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Story Idea for Monsters Inc. 3

We’ve been watching Monsters Inc. pretty frequently lately, and I’ve been doing quite a bit of overthinking. How does Boo draw so well for a 2 year old? The thing that’s so wrong about Randall’s machine is that it’s basically torture and the difference between scaring and his machine. How Roz closes her desk window when the CDA comes and is that foreshadowing or just an expected response to the CDA? What does the juxtaposition of the one guy saying he and George are like brothers and then him calling a 2319 imply? See?

Anyway, with the next movie coming out as a prequel, I’ve been thinking about what I’d like to see as a sequel to the original story. What I’ve come up with is that somehow a parent finds out about the monster world and a kid (or a few kids) team up with Mike and Sulley to show the parent that they shouldn’t be afraid of the monster world and that they shouldn’t tell other parents/authorities about it either. Perhaps it’s Boo as an older child (older elementary school age, maybe) as one of the kids showing the parent around OR maybe it’s Boo as a parent and Mike, Sulley and Boo’s kids have to remind her about how much fun she had in monster world and how she changed everything for the better.

 
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Posted by on December 21, 2012 in mama

 

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The epic meltdown of the century

Ever since my adorable, tiny baby was born, I’ve been looking forward to when we could get back to our previous schedule of frequent outings. Well, not ever since, since for at least a few days to a week I was quite enjoying just sitting around having a normal breastfeeding relationship with my new baby. It wasn’t before long, though, that I realized that my ability to remain calm in the face of my toddler’s inability to remain calm hinged on our ability to get her the hell out of the house. Having a newborn who eats on a regular schedule of all the time put a damper on my ability to go anywhere where I wasn’t just sitting right back down and feeding her again. (Another hindrance in our leaving the house was the factor of how inordinately hot it’s been this summer and my inability to survive and parent when it’s inordinately hot.)

When adorable, tiny newborn was about a month old, after a couple of weeks of increasing tension from seeing only each other all day, every day, the three of us went for a walk to the playground. It went fairly well. Newborn (C) slept in the Ergobaby or nursed almost the entire time. Toddler (G) played with “her friends”, aka kids she just met. There were a few less than optimal aspects to our trip. I should’ve brought the stroller at least for the walk home. I should’ve brought the water bottle. I couldn’t have done anything differently when it came time to leave and C started crying just as G was running away, crying that she didn’t want to leave.

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Posted by on August 13, 2012 in mama

 

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Blogging about talking about sleep

What do people mean when they ask you if your baby is sleeping through the night? Do they know that normal baby sleep doesn’t always involve sleeping the entire night for 8-12 hours? Do they want to judge you if your baby isn’t sleeping through the night? Do they want to sympathize if you’re not getting a full night’s sleep? Do they really mean to ask if you’re getting enough sleep but the “normal” question to ask a new parent is about the baby’s sleep?

It doesn’t matter. I’m done caring about the motives behind the question “is your baby sleeping through the night” because I’m done answering it. I’m instituting a sort of “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy about baby sleep. It may be based in superstition or coincidence or a misunderstanding in the difference between correlation and causation, but that doesn’t really matter. I’m done answering any questions about my children’s sleep.

Why, you might ask, would I do such a thing? I’ll tell you.

Any time someone asks about how well my kid is sleeping, I’ll try to be positive (and part of it is my ability to forget the frustrating times and only remember the successful, restful times) and say something like “oh, she sleeps great. She wakes up a few times to nurse but is right back to sleep, usually.” (See, I even say things like “usually” because I don’t want to jinx it.) Invariably, that very night, something different will happen (difficulty falling asleep, waking more during the night, waking earlier in the morning than usual), and I’ll remember that conversation about sleep, shake my fist and curse talking about sleep.

I’m fully aware that any of those things could happen on any other night and I’d just get frustrated, but deal with it as a variation of normal or developmental/growth spurt or what have you. The fact that I’d just spoken about sleep in a positive way makes the negative that much more negative. Hence, I am not going to talk about sleep anymore (or at least that’s my goal). If you ask me how well my newborn sleeps, well, I haven’t thought of a simple, clever, inoffensive response yet, so I might start ranting about how talking about sleep changes the sleep so I don’t want to talk about it. I guess I should work on that response.

 
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Posted by on August 7, 2012 in mama

 

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Bassinet of doom…

I know that newborns are accustomed to being held (so to speak) constantly since that’s what it felt like in the womb. I know that the feeling of hunger is a new, possibly confusing feeling. I was prepared for and am totally content with holding and nursing my newborn baby whenever and for as long as she wants.

On the other hand, sometimes I have to tend to my other child or (heaven forbid) use the bathroom (something that I have not figured out how to do one handed while holding a baby). In these instances, I put my newborn down either in her bouncy seat if she’s awake or her bassinet if she’s sleeping. She is ok with sitting in the bouncy seat for at least the few minutes I need to run to the bathroom or start making lunch or whatever. The bassinet is a lot more tricky.

Nine times out of ten, when I put her in the bassinet, she wakes up three or so minutes later with a wet diaper. Every once in a rare while, she’ll stay asleep for 10-25 minutes, which I consider a successful transfer from my lap to the basinet. Those other, more frequent times, are way more frustrating. It’s not like I can check her diaper without fear of waking her up before I transfer her, so I can’t say for sure, but I’m pretty sure this bassinet is having some sort of diuretic effect on my baby. I’m pretty sure the moment I let go from placing her in the bassinet, some sort of something magic happens where she pees, and then moments later realizes it, wakes up and starts crying.

I’m trying very hard not to let this discourage me from continuing my attempts to successfully transfer her to the bassinet, especially when those rare times do happen and I can make lunch with two hands. (I also know that were I more adept at babywearing (and more comfortable using a more simple carrier like a sling), I would be able to do more things with both hands.) I’m pretty sure it’s just a coincidence, but it doesn’t feel like it when, for the fifth time in a day, I put her down then five minutes later have to change a wet diaper.

 
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Posted by on August 3, 2012 in baby

 

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Memorial Day weekend lesson learned

This weekend, I learned a valuable lesson about myself. Or rather, I officially recognized what I’d known about myself for a while yet hadn’t necessarily taken seriously.

If I get overheated, I do not function.

It’s not so much that if it’s warm out, I get a little cranky or if I get warm, I get cranky. If I’m overheated (which is exacerbated by the pregnancy, no doubt), my ability to engage with the world in a respectful way decreases until I’m a raging, frustrated puddle of sweat. I am unable to parent in a way that my child deserves. I am unable to interact with others in a way that they deserve. I am unable to care for myself in a way that I deserve (and even writing that sentence is somewhat difficult in that merely acknowledging that I deserve to be taken care of properly brings up feelings of guilt that I’d be taking time or attention away from caring for my family, but that’s a tangent for another post).

It doesn’t matter what the thermostat says. It doesn’t matter what other people are feeling. If I feel as if I’m overheating, I have to take steps to prevent it from getting out of hand. I have to make myself drink ice water. I have to get myself in front of a fan or in a room with air conditioning. I have to be ok with the possibility that our electricity bill will be higher from running our A/C more frequently, especially if that means that I’m able to treat my family the way they deserve and the way I prefer.

Maybe this kind of thing is obvious. Maybe this kind of self-care/self-awareness is normal for most people. Up until the past few days, though, I’ve been thinking of temperature control in terms of others being comfortable, and if I got too warm, well, I just had to suck it up and deal with it (so said my internal monologue, not anyone else). Sucking it up isn’t working anymore. I’m learning to trust myself, learning to recognize my limitations before I reach them (at least for the most part), and learning to speak up or make changes to prevent myself from turning into the Incredible Sweat Puddle Hulk. Because really, no one wants to see that.

 
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Posted by on May 30, 2012 in mama

 

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Just teasing

This incident affected me way more than I thought it did at the time (and possibly way more than it affected Grace, who was the victim/recipient of the actions), so here I go rambling.

Yesterday, the three of us were visiting my in-laws for a bit. At some point, the habit of getting ready to leave followed by Grace getting a couple of marshmallows from my mother-in-law has developed. So yesterday, Grace was getting ready to go, she got her marshmallows in a baggie to take home and was making the rounds to say goodbye to everyone: her mom-mom and pop-pop (my in-laws), GG (her great grandmother), and a friend of my in-laws who’d stopped by to say hi. When she went to say goodbye to the friend (whom she’d been shy around and avoiding for the most part up until now) and he asked her about the marshmallows, she showed them to him and they started talking about them, with the friend quizzing her on what colors they were (which is annoying in itself but harmless so whatever). Then she went to take the bag back so we could leave and he pulled it away so she couldn’t get it. He repeated the offer/pull away routine a few times when Grace became upset and went to run away from him. People reassured her that he wasn’t taking them from her, they said he was just teasing, then they gave her the bag and encouraged her to say bye and give the friend a high five.

Intellectually, I know his intentions were in fun, but it brought up something emotionally for me that I’m feeling even the next day. Watching the scene play out even a mere five feet away, I felt helpless to protect her from what was happening. If a child had acted that way, would the expected response be laughing and understanding that he was “just teasing”? Or would someone have stepped in in defense of Grace and given the bag back to her? I felt helpless to stop this obviously distressing “teasing” and helpless to assist Grace to understand that her reaction was legitimate, since people were quicker than I to step in and tell her how she should feel. (I have minor issues with my in-laws’ use of the phrase “don’t cry” as well, but it’s usually been easier for me to reassure her in those instances.)

Part of my reaction has to do with my own grandmother using the phrase “just teasing” when I was younger. I can’t remember exactly the circumstances, but I remember strong feelings of not being taken seriously when I’d become upset at the teasing, or being told I was taking things too seriously or being too serious. These strong emotions are making it hard for me to understand if I’m reacting appropriately to something that happened to my child, or if I’m overreacting because I see myself in her place and see how hurt I’d feel were it me.

 
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Posted by on May 25, 2012 in mama

 

Nesting or preparing for the apocalypse?

I’ve recently taken to preparing for the birth of our second child, doing all of the normal nesting-type stuff one reads about in pregnancy books or articles on what you need when your baby’s born. I’ve been cleaning, organizing, putting food in the freezer, all of that normal stuff. I’ve also, apparently, been preparing for the apocolypse.

For the past few weeks, I’ve been preparing like those who prepare their homes for the end of days. I’ve stocked up on paper products from Costco, so, for example, we don’t need to buy toilet paper, etc. for the next 6 months. Also, we have enough oatmeal for a similar time period (unless I go crazy and make tons of lactation cookies). I’ve been making lists of foods, both for meals and snacks, that I can stock up on as we get closer to the due date. I’ve been working on all of those little cleaning or organizing tasks that I’ve been thinking about but never actually finding time for. (When I was pregnant with Grace, I gave myself permission to not scrub the tub grout and it taunted me every time I took a shower until I finally had the energy and time to clean it. Yesterday, I vacuumed the back staircase which I’d been meaning to do since 2011. There was no way I’d be walking up and down the stairs with a newborn looking at the same fluff of dust that’d been there for months. I might empty and scrub the flatware drawer.)

For some reason, getting closer to the birth makes me feel like I’m entering some sort of quarantine. I did similar things towards the end of my pregnancy with Grace. Intellectually, I know that the world doesn’t disappear once a baby is born. Target and grocery stores and everywhere else don’t cease to exist because I have a baby. Despite the fact that I might not be up to going out to the store doesn’t mean that someone else can’t go to the store for me. I know this, yet still I’m trying to prepare for what feels like the inevitable, that we’ll need to be prepared for weeks or months of being holed up at home.

I’m sure being as prepared as I can can only help. I’m not really trying to prepare for the apocalypse, either. I mean, I’m not getting us freeze-dried meals or anything, just stocking up on stuff for the freezer and pantry so we only have to think about the perishables for the first weeks post-birth. This frantic preparation also probably is related to my inability to imagine what life will be like once there’s two kids in my family, so at least I’ll be able to go to the kitchen and find some food even as every other aspect of our lives are in disarray. That’s a topic for a different post, though.

Did you prepare for the postpartum period by stocking up like I’m doing? Any tips, advice, words of wisdom for someone going from one kid to two?

 
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Posted by on May 17, 2012 in food