Monday, March 25, 2013

Happy just Being

Our little family of three is getting comfortable in our little life. We're getting settled into the new house. A couch is on its way and should be delivered next Saturday. My parents bought us a dining table as an early birthday/christmas/every gift they may want to give us in 2013, so that is also on its way. We've got paint samples on the walls, and we are waiting for the time to undertake that kind of project to present itself. We're ready to stay put for at least five years; we're not interested in buying ourselves and having my parents as landlords is basically the same thing anyway.

Mia's transition to the two year old room has gone smoothly, especially since they spent about 80% of the day outside with the rest of the school, so she still sees her younger friends regularly. She is piecing together sentences. "Cheese!" has turned into "I want cheese... Please?". Now that she's a couple of months away from two, it seems like we're inching our way out of babydom, which is both relieving and tragic. She needs less from us, on a basic level, but more at the same time. More mindfulness about what we say, how we say it, and act how we generally want her to act. Her decided move towards childhood has made me realize 100% that our family would benefit from an addition. I've always said that I wouldn't consider a second baby until my first was no longer one herself, and it seems that I'm quite true to my word. She's not quite out of the baby stage yet, so I'm not quite in the "trying" stage yet either. We'll save that one for 2014 and just... stay comfortable (and by that I mean nausea-free) until the end of 2013. Though obviously, there is a blog post brewing in my head with an endless list of reasons I worry about bringing a second child into the fold.

We're on the brink of other new things for 2013. I've got the Bar Exam coming up, but it hasn't interfered with our lives yet (aka I'm not stuck to an outline and note cards, but will be in 30 days or so). Professionally, my goal would be not to close out the year in my current position. I'm looking at all possible Las Vegas options - hopefully being licensed opens up the possibility of working in a law office, firm, or in the legal department somewhere, or even not in the legal department somewhere. Either way, turning in my bar application is a more proactive step then I've taken in the past (because, let's face it... complaining about it is not a proactive step). But for now, I'm doing what needs to be done at my current job. Work is steady without being demanding, and paychecks are coming though still delayed. B is supposed to be transitioning into a management training program. We haven't heard anything official, but all signs point to "soon", but either way, knowing that he is moving towards a management position is enough to make his work satisfying.

Doesn't everyone in Vegas celebrate with some Cosmic Bowling?
It seems like the first time in ages that I am willing to consider adding anything to our plates. Though Motherhood in itself came to me easily, shifting the rest of my life around it has not. A task as short-term as painting the walls would never have been on my list - my instinct would have been to envision Mia demanding to be picked up as I was covered in paint, and my second instinct would have been to picture Mia covered in said paint. The same is true for B - any challenges he may have had in the beginning of fatherhood have adjusted themselves. We're both parents, and we're both comfortable as parents. I no longer count down until bedtime - relaxing while Mia is awake is finally possible. I think this has more to do with my progress as a Mom than with Mia's progress.

Now, let's finish up with a birthday shout-out, shall we? Happy Birthday, Juliet!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Creative Frustration

When I was a kid, I was obsessed with the thought of finding "my thing". I thought, there has to be something out there that I'm really good at, that would make me so happy that I never wanted for anything else. I took all the lessons: singing, dancing, martial arts, ice skating, etc to infinity. I needed to try everything that sounded interesting, so that I could find It. I never found it. I did, and do many things, but that It still alludes me. Not that I'm trying particularly hard to find it, anymore.

At this point, I have embraced a few things that I honestly do for the sake of enjoyment. My three hobbies. I knit (a lot). I make my bracelets. I blog. I spend as much time as I can doing these things, in addition to the regular, never ending, everyday things that must be done. You know, for life. But, the part of me that was always seeking to be really good at something still isn't satisfied. I look at knitting patterns that are way above my comprehension level, and instead of rationally telling myself that I will get there in a few years, I get frustrated that I can't spend more than two hours knitting to get there faster. I read knitting blogs and get frustrated that I'm not designing patterns the way those knitters are. It's irrational frustration. Relax, enjoy the process of getting there. Of course you're not designing patterns - you're just learning! And ps, you're 29 while most of these knitters are not, so imagine where you'll be when you're a grandmother!

It's the same thing with Beads, comparing my little shop to other shops with thousands of sales. Calm down. Of course you don't have a thousand sales! You don't have the inventory. You've made about 40 bracelets and gotten about 25 sales - that's not bad for the amount you can produce!

Other blogs though, don't. There are so many amazing blogs out there. I read lots of blogs, almost exclusively Moms with young children blogs, who clearly spend lots of time editing and formatting their spaces. They are beautiful and write beautifully and I love reading them. There are so many - I feel like a discover a new site every day. There's BlogHer, and Babble and all sorts of other places for these Moms and writers to do what they do best. And while I envy their abilities, I'm just glad to be very small part of it all. I don't do what they do, and I don't even aspire to do what they do. I'm just glad they're doing it. I like to think of these blogs as BigMommyBlogs, whereas those of us who don't even own our own URLs, we're just along for the ride. (Look for my new favorites linked to throughout this last paragraph, if you're interested in some BigMommyBlogs). 

Friday, March 15, 2013


Where have I been, you ask?

Here is where I have been:

The application has been so time consuming, I keep forgetting that I still actually have to take an exam to get licensed here. But, after a painstaking number of things I definitely did not have to do for my Illinois bar exam (fingerprints, DMV records, and about a million trips to the notary, etc.), it's postmarked 3/14, one day before the deadline of 3/15. Hopefully it's complete enough that I do not have to shell out the extra $550 in late fees.

Meanwhile, a few other things happened.

1) The Curve Hotel Palm Springs handled the whole Beg Bug Situation quite poorly, denying any possibility that her bite marks were from their hotel, despite Mia having slept nowhere else where she could possibly of gotten them. Daycare inspected their mattresses, we inspected our mattresses, and nobody at either location has gotten any more bites. So don't stay there. Even if you don't use their cribs, if you do end up having any kind of problem, they'll probably do an awful job handling it. Go to Palm Springs, it's beautiful. But stay somewhere else.

2) Mia was declared ready for the 2 year old room at Daycare. The night after they told us that, I actually cried. I honestly can't believe how quickly she's growing and learning and all that mushy stuff. They've been transitioning her from the 1 year old room to the two year old room for the past few days, with her spending a few hours in there a day. I was concerned because she had formed such a bit attachment to her 1 year old teacher, but it looks like that has significantly subsided. Also, she has a "best friend" in the one year old room whose name she repeats and repeats throughout the evenings and weekends. I actually crossed paths with Best Friend's father at pick up, and he informed me that Mia's name was often repeated as his house as well, so thankfully the feeling is mutual. We've been assured that said best friend will be following into the two year old room in a few weeks. The only thing with the upgrade to the 2 year old room leads to...

3) Potty Training. They have a little potty in there for the two year olds, and part of normal practice is to start putting them on there as soon as they move up to that classroom. So, for the sake of consistency, we are getting one too. I hadn't thought about it yet, honestly, assuming we'd wait until she was over 2 to start. Mia's very verbal, but I'm not sure about how ready her bladder is for this kind of thing. I think for now, we'll just start sitting her bare butt on that plastic little toilet and see how it goes.

It's been a tough couple of weeks. The Bar Exam is looming, and my baby is a child. Look:

Monday, March 4, 2013

Vacation Pests

It looks like my bragging about swimming outdoors in February has come to bite me in the ass. Well, not in the ass, and not me. Instead, karma bites my sweet little Mia, on the hands, ankles and cheeks. And by karma, I mean bed bugs.

So our this:

 turned into, this:

Mia's hands erupted in a red, nasty looking rash on the Monday after our return from Palm Springs. I assumed that it was an allergic reaction to something, or a delayed reaction to us putting sunblock on her. Mia has some mild eczema, so her skin gets irritated pretty easily. But, the rash got redder, and she was constantly scratching at it. To the point of breaking the skin and causing little scabs. So, off to the pediatrician we went, who immediately asked three questions:

1) Did you travel anywhere? 
    Answer: Yes.

2) Did you stay in a hotel?
    Answer: Yes.

3) Did you use a hotel crib?

The pediatrician ruled out scabies (thank goodness), and said that they were insect bites. Since the bumps were only on areas of her body not covered by her pajamas (she wore onesie pajamas without footies, but was wearing socks), she deduced that it was bed bugs from the hotel-provided crib. Awesome.

We were given instructions to head straight home, blast any piece of fabric in the high heat setting on the dryer, and bag everything for three days to suffocate everything. Luckily, we were super lazy and hadn't unpacked our bag yet, so it was easy enough to gather everything up. The bites have gotten better, and we haven't noticed any new ones, so we are safe to assume they did not travel back with us, and were only living in the hotel's crib mattress. But our poor child has spent the last few days pointing to her hands and showing us her "Owie", and vigorously scratching. There isn't a treatment for the bug bites themselves, just hydrocortisone to relieve the itching, and neosporin for the scabs she created. 

Now, I'm not going to name the hotel because we're still dealing with them at the moment. I figured that I should hold back any public shaming until we see how they respond to this whole thing. B did talk to the Manager on the telephone a couple of times, so at least they know not to use those cribs. I've uploaded and ordered photos from Shutterfly, and am going to put everything in writing, including a note from our Doctor naming them as "insect bites".

I would hope for a refund. But let's at least take this lesson away: Hotel Cribs = No.