Monthly Archives: August 2011

Tuco Has a Cut on His Head!

Tuco’s perfect baby skin has been blemished! See the huge gash on my little Tuco’s forehead? Ok, gash is a little extreme, but up close it does look deeper than just a light surface scratch. He did it with his fingernail, and I discovered it when he woke up from his nap. Poor little guy. I guess mommy should have toughened up and trimmed his nails sooner instead of just filing them. Yep, I should have cut his nails. With a nail clipper. A sharp, sharp nail clipper.

In my original post on this topic, I wrote a bona fide essay that could have been called A Detailed Play-by-Play on How I Cut Tuco’s Nails.  But no one cares about that. Instead, I would like to just say that it was terrifying!  Holding a little baby’s fingers up to a nail clipper and actually squeezing the clipper down is bloody scary. That’s right, it is bloody scary, and it is just the beginning of the parental fears to come. Looks like my ass is grass, and being a parent is the lawnmower.

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Easy Like Sunday Morning On Thursday Afternoon

Each day I try to do something different in between feedings and naps, so Tuco can get a change of scenery and have a new experience. Today I took him to the park. It’s free and it’s close by, so I imagine we’ll go often as he gets bigger. We ended up sitting in the shade under a maple tree for a while. Tuco stood barefoot in the grass (I held him up), played with leaves in his hands, and watched the trees sway in the wind.  You can see in the picture that he had a blast.

And me? I loved every motherflippin’ second of it. Man, I love this kid.

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Getting All Mom Up In Here

I’m feeling very Super Mom today. In addition to handling the usual mom tasks that have to be done, I found enough time to finish two things I’ve been meaning to complete. The first was making homemade pesto with basil from my garden. I followed this recipe from Simply Recipes to make it. It was easy to make, and it even tastes delicious. This is quite the achievement for me because I am not a lady of the kitchen at all.

I am also not a lady of tidy organization, but today I finally organized Tuco’s changing table (why oh why did I buy a changing table and not a chest of drawers?). From the beginning it was a hodge podge of random baby items, and over the last four months, it has become a storage area for all things small enough to be thrown under it. Now it is a Zen-like storage area with a place for everything, and everything in its place. And I did it cheaply with Itso fabric bins from Target.

I should acknowledge that none of this never would have happened without the Exersaucer my sister-in-law gave us. It has given me the gift of being able to work on something for 30 minutes uninterrupted at a time. Tuco is very content hanging out in it, and he is now an expert at grabbing all the surrounding toys. I still have to shove a blanket in between him and the saucer to help keep him from slumping over, but he each day he seems to be getting better at standing in it. It really helps to not have to cram the whole to-do list in while he’s taking naps.

Ah, the sweet victory of getting things crossed off the to-do list. It doesn’t seem to happen often enough.

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Accepting Acrophobia

Once Tuco was born, I became obsessed with what it means to be a mom. I’d have all these inclinations that didn’t jive with who I was before Tuco was born. Here’s a story to explain.

My husband and I were lucky enough to get a night out to meet up with friends at our town’s summer festival. While chatting with our friends, two of them decided to go on the Ferris wheel. My husband thought it sounded fun, and he asked me if I wanted to go. I’ve always hated heights, and I’m usually quick to say no when asked to go on a carnival ride, but this time I said yes. Why? I was drunk on new motherhood.

“Yeah, let’s go,” I said. We went to the Ferris wheel and stood in line. I watched the ride go around and around, and I had no anxiety about it. I thought to myself, I’m a mom. Someday Tuco’s going to want to go on these rides, and I’m going to have to take him. I don’t want him to be afraid of things because I’m afraid of things. This is what a mom would do.

Things changed quickly once the carnival attendant secured the chain on our chair. Slight anxiety rippled through my nervous system, but I talked myself down. It’s fine. Kids are on this ride. It doesn’t go very fast. It’s fine. It’s fine. This is what a mom would do.

However, as our chair rose a few feet every time new people were let on, the anxiety bubbled fear through my body, vocalized it with my voice, and directed it to my husband. “STOP SHAKING THE CHAIR! I’m serious. I need you to not move,” I yelled at him. He denied any wrongdoing, and he was right. He wasn’t shaking the chair. The slightest body adjustment shook the chair. Breathing shook the chair.

I tried to enjoy the ride. When we were at the top of the wheel, I tried to take in the view. I wanted to feel excitement as the wheel spun around, but I didn’t. All I felt was the fear of heights that I had my whole life. Why would motherhood suddenly make me comfortable with being up high?

When the ride was over, I realized I had to accept my fear. I don’t have to advertise it to Tuco, but I also don’t have to deny it. Being a mom doesn’t have to mean that I have to be some super-woman, nonexistent version of myself. Though I want to, I’m not going to be able to teach Tuco about everything the world has to offer. For the things I cannot do, Tuco will have his father, extended family, and community friends to fill in the gaps. And along the way he’s going to learn things through his own experiences that don’t include me. And that’s totally fine. *Sniff*

All right, enough with the affirmation. I’ll just end with “I’m Good Enough, I’m Smart Enough, and Doggone It, People Like Me.”

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Who is Tuco Salamanca?

Tuco Salamanca is a crazy wild card. He’s a violent drug kingpin, and he’s terrifying. If you look up meth-dealing sociopath in the dictionary, guess whose picture you’d see? That’s right, Tuco Salamanca’s.

I have a baby boy named Tuco. Well, that’s not his real name–it’s just what we call him sometimes. I admit it’s a poor nickname choice for a baby. You can see by the two pictures to the right that it wasn’t based on physical resemblance. It happened because sleep deprivation leads to bad ideas and because AMC’s Breaking Bad is fantastic.

When we brought our son home from the hospital, we were near the end of watching season one of Breaking Bad on DVD. We were hooked and could not wait to see the next episode after each one ended. Breaking Bad became our reward for making it though the day successfully with our newborn.

When our son would go to sleep for a couple hours in the evening, we would make dinner and watch a Breaking Bad episode. We chose to do this over sleep because it made us feel better than sleeping did. For 45 minutes out of the day, we felt like our old selves. It helped take away the sting of feeling your life completely changed by the arrival of a baby.

One night, our son was asleep in his swing in the room with us as we watched an episode. When the episode was over, my husband looked over at our son peacefully sleeping and said, “Look at that little Tuco over there.” I looked at our baby and lovingly said, “Oh Tu-co! Little Tuco Salamanca!”

So yadda, yadda, yadda, we’ve been referring to our son as Tuco ever since.

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