I did manage to call all the important people before blogging it for the world but is anyone as excited as I am??!!

:: guilt ::

Evidently I'm going to have to work with a team of professionals if I'm going to escape being paralyzed by guilt. I went to see Marion's bodybuilding show in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. I couldn't sleep so I left at 6 sharp, hours before Miss Thing arises. I called way less than a hundred times but started missing her with all my heart by noon.

The show was fantastic. Lots of different bodies so the competition was hard to call. Marion placed third in heavyweight division and she looked f-ing amazing. I'll post pictures when my camera is talking to my computer again...

So, I kept having mini-bursting into tears episodes throughout the day. I didn't stay for the evening activities and missed a fabulous sushi dinner when I left at 3pm. I kinda felt like a bad friend. I wanted to get home in time for her bath. I was, in fact, consumed by getting home in time for her bath. I had to pee but didn't stop. I was running out of gas but was praying that I could make it. I was crying so hard I could barely see but I kept scrubbing at my eyes and driving like a bat out of hell. I made it home in time to jump in the tub with her and feed her and put her to bed.

I missed her terribly in the 12 hours we were separated. I realized anew I'm in the thick of a whole new ballgame.

I don't so much mind, either.

:: guilt as comedy ::

me: Bear, could you watch her for a few minutes so I can get dressed and grab a bite to eat?

bear: How do you usually get dressed?

me: I run back and forth to where I left her on the bed but now that she can roll over, it'll be a different story. So, please just take her and finish this bottle.

bear: ok.

Singing songs and feeding her and 'oo, you're a drooly julie' from the living room. Then she starts to cry. Bear can't seem to quite get his finger on the cause so he brings her into the kitchen where I've had 3 whole bites of a sandwich that I was able to hold with both hands....

bear: See, she just wanted her Mommy. She said, 'Oh no, not again. Don't leave me!'

Funny stuff.

*warning: content may be objectionable and depressing*

I got my period yesterday. Nevermind that in the ten or so years pre-pregnancy it had dwindled to a highly manageable day and a half affair and has now returned with a 'fill this uterus now it's so ready to go' vengence, nevermind all that. Nevermind that I have cramps that are causing me to lay about and whine and cry. Nevermind that for the first time since I can remember I have ruined a pair of panties, nevermind all that. Mind the cause of this cycle: byebye breastmilk.

'You did what you could.'

'Most people would have quit a long time ago with all the problems you had.'

'You said you'd be happy if you could breastfeed for 3 months and it's almost 4.'

Well meaning but I remain heartbroken. I didn't know this journey into motherhood would be peppered with these pitstops that so affect the way I feel as a woman.

I didn't choose to stop breastfeeding. I don't get to choose much these days. With Rio blessedly sleeping 12 hours through the night, that is a big chunk of time with no stimulation. With her being so much more efficient and evolving into more substantial and more spaced out feedings, less stimulation. Forget about the pump-I gave that sucker away. Forget about the drugs-I simply can't handle them. So, forget about breastfeeding.

Mind you, Rio is getting a bit flip about it, as well. Just this morning while latched onto the right one that has hardly worked since the beginning, well, she shot me a look as if to say, "Broken. Next."

So I switched her to the heavy hitter left breast. This morning I couldn't even hear swallows. Maybe one or two. Bear said to take her off and look at her tongue to see if it was milky. I told him that she gets the white tongue from the formula and that almost made me cry.

I will be gone to New Hampshire all day Saturday and I have a feeling that will be it. Stick a fork in it, it's over. No longer will I be able to walk around with her cradled against my breast, availing herself of the bit of breastmilk, while I prepare the bottle. She'll have to wait, yearning, for the ding of the microwave. Her first lesson in disappointment.

Not mine.
:: stupid busy ::

I use that expression. Is it an 'expression' or another one of those things that I make up then use all the time and then insist everyone says it?!

I'm stupid busy. It seems all of my hair clients have called to get in so I'm working when the sitter is here and even a couple of late nights this week. I'm tired! And I've been trying to get caught up on laundry mostly because my husband has taken to wearing verrry decorative t-shirts under his work shirts and he looks silly. So, I'll be off to the laundry room in a just a minute.

Today the painter was here and the guy came to give us a quote for making our lawn look like one and for turning our jungle into domesticated bushes and for mowing our lawn.

lawn dude: Boy, you've really let your yard go. I remember spreading mulch here and here and here last year.

me: Thanks for noticing, fatboy, but I've been busy and you didn't spread the mulch so much as you dropped it in the feckin' driveway and I lugged and spread it all over here and here and here.

lawn dude: Oh yeah, that's right. Well, it sure looked nice....

I know him personally so I want to give him the work but if he keeps saying how crappy the lawn looks I'm going to pop him one. Of course Rio was smiling and giggling at him like crazy. That girl is a flirt!

So, painter, then hair this afternoon, then the bank, bathed the babe and put her to sleep, cooked up some spicy catfish for dinner, more hair and I was just looking at a map online to see where I'm going on Saturday for a body building show, to lend support. Stupid busy. I just wanted to talk about.....

.... drum roll ....

There is an offer speeding its way to our mailbox as we speak. The 6 hour interview place really wants Bear and they've sent an offer already. The headhunter dude said he has never had a deal go into the works so quickly. They are totally telegraphing how much they love him so it'll be interesting to see what the offer is. We would have to move so I'll have to find new friends/doctors/veterinarian/dentist/deli/shoe store/park...but that could be fun. I'm excited and nervous and viciously behind in laundry so say a prayer or whatever...
I can't believe I'm going to tell you about this

But I obviously have boundary issues anyway...

We might have to sell our house. Our house that finally has been completely painted in fun and vibrant colors. Our house that finally has the furniture in the right rooms and most of the window treatments up and gorgeous. Our house where I'm trying to raise a baby and train some dogs and keep a husband happy. Mixed emotions about the move but it does seem inevitable these days... MIL is in real estate. She is, as I have mentioned before, fabulous beyond compare. She came over on Saturday to do a walk through to let us know what things we love that are too bizarre for the average home-buyer and what needs to be addressed structurally. Blahblahblah. So, I came outside with her and Bear to discuss the outside things about the house. We were walking behind the house toward the porch (that needs to be scraped, painted and adorned with new screens) when she stepped in the drainage dip for the deck. Well, she went down, albeit gracefully. When I turned around she was kind of rocking onto her side. I have the really bad habit of laughing hysterically when people fall so I was shocked but the laugh was already bubbling up when I ran to her side.

"Oh my God!" I shouted, forgetting that I don't say 'God' anymore. "Are you okay?"

And when I said 'Okay', I shot the mouthfull of cold pizza onto the top of her head. That made the 'fall' laugh really explode compounded by the 'I just spit pizza into my Mother-in-law's hair' laugh and, well, I kinda started to pee my trackpants a little. That caused a 'I can't fucking believe I'm wetting my pants' laugh which just turned a little wetting into a downpour, right into my socks. So I went running for the backdoor, knees together, pizza all over my face, screaming and laughing as I whipped my pants off completely forgetting I had no panties on but, really, at that point that was a minor transgression, and ran bare-assed into the house.

Keigel, shmeigal, I'm looking into surgery cuz that is just fucking retarded.
:: remembering what I never really forgot ::

That my man is hot. Hot. Sometimes when he's talking to me I don't really listen, just watch his lips and his tongue occasionally venture out of those lips and, mmm, well, just hot.

We went to dinner tonight. I wanted to get the full download about the interview while it was still fresh in Bear's mind. I called my SIL and BIL and they shot over here on short notice cuz they're rockstars like that. Then my darling BIL headed upstairs and I had to tell him he couldn't look at her until she was asleep because she's getting social and would so not want to sleep if she knew her fun Uncle Kracker and Auntie Lulu were just downstairs....

Rio was a mess trying to get to sleep after missing her afternoon nap, but that is another story. A story where everyone thinks I'm an overwrought first time mother that should just let the kid scream but it so isn't me kind of story but I digress.

We went to a great restaurant, delicious and fancy food and impeccable service. I wanted to hear all about the interview that lasted all day. I got it all and while I was listening to Bear (and watching his lips...) I was so feeling him. Just loving being his forever partner and looking forward to the adventures that lie ahead. He rocks and I know it and he knows I know it so that's a nice thing.

Can you tell I had 2 glasses of wine and a Baileys and coffee? I feel a little tingly....

AND...of course I looked in on Rio immediately upon returning home. She is so beautiful it makes me breathe a little on the shallow side, my heart is so swollen.

:: the most boring update EVER ::

Marvel at my amazing karma. That can be the only explanation. Rio has been getting a tad crabby at bedtime and the naps are kinda starting to sort out during the day. Not great, but a glimmer of regularity is showing. Yesterday the sitter was here and Rio slept from 2-3:15. I wanted her to stay awake and to try to bump up bathtime a little bit. She fell asleep on her playmat! So damned cute. Lauren said that she was getting sleepy so I suggested the chiming toys on her mat. She played for a minute then surreptitiously stuck her fingers in her mouth and used the other hand to lay over her eyes and she dozed off. I picked her up to put her in her crib and that woke her up. SO...we ended up getting her in the bath quickly at 5:45 instead of around 6:30. She was out like a light by 7pm last night. Tonight we got a little behind but we were out of the bath by 6:40 and she had another bottle, boobie and was down at 7:05 and asleep almost immediately. NO fussing! She was just tired. So it looks like we need to get her into bed as close to 7 as possible. She is continuing to sleep a minimum of 11 hours, usually a solid 12. This is boring as hell unless you didn't sleep for 2 months straight. Not more than 3 hours. And I'm old:) So, I told you this was boring as hell but I am so thrilled that my baby is such a great sleeper. And that smile the minute she opens her eyes - we're dead meat.

:: company of my heart ::

Today my fabulous goddaughter and her equally fabulous mother stopped on the way to NYC. They are going in for Ali's birthday present; two days in the city and they'll be seeing 'Wicked' on Broadway and much fun and shopping at the American Girl Museum. I had the best 3 hours with them this morning. We've known each other for a long time now...leaving Stowe was hard because I realized how much of Ali's life I'd miss. Now with my own nugget, well, there is a bittersweet aspect to seeing the amazing young woman she's growing into. I just love the skin off that kid.

Friday my favorite aunt and cousin are coming from Wisconsin. I connected late with the paternal side of my family but these two make it feel like we never missed a minute. I am really looking forward to spending time with them and they can't wait to meet Rio, up close and personal. Yippee!

AND, as if that isn't enough excitement, my best friend Mich will be here the first weekend of November. We have a long and funner history which I'll relate soon. We crashed into each other at a million miles an hour and we spawned our own special universe. She is talented and funny and charming and beautiful and kind and equally as bad a drunk as I tend to be. For certain there are some embarrassing stories and I so promise to get to them.....

:: 2nd interview tomorrow ::

Blogger just lost the cursor so I'm typing and the words are magically appearing. Very cool. Very old school, you know, pre-cursor. Anyway...

I know they'll love my husband. He's a gem, no matter what he's doing. And he's f-ing brilliant and equally as handsome so...I've decided to accept that I'll probably be moving. I have decided to think of it as a great big adventure that I will love. If we move I'll take classes at RISD, find cool moms to hang out with, discover the best Italian deli on Federal Hill, shop at the new giant mall all the time and have lunch with Bear at least once a week.

I am a bit freaked at the prospect of packing up our lives here, but we'll be fine if that's what is the best thing to do.

:: dun.dun ::

But for now, I have to clean the guest room where Rio and I watch Dawson's Creek every day and sometimes get crackers on the guest bed. Law and Order is on and I know how to work the little TV in the guest room. The giant TV in the TV room with the 6 remotes is still out of my grasp.

**I warned you this was going to be boring. And I'm still so in love with this new and improved boring life ;)
can we even talk about how hot I am for my husband lately??

Yeah, I didn't think so. But something is up. I'd better run out and get my damned tubes tied.

:: bathtime is the best time ::

I often feel like I'm doing some sort of performance art when Rio and I take our bath. I have a flippy baby and we do our routine: toes and fingers with soap, get between all 20 digits with a baby facecloth, then the myriad of folds all over her body, shampoo the hair and wash the back and bum and then we play. Swishy baby, back and forth baby, swimming baby and reclining splashy baby. During this routine which, for reasons unknown, takes place in our smaller downstairs/guest bath, Bear sits on the toilet, Jack is between his legs with his head on the edge of the tub, and Hobbes has his giant pitbull head taking up the rest of the tub-front seating.

Tonight on the leeward swing of swishy baby, I let Hobbes lick Rio's foot. She smiled and now looks forward to that. What fun we have!

:: Becks without the Nyquil isn't as much fun... ::

...but I did have to put it on ice so I just hope Germany can't see me...

:: Metoclopromide is a tool of the devil :
This is why I didn't really want to know what I was taking to make milk spring forth from my breasts. If you are so inclined to read it, you'll wonder what the fuck I was thinking.

I decided to go back on it to get us through flu season. I had the worst panic attacks this morning. Bear ended up taking Rio to his mom's and to my SIL's so I could nap until some of this stuff cleared my system. I hate feeling like a crack head. A lot.

Rio is crying. She's comfortable, her nose is pretty clear, her head is elevated to the tune of 2 Norton Anthologies of American Literature under two legs of her crib high, and she's still unhappy. I think we've been holding her a lot since we've all been sick and she doesn't want to go to sleep on her own. Bear is in the nursery, shh-ing and comforting, and I'm at my desk with my heart so twisted up, it actually physically hurts.


She'll be okay, it just takes a little longer on these nights....

The Worst Drivers In The World Live In Connecticut

Today was just plain bizarre there were so many horrendous drivers out.

>I followed a guy who came to a complete stop in the middle of the road due to construction that a cop was waving him through. So the guy sees the cop finally, goes forward and right through the red light at the intersection. Miraculously, no one was coming the other way. THEN at the next light, he makes a leisurely left hand turn and the traffic coming the other way has to stop so as not to hit him.

>So many people ran red lights, swinging across intersections, it was unbelievable. My light would turn green and 4 or 5 more cars would still be speeding through, making their left hand turn. Assholes. I pulled into the intersection and made one guy, on the phone, screech to a stop in the intersection and we simultaneously flipped each other off. Beautiful moment in driving.

>I wanted a coke. I was behind a girl who started beeping at the car in front of her the millisecond the light turned, she ran a red light to get into the BK parking lot, she dumped her trash in the parking lot not 5 feet from a garbage can, and in her neglect to look right as she pulled away from the drive-through, nearly clocked a town truck! I pulled up next to her as she waited to perform her death defying exit and said, "You really need to pay more attention to your driving. You're pretty much a menace." She said, "Fuck you." I said, "Sister, you are far too ugly for me to take that offer seriously," and I made my right hand turn - safely.

That was the tip of the iceberg today. I just wanted to get home. Alive. That was the goal of Connecticut driving today.

I'm pretty sure Rio's first sentence is going to be:

You stupid motherfucking cocksucker.
can we talk?

I sure can. Got more visits paid for by insurance. Basically they make you call in after every six visits to beg for more. No wonder we had bomb threats when I was working for Anthem BCBS. It was one of the only jobs I absolutely loathed and I made roughly 70K. Loathed it. Quit and haven't been happier. L.O.A.T.H.E.D. it. Enough said?!

So, we're back on the PT wagon. We go twice a week and Rio typically isn't too thrilled. I have to be honest and say that her head is starting to get a little, ah, funky from sleeping only on one side. A pal told me this morning that she has a friend who's baby had the same thing and the head kind of evened out and is round as a beach ball now so I'm not overly worried.

I am worried about having to pack up and move with an infant. Bear had his phone interview and, of course, it went well. His is a specialty that only maybe a couple hundred people on the planet can do so when a job needs to be filled that encompasses all his skills, well, everyone gets a little excited. I can't talk about it but it looks like we might be considering a move to the Providence area. I would miss my in-laws like crazy and that's no lie. Yesterday my SIL spent hours with a crabby baby and then was kind of sad to leave her. *sigh* AND we would be closer to my crazy mother although I don't plan to tell her until she actually drags her lazy ass over here to find we don't live here anymore. Then I'll have to explain but until that time - mum's the word. Hahahha.

Ok, she seems to be settling in a for a nap so I'm jumping in the shower with the monitor on full blast so I can hear if she wakes up. She never does while I'm showering, she really is the best baby on the planet.

I am more and more in love with her every day. Even days when she just screams for an hour and doesn't want to play anything we have to play and I don't have the slightest idea what she wants, I just smile and smile at her. Usually that makes her smile, too, so it's all good around the sickening sweet household. AND the sitter comes today so I may be able to get one or two things done around here.....

As usual, life is good.
~ rub-a-dub-dub ~

We three are in Vermont. My brother with a bag of, uh, goodies is watching and no doubt truly entertaining our doggers. We packed everything we thought we'd need:

*pack and play portable crib
*samples of formula for Banana, my best friend who bf every 2 hours and is finally exhausted enough to slip the kid the tiniest amount of the devil's juice...
*a dozen outfits for the princess
*a stroller
*one small bag with clothes for me and Bear

I packed all the gear and then packed the car. Bear came downstairs with a pile and some shoes..

bear: Do these shoes look stupid with these jeans?
me: I packed your clothes already.
bear: ...
me: I've been packing all morning. You've been dinking around so I packed your stuff up so we could leave sometime today.
bear: I packed some stuff. I packed our toothbrushes. I packed them so they're kissing!
me: ...

So, we had the car jam packed and now we're here with everything we could possibly need except Rio's bathtub. I knew I forgot something.

Just put her in the sink, you're saying. Mare has a very bizarre, very deep, very unbaby friendly sink so...we took a bath together. Me and Rio. It was absolutely beautiful. I swooshed her around, back and forth, she was soooooo relaxed. I had her under her arms and I could feel her trunk relaxing and she had the best face of discovery on. Bear was watching us with his all teary eyes, towel at the ready. It was a great experience for all three of us and that's how we'll be bathing until she is old enough to sit up on her own.

That is the great thing about being new parents. The whole new way you look at a bathtub after your child has shown you how it looks to her. I love watching her figuring things out in her world. We both rejoice in her daily progress to the point where I'm sure we're the slightest bit sickening.

bear: Look! She put her hand right in her mouth! First try!
me: I know! And now she's just got her thumb in her mouth!
bear: Remember when she couldn't hit her mouth with her hand? This is so exciting!

We will probably faint and then have a parade when she sits up...