Monday, August 30, 2010

Year Number Two...Aaannnd Go!

So. I have a toddler. A friend asked me today what it feels like to have a 1 year old, and at the time I wasn't quite sure what to answer, but now that I've had all afternoon to reflect, it feels...strangely anti-climactic.

I was pretty emotional last Wednesday, but not any more than usual. Since having a child, it's as though the pregnancy hormones have never quite left my body, and I can get weepy just at the image of my son stopping halfway across the living room to laugh at himself, for who knows what reason. Everything makes me cry. Especially being in church.

It's hard to explain, but, while I feel like I have far exceeded my own expectations of myself as a mother, I have been a big fat FAIL at being a better wife, homemaker, and caretaker of my family. I do not vacuum enough. I have not mopped the kitchen floor in way too long. I have dropped my 1st 6-months of mommyhood habit of doing a load of laundry each night (including folding and putting away) and now have two or three piles of unfolded laundry in the bonus room upstairs. I still have not unpacked the big suitcase from our beach trip a MONTH ago and just last night put the beach bags back in the closet upstairs.

I have paid bills late because I forgot about them, kept a constant pile of random stuff on the side table downstairs, and completely neglected my herbs this summer. My dog is not current on her heartworm medicine or flea and tick, and hasn't had a bath in over a month. (She did jump in the pool yesterday...that counts, right?) I can't find anything in my house or office because I don't have any kind of organizational system anymore...I am barely treading water when it comes to housework.

The worst is that I constantly nag my husband about every little thing. And I tend to do it quite passive agressively, like this exchange: "I'm going upstairs, can you let Sidney out?" "Well, no, I was going to go up first and take my contacts out." I paused and answered, "oh, that's right, I'm the mom so it's my responsibility." I'm mean to him. And that's just not right. I know he forgets to take his stuff upstairs sometimes and opens the packaging to any new electronic "toy" like a 12 year old at Christmas, leaving the box and instructions just lying on the table or floor. But he also cuts the grass every week and cooks just as much as I do. And I need to give him more credit.

So, given these realizations, instead of making New Year's Resolutions, I'm treating my son's birthday like a new year: things I want to be better at as a mom. Part of being a mom is taking on the extra task of caring for another family member without letting the rest of my life go to pot, and I need to be reminded of the women of the sixties and seventies and eighties, the original working moms who did it all. That doesn't mean I'm not going to stand up for myself when I need my husband's help, but lets face it: he does a lot more than men did back then, and a lot more than the weight I see some men pull. I need to learn to live my life without complaining.

And I'm going to try to start tonight, right after my Fantasy Football draft.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Recipe Thursday: Banana Cupcakes

Okay, I just made that up, but these are so good I have to share...

Just for you...I'll see if I can remember the recipe. This is supposed to make 12 muffins, but it always leaves a little extra so I make a couple of those little heart cakes. That's what little man had for his birthday last night and he went to one point he tried to shove the whole thing in his mouth.

Mix together: 3/4 cups sugar, 1 1/2 cups of flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking soda, and 1/4 tsp salt (I think it's weird that the sugar is mixed in with the flour, but it works.
In a hand or stand mixer, mash 3 very ripe bananas, then mix in 1 stick of melted butter, and 1 egg room temp. And some vanilla if you feel like it. Once combined, gradually mix in the flour/sugar mixture, and voila.

Bakes at 350 for about 25 minutes (you know, the whole toothpick thing).

I made a buttercream frosting for them, but I'm not good at measuring. I know I let one stick of butter soften, then I "whipped" it until it got fluffy, then added powdered sugar and whipping cream until I felt like it was the right consistency...this is by far my fave frosting and I think I'm even going to use it on his b-day cake now. I also added about 1-2 tsp of vanilla (I measure with the cap...)

Sorry for my recipe "format"...I'm a good cook, but bad at writing crap down! Enjoy! I made them while I was pregnant and had to have them again. It's probably why JTD loves bananas so much!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

...A Year Ago Today.

When I started this I was really excited to recount my birth story, but now it's my baby's birthday and what I really want is to write a big, fat letter about how much I love him and post it. Since I've baited you this far, I suppose I should finish the task at hand!

Waking up in the hospital was like not really waking up. I had spent the night strapped to so many monitors and contraptions that every time I had to go potty (which was like 847 because I was almost 10 months pregnant at this point) I had to wrap all these cords around my shoulders and hobble into the bathroom. I probably slept an hour and a half total. My Pitocin drip started between 8 and 9 AM, and despite the horror-story warnings I had received, my body worked surprisingly well with the drug. I began having contractions almost immediately, but they were soft, gentle, well-spaced, and generally just a minor interruption to my day.

This is the part where I wish I could change things. Doctors and nurses preach "protocol" in the hospital setting a lot, but going into it I knew that I didn't HAVE to be monitored the whole time if I felt like it wasn't necessary. Knowing the kind of birth experience I wanted, I should have been much more proactive and voiced my opinions instead of drifting blissfully along, eating jello and talking to DH while doing nothing but lying in bed all day. If I could go back, I would insist on 15 minutes an hour off the monitors as long as baby's heart rate was fine (it was) and my blood pressure was manageable (it was, barely). I would have showered, stretched myself across the birthing ball, walked the hallway, gotten on all fours, anything I could do to progress my own labor. But when you're strapped to an ever-increasing drip of Pitocin, the hospital staff start thinking lawsuit and get antsy.

Around 11AM things were looking contractions were steady, and I had dilated about 1/2cm, enough that my OB (our second favorite, and coincidentally the doc who delivered my 2 1/2 year old niece) could break my water. This was honestly the MOST painful part of my entire pregnancy, labor, delivery, and recovery. Probably because they usually wait until you are a little more open to do it, but that couldn't be helped in my situation. It took somewhere between 3-4 tries, but I was practically blind with vaginal pain at that point so I stopped counting.

The next 3 hours were awesome...and I mean awesome only by the fact that I felt something was HAPPENING. I was finally in LABOR! Despite our plea that we only wanted my mother and mother in law to visit, and only while I was in labor (not when time to push) we had several visits from other family throughout the day, and I didn't even mind. My contractions were getting stronger, so much that I needed to practice breathing techniques, and steady and closer together. When my OB can back to check around 2:30, I was sure she would tell me I was at a 4.

Not so much. My cervix HAD NOT BUDGED. At this point, everyone was still hopeful for a natural delivery, except me. I was too busy worrying and being a pessimist and having that Big C hanging over my head. Since baby was doing fine, she wanted to use an internal monitor to make sure my contractions were strong enough because I was already on a high dose of Pit. At this point, getting out of bed was no longer an option. She also suggested Stadol for the first time, and I surprised myself by accepting. Her argument convinced me: at the rate we were going, this could be a 24 hour labor and I needed to rest. My pain level was not as high as I had expected, but the contractions were definitely make sleep impossible.

The next 3 hours were a blur, mostly because of the two doses of Stadol (and two subsequent 1 hour naps) and the breathing and concentration through the heaviest contractions yet. They were painful and getting worse, but nowhere near the level of pain I thought I would be in. Even so, hubby and I had a plan for the next OB check. The guidelines were this: if I was dilated at a 6 or higher, no more drugs because I knew I could handle it, 4-6 would be epidural time, 2-4 was iffy maybe just more Stadol, and if I still wasn't past a 2, then surgery time it was. Maybe I gave in too soon, but after Cervadil, Pitocin, and no more than a 1/2cm progression in 20 hours, it was time to let this kid see the world.

The doctor gave me the choice, which I will be forever grateful for, but it was time. Once we said the word, I have never seen people move so fast. Apparently, there was an operating room opening up right away, and within 10 minutes I was naked from the waist down, being shaved by two nurses, and talking to an anesthesiologist while hubby and the moms were packing up our room. Within 20 minutes, I was being wheeled into an operating room, stuck in the spine, and strapped to a cold steel table, naked and exposed from the waist down. The 10 or so people in ther emoved like clockwork, and I think I had the best nurse anesthecist ever. My husband joined me, I felt nothing, we just looked at each other with love in our eyes and waited.

And at 6:36PM, our tiny baby boy was out and crying for the first time. I cried, of course, and when they whisked him into the next room with John by his side, I could hear him crying. It made me so happy first, because I knew he was alive and well, but the longer I went without him the more I felt the pull of "he's crying because he needs mommy".

The worst part of the c-section? Not being able to hold Jacob for more than an hour after his birth. The best part? Seeing my husband holding him first, and the absolute joy and pride coming from his face as he brought our son over to me.

And a year later, I cannot even explain all the ways my life has changed for the better. No matter what the sacrifice I've made, which hasn't felt like much this year, there is nothing I would change. My baby is happy, healthy, and even sometimes cuddly. He's intelligent and loves to point at things and say "be-gock?" which I guess is his way of saying "what's that?" He gives the best hugs and open-mouthed kisses a mama could ask for, loves people, loves his family, and brings so much love and laughter into our home. I cannot wait to see what the next year holds.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

...A Year Ago Today...

Was probably the most emotionally demanding day of my life.

My doctor's appointment (41w1d) was a rollercoaster of emotions. First of all, I was thrilled because it was with my favorite doc out of the 5 rotating OB's at my practice. He was supportive of my hopes for low-intervention and was very laid back. When he checked, baby was head down, everything seemed good, but I had nothing going on "down there". Since we were at 41 weeks and he knew induction was a last resort for me, we did the "NST" which is where they monitor the baby's heart and movement and their response to any contractions (not that I had any). Sometimes they give you a low dose of Pitocin before they do this just to try to manufacture some uterine movement, but my doc didn't. No biggie, JTD passed with flying colors and the only hurdle left was the ultrasound. We were fully prepared to go back home and wait another week if needed.

Plus, the prospect of an ultrasound was really someone with a normal pregnancy, I had not seen my little boy in pictures since my 18 week appointment! My excitement, however, faded as the ultrasound tech took measurement after measurement and commented more than once about my fluid level, saying it was harder to get a clear picture with so much less amniotic fluid in there. Also, my little guys' parts were measuring much smaller than they should have been. For a 41 week baby, the doc was probably expecting to see an 8 pounder, but what we saw was more like a 6 pounder with thighs measuring at 36 weeks. Had my baby stopped growing?

That, and the low amniotic fluid, made the decision for Doc. He called us into his office and said, "it looks like a great day to have a baby". My husband beamed like a proud new dad while I tried to hold back my tears. I knew what was coming. I was only dilated 1cm, having no contractions whatsoever, and the baby hadn't even really dropped. At this point, we had our bag packed and ready, but we still asked if we could go home and come back. Mainly because I was kind of in shock, and my husband really needed to mow the lawn. No, had been more than a week and we knew it would be another week before he could get to it.

We left with plans to come back to the hospital that evening, and I cried almost the whole way home. Hubby decided it was a good plan to stop by work and let them know that he was taking his 2 week "paternity leave" starting then, and one of his co-workers felt the need to come out and congratulate me. So there I was, sobbing in the car, feeling even more guilty because I should be elated at the fact that I would be a mom the next day, and all I could think about was how it wasn't supposed to happen this way. While hubby mowed the grass I furiously signed online and read every birth story I could find while researching Bishop's Score. My Bishop's Score gave me a 45% chance of a c-section. Somehow, I knew as soon as I saw that, that I would be having one. So I did more research on c-sections and calmed myself down a little with the birth stories I saw posted that ended that way. I didn't want it to end that way, but at least I felt more prepared. (Thank GAWD that episode of Gray's Anatomy where that baby's arm gets severed during a c-s hadn't aired yet.)

I think I was finally feeling more myself when we got to the hospital. I was reading my gossip mags, hanging in bed, excited that I would finally get to feel labor pains. No, I'm not kidding, I really couldn't wait to feel a contraction. At this point, I was READY. For anything. I knew I could handle it.

Oh, how God takes our plans and throws them out the window sometimes.

Monday, August 23, 2010

A Year Ago Today...

I was 41 weeks pregnant, and finally starting to wonder if things were ever going to go as planned.

(*I made you look, thought this would be a birthday letter? Oh, no, ladies...this is Part 1 of a 3 day birth story. Pull up a chair and a cup of coffee and enjoy.*)

My nature is typically like that of a non-planner. My family's vacation agenda is actually classified as "No Agenda". In fact, that's the name of my dad's boat because when my sister and I were around 12 and 16, he got tired of us saying "what's on the agenda today?" So I didn't write a birth PLAN, I wrote some birth "preferences" (no, really, the sheet I took to the hospital said "birth preferences for Baby ____"). I had hoped to have a natural and minimally medicated labor and delivery. I was more comfortable with the idea of narcotic pain relief than the dreaded epidural, but since I had only prepared with the simple "here are all of your options" birth class and not invested time in Bradley, water birth, or Hypno-Babies, I knew that the chances of me not giving in to the pressure were about 50-50.

Mainly, I just wanted to go with the flow. (Word of advice: in retrospect, this was not a good plan, more on that tomorrow.)

So, on Sunday, at 41 weeks pregnant (and still wearing a non-maternity top, so what if it was stretched to the limit) I took a leisurely trip to the Farmer's Market with my BFF. We bought peaches for me to blanch and freeze, and then she gave me reflexology to try to help induce labor***. Walking and this one session of a wonderful foot massage were the only natural labor-induction techniques I tried. Maybe I would change that, too, if I could go back in time. But maybe not...I had a very relaxing week off before baby came, thinking about a lot of things. Mostly how much my life was going to change, and I better soak up my last chance to be lazy.

I had my OB appointment set for the next afternoon, and I was hoping that all the walking was doing something to stretch out my cervix. As a member of an online pregnancy community, I tried not to be discouraged by the fact that I had remained closed up tight the entire 3rd trimester, because every other day were birth story posts about how they went in for their 39,40 week appointment, talked over induction because they still hadn't dilated or effaced, only to go home and begin labor spontaneously.

Oh, how I waited that week to begin labor spontaneously. I had such an easy pregnancy, without so much as a vaginal cramp, but at this point I was actually starting to find myself jealous of the women complaining at 28 weeks of all the Braxton-Hicks they were having. Call me crazy, but I wanted to KNOW what a contraction was, what I was in for, even just a preview so that I could better gauge if I would be able to handle labor or not.

To wrap up Sunday, I relaxed for my reflexology session and went to bed early. No broken water, no labor pains, not so much as a hint of contraction in my girly region. What on earth would we find out at the doctor's appointment?

***Although I am in no way certified, for any of my readers out there full term pregnant and ready to give birth, try rubbing the indentation of skin between your heel and your ankle bone. Use firm, long strokes.***

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Inspiration! Free from Working Mom Wednesday

So as you can see at the top of my blog, I recently joined the Working Mom Network of bloggers, and by joined I mean that I brazenly slapped my pic and link down on their list of blogs without asking, thankyouverymuch.

Every Wednesday, they give me a break by providing two questions to inspire a post. Based on the fact that I have been trying to worm my way over to this site since my lunch hour at 2PM EST, I'd say that it feels like the answer to question number one today should be the hour of 4-5PM, when I am frantically trying to wrap up a bajillion things at work, lock my desk, and oh yeah, spend 19 minutes banging out a blog post.

But, it's really not the answer...

#1. What is your most stressful time of day and why?

The absolute most stressful time of day for me is from about 6:50-7:20AM each morning, particularly Mon-Wed. Hubby and I carpool those days, and pre-bebe I was the type to sleep until 7:50 when I had to be at work by 8:15. So, getting up at 6:15 is as early as it EVER gets now. Most mornings, this is when I nurse Jacob and spend a wonderful quiet 18 or so minutes dozing, staring into my son's eyes, carressing his tiny little elbow, and in general just being relaxed, preparing to start my day. The instant he is done, I have between 10 and 40 minutes to change a diaper, get him dressed, shower, let the dog out, feed the dog, make a half-ass barricade to keep the dog in the dining room since she's taken to an afternoon crapper recently and I really will scream if I come home to dog poo in the living room one more time this month, make sure the dog is not chasing any of the people that like to run in our neighborhodd, yell at the dog to stay out of the kitchen while I fix bottles, label yogurt (yogurt that will likely get thrown out because they let Jacob fill up on vanilla wafers before snacktime at daycare), find and pack lunch for me and hubs, and run back upstairs to put something on. Sometimes hubby helps, sometimes he spends the entire time getting himself ready only to come downstairs while I'm still in bra and panties with my hair in a towel and say "did you find something I can take for lunch today yet?" (Don't get me started on how Monday morning he looked at me in the car and remarked, "wow, you really do look like you just rolled out of bed.")

Sound stressful? It's much, much worse in person. Put it this way: I actually enjoy the commute because I can sit, finally. And because Jacob babbles the entire 4 miles.

#2. If you could have one day all to yourself, how would you spend it?

As I told my mom group today, AT A SPA. Preferably one with free saunas/steam rooms where I could sit around all day getting a massage, facial, pedicure, and reading gossip mags in nothing but a robe. But one big enough for me, istead of the ones I have to artfully drape over myself with a towel to cover the girly bits.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

This Post is Non-Baby-Related. Or Maybe It Is.

I am a Christian. I am a Libertarian. These two statements sometimes mix, and sometimes they combat against each other. Politics and religion are hard to mix, as we see every day, yet also they sometimes must go hand in hand. I would like to think that Jesus would be a Libertarian, albeit an outspoken one that would remind people not following the Law of God when they err. In any case, I cannot imagine who will be more shocked by my view on the "Ground Zero Mosque", my conservative friends and family, or my liberal ones.

I am having trouble understanding the controversy and the hate rhetoric being spewed (mostly on the side of those against the building of this community center) about this issue. As far as I can remember from my school teachings, which happened well before Under God was taken out of the Pledge of Allegiance, our first amendment in this country explains that we have the right to worship freely, speak freely, and live freely.

Do I think it's in the best interest of the practicing Muslims involved in the fight to build this community center two blocks from other people that happened to practice the same religion committed a horrible act of treason against our country? depends on their interests. If they are willing to accept that this may be a sore spot in the eyes of a lot of Americans for a while, and if their hope is that eventually (not immediately, but somewhere down the road as trust is built) this building could be a beacon of American freedom, acceptance, and unity, then I don't think it's that far reaching to assume that this is a possibility. I know that I, for one, do not want to be held accountable for what Jim Baker, Jerry Falwell, or Pat Roberson have ever said, and I cannot judge all people of Islamic faith by what a small, fanatical group of Muslims have done.

When it comes to other issues in the Muslim-American-Religion wars, I have the same viewpoint as I try to take in most of my political views: take care of yourself, and allow others the same freedom. Do I think it's fair to reschedule football practice for a month at a high school in Michigan because most of the team is Muslim and celebrating Ramadan? Well, if everyone on the team and their parents (because for high schoolers, parents are still supposed to be the household decision-makers) feels that it is an acceptable option, of course. A team is a team.

If we are going to be a country that is open and accepting to people of all race, religion, geographic background, without discrimination, then we can't pick and choose what we feel is acceptable to be tolerant of. If the Muslims who want to build the community center are tied to Al-Qaeda and beat their women into submission and promote the rape of children, then of course they don't have the right to build a mosque anywhere because they are breaking the law. If they are like the vast majority of American Muslims, who believe it or not may have left their home country because of the persecution they felt at not practicing certain orthodox parts of Islam, then extend an olive branch and let them build their mosque, which is far more likely to bring good service to the community than what the far-right are imagining.

Freedom of religion means freedom of religion. Period. I would be furious if the government told me I couldn't build a Baptist church on a piece of land I owned. The least I can do is extend the same courtesy to others.

Monday, August 16, 2010

And Still So Much to Learn

I'm feeling inspired today by some drama on my favorite drama-seeking message board. Last week I checked in for the first time in weeks and saw that everyone was all in an outrage over a post made by the woman who writes this blog: . I think her blog is cheeky, self-deprecating, and full of life's lessons to those of us travelling down the new motherhood path virtually unprepared for the stones that will be thrown at us. I doubt she is a bad mom, or even considers herself a bad mom. But, writing this blog has given her an outlet to vent those frustrations that we all come across from time to time when we turn our back and life surprises us.

Unfortunately, many members of "The Bump" did not feel this way, and therein ensued a riotous thread of threats to call CPS and wishes that she would give her beautiful son away for adoption because she obviously didn't deserve to be a mom. Really? Loosen up a little, ladies! We all have our moments, and we all need a way to get out the emotions that we can't wear on our sleeve daily for fear of actually having Child Protective Services called. She is not abusing or neglecting or even failing to celebrate her child. She is just pointing at the things in life that make it worth getting up, dusting ourselves off, and trying again.

Now, the one thing that has surprised me most about parenting thus far is how easy it has been for me. Easy is a relative term. My life is still much more hectic and stressful than before, but the rewards I've received for my hard work in the last 356 days has far outweighed the emotional and physical stress I've been through. I'm also lucky: my kid has had relatively consistent sleep patterns most of his life, is amazingly loving, smart, and independent, has remained very healthy with only an occasional bout of croup, and I escaped without a hint of the dreaded PPD (other than crying at the Pampers commercials and when he peed on the living room wall once, I have held it together somewhat).

But this morning, we had a mishap. A mishap of Bad-Mom proportions.

Jacob can climb stairs. He's pretty much been able to do this for about 3 1/2 months now, yet my husband and I have been extremely lazy about installing the gates and while there is one at the top of our staircase, the gate for the bottom is still sitting in a box in the garage. I'm not pointing fingers, but the "bad mom" in me (or is it bad wife) has a habit of sighing and rolling my eyes at my husband any time something is not done on time, like he's the only one responsible for baby-proofing, mowing the lawn, and car maintenance. I use the "but I do so much already" excuse a lot in our household.

So imagine the ice-cold grip in fear on my heart this morning as I was standing at the kitchen counter mixing formula bottles, half-listening to what my husband was talking about and too half-asleep to notice that the living room no longer contained the babbling and banging sounds of Jacob playing. Then the questioning "uunnnhhhh?" that is usually how baby boy tries to get our attention when he's unsure about something, coming from way too distant a place to be anywhere close by. My husband bolted, while I was frozen to the spot. The next thing I hear is heavy clomping up the stairs and "hey, buddy," before breathing a big sigh of relief.

My son, my not quite year old, 28" tall peanut, was standing at the top of 14 steps, trying to figure out why he couldn't open the gate and go into his room.

Sometimes, you just have to take your lumps and count your lucky stars that someone is stronger than you give them credit for. Thank God for this kid's balance and agility, because my Monday could have turned out far, far worse because of my own laziness.

I thank God for a lot of things every day, but today especially, I am humbled. And greatful.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

"Got My Mojo Working"

Um, or not...

Two of the things I've been surprised that I am enjoying as a woman no longer in her twenties are pop music and talk radio. These pleasantries are combined in my morning commute with the wonderful local morning show here in NC "Bob and the Showgram". The female DJ happens to be just shy of a month older than myself, 31, and this morning they were discussing how she feels that she "lost her mojo at the age of 31".

Now, the loose definition of "mojo" we are using here is that intangible thing that all women have at some point, that feeling of being attractive to the opposite sex. You know what I'm talking about: it's how a happily married woman gets flushed and giddy over the possible flirtatious banter of a male coworker, UPS guy, fast food employee taking your order, or in my case, the Hispanic landscaper that yells out "Si, Mami" as you are walking across the parking lot. (At my weight and breast-waist-booty ratio, the white boys barely look but I seem to be a total hottie to our more ethnic population.)

They were discussing how Kristen thought she was going to be hit on during a recent trip to New Orleans and the French Quarter, but came back feeling pretty unattractive despite the fact that she has a live-in boyfriend who adores her. They were asking callers to describe when we knew we lost our mojo.

I can actually pinpoint mine. I was 25 years old, on my way to work at 8AM, swinging by a coffee shop that I happen to love, that also happens to be adjacent to the very large University downtown. I was fixing my drink at the little counter with all the assorted spoons, napkins, straws, etc. when a fairly toned, tan, attractive male arm reached across my front side to grab a napkin. I glanced up and thought "hmmm, he's pretty good-looking" and then glanced down and realized he was wearing jeans, a tee, tennis shoes, a typical college sophomore outfit. Before my mind could even process the thought "you are way too old for him" he said, "excuse me, ma'am," and smiled. Not a sly, daring smile at all, or even a "you're hot for an older lady" smile, but the kind of smile that says, "oh, I really did just get in this old lady's space; that was rude," before carrying on with his day and forgetting that I existed.

Now, 6 years later, with a husband, a mortgage, a real job, and a beautiful child, the mojo is gone completely. As in, I don't even care anymore. I think I may have been hit on at work by a client today, but I barely noticed because all I could think was "geez, dude, hurry up so I can keep researching ride-behind bike trailers". And sitting here tonight, looking fairly bedraggled after coming home to find a sick dog (you know what that means I spent my first half hour doing, on my hands and knees with the Spot Shot), a clingy child, and getting stung by a hornet in the arch of my foot, mojo is a word that doesn't even exist in my lexicon.

I've got what I want. Right down to the toothpaste on my foot.*

*Google and the hubs both said this was the best home remedy for the sting, and they were right.

P.S. Don't walk around in your yard barefoot.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

I Spent $18 Ruining a $30 Pedicure

And it was worth every sweet penny!

I am back from my OBX vacation with lots to tell, most importantly extolling the benefits of taking a vacation with a child and assorted family members willing to fight over who gets to feed him, play in the sand with him, change poopy diapers, etc. This allows you and the hubby to choose how much time you want to spend with the dear child, but also escape for a late night walk on the pier, a date night, or even just escaping into books. (I almost finished 2! That's 2 more than I've finished since he was born.)

There were definitely some frustrations about beach vacationing with a wee babe. Mostly because the hubs and I are beach vacation people, but not necessarily beach people. The whole sand thing is a problem. Plus our little man's skin is fairly sensitive, so the daily sunscreen/sand/sun/shower routine was not kind to us last week. Luckily he only gets the baby excema, not the full-blown, painful kind, and most of it seems to be clear this week after reverting back to the unscented lotion and Aquaphor routine. The amount of STUFF required to stay away from home for a week, as well as what is required just to go down to the ocean for an afternoon, was astounding. Our poor sedan was packed to the gills, with our furry black baby resigned to make the trip with only about 2 square feet of backseat to herself.

Also, our little guy is a poor daycare napper, which means he spends his weekends catching up on sleep, with a two hour morning nap and a two hour afternoon nap. This was exacerbated (wink, Anne) even more by the activity level he put out during his waking hours on vacation, and the fact that he shared a room with us. A given schedule on vacation: up at 5:30, nurse, back down for an hour if I was lucky, then a 2 1/2 hour nap from 9-11:30, and an afternoon nap beginning around 2:30 that sometimes lasted so long we had to wake him just to ensure he didn't sleep through dinner. There was a lot of waiting involved in this vacation. I didn't mind: see, I read 2 books!

The highlight of the trip by far, though, was our jaunt to the same waterslide where I spent my own childhood summers building my love affair with any kind of water activity. I spent $12 so I could ride the big-kid slides, hubby spent $3 so he could hang in the kiddie pool, and our tiny tot was free. We spent nearly two hours hanging in the kiddie pool letting Jacob "swim" back and forth between us, walk through the water, and sit in our laps while we went down the easy slides. This excursion was such a delight, I could have cared less that my new perfect pedi got scraped to all hell in the pool. My mother exclaimed "I guess we're going to have to install a slide on the pool next summer" with excitement. I would have gladly done it over and over to watch his laughing face as we hit the water.

I think we're even considering going again later this summer! Lucky for us, we only live 3 hours away!

Monday, August 2, 2010

And in the End, I Have No Control.

When we last "spoke", I was trying to make the decision as to whether to keep pumping or give up the fight. After pumping so much that last week and having a wonderful week breastfeeding my son (my walking, talking, almost no longer a baby, son), I lugged the monstrous Medela and associated accoutrements, ice packs, and cold bag back to work today.

After an extremely hectic morning that included a new hire that I had no idea was starting today at the door at 9AM, I finally sat down about an hour ago and prepared myself, only to find after sitting half exposed in my freezing office that my pump is broken. This moment could not be any more anticlimactic if I tried. I fumbled around for a few minutes, trying to figure out if the plug or something was just messed up. It may be the A/C adapter, and it may work in my car at lunch. But as of right now, the word is no more full time pumping.

I should be overjoyed. Lord knows I have done nothing but complain about it for the last 6 or so months. Here, in my online mom group, to my husband, family, co-workers. All they have heard is what a drag it is and how I can't wait to be done with it. But now that the choice has been taken away from me, I'm left only with the thought of the impending weekend and my probable inability to nurse my son more than twice a day.

I tried to cherish every moment of nursing over the last nine days, knowing that we would likely be cutting back. But I am a very sentimental, nostalgic person inside, and all I can focus on now is how my baby is not a baby any more. He is now walking 75% of the time, and the crawling is really only to find something to pull up on so that he can walk. No more watching a crawling, naked baby following me down the hall to fold laundry. No more soothing at the breast. No more naps with mommy...he has trained himself well to sleep in a crib in a room on his own. He is growing more independent by the day, and with the countdown to his 1 year birthday at 23 days now, Mama is growing weepier and weepier at the loss of her wee babe.

I thought I got it before, when everyone told me it flies by. But I am only now beginning to understand...