Friday, December 26, 2008

I Stand Corrected...

Amongst the many gifts Santa brought Little Man yesterday, one of them was a play doctor's kit, which he's been playing with most of the day. Which I bought for four dollars, when most of his other toys cost 10 to 15 times that amount.

At one point, Little Man was playing in the living room trying to hear his heart beat.

Me: Are you a doctor?

LM: No, Mama, I'm not a doctor. I'm pretending to be a doctor.

Love,

Catwoman.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Well, after many, many horrible travel experiences, all of my family has finally made it in. I expect that none of them will ever want to return to Dallas when it has meant getting stranded in all sorts of places and having to buy new tickets because Air Canada acts like it is the airline of a Third-World country, rather than the greatness of the country that turned me into such a fantastic human being somehow.

But 'tis the day where Santa comes bearing gifts for Little Man, and he can FINALLY get that Little Einstein bath toy that he has been hoping and wishing for the way I've wished for thinner thighs.

So on this day of peace, love and feasts a plenty, I give to you my boys.



Santa actually doesn't need to bring me anything this year. I've got all I could ever want.

Love,

Catwoman.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Sweetness

Little Man can regularly be caught being sweet to Tiny Man. He does it very naturally, not because it's expected of him, just because that's just who he is, down to his core. I don't know where he gets it from, neither his father nor I are particularly nice people, but Little Man somehow defeated the odds and has this wonderful soft spirit and I intend to ensure the world doesn't crush him and harden him.

A few days ago, Tiny Man was going berzerk in his bouncy seat, demanding his next bottle and Little Man started singing to him. By the time I'd gotten the camera out, he was done singing and had begun humming, but I still love this video, because it's typical Little Man: unfazed, sweet and caring.

And for the record, at the end of the video he is not attempting to smother his little brother with the frog.


Brotherly Love from Catwoman InTexas on Vimeo.

Love,

Catwoman.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Two Months: My Letter to Tiny Man

So we've got smiling! And one night where you slept for six hours straight! I'd say your second month was a good month, except there were those three nights of hell when you caught a cold, and since you're a man, you behaved like you were going to die if I didn't hold you all. the. time. and you refused to do anything ressembling sleep when the sun was down, instead, you chose to whine and complain and do the whole 'woe is me' routine that millions of men befor you perfected. May I remind you that a happy home starts with a happy Mama? I'm just saying.

I guess it goes to show that when you're spoiled like we have been with you, the second we get a taste of what dealing with a normal newborn would be like, we can't handle and choose to go the whine and complain route. It's the same reason that I get cranky when your brother actually behaves like a normal preschooler, because it's just not something I've had to deal with before.



You lost most of your newborn hair this past month, which meant that for a while, your father thought you looked like something from Deliverance, which if you don't get that reference, Tiny Man, don't worry, it only means you're not ancient like your father. You have started to regrow hair on the side of your head, but are left with a longer strip on top, making you look really tough and punk-like. It also means you're three years too late to look like you're copying Maddox Jolie-Pitt, but hey, I've never been good at following trends either.

You've begun to smile, although it's yet to be a regular occurence. Your brother and I try so hard to get you to smile. We'll put on puppet shows for you, have funny face contests, make high-pitched sounds that send the dog cowering under the bed, until we're giggling so hard that he gets the hiccups and I can't breathe. And during this entire time, there you are in your bouncy seat, your brow furrowed, like you are so disgusted with us and can't believe we think this simpleton humor is supposed to amuse you.



If someday you sit down and compare your brother's "My First Year" scrapbook to yours, and you wonder why there are no pictures of you smiling yet, that would be because trying to get you to smile is a little like trying to give a pissed off dragon a throat lozenge. It just ain't happening. One of your aunts thinks most pictures of you ressembles paparrazzi pictures of celebrities, where they look midly annoyed all the time. Although, in your defense, a couple of nights ago, I was holding you after you'd finished your bottle, and you were looking around the room, when suddenly, your face broke out in the biggest grin I've seen on you. We're talking corners of the mouth reaching your ears, mouth open wide enough to fit our entire house in it, tongue sticking out in the way only new babies get away with. I was stunned for a second, and then it occurred to me that this huge smile wasn't even for me, that it was at some random thing that you spotted in the room. I'm unsure as to what this thing is that caused you to smile so big, it could be a stocking, could be the lights on the trees, but really, it doesn't matter, because seriously? Are you aware that you should be clamoring for a larger share of the will and smiling at the person who carried you for nine months, the one who had to give up alcohol and sushi for that long (270 days, in case you can't do the math). Despite all of that, you smile at random objects? Oh how you break my heart little one...



You are so cute and squishy though. You've spent this past month getting fatter, and I love how your entire body has these nice big fat rolls on it, giving you all sorts of places to hide lint, dog hair and other treasures you seem to collect. You've outgrown most of your 0-3 months clothes, a feat I never thought a child of mine would get done long before his two-month birthday.



So you might have caught on a couple of paragraphs ago that I mentioned something about you finishing a bottle. And you're probably sitting there going "wh-what? I thought I was Maman's master breastfeeder." And about that? Yeah, you're not. In fact, you're so far from being a master feeder that there is no nice way for me to say it: you suck at breastfeeding. After the lactation consultant diagnosed you with Lazy Eating Syndrome, you and I were supposed to do hardcore breastfeeding bootcamp together at home. And I tried, I really did, Tiny Man. But it was hard, as things with the words bootcamp in them tend to be, and you and I were miserable and it just wasn't worth the heartache. So I took the easy way out(if strapping myself to a machine that reminds me of a vaccuum cleaner that violently sucks the milk out of me every three to four hours is considered the easy way out). Your father thinks this is the most inefficient thing I've ever done and considering how often I do inefficient things, that should really tell you something. But the way I see it, it's the best of both worlds, you get the breastmilk and I'm not repeatedly trying to latch an angry baby on only to have him get off because he's not getting anything, and switching positions every ten minutes and feeling frustrated. Last time I made an attempt at breastfeeding? You actually kicked me in the boobs. Remind me to warn your future girlfriends and tell them this story, m'kay?

The point is, we tried, but in the end, we were like those deluded American Idol auditioners, we just weren't any good. So I will do my part, for the next 10 months, to keep getting that milk out for you, and you just continue to do your part, to keep eating and getting chunkier so that I can keep attempting to swallow those chubby cheeks and thighs whole.



We're currently working on getting you to sleep in the Pack and Play by our bed, after you made it clear that the bassinette was so beneath you. There are only four places you'll sleep: your car seat (but only in the car and when the car is either moving or we are out and about, the car seat is not an acceptable place to sleep when we're at home, you've made that clear), your swing (but only if you're sleepy, or else you'll grumble forever about how you're not tired and how we need to get you NOW!), your bouncy seat and on my pillow next to me, which don't get mad at me for breaking all of the SIDS laws, you're the one who's decided this was where you like to sleep best. The last few nights, we've managed to get you to sleep the first half of the night in the Pack and Play and the second half of the night in your swing. To me, this is a success worthy of a Nobel Prize, because you are mighty, mighty stubborn, my Tiny Man.



You're also extremely active. I'm not sure if it's because you've watched The Biggest Loser with me every week and you share my crush on Jillian the trainer, but everytime I put you down on your blanket, you begin to pump your arms and legs and make these grunting noises, like you're getting one hell of a workout. You tend never to just lay there like a blob, the way I remember your brother doing, not you, you just pump, pump, pump, until you've pumped so hard that you managed to scoot yourself completely off the blanket. I suspect this is your way of trying to make a run for it, you probably think to yourself "DAMN IT! How did the woman catch up to me," every time I pick you up to put you back on the blanket.

I've spent many hours since you were born playing with your little fingers, your little toes, nuzzling your neck and cradling you on my shoulder. I want you to know that I've enjoyed every single lazy minute with you. I love that you're becoming more alert now and stay awake for longer periods of time. I love telling you stories and watching your brow furrow, as you probably think to yourself "I hear she's a Democrat, surely no woman who gave birth to me could be such a thing," because I'm more and more convinced that you don't just look like your Daddy, you're a hell of a lot like him too.



Which might not be such a bad thing, after all, I married the man.

I love you, my Tiny Man,

Maman.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Little Manisms

So I've said before that this kid? Is the funniest person I know. Here are the latest examples.

After naptime, sitting on the potty:

"Mama, am I big enough for dangerous things now?

- What kind of dangerous things?

- You know, sharp knives and scissors.

- Nope, you're not quite big enough.

- When will I be grown up for sharp knives and scissors? When I'm five I'll be grown up?

- Sure, when you're five, you'll be grown up.

- Can I have beer when I'm five?

- No, you're French. You can only have wine."

--------------------------

On the way to the grocery store:

"Do you want to ride in one of those car-shaped carts, Little Man?

- Yes, and I'm going to turn the steering wheel!

- Are you going to drive really fast?

- Maybe..."

---------------------------------

On the way to the pharmacy:

"Mama, why do we have to pay for things in the stores?

- Because it's not our stuff until we pay for it. If we take it without paying, that's called stealing, and people go to jail when they steal."

The entire time we're in the pharmacy, every time I'd put something in the cart, as loud as can be, when he's usually the quietest kid around:

"MAMA, ARE YOU GOING TO PAY FOR THAT SO YOU DON'T GO TO JAIL AGAIN?"

Yeah, I don't know where the again came from, for the record, I have never been convicted of shoplifting or anything else.

-----------------------------------

As I'm putting him in the car, when we're late going to my mother-in-law's.

"We've got to hurry, Little Man, Nonnie must be wondering where we are!

- We're right here!!!!"

Love,

Catwoman.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

As Hell Breaks Loose Around Me

So yeah, I've been missing.

I suck, don't I?

But as I write this, my parents and sister are less than 30 hours away from landing.

And can I get a holy crap, I'm so screwed. Because I thought they were arriving Saturday. And I really, really needed that extra day.

Do you have any idea how much there is left to do around here? Peeps, please send paper bag muy pronto. Because seriously hyper-ventilating here. On a positive note? I'm now two pounds away from my starting weight for my pregnancy with Tiny Man. Can I get a you rock, breastfeeding?

Let's ignore the fact that it still means I'm 30 pounds overweight. One mountain at a time, people. By my calculations, if I breastfeed for the next 8 years, I should be back to my ideal weight then. How many times a day will a third-grade teacher allow you to show up with a sippy cup of breastmilk for your child? And would even the La Leche hemp-wearing weirdos be freaked out then? Surely, even they must want to be thin?

So here's what I've done this week:

- Had hardwoods installed in dining room.
- Had carpets steam cleaned.
- Cleaned out fridge (why is it that this is one job that you can't hire someone for? Seriously, I would have paid a thousand dollars to not have to discover what I discovered in the way, way back of our fridge. I think I might have thrown some crime scene evidence, or something, because whatever that thing was in that tupperware, it was awful funky and seriously decomposed.)
- Spent money I don't have.
- Taken care of three sick men, including one who's just now 8 weeks old, all while having a head cold that felt like the Incredible Hulk was using my head as a stress relief toy. (Note: the fantastic breastfeeding that has caused me to be only overweight compared to my previous really overweight meant that I was only allowed to take Tylenol for relief. Oh Nyquil, how I miss thou)
- Labeled the fridge in a belated fit of nesting. No, seriously, I did. I need to post pictures of this.

See? I ain't lying. Who the freak does this???





All the people who know me in real life are right now thinking that the head cold must have fried my brain, because that? Is so unlike me. I blame stupid Oprah and her stupid decluttering episode. Damn you Oprah! Why does this paragraph feel like I've said something really blasphemous? (Oprah, I take it back. I think you are the Queen of the World. Please don't have me killed).

So I will go back to doing the 50,000 things left to do on my list, including wrapping 1,500 Christmas gifts, gah!!!!

On a positive note? Tiny Many slept from 10:15 until 4:15 this morning. And only woke up screaming because Sweetie Pie had a coughing fit that scared the shit out of him. Note to self: Have Sweetie Pie killed for preventing Tiny Man from potentially sleeping through the night for the first time.

I will be drafting another post right now with Little Manisms that will post tomorrow. That is my Christmas gift to you. I will try to post at some point next week, but with 11 people total in the house, I'm thinking I'll be too busy getting drunk to survive.

Love,

Catwoman.

Monday, December 08, 2008

And My Ego Was Never to Be Found Again

Things have been a little rough around here lately. Maybe I live in my own little world, but I thought that considering I had a baby 7 weeks ago, I was looking pretty good.

Thanksgiving weekend, we had a birthday party to go to for a one-year old. Someone there hadn't seen me in a few years, she's the sister of our friend whose son was having the party (you still with me?). Sweetie Pie was upstairs, trying to get Tiny Man to take a nap in a strange crib, which Tiny Man was all WTF, this is a party and there might be booze and maybe even some dope, I ain't going to sleep, so it was taking a long time.

Our friend's sister came up to me and said "Congratulations! I heard the news!" And I thanked her, as new mothers are forced to do. She then proceeded to ask me when I was due.

Cue sound of pin dropping.

There was also the sound of my ego shattering, which was a little like the sound I imagine 100 lambs would make as they are being kicked by a really mean person.

Me being who I am, I was busy trying to figure out how to respond without making this person feel bad.

So I just said, "actually, he's upstairs." Meaning the baby, of course.

But this person assumes I mean Sweetie Pie, and says "oh, no, I'm not wondering where Sweetie Pie is, I asked you when the baby was due."

This leaves me with no choice than to go to Death Con. And go to embarrassing mode, where I tell her "Uhm, Sweetie Pie is upstairs trying to put the baby to sleep. The baby was born last month. (pause) And here I thought I was looking pretty good."

Cue to two days later, where Little Man tells me that he and his Daddy are going to ride on a tractor, but that I can't come, because I'm too big and I won't fit on the tractor. So I'm just going to stay home and watch Tiny Man.

Uhm, seriously?

Because things like this come in three, you knew there had to be one more. On Friday, I was buying myself some new boots, some black, buttery leather Nine AWest gorgeousness and I was happy and ignoring the fact that I was spending money I wasn't supposed to, when the cashier begins to compliment me on my two boys. She then proceeds to say "they are such different coloring! They obviously don't have the same Daddy."

Seriously? That's your first guess?

I guess I should feel happy that she thinks that even though my ass is huge, I can still get me any man I want.

Love,

Catwoman.

Friday, December 05, 2008

And It's Only the Beginning

When you make the decision to have kids, there are many things to think about. Like are you going to be the kind of parent who sends your kids down to the corner store to buy you beer and cigarettes. Because they look down upon that sort of thing nowadays, those judgemental bastards.

The most important thing to think about though is that someday, you'll be expected to discuss certain things with your kids like sex. When you have these conversations, you'll be expected to be the adult in those conversations. I know, right? It's like what the hell?

I admit that this is not something I thought about before I put out without any protection. I guess I didn't have someone wise to warn me, the way you guys do with me. You can thank me by sending me massive piles of money so that I may raise goats and make goat cheese just for fun.

Little Man has been recently paying attention to things related to his body. Like he's noticed that when he gets out of the tub, his fingers get all pruny, which made him curious, so I explained to him that his fingers just absorbed some water, and that they'd be back to normal once they were dry.

Yesterday, Little Man was peeing, and he does it sitting down, something that I hope he does forever, because I'm not interested in living in a house full of men who miss the seat and leave it up. They will be trained.

Little Man suddenly looked disturbed. "Mama? What's that behind my penis? Is that poop hanging down?" I begin to giggle nervously. "Uhm no. That would be your scrotum." "My scrotum?" I giggle again. "Yes. Uhm, it holds your testicles." "Oh. Is that where I keep my toots?" And cue me laughing hysterically.

Later, this whole testicles deal was still clearly on Little Man's mind, because he asked me "Is my scrotum all wrinkled because there's water in it?"

When it's time for "the talk," I'm totally outsourcing it, because seriously? I'm not cut out for the parenting stuff that requires me not giggling like a 12-year old boy.

Love,

Catwoman.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Thirty-Nine Months: My Letter to Little Man

This is one of the first times this letter has been late. I guess you can blame the fact you're no longer an only child on that. I realized last night at 10:45 p.m. that it was your birth day, and that I'd completely forgotten. Aren't you glad we got you that baby brother? You know, the one who can't do all of the things you ask me to let him do with you, like take a bath, have a sleepover in your room, jump in your bounce house or dance around with you to the Imagination Movers.

You're getting so big, that I wonder when you turned into a grown up on me. The other day, I kissed you as I was getting you out of your car seat. You shook your head at me and said "you can't kiss me anymore, Mama. I'm a boy now. You could only kiss me when I was a girl, but now that I'm a boy, you can't kiss me anymore." I'm not sure when you were a girl, but I sure liked it better than, when I could impulsively kiss you any time I wanted. Because this whole not kissing you thing? I thought I was in the clear for that until you were at least in middle school.



You are still extremely sweet though. Last week, I accidentally knocked over six ounces of milk I had just pumped. All that liquid gold for your baby brother was all over the counter and the floor, and I was so upset that I was near tears. You noticed and started patting my side saying "it's okay, Mama, it's okay. Please don't cry, I'll play my guitar for you." And you know what? You did make me feel better. You stopped me from crying. All three-feet of you and your crazy guitar playing.

Your new obsession is your avent calendar, which you refuse to call a calendar, but instead you call it "That Game." Because how can it be anything else but a game, when it involves the tearing of cardboard doors that hide a chocolate treat? For the past two nights now, you try to negotiate with me "how about we open three doors tonight, Mama? OK, how about five doors then?" When I told you that we were going to bake some cookies this weekend and deliver them to the nearest fire station as our "spreading the holiday cheer" project, you told me that you also wanted to bring That Game and show it to the firefighters, and then you told me you were going to open six doors with the firefighters, show them the treats and then eat them all. Merry freaking Christmas to you too, kid.



Speaking of negotiations, we've now resorted to something I never thought I'd ever do, and that's the requests for you to eat three more bites of vegetables and two more bites of meat. I always said I'd never be one of those mothers, because all of the articles state that this is the best way to raise a child to become an obese adult. But if I didn't do this, on most nights, you'd happily dine on just a glass of milk and air. I don't care if you've eaten well at school and had a good snack, you just can't go to bed without some food in your stomach, and the one night I decided to let you get up after not eating, you demanded food in your bath, telling me that you're starving.

So now, every night you take one bite of your food and then tell me you're done. And then we negotiate, which I must say is a ton of fun for me, because you're the worst negotiator I've ever met. "Little Man, eat two bites of meat and three bites of vegetables." "How about I eat four bites of vegetables and five bites of meat?" "Uhm, ok, you have a deal." I must sign you up for a negotiation class before you enter the adult world, because I'd hate for you to walk into a job interview and have this scenario occur: "Mr. Little Man, we'd like to offer you 200,000 dollars a year plus bonuses." "How about you pay me minimum wage and give me cookies instead of bonuses?"



You're probably wondering why so many of your pictures involve you not wearing pants. That would be simply because the second you get home, you tend to take your pants off. I have to admit that you probably get that from me, since I'm much happier without pants. However, as my mini me, you don't yet know the limits of pantlessness and have asked me if you could take your pants off in highly inappropriate places, like at your grandparents' or at the grocery store. We must work on this so that you don't end up arrested for public nudity by the time you're in college.

You love your baby brother so much that sometimes I can't believe how lucky I am. Your favorite activities right now include helping me give him a bath, and you're better at getting him to take his pacifier when he's upset than I am, even if you've given it to him upside down or sideways on more than one occasion. You give him these bone crushing hugs and tell him all of your secrets. When he cries in the car, you talk to him, trying to reassure him and it always brings a smile to my face.

You're one of the most caring, gentle souls I've ever met. I hope you never lose that, because every day, I wish I were more like you. You're extremely sensitive and lately, when you've been acting up and I send you to time alone, you sit on the stair wailing "I WANT TO BE A GOOD BOY!!!!", reminding me of Pinocchio and I have to admit, and this is where you realize what a horrible person I am, it makes me giggle every time.



And if you did know, I know you'd say to me, like you do at least twice a day "it's not funny, Mama." The thing is? You are funny. You continue to be the funniest person I know. And I don't foresee that changing any time soon.

I love you my Little Man,

Maman.