Friday, October 30, 2009

Random Thoughts: Scary Edition

* You know what is scary - H1N1.  This is no shock to anyone right now but have you been on facebook lately.  It seems like it reads like one long symptom list among your friends.  I'm just as guilty as this.  I've had a throat tickle for over a day and while it doesn't seem to have changed into anything it just makes crazy.  I realize that a tickle in the throat is NOT the flu but can you help but feel crazed about it.

* It is a bit scary how excited I am for fall back this weekend.  An extra hour of sleep?  If baby goat cooperates mama will be very happy about an extra hour of sleep.

* The weekend is full of fun this week too.  We are seeing the grandparents, going bowling for a friends birthday, trick or treating, Mr. Goat's choir concert, All Saints Day, and a Packer Viking game to boot!.  The game will have to be Tivoed until we can watch it but it will be busy and fun.  Hopefully there is time for a nap or two too!

* You know what is really scary?  When my BIL read this post about the book from my MIL he was able to guess the reason for the book before I said it...the Duck.  Now THAT is scary.

* The snooze button is scary too.  I am far too adept at hitting snooze over and over and over again.  It seems that every  morning we get a bit later to daycare because Mr. Goat and I keep sleeping a bit later every morning.  The obvious solution would be to go to bed earlier but we haven't been good at that yet.  In fact at last too nights this week we didn't have our dinner until after 9pm, which makes getting to be difficult.  What helps you get up in the morning?  (I should say that baby goat is a great sleeper and most mornings needs waking up but then wakes up alert and excited to be up, such a good baby I have).

* Scary is also planning to bring baby goat to Mr. Goat's concert this weekend.  I hope he'll do well with it, but at least we'll have a handful of grandparents willing to walk with him if necessary!

* Am I the only one who feels completely overwhelmed this fall.  It seems like even getting the everyday things that are needed done can be very difficult.  I want to find a way to be more efficient.  Story of my life it seems.

* I Hate scary movies.  Hate them.  Won't ever watch them and frequently have nightmares about scary movie previews!  I am a wimp its true but I find enough everyday stuff to anxious about I don't really need the adreneline rush of the mass murderer, killer doll, ghost with a grudge, blood oozing down the wall, dangerous conspiracy theory,  dreaded disease or zombie hordes in my memory banks.  Do you watch scary movies?  If so what is your favorite and what is the appeal?

* On the opposite of scary - a full set of Halloween pictures of baby goat will be coming on Monday!  You won't want to miss it!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

8 months old


Baby Goat,

It honestly seems like I just wrote your 7 month letter and here we are again.  In the last month you are just blossoming with skills and energy and determination to explore the world around you.  In a way your motor skills still seem a bit behind your desire to be moving.   Now holding you is an exercise in advanced baby holding as everything seems more interesting to you than the person holding you, with the possible exceptions of the random baby face pinch.

Everything is interesting and you want to grab everything and if you can grab it then you want to eat it too.  All my pictures these days consist of a drool soaked baby trying to grab a camera out of my hand, like this one yesterday trying to get a *cute* 8 month picture:



You'll also notice that you are in your exersaucer.  You see whenever I try to sit you on the couch these days your instinct is to scoot and lean until you are flat and then to try to grab a cat.  Our poor cats.  You don't know how good you have it baby goat, that they are so tolerant and loving despite your fierce pincher grip.  Tsu still sleeps at your feet every night, guarding you.  She never gets in your way but she is always there watching.  Doppler too is very patient with your attempts to eat him and still regularly comes to flop down beside you on the floor.

And OH the drool.  The bottom front two teeth have made an appearance but they are little more than nubs.  Out enough to feel but still forcing their way through your tender gums and increasing your general level of cranky.  But even in the crankiness most of the time you are easily distracted from the pain and are free with your smiles.


I can't say enough how easy it is for people to love you.  You have quite the following at church, smiling at everyone in the pews and being cute and quiet.  You make your mom and dad look very good, and it is through no action of our own, just your own natural disposition.

We can't imagine how lucky we are to have you.  You compliment us and are an awesome addition to our family, fitting in as if you've always been here.  You make us better.

Even though it is astonishing to me how far you've come in 8 months I know that we are on the cusp of much, much more.  For starting at 4 lbs 7 oz, you've grown to a seemingly gargantuan 20 lbs 8 oz a few weeks ago.  Who knows how much you'll be when you have your 9 month appointment.  Sometimes I blink and I swear you are two inches taller.


It is no wonder to me though, for you eat like a champ.  Your diet now has rice, oats, bananas, apples and pears in its repitoire.  This week veggies begin.  I wonder what you will think of that.  Likely you will do fine as you have with all the other foods you've tried.  I am proud and a bit worried that you find food as enjoyable as your father and I do, but we'll figure out food for your sake.  That's a promise.

You are sitting up now, at least mostly.  We are starting to understand that bumps are a bit normal for babies your age.  Most of the time you are fine until you over compensate and down you go.  You still don't like to roll from back to front but I think that is simply your unwillingness to spend any more time on your tummy than is necessary.


You love your drum and mini piano and that makes us excited.  I hope that you've inherited some musical skills from your father (and maybe me).  You fall asleep each night to Cantus.  It started when you were just an infant as one of their CDs really helped calm you and put you to sleep and we've stuck with it.  You are one of those babies who goes to sleep awake with a kiss and are totally asleep by the end of track one.  We can't thank you enough for that one.

When I think of a way to summarize this letter I get choked up.  I can say many facts and details of our lives together with you at this age but I assure you I cannot capture the love your father and I have for you.  I heard of a person delivering a child at 31 weeks today because of preeclampsia - two weeks earlier than you, and I remembered the stress and pain of those early weeks with me and you in the hospital, but I wouldn't trade a moment.  That pain was so minor compared to the joy your bring us, even when we were in the midst of the pain. 

You are our son.  Our boy.  Our drool monster, snuffle bug, and baby goat.   Thanks!

Love,
Mama Goat

Monday, October 26, 2009

Better or Worse?

My ILs are a huge help when it comes to baby goat.  Most of the times Mr. Goat's and my schedules are compatible, but there are times, like last Thursday, where we both find ourselves with evening responsibilities that fall smack dab in the middle of baby goat bedtime.  Both my FIL and MIL drove up an hour after work to be with baby goat and got him to bed so that Mr. Goat and I could go to our respective rehearsals.

I am very grateful for their help.  We couldn't do it without them.

Another thing to know about my MIL in particular though is that she loves fun tricks, pictures and traditions.  This leads to little love notes sometimes, or other times making your child pose in a doll's dress for tradition, and other often fun little ways she shows her joy of life.  I know for a fact that part of Thursday's babysitting involved dressing baby goat up in his Packer gear and adding Viking horns.  I just accept these things.  They are often funny, hilarious even, and in a way it is the execution too that makes them all the more endearing.

But.

Thursday night Mr. Goat and I crawled into bed after a long day with work, rehearsals, etc.  And found this under the covers:




This was obviously left by my MIL.  Given that it was in our bed and the title of the book was And Baby Makes Three: The Six Step Plan for Preserving Marital Intimacy and Rekindling Romance after Baby arrives, it seemed clear that my MIL thought we needed to be having more sex.  I wasn't sure exactly her point with the book.  Had it helped them?  Probably not since it was a relatively new book.  Was it a joke?  Likely but not necessarily.

Either way, Mr. Goat and I laughed and rolled over and went to bed.

End of story in our minds at least.

But then cut to Sunday afternoon.  The ILs are up once again to help us with baby goat due to a church event, doctors appointment and concert.  Nonchalantly MIL asks if she left anything here on Thursday.  Thinking she meant the book, Mr. Goat brings it up and mentions that we found it amusing.

And then she tells us the real reason she got the book:  Can you guess?



The Duck.

That's right.  She got the book because there was a duck on the cover and there is a running joke about how much baby goat loves ducks, just like my SIL.  So she was at a book sale and there was a book vaguely related to babies with a duck on the cover for a $1. 

So she gets it and leaves it in our bed.

Because of a Duck.

I'm still giggling about that.  I'm a lucky duck, that's for sure.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Unexpected Day

So today totally didn't go as I planned.  And that's ok.

The plan:  Get up, pump, feed baby goat, and get baby goat and Mr. Goat out the door and then head to work to work on my day off but prep for the weekend events.

The reality: Get up, pump, feed baby goat, and get baby goat and Mr. Goat out the door and then go back to bed and (somewhat unintentionally) sleep until 11am.

The plan:  Meet a friend for lunch at noon then back to work.

The reality: Lunch changed until 1pm and chatted for an hour and a half.

The plan: Work, pick up baby, and figure out something for dinner and probably watch too much TV.

The reality: Work, pick up baby, discover a friend is in town, her and her family over for homemade mac and cheese that Mr. Goat spontaneously decided to make tonight, play games and have a great night.

Can all days not go as planned, just like this one did?!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Scary Mommy in Training


Jill, over at Scary Mommy says:
"What is a Scary Mommy, you ask? I believe a Scary Mommy is a mother who doesn’t leave the house wearing lipstick at all times. A Scary Mommy loves her
kids to death, but will admit to feeling totally overwhelmed and exhausted by
the gig. A Scary Mommy doesn’t really care what other people think, and a Scary
Mommy thinks that all mothers win when we admit our weaknesses. How would you describe it? It’s up to you!"
So I've been thinking about the ways that I am a scary mommy.  Let's see, I already don't wear makeup 360 days of the year.  That combined with the fact that my son isn't too mobile so hasn't tested the limits of my natural laziness means that I'm simply scary in training.  Still while my parenting weaknesses are just starting to emerge they seem to relate more to weaknesses I already had rather than specific mommy issues: namely neurotic paranoia and housekeeping.

The flu season may have a run on Purell for most homes but we bought the stock years ago (not really).  In fact amazingly enough having a baby has forced the issue and made me relax my anxiety induced phobia's even though they don't always leave completely.  Still, I have a hard time suppressing the urge to dip the toys in clorox every two seconds.  (Would it be simpler to dip the baby?  I kid...I kid...don't turn me in just yet).

Lately I've been torn between the idea of green cleaning products and the hardcore ones.  I like the idea of not having the heavy chemicals around but am lured in by the 99.9% germs killed advertising.  I notice that the green cleaners make no such promises...still.

In the complete ironic, scary mommy twist however, I am an awful housekeeper.  Horrible.  Really.  I spend time with my son, husband, and then steal a quiet moment for myself (introvert that I am) and with work and everyday details cleaning is the last thing on my mind.  Add to that a tendency towards being a packrat and it is a recipe for disaster.

The point is, I am just beginning my adventure as a scary mommy and already I find myself living with the label of neurotic germ-a-phobe who doesn't clean.  Irony, I haz it.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Random Thoughts

* Why is Bejeweled so crazy addictive?

* I hate getting up in the dark.  It makes mornings even harder, and they are already nearly impossible.  Any one have tips to keep them from hitting snooze over and over in the morning?

* I really miss making music.  When I was at St. Olaf I was in up to 6 ensembles at any given time.  I still get opportunities to play in church and weddings but I miss the ensemble experience.  Since work is church and church is work I'm unable to be in the church choir and am not really talented enough for a professional group so I'm at an empasse.  I miss its grounding my life and the spiritual centering it brings me.

* Teething sucks.  If you have kids who've done it you know, if not, I can't explain it more fully.

* Still in a window of happy we got baby goat to the pumpkin patch/apple farm and he was a bit confused but enjoyed it still.  Here's a preview:



* I've been having crazy dreams lately - wonky combinations of the books I'm reading, friends and various "quests."  I don't know what they mean, if anything, but I wake up feeling like I haven't had a good night sleep even though I slept the whole night.  I wonder what has my sub consious racing around at night but I hope it figures it out soon.

* Baby goat is going to debut two Halloween costumes in the next week and a half - one for Trunk or Treat and one for Halloween itself.  They are going to be so cute, but I didn't get the third costume I was coveting (geekily I might add) so I'll show you what baby goat might have been:

* I for one think he would have made a cute Vulcan...of course, technically he's too smiley.

* I would like a house elf.  (I would of course insist on paying them like Dumbledore).

* We are at a loss about what to do with our computer.  It has been dropped too many times and it is limping a long on the path towards ultimate death.  It's backed up in anticipation of that eventuality but we need to think about a new computer or fixing this one, but I think a new computer will be cheaper in the long run even if it is more now.  And this laptop has lasted 4.5 years which is pretty good.  Any suggestions? (cheap - I mostly need it for my freelance writing, internet at home and some photo/video stuff).

* After the balloon boy hoax this week, Mr. Goat and I got to talking about reality tv.  We both agreed we'd never go on a show that shows our daily life, but I think we'd consider the real game type ones - Big Brother, Survivor and Amazing Race.  We were split about Biggest Loser.  On the one hand it would be awesome to have the trainers and opportunities to lose weight the show provides, but the whole game part of it is hard and it seems like a very personal thing to face those demons on national tv.  That is what makes it so powerful but still.  Either way, we both agreed that Richard Heene is at best a major douchebag who thinks only of himself (much like another reality TV dad who's been acting childish lately - Jon Gosselin).  What do you think blogland?  Would you ever go on a reality TV show and if so, what kind?

Monday, October 19, 2009

Attempting to photograph a teething 7 month old: A primer

Step 1: Place baby on lap. Take picture of baby distracted by own foot.



Step 2: Take cute picture as baby realizes he's being photographed



Step 3: Take pictures of adorable baby thrilled he's so into the experience.



Step 4: Take photos of adorable baby wondering why he keeps leaning towards you.



Step 5: Struggle against impressive baby-is-determined super strength to keep the camera in your grip.



Step 6: Make a mental note to wipe off lens after photo session.



Step 7: Photograph the manic must-eat glint in baby's eye.



Step 8: Aaaaaaaack! Giant baby mouth of drool.



Step 9: Repeat.



Friday, October 16, 2009

Tell me about....babysitters

Mr. Goat and I are recognizing a real need for a date night, out of the house, just the two of us.  We've gone on a few dates so far but baby goat has always been with a family member (grandparent or aunt).  We know that this is not always going to be the case so it is time to start looking for a group of babysitters.  I have several people who have offered from church in particular but I thought I'd poll you guys and see what you do with baby sitters.  So, spill it blogland! :)

My questions:

1.  How old do want your baby sitter to be at least? 
2.  Do you expect any special classes - Red Cross babysitting class or CPR for example?
3.  How much do you pay a babysitter?
4.  Other things I need to know when choosing one?
5.  And tips for working up the courage to leave that first time and/or anything else I need to know?

Thanks!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Food ADD

I've been feeling frustrated lately, and not just about the quickly dying laptop.  The irony is that I'm finally getting on top of things like work and laundry, but in doing so I am falling hopelessly into a cycle of bad eating.  While I am still essentially down 45 lbs from my prepregnancy weight I see it starting to creep up rather than heading back down. 

I know that I need to exercise more and eat less but I also know that I have an extreme case of what I call food ADD.  You don't know food ADD?  Food ADD is when you constantly become distracted (ooo, donuts) by the food you know you shouldn't be eating (mmm, french fries) and despite your best intentions to eat healthy you end up coming out of a trance (Ice cream!!) and discover you've abandoned your plans for the sake of the immediate food gratification.

I exaggerate a bit, but it is a little bit.  Many days it seems like I do lose all ability to reason when food choices are placed in front of me.  So I need  to start again, but I am always prone to taking on too much and abandoning it all when I fail at any one piece so I'm going to start small but determined.  And I'd like your suggestions.  Below are three feasible but still challenging options to jump start my healthy eating and I'd like your opinion on which one I should begin with.  (It is my hope that I'll move to all of these things soon).

The options:

1. Give up soda. 

PROS - this will get rid of calories I don't need and almost certainly mean giving up the majority of caffiene in my diet as well since I'm addicted to diet coke and not really a big coffee drinker. 

CONS - itcertainly mean giving up the majority of caffiene in my diet as well since I'm addicted to diet coke and not really a big coffee drinker. :)

2. Give up sugary items - baked goods, candy (halloween included), sugar drinks, ice cream, etc.

PROS - This might make the most difference and break the sugar cycle that I've established.  And since I've been craving them a lot it could be a large calorie reduction that doesn't have a natural replacement.

CONS - I'm sure that the sugar detox will be ugly and ever since being pregnant I've had a major sweet tooth.

3. Give up the fried sides - french fries, chips (corn too), onion rings, etc.
 
PROS - This is a big fat part of the diet and might help me make better choices in my meals (particularly lunches out which happen too frequently) as well as shrinking the size of meals and taking away many of the foods I'm likely to munch on unknowingly.
 
CONS - Like the other cons there really shouldn't be except that I LIKE them and they really hit a specific salt craving that I don't have an alternative for.

Now I may not give all these things up for the rest of my life but my goal would be to make it too Thanksgiving and reevaluate depending on how 1. I felt during it 2. My eating habits changed and 3. whether I could add additional healthy eating tasks too it.

And yes, right now they have to be giving them up completely.  I just need to start SOMETHING, anything to make sure I end up heading in the right direction.  Exercise is in the works too once my cold/cough combo settles a bit.

So what do you guys think?

Gosh, reading this back makes me a bit sick.  Am I really so addicted and driven by the food, especially bad foods, that I eat?  Sadly, yes, I am.  I've got to break the cycle...here goes.  Please vote in a comment by Thursday night.  Friday is the start date.  Friday October 16 - Wednesday Nov 25.  I think I can, I think I can, I think I can...

Perception

I got this as a forward today.  I don't normally continue to pass forwards on but this was interesting and I'm curious to know your thoughts and have a discussion about it.  So much of my life seems to end up being more about perceptions (about others and about myself) rather than any real truth of a situation.  So enjoy and share your thoughts please....


Washington, DC Metro Station on a cold January morning in 2007 a man with a violin played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes.


During that time approx. 2 thousand people went through the station, most of them on their way to work.

After 3 minutes a middle aged man noticed there was a musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds and then hurried to meet his schedule.

4 minutes later:

The violinist received his first dollar: a woman threw the money in the hat and, without stopping, continued to walk.

6 minutes:

A young man leaned against the wall to listen to him, then looked at his watch and started to walk again.


10 minutes:

A 3-year old boy stopped but his mother tugged him along hurriedly. The kid stopped to look at the violinist again, but the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk, turning his head all the time.

This action was repeated by several other children. Every parent, without exception, forced their children to move on quickly.


45 minutes:

The musician played continuously. Only 6 people stopped and listened for a short while. About 20 gave money, but continued to walk at their normal pace. The man collected a total of $32.

1 hour:

He finished playing and silence took over. No one noticed. No one applauded, nor was there any recognition.

Findings:

No one knew this, but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the greatest musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written, with a violin worth $3.5 million dollars.

Two days before Joshua Bell sold out a theatre in Boston where the seats averaged $100.

This is a true story. Joshua Bell playing incognito in the Metro Station was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste, and people's priorities.

The questions raised: "In a common place environment, at an inappropriate hour, do we perceive beauty? Do we stop to appreciate it? Do we recognize talent in an unexpected context?"

One possible conclusion reached from this experiment could be this:

If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world, playing some of the finest music ever written, with one of the most beautiful instruments ever made.... How many other things are we missing?

Thursday, October 08, 2009

In the trenches

Wow, suddenly it is fall.  Cold, blustery, rainy, cold-incubating fall.  And the Goat household is suffering.  Life has seemed crazy this week between life, illness and sports teams it seems like we are plummeting randomly trying to find some place hang on.  Still there are some highlights too.  The Twins played a truly amazing game Tuesday night to clinch the division.  Despite our loss to the Yankees last night I'm hopeful that we'll pull through.  (Unlike the Packers, but those are wounds I'll nurse in private at this point.)

But despite being an exciting week for sports, we aren't fully prepped to take it in.  The colds have found the Goat family - starting with baby goat.  I don't think it is anything serious but it is his first cold and that has me a bit jumpy.  We stayed home from daycare yesterday to get a handle on it but we are back today.  Since it is congestion and a cough and no fever we can still send him.  I hope he's doing ok today.  When he woke up at 1am last night for a little hot shower steam time he had also started cutting his first tooth so who knows what the day will bring.  But, he was doing better this morning when I left.  I think it will be a tiring week baby-wise. 

While he's a great sleeper he's been up once in the night for the last 3 nights.  I know better than to complain since it is just once and I am able to get him back to sleep without too much fuss it is taking a toll on mommy's mental health.  The cold baby goat shared doesn't help, although it is annoying and not debilitating.  This is a week where I have to work everyday (I was going to have Friday but I had to take a partial day yesterday since baby goat stayed home).  Needless to say, I'm ready for a nap.

But still, tired, freezing and sick though I am, I am happy.  So that's something :)

Monday, October 05, 2009

Are you ready for some football?

The Goat household is divided in the fall.  We agree on most important things and even most sports teams (Go Twins!) but the line is drawn at football.  And so we are a mixed marriage - one Packer fan (me), one Viking fan (Mr. Goat).  So twice a year the big game comes up and it is a friendly feud for the day.  But the love is still there, even if the Vikings do suck!

Here we are on our first ever Packer/Viking showdown while still in college.  (Notice the awesome curly Mr. Goat pony tail...love it!). 


This year the stakes are higher than ever with Mr. Favre leading the charge against the Packers.  I'm even torn about whether or not I can wear my #4 Packer jersey today but more than anything I am looking forward to a great game and a cuddle on the couch with my favorite Viking fan.

Baby goat would be remiss if he didn't get in on the action too.  Thankfully my dear friend Tiffany hooked us up with the appropriate baby apparel.  And seeing as how none of Mr. Goat's friend's did the same this year baby Goat is falling decidedly on the Packer side of things!


Now I just hope we'll get him bathed and on towards bed before the kickoff.  Either way it will be a paradox in our house tonight - divided and united in football and in love.   Are you ready for some football?  I know I am.  Go Pack Go!



P.S.  In an ironic twist Mr. Goat needs the quarterback for the Packers - Aaron Rodgers to do well to beat my team in fantasy football this week.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Baby Goat's First Twins Game

This afternoon we packed up Baby Goat, and with Grandma and Grandpa Goat, Sister Goat (and her boyfriend) and Mr. Goat and I, we went to the Twins game.  It was important to us to get him there as this is the last year of Twins baseball in the Metrodome and he seems really interested in baseball.  Plus the Twins are in the playoff hunt and it was a nice chance to get there ourselves to cheer for the MN Twins. 

It turns out that Baby Goat must be good luck because the Twins won, even though he slept through the most exciting inning (how he slept in the noise I'll never know).  Baby goat was great!  He loved watching everything going on, and while I'm not sure he realized he was watching the same thing that enthralls him on the TV screen he seemed to have a great time.

Baby Goat sleeps through the Twins scoring

Hey Grandpa Goat, how are you?


The Goat Family, Twins Game 2009


Mr Goat and Baby Goat bonding over baseball


Sister Goat left college to play with us for the day too!

Friday, October 02, 2009

Antelope Anxiety

What is it about the names of diseases. Mad Cow Disease, Swine Flu, Chicken Pox...it is enough to make someone crazy. Someone like me.

It is no secret to anyone who knows me that anxiety and I live hand in hand. We are intimately aquainted and the stock of Purell has benefited because of this relationship.

Ironically, the fragility of my preemie son had a somewhat opposite affect on my normal phobic state.  Mabye it is because most things aren't really all that bad and are quite unlikely and are more annoying than anything else.  That being said I still am of the more neurotic mom-types.

But I have been torn about the new H1N1 stuff.  You can't hide away - not when work and daycare are real parts of your daily life.  Still, the flu wouldn't be a good thing to get.  So I should leverage his early birth and get the vaccine for our family right?  But then they (the undefined media type they) express doubt in the vaccine's safety and effectiveness.  Then I wonder if it is better to be exposed to the flu this year when it is likely to be more mild.  But then there is baby goat who shouldn't get the flu.

It is an anxiety tug of war, with a big ol' mud pit of indecision in the middle.

I figure we'll probably get the vaccine but I still waffle about it.

What special plans are you making for the flu season this year, if any?  And, are you planning on getting the vaccine for you or your kids?