Thursday, May 27, 2010

Updates! Updates!

1. I want to thank all of you or your outpouring support and love after my post about the incident with our neighbor.  I was truly hurting after what was said to me and it felt good to know you've all got my back.

Two weeks after our encounter I was on my way to the garage with both kids in tow when I saw said neighbor coming toward us on his bike.  I quickly glanced away but much to my dismay he stopped to talk.  He never formally apologized but he did say he "felt bad" about his mouth going off.  He also said he appreciated my husband's patience with him.  He said it had been a bad day with his Alzheimer's-stricken wife but that he had crossed the line.

I nodded while he talked.  I didn't go out of my way to say, Don't worry about it!  That's OK! because, well, it wasn't.  That incident kept me up at night for a week and while he may have overreacted to a simple situation he also had ample time to realize that we were good people not wanting to cause any inconvenience.

But I did choose to forgive him.  And, trying to smooth the distance between his house and ours, I also offered him my help whenever he needed it letting him know I'm at home full-time and always available.

2.  The real reason I'm writing this post is that I just can't bring myself to leaving the Poop post at the top of my blog for the entire Memorial Day Weekend.

And speaking of poop, who wants an update?  Don't all raise your hands at once!

I called the doctor on Tuesday after Lucy had a blowout at her Early Childhood class.  The cleanup of which was a source for gobs of bloggy entertainment.  But I'll spare you those poopy details.  The doctor said he wanted to see her that afternoon and to please bring her freshest diaper.  Now when I hear the word fresh I think clean.  But apparently when it comes to stool samples that's not what the lab had in mind.

This brings me to a little fill-in-the-blank game we're going to play.  It goes like this:

You know you're a mom when: fill-in-the-blank.

OK, I'll go first.

You know you're a mom when you go dumpster diving in your daughter's Early Childhood classroom for a diaper that is so full of diarrhea that it no longer even resembles a diaper so that you can provide her pediatrician with the freshest stool sample.

The early test results have all come back negative but some of the cultures won't be ready until Tuesday.  In an unrelated update the doctor did discover that Lucy had an ear infection.  See?  That's what I get for letting her quit nursing.  I'm only kidding.  Whose to know if that has anything to do with it.  But it is suspicious, right?

We passed on the antibiotics because Lucy didn't seem to be in any discomfort and because antibiotics can be a diuretic.  Plus, did you know that ear infection go away on their own?  I'm all for letting nature run its course especially when it doesn't include an uncomfortable baby.

3. I bought some new latex gloves at Target today and the clean freak nerd in me is super excited about it.  I splurged and spent the extra $2 to buy the really nice kind.  I was going through the cheap ones like water so I figure it's worth it anyhow.

They're called Way Clean Water Stop Gloves by Casabella in case you're interested.

Do you think I'll look like a sultry temptress when I clean the house like the package implies?  Maybe I'll put them on when Brian gets home and find out.

4. I've been practicing yoga for seven straight months now and I need to brag a little bit.  For the past few weeks I've been able to master crow pose.  Go ahead.  Give it a try.

I admit, there were a few times when I almost fell on my head but lately I've been able to stay in the pose for a solid minute or two.  I'm so proud of myself for not giving up and sitting that pose out like so many others in our class.

5.  Steaks on the grill tonight.  The good kind!  With red wine and a strawberry walnut salad.  William beat us up to Camp Grandma's by a day so Brian and I have the night to ourselves after Lucy's in bed.

6. Tomorrow we'll head up North for the Memorial Day Weekend just like the rest of Minnesota.  I'm not excited about the traffic.  I am excited for three full days in the sun.  If you're from the Midwest you'll enjoy this video about the "Going Up North" tradition.  Where do you out-of-staters congregate for holiday weekends?

7. That's all I got.  Enjoy your weekend!  Take a break from the 'puter.  Go for a walk.  Run through the sprinkler.  Watch the sun set.  The Internet will still be here when you get back.  I promise.

Monday, May 24, 2010


Summer is in full swing over here at Mama Nash.  Yet all I can seem to think about is poop.

You heard me.


After a busy weekend I finally have a moment to sit at the 'puter, check email, catch up on my favorite sites and write out a post.

I can't write about poop.  That's what I keep telling myself.

Yet it's consumed our life right now.

It's my blog and I'll write about poop if I want to.

So if you don't want to read about poop, go on and pass me by. Just this once.

It's my Lucy girl.  Stricken with some bug since Wednesday afternoon.  It's like she's Baby Alive.  Put it in her mouth and a few minutes later it comes out the other end in its exact same form.

I can think of no other minor illnesses that consumes your life the way the big D does.

Five outfits a day.

Our electricity bill will no doubt be nearly double with the washing machine and dryer constantly doing their thing.

We can't go anywhere because I'm afraid of an explosion going off at any minute.

She's constantly overtired because I can't keep up with changing her bed linens.

She's so particular and if she doesn't have her pig pillow she WILL. NOT. GO. TO. SLEEP.

Except the pig pillow has poop on it.  So in the washer AGAIN for 30 minutes and then the dryer AGAIN for a another 60.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner consist of the BRAT diet.  Minus the rice.  She picked that off her tongue and threw it across the room.  And truth be told, she's getting ready to do that with the rest of the items too because she's so sick of them.  I can't blame the girl.

She's happy; most of the time.  She's hydrated.  She's fever free.  So for those things, I'm thankful.

It's hot here.  Record highs.  Excessive heat warnings.  The whole bit.  Today we're even beating all my friends in AZ by a whole ten degrees.

I should be filling up the kiddie pool.  I should be walking to the ice cream shop.  I should be blowing up beach balls and slathering on sun screen.

But instead we're inside.  Dealing with a crappy situation.  Sorry, I just had to say it.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Backyard Bliss

I might not be around much this week.  Perfect temps every day.  Low humidity.  No wind.  Reminds me why I love Minnesota.  It also reminds me how much I
L-O-V-E our new backyard.

Speaking of which, I haven't showed you pictures yet, have I?

To really appreciate it you first must see some before shots.
Whoa, Nellie!  Way too overgrown.  Way too much shade.  And no grass.

With some help from family and friends we  chopped down that pine tree.  It was half dead.  And also took out those bushes.  They were prickly.  Not good for the kiddos.  You see that river birch tree on the right with the swing?  This winter we trimmed of a large limb that was hanging over our roof line.  Not only did it give us a ton more sunlight but it also let us sleep without worry during a wind storm.

After that it looked like this.

This is the opposite view.  Standing by the house, facing the garage.  It looks better but still so lonely and desolate without green grass.  Don't cha think?

Enter two huge dumpster, a skid loader, a lot of big burly man friends to help and one month's worth of blood, sweat and tears and we have this!
There's my little kiddies enjoying lunch on the patio as they do almost every day when the weather allows.

Since this picture was taken I planted snap dragons, petunias and impatients in the garage window box.  A variety because it's our first summer here and I'm not exactly sure what will work.  Directly below the window box is where my vegetable garden will be once I get the soil tilled.

And this is the planter next to our side/back door.  There's a few different kinds of hastas, two different hydrangeas and one mystery plant that I transplanted from the front yard.  I still have to hang my finch feeder on the shepherd's hook.

Isn't all just so lovely?  Every time I look outside I smile.  Especially if that sun is shining.

Do you love your backyard?  Do spend a lot of time there?

Friday, May 14, 2010


I hear the tick of the clock.

My head falls and there's no shoulder to catch it.

There's no scoffing at my Oprah and Real Housewives viewing.

The house is locked tighter than the Pentagon.

The wind rattles the window frames causing a shiver of fear to shoot up my spine.

This old house creaks and cracks more than I've ever realized.

I wash the dishes.  Fold the laundry.  Put away the toys.

Thursday night shows go unwatched.  Saved for later.

There will be no chocolate ice cream tonight.

The baby stirs.  Needs comforting.  Twice.  She notices the absence too.

My pillow calls to me later than usual.

My legs drift to the other side of the bed.  Ice.

I worry.  Of course.

He has something like 17 brothers.  It seems.  So it's expected.

Whoever created Bachelor parties.  Not a fan of you.  And the word party is so misleading.  Three nights away is called a long weekend.  And speaking of which, weren't we just here?

I'm not mad.  Or jealous.  Or resentful.

Just missing.  Like someone removed part of my body.  My better half, if you will.

We'll still have fun.  The kids and I.  But we'll be missing all the while.

We'll anxiously be awaiting the arrival of Sunday when our family will once again return to full strength.  My better half, reattached.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Wanted: Cyber Hugs

We had a bit of an incident around here last night and even thinking about it makes me want to start to sob again.

I really don't want to blog about it because I don't want to have to replay the events in my head.  I think the only reason I'm going to is because I know the bloggy love might make me feel a tad better.

It's all because I told my brother I would sell his old car (my old car, really) on Craig's List if I could keep the pocket change money.  He came over on Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m. and I told him to park it on the street in front of our house.  Keep in mind that we live in the city.  It's a quiet neighborhood but the streets are still lined up in the traditional square block grid.

There were other cars already parked directly in front of our house so my brother parked the car across the street.

We had a family wedding to attend that day followed by a birthday party the next morning and afternoon.  We went to church at 6:45 p.m. at the University and then came home.  Brian stayed outside with William to water our new grass and to return a few borrowed tools to some neighbors.  I went inside to put Lucy to bed.

After Lucy was down I went in my bedroom to change into some sweats and that's when I noticed the old man who lives across the street eyeing my brother's car suspiciously.  He appeared to be writing down the license plate number.

I should note that by this point the car had been there for 31 hours.  City ordinance says you can leave a car parked on the street for up to 48 hours.  So even though we weren't doing anything wrong I knew what it felt like to have a strange car parked in front of your house for more than a few hours.  You get to know the rhythm of the neighborhood and you also know when something is a bit off.  It's how we all look out for each other.  Our neighbors are totally awesome like that.

I had met this elderly gentleman before when he welcomed us to the neighborhood.  I'd say he's over 80 years old at the very least.  He was a very sweet man.  So I quickly threw on a change of clothes so I could run out to explain to him why we had the car and that I was just about to move it closer to our house.

I didn't have any shoes by the front door so I had to run out barefoot.

"Hi!" I said from across the street, "That's my car.  I was just about to move it!"

"This is your car?" He said in a grumpy voice, "It's been here for FOUR DAMN DAYS!"

"Umm," I said, confused, "I don't think so.  My brother just came yester--"

"Don't give me that! It's been here for four days and my wife is handicapped and we haven't been able to park our car here for FOUR DAMN DAYS!"

[His wife has Alzheimer's but is still able-bodied and can walk to and from the car with ease.  The car was not parked in front of their walkway.  There was plenty of space in front of and behind my brother's car.  And they have an empty garage behind their house.  But I digress.]

"Oh sir I'm very, very sorry.  But my brother only just parked here yesterday and I was just coming down to move it but I had to put my baby--"

"Well you better hurry up because I'm calling the cops!"

"Sir, I'm very, very sorry.  I didn't mean to--"

"You're a dumb ****ing woman is what you are!"

The conversation actually went on a lot longer.  All consisting of him yelling obscenities at me and me sincerely apologizing.  But that last comment was my tipping point.  I started bawling.  It was one of those moments where (a) I didn't do anything wrong and (b) I was truly very sorry for any inconvenience I might have caused.  But no matter what I did the man just keep yelling and swearing at me.  I couldn't do anything to make the situation right.

I ran to the backyard to get Brian.  I told Brian what had happened through gasps of sobs and he told me to go get the keys to the car and stay inside with William.

Of course William was very confused by now as to why his mother was in hysterics.  He starting rubbing my back and asking me if my "feelings got bad."  He wondered if singing might make me feel better so he sang "Do Wha Diddy" to me.  I might have giggled through my tears just a bit.

After I settled down I looked out the front windows to see if I could see Brian talking some sense into the man.  But all I saw was Brian walking away from his house shaking his head.  Brian moved my brother's car closer to our house.

When Brian came back into the house he enveloped me in a hug and I sobbed some more.  He was laughing a bit now.

"Love," he explained. "It's not your fault.  Those kind of people, there's nothing you can say or do.  They're just angry at the world."

Apparently Brian had tried to talk to the man himself.  Brian's very mild-mannered and I really thought he could make the man understand.  But when Brian told him that he didn't appreciate the way he had spoken to his wife the man told Brian he was "scum."  And that we weren't welcome in the neighborhood.  And then he raised his fist at Brian.  HE RAISED HIS FIST AT BRIAN.

"Are you for real right now?"  Brian asked.

"Get off my step!" The man shouted.  And that was that.  All over a stupid parked car.

We called our other neighbor to see if perhaps he's done this before.  It seemed so out of nature because, as I said above, this man was so sweet when we first met him.  In fact, I think the reason I was taken so off guard is because we have found nothing but sweet, kind, helpful neighbors since we moved in.

The only conclusion we could come to is that he's under a lot of stress with his wife's illness.  It's still no excuse to treat an innocent person the way he did but I have no choice but to pray for him.

I didn't sleep well last night.  Tossing and turning as the events flooded me over and over.  I can't stand the idea of someone hating me.  Someone telling me I'm not welcome.  I just want to make it right.  I want to bake him cookies or mow his lawn or be a listening ear.  But Brian tells me no.  He said I'll just escalate matters.

"I just really feel bad for the guy," Brian said.

And I guess that's what it comes down to.  Whenever I feel bad about it, whenever I can't find peace, I have to close my eyes and go deep into prayer.  I pray for him.  For his wife.  For peace in their hearts.  For their well-being.

And if that doesn't help there's always "Do Wha Diddy Diddy Dum Diddy Do."

Friday, May 7, 2010

What's In A Name?

The 2009 Top Baby Names list compiled by the Social Security Administration is out. Have you seen it? If not, click here. If you look at the bottom center of the page you can see the top 1,000 baby names of 2009. Coming May 14 the names will be listed by state.

When I was pregnant with William, our first boy name choice was Miles. The name William was always number two. As I got further in my pregnancy we let the name Miles leak to our friends and family. Big mistake! The more I heard it out loud the more I didn't like it as much. I still loved the name (I have two friends who have used it since!) but it just didn't seem to fit for us.

Then one day Brian and I were driving home from somewhere. I was weeks from delivering our first baby. And Brian said, "I've been thinking about the name Miles. I still like it. But I think I like William better now."

I gasped. "Me too!" I said. And so William Joseph was born. Not Will. Not Liam. Just William. Strong. Masculine. Classic.

When William was born I didn't think his name was that popular. Turns out it was number 10...and climbing. It was listed as number 5 for 2009 baby boys. But I still don't think of his name as that common because of all the nicknames I listed above. Few people call their Williams by their full name.

Lucy has always been Lucy. Even when I was pregnant with William and we didn't know his gender before birth, Lucy was our girl name. Sure there were other names on the list but not any that both of us truly loved.

But Lucy's popularity is growing. And that makes me a little sad. We liked that name way back in 2006 when it was only #156. In 2009, the year she was born, it's jumped to #101. We love it's classic, traditional feel. It sounds perfect if you're one year old or one hundred and one years old.

Brian and I require that either our child's first or middle name be that of saint's.  That was the other pulling factor with the name Lucy.  If you want to read more about Saint Lucy's incredible story, click here.

One of the moms in my Early Childhood class just gave birth to a baby girl. They named her Ava. She said that she and her husband really struggled with a name. Way back when they were first married they talked about having a baby girl named Ava. But in the years between now and then the name Ava has gained a lot of popularity. She hated that. She didn't want to be part of a fad.

But her husband warned her if they didn't pick the name they loved, then they would be letting the public influence their daughter's name. And that seemed worse than being part of a fad. Which they weren't trying to do anyway. So Ava it was.

There are some disadvantages to having a popular name. I should know. My name was number one the year I was born. I was never just Jenny. With no less, and often more, than two other Jenny's in a classroom my last initial always followed my name making it sound like one long name. I was known as Jennym. Now that I'm married I'm Jennyn.

But there are some advantages to having a popular name too. No one ever asks me how to spell Jennifer. Or how to pronounce it. And people rarely spell Jenny incorrectly. Except my grandma who insists my name is spelled Jennie.

Brian and I want more children eventually. We have a lovely name picked out for a boy. But that name is rapidly gaining in popularity. What to do?

And a girl's name. Don't even get me started. We are so at odds with a girl's name it's a good thing I'm not pregnant yet.

How do you feel about this list? Do you pay much attention to it? Does it influence your decision?

Monday, May 3, 2010

12 Months

She never had an ear infection.

She never even went to the doctor.

We never spent a penny on formula.

I don't know what it's like to have to "take away the bottle."

She bit me a quite a few times. Especially at the end.

And it's true I've never spent a night away from her.

I hardly had any dates with my pump except during this event.

She loathed a bottle.

She thinks drinking from a straw is super fun.

She drinks organic whole milk from a sippy cup like a champ.

She has the widest taste for food of any one-year-old I've ever met.

For 12 months she breastfed.

We made it. Silent cheer.

Her favorite time was in the morning. Before we even wandered down stairs to meet the rest of the family at the breakfast table.

Then one day, in a flash, a blink of an eye, we were done.

She's been ready for a while. Me? Not so much.

I don't know why it makes me so sad.

The statics are all against us.

Only 33% make it to 3 months. 13% to 6 months.

We belong to an exclusive club.

You'd think that would make me proud. And I am.

It's just that it's the last thing that keeps me near. The last thing that makes her need me. Really need me.

For so long I gave her all she needed to grow into a beautiful little girl. No one else. Just me.

How cool it is to be woman.

But now she's done. The last bit of the umbilical cord. Cut.

12 months.

Such a short time in the great, grand picture.

I hope I gave her enough.

I hope she stays nourished.

I hope she stays healthy.

And, truthfully, I hope she still needs me.
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