Isn’t there a culture that considers them good luck?

My husband told me the funniest story on Monday night. It was about our second date in March 2006. We went to a Persian restaurant named Ararat. (It has since closed.) For whatever reason, things didn’t really catch fire between my future husband and me until the following summer and this date was going a bit awkwardly.

However, my husband had heretofore unknown (to me) reasons for feeling awkward. Apparently, a cockroach ran up his pants leg. He gallantly squished it and sat there for the rest of the dinner without telling me. I don’t know how he stood it. I also don’t know how I would have reacted at the time if he’d told me. (Although I now think that it would be difficult for any restaurant in Texas or really anywhere to never encounter the odd cockroach.) I hope I would have thought how funny, sweet, and gallant it was of him to endure squished cockroach on his leg in order to salvage our date. Regardless of how I would have reacted then, now it makes me love him even more.

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Paging Donna Reed

I am amazed that I have some vestigial, 1950s housewife-type instinct that makes me feel guilty when I see that my husband has holes in his socks. I should have darned them! Except I don’t even know what darning is! Is it as fun as saying the word “darn”? Or its naughtier counterpart?

DARN that sock for making me feel guilty. OK, now I feel better.

Resolving

To be a better wife. Meaning I will no longer kick my husband when he snores at night when I meant to only nudge him to get him to roll over.

Sleepy parent dialogue

Me: Honey, turn over. I’m having trouble sleeping and you’re snoring.

Husband: Wha??

Me: Turn over. You’re snoring.

Husband (attempting to scoop me up like a baby): It’s ok, sweet boy. Go back to sleep.

Me: Honey, I’m not Max.

Husband: What?

Me: I’m not Max.

Husband: OK. (Goes back to sleep.)

Me: Why didn’t I just let him scoop me up?

Husband remembers nothing of this the next morning. Isn’t he sweet? He’s so nurturing, even when he’s sound asleep.

Sleep shouting

Sleep is one of my favorite topics these days, for obvious reasons. Anyone with a baby is VERY interested in sleep. How to get it, how to prolong it, how to stay asleep once you get there. I have had many sleep troubles in my life, but I have never had trouble staying asleep once I got there until after I became a mother. I would have trouble getting to sleep, yes. Staying asleep, no.

My husband has absolutely no trouble falling asleep most nights. He sleeps so hard, in fact, that he has no idea who he is or where he is when he wakes up, especially in the middle of the night.

Max is also a very good sleeper. He has been falling asleep between 6 and 8 p.m. (The time varies with his naps.) and sleeping until either 5:30 or 6:30 in the morning. He eats and then goes right back to sleep for at least an hour or more, thank goodness. (I’m sorry if I have detailed Max’s sleeping schedule on this blog before. If I take the time to check right now, there will not be a new post tonight.)

So, you can imagine our surprise when Max awakened at 3:30 a.m. a few weeks ago. I figured he wanted to eat. Chris got up to get him for me. As I was lying in bed waiting for him to come back, I suddenly heard a loud, sprightly shout of “BABY!” over the monitor. “What the HELL is the matter with him?” I thought. I waited for him to come back in the room and asked him why in the world he was shouting at Max at 3:30 in the morning. Turns out Chris did not realize it was 3:30. In fact, I had to tell him three times before he realized what I was saying.He thought it was time to get up.

Turns out you have to strike the right balance between sleep and lack thereof when parenting. Since you cannot be guaranteed a regular amount of sleep on a regular basis, you have to stay just sleep-deprived enough to be aware when you wake up, but not too sleep-deprived as to be dangerous. I have noticed myself that I seem to be slower and, well, stupider on the mornings when I suddenly get a little extra sleep. It is evening out now, but it turns out that, even with sleep, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. Luckily for our son, I am usually pretty with it when I first wake up, and Chris generally sleeps better than I do and gets better as he wakes up, so there is always a lucid parent to pick up the other one’s slack. Lucid enough anyway.

Big Brother is keeping you awake

I don’t know if I have mentioned this on this blog before, but I have suffered on and off from sleep issues since high school. Becoming a mother has not helped with those sleep issues. Between night sweats, hormonal highs that caused my mind to chatter incessantly even while I was asleep, and sleeping in the same room with my husband and son (Sorry, I love you both, but you are both loud sleepers at times.) there were about three months there when I really never shut down completely at night.

Luckily, I can handle a certain amount of sleep deprivation due to my years as an obsessive-compulsive, night owl student. However, three months is a little much, even for me. “Just wait until he is back in his own room”, I thought, “That will fix everything.” (Meaning my son, not my husband.)

Boy, was I wrong. I have decided that baby monitors are a huge scam, unless you have a huge house. Our son’s room is right next to ours. We hear him if he really needs us. In fact, you can hear a baby when they really need you in practically any size house. The child is not going to let up until you hear them, believe me.

Still, I spent that first night on alert, listening to every sound he made, believing that I was keeping him alive by staying awake and monitoring his every breath. Finally (Actually, later that same night.), I came to my senses and turned the monitor way down. I reasoned that I needed to sleep at least a little in order to properly care for my son. My guilt over turning down the monitor kept me awake. Sheesh.

So, I am tentatively and conditionally adding baby monitors to my list of scams in the baby merchandise world, along with changing pad covers. They do serve a purpose at times, but they sometimes make it seem like you’re never off duty. Of course, as parents, we never really are, but sleep is the closest thing we get to a break. Embrace it as much as you can.

Stellar parenting day

Chris, Max, and I spent most of the day on the couch watching Sex and the City reruns and eating cookies. Hey, the kid is teething and I have PMS. Plus, our coffeemaker is broken. My motherly instincts told me the only way to salvage the situation was with an SATC marathon.

BTW, I love hot tea, but it just doesn’t cut it in the morning. Gots to have the coffee. It’s going to be an interesting week.

Mommy’s Night Out

This past Wednesday night, Chris convinced me to take a night off and go to the movies. Actually, he did everything but force my arms in to my coat, throw my purse at me, and shove me out the door. For some reason, I resisted committing to going out that night, despite the fact that he had been attempting to convince me I needed a break since the previous Monday.

Max has been fussy this week, probably due to the traveling and general hullabaloo which is Christmas. It may be the “most wonderful time of the year” to Johnny Mathis and many others. Kids may think they like it. But honestly, it seems to stress them out more than anything else. I really thought my niece Cailyn was going to explode. Secretly, she wanted to explode, because at least then the wrapping paper might be blown off the presents that had been sitting under the tree and TORTURING her with their mysteriousness for weeks. Or maybe it was days. I’m not sure how long my mom had them under there.

Anyway, Chris was right about me needing a break, but Max was once again fussing when he got home and I felt like I couldn’t possibly leave the baby with his father when he was fussing! Who ever heard of such a thing? Leaving him with his other parent? The “not-the-momma”? I would probably be stripped of the title of Momma if I did such a thing.

He finally got me out the door and I arrived at the Alamo Lake Creek, thinking it would be easy to get in to the movie of my choice with two minutes to showtime, since it was a Wednesday. Wrong. EVERY MOVIE I WANTED TO SEE WAS SOLD OUT. And that list constituted almost all of the movies the theater was showing. I couldn’t wait for a later show, because I didn’t want to stay out that late. After asking the ticket person for verification that, indeed, most of the movies were sold out (Prompting her to remind everyone to look at the screen before approaching the ticket window. Hello, everyone in line was ignoring that warning, because the screen was flashing too fast, which was why they kept asking and annoying her.), I found out that the 7:30 showing of Did You Hear About the Morgans? was still available. I was feeling kind of lukewarm about that one, so I stepped out of line to think and call my husband. The only spot I could find to call Chris where I wasn’t assaulted by secondhand smoke was in the corner by the front door where loud Nirvana music was blaring.

Me: Honey,  you’re not going to believe this. ALL of the movies are sold out. (Not true, but more dramatic.)

Chris: What? What are you going to do? (He then proceeds to list many suitable alternatives to each of which I respond with a wan and self-pitying “Maybe. I don’t know.”)

We hang up after I have made him feel suitably guilty for doing absolutely nothing but try to give me an evening off. I start back to my car through the cloud of secondhand smoke and stop about halfway there. Should I go to the 7:30? I would actually have time to order food before the movie starts, with the lights on, and maybe jot down some blog ideas while I waited for the movie to start. I decided no, that I didn’t want to wait forty-five minutes for the movie to start and I DEFINITELY couldn’t wait fifteen minutes for the movie to start seating and then wait to have my order taken and then wait even longer for food. My crazy breast-feeding momma appetite would not allow that.

I got back to my car, waaaaay at the back of the parking lot (Did I mention that it was below 50 degrees outside, which is the equivalent of an Arctic freeze to me, since I have never been north of Albuquerque during the winter and I spent most of the week I was there inside?), jotted down the blog ideas, and then had second thoughts. Maybe I should go. I didn’t want to go to a restaurant without a book to read or a person to talk to. I didn’t want to go to the bookstore, because I needed a decent dinner. I didn’t want to drive to another Alamo or other movie theater, because they were probably just as crowded. I decided that if I found a closer parking space, it was a sign I should go.

I didn’t find a closer space, but I went in anyway, screaming “satisficer” in my head the whole way. (One of my new mantras, thanks to Parenting magazine. It means to be happy with what you get, instead of making yourself crazy always trying to make everything perfect.) I had popcorn, an Italian soda (I wanted a margarita, since I have not had one since before I got pregnant, but I was driving home and the Alamo Lake Creek apparently makes their margaritas with wine or something crazy like that, since they have no liquor license.) , a “Diggler dog”, and fries. The food was awesome (Although the popcorn was way too salty.) and the movie was pleasant and entertaining. I don’t know why the reviews have been so bad. Then, I do like silly, sappy rom-coms. The sillier and sappier, the better.

Alas, I did not make my post-movie trip to the bookstore, since I went to a later movie. I was too anxious to see Max by the time I got out. That is saying something since I have not been to a bookstore since he was born. I am the bibliest of bibliophiles. I don’t just love to read books, I love the actual physical books themselves. The smells, the cover art and dust jackets for different editions, the little notes that previous owners wrote in them. My husband doesn’t have to worry about me buying expensive clothes, jewelry, or makeup. He has to worry about me getting on ebay and buying lots of obscure and/or expensive L. M. Montgomery books. (But, honey, it was the 50th impression of the 38th edition of Anne of Green Gables in Polish!! Come on!) Or at least, he would have to worry about it if I hadn’t banned myself from ebay after racking up a pretty nice collection (and the attendant credit card bills) in grad school. (It was for my work.)

Hopefully, the next Mommy’s Night Out will be about my trip to a bookstore. Or maybe I will go some afternoon and take Max with me. He has never been to a bookstore and it’s high time his education began.

Happiness, TX

Tonight is the third anniversary of the day I moved in with my husband. Which means I have now lived in North Austin a year longer than I lived in South Austin. I have officially lost most of my weird points. I hang my head in shame. Luckily, I have a baby and rarely get out of the house, so it really doesn’t matter where I live at this point.

I would rather live in North Austin with Chris, Max, Belle, Angus, and Fort than in the very heart of the 78704 alone. I would move to Frame Switch if that’s what I had to do to be with them. Happy anniversary, baby, and Happy New Year to all!

Neighborhood, watch

Well, I finally did it. I walked outside with my boob hanging out of my top. I had finished nursing Max, but I wasn’t completely sure he was done. I guess I’ve become so accustomed to one of the girls being out that I didn’t notice after awhile. Luckily, the exposed side was pointing towards the house and Max was providing cover. Also, I didn’t stray far from the front door.

The weirdest thing by far, though, is that I wasn’t that shocked or mortified. I just kind of laughed and walked back in the house. Not even that quickly. In fact, I was already thinking about what a good story it would make. However, I didn’t get to tell it to anyone but Chris at first, because I kept forgetting that I did it. How do you forget that you walked outside with your boob hanging out of your top??

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