Saturday, July 31, 2010

Mother of the Year

I figure if you're going to get screamed at, may as well have some fun with it.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


I meant to write this yesterday, but came home and passed out instead. Y'all, 5 am is EARLY.

* I had a minor meltdown yesterday of the "I don't have anything to wear!" variety. It's too hot for the girdle. I've had three inmates ask if I'm pregnant. The majority of my coworkers have commented on how much weight I've lost. They've never seen me not pregnant, but still. I don't mention the 20lbs I still have to go.

* I wore shoes! And have the blisters to prove it! Turns out 4 months of flip flops = sissy feet

* I was missed. The other shrinks seemed genuinely excited to have me back. Some of the inmates literally bounced with joy. I'm not narcissitic enough to think I'm really all that super awesomely great, but I'll take it.

* C sent me videos all day. Yesterday they showed how Syd took a 4 hour nap, Eli cleaned his room, and everyone was doing great. All smiles and happy family fun. Today's was a Blair Witch style video of Syd crying and a close up of C saying simply "This is how my day's going. Come home soon."

* I really enjoyed getting back to the chaos. There were fights, suicide attempts, even a total lockdown. Twas awesome.

* I pumped. This has been the biggest adventure. I've done it five times now, and so far I've been walked in on, splashed milk across my desk, and the alarm** has gone off twice just as I got "hooked in". (Also, random well-meaning people have asked really invasive questions, usually followed by "Isn't that supposed to burn a lot of calories?" Those same people don't get the hint about getting out of my office, btw.)

**We each carry an alarm that looks like a garage door opener. If you press it, it sets off an alarm in whatever building you're in. Officers come running to see what the danger is. They check every person and every room. It NEVER goes off in my building.

* And the best part? I totally FLASHED A COWORKER today. Seriously. I was being all incognito as I came out of my office, bag of pump parts in my hand, headed to the bathroom. She looks up from her lunch and very obviously stares at my boobs. After about 10 million minutes she says, questioningly, "Your shirt." I look down and realize that I have neglected to pull my lacy cami back up over my boobs, thereby giving her quite an eyeful. Thank God I work across from the other woman in the office. I think we're closer friends now. And I'm pretty sure she owes me dinner.

I'm getting into the swing of things and trying to get back into a routine. I miss the kids like crazy, but I'm happy to be back.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Back to reality

I go back to work on Monday, after more than three months at home. On one hand, I'm super excited to go back. I really enjoy my job, and I'm definately ready to talk to some grown-ups. I overheard C tell someone the other day "I think she'd dance on a table just for some adult conversation." I hope it doesn't come to that, but I'm pretty certain I am not cut out for this stay-at-home thing. My tone has gotten harsher and my threats of selling one or both of my children aren't quite as empty anymore. It's really not how I want my kids to think about our time together.

On the other hand, MY BABIES!!!! I have loved being able to just hang out with both of them. Yesterday, as Syd and I woke up together, I realized that that was going to be a strictly weekend treat. No more leisurely mornings playing in bed. No more snuggling with Eli on the couch before nap time. I've worked out my schedule so that I should be able to get home before naptime's over, but that also means that five out of seven days I'll miss the morning smiles. Right now that's breaking my heart.

I know that it's in all of our best interests for me to go back to work. We've grown accostomed to a certain lifestyle and I think it'd be really hard for us to live without luxuries like electricity, food, and DVR. I also know that once I'm back in the swing of it, I will be much happier as a working mom. And when mama's happy... But right now all I see is the time away, the commute time, Syd's tinyness.

There's also the logistics. Going back to work means putting grown-up clothes back on. I'm still about 15 pounds from where I started, so that means that to put on any of my old clothes I have to wear a "body shaper" (read: girdle). SEXY. And in 100+ weather, even better. Don't even get me started on the shoe situation. They should really tell you that your feet will grow when you're pregnant, and may not go back. And pumping! I didn't pump with Eli so this whole thing is blowing my mind. I had to get special security clearance for the pump (that was a super-fun conversation, btw). Now I'm trying to figure out how it's going to work. I'm totally expecting my boss to walk in on me, topless and hooked up to the hoses. Which will startle me, causing me to spill milk all over my desk. Which will short out my computer. Which I'll then have to explain to the IT guys. Then I'll have to call an inmate to come mop the floor since we're not "authorized" to use a mop. That'll be awe.some. OR, I'll totally forget to be civilized, since I've spent the last two months with a newborn and a preschooler, and let one rip during a meeting or ask someone if they "need to go potty". Oh the possibilities...

All that to say, I'm going back to work next week. If anyone has any advice I'd really appreciate it, especially regarding the pumping and the wardrobe. I know the kids will be fine (C's going to be home for a month, so they're still not going to daycare full-time yet) and I know that I'm going to miss them like crazy. But better to miss them and cherish our time together than to wake up dreading the prospect of getting screamed at all day and trying to keep us all from killing each other. MOTY.

They're cute little monsters, aren't they?

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

How sweet is this?

I am loving all these little moments I walk in on. He had been singing a long involved song to her but got a little "camera shy"

*I couldn't get two videos into one post, so there's another cute one after this (end shameless plug for my children)

This one's so cute it makes my cheeks hurt

A morning in the life of Chiconky

4:13 Eli wakes me up to ask if he can lay down with us (by "us" he means right on top of me while I try to feed Syd into stupor and get a few more precious minutes of sleep). I take him back to his bed while he moans that he'll be "all al-ooooone"

7:30 Eli comes back. Lays down with his dad, much to my surprise.

8:00 Get up out of bed to a chorus of "What's for breakfast?" Feel chipper about sleeping in.

8:15 Make pancakes. Let Eli crack an egg, which he does, on the counter. Have a short fight about why he can't crack the last egg in the house. Turn on the babysitter.

8:30 Breakfast. Syd is still lying in our bed, happily cooing away. Start wondering if she's possessed, given her good mood.

9:00 Shower and get ready for a park date with a friend and her daughter. Syd's still cooing. Sure she's possessed.

9:30 Start thinking I might actually get out of the house on time. Syd starts screaming. Definately possessed.

10:15 Meet friend at park only slightly late. Eli refuses to go down slides and demands someone go with him. Refuse on the basis of butt to slide ratio. Syd screams.

11:00 Decide to leave park because it's 1,000,000 degrees and the kids are all cranky. Diffuse fight with strange little girl who spit at Eli, then called him a liar. Size up grandma and decide to walk away.

11:15 Eli destroys friend's house. I totally flash new friend and feel myself up while trying to feed Syd. Syd's content for .04 seconds. Then screams.

11:45 PIZZA!

11:46 Eli's destroying the house again. Syd, screaming.

12:15 Get Eli to pick up all the toys he spread around the house. Deftly diffuse meltdown regarding leaving AWESOME. NEW. HOUSE. Syd, not screaming.

12:30 Syd starts screaming. Head out the door, saying good byes. Silently congratulate myself for averting Eli's meltdown until we were outside. Feel optimistic.

12:32 Slam Eli's finger in the front door. Of course.

12:45 In car, ice pack secured and apologies flying. Syd, happily cooing away.

1:00 Naptime.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Eight weeks

Where did the time go? Sydney Cheyne is eight weeks old today and it seems like just yesterday we were bringing her home, still in shock at her size and maturity. She's always seemed like an old soul, and that hasn't changed.

I've mentioned it before, but Syd is turning out to be a total hippy. She loves nothing more than being outside and looking up into the trees. She's partial to Bob Marley but seems to like all reggae. The trip threw a wrench into her schedule, so we're trying to figure that out again. The basics are sleep, nurse, play, nurse, sleep, nurse, nurse, nurse, nurse and repeat. She's not much of a sleeper, and really would prefer to be held, ideally nursing, 90% of the time. The girl's got a temper. She's either totally content or screaming her head off. If her cooing is any indication she's going to talk more than her brother does. She ADORES Eli and will stare at him forever. He has the easiest time making her smile, but we all try our damnedest. Syd's got the sweetest smile. Her whole face erupts in this huge grin and then she starts to squawk. So cute. She's not a fan of the bouncy seat and prefers to be lying right in the middle of the room or near the sliding glass door. She loves bathtime. She's gotten to be too long and strong for the sink so she got her first tub bath this week (with Eli. He was thrilled). She likes to suck on her fist and is a first class drooler.

I go back to work in two weeks. On one hand, I'm ready to go back, to wear shoes and have actual grown-up conversations. Ah, who am I kidding? I'm ready to go eight hours without wiping anyone's butt but my own. On the other hand, Syd still seems so little and I hate to think of missing any tiny squawk or giggle. She's such an awesome little girl. I can't believe we lucked out twice.

Sunday, July 11, 2010


My sister and I have had a tumultuous relationship over the years. It was a combination of strong personalities, being just close enough in age to compete with each other, and a number of life choices and petty resentments that culminated in us not talking to each other for almost two years. In the last couple of years we've repaired our relationship and are now closer than we have been in a long time. I didn't realize how much I'd missed her until she was back in my life. But now she's back, and she's brought with her the cutest, sweetest little girl I didn't give birth too.

At a family event over the holiday someone asked us how it was to be moms together. My sister and I, in our younger years, took full advantage of youthful stupidity. There were a few summers that can wake me in a cold sweat now that I will someday have a teenage daughter of my own. But man, were they fun. We were young, had bodies we wouldn't appreciate until they were gone, and nothing but time and imagination. We were trouble personified.

I've got to say, this is even better.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Cowboys and Hippies

One of the nice things about taking a vacation with kids is that you get to spend a lot of time with them, without all the distractions of day-to-day life. Without work, laundry, bills, pets and so on, I spent a lot of time just watching both Eli and Sydney.

It's no secret that Eli has a strong personality. He definately likes what he likes and is passionate about his interests. Eli LOVES the rodeo. He loves everything about it and has for at least the last year or so. He's got the whole get-up, including handmade chaps (thanks Abba!) and boots. He's got a well-worn hat that he would live in if we let him. He knows all the lingo and the different events. His favorite is the steer wrestling, followed by bull riding and mutton busting. On this trip he got to go to a REAL. LIVE. RODEO and watch ACTUAL bullriders and mutton busters. Even better, turned out a couple of his cousins (distant, but related nonetheless) were actually competing. Pretty sure his head almost exploded from all the excitement, save for a few tense moments when he thought he was going to have to leave because he didn't have a hat on. We're talking about going back next year and letting him compete.

Sydney's interests aren't as time-tested as Eli's of course, but on this trip it became increasingly clear that this girl is an Earth child through and through. The quickest way to calm her down is to put her in a spot where she can look up into a tree. She loves to be outdoors, almost more than she loves boobs (almost, but not quite). The happiest she was during the whole trip, and she wasn't very happy during the trip, was after an extraordinary blow-out when she was laying naked on a blanket under a tree. She cooed and stared for almost an hour. One late night I was flipping through my iPod and Bob Marley came on. Her eyes widened and she literally started dancing. Her favorite song so far is "Three Little Birds." At this point I'm half-expecting her diapers to start smelling like patchouli.

It's so cool to watch and see how their little personalities develop. I'm constantly amazed that they're not just little versions of C and I. Poor C, with his hip-hop tastes, video games, and love for all things sports. I don't think he was counting on a couple of country kids.

Friday, July 9, 2010

I just spent ten days without internet and my head didn't explode. I wasn't sure that was possible! I'll write more as soon as I get all this laundry done and all 500 (!) pictures downloaded. We're home and everyone is recuperating and enjoying being in our own beds. Sydney says "Fuck road trips" and Snaily survived our absence.