Monday, March 30, 2015

I survived the baby shower!

Yesterday Princess Bear (PB), my mom & I made our way to Elgin Illinois which is about a 3 hour trip for us.  It wasn't a bad trip although the weather got slightly dicey as we got near our destination.  Whenever we do a road trip of any sort I always realize how blessed I am that PB is a great traveler. She usually packs her bag of "stuff" and entertains herself so well.  I love, love, love the kid headphones that only go up to a certain volume so kiddos can't blast their ears out.  I'm somewhat amazed that I'm not completely deaf considering the amount of time I spend with blaring headphones on! 

We arrived early and had the chance to visit with my aunt Diane which was really nice.  The shower in and of itself was lovely.  The food was great and it wasn't the same old boring baby shower games.  We were able to visit and have a nice time.  I did get a chance to have a conversation with my cousin Laura.  If blogged about her sudden decision not to have kids a few months ago.  This was the first time I'd seen her since then so being my typical big mouthed self asked her "Wtf!"  All in all it was a great conversation.  We laughed a lot and things are much more clear now. 

After the shower we stopped at our favorite Chicagoland grocery chain.  The have the best Ameretti cookies EVER!  I also bought bulk chamomile flowers.  We drink chamomile tea like crazy in this house.  That and Lady Grey.  My mom stocked my dad up on his favorite Polish sausage and we hit the road again.  My mom and I were talking on the drive down and we were discussing the reason why I hate big family gatherings and I'd rather be submitted to serious torture than attend.  For example yesterday there was about 75 people in a rather small banquet room.  It gets loud and feels very small.  I'm claustrophobic and have anxiety issues.  It's kind of the perfect storm to make me feel very very uncomfortable.  I love getting to visit with relatives that I love and don't get to see often enough.  I really like that PB gets to spend time with that side of my family because it really doesn't happen often enough.  I just wish it wasn't  as loud and in a much larger space. 

So that's the story of the baby shower. Now I just need to make it through PBs spring break without losing my mind.  Fun and games! :)

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Baby Shower Rant

Yes I'm going on a rant.  This weekend my mom, Princess Bear (PB) and I are driving to the way west Chicago suburbs for a baby shower for my cousin and his wife.  That means last weekend my mom, PB & I were cruising around Babies R Us looking for shower gifts from her registry.  They registered at Babies R Us and Buy Buy Baby.  It's also one of those idiotic "don't buy a card buy a baby book instead showers".

 I'll go with that part first.  DO NOT DO NOT DO NOT think that people are not going to buy you a card.  How are you supposed to know who the gift is from?  So what you are basically saying to people is buy me a gift and a book to boot.  Also don't think that you can get any sort of decent baby board book for what a card costs.  Sure you can get a dollar bin book made in you really want your precious bundle of joy sucking on that?  I can assure you that said book will wind up in your childs mouth at some point in time.  Yes if you didn't already pick up on it this is a pet peeve of mine.

Now back to the actual registry list.  Oh first I have to premise this with the fact that my cousin and his wife are young, young very young.  Looking at the registry list it was very clear that they had NO clue as what they should be registering for.  I'm sure either mother would have been delighted to offer some guidance.  Hell if they spent more than 2 minutes on Babies R Us they would have found recommendation lists of all kinds.  Instead the parents to be just wondered around Babies R Us with the little zapper gun hitting whatever delighted them.  That's all well and good if you've done a couple of things first.
-Use your registry to request the big stuff

You know those big ticket items like a crib, crib mattress, changing table, rocker/glider, infant carrier and stroller, bigger car seat, high chair, bassinet, a pack n play, and a swing.  You might not get all of it but people might be willing to go in on gifts together to help you get the big stuff taken care of.  I know that from my shower I received a car seat/stroller combo, a highchair, a pack n play, a swing, and then a lot of the smaller stuff like a diaper genie, umbrella stroller, booster seat, baby bath and tons of clothes and diapers.  That doesn't include the several hundred dollars worth of gift cards so I could buy things down the line.  My parents also bought PB's crib and changing table.  They also did a very cool thing where they gave her a gift on the 11th of each month. 

-Don't ask for the same thing on both registries

I really don't have to explain why it's stupid to do this do I?  For 2 seconds I thought about calling my Aunt to see if she wanted to suggest to her son and daughter in law that they clean up the lists some but decided it wasn't my place.

Instead of being smart about their registry my cousin and his wife didn't ask for all the big stuff and did ask for a whole bunch of really idiotic stuff.  I'm talking about multiple requests for lotion and baby shampoo.  Where in the heck are you going to store all that stuff?  Also people have a set idea of what they want to spend.  My mom and I were each spending $80 and we were giving $40 in PBs name.  Can I tell you how I have no desire to go through a list of $5 items so I can schlep $80 of it twice over 3 1/2 hours?  

Also in looking at it there was stuff that wasn't on either registry that had me thinking "Really?"  For example no mattress covers on either list, nothing on the list for help soothe a newborn to sleep.  No cloth diapers or burp rags.  No side snap undershirts.  Please tell me that people still use those.  Perfect for letting the umbilical stump heal and also much easier to put on than a onesie.  

Ok, I'm done with my rant for now.  I'm sure I'll have a dozy having spending the day with my family on Sunday.  Catch ya later!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

St. Patricks Day....a bit late!

I've never been one that was big into celebrating St. Patricks Day.  Not a drop of Irish blood in me (50% Polish and 50% Lithuanian).  Back in the day when I did party a lot I never really needed an excuse.  Getting off work was enough for me.  I never wanted to go down to Chicago (I lived between Chicago and Milwaukee...great for hitting concerts on a regular basis) to spend the day drinking green beer and looking at the Chicago River which is usually pretty damn green to start with.  So the only plans I had for St. Patricks Day were a Dr. appointment in the morning and going to the Special Needs Interest fair in the evening.  I went to my Dr. appointment and was told that my eardrum was retracted and allergies are already kicking my butt.  One kenelog shot later and some tweaking to my allergy meds I was outta there.  I got home and was just getting ready to practice some crocheting and the phone rang.  I was my sister asking me if I ever bother to answer my cell.  Um, not when I'm driving or in the Dr's office.  Nope!  She asked me if I wanted to go to lunch for corned beef and cabbage.  I tried to get out of it by my nephew pulled the "Aunt Sawah.... please!!!" card.  So I told my sister that I'd be at her house in 30 minutes.  I get there and my nephew is all decked out in green.  I'll update this post and add photos this weekend.  He was wearing this cute shirt that said "Irish I was a Ninja!".  So cute and so very him as he's completely ninja obsessed at the moment!  We get in my sisters van and head out.  The place we were going to was about 30 minutes away.  I thought my sister had been there before and realized quickly that she hadn't.  If you don't remember from our Chicago trip a couple of months ago my sister DOES NOT do well when only having her GPS to rely on.  She's very type A and it messes with her need to be in complete control.  So we're driving through basically farm land for 25 minutes of this trip.  We're chatting as my nephew is watching Busy Town movies.  My sister had heard about this place from a guy she went to high school with.  He had warned her that while the food is excellent the service is pretty shitty.  Forewarned is forearmed, right?  Anyway we finally get to where we're going and I realize it's a pub.  I look at my sister and ask her if we're even allowed to take my 4 year old nephew into this place.  I then look at my nephew and jokingly tell him to tell anyone that asks that he's 21.  I then ask him how old he is and he says "4".  I then remind him of the 21 thing.  Next time I ask how old he is he replies "21".  My sister and I were totally cracking up.  We walk in and sit down .  The girl comes over and asks us what we want to drink.  You should have seen her face when we said water.  Hey we had a 30 minute drive to my sisters house and I had a 20 minute drive to get home after that.  Not wanting to tempt the fates water definitely seemed like the better part of valor.  Then all of a sudden my nephew looks at her and says "I'm 21!".  The kid definitely makes me laugh!  The corned beef and cabbage was very good but not as good as my mom's.

That evening was the Special Needs Interest Fair.  This event is held annually but things don't change that much as far as local resources go so I only go every few years.  This year PB's school was making  a push for the kids to go as well.  PB wanted her grandparents to attend as well.  My mom was willing to go but my dad wasn't game.  I saw a few friends while I was there.  I haven't seen my friend Darnell or her husband and son since the fall.  They all live on a farm in Lowpoint.  I love going out there for a day and visiting.  I just don't like going to visit in winter.  Darnell and I have been good friends since we met when our kids were little and we starting running the special needs parents support group at our local Easter Seals.  Darnell has been having some pretty significant health issues and has a major surgery coming up.  Unfortunately we didn't get to visit long.  Her son Eddie has severe auditory sensory issues and the room that the event was held in was huge, very loud and noisy.  They had just gotten there and Eddie just couldn't deal.  Her surgery isn't for another month so I'm hoping that PB and I can go visit for a day.  PB loves chasing the chickens!  I also saw my friend Erica.  She is another mom that I met through the Easter Seals parent support group. 

That night after everything was down and I was thinking about my day it struck me that most of my friends now are other moms of special needs kids.  In some ways its a very sad realization.  I wouldn't trade this friendships with these ladies for anything but it's still a bit sad.  A sad club to be a part of.  None of us would give up or change our kids in any way.  That's not what I'm saying.  It's just very common for special needs parents to lose their friendships with parents of "normal" or "regular" kids.  They just don't seem to understand what your going through.  Life with special needs kiddos is always changing based on how they child is feeling.  It's very isolating.  It's so hard to cancel plans with someone when you know that they don't understand why you're canceling the plans.  I remember once I had to call a dear friend and tell her that PB wouldn't be coming to her child's birthday party.  I know it's a pain in the butt when you've tried to figure out how much food and cake you need.  How many goody bags you need to put together.  Unfortunately her childs party was to be held in her backyard.  PB has no control over her body temperature.  Hot days are super hard for her.   The day of the birthday party it was in the mid 80s.  There is no way that PB would have been able to be outside for more than a few minutes.  It feels lousy to say "I'm so sorry.  It's just too hot to risk it.  I'll drop off X's gift this week.  Thanks for the invite though!". 

I guess the reason I'm sharing this is because being a parent of a special needs child is often a very sad and lonely place to be.  More so when you realize how very little you have in common with your friends anymore.  If you're friends with a mom to a special needs kiddo know that we don't like having to bail on plans.  Know that we want to visit and spend time with you.  It just doesn't always work when it's scheduled.   Don't feel bad sharing your child's accomplishments with us.  We don't want you to censor yourself in that way.  Try to see if there is an alternative plan that we could all do.  We realize it's hard.  Really we do and we appreciate your effort and understanding. 

Monday, March 16, 2015

What's in a name?

Really.  What's in a name?  A LOT!  Ask anyone that is pregnant trying to come up with a name for their upcoming bundle of joy!   In the last two weeks I've had 2 different conversations about baby names.  It's no easy task!   When I was pregnant with Princess Bear (PB) I broke up with her father very early in the pregnancy so I was doing the name picking by myself.  The two names I had picked were Kylie Rose or Jordana Shai for a girl and Luke Owen or Cade William for a boy.   My plan was to wait until I had the baby and "see" which name fit them.   Towards the end of my pregnancy I became engaged to my best friend and thought he should have some say in the names.  He really didn't like the names I had picked.  He thought one sounded like a cheerleader and the other a stripper.  Neither of which we wanted in our family.

  We picked a first name pretty quickly.  If you're very curious about PB's name you can find it HERE.  I don't post it on a blog because of issues with her birth father.  Actually in the baby name book we were using it was listed as a boys name but we liked it.  Then less that 2 weeks before giving birth my sister was married.  One of the groomsmen is a family friend that lives in Ireland with his wife.  His wife told me that it isn't a first name for boys or girls there but a surname.  We still used it.  

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The middle name was much was harder for us to come up with.  I wanted Delaney as a middle name.  Wayne told me to go outside to the front porch and try screaming it in one breath.  If I couldn't it didn't pass the "You're in trouble" scream test.  It didn't pass.  Then we narrowed it down to Rose which is my middle name after my maternal grandfathers mother and Lee which is my mom's middle name.  We were going back and forth for a few days but knew we had a deadline before Wayne was deployed.  He called one day and was so excited he thought of the PERFECT middle name!  Paige.  Great name.  As a matter of fact it's my sisters middle name.  Therefore not mine to use! 

This leads up to a whole different issue on baby names.  "Calling dibs on a name".  My dad is one of 6 kids and my mom is one of 4.  I have more than a few cousins.  16 cousins on my dads side and 8 on my moms.  A fair amount but not so many that names needed to be recycled either.  More on that in a second though.  When my mom and dad were having kids they decided if they had a boy that wanted to name him Matthew Owen.  Matthew because they liked it and Owen after one of my mom's closest friends who had died.  My parents had me and my sister and shortly after my sister was born one of my dad's brothers had his first child.  They named him Matthew and my mom was PISSED.  She had reserved that name.  I really don't think you can do things like that.  I always thought I'd have a Victoria Rose and call her Tori.  One of my exes stole that name.  Good thing since 3 years ago one of my cousins had a Victoria Rose.  I have 2 cousins from my dads side of the family that are named Joseph George.  Really?  The first was named after both of his grandfathers.  Makes sense.  The second was born several years later and is named after 1 grandfather.  Really?  You couldn't get more original?  

Being original without naming your kid Apple or Moses is somewhat hard.  Names go through trends.  I mentioned that I liked Luke Owen or Cade William for boy names.  Now it was more than 12 years ago when I was picking out baby names.  Since then Owen has blown up for a boys name and Caden/Kaden became huge as well.  I think if I were having a child now both of these names would be out of the running.  Another girls name that I LOVED was Harper.  LOVED it!  Then Victoria Beckham used it.  Throw that out the window.  Having a name that you're going to have 3 friends in your class with the same name sucks.  Trust me!  I speak from experience!  My named was supposed to be Jordana but my parents changed it at the last minute to Sarah.  Walk into any crowded room and scream Sarah and you'll have numerous responses.  It sucks! 

It's hard picking a cool name that makes sense.  I've never got the monthly or seasonal names that didn't sync up.  For example a little girl born in December but named June.  A little girl named Autumn that was born in February.  A boy named August born in April.  You know that your kid is going to spend the rest of their lives saying "Yes my name is June but I wasn't born in June.  Weird, right?".  Then you have the whole initial thing.  Like Phillip Ian Grahm.  P.I.G. you really want that to be your kids initials?   One of my cousins has a child whose initials spell out Mr. T.  No he doesn't have a little mohawk or wear a ton of jewelry but that's what your mind goes to isn't it? "I pity the fool!" !

Then there are the names that have correlating songs.  Again, something I can relate to!   Can I tell you how sick I am of this song???  HERE
To add insult to injury they misspelled Sarah!  Then there is this one  HERE  or you can go a bit more modern.  HERE  I've had both of those sung to me more times then you can count!  One of my closest friends is named Maria so she hears this one all the time.  HERE  When I was managing a tanning salon one of the girls who worked for me was named Cecilia.  She hated people singing THIS or THIS to her so she started going by CeCe.  I've always liked the Times Two version since Simon & Garfunkel was way more my parents thing!

You also have to go with names that don't come with preconceived notions or you identify with people you don't like.  I mentioned before that my parents originally planned to name me Jordana (pronounced Jor Donna) from the Leon Uris book Exodus and movie based on it.  My mom loved that she was a strong woman and thought it was a pretty name.  My dad mentioned that everyone would call me Donna.  My mom had gone to school with someone named Donna that she hated.  There went that name!  When I heard that story my first reaction was "I'd go by Jordi!".  I have one friend and a cousin that have named their kids Micah.  That instantly reminds me of the little boy I went to grade school with named Micah that was a bit different and was teased unmercifully.  The name now makes me sad for what happened to that boy.  So when my friend named her son that and did a "Isn't that a great name?!!?" it's always a fine line between not lying and not hurting feelings. 

So far my daughter hasn't said much about her name except for the fact that she hates that everyone shortens her name to Kier all the time.  She also doesn't get the fact that her name is not common and trying to find one of those name key chains at Disney was not going to happen!

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So if you're still having kids and are playing the name game...have fun with that!

Friday, March 13, 2015

Checked out for awhile

Honestly I was going to just veg out and watch this weeks episode of CSI Cyber.  I'm on the fence as to whether or not I'll follow the show.  I also know I haven't been doing a great job responding to comments or even posting.  I just needed a break.  I slowed down all my social media usage and computer time in general.  Sometimes when my depression decides it's time to rear it's ugly head I get to a point where I just need to check out for a while. 

I really wasn't planning on returning to blogging just yet although there are soooooooo many posts I have tumbling around my head.  A few political, a few fun, a few snarky but let's save all that for another day.  I have some news!  For those who have followed the blog for awhile I'm sure you're very aware that Princess Bears (PB) teacher for the last year and a half has left something to be desired.  Actually I was getting ready to pitch another fit because the teacher was showing movies on a regular basis again as well as not following PBs IEP.  No need now!  PB came home with a note yesterday saying that the teacher was retiring early and her last day was today! 

Now a HUGE HUGE HUGE part of me is ecstatic.  Doing the happy dance kind of happy.  Then there is the side of me that wants to know why this is playing out now and is a bit worried about how smooth the transition will be.   They have a substitute that has worked with the kids that is scheduled to be there all next week.  After that there is a temporary substitute that will be there until a replacement is hired.  This seems like a whole lot of upheaval and I know that my child doesn't deal with that very well.  I'm hoping that things are ok. 

I'm going to go back to doing the happy dance!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Where you come from

Today I did a mini marathon of a couple episodes of 10 things you didn't know on H2.  I like the show for a few reasons.  The first is that it's a good show that shares some really interesting information.  The second is that Henry Rollins is the host.  If you don't know who Henry Rollins is I wouldn't be surprised.  You can take a quick detour HERE if you want to read about him.  Short version lead in Black Flag and Rollins Band.  Anyway I LOVE me some Rollins.  Physically he's a 10 for me.  I also love some of this train of thought and quotes you often hear.  I'm going to share several below.  Today after I did the mini marathon I posted on Facebook how much I liked 10 things and really loved Rollins.  This lead to some really interesting conversations.  First a bit of back story though.

My intro to Rollins would have been during high school.  For me that was '87-'91.  I was sent to one of the 2 Catholic high schools in my town.  This really didn't work for me.  I really, desperately wanted to go to public high school.  I'd been doing the Catholic school thing since kindergarten.  My parents wouldn't even entertain the possibility of public schools.  So there I was at this school I hated!  Punk, Post punk and alternative music was something that I loved.  I will say that being introduced to these new styles of music was one of the redeeming factors of high school.  It's kind of funny to look at my high school pictures.  I started out the average preppy kid that Catholic schools churn out so well.  My freshman year pic is me with short hair, normal makeup and ears pierced twice with gold hoops and pearls.  I was wearing a peach cardi with a white tee and a denim mini. Wearing the makeup my mom bought me at the Estee Lauder counter as an 8th grade graduation gift.   Fast forward one year.  My mom refused to let me wear all black so I was wearing a fuchsia pink shirt, black shirt over and black skirt and leggings.  Hair was buzzed except for my bangs.  Several more earrings had been added and were crosses, snakes, ankhs or something in that range.  Make up was pale face, black liner and dark lips.  People used to give my parents such shit for allowing me to buzz my hair.  My parents figured it was just hair, it grew back and I wasn't hurting anyone.  Props to Mom and Dad on that one.  Junior year was pretty much the same.  The year before my school at consolidated with the other Catholic High school but kept 2 buildings. Junior year they invaded our building and we got a new girls dean.  My haircut was deemed inappropriate and I was forced to grow it out.  The idiot dean would measure my hair once a week.  Seriously?  Yeah I go home and shave a bit off every weekend.  So my senior pics are a bit more normal.   I made it through graduation and had an appointment to shave my head 2 hours later.  I showed up for the after graduation part and the dean tried to make a stink about it.  G-d did I hate that school and that dean!

So why am I sharing this?  As a point of reference of sorts.  An explanation as to why I find someone like Rollins to be hot.  Now things have changed a lot and I've changed a lot.  I'm no longer liberal and have very little patience for those who are.  At this point I will always support less government but still love tattoos and Dr. Martens.  It actually makes Mason crazy that I still want more tattoos.  I have so much uncovered skin left to work with though!  :)  I love putting on Dr. Martens which I still wear with great regularity. It takes me back to that girl with a buzzed head that didn't give a damn about what anyone thought about her  (they're also great footwear to have on during a fight.  Just sayin').

Rollins is a big time liberal about many things now.  Kinda breaks my heart.  There are somethings he says and lives by though that I totally can relate to.

Welcome to the world of Rollins!

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