the fun she must have had just makes me chuckle.
Today I thank the universe for this little being that brings so much unexpected joy to my life every day. I love her so much! After she's in bed at night I miss her so much, I want to go wake her up so I can hug her and give her kisses. Even when she wakes up at the crack of dawn, it's my favorite thing to go and get her out of the crib. She is so perfect and amazing. There are so many reasons not to have kids - it's expensive, it makes you tired, it screws up your figure, it changes everything.... but that's just it: it changes everything. It brings light, life and laughter each day - a wealth I would never have imagined. It's hard work, but it is absolutely worth it.
If there is one thing Anna loves it's applesauce. We gave her some applesauce for breakfast yesterday and it must have really made an impression on her. When I picked her up at school, there was a note on her chart that said she said "applesauce" at school. It's funny because they don't usually leave a note like that. But then we got home and I could see why. She kept saying applesauce over and over.
What I think happened is that the teachers were probably so amused at school when she said it that she got a big reaction from them. So of course that made her keep saying it. She definitely notices when things that she does get a reaction and enjoys it - and will repeat those things to continue getting a reaction. Hence the biting the leather chair, etc. Don't even get me started on "row row" (row, row, row your boat).
With the applesauce though, it's incredibly cute. It sounds more like "appeesauce" but it's very clear what she's talking about. She likes it so much we gave it to her today too. She eats it with a spoon for a while then she grabs it with her hand. So funny. My little cutie.
Through the magic of the Internet, I have befriended another mother-daughter pair who have the same names as us! Very cool! So other Erica had this idea to have Sober October which I thought was pretty neat. I have been wanting to lose 5 pounds-ish so I tinkered around with Sober October and have made Sober Beginning of the Week. Not as catchy. Well anyway, DH and I are not going to drink, not even a glass of wine, Monday - Wednesday. I think that will save some calories. Another idea we have is no drinking on weekends until 6:00 pm. OK, so we'll see how that goes. So far, we're 1 for 1. Yesterday was Monday and we just drank water with dinner. So we are starting off right.
Another thing I did was to shorten my jump rope to the right size. So that's the second step of my plan - try to do a little bit of exercise. I am thinking I can do it at work when I need to take a break from my computer. However, I can't exercise for at least another few days because on Saturday I had a chemical peel. Holy cow I understand why they call it a peel. My face has been red and peeling like crazy since yesterday. I couldn't even wear foundation because it stuck to the peeling off skin and looked really strange. So I'm all red faced and peely at work. What a mess. Today I specially combed my hair and wore it down to counterbalance some of the Halloween face effect. Man. So just a warning - don't go and do a peel before you have a special event or anything. This takes some time to work its way through. The big release form I had to sign said not to exercise for 7 days after the peel - something about sweat, not sure. Anyway, this time I have an EXCUSE not to exercise.
What else is new? Well, Anna has been waking up at 5:00 am again. I really thought we were done with that, sigh. But, the happy side of our current situation is that I get to spend a lot more time with her every day...it would just be nice if I could do so after the sun comes up. But well, it's fine. I am always on time to work!
Speaking of work, it has been really busy. That's nice though because the days speed by and then I'm off to pick up my favorite girl. She has been such a joy lately. She is saying all sorts of things and learning so fast. She actually knows a whole bunch of colors now! I think she knows yellow and purple best. So cute. She has been testing me too - I'm experimenting with the best way to deal with it. For now, it seems like ignoring the bad behavior is the best way to extinguish it. I feel like when I focus on it and say "no" - it just eggs her on. And by bad behavior I mean deliberately spilling her milk from the bottle, banging her spoon on the table, and trying to bite the leather chair. Those are the three main things she does to try to test me - and she knows she's not supposed to do them. Sometimes it's really funny to me and it's all I can do not to laugh. But I'm trying my best to be consistent.
I want to share these images with you of Anna going on a community buggy walk. Anna really enjoys going on these walks as she is always giggling, smiling and talking along the way. During the walk, the children have been observing their community and gathering natural materials, such as leaves, that they bring back into the room for further investigation. I have noticed Anna on numerous occasions using these materials in her play. It makes me wonder if she has held onto the memory of her experience on the buggy walk? Recently, she has been inspecting the leaves that hang from the vines of the tree. She will say “leaf” as she touches and tugs them. It is wonderful to see how the children are connecting their experiences from outside of the community in the classroom and being able to share them with everyone. Enjoy the images and have a great Monday.
Well, we've finally figured out a way to make drop-offs in the morning go a little easier.
Baby Beluga! Anna loves books and we now have special reading time with one of her teachers before I leave. She is so excited about the book she really doesn't mind when I leave - she loves Baby Beluga. And we always make sure to tell her that I'm leaving. I know one method would be to just sneak away while her attention is diverted but at her school they believe in telling the kids everything that is happening.
This is so much better than how drop-offs were last week where she was so upset and crying.
Also, another great thing I discovered today: applesauce! They must feed it to her at school because I gave her some for breakfast and I said "applesauce" and she said "appeysauce!" and then ate it all up and even had seconds. She also ate all her yogurt and most of her raisins. This is a big improvement from yesterday where she hardly ate breakfast at all. You just never know.
I am really looking forward to this weekend. We have nothing to do except for a dermatologist appointment for me. I've been wanting to go since before I was pregnant - I know, I'm really bad at making time for myself. I am going to have a bunch of stuff looked at, I am just thrilled about it. Woo!
Last night was our first trip to urgent care with Anna. It happened on my watch. Lately I've been taking a bath with her but last night I didn't want to get in the tub. I just had her in there by herself. She likes to stand up in the bath a lot and it makes me nervous but it is really difficult to get her to sit the whole time. So she was standing up and her feet slipped out from under her. She smacked her chin right on to the side of the bathtub. There was blood in her mouth - she must have bitten her tongue or cheek a little, and there was blood on her chin. I scooped her up and she's crying - I hold her in the towel and we give her Tylenol first thing. Then some milk. As I'm looking her over I realize she has a gash on her chin. It's small but it looks deep - deeper than neosporin and a band-aid. I call our pediatrician and she says take her to the ER. We decide on urgent care because we don't think it will need stitches. Our ped told us the ER because if she did need stitches the clinic would send us to the hospital and we'd have to wait twice.
Luckily our bet paid off and she didn't need stitches. The doctor at urgent care just put some derma bond on it and it was a relief. It will keep the cut from becoming infected. It was a little hard because she was already tired and ready for bed at bath time and then we had to keep her up and waiting at urgent care - sigh. But she did pretty well. She went right to bed when we got home and slept in late today to compensate. Poor little thing.
So yes, it will scar. But I have a few scars on my face from life's little accidents and I don't think they've ruined my life. But if you all are wondering why I'm not a professional model - well, there it is.
Today I am off from work - we were supposed to have a little vacation to Santa Barbara but it had to be canceled because of DH's work. I kept the days off. I've been running errands including a trip to BBB to get a bath mat. Unfortunately it doesn't fit in our big oval tub. So I'm going to try again. I need something to protect her from slipping. I can't believe I didn't think of it before.
DH and I both took off work today and took Anna to the aquarium. She LOVED it. It was definitely great that we were there on a slow day because she spent tons of time right up at tank window staring at the fish:
I was told that on weekends that area in front of the tank is roped off so you can't go right up to it. That would have been a huge bummer. She loved looking at all the different fish as well as the kids who would come up from time to time. We stayed at this tank for a very long time.
When we were finally able to get her to move, we saw the rest of the place. We didn't do any of the movies and skipped the outside part because it was raining. But it was a great trip and I'm really glad we went.
Today we also had our first fall that involved Urgent Care. Ugh. More about that tomorrow. Hope everyone had a great weekend!