Friday, December 20, 2013

The Christmas Poke-a: PART ONE

I am fortunate in that I get to spend another Christmas on maternity leave.  I was home through the holidays with Annabelle, and am here again with Georgia. I have asked Bryan if we can continue to have babies, specifically in the fall, so I may spend every holiday season at home baking and cooking but he has yet to answer that question.

During both pregnancies I was terrified of having a newborn.  I pictured it as a hellish nightmare of a screaming baby and no sleep, and that has not been my experience either time. I feel like people really emphasize how rough newborns can be.  I am guessing we are lucky and I shouldn't rub it in the face of any mamas who found themselves in such a hell. I would say the first week is rough, and a lot of that was mainly due to breastfeeding.  Bryan and I are trying to figure out why mother nature didn't design this process so your milk comes in IMMEDIATELY upon giving birth (of course Bryan also believes human babies shouldn't be born with arms because they "just get in the way").  Because those first few nights before it does...holy moly.  Not fun.  But after you get the hang of it it's not so bad.  And I would imagine if you gave your baby formula that might ease some of the hell of the first few nights of life on planet Earth for baby too.  But aside from the first week of sleepless nights, I love having a little baby in the house.  It's having a toddler people need to warn you about!

I have learned that there are some things that are made difficult, if not horrifying when you have a screaming baby in the house.  Here are some tasks that I find nearly impossible to do when my baby is screaming:
   1.   Putting snowpants on a two-year-old.  This is not easy under any circumstances.  I dressed Annabelle in full winter gear to play outside with daddy and while I was wrangling with her on our heated floor, Georgia woke up and was immediately starving and therefore screaming while I was doing this.  Now I am not a believer in letting a baby cry, certainly not to the point of hysterics, but I am also not in the practice of letting Annabelle scream on the floor either.  So as a mom, I find myself faced with the daily task of choosing who to disappoint first.  This time it was poor little Georgia's turn.  I knew she wouldn't perish due to hunger so she was going to have to wait until Annabelle was dressed for snow.  Nothing makes me sweatier than my baby crying...and sitting on a heated floor trying to put snowpants and boots on Annabelle who insists on "helping" by shouting at me that I have put her boots on the wrong feet when they are in fact on the correct feet. 
Note that this photo was taken through the
window.  I just threw her outside, into the
elements, night.
   A sub-lesson of the snowpants/baby crying lesson is that is very difficult, if not impossible, to convince your husband that you are perfectly fine and do not need his help when you are lying on the floor dripping with your own sweat, gigantic milk stains leaking down the front of your shirt, and holding your eldest child in a Full Nelson.
  2.   Starting a new roll of invisible tape that may or may not rhyme with "notch".   I was wrapping Christmas presents which is a task I actually enjoy doing.  I like to fix myself a nice cocktail (usually Baileys and Hot Cocoa, but on this particular occasion it was Lambrusco) and listen to some traditional Christmas music and lovingly wrap my gifts.  Georgia was napping quietly in her swing while I did this and I was enjoying it.  I ran out of tape in the beginning of my wrapping but was not worried because I planned ahead and bought a package of four new tapes to have on hand for this very occasion.  I took out a new roll and gently pulled the little plaid, green starter tab ONLY TO HAVE IT SLIP RIGHT OFF THE ROLL immediately.  I attempted to find the end of this tape and thought, forget it. You have three more rolls. Start a new one  and fix this one later.  So I pulled out another roll, pulled gently and off came the tab again. This time I worked at the start of the roll a little longer. I worked on it long enough to peel one skinny little strand of tape all the way around the roll. Twice.  About this time Georgia awoke and began to cry. So once again I abandoned the roll and picked up roll #3 from the package.  I am not joking when I tell you the same thing happened again. With Georgia crying in her swing I again peeled and peeled at what appeared to be the start resulting in another long skinny strand of tape around the roll.  Sweaty and angry,  I removed a large knife from the knife block on the counter and held the skinny tape strand with one hand and sliced a new starting point into the roll of tape, jammed it back onto the plastic dispenser and gingerly pulled the new starting point to the serrated edge of the dispenser.  
Look at the top of that gift! After all
that, the tape isn't staying stuck!  (I
really like how you can see our lights
falling off of the tree in this pic)
    Now it is at this point where I am sure you are questioning if this is possibly user error. I assure you it is not. My thoughts and theories on this topic would need to be a separate post in order to fully express how I feel about this issue.  But it can be summed up like this: I am angry at companies that de-feature their products in order to retain or save cost.  I am convinced that the manufacture of this particular tape shortened the length of the starter tab, and quite possible changed the quality of material they use.  NOTE TO MANUFACTUREER: I should never have to remember to include a BONING KNIFE as a gift-wrapping supply.
    3.   Trying to convince the UPS driver that your dog is not going to kill him. This is also another highly sensitive topic.  Anytime dogs and humans try to coexist there is trouble.  Something has happened between Milton and UPS in the last year and I'm not sure what exactly it was.  But Milton does not appreciate the UPS Drivers, at all.  And sweet little Milton can be very, very scary.  And I do feel bad for the drivers, usually.  One of the problems is that UPS never delivers at the same time of day, and this time of year they have been here nearly every single day.  If Milton is outside when they show up none of the drivers will get out of their truck.  Two of the drivers wrap our packages in a large plastic bag and wing them into our yard lasso-style.  So please do not send us any Hummels for Christmas as they will most likely be shattered into a million pieces. 

He couldn't hurt a fly.  Although he has killed raccoons, chickens,
and given a coyote a run for his money.  But other than that..
couldn't hurt a fly.
I had been trying to keep Milton indoors on days I knew I had packages coming, but it seems UPS had a knack for delivering at the exact 15 minute interval I let the dogs outside to go to the bathroom...and at the exact same moment I had to feed Georgia.  So countless times this season I had to run out into the subzero temperatures barefoot, once again...large milkstains present on the front of my shirt with my baby screaming in the house and my shouting "it's ok, he wont bite, he's just protective!" as Milton foams at the mouth and claws at the door of the UPS truck growling, snarling and snapping. Fa la la la la la la.
And now as I type this I see that Georgia is waking up.  And while I am willing to let her cry while I dress Annabelle, mutilate a roll of tape, and rescue the UPS Driver, I'm not willing to let her cry while I ramble on here.  Which means this officially just became Part One of "The Christmas Poke-a."  I didn't even get to the Poke-a part yet.  Brevity is not something I am good at.

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