I Always Feel Like... Somebody's Watching Me!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Parenthood. Undecided.

I'm talking about the show, not my personal experience. A few weeks ago, I would have said it was one of my favorite shows on tv right now (after Community of course, that show is ridonkulous!). But now I'm not sure.

I'm first and foremost obligated to watch the show because of Peter Krause. He will always be Nate Fisher from Six Feet Under (may he rest in peace, poor Nate) and I will watch any show that features an actor from that series. And his acting is good; my skepticism with Parenthood isn't with the actors - but with the writing and weird, random scenarios that keep popping up.

The storylines that deal with actual parenthood are great. But it's the whole Braverman family overkill that is getting on my nerves. First of all, like any tv family, none of them have jobs that interfere with every single person being able to attend every dinner, birthday, baseball game, trip to the park, holiday, moment of crisis, afterschool snack. They are always together. And it's a little ridiculous to think that every member of your family is and should be interested in spending every minute together. I know I want to see every class or event that my own children are involved in... but do I expect that other people to want to help with my kids homework every night? Not really.

Every episode seems to showcase another epic Braverman family tradition. All of the in-laws have to do it their way, because it is just THAT amazing. No one ever spends a holiday with their spouses families (except for the annoying Jasmine's mother). The show is turning into Braverman Siblinghood. It was such a lame ending for the Thanksgiving show that oh-so-conveniently it was just the four siblings that were picking through the leftovers and dancing. Where the hell did the rest of the family go? Kids, husbands, wives, fiances...they're whisked away when it isn't convenient.

But I'm not getting worked up over a tv show. I'm just disappointed. I guess there might be more families like this than I realize. A little self-absorbed and stuck in the past. I want to see more about parents being parents with their partners, not drama with their brothers and sisters. Don't let me down, Peter Krause!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thankful for little hands

All I want for Christmas...

is Jackson's two front teeth.

I'm serious. I want my poor little guy to still have all of his teeth this Christmas.

Two ridiculously unnecessary falls causing trauma to the same tooth each time - and he has officially killed the root. This is one of my low mothering moments. The first time he fell, he chipped the front tooth and I took him to the dentist to have the sharp edge filed down.

Then, a few weeks ago, I was playing with him and he took a giant leap into a pile of cushions we have in our living room. Only he didn't estimate correctly and somehow busted his face on the arm of his mini recliner. His gums turned a weird whitish color and started bleeding from behind his teeth. Then his top lip swelled to at least 10 times its' regular size. This was one of those injuries where I cried more than he did.

Back to the dentist for x-rays and confirmation that he had moved the root. (And with every visit, I seem to be pushing him closer and closer to a lifetime fear of the dentist.)

I've been stressing about it for a month now, hoping and praying that his tooth somehow would be fine. Nope. The root is dissolving and it's only a matter of time before it has to go. His front two teeth have both turned a muted gray color. He's as cute as ever, but I love his teeth! I don't want to see any of them go - gray or not!

What kills me the most is that he did this while I was RIGHT THERE. He's taken harder falls outside on the concrete without any injury. So now we wait and see how long he can keep his chipped tooth.

Life - One, Me - Zero.

Friday, November 19, 2010


 My confidence has taken a huge hit recently. Hit is an understatement - annihilation might be more appropriate. I think anyone who has gone through the ups and downs of being pregnant and giving birth can understand how wacky you begin to feel about your image. I've always been a person who never gave much thought to my weight or shape - I felt healthy and fit into clothes I wanted, so no need for concern.

Having three babies in less than four years... well, it changes things. And I hate myself for saying it. A pregnant body is beautiful. It is serving a miracle in progress. What good could it serve to compare that life-giving shape to anyone not pregnant? But a mom is a woman too; who is ultimately vain and wants to look good. It's the months and years afterwards that you have to adjust that self-image. It's not easy work.

I'm not posting this to garner compliments. I'm not looking to the internet for validation. I've just had a serious day of introspection and honestly, have found that the root cause is that underneath it all, I think we're all insecure. When something in your life shifts and when something you thought to be solid evaporates - we are so quick to fall apart. I'm wondering how to prevent that. Is it possible?

 Confidence is so fickle. We look to other people to build us up. We could be having the best day, accomplish a huge goal, have amazingly perfect hair for once, getting the job you always wanted, finally fit into the jeans you couldn't button up... but something as stupid as a overhearing a person say something bad about you... that intoxicating feeling of confidence is gone.

 I could use a little bit more self-confidence and a little less other-confidence. You can't rely on it.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


 Especially with my first child being a girl, I get to watch Ayla repeat so many of the things I absolutely loved about being a kid. Making friends at school, dressing up in tutus, going through all of my mom's cosmetics in the bathroom and the obsession with princesses and Barbies.

I try not to cringe when Ayla talks about "not being pretty enough" in certain outfits or not wanting to do anything that might risk her NOT BEING A PRINCESS. It's a high priority right now, and I needed to dig a little in my past to remember when that was the most important purpose in life.

 Somewhere along the way, I learned how to mix the princess idea with being a real person. I'm sure Ayla will figure it out too!

I saved my "autograph" after meeting Cinderella for years.

Ayla couldn't be happier wearing all of her birthday bling!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Diaper Change: Fail

I've had an interesting week of minor successes and failures. Elliot finally has his health insurance in order. Success. Ayla had a fever of 103. Failure. I made a healthy potato soup without incident. Success. Everyone hated it. Failure.

These are my days, certainly exciting and full of activity. Just as I'm starting to feel good, like it's "under control", I do something stupid or someone falls or another medical bill shows up in the mail (how much can it actually cost to give birth???)/

Anyways, I had an epic fail changing Elliot's diaper this week. One would think that I'm pretty experienced at changing diapers by now. It's kind of my hobby. But I had taken off a pretty poopy diaper and folded it in half. I was smiling at my baby, and he was smiling at me. Then I went to toss the diaper in the garbage, which is a mere foot away....

It flipped open and newborn baby poop went flying all over the wall. Totally my fault, totally another ridiculous mess to clean up. Did I really just throw poop on the wall? Yes, I certainly did. Thank goodness it was only Elliot's diaper - for anyone who doesn't know, newborn babies that are breastfed have the (how do I put this?) nicest poop. It doesn't smell AT ALL. It's very benign.

But that doesn't mean you want it on the wall. And for all you potential home buyers in the Leetsdale area: I have cleaned it up thoroughly and we don't ordinarily throw poop around the house.

This story sums up my experience as a parent. You're enjoying a peaceful moment, another methodical function in an ordinary day: and there's always something just waiting to flip open and create a scenario you never quite saw coming.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Sleep Hitting

 Jackson looks pretty chill, doesn't he? Well - he's not! He is in the midst of his "terrible two's" (as people insist upon calling it, and as much as I don't like the stereotype... I can't come up with anything better). He's crazy; he hits and is constantly flipping over furniture, throwing toys and making a mess out of something.

I've also discovered that this behavior is not limited to his waking hours.

As for all bad habits in our house, I've been very lenient since Gregory went to Oklahoma. I'm not forcing potty training or giving up the occasional "baba" (bottle). It's traumatic enough that one parent has mysteriously disappeared - I'm trying to be a comfort and a source of consistency right now. The time for serious discipline will return once I have back-up and our family is together again.

 Therefore, I've let Jackson get used to sleeping with me. He always starts the night in his bed, but inevitably wakes up during the crazy wee hours of the night and is crying. I'm surviving here as a single parent, but not thriving. I'm getting the sleep I can - and if that means Jackson is next to me at some point every night, I'll take it.

 Only lately, his dreams or whatever semi-conscious state he is in at 3 am have started to get violent. Jackson yells out his signature "NOOOOO!" every minute, in between moments of absolute silence. It's just long enough for me to foolishly think that he's actually fallen asleep and then he is yelling again. He kicks and rolls back and forth, sighing into his pillow like an old man with back problems.

 His antics started pretty early last night (before midnight), so I was still awake to lie there and witness the action. Crying, rolling, stealing the blankets and then WHAM!, I got hit. He yelled "NO!" and took a full swing and hit my shoulder. This is not sleep walking, sleep talking or sleep eating... my son is a sleep hitter.

 It's pretty difficult to scold a sleeping child, so I just moved him back into his bed and covered my head with the pillow until his yelling quieted down. It might have even been a success. But we'll see, it's still early tonight...