January 19, 2012

food, baby!

My daughter is an amazing mom - she took care of herself while pregnant, gave birth naturally (as in, intervention-FREE), feeds my granddaughter organically, and at 16 months, is still breastfeeding. She's a great mommy in dozens of other ways as well, (and my son-in-law is a fine baby daddy). My granddaughter is one happy, well-adjusted little girl.


See, she loves her milk and her bread and her rather pricey 'puffs' (cheerio-like organic snacks) and her baby food. They are "clean" foods. They don't get her fingers messy. They don't feel funny in her mouth. But she will not TOUCH real foods. And I mean that LITERALLY. Will not touch, much less eat.

I teased my daughter, "You can stop that, you know." Kacey agreed that, yes, she could, but she couldn't STAND for her baby girl to cry and she was afraid she would starve to death. I assured her that she would NOT starve.

"You're gonna MAKE me do this, aren't you?"

"Of course not," I said. "She's your daughter, it's completely up to you", but Kacey restated emphatically, "You ARE gonna make me do this, aren't you?!"

So I smiled and assured her I would help her with some "tough love".

We started the day with some corn, which Mayah refused with a tightly-closed mouth and a turn of her head. I tried to open her little mouth and insert a kernel, but she spit it right out. We repeated this process for about 20 minutes. She looked at me, then at her mommy, then back at me as if to say, "WHY would I want to put this weirdness in my mouth when I have mom's body 24/7 as a vending machine?"

She cried. She whined. She pouted. But she ate nothing. Fine.

A couple of hours later we tried some blueberries and grapes, but no way. She wouldn't even touch them with her fingers.

At lunch, we gave her a buffet of black beans, corn, tomatoes, strawberries, bananas and canteloupe. She did TOUCH it - as in, pick it up and throw it in the floor - but she would NOT eat it. Not one bite. She asked for her "milk", but Kacey did the hard thing and told her 'no'.

She cried. She whined. She pouted. But she ate nothing.

Following an afternoon of shopping and talking and bonding, my daughter and I went for coffee. We bought Mayah some all-natural gummy snacks. I attempted to push one through her pursed lips, but she clenched her teeth and looked at me with disgust and said, "M.E., darling, you know I adore you, but if you try to feed me ONE MORE BITE of ANYTHING today, I will shove these gummy snacks up your nostrils and suffocate you in your sleep."

So, I went to Kroger and bought a smorgasbord of options for her: peas, carrots, green beans, yogurt, berries, bananas, organic fruit strips, etc., and we went to meet our Darling friends and their child (Cohen) for dinner. We hoped Mayah might be inspired to eat after watching Cohen, for whom eating is a religious experience. But no.

She cried. She whined. She pouted. But she ate nothing.

Finally, at bedtime, she begged for her milk. (Begging = climbing up into Kacey's lap and making reverse waving signs with her hands as if to say "gimme, gimme, please, please!") Kacey firmly told her there would be no "milk" until she ate ONE BITE of something. So I put a piece of fruit strip into her mouth. She spit it out. I put it back in. She spit it out again, this time with attitude. I put it in a third time. It came back out. And a fourth time. The beauty of fruit strips, however, is they dissolve in saliva, so with each reinsertion, the fruit strip became smaller and gooier. Finally, it liquified in her mouth and we called it good. Twenty-four hours and all she had eaten was a fruit strip. Fine.

The next morning Mayah woke and happily ate a bowl of real oatmeal with blueberries, as if the previous day never existed. At lunch she ate a fruit snack and a bowl of green beans (she greatly enjoyed feeding herself like a big girl with her own little fork). For dinner she ate half a banana and more green beans. Every day since has resulted in new fruits and grains and eggs and veggies being added to her repertoire.

Stubborn as she was - IS - it only took one day of "tough love" for Mayah to decide we meant business. One day to learn it was a fight she wasn't going to win. One day to get her to eat foods she wouldn't even try before. One day to learn how to use a fork and feed herself. One day to get over her stubbornness. One day to cut their baby food bill by 75%.

One day.

January 16, 2012

to kill a water buffalo

I'm standing in the hospital room, quite literally falling asleep in an upright and locked position, in-between her contractions. It is 9:30 a.m. and we have been at this "laboring" thing together since I arrived at their house at 1 a.m. I'm wearing shoes that aren't nearly as comfortable as they should be for as ugly as they are. My lower back is aching. I haven't eaten in 14 hours. And I would kill a small water buffalo with my bare hands for a cup of coffee or a pillow.

"WHAT AM I DOING???" I ask myself. This is not fun. This is HARD. She is exhausted and in tears from intense back labor. She doesn't know what she wants anymore. Yesterday she knew what she wanted to do, tomorrow she will know what she wished she had done, but today, well, today she just wants it to be OVER.

And, frankly, so do I.

Finally, with the option of an epidural looming in front of us, we decide to give it one more valiant try ... and it works. My doula experience pays off and it all finally comes together as we get the baby turned and dilation then quickly moves from 6 to 9. Just an hour later she is holding her beautiful baby girl. She EARNED this moment. Her husband hugs me a long, sweet hug of thankfulness. Her mom wraps her arms around me and says, "You are my new best friend." Our sweet little baby mama looks up at me, her face glistening from sweat and tears, and says, "I feel like I owe you my life. THANK YOU. There is NO WAY I could have done this without you."

I'm still standing here in ugly shoes. My back is still aching. I would still kill a water buffalo for some caffeine. But I KNOW why I do this.

January 13, 2012

am I WHO?

This is where I live. Sort of. This is my "church office", and I love it. Really love it. This was Kevin's "schoolroom" for grades 5-11. This is where I plan events, coordinate volunteers, design graphics, write blogs, have deep and meaningful conversations with people, and generally do all my planning, organizing and communicating. This I where I got a phone call a few weeks ago when a salesperson asked me if I was "Mrs. Christ".

Uh huh, 'cause I'm just THAT good.
I love that I have the freedom to make it look like "me".
I love the granny-apple-guacamole-green on the walls.
I love the dark wood.
I love the "HOPE" that is leaning on the baseboard, I think it's symbolic that I haven't hung it up higher..."not getting my hopes up yet" so to speak. :)

I love "Mr. Smiley" who lives behind my door.

I love my comfy little couch that is perfect for Kevin's afternoon naps when he is home.

I love the slightly funky bookcase which holds a yummy hazelnut-scented candle, leftover wedding flowers, my iHome, my "Happiness" (a Willow Tree figurine), and a little book called "How to Love Someone You Can't Stand" which I make myself read regularly because ...
well, just because.

January 12, 2012

what's in my ... purse?

Hi, and welcome to "What's in my..._____?"
(Episode 1 - The One with the Copper Purse.)

Why am I blogging this? Because I'm home on a Friday night, the laundry is done, I'm caught up on Words with Friends, I've stared blankly at Facebook for a half hour, and I can't go to bed because I have no hope of dozing off until the cowboy is in stage four of his sleep cycle and has stopped actively dreaming about rescuing the world from nuclear holocaust..

So here is my winter purse. It's the exact color of a 1980 penny, and although the straps are a bit too short for "throwing over my shoulder" it's a fine bag.

What's IN my purse?
An organizer

A make-up pouch
Kindle Fire, iPod and cell phone
Wallet, 2 checkbooks, receipts
Keys, hairbrush, fun spinny toy.

The cell phone, though scratched significantly, glows a lovely shade of purple and is all 'matchy-matchy' with the hairbrush.

The beaded, lime-green keychain (which is 'matchy-matchy' with the wallet), holds the key to Eddie van Honda, my house key, 2 work keys, and 2 keys from friends' houses so I can use their bathrooms and wifi at will. Just kidding. I would never do that. At least, not while they're home.

The colorful spinny toy is so I can entertain Mayah and Cohen and any other toddler who needs to think I'm the coolest person ever.

The receipts are from the day Sara and I drove to Nashville and stocked up our carts and coolers with healthy, organic groceries and then topped off our food shopping with dinner at Chipotle. And since we were also shopping for Jessica and the other Sara, our Whole Foods bill rivaled the daily accumulation of the national debt. Still, I now have organic sesame seeds and extra-virgin coconut oil, so I feel complete.

So...what's in my wallet? $67 (which is 67x more cash than normal), a "Love Live Grow Go" card from church, semi-dated pictures of my kids, a photo of Evarest - the child I sponsor in Tanzania, my driver's license with important numbers blurred out like a bad guy's face on Cops so you aren't tempted to steal my identity, cause, let's face it, who doesn't want to be me? And the following cards: debit, Visa, health insurance, blood donor, Sam's, Kroger and Panera. Oh, and tickets to the upcoming "Spamalot" at the Carson Center. :)

The make-up bag consists simply of 2 kleenex, NON-anti-bacterial hand sanitizer (would that make it bacterial sanitizer?), 2 lipglosses (one light, one dark), a granite eyeliner, Cover Girl's professional mascara in waterproof black because this is the ONLY mascara that is truly waterproof. Trust me on this. It is the product that allows me to blubber like a baby with grace and dignity. The last item is, of course, Pearberry lotion to be all 'matchy-matchy' with the smell of my hairspray.

Kacey gave me this organizer last Christmas so I could carry "bags" instead of "purses", but it ain't happenin' - I NEED compartments. Still, I use the organizer to house my most-used handbag items.

Three clicky pens - 2 black ink, one purple. Dentyne Blast CocoMint gum because I hate the taste of most chewing gum, but when I want to mask the smell of sushi on my breath, this tastes just like Andes mints and makes me happy. A Cover Girl Lipslick, color: Princess. Shut up, I don't want to hear it. It's the perfect shade of pink. A Physician's Formula compact powder (because Cover Girl foundation products smell like Noxema. Bleh.) A Bonnie Bell vanilla chapstick, as apparently I'm still 14. Two pairs of reading glasses in case I inadvertently leave one somewhere. Nail clippers and file because I bite my cuticles which make my nails break easily, and a pair of tweezers in case I get a splinter, not to pluck the little hair that appears under my chin out of nowhere and grows 3/4 of an inch in one day.

And there you have it. Stay tuned next time for "What's in my ... __________?" (Episode Two: The One with the Pockets.) Although I don't carry anything in my pockets. Unless, of course, I'm running into Huck's for coffee in which case I put $2 and my keys in my pocket so I don't have to carry my purse inside. But otherwise my pockets are always empty. Pocket fuzz maybe, something akin to bellybutton lint. That would be it. So, on second thought, don't stay tuned. T'will be too dull.

January 03, 2012

1600 x 900 - my new year's 'resolution'

In 2012, I am resolved:

To stop drinking orange juice after I brush my teeth.

To not watch "The Notebook" when I'm home alone.

To change all my passwords to something besides '666'.

To eat healthier by switching from cream-filled to lemon-filled.

To stop SAYING 'LOL' in real-life conversations.

To claim the cowboy's horses as "dependents" on our taxes.

To post MORE pictures of my feet on Facebook just to irritate my daughter.
To stop arguing with the Australian chick on the GPS.

To NOT use the term "nipple stimulation" in conversations with people who aren't preparing for childbirth.

To switch my alarm to Pacific Time, so I will FEEL like a morning person.

To learn the lyrics to all of Katy Perry's songs.

To download the 'Mirror' app for my new Kindle Fire.

To cut the toes out of ALL of my socks.

To be more diligent about correcting other people's grammar.

To petition Keurig for a Route 44 cup size.