Monday, March 23, 2009

A "BC" Bray weekend



I've said it before and I'll say it again. I'm not who I was. The funny thing about staying close to the people you grew up with...close in proximity that is...is that they never allow you to change. This, of course, is my opinion. I believe this for any stage in the game. Childhood friends don't really count...your true personality shows without being tainted by experience when you are a kid..but high school friends, college friends, first job friends. It's like that whole time period when you are trying to discover who you are is who you will always be to them. I was crazy in high school and college. More so if I was single and luckily, I was a serial monogamer. I'm pretty certain my high school friends wouldn't even know what to do if they saw me now or if I actually showed up to our 10 year reunion this year (so not gonna happen). I was opinionated, loud, outspoken, and strong willed. Let's just say...I've toned down a bit ;)

We decided about a month ago that it was time to take a trip back in time...to when it was just the two of us. For several reasons....one, we had barely been alone for more than a couple of hours at a time since Corbin was born and two, we had always promised we would do this once a year and it was time to cash in.....so I booked a mini-vacation for this past weekend in a small 2 person log cabin (built by hand..might I add) in Boone. It was awesome ... minus the lovely carpet that looked like the pot holders I made in Brownies when I was...let's say 8... www.blueridgerentals.com .... called the Dog House because apparently their dog, Rubberdog, was run over by a car and didn't have a scratch on him. Yeah.. Rocky would have definitely been called..Splatterdog! Anyway...very cozy, hot tub, and these awesome adirondack chairs with a fire pit right along side the stream running behind the house. I highly recommend it ... especially if you need a little breathing room from a child that has only learned one pitch in the range of sounds his voice can make.... oh, wait...that's me...ok, check!

So Grandma and Grandpa drove up from Georgia to stay the weekend with our little terror..I mean sweetheart ;) They arrived around 11am on Friday morning and we had hightailed it outta there by noon...ha ha! And you thought I was going to say I had a hard time leaving. Nope. A quick run through of the Corbin Instruction Manual and..... Peace out, Corbs! We got to the cabin around 3pm after stopping for lunch, grabbing the keys, and going to the grocery store for extra munchies (possibly called Cabernet) ...that first bottle of wine was consumed by 5:20pm :) Guess we haven't lost our touch....so we pretty much just spent some much overdue time together the entire weekend. Except for an emergency trip to Old Navy due to the fact that we forgot bathing suits..which wouldn't have been a problem in the summer, but having the trees bare...we thought the neighbors might appreciate it ;) ...and a little shopping downtown, but other than that..it was just us. I hadn't realized how much I missed just us...it was so nice. No schedule, no whining, or entertaining.....no snaps at each other about not moving fast enough or being too snappy (ha ha).... no internet, Facebook, or blogs...no TV, DVR, or movies...no worries, just us. 

It's funny how you find the strength in your relationship that way...like we hadn't seen each other for years (caught up in the daily madness that consumes every minute until you fall on the couch hungry and tired at 8pm bedtime), but were just the same after all that time...you throw a colicky, sensitive baby into the mix and you don't even have time to realize you miss who you were. 
Of course, by Saturday night around 6pm, we were both really missing Corbin. The piece that makes us who we are now. Sometimes he may throw a kink in our perfect little package... needing a small reminder to get us back on track..but we aren't "us" without him anymore. We've changed...for better, for worse...a little older, a little wiser....we've grown. Our relationship has a whole new depth. It brings the good and the bad...the little spaces you never knew about the person you hold most dear. Without Corbin, I would never have known how insanely, irrationally clean the kitchen needs to be at all times for my husband...it drives me nuts. Without Corbin, Richard would have never known that I need him to move at the speed of light to make milk, change a diaper, or even shower, for that matter..I like to refer to it as "mommy speed"..something a daddy can never do ;) But without Corbin, I would have never heard Richard sing "You are my sunshine" to help him fall asleep...never witnessed the best made-up game ever...brought to you by daddy (finding the "love buggie" in the book and then tickling him when he does). He may have never seen the way only a mommy can kiss that boo boo all better...if it wasn't for Corbin. It's true that we would be the same people to each other...love each other just as much...be just as perfect for one another...if Corbin had never come along. But we wouldn't be "us"...who we are meant to be together. At the risk of sounding cheesy, I found who I was through Richard..I am a better person with him than I was without him. I never lost myself, but just became someone I respect more than I did before. I've changed...those people from high school or college wouldn't recognize me because they know "BR" Alissa (Before Richard)...the same goes for us. "BC" Brays. We still are the same family...only better...thanks to Corbin. 

Friday, March 13, 2009

13 months going on 30


So, we have been growing up in this house. Our first baby steps have turned into full out running in a matter of seconds. Sometimes his little legs get going faster than the rest of his body can keep up with....causing a very nasty spill at the park where the sidewalk basically ate his cute lil' face. Most of the time he just looks like he's had 5 too many beers. He's talking a mile a minute. He repeats EVERYTHING you say. Sometimes it just sounds like some strange form of Mandarin, but others...you can definitely tell he's telling 
you something. He even said Thank you in the bathtub the other night. And uno yesterday. Yeah, what's up world...my 13 month old is already bilingual ;) He can tell you what a cow, sheep, lion, and kitty say. And just last night...he sat at the table like a big boy for the first time! Strapped into his booster seat and ate out of the plate suction cupped to the table (Because we all know where it would end up if it wasn't attached to something!) ALL.BY.HIMSELF! It's insane. Soon I'll be hanging onto his pants leg, the way he does mine now, as he boards the school bus to kindergarten. Ok, who are we kidding..I'm so going to be a carpool mom! And by the time I actually make it to the building, I'll be throwing all those kids out of our car myself...as they sing "the wheels on the bus" for the 14th time ;)

Speaking of school, we signed Corbin up for preschool (tear!) Yup, my big boy will be attending Creative Minds starting in September. Two mornings a week, I will drop him off and get 4 glorious hours to myself...oh wait, I'm supposed to be sad about this ;) Take two...oh boo hoo, what am I going to do without him..whaaaaa, whaaaa, whaaaa. Better? Yeah right, I can actually go to the bathroom alone, eat breakfast (and maybe even LUNCH!), and let's not forget that I might even be able to sit in silence for more than 3.5 seconds. I'm sorry, I think I might have been jumping up and down a little too high. Ha ha! Don't get me wrong..I think this will be really hard (at first), but probably really good for him. He'll get to socialize with other kiddos, learn to take instructions from another adult..one he doesn't know...and he'll learn that when mommy leaves, she will always come back (probably..just kidding). I know a lot of moms think 2 is too soon, but not this mom ;) 

So one of the rules for him to attend at 20 months (just shy of 2) is that he has to be able to walk by himself (check..make that double check) and no separation anxiety (hmmm, not so check). Since Nanny (my mom) and Bapu (my dad...short for Bapugi...grandfather in my dad's language) live down the street...sweet lil' Corbin has never stayed with anyone he doesn't know. This might cause a problem when it comes to rule #2. I'm assuming a big problem, especially now that he recognizes when Richard or I aren't there. In order to alleviate the possibility of getting kicked out of his first school, we joined the YMCA to take advantage of the child watch program. 
This was actually my "spin" on why we should join the Y, so I could expedite the whole bathroom by myself process :) Anyway, so we sign up for the Y and I head on over for my first morning of "me" time. Well, not exactly just me...me, a treadmill, and about 50 other people. Ipod, please...ok, "me" time. I'm not going to lie, I was actually really anxious about dropping him off. I didn't want him to be around sick kids..and the obvious, be all scared and sad. But it's a necessary evil we must face eventually and sooner is better than later. So through the doors of the child watch we go only to be greeted by a very nice looking "older" woman. I tell her that this was our first time dropping him off and she hands me a sticker to label him. Ha ha..too funny. So I fill out his "label" and slap it on his back while sticking my corresponding label on my shirt. Then comes the obligatory question for this mama..."Do you allow food in the kid's area?" She responds with sure, he can have anything in there....dammit! So I explain that my only concern is that he has food sensitivities and I wouldn't want him to eat any of the other kids' snacks. Then she hit me with it..."Oh hun, that's just going to be way to hard. That means they would always have to be watching him" Ummmmmm....yeah. Seriously..am I the only mom that finds several concerning points in that statement. Let's start with A) Richard doesn't even call me "hun".... B) Corbin is about to find the milk haven that he's been dreaming of since birth....but worst of all C) they would "have" to actually watch him????? Too much to process for lil' Miss Type A over here. 

So I take a deep breath and decide to talk to the people who are actually "having" to watch him...not grandma at the front desk. They slap another bright orange label on poor Corbin...announcing to everyone that the "special" kid can't have any of the good stuff and they open the half door for Mr. Corbin to enter. I bring him in and also tell them he's never been with people he doesn't know, so lil' Miss 20 something starts yanking him off me. Big smile..no problem she says. The more she yanks the harder Corbin's death grip gets. "Don't leave me with crazy Joker lady, mommy." I swear that's what he would have said. So I suggest I just walk him over to this awesome train table before I leave. So I do and he barely notices I'm gone. I go run. Well, let's be honest...walk...for 15 minutes. I swear I thought if I walked faster the time would go just the same, but it didn't. And 15 minutes felt like hours. I even tried to watch the View on the TV attached to the machine to distract myself. But in the end, I barely made it 15 minutes before running (yes, this time I was running) downstairs to make sure Corbin was alright. And of course, he was. Sitting in a bean bag chair (like the big boy he is) watching the Wiggles. Big smile when he saw mommy...she came back :) We've been one other time since....still no tears have been shed...and the second time there was a nice lady's lap to curl up on and when I came back for him...this time 40 minutes later...he was laughing as she made him flap his arms like a duck. He's such a good boy (tear!)

So it turned out that I might be the one with the problem. Doesn't that suck ;) I was all stoked to have my "me" time and when it came down to it....I just wanted to be with Corbin. Of course, he's still going to preschool...especially after I saw how excited he was to play with all the other kiddos at child watch. But maybe I won't be jumping quite as high as I had imagined. Maybe I'll just skip a little...go to Starbucks and watch the second hand on the clock until I get to speed over to relieve him from joys of "freeze dancing" and puppet making. I'm sure he's going to leave kicking and screaming...so we might add a little Jack to my coffee ;) It's just the fundamentals of motherhood...you get used to one stage and here comes the next one. You get one schedule down and they decide to drop a nap..you finally get a good meal prepared to perfection and they decide to go on strike for hot dogs or chicken nuggets. I've come to learn that the key to survival is to just roll with the punches. Another gift we've been given with my new grown up boy is his grown up messes. Wow, our house looks like a tornado within 5 minutes of him waking up in the morning. In all honesty, it really doesn't bother me. I couldn't say that a year ago. It's not really a mess to me anymore. He could sit for a good 30 minutes and try to figure out how to put all the plastic forks back into the bag. Of course, they end up all over the kitchen, but to just see him discover this is amazing. To see him open a cabinet door and yank everything out because he sees his old bottle liners in the back is incredible. He actually remembers them! If you look at it that way, can you really rob him of the mess? I know I can't...and then there is the obvious. The day will come when I will wish there were plastic forks and bottle liners all over the floor. The day I will have to rediscover who I was before he was here. Unfortunately, the transition is coming in just a few short months. The transistion from child watch to preschool, from chaos to a little structure, from big kid to bigger kid, from mommy to me. But who are we kidding...maybe its just time to have another..ha ha!!


Sunday, March 1, 2009

Same sh*t, different day...



I love baby feet. There is something about baby feet...I don't know if it's that they are pudgy or that all the toes seem to be the same length...but I love baby feet. I hate adult feet..they totally gross me out, but man...Corbin has the cutest feet. His diaper butt is pretty sweet too, but I have to experience the not so sweet on that end, so I'll stick with those feet :) 

So our saga continues....Corbin is still gassy...and still has trouble with any kind of food it seems. The poor kid has to be starving. The other day...I say other day, but it was probably 2-3 weeks ago. Our friend, Sally, brought her ultrasound picture over to show off her sweet baby boy. Georgia, Corbin's girlfriend, came along in tow. We were gabbing and the kids were playing..when I went to tickle Georgia. OMG..her belly was sooooo squishy!!! Is this normal...I had become numb to the beautiful squishiness that is a baby belly! Corbin's is always the size of a basketball and hard as a rock. It took me back to when I worked in a daycare..oh yes..me plus daycare equals...well is just not good. I LOVED this little girl in the 4 year old room. Morgan...she would come up and giggle before I could even grab her belly..so sweet! I had totally forgotten....until sweet G reminded me. So of course I go off the deep end. No sticking my toes in to test the waters...full on cannon ball, tidal wave...tsunami style. We took away everything..stripped our poor child of all his favorites...green beans, apples, peaches, pears, squash (pretty much any veggie or fruit the internet proclaimed to cause gas)...no more pasta, bread...anything with a remote amount of flavor..leaving him with bananas, avocados, sweet potatoes, and that blasted golden milkies. Within TWO days...he was a new kid. He still had gas and by the end of the day, his tummy started to form a rounded dome resembling a deflated basketball (but a basketball none the less), but he was SO happy. Didn't want me to hold him non-stop. Laughed. Talked a mile a minute..started just spouting out words he had never said before (yeah, my kid's a prodigy)...it was incredible. 

So we moved on up a level of psychotic-ness and incorporated the infamous "gluten-free" diet. I was bound determined to make my kid happy...who knew the price it would cost me..literally. We stroll on in to Earthfare to recover all the necessary ingredients of the Orzma mix on Wogglebug.com. The usual suspects I had never heard of...being a gourmet chef and all...but we found them (most of them)...tapioca flour, xanthum gum, baking powder, etc. But we could not find sorghum flour (we ended up finding it in an indian grocery store as jowar flour for future reference). It was in every recipe, but because I couldn't find it....I opted for quinoa flour, since it was in the gluten-free pasta he had already and seemed to sit well. So we go home and I whip up the first batch. The moment I opened that quinoa flour..I almost THREW UP..blah! It smelled like pure cement. I'm not exaggerating....ok, maybe a little, but it smelled like sh@t! But I thought after the $75 grocery bill on less than 10 things and no coupons to save my wallet...Corbin was gonna eat it! So I decided to make pizza dough. Only because it didn't call for any milk subsitute or eggs (being careful after those freakin' chickens ruined our day)...and made little balls..thinking they would be like biscuits. So I cooked them for the 10 minutes they called for as the smell of cement filled our house and the images of hurling into the trash can started creeping into my mind. I, of course, wasn't even going to come close to tasting them...so I pawned them off on Richard...who wasn't completely unsuspecting due to the lovely odor that had invaded our house, but he ate them. He wasn't jumping for joy, but wasn't on the same puking page as I was. Next came poor Corbin. My sweet baby boy that will eat anything you put in front of him and can now spot things on the counter...would not go near those pizza rocks with a ten foot pole. I even drown them in grape jelly and NO WAY.... I wish I had a camera for that face. URGH! I think I'll deal with the gas ;) (And major props to the moms whose kids are on the gluten-free diet..I have another level of compassion for you and another level of respect if you can make that stuff edible!! I, obviously, cannot!)

Don't think the story ends there...you have to know by now that the story....never...ends! But what the hell would I write about if it did?!?!? So Richard's back is crap....evident by the episode when I told him I was pregnant (just seeing if you are paying attention..ha ha)...anyway, so he goes to a chiropractor. After he was adjusted, he explains Corbin's tummy issues to the doc. The doc says that Corbin is a prime candidate for an adjustment. So we take him...as you can imagine..Corbin was all too thrilled and basically screamed the entire time. I think we are pretty numb to it because it didn't phase either one of us. And to be completely honest, neither of us thought it was going to do any good, but figured it was worth a shot since so many other mommies claim it has worked wonders on their child. All I kept thinking was...they obviously didn't give birth to Corbin. 

Well, it's been almost a week (he has another adjustment on Friday) and the basketball belly is GONE!! (knock on wood) We've given him bread (homemade) with peanut butter and yesterday he had cheddar cheese (made with goat's milk)...who knows if it was the adjustment (he said he found 3 restrictions and fixed them) or if it's the fact that I took most things away, but I'm happy. He's happy. Isn't that what matters most?? It's funny because I'm constantly worried that people think I'm crazy. I mean I know I'm crazy, but in terms of Corbin's belly. They don't see it on a daily basis and maybe I AM a new mom that doesn't know how to deal with the unknown. The uncontrollable...Type A meets....chaos. I think the lesson of the day was a hard one for me. Not everyone is the same. It seems so obvious, but so overlooked at the same time. And can you really compare apples to apples anyway..no one's circumstances are ever really the same....When people go through rough times, I jump...I go off the deep end ;) And it is sooo hard to realize that not everyone reacts the same way. When Corbin had his procedure, I was so hurt by some people's reactions and it took a long time for me to see that it didn't mean their intentions weren't good or weren't there at all. Just because they didn't jump. They are just different than I am. And who's to say how someone would react when confronted with a baby like Corbin...if they would jump or just let nature take its course. Listen to a doctor who prescribes meds or try a more unconventional route (we are trying them all!) Who's to say which is best? Coming through this..I know that I am doing what I know how to. Maybe one of these things will work or maybe its just a way to feel useful in a situation that makes me feel so helpless most of the time. Finding a new perspective...learning to see things from a different light...getting outside of your own box. It's makes life easier..may be met with slight resistance...but eventually easier. I may love baby feet. But that doesn't mean I want to miss out on the squishy belly, the sweet diaper butt, or the smell of his hair after a bath. It just means that I've found my foundation and discovering who I am and can be from there is just the next step in my journey.