Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Open Letters Edition

If I had written an open letter to my daughter three hours ago, it would've gone something like this:

Dear one,

Go to sleep. Now. Stop poking your finger into holes in your crib. Lie Down. Put your hat back on. Stop taking your hat off. Yes, you can sing to yourself. Put your hat back on. Go right ahead and babble. Lie Down. Lie Down. Lie Down. Put your hat back on. Lie Down. You know, you're not going to be harmed in any way if you fall asleep. Put your hat back on. Lie down. Stop poking your finger into holes in your crib. Just lie down. Put your hat back on first. Now lie down. And go to sleep. Yes, like that. The snoring is cute.


P.S. You're about 10 times more adorable right after you fall asleep than you are right before.
If I wrote an open letter to the clerk at the UPS store today, it would've gone something like this:

You are very sweet and I appreciate you taking the time to attempt to get the address from me three times because I'm tending two squirming babies who keep interrupting. I'm sorry that I'm not more organized. Letting me write it down was a good idea. Thanks for your patience, I hope you have kids some day and that someone is nice to you when you're trying to manage them and some difficult task at the same time.

That Frazzled Mom
If I wrote an open letter to the neighbor it would go something like this:

Your tree is scratching up my car. Again. You need to trim it. I found a flower from that Crape Myrtle in my underwear today, and that's pretty much the last straw. (Can you call it a straw when it's clearly a flower? I'm going with yes.) I'm tired of getting my clothes and my hair and my babies and my car door snagged on your tree. I can't park any further away from the tree than I do, because I'd be too close to the corner and I'd rather deal with you than City Code Enforcement. I'm probably going to break that branch off again this year. Just like I did last year. And I'm not sorry.

No love and increasingly less good will as the flowers pile up in my footwell,
The Tall Neighbor-lady

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Don't say it!

You know how if you say something like, "I can't live without cheese!" you're supposed to immediately knock on wood so you don't jinx yourself?  Yeah, I shoulda done that.

My totally amazing young son (who I breastfeed) is allergic to cow's milk.  Which is the primary ingredient in my favorite food: cheese.  Also, cheesecake, cheese dip, cheese fondue, baked brie, cheeseburgers, nachos, lasagna, eggplant (or anything else) parmesan, those little plates of cheese that come out with a wine flight, and every hors d'oeuvres on the planet (that's worth eating).  I can do without ice cream.  Seriously, I can! I've liked sherbet and sorbet better since I was 3 and got to pick my own flavor at the Baskin Robbins in the "old" mall in Kingsville.  I always drifted away down to the left end of the little display case, to where the Orange Sherbet, Rainbow Sherbet, and Daiquiri Ice were kept.  That was my favorite frozen stuff and it still is, Bluebell's Pecan Pralines 'n Cream notwithstanding.

So, when my wife was considering the Paleo and Primal diets, I urged her strongly to go with Primal. Why?  Because of the CHEESE, of course!  And every time we got into a conversation with someone about how and why she was eating a Primal diet, this would come up.  And I'd loudly -- and likely melodramatically -- exclaim that I would absolutely DIE without cheese.  As my friend pointed out tonight, when you say things like that, God quirks an eyebrow at you and says, "Really?"  And then He laughs.  Likely melodramatically.

Which brings us to how I totally screwed myself out of cheese for the near foreseeable future.  Because a baby who is allergic to cow's milk is allergic typically to the proteins in it, which pass through breastmilk from mama to baby.  So I'm off the cheese for a while, and all milk-derived products.  The great news is that I'm friends with some awesome dairy-free eaters, and they've already turned me on to some great resources and substitutes that will make this transition as easy as can be.  The hardest thing so far has been finding a non-dairy milk that will do as a coffee creamer.  I'm totally unenthused about non-dairy processed creamers, like Coffee Mate, so I've been exploring the almond milk (fail), coconut milk (fail), flax milk (reasonable), and hemp milk (reasonable) alternatives.  Oh, and I'm allergic to soy, so soy milk is Right Out.  The problem with most of these milks as creamers is that they don't have the right pH and fat content to actually cream the coffee.  The flax leaves an oil slick on the surface of the coffee but tastes good, the hemp milk is grainy and falls out of solution (albeit making beautiful spiral patterns) like miso soup does.  I'm still searching for the perfect alternative coffee creamer, so if you know of one, please feel free to advise me!

Holy crap, we have a baby!

How long have I been away from the blog that I didn't mention my new son somewhere in the four months he's been with us? At least four months, I guess. It used to be that I didn't have much to say unless it was about what went into or came out of a baby. These days, I just don't have the time! If I can't scratch it out with my phone in 140 characters or less, I just don't say it. I'm doing really well if I read something that I don't scan in a minute or less, again on my phone, so sitting down to write has been utterly out of the question. I'm already scrubbing sand out of my eyes tonight, but I have to sit a little longer while some stuff cools off in the kitchen, so here I am.
Z took to her new brother like any big sister would. She started trying to poke his eyes and look in his mouth and check out his hands and feet and figure out if he was a baby why he moved so much and made so much noise. Most of the babies she'd previously encountered were made of plastic. These days, she's doing much better. She loves to kiss him goodnight and snuggle him and if he cries she's the first one to go check on him. She still pinches him from time to time, but she's getting the hang of kindly sisterhood. For his part, he's gotten a few accidental hair pulls in there, so we're calling it nearly even. We're thrilled to have this little miracle in our family, and blessed to have had the opportunity to adopt him. We named him James after my father, which is bittersweet since my dad passed away this past Thanksgiving. This is his first grandson, and he would have loved to have met him. For his part, baby boy is a jolly soul who laughs at anyone who will stand still to make eye contact with him.

I hope to be able to manage more updates now that he's approaching the sleeps-through-the-night part of his life.  You'll see it here if that happens!

Credit where credit is due:  The photos in this post were taken by my stunningly talented sister, Joy.  Thanks, Joy!