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You're a beautiful boy, you're a sweet little kid

But I am a woman.

6/10/11 08:58 am - Oh Happy Day - Paris

Oh Happy Day is awesome. Oh Happy Day just got like 10x more awesome, as I begin to completely believe that I'm going to win a trip to Paris. Wasn't I just saying how I want to go back to Paris, like asap?? Okay, I don't think I actually posted about that here, but it happened. Anyway: http://ohhappyday.com/2011/06/goes-to-paris It's a glorious day in the blogosphere.

5/27/11 05:16 pm - arrrgh.

Okay I realize people have busy lives but HELLO, 3 SEPARATE PEOPLE THAT I'VE SENT IMPORTANT EMAILS TO IN THE PAST WEEK, it would take you 5 freaking minutes to respond to me and reduce my stress level by like 60%. I mean, if I don't think I'm going to have time to respond to something extensive (which these email questions are NOT) I at least email back and say, hey, I got your email, I'll get back to you when I have a free moment to be really thorough. It's not like these are close friends who I'm talking to regularly or who can just shoot me a text or whatever, these are a midwife, a church leader, and a prospective childcare parent. This is one of my hugest pet peeves. Professional communication skills, FUCKING GET SOME.

/rant

4/19/11 08:26 pm - Holy shit.

Mayah is going through some kind of massive growth spurt - tonight at dinner she at an entire chicken leg AND an entire chicken thigh, plus peas, PLUS a whole (BIG!) garlic breadstick. She also ate oatmeal pancakes with fruit preserves for breakfast (the fact that she ate breakfast at all is significant) and mashed potatoes and mixed veggies and a scoop of tuna AND an entire package of freeze dried strawberries for lunch!! This is on top of nursing multiple times, including one solid hour stretch (as in, did not unlatch once) during her nap. She was begging for more food right up until bedtime, at which point I finally cut her off from further chicken and bread because I was starting to have horrible visions of a baby with a massive stomachache being up all. night. long. I mean, where does it all go?? She also drank two full straw cups of water today - so like 18 oz. total - which she NEVER does (because I guess nursing usually quenches her thirst?) This is crazy! I kind of hope it keeps up though, much less wasted food haha.

4/8/11 08:40 pm - Well that's a pleasant surprise.

Just found out that for some reason we're getting $1300 back from state taxes. Baaaallerrrrr. We're not going to actually do anything with it, just save it away, but I like to assign future value to things, like the fact that it could pay for most of our homebirth in a couple years, or buy us enough locally raised grass-fed meat for a year if we ever get another freezer, or pay for 3 oil deliveries next winter. Or just sit in the bank as part of our growing 'fully-funded emergency fund'. A girl can dream... about birthing and freezers and heating fuel. I'm easily excited.

4/7/11 01:31 pm - Thoughts about personality types

So I finally got Chris to sit down and take the two Meyer-Briggs personality type tests that I recommended. I really like the Meyer-Briggs types and I've learned a lot about myself from examining my personality type, so I'm hoping that Chris reading about his type will help us communicate better and work as a team more efficiently.

I'm an ENFJ (Extroverted iNtuitive Feeling Judging) which was zero surprise to me at all and as Chris turned out to be an INTP (also no surprise - almost my polar opposite) which stands for Introverted iNtuitive Thinking Perceiving. The most critical difference here is the F vs. T - feeling vs thinking. INTP is sort of the "mad scientist" type (think Walter Bishop from Fringe?) where he has a brilliant mind, but emotions are of little importance unless they're really BIG feelings. ENFJ basically means that ALL my feelings are big feelings haha.

This also means that when making a decision I base my choice almost solely on my emotions, whereas Chris approaches everything objectively, only thinking about logic and reason - and this is mainly what I'm talking about when I say that we complement each other so well. When we try to make a decision it takes a lot of going back and forth to come to a balanced conclusion that is both rational AND takes into account everyone's feelings. For me this is sometimes difficult because the only thing that matters to me (literally, this is how I think) is how something makes me ~feel~. I'm not sure that I can accurately describe exactly what this looks like, but it's definitely a "heart vs. head" thing. Chris of course spends a lot of time saying "But that makes no sense!!" and I cry "Why don't you have emotions?!" It's hard work getting shit done but in the end the decision is always a good, balanced one because of all the thought that has to go into them.

The other important factor in our dynamic, based on these personality types is the E vs. I. I am extremely type A, alpha female leader - which is never ever ever ever ever in a million years where I imagined I'd be (or WANTED to be) in a marriage. I didn't even realize that I WAS a type A person until I ended up in a relationship with someone who was so far on the other end of the spectrum. I'm definitely the leader of our household, and truth be told I'm still not entirely comfortable with it. I joke with Chris all the time that I wish he'd take charge of things in exactly the same way I would do them. Control issues, I haz them.

So now we're on this path of trying to figure out how we can both improve our communication (in his case communicating in general, in my case improving the quality of my communication - goodness knows I talk enough) by being aware of the way each other "works". I'm hoping to find some specific resources on relationships between our two specific MB types, but I'm doubtful since we both have supposedly "rare" personality types - ENFJ is ~2.5% of the population and INTP is ~3.3%. Hopefully there's someone out there in as surprising of a matchup as we are who's further along in the journey!

The biggest relief for me in this kind of personality typing is knowing that my strange traits aren't an anomaly - there really are other people out there who's minds work like mine! When I read about things like being restless in the present, being idealistically focused on future possibilities, being easily swayed by empathy, having difficulty not using people skills to be manipulative, I just felt RELIEVED. Because if they're all related, if it's all just part of the way my brain functions, then I'm not as much of a mess as I thought. I think "typing" yourself can be a great start to determining the root cause of personality quirks or even getting a deeper insight to mental illness - I've learned a ton about what triggers my anxiety and when/why I feel seemingly spontaneous depression just by making connections about my thought processes. I'm hoping that Chris will do some reading with me that will help us speak/act/live/communicate more harmoniously rather than with the constant lapses in understanding.

On that note... just over 4 weeks until Disney! Exciting!

3/27/11 11:12 pm - Dreams and wetlands and strollers.

I've been a bit absent from LJ lately since my anxiety is a little crazy right now and I can't seem to get sucked into LJ without getting worked up about something (Not you guys! Communities and whatnot. I don't even read the drama ones, just the normal ones have been setting me off!) I've been hanging out at GCM instead where things are a bit more lovey-dovey and feel-good-y ;) I have been reading though, and commenting when I have free hands!

So first off, yet another birth dream again last night. CUT IT OUT, BRAIN. This one was very different and very scary - it was "present day" (as in, Mayah was still 14 m/o) and we had just found out that I was pregnant again. For whatever reason we were totally cool with it even though it meant that my IUD had failed and blah blah blah. So next thing I know (in the dream), I wake up in a hospital, am told that I just gave birth because apparently I was way further along than I thought, but the baby was a bit early and had been taken to the NICU. So my dream progressed into me LEAVING the hospital and the baby, attempting to process that I suddenly have another child, and then getting lost and needing to find my way back to the NICU to see my baby. Eventually I do find my way back, find my baby (who is a boy - I don't think we named him in the dream), and attempt to get him latched on to nurse, but he refuses to nurse and seems to have some kind of horrible upper lip tie. I'm devastated, crying, and the last thing that I remember thinking before I woke up was "I have to call and cancel all our vacation plans that are supposed to happen in 6 weeks!" (lol at that being on my list of worries) The relief that I felt when I woke up and realized that it wasn't real... it was monumental. What a horrible, anxious dream.

So yes, my baby fever is still out of control, my mind won't stop producing these vivid birth dreams and I've decided that I have no idea how to deal with it all. So I'm just not, for now. I'm just letting it happen - ironically, much like my mantra for coping with labor. "Just let the pain happen." Just let the baby fever happen. Sigh.

Moving on, some kind of BIG news about something I haven't posted about much: our yard. Our yard pretty much IS wetlands. When I look out my kitchen window, I see what is now essentially a pond. As in, ducks live there. Two mallards, they are in love and will soon produce little baby mallards in my pondyard. I was given the impression by a rather rude secretary that I shouldn't even bother approaching the IWWCC (Inland Wetlands something something Commission) about modifying our yard because it would be shot down and cost a lot of money. I had been pretty depressed about it because it meant that we have pretty much NO usable outdoor space on our .25 acres (withholding a vent about how absurd it is that the town can control what I do with land that I supposedly OWN) and being outdoors/getting sunlight/having space for Mayah is really important for me. Even though we're within walking distance (sort of) of a large park, it's not the same as being right in your own backyard with your own food and your own toilet and your own extra jacket and whatnot right at your disposal.

So I finally got really upset about it and called the IWWCC head guy after finding his direct line number and he was WAY positive about it! He knew my property and I explained exactly what we wanted to do, which apparently won't actually interfere with the *actual* wetlands (we'd only be modifying about 1/4 of our land, since 3/4 of it is legit wetlands), it's just that everything is regulated within 100 ft of them. We should be able to build a retaining wall, level everything out, and fence everything in, and we might not even have to go before the commission at all! We need a wetlands permit which is a little bit of a production (we need scale drawings of our plans, cross-sections of the retaining wall, photos, etc.) but he seemed to think that as long as we go through the whole process it was entirely possible and he didn't mention anything about hiring an environmental specialist ($$$$). What a 180 from the impression I had before! I feel so much more optimistic about our space now - we still won't have a huge yard, but it will be enough, particularly once our side/front yards are fenced too. Chris and I are now postponing finishing our basement space until the fall so we can focus on the yard. We want to have the yard finished by summer, spend summer clearing out the basement, and then work on the basement in the fall so that we have the space for next winter. Money is, of course, the big issue, but I'm hoping that we'll have a little extra from our tax return to set aside (unsure, as we just got another expensive oil delivery ughhhh). Anyway, that's exciting and I can't wait for it to be warm!

I'm in the market for a stroller. You heard me right - I, Hater of Strolling Contraptions, am actively seeking out a stroller. I don't think strollers are the devil (although since I brought up the subject Chris has been doing his best Maggie Gyllenhaal and asking me WHY I want to PUSH my babies AWAY from me hahaha), I just think they're a huge pain for someone as mechanically (kinesthetically?) inept as me - difficult to fold/unfold, difficult to store, bulky to move around, one more thing you have to keep from rolling away - babywearing has always been my go-to, mainly out of sheer laziness. But, Mayah is wanting to get down and walk and explore, be picked up for a bit, get down and check something out, go see Daddy, explore more stuff, be carried - you get the picture. Taking her in and out of a supportive carrier (Ellaroo or O&A) is getting to be a pain on longer trips where this kind of thing is alright, and the Maya wrap RS (my go-to "easy" carrier) is not supportive enough for long trips, even with my tiny 18 lb toddler. I'll definitely still be using the Ellaroo/O&A for hikes and grocery shopping etc. but I have little to no desire to fasten/wrap a carrier 20 times for a walk down the road or a trip to the mall. I shouldn't be as frustrated by this as I am, but... I am. Strollers are just not my thing. They'll grow on me I'm sure!

Mayah verbalized 3 new words in the past few days! "Mouth", "Bye" (while waving, so cute), and "socks", which she also occasionally signs. She also likes to pretend anything is a phone, and hold it up to her ear and say "Hi! Hi!" forever. Her ability to understand and follow directions astounds me every day (The other day I said offhandedly that I needed to find my phone and she went and got it from where she stashed it in her bedroom and brought it to me! I was like O_O) and she now knows the sign for "diaper" so she tells me when she needs to be changed (hallelujah). I'm considering getting more serious about EC once it gets warmer and she can just wear dresses/skirts with no diaper, or just little cloth trainers. She's pretty aware of her elimination needs, and I'm at least on the right track with my awareness since we've been EC-ing since 4 months, but man, mobile babies in pants are a pain to undress in a hurry.

I have a new meal plan, but it's across the room right now and I'm too lazy to go get it. I'll put it up in the next couple days because there is some seriously good food on it. Dairy-free has been getting better and better (although we're totally eating baked mac and cheese when Mayah stays over my mom's on the 2nd) and we've been cooking up some awesomely tasty things over here. (However, do not attempt to make chicken gnocchi soup with rice milk. Sadly, it is not good eats.)

Mayah is now starting out the night on the toddler bed in HER room (AND we got the guest bedroom set up so we have a real 3-bedroom house now instead of one bedroom with 2 storage rooms :D) so Chris and I can actually use our master bathroom for the first time in MONTHS, which is where I'm now headed to brush my teeth. Good night all!

3/14/11 10:39 am - Not so fun.

So I thought it would be ~fun~ for me and Mayah to take the bus somewhere today, seeing as a) the bus stops RIGHT in front of our house and we've never used it before and b) the exorbitant prices of gas in CT are currently making it so the bus fare for most trips is cheaper than the gas it would take to get there. Go figure.

However, I started looking at the bus schedules online... and I feel like a total idiot but I cannot. figure. them. out. First of all they need a glossary or something on their website because I have no idea what the difference between a local, corridor, and zone transfer are. Secondly, it would be nice if they had what the trolley website in FL has where I can just punch in where I'm starting and where I want to get to and it will give me the quickest route. The bus in front of my house goes to the Norwich Transportation Center, but it looks like the bus that goes to New London, which would then take me to the Crystal Mall (our destination), gets there at the exact same time... so would I have to just run from one to the other? Apparently there are 4 main "transfer points", and that is not one of them. Am I not allowed to transfer elsewhere then? One of the transfer points is Lisbon Landing, which is where the bus at my house goes - but it looks like no other buses go there. So how is it a transfer point?!

This is dumb and we will now be staying home doing nothing, except possibly making homemade cinnamon rolls.

3/1/11 10:04 pm - Feb/March Meal Plan (Dairy-free!)

Alright, here it is, the first fully Dairy-Free Meal Plan! Three of the recipes do include cheese, however we are trying out the Daiya Vegan Cheese this month, so those recipes will use that. Otherwise we substitute rice milk for cows' milk and non-hydrogenated margarine for butter. No other dairy products that can't be substituted. Week 1 contains a lot of roasted red peppers because I roasted a huge batch yesterday and have to use them haha. Onward!

(If anyone wants a recipe just leave a comment and I'll grab links/type it up.)

February
25 Chicken pot pie
26 OUT - Dad/Kandi visited, brought grinders
27 Eggplant/tomato/bacon pasta (this is probably one of the best things I've ever eaten.)
28 Roasted red pepper soup with roasted potato "fries"
March
1 Chicken/avocado/roasted pepper sandwiches
2 Stuffed chicken (stuffed with egg, bacon, roasted peppers, black olives, and avocado), broccoli
3 Manti (Turkish beef dumplings), cauliflower, salad
4 OUT - Bella Fiore w/ mom
5 OUT - Hannah's Eastern Regionals concert
6 lunch - winter vegetable soup dinner - lemon caper chicken, salad
7 Pasta amatriciana, peas
8 Chicken parm (w/ Daiya mozz.)
9 Potato leek soup
10 Brinner (German apple pancakes, sausage, potato/onion pierogies)
11 Taco pasta casserole (w/ Daiya cheddar)
12 OUT - to IL's
13 lunch - chili-stuffed acorn squash (a favorite!) dinner - Morrocan lentil soup
14 Rosemary/lemon whole slow-cooked chicken, mashed potatoes, random veg
15 Chicken gnocchi soup (Olive Garden knock off mmm)
16 Nigerian chicken suya, corn, salad
17 Cheeseburger pie (w/ Daiya cheddar), green beans
18 Rice/black bean burritos
19 OUT - Sonalysts' Gala
20 lunch - out to Mom's dinner - Escarole soup
21 Spaghetti with Enormous Homemade Meatballs
22 BLT pasta
23 Chili meatball shepherd's pie
24 Stir fry
25 Roasted chicken with balsamic bell peppers
26 Chicken yakitori

Now I need to go find a snack because typing that up made me hungry. I love food so much.

2/28/11 01:23 pm - Body parts.

So Mayah knows every part of her face and several other body parts, and I had pretty much no idea until today. She'll accurately point to her nose, eyes, ears, hair, belly, fingers, and feet when asked, as well as other peoples' facial features. I was so shocked today when I asked her "Where are your eyes?", intending on SHOWING her where her eyes were, and she just pointed to them, so I asked her all the other face/body parts that we talk about and she was very matter-of-fact about pointing them all out. I really REALLY hate it when people make their kids "perform" or show off their new "tricks" to people and we never really ask her to repeat anything we think she's picked up unless it's just in normal interaction, so I have no idea how long she's known all this. I probably sound like a textbook first-time mom "omg look what my babby can doooooo" but I was literally so surprised to find that she had internalized all of that along the way. I shouldn't be, because I'm pretty outspoken about babies and kids soaking up information and not needing encouragement or interference to internalize the vast amount that they learn in everyday life, but seeing it that kind of natural learning in action is just an amazing joy.

First fully dairy-free meal plan this month! I'm going to post it later because I'm pretty excited.

2/3/11 05:16 pm - Yeah, okay guys.

I cannot believe there was legitimately an argument in P101 today about whether Lunchables are nutritional. THEY'RE MOTHERFUCKING LUNCHABLES, are you kidding me? "You're a judgey bitch for telling me my kid shouldn't eat something that contains 'cheese product' and has half their daily recommended sodium intake." I don't know whether to be horrified or laugh my ass off at this shit.
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