Saturday, January 31, 2009

Have you hugged your Lysol today?

Sure God created man before woman. But then you always make a rough draft before the final masterpeice. 

I hope my head is a nice shape..because I'm seriously going to tear ALL.MY.HAIR.OUT! Watch out Britney...you ain't got nothin' on this mama (except for alleged mental issues, which I may also rival these days..jk)! I don't know how you do it....I will never be my mother. The sound of a vacuum and the smell of Clorox reminds me of being home, sick from school, laid out on a recliner, watching tv. I'm not sure Corbin will ever recognize the smell of Clorox except from the school cafeteria. God, I hate that smell. And having dinner on the table when Richard gets home from work..A) Is never going to happen even if I was Super Woman or a 1950s housewife and B) I'm sooooo not Super Woman....and ladies...this is sooooo not 1950 (where's my freakin' dinner)!

So Corbin is doing pretty well these days..hmmm, he's being Corbin these days ;) Besides getting 3 teeth at the same time, mastering the art of tantrums, and getting over the 7 year cough...he just had a minor blip in his diet..yes, you know you have developed a serious complex when you recognize you should call the egg company to find out what they are feeding their birds. Yup, you guessed it.."a diet rich in soy protein". Bastard birds! Corbin had been clingy and screaming for 2 weeks and I was at the end of my rope going through what could be the possible culprit. From sippies, to juice, to those bastard birds..urgh..those freakin' birds and their eggs! Anyway, we found the enemy..brown eggs...and have banished them. But even without the eggs...today might have been enough to strip away every last strand of my womanly identity. At least it would take less time to get ready in the morning...and just think...no need for "product" ;)

So I get up at 6:30...technically I couldn't sleep, but either way..to get ready. Corbin and I have been climbing the walls lately..seriously CLIMBING.THE.WALLS! The kid is bored with me...he sees me day in and day out..and he's sick of me. So I start hunting for things for us to do. I have a nice line up...Gymboree on Tues, Toddle time at the library on Wed...and our playgroup on Friday. That leaves Mondays for the park with Miss Jennifer and who doesn't love the afternoon playtime with Emmett and Eli :) We're good, right? Negative! Turns out..our next big delight is dropping down to one nap and do you really think Corbin is going to do it the conventional way..OH NO..we have to do it the Corbin way! Don't drop the morning nap like normal babies..bye, bye, afternoon nap and hello to day o'hell! Oh yes...he gets up at 7:30 this morning and by the time we make it to our 9:15am Gymboree class..he's yawning. Now the NORMAL child would see how fun this is and would push through that initial inkling of fatigue...urgh..not my sweet baby boy. 15 minutes into it...he's screaming..thumb in mouth..and asking to be picked up. Good grief. The teacher looks at me and is all...why is your child screaming, this is Disneyland for babies (not her exact words, but might as well have been). I chuckle and pat him on the back...cursing her in the back of my mind. It's not like there wasn't 10 other 1 year olds in the room, whom I'm sure had screamed at some point. So we leave. And although you would think this would make Corbin happy..OH NO...my kid doesn't sleep in the car..are you crazy???? He screams the whole.way.home. This combined with PMS is seriously lethal and to avoid being arrested for some out of body experience...I call to take it out on Richard. So Corbin's screaming in the backseat, I'm screaming, on the phone, in the front seat, the radio is on full blast because Corbin's favorite song "usually" soothes him, and we hit DEAD STOP traffic on 485. Are you freakin' kidding me????

Don't worry...we made it home..in one (sort of) piece. Corbin continued his lovely, inviting mood for the rest of the day and I couldn't tell you what the hell is wrong with him. Sadly, I think it was the BBQ sauce I've given him the past few days (can you believe there is milk in caramel coloring..who knew)..on top of the list I mentioned earlier..ha ha! So now you think I'm going to clean the house and make dinner..you have to be mad! I'm so exhausted that I can't believe I'm typing right now...and don't even think I'm going to feel bad about it. I haven't gotten there yet. To the place where I feel like I have control over my life again. The way I did before I decided to grow someone. This new normal is really hard to get used it...don't get me wrong I love it (sans screaming days in the middle of Gymboree)...but I just can't seem to find a system to get EVERYTHING done. All while chasing a 12 month old up and down the stairs. We still stand around at 8pm wondering what we are going to have for dinner and pick up Solo cups, popsicle sticks, or anything else Corbin has decided to turn into a toy off the floor at 8pm. And then I'm probably passed out on the couch...somewhere around 8:15pm. So how do you do it? How does everything get done? 

It doesn't! So my house isn't spotless...so we eat frozen pizzas more often than one person should allow...is it really going to matter in 5 years that there is dust on the coffee table? So where I sit right now...my next step as a mother is to let go of the guilt. Cashing in a vacation day. A day away from the guilt of not keeping an immaculate house, not dishin' out a nutritious meal at the same time everyday, from missing things on the label (freakin' caramel coloring). From not knowing why my child is crying, from getting frustrated because of it. We're not perfect and being a mother just adds more pressure. More pressure to do everything right. Those 1950s wives used to make me feel inadequate...like I should know what I'm doing...sh*t, I think I'm being productive if I dry my hair at some point during the day! I wish there were more real examples out there..that depict the effort that goes into getting through a day with a munchkin attached to your pants leg. So here's to us..pat yourself on the back today. Who cares how much TV your kid watches! Who cares if you are eating chinese takeout for the 3rd day in a row! Who cares if the bathroom is in some serious need of TLC! I may not be able to keep up with those crazy ol' timey chicks, but I do go to bed smiling every night. Motherhood isn't as black and white as my previous career...some things go wrong..some things get pushed to the back burner, but its the end of the day that matters. We all wake up the next morning with the troubles of the day before behind us and a smiling, happy baby in front of us...that makes us super women. He's not smiling because his diaper is clean..that's for sure..he's smiling because he thinks I'm super at my job :)

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Walkin' in Corbs Winter ONE-derland







Elizabeth Mitchell from Lost....gotta love Lost.... said in an interview recently that as a mother you become the maker of your child's magic. This has become my new motto in recent weeks. Just seeing the look on his face the first time he sees something is AWESOME...he even looks back at me as if to say "Did you see that?!?!" As always, it will come as no surprise that his birthday party was no different...and as always, I went way overboard to ensure this sweet lil' look. 

So Corbin's Winter ONE-derland was a huge success. I got an insane amount of decorations (hello, on sale) and there was barely an inch of our downstairs left untouched. We hung snowflakes all over..down the foyer hall, all over the living room, in the kitchen, and in the doorway leading into the dining room. We put snowflakes all over the window in the dinette and let blue, silver, and white balloons float all over the living room. I left the Christmas tree up for what felt like decades and put pine cones randomly on the branches. I sprayed the entire ONE side with fake snow much to Richard's dismay, but if he doesn't like it next year..I'll just turn in around ;) I used snowman picture frames to put a picture from each month of his first year on his new magnetic chalkboard wall in the kitchen and wrote "Happy Birthday King Corbin" on it. To top it off..we are still picking up tiny sparkly snowflake confetti :) It was strategically placed around all the food, drinks, and fake snowmen adorning our house!

We served a "chilly" bar with beef and chicken chili, along with any topping we could think of...onions, cheese, olives, cilantro (my favorite!), etc. Richard's mom helped me make a cheese (ball) igloo..there were supposed to be olive penguins, but we got tired....chocolate covered strawberries, a veggie tray, snowman cookies, muddy buddies, and baked brie. I made him a special cake (non-dairy, non-soy, no eggs..for good measure) that looked similar to the cheese igloo. We'll just say it started off square and after a few hours of "almost peeing my pants" laughter with the in-laws...we made his igloo. He ate the entire thing! Shocker..not! Of course, I wasn't about to leave out a cake for everyone else, so I ordered a cupcake cake from Target in the shape of a snowman. We still have 22 cupcakes left..ha ha!

I showed my video right before serving the cake and got a pull string pinata in the shape of a one for little kid fun. It was actually a huge hit and Emmett had plenty of time to steal all the cotton candy Dum-Dums...seeing as all the other kids kept filling their bags then dumping them over to start again. I think he was quite thrilled about that..more for him :)

I know this party was more for me than him..but you should have seen the look on his face when he saw those snowflakes. Magic. The kind he creates for me. Its funny how raw your emotions become after giving birth to your child...like he hit a switch on the way down (sorry for the visual..ha ha). I tear up at the smallest things these days and I used to pride myself on being such a hard a**. I don't know why. My sensitive side must have matured along with me through the pregnancy. I even cried at Monster-in-law...seriously..Jennifer Lopez meets Jane Fonda...that's the one! Any song that comes on the radio that even has a inkling of mom meets baby..dad loves baby..baby grows up...I'm gone! What the hell happened??? I'm a softy! Or maybe its that I didn't really see things before Corbin..just skimmed the surface. I didn't notice the look on a baby's face when he learned how to pick up a Puff out of mom's hand and put it in his mouth. I didn't notice the excitement in his eyes when daddy came home from work. I didn't know the feeling of a baby kiss or what we like to call a drive-by cuddle. These things are what I now consider life. I don't miss the days I slept in because I would miss watching Blue's Clues in bed with Corbin and Richard. I don't miss buying $200 jeans because now they just hang in my closet and anytime I see them..I think..that could have been a night in the mountains with my husband. I don't hide my tears when I watch Corbin's first year video for the 800th time (yes, I hid in the kitchen while it played at his party) because it means I'm feeling the importance and the purpose of those moments...the joy, the sadness, the frustration, the love. They are my magic and I owe them all to Corbin....so the least I could do, is try to create them for him. :)

Sunday, January 11, 2009

The King and I




Go Corbin..It's your birthday..not a holiday..go, go! (He even does the white man dance while I'm singing to him). Yup..my baby turned one today. A pretty exciting milestone..which I was particularly sentimental about given the circumstances of the past year. This one, of course, was no different than any other expected event in Corbin's life. Urgh!
I have a very defined...let's call it..passion for details. I like to refer to it as things done "Alissa" style. So don't think for one minute that Corbin's first birthday party would slip through the fine cracks that have become apparent in the throws of raising the king of our castle. After researching..oh yes..researching...ideas for his party, I settled on a Winter ONE-derland BRRR-thday party. It was perfect seeing as I could get all the decorations, presents, etc. on crazy sale right after Christmas (to keep in line with our coupon/savings fetish)...which I did again "Alissa" style;) I collected this stuff and stored it on our dining room table until there was fake snow, bags of bouncy balls, and snowman cookies pouring off the edges...and now, there is also crap all over the floor :) Hey..it was 75% off, so shoot me! Anyway..the week before his party our king threw (and trust me..literally) a tiny kink into my passionate plans.
So Corbin started puking his brains out..pretty fitting I would say. Tuesday morning, we discovered he had gotten sick in his crib and continued this disgusting trend any time I fed him for the next 24 hours. On top of this wonderful birthday gift to himself, he also gave it to Richard. So by Tuesday night...both boys were laid out with tummy aches while I ran around like Richard looking for our hospital bag the night I went into labor....may I remind everyone, I had packed it a month earlier and it was sitting next to the door...so it will come as no surprise that I ended up preying to the porcelain god by Wednesday night. Our pediatrician assured us that Corbin would tragically fail at his attempt to derail my birthday extravaganza. His stomach bug would be long gone by then. Do I really need to tell you that he was BIG.FAT.WRONG? Yeah, I didn't think so..freakin' kid puked all over me on Friday morning and the illness moved south in his poor lil' body by Saturday morning. Needless to say..it was a fun week in the Bray house. 
We postponed his party and almost everyone will still be able to make it, so he will get to be my baby for just a few more weeks. In reality, he's already become a toddler..good grief that kid is everywhere. We have to admit that he actually couldn't have rung in his first year in any better way than throwing up. I had almost forgotten what it was like to flinch every time he coughed or burped..ha ha! ;) With the flashback, I made a few pit stops along the way. The few weeks he spent in between our pillows with a small nightlight on top of his bed..how Rocky would squeeze up next to it, so we were barely hanging on..let alone sleeping. The time Richard learned the hard way to cover up lil' boy goods after you take him out of the bath...yup, the entire right side of his pants were a casualty in that one. All the times our sweet baby boy hung off the front of me..passed out..as we came to the end of our morning walks. It just seems so funny how these things had completely erased the days we spent bouncing on our exercise ball in the bathroom and the complex he gave us anytime a baby burped (to all my mommy-to-be friends..make sure you have a burp cloth..or receiving blanket in our case..handy!). So this friendly reminder of what once was is also our closure...of what WAS. I'm feeling particularly sentimental about his birthday..the day our lives really began... because this feels like the end of a challenging time in our lives....and the continuation of the best ones. Here's to you, King Corbin...Happy Birthday!!