Baby Jessica

Leah received a doll for Christmas, whom she named Baby Jessica.  Jessica has a bottle, and when you put the bottle near (or, in Leah's case crammed in) her lips, her face moves as she "sucks" the bottle.  Her eyes also blink, and she makes this exaggerated sucking sound.  After she drinks for a few seconds (which at times feel like a few decades) she falls sleep (I guess, her eyes only close half-way) and then she snores for a minute or so.

Baby Jessica is interesting, to say the least, and it should surprise no one that Baby Jessica ran out of batteries two days ago.  Baby Jessica takes triple A batteries which no one keeps in the house because double A is the new triple A.  In order to avoid worldwide catastrophe, my friend Gabrielle handed me 5 triple As and when I place three of them in Baby Jessica's back last night, Baby Jessica did not start her loud and freaky eating routine.  Baby Jessica appeared to be broken.

So, off I went to Target today (twice) and ran through the aisles in search of a new Baby Jessica.  Of the five Baby Jessica's I found, the only one that worked had brown eyes, and Leah's BJ had blue, so that wouldn't do.  I took a blue-eyed BJ off the shelf, hoped it was just her batteries that were dead, and exchanged broken BJ for maybe-broken-maybe-just-in-need-of-batteries BJ and headed home.  As I was leaving Guest Services I heard the cashier say, "Throw this one in the garbage; she's dead."  I assume she was speaking of Baby Jessica, Part One.

Upon arriving home later on that night, I placed the new batteries in Baby Jessica, Part Two, and...nothing.  Being the quick thinker that I am, I ran around the house looking for something, anything, that had triple As and finally found a few in my PTouch.  And, of course, when I placed the batteries in BJ, she worked.  Which means that all five batteries that Gabrielle gave me were dead, I went to Target (twice) for no reason, and poor Baby Jessica Part One was thrown away for no reason whatsoever.

After watching Toy Story 3 678 times this past weekend, I am a little sad for Baby Jessica Part One.  And, a little sad for me, who can currently hear Baby Jessica Part Two's familiar (translated: annoying) bottle sucking coming from the baby monitor. 



Santa was here!  And he was very generous!

He brought some great things.  And some questionable items, as well.

And, in true Gulino fashion, we've got a weirdo on our hands.
(However, this strange attempt at climbing in a doll tent also proves she's got Grieco in her, as well.)

All in all, a great day.  A really, really great day.



Complain Away

I have a friend, and I won't post her name but she'll know who she is, who feels that she can't complain about her mom in front of me.  And that's just so silly.  Because I can assure you that if my mom was still alive, I would be complaining about her all the time.  And, I can also assure you that I am not thinking in my head, "Harumph! Here she is complaining about her mom and I don't even have one!"  Because, believe me, I am not!  In fact, I find an odd comfort in hearing about the crazy things your mom does.  I honestly loved hearing about all of the things she's doing for your new baby that you asked her not to do.  It makes me laugh, because I think my mom would have done that too!  And in this weird way, I'm living vicariously through you.  And I could tell that about halfway through your rant, you started thinking that what you were saying was hurting me somehow.  But, it wasn't.  Not at all.

So, please, keep complaining. 


The Life I Signed Up For

If my mother had died before I was pregnant, I probably wouldn't have had a child.  I wanted a baby, and my mother was going to help me raise it.  Package deal.

If my mother hadn't died, Greg and I would have probably taken several weekend trips by now, and maybe even one that lasted five days.  Instead of no weekend trips, and nothing close to five days.  I don't trust anyone to watch Leah; there's nothing like the trust you have in your mom.   We would have been able to do more things with each other, without Leah.  Maybe go out to eat more...Christmas shop together...take more trips into NYC.

If my mother was still alive, I probably would have had more children by now.  She would have been my house every day in the summer, when she wasn't working, and probably would have used up more of her sick and personal days to spend time with her grandchildren.  My nights wouldn't have been parenting solo while Greg worked, and my weekends would not have been attempting to run an errand with a toddler and feeling like I got nothing accomplished.

There would have been more gifts and treats and a lot more spoiling.  My children would have run to her when they saw her, got excited when she arrived, and threw fits when she left.  They might have even liked spending time with her more than with me.

I never would have been stuck with no sitter.  Never would have had to say no to something that I wanted to do because I felt guilty leaving Leah.  Never would have felt that all-too-familiar hesitation when I dial a number to request some babysitting. 

I never wanted to be a mother if I didn't have my mother with me.  I never would have entered into what is the most difficult job I've ever held without her.  Never would have created this situation while living 40 minutes away from my closest family, with only one parent who's my dad, while my in-laws live several states away.

And I would have never written this post.

If I seem different to you, uncomfortable, unhappy, and unsettled, you must forgive me.  I'm not living the life I signed up for.



8 Maids a Milking

Christmas is kind of a big deal around here.  I love Christmas, for the presents, the decorations, the parties, all of it.

I am trying to get Leah excited about Christmas and even though she probably doesn't really understand what the day is going to be like, she knows about Santa, and the gifts he brings, the cookies we bake, the movies we can watch, and the parties we attend. 

I plan on finishing up my shopping this weekend and then I'll officially be ready for the holiday.  I host Christmas at my house, something that my mother used to do and that I've always wanted to do, and something that I hope to do forever. 



So, I didn't mean to take a break from the blog; it just happened.  But, you didn't miss much. 

Let's bullet it, shall we?

1) On Sunday, I went into NYC with some girlfriends and saw Promises, Promises.  It was, meh.  It stars Sean Hayes and Kristen Chenoweth and Molly Shannon has a bit part, too.  I didn't hate it, but I feel that it might have been a little, er, overrated, perhaps.  I don't think it had a substantial plot, the music was not enjoyable, and I feel the show is leaning on its two main actors and their reputation, rather than content.  If Sean and Kristen left Broadway tomorrow, so would Promises, Promises.  That's how I feel.

2) Christmas is very near, and I am still lacking a few gifts.  It's not that I don't know what to purchase, I just don't have a lot of time.  I need a half a day, at most, to finish shopping and wrapping, and I'll feel a lot better.

3) My Christmas cards may not be reaching my house until December 23rd and in that case, they are probably not going to get to your house until after Christmas.  We all just have to deal with this.

4) I bought a 10-day pass to the Sparta Athletic Club where I will be taking zumba on Wednesday nights with my friend Gabrielle.  The class is hard; the instructor is easy on the eyes.  This will help.

5) Leah now sleeps in a twin bed like a pro.  No issues, no problems.  I did expect this, but it's still hard to deal when the fact that she is no longer a baby is thrown in my face.  She likes to talk on the phone with people; she enjoys rolling up her sleeves and washing dishes; she tells me when I do things wrong.  (Aw, just like her dad.)  She's a full blown kid.  Oh, and she's sort of a big deal.  She told me.  

That's really all I've got.  I'll try to not take any more extended breaks.  I like writing here.  I just also like sleeping and eating. 

Duh to the eating one--I'm sure that's evidently clear.


Big Girl, Sad Mommy

We moved Leah to a twin bed on Friday night, and she's been doing great.  She whines a bit before nap and bed time, but she doesn't get out of the bed, which is my only rule--I don't mind if she doesn't lie down immediately, or even if she wants to read a book, just no getting out of bed--and we are so proud of her.

But, on the flip side, I'm so sad!  Being in the crib was one of her last ties to being a toddler, and now that there's a bed in its place, I'm being forced to realize that I have a little girl--not a baby--anymore! 

She will still occasionally snuggle with me, if I pretend that I'm a big monster eating her, so I can still treat her like she's a little baby who likes to cuddle.


Leah still wears diapers.

There.  I said it.

Potty training is pretty non-existant.

I could beat myself up and say that if I was a stay-at-home-mom I would have potty trained her by now, but I'm not going to do that.  Kids whose parents work eventually stop wearing diapers! 

I'm ok with her not being trained; some people complain about how much they hate it, but it doesn't bother me that much.  I don't have to keep a potty in the car for emergencies; I don't have to find the restroom in every single facility we visit; I don't mind the cost of diapers.  (Because I sleep on a bed of dollar bills.  No, really because they're not that expensive.)

We've always raised Leah by following her lead on what she needs.  By stepping back and paying attention, I've been able to figure out what she's saying, thinking, feeling. 

I bought her a potty before she turned one, because I thought that I could coax her into training early.  But, I should have known better.  She'll do it when she's ready.  



Where It's At

We've got a lot of anatomic talk these days.  Lots of "penis", "gina" and "butt" and who's got what and who doesn't have what.  There's a bunch of "I see you naked!" and there's the self-taught "butt dance."

There's music requests: Soul Sister, Like a G6, and Muffin Man are most frequently asked for.  She dances in slow motion during the slow parts on Dog Days are Over and then speeds it up on the fast parts.

There's a lot of blowing drying hair, and applying lip gloss, and "I need eye shadow" and "Let me go do my hair before we leave."  There are attempts to put hair ties and barrettes in.  There's a lot of hair brushing.

There are requests for showers, not baths.  There are requests for the blue shirt and the crocs, NOT that purple dress!  No, the blue one.  And maybe with the rain boots.  Definitely not the winter coat!  But, perhaps the vest.  NOT that vest, god, mom.

Oh, yes, there's a lot of MOM.  Not Mommy, but MOM.  But, there's also "What's that, Mama?"  And when she wakes up in the morning, it's always "Mommy." 

"Oh my goodness!" never gets old.  And "yes please" when the answer only needs to be yes.  

~Leah, are you in your bedroom?
~Yes, please.

~Leah, do you think I should wear my black flats with these jeans?
~Yes, please.

There's drama.  ALWAYS so much drama.  Everything is so cool! Or so sad! Or so nice! Everything is such a big deal!

There's a lot going on.  Lots of changes.  Lots of baby, but lots of big girl.  Lots and lots of big girl.



Busy Times

It's been a crazy time around here lately.  We've all be running around trying to get through the day, get ready for the holidays, and not go nuts.   We don't always succeed.  Especially with the nuts. 

Here's a pic to hold you over.  I don't know why she's so serious about nail drying, but, I guess it's a big deal.  Beauty is so important and all.