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    Tuesday, February 28, 2006

    We're Back

    After an awful afternoon at SFO and an overly LONG packed flight we arrived back -exausted- yesterday afternoon. I will NEVER EVER EVER EVER fly with a baby alone again, please make sure to remind me of this if I ever get such a silly idea in my head again!

    I'll post a real post very soon, but now Pumpkin and I are going to take another nap :-)

    posted by Laura @ 8:00 AM   6 comments

    Saturday, February 25, 2006

    Heading Home

    We are flying back to Holland tomorrow. While this has been a wonderful trip, with great weather and lots of company, I am happy to be heading home. I miss my husband terribly and I miss having my own things around me - doing things in my own way at my own pace. It is always hard staying with other people in their homes, especially when that person is my mother. It seems no matter how old I am, even if I have my own kids, I will always be reduced back to the feeling of a child when at my mother's house.

    But the best thing about going home now is that the timeline for our move really starts to pick-up. Mr. P has been busy fixing up all those little things at the house, and in a few weeks we will be calling realtors. The house across from us just sold in less than a week for a VERY good price so we are optimistic that we will be able to sell the house and move by September as planned. The next time I arrive in California we will not be visiting but moving-in. So leaving is not so hard this time, knowing that we will be back soon for good.

    Goodbye California, will be back very soon....

    posted by Laura @ 6:24 PM   2 comments

    Saturday, February 18, 2006

    Feeling Fat

    Ever since pumpkin was born I have been carrying around this extra layer of flab at my waistline. People always said my body would be changed by the pregnancy, I just did not know I would feel so unhappy with the new motherly me. At first I figured it would go away, my body took 9 months to get to the point that I looked like I swallowed a whole watermelon, I could not expect it to go back in a month. But it has been almost nine months since I gave birth and when I look in the mirror I still see someone else's body.

    I lost all my pregnancy weight in six weeks so I am unsure of where this blubber came from. My ass sure does not look any smaller, my legs are not any leaner. Perhaps my boobs are a bit less perky, but they still fill my pre-pregnancy bras. How can I be the same weight as I was before yet have at least 2 inches of additional fat on my belly? And how the hell do I get rid of it!? We are going to Tuscany this summer with friends and I would like to feel comfortable in a swimsuit. Not a bikini or anything, I am not asking for miracles. But I would like to not have to hide behind towels and wraps the entire trip. I would like to feel slightly confident in my appearance.

    Before this holiday I started doing tae-bo and pilates videos in the hope that I may be able to shed that fat and tone up my abs. I know if I stick to it they should work, but I can't help but want some instant fix, a DIY liposuction or something. I want to go clothes shopping here and not cry when I stand in the changing room under those awful fluorescent lights. I want to not have to wonder what everyone is thinking when they see me now - do they think I am fat? - that I have let myself go? I want my body back - is that too much to ask?

    posted by Laura @ 10:30 PM   8 comments

    Wednesday, February 15, 2006

    A bit of everything and nothing

    Most often my visits to California are packed full long before I even board the plane in Amsterdam. My agenda is full of dates with various friends and commitments with my family. And given the short time we give such visits, we usually cram as much as we can into ten short days. Anyone who lives far from family and has to make visits like mine know that such a trip is no vacation. Everyone is pulling to see you, and once is never enough. When it comes to my (long divorced) parents, it is almost as if it is being kept track of, carefully tallied how many minutes each one gets to see me. To my mom, simply staying in her home - eating dinner together, seeing eachother every morning after waking - is not enough, we must do something - go out - for it to be considered tallied time. And to my dad, time can only be spent while trekking along muddy poison oak infested trails even though no one but him enjoys it.

    This trip I decided would be different. Since Mr. P was staying at home and I am no longer working for the establishment, I did not have to pay mind to vacation days and limit my stay. I chose to stay for 3 weekends, about as long as I could imagine being without Mr. P, and he could bear being away from Pumpkin. I also made no plans, wrote nothing into my agenda before my arrival. I am taking it easy, figuring I will always disappoint someone who wants to see me more anyways, so why make myself crazy trying to divide my time between everyone with no thought to myself? One thing a day, one commitment at most. Pumpkin naps in her bed as often as possible, and we plan visits around her schedule. I am also trying to limit how my parents manipulate me, make me feel guilty over what I do with the other, and what I may not want to do at all. So far it is working. The hardest was putting my foot down with my father and avoiding a 1 hour drive followed by a long hike just to have a picnic, while there was a perfectly good park 10 minutes away. But I did it, and I am taking it easy. It may not be a vacation, but it does not mean I should not enjoy myself just a bit...

    PS - I have been working my way through my sisters book collection and just finished My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult. If you want a good book pick this one up - trust me you will not be able to put it down, I sure couldn't. It is a real tear jerker though so have a box of tissues handy when reading.

    posted by Laura @ 11:05 PM   6 comments

    Tuesday, February 14, 2006

    Having Fun...

    Need I say more :-)

    posted by Laura @ 11:53 PM   5 comments

    Monday, February 13, 2006

    We made it!

    We arrived in San Francisco - and in one piece. Actually the flight went amazingly well despite the fact that Pumpkin slept only 1 hour total from the time we woke her in the morning till the time she was placed in her carseat in the rental car in San Francisco. By the end of the flight even the young stewards were coming to hold my lil lady. She barely cried at all, and smiled at every single person to look her way. And then, as if she had not already convinced me that she was the perfect child, she has proceeded to sleep through the night (with only a few night mumbles) from the first evening here. How could I have got so lucky? I will not be having any more children, Pumpkin is an absolute angel, so any subsequent child would have to be the devil himself!

    I almost cried as I drove through San Francisco to the Golden Gate on my way to my mom's house. I am so happy we will be moving back here. There is an air and a feel to that city that calls to me. I wish I could just stay and not have to go back to Holland at all! And the weather! It is absolutely gorgeous! I have not worn my jacket since we arrived, and today Pumkin was at the park with bare legs and arms! Oh how I love the California climate - why did I ever leave!

    Pumpkin has been spoiled already, and everyone dotes on her completely. She is really enjoying herself, and it is great to see her get all excited when my mom walks into the room. My grandparents are also under their great grandbaby's charm, they could not get enough of her squeals today. I am seeing my dad tomorrow, and while that is always a bit difficult and strained it will be nice to see him with Pumpkin again. Other than that no real plans, just chilling and shopping and visiting with old friends. Hope all is well with my blogworld pals!

    posted by Laura @ 4:37 AM   3 comments

    Thursday, February 09, 2006

    And we're off

    Tomorrow morning Pumpkin and I head off for a few weeks of fun in California. The bags have been packed and are ready to go. Grandma could not be more excited. She had the highchair and crib set up already last weekend and has called me numerous times just to check if we need anything else. The last time she saw Pumpkin was in September, and a lot has changed since then! I can definitely understand her excitement.

    While I am not looking forward to the insanely long flight I am excited to have a break for myself. I figure I will have tons of time to relax while Pumpkin is handed from one eager relative to the next. Plus I can have Starbucks and Noahs Bagels, dump a load of cash in Baby Gap and Banana Republic and stuff myself silly with my mom's home cooking and Mexican food. I guess that is worth 10 hours in coach with a 8 month old...

    I will post about the flight once I get settled and can bribe my brother to let me use his computer. Think of me tomorrow!

    posted by Laura @ 1:36 PM   3 comments

    Wednesday, February 08, 2006

    Army crawl or wounded soldier?

    I am absolutely giddy with sleep! I slept 11 whole hours last night, and my body is unsure of how to handle this much rest. I can not sit still, I feel like I have downed 4 grande double mocas! Ah, sleep, how I missed you...

    In other non sleep related news, Pumpkin started to do the army crawl. To me it looks less like a solder crawling stealthily past the enemy unnoticed and more like a soldier seriously wounded dragging his crippled body to safety. I can not help but laugh as Pumpkin joyfully drags all 18lbs of her weight by one arm. I know I have been wanting her to do this for a while, and have even had those fleeting comparison moments of: "but Joey is crawling already!", however now that my daughter is able to get from point A to point B without any assistance from mama, I am regretting how much I longed for this milestone. Before I can even sit down and have one sip of coffee I have yelled "No!" across the room at least 10 times, rescued Pumpkin from under a dining room chair, saved the cat from certain death by drooling and detached my daughters claws from the speaker cables. This is only going to get worse huh?

    posted by Laura @ 1:44 PM   5 comments

    Monday, February 06, 2006

    Still Can't Sleep

    Friday night I saw the clock turn 2am, Saturday night 3am and Sunday night 1:30am. I am a zombie!

    Tonight I plan to have a glass of wine while soaking in the bath and then crawl into bed at 8:pm. If I see that clock pass 00:00 I think I will absolutely loose it!

    I need sleep :-(

    posted by Laura @ 7:32 PM   3 comments

    Saturday, February 04, 2006

    Insomina and random thoughts

    I have been having a hard time falling asleep lately. There is nothing in particular on my mind, but I just seem to lay there in bed, tired, longing to slip into sweet dreamland, but unable to cross over that border to sleep. Last night I lay in bed from 11pm to 2am (the last time I looked over at the glowing red digits on our clock) with a stupid song playing repeatedly in my head - over and over again the same freaking tune. I could not purge it from my head no matter what I did. I tried my yoga breathing, counting slowly, but nothing. I was exhausted but unable to sleep. Then this morning on my one morning to sleep in, when I really really needed to remain snoring on my pillow till almost noon, I awoke at 7:30 with the stupid song playing in my head again. Eventually I gave up, sick of tossing and turning, and got up and made myself some strong coffee. So much for sleeping in. Now I am just trying to remind myself how much I would have loved 5 hours of strait sleep in those months after Pumpkin was born, that I have functioned on much less. Shouldn't that make me feel better?

    ---

    Pumpkin and I are spending today alone, as Mr. P is off at his friend’s bachelor party. He left the house at 11am, and I do not expect to see him till he crawls into our bed sometime Sunday morning. I feel like I have been jipped of my weekend - like going into the office on a Saturday. I look forward to the weekends, when I get a break and can hand Pumpkin off to someone else if only for a little bit. Someone else can wipe poop off her butt, sing "The Ants go marching" to her repeatedly and fight with her over who gets to hold the spoon during meal time. Unfortunately we will be missing the wedding, as Mr. P's friend is getting married in India. Two years ago I would have been jumping to go to India and attend a traditional Hindu wedding ceremony and celebration – they party for 3 days people! – and he gets to ride in on a elephant!!! But now that I am a mama I can not rationalize putting my baby gal through numerous vaccinations just so I can see the Taj Mahal. There was also no way I was going on holiday and leaving her with someone else. I still have a hard time leaving her for a few hours so we can go to dinner and a movie. But regardless I am bummed out that I had to make that choice. Some parts of parenthood really really suck!

    ---

    Why is it that everyone feels that they are a baby expert? There are always those strangers that feel it is their duty to give you unasked for advice. Your baby is too cold, too warm or hungry. She is crying because - although she just ate - she is starving, it is not possibly because sometimes babies just cry - that is what they do! When Pumpkin was a about month old some woman had me panicking because according to her I should have a hat on my baby. No matter that it was the end of June and almost 80 degrees out, Pumpkin was going to catch her death in cold because there was a slight breeze and her head was uncovered. Of course being the over sensitive and under confident new mom I actually let this woman get to me, and worried for days that because of me Pumpkin was going to be hospitalized for pneumonia. Thank goodness that with time comes the ability to shoot back at this unsolicited advice. Yesterday I had Pumpkin in her Baby Bjorn on the train and had a scarf draped from my chest over her head to help her fall asleep (she is easily distracted). I noticed this man staring at me, and when I glared back at him he asked “can she breathe under there?” No sir, I am purposely suffocating my child, of course I am too stupid to make sure she could breathe. I am only her mother, and you are a stranger, it is only natural that you would know better than me. I glared at him and said “She can breathe just fine thank you”. Ass hole!

    ---

    In less than a week I am flying to SF with Pumpkin – alone - without a seat for her. I am panicking. What was I possibly thinking when I booked the ticket? Yeah she was incredibly well behaved last time, but she was 3 months then and had a bassinette to sleep in the entire 10 hour flight. This time she is 8 months, almost crawling and unable to stay still for a split second. How the hell am I going to handle her for 10 hours on an airplane, on my lap? How am I supposed to even eat, or pee? Most important how to I avoid having a breakdown right there in isle 26 seat D while flying over Greenland? I think I will hand out sympathy earplugs to all those in the seats next to me, and if things get bad I will just leave her screaming in the isle while I hide in the bathroom and down those free mini vodkas for the remainder of the flight. Please tell me something to help me survive; I will try anything short of drugging her!

    posted by Laura @ 2:28 PM   6 comments