Friday, October 29, 2010

Play and Puke

My brother Dustin and his wife Vahida have been in Vegas all week. My mom had volunteered to baby sit months ago and then things came up that all landed on this week for her. So I stepped in. It was super fun to see Diana and Link getting along so well. Diana is very talkative and can say several things. She loves picking up the phone and saying "Hi. Ok. Tonight? Ok. Ok. What'd you say?" Lincoln picked up lots of words from her including his favorite, uh-oh. I wasn't crazy for some of the scoldings she gave Link, shaking her finger and saying "No!" but I totally understand. That and her not wanting to eat anything were the only negatives. I finally got her to eat when I brought over one of my once a month cooking casseroles which she gobbled up. The positives far outweigh any complaints. She is a cuddler. She can very well entertain herself. She sits still for diaper changes and tells me when she needs one. She lays right down for a nap and goes to sleep.

I think she may have brought Link a little bug though. Vahida said she was having some stomach problems and this morning when I woke up, Link had vomited all over the crib. I had been sleeping in the same room as him, heard him hiccup, heard him give what I thought was either a very juicy burp or vomit. He didn't cry so I thought burp and didn't check. I felt like a complete parent failure the next morning when his hair was sticking to the pillow. I thought it might have been an allergic reaction to strawberries, which are high on the list for babies and what my mom had feed him the day before, but as the day progressed and he threw up a few more times, he also developed a slight fever. He is resting now. His body is so good at sleeping when he is a sick little on. The last time he had the flu was his first Christmas. That was disappointing as everyone wanted to meet him and he was sleeping most of the holiday away. Now he is sick on his second Halloween. This holiday is the worse to be sick on. All the money and preparation for the holiday goes out the window if you are not present. There are no left overs and gifts to open at a latter date. It is here and now. That being said, I am not going to force him to get in costume and go trick or treating, but I am also not telling anyone at the baby Halloween Party on Sunday that he is sick. If he gets better before then, I don't want to freak out anyone that is there. Plus, aren't viruses spread in the first few days anyway?

Christmas was in Kentucky last year and we were planning on going again this year, but were still on the fence. We for sure are not going now. Even though I will miss seeing everyone, we did make our way to every immediate family member this summer.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


There is a book on our shelf that keeps staring at me which really bothers me. It is called something like "How to be a practicing Catholic without truly believing" or something along those lines. I think a lot of people might be offended by this, but I know so many people that are like this it irks me. The funniest this is I am the complete opposite of this title "How to not practice being a Catholic while truly believing." The word believing I am taking as not meaning believing in Christ, but believing in the Eucharist. From my experience I am one of the few people, including Catholics I know, that believes that Eucharist transfigures.
So why am I not sitting in the front pew daily waiting for my taste of Jesus. For several reasons. The first being that even though I think it is utterly amazing that Christ comes to us every day all over the world in flesh and blood, I don't think it is necessary to take as much as it is to give. And to give is to practice showing love to all of God's creation. Also, it makes those times when you do get to partake in true communion even that more special.
Second, Catholicism in general makes me frustrated and therefore I find myself less loving and more enraged.
Why does Catholicism frustrate me:
1. I have only met one person whose Catholic faith has impressed me. That would be my conformation sponsor, Jackie Jessen. Mother Teresa also is very impressive, but we never met.
2. I have met to many Catholics who ramble through prayers before meals, attend church without listening to a single word the priest says no what is coming out of their own mouths during group readings, and way too many who use the word "counts" when attending church, such as "the wedding last night had communion so that counts." Excuse me but what are you counting? and for what?
3. When your religion becomes a club and you would hardly have a relationship with the Creator without it, there is something wrong with your faith.
4. I think Christians should be Christ like and Catholics throughout history and today ignore this key element. In my opinion Christ would have never conquered land and tortured, he would have never set up a system with rules (his one rule was love), he would have never listened to a Pope, he would have never built lavish churches, the list continues. In Catholics defense there are a lot of monks and nuns who live closer to this way of life than a lot of Protestants, especially those who think God wants them to be rich.
5. I have never felt authentically welcomed in a Catholic church, ever. I have always felt judged on how well I did this or that. I have never been greeted lovingly or asked to join in community following the service. I have never been included the way other churches have instantly done.

Stepping off my soap box there are a few things that make me not reject my Catholic faith and completely assume Protestantism.
1. Of course the Eucharist.
2. The core call to Social Justice in the Catholic faith was one I was not aware of until I was in college. I just wish I saw more people doing this.
3. I don't feel confession is necessary, but I feel it is a great outlet for those in need of someone to listen to what is on their chest.

If there is one thing I would change in the Catholic church to see it continue instead of die, like it is in our area where one priest is serving all of Clayton County, it would be:
Encourage the priests to take a 7 year at a time vow of chastity. This way they would be "emulating Christ" in their sexuality, but are not making a lifelong commitment. They could renew it each 7 years without having divorce themselves from the church. And let the Sisters be Priests too.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Life with Alex

So Alex has been here a month now and we have had our ups and downs. The first Saturday when Alex no longer had play practice he came down to "hang out," which involved telling us it was to early for Halloween decorations (first Sat in October) and then telling us every item we had in our candy cauldron. Fortunately Bryce let him know that he is renting a room and not the house and we would like him to stay in his room. I slightly feel like I am keeping him prisoner in the room, but it is also a big room and he hardly uses all of it, so I shant worry much.
He still like to have small talk of at least a sentence or two when leaving and returning and will look to see if anyone is home if he is not greeted with this. If we are mid conversation when he comes in he immediately thinks we are talking to him. If you can't tell from these stories, he is a little socially awkward.
I can't complain too much though. He doesn't play loud music or have people over. He doesn't smoke and even sexual innuendos in the play he was in made him uncomfortable so we don't have to worry about things like this. I could complain about his alarm clock that goes off at 7:30 and continually until he gets up (today was 1:30pm) and his heavy steps which has woken up Link a few times, but he has put up with Link's crying and hollering in the middle of the night and morning and night. Only once did he come downstairs and say something when Link was having a particularly bad day.
For the most part Alex has handled living with a baby well for not knowing the first thing about them. I may share some funny baby/Alex stories at a later date.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Laughing Fits

We are sharing a room with Link and it has been very fun to watch him in his bed at night from our bed. He has little fits when it is time to go to bed, but during those fits he starts laughing. Either his voice shakes which he finds funny so he will continue to cry but stop every time there is a quiver or he realize how fun it actually is to throw his head down into the bed and do it repeatedly laughing and crying.

For those of you who do not realize how easy it is to share a room with Link let me explain, we have a HUGE bedroom. This thing holds our king bed, Link's full bed, three dressers, a vanity, a diaper changing table, rocking chair, clothes hamper and we even brought his alphabet mat up to set in the middle of the room so he can play with his toys in the morning. So sharing a room is basically like sharing an apartment without any walls.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Lincoln Loud

Link loves being loud. I finally realized several things about his personality that all relate to this one key thing. For example, I noticed he kept sticking his finger in a whole in a necklace where it was kind of stuck, but not really. Then he kept getting his legs stuck in a crack in the furniture, but not really. All this was to yell like he was stuck. His excuse to be loud.
Then I realized he favors the Mo Willems' Pigeon books. I was unsure why these were a favorite then I realized there is one page he turns to in each book. A peach page in which the Pigeon screams. "Let me drive the bus!" or "I'm not tired!" Another excuse to be loud. It is fun to see that he can barely say any words, but he already has pages in a book memorized. Including the page that says "Bye" and "Hey." He even knows what pages they are said on.
Link also loves to be tickled and regularly asks for it. He loves to tickle us to. Today he surprised me and I laughed high pitch. He loved hearing this and tried to tickle me all day so he could laugh loud and high pitch with me.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Unscheduling the Unschedules

My family does not live by the clock. We get up, in the morning. We go to bed, at night. But so many things are changing it feels like we are becoming unscheduled. Link can't decided if he wants a nap before lunch or after lunch, nor when to go to bed. The cold weather is damaging my jogging streak be it daily, every other day, or whatever. Bah.
It is getting better though.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Is it only Tuesday

This week our easy going, world's best sleeper, little boy did a 180. Tantrums. No sleep during the day or night. I was fearing the wost, which would be that I am just such a crappy parent that it is now coming back at me. Drool today confirmed it is teething. He is getting in his canines which is heard to chew with since the other teeth surrounding are up. After tearing me up during nursing I finally found a good replacement, the top of a medical dropper. It may look funny but it slides right down between the teeth and is big enough for gnawing on.
Another side effect of teething which Link has never experienced is loose stool. So explosive and stinky and creating some major rash. No wonder each dump brings tears.
Naps are being skipped. Today I finally got him down by reverting to my old standard, nursing to sleep. So hard to go back when it use to take 5 min and now goes back to 40 min. If you just leave him he flips over and kicks like a bucking branco while screaming until someone comes and gets him. And judge me if you will, but we left his to this behavior for two hours and he never tired of it. And this was after rubbing his eyes and yawning for a long time so yes he was tired. His sleeping through the night has been ending at 3 -4 am. So we have been putting to bed really late now which lessens it just a little bit. Let's get those teeth in soon.
On the bright side he is starting to take steps every day and he is showing an awesome respect when we say no. Stopping immediately no matter what.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Some Good

It's been a hard week with Lincoln. Refusing to lay down at naps despite obvious shows of tiredness. Waking up in the middle of the night to scream for an hour or two. BUT, in other news. He took his first two steps today. I wish it was to me, but instead it was to Burt addressing the viewer (camera) within the first few minutes of Mary Poppins.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Wisconsin Artists I Adore

Beth Bird

I bought a Jamie Heiden
Jamie Heiden

Carmen Haase

Check out her images.
Karen Reppen

Featured in "Cloth Paper Scissors" for her Earth Dolls
Sharon Stauffer

Friday, October 15, 2010

August/September photos are up on Flickr

Good shot, originally uploaded by Shannon Marye.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

5 year anniversary

Well, as I already said, the first few hours of our anniversary was me trying to battle PMDD and failing miserably. However at around noon things turned around. We got moving. We took Link to my parents house where he would be staying the night for the first time without us. We had thought about going on a big trip but we decided over 20 states in a year had already been a big trip so we went to a favorite town of ours, Cedar Falls and did things we always thought of doing but never got around to. We stayed at the Black Hawk Hotel. Ate at Galleria de Paco, where the Sistine Chapel is replicated entirely in spray paint. We took in a show at the Oster Regent Theater. They were showing Sleepy Hollow. Then we went bar hopping our style. We had Martinis at the Stuffed Olive, Specialty Drinks at Montage and Cocktails at Lava Lounge. I was really hoping on going dancing, but the club I had been to only once before (and really liked) had been turned into a live band facility with hard rock music. So we went back to the hotel. We planned on having one of the remaining bottles of wine from our wedding, but felt like we had enough by this point. As is tradition we shared our apple pie dessert at Galleria de Paco in turnover form. We also got a flower bouquet from the same florist who did our wedding. When she was putting it together she hinted "I seem to remember a wedding around this time of year that had these same type of flowers." She was surprised to learn it was today. I would like to review all these places on Adventures with Lincoln, but am slightly overwhelmed with the task right now.
In the morning we ate a Java John's which is much cooler inside then I had ever imagined. We went to Goodwill and bought more items for our Halloween costumes and to Menards where we bought some wood shelves. This was what we considered our traditional wood gift to one another. This was another thing that we decided to skip this year. Bryce was going to get me a kindle but I told him not to right before he hit order. I think they are cool, but I really like listening to audio books more. I think an ipad would be cooler, but I am definitely not getting one without a usb port. I had a computer without a cd drive once and I hated the thing. If it can't easily transfer and save it is not ready for the public.
When we got back on Saturday we were really excited to see Lincoln. Bryce went to work. Link and I went to Brandi and Dale's wedding in Monona. I loved their bouquets which were all feathers. I got to talk just briefly to my friends from mom's group then I had to fly to drop off Link and meet Dani for karaoke. Busy day.
The next day we went to Heritage Days in Osborne. The weather was beautiful. Link and I entered pumpkins again. He got third place in kids, which I was really proud of. My awesome butterfly pumpkin got nothing. Seriously, I feel like I am passed over every time. The judges just don't go for my classy style of carving. Instead they pick a witch with a corn cob nose that has been hacked into place. I know it is silly to rant about, but I am a competitive person.
I have pictures of the weekend and my gorgeous pumpkin but we can't find the card reader so they are patiently waiting in the camera.

Monday, October 11, 2010


When I was a teenager I had severe depression. A lot of teens do. Overtime I thought I got a handle on it. A year after Link was born I thought I was starting to have Postpartum Depression. However, it came and went, came and went. I thought maybe I had some weird kind of Bipolar Disorder where you get severely depressed without having the extreme highs.
I just recently noticed that this coming and going is just once a month. Premenstrual time.
There is just something about my hormones that can't let my brain function normally for a 1-2 days each month. Fortunately I know that it passes. So that urge to end it all or become an escape artist and high tale it out of here goes away. Unfortunately my beautiful family has to deal with it 12 times a year. Bryce and I started our 5th anniversary with me in the throws of it.
I did some research to see if there is a type of depression linked with menstruation and there is. It is called PMDD (Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder). It is not PMS, way too severe for that.
For about 3 years before I was pregnant I wasn't having a cycle at all and I never had a single depressed thought. I really wanted to menstruate and reclaim my fertility, but now that it is back I remember why I hated it sooo much.
Of course I am self-diagnosing myself and not going to a doctor for it. I really don't want to have to rely on drugs for anything, especially when the side effects of these drugs are sometimes suicide. Weird. Instead we are working out ways for my family to deal with it while I hide in the bedroom or closet all day and cry. I am fortunate to have such a loving husband who understands this. He made the bed (which never gets done) during my last episode and just that little unasked for task made a world of difference.
When I was a teenager I had a horrible relationship with my mother and I am sure this had something to do with it. She is very much a "tough it out" kind of person and she couldn't understand this behavior in me at all. I am this way with other illnesses, but I have a soft place for suffers of depression. I understand how much you do not want to feel this way, but the harder you try the worse it gets.
Part of this "tough it out" behavior is also what keeps me away from a doctor. That and the fact that a lot of applications I have filled out in my life (Peace Corps, Surrogacy, etc) have asked the questions "Have you ever been treated for depression?" with the follow up "If so you are disqualified."
So now that the breast feeding is less and the cycle is back, you may see me missing for a week each month or see a hate-filled rant that need not be paid much attention to. It's just the PMDD talking.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

I started doing "The Happiness Project" this month. I am doing month one the same as the author, focusing on energy. I have been going to bed before 11 each night. Funny thing is, when I have a set bedtime I tend to do more of a bedtime routine, brushing teeth and so forth.
I also am making sure I get exercise 20 min, 3 times a week. I decided to do the couch to 5K running program as my 20 minutes. I have been taking Link with me in the stroller. I also am running in the flooded distract where no one is. this allows me to run in my jeans and not have to change clothes. If people were around I am sure they would check to see what I am running from.
The next thing is to organize the house. This one is a little hard right now as I am stripping the wood and it is interrupting everything in the house. However, I am taking one box down from the attic each week and going through it. Nothing will go back up unless it is in a properly marked storage, such as "Halloween Decorations."
So far it is working. I have not felt tired all month and don't remember yawning hardly at all. It is getting darker earlier and I am not feeling to bad about it yet because I am going to bed a little earlier and getting up earlier.
Link is starting to go from two naps to one HUGE one. By huge I mean 3-4 hours. This makes me really nervous that he has suffocated or something. He is also loving making horse noises, especially when seeing them out the window. Cows count as horses too. And since Jim and Betsy's visit he has been copying the turn signal sounds in a car with a clicking off his tongue.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Grinding Little Pistol

Link and I went shopping yesterday in Dubuque. It takes 1.5 hours to get there and Link slept the whole way. He was well rested to have a lot of spitfire energy. He wouldn't sit in the cart seat area so I put him in the bigger section. Here he proceeded to throw out everything I put in the cart and reach out to knock stuff off shelves. I basically had to carry the big lug everywhere and if his butt even touched the handle bar of the cart I was pushing at the same time all hell broke loose. He caused such a fuss at all four locations we went to. I have read if kids do this the best thing to do is just leave the store, full cart or not. But when you drive that long to get there, no way. Lesson learned= Go alone. I gave him some vanilla wafers to much on to calm him, but soon they were being thrown all around the store.

To add to my frustration Link has picked up an annoying habit (not from any of us). He only has 4 mollers but he is already grinding them together. It sounds like he has hard candy in his mouth and it shivers my spine every time I hear it.

Friday, October 1, 2010


Today Link learned the sounds a horse makes and how to give a hug (he says squeeze).
I was inspired by the artist studio tour and am ready to make more art.
I feel like I have been a supporter and not an active member of the art community for 5 years now.

Taking advantage

I don't consider myself passive, but I am probably on the lower end of assertiveness. I am looking for people who are on the upper end of assertiveness, almost aggressive, for some advice.
I hate that people take advantage of me.
Examples: I volunteer to be in charge of the fall festival. A neighbor says they would like to do an Avon table. I say that is an interesting idea. Neighbor tells everyone I "approved" the table and they all get mad at me.
I volunteer to call the winners of the raffle prizes for the same event. Older lady calls me wondering why I didn't call people. I tell her I did and I have a detailed account of who I left answering machine messages and who I spoke to personally. She mentions a person name, I look it up and see I left a message with them. She ends the phone call with "Well, she never got called."
I have someone I know going to photography school take our family photos. She sends them with a contract saying we can't edit them and we must order them from her. We had agreed otherwise prior to this, but whatever, I'll take it, she's probably taking what she is learning in school. I e-mail her back suggesting an order form and to think about a price for right to the photos. She comes back at me with the nastiest e-mail and I'm a paying customer.
I don't feel like I can't teach well because I get no respect from my students or other teachers. I feel like I can't work well with others because of the same thing. I once confronted someone below my position with "How about a little respect here?" His response, "Respect is earned, not given." WTF! Not in my book. And if that was the case, he did nothing to earn the respect I was giving him.
Is it the way I look, my body language, what?!?!
I'm getting super tired of having to be treated this way. At first I thought it was my age, but it's not. Is it that everyone is treated this way and I just don't have thick enough skin? So seriously, if you are out there and you have maybe been called a bitch a time or two or if you know people fear you just a little, please give me some tips.