The Worst.

I don’t know if any of you have dogs. Yes? No? Wanting one? Want mine? Probably not. At least, not after I tell you this story.

I was having an absolutely lovely morning. It was raining all night, and all morning. I just love the rain! It makes everything so pretty and sparkly and it is so relaxing to fall asleep to!

I made up a batch of smoothies for the week, made lunches for myself and Jeremy, and took Blueberry over to Jeremy’s work so we could have lunch with him. It was really nice just sitting and chatting with him and playing with Blueberry, who was making faces and laughing at all of his coworkers.

Afterwards we stopped by the library to pick out 2 “new” books for Blueberry, and I rented one for myself (digging The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare!).

We swung by the city hall so I could get my business license, and the ladies there absolutely fell IN LOVE with Blueberry! I thought one of them wasn’t going to give her back!

Then we decided to head back home. I get home, and the first thing I see when I walk in the door is a butter wrapper. What the hell? I had apparently left a box of baking supplies on the coffee table when I left. Clover had somehow gotten up on the table, into the box, and then into the butter box, pulled out one stick (JUST ONE!), and eaten the entire thing. She then proceeded to puke butter all over the apartment.

Let me just say that half-solidified dog butter puke is the worst thing I have ever tried to clean up in the life. And I’ve dealt with meconium. This was just awful, and I was gagging, and it was just everywhere.

My dog is THE. WORST. At least she’s cute.

IMG_0187

Anyone still want her?

Baby Shenanigans and Dog Drama

That’s right, shenanigans have been declared!

We got out lovely Christmas trees over the weekend, and believe it or not, Blueberry hasn’t gone for them yet (at least not on my watch!). But Clover seems to think lying on the tree skirt in the sun is just the loveliest of past times. Which is probably is when you’re a 10-pound dog that’s terrified of people and other animals.

This morning after Jeremy fed Clover, Blueberry crawled over to Clover’s bowl, plopped herself down in front of it, and started picking all of the pieces of dog food out one by one and throwing them all over the floor. Clover stood just out of reach (as I said, terrified of people), whining that the baby was touching her food, but gratefully eating any flying pieces that came her way. Luckily I got over there before too much destruction was wrought, but good lordy! I was laughing pretty hard as I brushed off Blueberry’s hands and relocated her.

She has a habit now of heading straight for the sliding mirrors in the house if you leave her unattended for even a second. We have one sliding mirror at the end of the hallway, and another in our bedroom. Yesterday I went out to the living room to grab a diaper to change her, and left her in the bedroom. When I came back, I expected to find her digging through the little trash can next to the bed (another favorite past time), but as I glanced around the room, I didn’t see her. “Aww crap!” I thought, “Somehow I’ve managed to lose the baby in 5.2 seconds.”

I checked behind the door – no baby. I glanced around the hallway, wondering if I’d accidentally passed her up – no baby. Then I saw her move. She had crawled over behind the laundry basket to look at “the baby in the mirror” (the sliding mirror in the bedroom). She’s definitely crawling a lot faster than she was. She’s still not as fast as her friend L though, thank goodness! Good lord that kid has some wheels on him, and I am thankful for C2’s sake that he isn’t walking yet (though I don’t think “walk” will be in his vocabulary – RUN RUN RUN!).

We went on a trip to the tide pools over the weekend, and it was just perfect. The sun was just starting to sink low, and so the light was all golden buttery yellow, and the tide was super low. We climbed around on the rocks (Blueberry in her ring sling) for about an hour or so. Took a quick peek for a geocache that was supposed to be in the area, but with a 20-pound baby strapped to my chest, it was hard enough just climbing around and I wasn’t much help actually searching. We gave it up as a bad job after a short while. Jeremy actually snapped some pretty beautiful shots of the tide pools, and I shot a couple of cute ones of Blueberry.

KODAK Digital Still Camera

KODAK Digital Still Camera

KODAK Digital Still Camera

KODAK Digital Still Camera

KODAK Digital Still Camera

KODAK Digital Still Camera

KODAK Digital Still Camera

Today we went for a walk at the park, and stopped by the library to drop off two movies that we had rented (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows 1 and 2, since Jeremy just finished reading the books and hadn’t seen the movies yet). While we were there, we checked out the used book sale and bought Blueberry some “new” books for her library. We scored and got 17 for $5, all in GREAT condition! Most were .25 cents, but I did snag a couple of hardcover ones for .50 or $1. There was even a board book or two!

Blueberry has finally started showing some interest in food, particularly if we give her something to try while everyone else is eating. She went nuts for the mashed potatoes the other night, and today she was super excited to lick and mash on some baked zucchini. She isn’t really “eating” it yet, more just tasting and licking and exploring the texture of stuff in her mouth, but she is getting a bit of it.

IMG_1047

One of the first things she got excited for were these frozen berry smoothie packs. At our house we eat them like popsicles (way healthier for you than real popsicles!). Now if she sees one of us eating one, she freaks out if we don’t share it with her.

Blueberry is getting really good at pulling herself up on stuff now. Yesterday she pulled herself up on Me-Ma (my mom), and today she pulled herself up on Me-Ma’s dog, Porthos (a big silly basset hound who loves her to pieces!).

All in all, things have been going pretty good over here. Jeremy just got promoted at work, he’s back on the day shift, which is nice. Despite Blueberry deciding to go to bed later lately, she is still the sweetest little thing when she’s awake, and we couldn’t be happier with our lot in life.:)

What baby shenanigans or dog drama have you got going on at your circus?

Open Letter to All of the Well-Meaning Suggestion-Givers:

Open Letter to All of the Well-Meaning Suggestion-Givers:

I know you mean well. I know you are only giving me suggestions because you care about my kid, and me. I know that your words are coming from a place of love and caring.

But I need you to put yourself in my shoes. I need you to hear your words from my seat here, trying to rock my child to sleep.

What you are saying is, “Why don’t you just ___?” What you mean is, “I hate seeing your baby cry, and I don’t know how to help.”

What I hear is “Even though I am not your child’s parent, I know more about how to comfort her than you do.” And that is so incredibly hurtful.

This is not the first time you’ve asked questions like that. Last time was because of my choice of diapers (“Why don’t you just use ___?”). And it hurt just as much then. It hurts just as much every time you question any of my parenting decisions.

I try to brush past your question, telling myself that you didn’t mean to be insensitive, that you don’t know the wounds your words leave on my heart.

But then you repeat yourself, this time directing your words at my partner, the one who has gone through this entire parenting journey with me, the one who has given their own tears and sleep and made all of their own sacrifices for this tiny human we love so much. “Why don’t you guys try ___?” I can see him flinch as he looks at me, see my pain reflected in his eyes. He won’t let you know how much you’ve hurt him. Society has told him he needs to be a man, and these things are a woman’s domain. So I interject.

“This is how we do it.”

A few minutes pass in silence, apart from our poor baby’s unhappy fussing, as my partner tries in vain to rock her to sleep. And then you feel the need to speak up again.

“Seriously, I don’t understand why you guys don’t just ___.” I’ve had it. I have had enough.

There are a hundred reasons why we don’t do whatever it is you are suggesting we do. But all of it boils down to this: I AM doing the best I can for my child, whether or not you see that. THIS is the best way for us. For me, for my partner, and most importantly, for my child.

What you don’t know is the countless hours I have spent, while I was pregnant, and since having our baby researching and stressing and reading and researching more on every possible baby-related thing under the sun. The pros and cons of natural birth, C-sections, epidurals, and Pitocin; breastfeeding, milk supply, formula feeding, introducing the bottle, when and how to start real food (purees, baby led weaning, making your own baby food, organic vs GMO); sleep patterns and what is normal for children, how to get babies to sleep through the night, how to get babies that have days and nights switched around into a more adult-tolerant orientation; how to properly install a car seat, how long a baby should be rear-facing, and what are the safest brands to buy; cloth diapers vs disposable, the effects of chemical and other environmental factors on my child’s growth and development, what brands of diaper rash cream to use, how to treat yeast infections; how to handle time outs, tantrums, and throw up; what to do when your kid asks about Santa, the Tooth Fairy, and sex; how to kindly explain to your kid that no, they can’t marry Daddy, because he’s already married to Mommy; how to handle a pacifier, taking it away, and when to potty train; how to introduce TV and video games (or not), and how to navigate the tricky waters of too much screen time versus “I WANNA WATCH MORE SESAME STREET!”

Trust me when I say that I have done so much more research, and stressed about so very many things you do not even understand than I could ever tell you. Trust me when I say that my child’s crying tears at my heartstrings more than you will ever know, and I want my child to stop crying more than you ever will. Trust me when I say I have tried other methods – I’ve tried ALL the methods. And this is what works best for US. Trust me when I say “This is how we do it.” Don’t push. Don’t justify. Just accept that this is the way it is in our family.

If you don’t like that, go have your own children, and raise them however you want. I PROMISE you I will stay the hell out of it.

Sincerely,

Doing the Best I Can

Week in the Mountains – Fri, Sat, Sun

Continuing my blogging about my time up in the mountains…

Friday:

Jeremy drove up as soon as he was off work Friday morning, and met us up at the cabin around 9 am.

Baby Sandwich!

When the baby fell asleep, so we left her at the cabin with my parents while we went on a hike/letterboxing hunt. We didn’t find what we were looking for (though we did find some rocks known as “Banana Boat Rock” and “Butt Crack Rock”).

After lunch we actually passed out and took a nice long nap together as a family.:)

Jeremy and I had a nice little date night dinner at Neo’s Pizza in the “big town” down the hill.

Note: I do continue to cloth diaper in the mountains. Friday was the only day I had to wash them, and they lasted the entire rest of the time we were there. I also got to try air drying them on a clothes line! I was actually very excited about that, as I have heard that they last longer and hold up better when dried on a line (as do all clothes, by the way!). I am happy that our new apartment we will be moving to next month has a balcony/patio that I can hang a line to air dry them more in the future, because I liked it.:)

Saturday:

We started the day with a walk around the lake with my mom and Blueberry. While we were there, we snagged a quick and easy geocache behind the boathouse – GVL Frog Hotel.

Geocaching - GVL Frog Hotel

And of course I couldn’t help taking a photo of the peddle boat Blueberry’s Pops named after her!

The Charlotte J.

After our walk, we headed down to “the big town” (Running Springs) for their Farmer’s Market. My mom tie-dyed a shirt, and we picked up some fruits and veggies. When we got back up to GVL, we grabbed some food and a map of the town with the locations of the local Artisans Workshop thing they had going on. (All the local craftspeople either open up their homes, or put a table out front with their wares) We picked a few off the list that sounded interested, and started driving around. Memorial Day weekend is also a big weekend for people to set out yard sale stuff, so we stopped by one of those as well. I picked up a super cute blue vintage suitcase that I plan to put all of Blueberry’s blankets in.

Back at the house, we started prepping for company: 4 of my parents friends from back home (they were camping over in Arrowhead), and 1 friend from around town. 9 people (plus a baby) in a tiny cabin is quite a few too many, so we took the dinner party out back and set up a folding table and pulled up some chairs. Ribs, corn, salad, and asparagus. Yum!

After dinner we took turns zipping up and down the street on the electric bikes (from Pedego), and Larry’s Honda 70. Those electric bikes are actually WAY fun! My dad took me on a little excursion on them after dinner – up through the campgrounds, and then up and through one of the fire roads and back down around to the cabin.

Sunday:

My mom had been talking about hiking “Bear Scratch Trail” all week, and we finally got around to doing it on Sunday morning. Jeremy strapped Blueberry on, and I grabbed the backpack and off we all headed – on a much longer hike than I had anticipated!

My parents call it “Bear Scratch Trail” because the first time they hiked it, they saw bear prints, and some bear scratches in the ground near the start of it. Kinda scary, but we didn’t see any signs of anything other than deer on this trip.

The trail goes up and along the ridge above the fire road my dad and I had taken on the bikes the night before, and then drops back down into the campgrounds where Jeremy and I had gone hiking on our own (where Banana Boat Rock and Butt Crack Rock are). I had brought coordinates to several geocaches that were supposedly pretty close by where we were hiking, but they all turned out to be too far out of the way from where we were hiking to make any real sense to go after (the first one I climbed all the way up the mountain through thorn bushes, only to find nothing… so yea…).

Once we got back to the main road that went through the campground, my parents convinced us to take the “scenic route” up another path that “just follows the road, but up above…” I call shenanigans! That way was way longer, and we accidentally ended up walking through a couple peoples’ campsites at the end of it before we got back to the main road.

We passed back by “The Big Tan Can” geocache, and I ran up to it real quick to add another log (the last time we’d been up there, I signed on the last line, and felt bad leaving no room for the next cacher to sign).

Like I said, that entire hike was WAY longer than I thought it would be, and I didn’t put on sunscreen first. I ended up with a pretty bad burn on my shoulders (and the part of my scalp where my hair was parted!).

Later, Jeremy asked me if I would take him on the same bike ride my dad and I had gone on the night before. So we left a sleeping Blueberry with my parents again, and headed out with our geocaching gear.

Turns out geocache #3 wasn’t as far off the trail as we’d originally thought… And would have been much easier to reach from the hiking trail rather than the fire road where we were buzzing around on the bikes…

Jeremy found Ride to Craft’s Peak after a hike up a very steep incline, and shimmying under a scrubby little bush/tree and hanging over the side of a rock… Now, I’m not complaining. I think the adventure and whatnot is what really makes it fun, haha. Then again, I didn’t have to shimmy under a bush…

But we did find our very first trackable in there!

Geocaching - Ride to Craft's Peak!

The trackable is in memory of their little pup who passed away. We plan to attach it to something special before we send it on to its next cache (down at one of the caches by our local Dog Beach).

Later that night, I wasn’t feeling so good. Between the sunburn, some dehydration from the long hike, sleeping on a not-so-great mattress for the last week, and just general fatigue, I was kind of just ready to go home. We were supposed to leave around 4pm Monday, but Jeremy could tell I was done, and just needed to come home, so we left GVL around 8.30 on Sunday night. As much as I love the mountains, I will admit that I was very happy to sleep in my own bed last night, and am looking forward to the same tonight.:)

Week in the Mountains – Tue, Wed, Thurs

My parents decided to take a vacation and spend a whole week and a half up at the cabin in the mountains. Jeremy and I had planned on coming up Friday morning to join them for the long weekend. Plans changed when my mom invited me to come up early on Tuesday. So I got to spend a whole week up here in the beautiful mountains and Jeremy met us up here on Friday morning, because he couldn’t get any more time off of work.

View from the Top

Tuesday:

My mom came back down the mountain for the day to do some work for a client and to run some errands. She picked me and Blueberry up while she was down there. We didn’t get up to the cabin until pretty late in the afternoon, so we didn’t really do much aside from eat dinner, haha.

Wednesday:

Wednesday was the first day Blueberry has gone without seeing her Daddy at all. (Come to think of it, it’s the first full day I’ve gone without seeing Jeremy since we first started dating!) I packed it full of as much adventure and fun as I could, so I wouldn’t think about it too much…

After breakfast, my dad needed to head over to the local dump to drop off a truckload of branches and plywood and whatnot he had collected from the backyard and the shed. I offered to go with him, and asked if we could stop by a geocache that happened to be right across the road from the dump. He said sure and off we went.

Helping him unload the truckbed, I unknowingly ripped a hole in the knee of my jeans. I didn’t notice until I went to get back in the car and slammed my knee against the dashboard… Yea, I’m clumsy. I didn’t get hurt unloading the truck, but WATCH OUT FOR THAT DASHBOARD!

After we finished at the dump, he pulled across the street to the turnout where Sssssslithering Again is located. 100 feet through some pretty wild bushes and I was at Ground Zero. I started looking around, and even knowing what I was looking for, he still FREAKED ME OUT! I could clearly see the geocache sticking out the back end of him, and that his face was rather chewed up-looking… Even still, I threw a rock at him to make sure he was fake before attempting to pick him up!

Sssssslithering Again

Took him back to the truck to swap goodies (and try to retrieve a sucker someone had stuck in there and gotten all melted, but the leatherman was too wide) and sign the log book before returning him to his natural habitat and snapping a quick picture with Skittles the Adventure Owl.

Even in the car on the return trip, adventure was to be found! We heard a helicopter circling overhead and saw that it was one of the fire-fighting ones, with a long rope hanging down from it. We pulled over to the side and I was able to snap a few photos of it as it dropped its load (a telephone pole!) down to the team waiting to install it!

Helicopter

Helicopter

After we got back, we (my mom, dad, and I – with Blueberry strapped on) took a short hike up the normal trails. I didn’t bring my bag of geocaching/baby stuff because I had JUST fed and changed the baby, and we weren’t planning on being gone longer than a half hour. However, we ended up hiking to Phoenix Rising and poking around a bit in hopes of finding the geocache we had missed last time we’d been up that way. Since the last trip, I had looked over some of the comments made on the bottom, and seen a picture of what appeared to be the cache (or, you know, a rock). With a better idea of what we were looking for this time, it was only a few moments before my dad shouted out that he’d found it!

Phoenix Rising

…But I’d left all my geocaching supplies in my backpack in the cabin. I sadly placed the unopened cache back where my dad had found it, and we trekked back to the cabin. I planned to come back once Jeremy joined us.

However, fate had other plans. A couple of my parents’ friends (who were camping in the area) came by the cabin for dinner, and everyone decided to head out on another hike. We started up, letting our friends decide where and how far they wanted to go. We ended up passing right by Phoenix Rising again. This time I had thought ahead and brought my bag! This was our first ever redemption, and I must say it makes me very happy!

Going Hiking

After a nice dinner with the company, dad’s friend pulled out his little Honda motorcycle and my dad and he were taking turns riding up and down the street on its little souped up engine. I asked my dad if I could take a ride, and he let me hop on back as we did a loop down to the end of the street and back. Not super exciting by most people’s standards, I guess, but it was my first time on a motorcycle, and I can see the appeal, haha.

Thursday:

My parents left around 9 in the morning to head back down the mountain for the day (mom needed to do some more work for a client on-site, and then they had tickets to a play in the evening). This left me and Blueberry up at the cabin all day with Porthos and Chloe (my parents’ pups). It was a mellow day. I did some work remotely, the weather was decidedly bi-polar, and Blueberry slept on and off throughout the day.

The weather: we had been told that Thursday would be rain and thunderstorms, then just rain, then possible snow… but it dawned sunny and beautiful. After my parents left down the mountain and I started working, it started sprinkling on and off a little bit. Then after a nice long sunny spell, with no warning, it just starts HAILING! I was so stunned I just stood at the window and stared instead of taking a picture like I should have. Five minutes later it turned into dumping rain, and another five minutes after that it lightened up and then stopped. It rained/sprinkled a couple more times on and off, and by about 4 in the afternoon, it was back to being sunny and beautiful.

Happy List

Does anyone else write lists of things that make you happy? Just me? Really? Well, fine then, I’ll share mine with you, so maybe you can see how nice a cute little “happy list” can make you. It’s scientifically proven that thinking about things that make you happy, and taking the time to reflect on happy things at the end of the day will make you a happier person. I don’t have an actual scientific research report to back up my claims, but I did take a “Psychology of Being Happy” class, and it was all about tricks and tips to being a happier person. One of the assignments was to write down 3 things at the end of each day that made you happy. I don’t do that, but I do make lists every once in a while. So yea, here’s my latest one:

  1. Cupcakes
  2. Dappled light
  3. Puppy kisses
  4. Baby giggles
  5. Getting text messages
  6. Pen pals
  7. Letterboxing
  8. Geocaching
  9. Handmade rubber stamps
  10. DIY projects
  11. Milk and freshly baked chocolate chip cookies
  12. Minions
  13. Things on Jeremy’s head
  14. #henrysconcepts (if you haven’t seen this Instagram series, you are missing out!)
  15. #whiteboardbaby (my Project 365 on twitter and flickr with Blueberry)
  16. Foraging for lunch
  17. Hot tea for breakfast
  18. Sweet tea for lunch
  19. Wind chimes
  20. Collecting seashells at the beach
  21. Suspenders and bow ties
  22. Corsets and garter belts
  23. Little girls in tutus
  24. Bowling
  25. How peaceful babies look when they are asleep

What are the little things in your life that make you happy?

Mother’s Day in the Mountains!

Our last day in the mountains was Mother’s Day! It was my very first Mother’s Day, and it was just lovely!

72/365

The morning started mellow, with a tea and cupcake breakfast with my mom and Blueberry.

image

We took a fun off-roading trip to go see the “Pregnant Tree.” (And get some awesome ideas for geocache hiding spots)

100_0979

Pops got some cuddle time with Blueberry while Jeremy and I went on a quick and easy geocache up the street.

image

And then we cleaned up the cabin and headed back home to dinner at my Uncle’s house. Overall, busy but mellow day.

image