Saturday, October 27, 2007

In a Mood

With two more days of single motherhood ahead of me, i have realized this way of life has put me in a mood. I have little patience with the toddler and haven't been as "fun" as usual. As a matter of fact, my sense of humor has been little to none. My pelvis feels like it could crack in two, right in the crotch every time my legs move. I think the baby has decided it wants out and it will kick like hell right at my ribs or bladder to get there (um, no longer cute). And as i deteriorate and drown in this pity potty, i try to imagine how the hell am i to keep up with a newborn.

Coping mechanisms? Bought way too much candy for halloween and have been consuming it. Bought a movie just for the hell of it (who rents movies anymore?). Going to bed at 9:30. Will start napping again when the toddler naps.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The Adoption Debate

I decided to renew my favorite magazine, Mother Jones and was curious to see an article called Did I Steal My Daughter. I knew immediately it would be about international adoption. The author tells her story about adopting a daughter from guatamala and the ethical concerns she has along the way. She gives a shout-out to CHSM and also mentions Outsiders Within: Writing on Transracial Adoption. She describes the book as, "an anthology that is stirring and stern rebuke to the standard heartwarming adoption narrative." Her husband's immediate reaction is wanting to give their daughter back. As a parent, i sympathize with the gut feeling of just wanting to do the best for your child, even if that means causing you pain.

It is refreshing to hear this adoptive mother bring up issues surrounding the "decision" to "give children up" for adoption (or foster care, etc). They are situations that intertwine with cultural practice and are difficult for our western brains to fully understand. An adoptive parent has the responsibility to be prepared for the questions that may come, and be respectful of the individuality of each child's story, even though it may be easy to throw up the hands and say, "All i had was love in my heart." Although this may be true, it is irresponsible to not acknowledge the complications surrounding their adopted daughter's (or son's) existance.

I love my niece, but....

My daughter's new obsession is watching this youtube clip of her cousin. She has the "song" memorized and consequently, so do i. I didn't know you could watch a short youtube clip so many times over and over and over and over and over and over and over again without getting bored, but you can't manage getting dressed without being distracted.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Zoo Boo and Apple Orchard

When you are a single parent (boo hoo for me for 2 weeks outta my life), and you get no relief AND your toddler has decided to be exceptionally.....toddlery, it's all about finding distraction. I went to Zoo Boo at our favorite local zoo with some friends on opening day yesterday. This is the line we saw upon driving up to the zoo.

We decided to stay and i'm not exactly sure this was the best decision i made that day. My toddler was all dressed up and excited to trick-or-treat, and some things just aren't going to be as much fun for me as they are for my daughter. It was everything that irritates me at once: One billion people, a short-tempered toddler, having to wear pregnant pants, and both my daughter and i hungry and thirsty.

It was sort of strange and random with cut-outs of various children's stories and folktales with hundreds of volunteers dressed as animals (not many real animals on display) and a scattered variety of treats for the kiddies. Here is my daughter before leaving the house:

I vowed to sew her halloween costumes before she even came out of me, much like my mother did, but this year she insisted on being a mummy which required no sewing on my part. We might switch from real gauze to toilet paper the next time we do this so the idea is more apparent. Her head dressing didn't last much longer than the walk to the car, and i don't think people understood the costume. Here's another picture to prove she was having fun:
Needless to say, we're never doing that again.

Today, we had a much calmer experience going with other friends to Fischer's Croix Farm Orchard. We had a lovely time picking apples from the trees, feeding goats and rabbits and going on tractor rides.

Considering my daughters latest pooping issues, i was content to let her eat as many apples as she could. I believe she ate 5 bites out of ten apples, so that's gotta count for something.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Merlin's Rest....A Review

A new pub in my neighborhood is now serving breakfast and this morning, we decided to check it out. I'll be honest, my expectations were low. I heard one of the owners of this new pub is related to (same?) the owner of an old (now closed) pub that had very bad breakfast and and service in its last few dying days. To complete the bad taste in my mouth, they blamed their inability to stay open on the smoking ban.

But at Merlin's Rest, it appears the slate is clean. As my brother and family came in at 9am sharp, they were printing off the new breakfast menus. The menus offered a good selection with reasonable prices. My hashbrowns, eggs and toast were above average and the bangers looked good, but my daughter scarfed them down before i could have a taste. They serve authentic irish bacon that my australian husband would approve of (basically, it is a side of meat, not a crisp fried fatty strip), and my brother was able to wash his breakfast down with a guiness.

We'll definitely go back--It's nice to have an alternative breakfast place in the neighborhood that isn't Longfellow Grill.

Mommy Guilt

For two weeks, i am experiencing single motherhood as my hubs is traveling for work; my first few days have not been much fun. The toddler has not only decided to not poop, she's come down with what i call the "daycare dribbles" complete with fever and irritability. Because i also carry new-nurse-practitioner-guilt and am not exactly sure what happens if i call in sick, i filled my daughter up with ibuprofen (please stay afebrile for the day) and did the daycare drop-n'-run for two days. She was irritable and crabby and i felt awful. On her second day in a row at daycare being a trooper, i did what any guilty parent does....I took her for some ice cream. She seems to be over her illness, but now we're back at square one with the pooping issue. *sigh*

Mommy guilt is a strange one. I quickly oscillate between red-hot anger and frustration at her whining and neediness to a blubbering, teary guilty, empathetic mess. It is yet another reminder of why i chose to not do this alone and my hats-off to the single parents out there.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Reverting (WARNING: parenting post)

Perhaps we brag too much about our daughter. Both my husband and i agree she is exceptional and above average (really, we do!). She always seemed to hit milestones early. She talks very well for her age. Her comprehension doubles on a daily basis. All this lead my husband and i to admit she was born with most of this and we did very little to direct her astounding progress, although it'd be hard to convince us we've done much wrong. Perhaps it's this little after thought that has lead to her latest reverting behavior.

She's 2.75 and has been"potty trained" for some time now. That, seriously, was hers and only hers to take credit for. She started asking to use the potty and eventually, her day care teacher asked us to put her in underpants. So we did. She hasn't been completely pooping in the potty (she does that in her diaper overnight usually), but we haven't been pushing it. We are content that she wears underware the majority of the time--especially because we do cloth diapers.

But lately, she has decided that she will not poop in the potty ever. This has lead to an almost week-long cessation in the poops. Being a nurse practitioner, i dread the downward toddler spiral of control of pooping, telling mommy about the control, indeed not pooping, becoming constipated, building an impaction in the bowels that requires intervention. It's a common thing that happens to toddlers as a part of establishing their individual control. I've seen my niece do it, and hoped my daughter wouldn't follow in her footsteps.

I really hope this is a phase and she'll "snap" out of it and poop freely (on the potty would be nice, but i'm not going to push). Anyone else have experience with a poop-off with a toddler?

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

The Thing About Fall

I was bemoaning the fact that fall appeared to come hard and strong and, seemingly, overnight. That was almost a month ago. Then, summer made one more attempt. It was lovely--it extended fall and made a beautiful backdrop to the changing colors and contrary to years past, fall lasted longer than 2 days in minnesota. But, i admit: I was wishing for cooler weather. I was trying to squeeze my large body into my summer dress one last time and didn't get much sleep without drenching the bed in sweat. Now fall has come and i forgot one minor detail: Pants for people 7.5 months pregnant suck. They slip down my butt, they push on my belly and they pull down my underwear. It's much easier to wear a one-piece dress (as i did in summer). Gawd. I've got 2 more months of this...time to go moo-moo shopping!

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Busy Not Blogging

I have managed to keep busy and not had much time to blog lately. I'm still "enjoying" work at the new job (challenging and mind-bending), mothering a toddler, angry and raging over current events (as always) and the last week, hosting my FIL and his sig other after their backpacking trip through italy.

Last night, we took them to the guthrie to see Pillowman. I have linked a review of the play rather than the official site because it is a review i very much agree with. At first glance Pillowman is supposed to be a "dark comedy/thriller." Unfortunately, it was a depressing, causterphobic tale of child torcher, murder and unfair interrogation. The artistic director states in the director's notes that "I hope it raises questions for you about censorship, freedom of expression and artistic responsibility," and we are invited to come back on sunday for a discussion group after the matinee show. Perhaps the artists are asking us to compare these interrogation techniques to what's happening in guantanamo bay. Or maybe they would like to compare the US's own unfair and bias police tactics nationally with that of the investegators portrayed in they play. Or perhaps question our own freedom of expression and how that is being challenged today. I had the feeling i was supposed to leave this play angry and frustrated about these things and talk about these current events. Unfortunately, the peculiar backstories of each of the characters and the writer's stories themselves were too distracting.

After a night of strange dreams and nightmares, this morning, we had an artistic cleansing of the palate by attending the Heart of the Beast for the children's puppet show. What a great show! My toddler was a little hessitant of the puppets at first, but quickly warmed up to the loveable characters and the occasional song. We will definately be doing more of this on saturday mornings and highly recommend it.

We took the visitors to the cabin for a night and duluth for a night. Above is a pic of my daughter enjoying a chocolate ice cream on the shores of lake superior. We caught the height of fall colors and had surprisingly warm temperatures. One of the highlights of this little trip was Hells Kitchen just opened their 2nd restaurant right across the street from our hotel in canal park! Gawd..i'm not a big breakfast person, but OMG: They make it a damn good meal.
Finally, my toddler had her very first art show. I don't think she made any money, but you know what they say about your first art show....It's all about getting the word out about her art, not making money.