Archive for the ‘New Mom’ Category

Thank you Time Life   8 comments

…. that is said both with gratitude and some sarcasm.

The cover has stirred up all sorts of issues. I feel like Time was trying to encourage this “Mommy war” that the media is always talking about.  A lot of moms buy into the Mommy Wars which is evidenced by the comments regarding the cover, not even the whole article. Comments about how extended breastfeeding is sick and child abuse. Others say the picture is pornographic and that the woman is damaging her son, who incidentally is only three. I feel Time chose a very mature looking three year old to make it looks even more extreme.

I would guarantee that the women making those negative comments have not done ANY research concerning the long term benefits of extended breastfeeding. There certainly is a lot of it.  LA still nurses at 20 months. For us this works. In my mind I have that we will start weaning around two years old… we are just about to start night weaning. For many of my friends this is way too late for their comfort level. For others I know this is too soon. But this is what works for us and it is, frankly, no one else’s business.

Many of my friends have told horror stories about friends and family bullying them to stop nursing, as early as 6 months. They push formula or mock them, they tell them they will spoil their child etc. I suppose I am lucky to have friends and family who have not done this to me. Although I have a friend who says I’m just so outspoken that if someone tried that I’d just dump a load of information on them to shut them up… this too is possible.

I do have one friend who messages me about every other month to ask if I’m still breastfeeding. There is no chatty email that this comes up in conversation. I’ll simply get an email that says “Are you still breastfeeding?” I’ll write back, “How are you? blah blah blah… yes we are. Things are going well.” I will get a reply that ignores all my pleasantries and says, “When are you planning on stopping?” It just makes me laugh although I’m aware she is expressing some sort of morbid curiosity or disapproval.

I suppose if I think about if I’ve received some disapproval of the fact that LA slept in our room until she was 1. I know a couple people who made negative comments that we didn’t sleep train or that I still fed her at night for comfort. But most of my friends respect my decisions, or at least keep harsh opinions to themselves. I don’t mind opinions or questions… just the ones aimed at making me feel bad.  And some of the negative comments I’ve received have been both sides… for example some of my parents who co sleep made negative comments that we did not and those that did cribs from day one were not approving of how we kept her in our room. I definitely received some comments from people regarding our decision for LA to be born in a birth center. Two that stand out are “Babies were meant to be born in a hospital” (which made me laugh because they only have been born in hospitals for the last 90 years, before that hospitals were pretty much where you went to die) and “Are you trying to prove something?”
You can’t please everyone… and that’s fine.

Even before this cover came out I was going to write a post about all these different labels we have for mamas- Tiger Mothers, French Mothers, Attachment Parenting, Disciplinarian, Baby Whispering… I’m sure there are others. Why do we have to label each other? I doubt anyone is 100% any one type.

I would say I ascribe to many Attachment parenting philosophies but after reading an article on French mothering I do many things, especially in regard to discipline, that they do… but again not all. When we label we have to pick. And when we pick one it seems none of us are mature enough to stop putting the others down. And there are things I do that aren’t any particular “thing” that I’m aware of.

Parenting is unique. No two sets of parents will ever do the exact same thing, even if they ascribe to the same parenting style. There are many types of parenting styles. All of this will combine into various type of people… which is the point. None of us are the same. We are all different but different doesn’t mean that one way is necessarily better. It may be better for one mom, but totally wrong for another.  Unless abuse or neglect is going on and the parent has made the decision out of love and the best interest of their child (rather than intimidation, ignorance or coercion) there is no wrong decision!

For example, I know one mom who told me that she “couldn’t handle” her child getting up once or twice a night to feed still at a year like LA did. But her child got up at 6 am every morning, something I personally couldn’t handle. I far preferred getting up once or twice for 10 minutes a piece with the exchange of sleeping until 8 or 9 every morning. It’s all about what works for each individual family.

It’s not to say we don’t judge ever. We make our parenting decisions because we feel they are the right ones, so we have our reasons why we think the alternatives are not as good. And it’s natural to be defensive of what we are doing… because we are all doing our best. But we can keep in mind that other parents are doing their best too. And we can make choices about how we treat others. Even when I strongly disagree with what someone else does I remind myself “I will do my best not to make another parent feel bad about their parenting decisions.”

Because there are other factors in every family and what works for one does not work for another.

The only complaint I have about many parents I meet is educating themselves. I do tend to be hard on parents (and I should not be but I’m working on that) who do not educate themselves before making parenting decisions. I suppose also I’m hard on parents who know the benefits but don’t care because of convenience or other small things… but I suppose that goes back to what I said that no decision made from love can be wrong.

And as I said before I thank Time for making this a topic of conversation. Because when a topic becomes conversation usually some level of education is achieved. Based on what I’ve read of the article, the title and the picture I feel they were trying to sensationalize Attatchment parenting… the stranger it looks the better for their sales. I can only hope some mothers will read the article and takes what works for them and leaves the rest.

I’m annoyed with Time because I feel the whole idea of encouraging Mommy wars, especially the idea of “Are you mom enough?” is trying to pit us against each other. I’m about to post a blog post concerning recent ratings of the US in regards to womens health issues. If they keep us fighting each other we will never turn around and fight to improve things for ourselves and our children…. which is what we should be doing!

A friend of mine recently posted the following quote on her page. I don’t know where it comes from but I think it is perfect…

“Motherhood is — should be — a village, where we explore each other’s choices, learn from them, respect them, and then go off and make our own.” 

I wish we could all remember this….

 

 

 

 

 

Total side note… when I went on Pinterest to find the “Are you mom enough” response I had to search for it. A ton of pins of the original cover came up… most of the comments were “Wtf” “What is wrong with this woman?” and “Someone should go get that child a glass of real milk.” The last is my favorite because she clearly doesn’t know that mothers milk is far more nutritious than cows milk.

Personally I’m aiming to have LA weaned around 2 because that is where I am comfortable. To be totally honest the idea of nursing a child who could be in pre school or kindergarten makes me very uncomfortable. But that is my issue and my feelings and I wouldn’t impose them on anyone… and I wouldn’t make horrible comments on pictures judging that mom. I don’t do formula, and while I realize it has a purpose and is a blessing for women who need it I do not like that some women just choose it, not out of necessity, but because they want to keep perky breasts or can’t be bothered etc… however I don’t make nasty comments on pictures of children eating it from bottles. Even though I don’t feel it’s the best choice I leave that mother to parent her own child and am infinitely glad that the child is being fed and loved… even if it’s not how I would do it.

And that’s my point… it may not be how we would do it but it’s love and care and that is what counts!

PS Moments after posting this I saw this great article about how breastfeeding to 3 and above is anthropologically beneficial… and how in most of the world, the US excluded, it is the norm.
http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/story/2012-05-11/breastfeeding-rates/54909940/1

Traveling… the return!   2 comments

So you would think that since the trip TO Texas went so well I would be calm about the return. But nope, that is not how my brain works… I became convinced that it was luck and we’d run out so we would have a horrible return flight.

I was only partially wrong…. it was not horrible, but it was not as easy as the trip there.

She was asleep when we arrived at the airport… which meant Grandpa didn’t get a proper goodbye. She woke up when I was trying to hook her car seat up to the rolling luggage and this made for a fussy, clingy baby.

Security was a different type of challenging as this time she wasn’t super happy about being put down. Everyone was nice, but not as nice as in Tampa. I had a really hard time getting the car seat unhooked and rehooked after going through security.

When we were waiting for the plane the woman told me there were spare seats on the way to Houston but only one on the way to Tampa. Greaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat!

LA was kind of cranky from being woken and just wanted to run around. You can’t really chase your toddler if you are also watching your luggage. We sat and watched planes take off and she told me again and again that they were really birdies…. cutest. thing. ever.

We got on the plane and got decent seats…. I somewhat enjoyed watching people avoid our row. A nice guy helped us with our luggage in overhead and the flight attendant gate checked our car seat.

I came to the conclusion that traveling with a toddler is like that game of trying to get the fox, the rabbit and the lettuce across the river without anyone getting eaten. You can’t put the toddler down or she will take off… but you need to put the toddler down to put the luggage up… what do you do? the whole traveling process, when on your own, is full of fun decisions like this.

A nice woman took the aisle seat… LA liked her so much she rode part of the way to Houston on her lap. Thank God for nice people… someday I swear I will also be a nice airplane person.

We played with stickers and ate snacks… I was worried I was going to run out of distractions.

When we landed in Houston we had the whole plane to ourselves for a short time….

She looks SO much like her Daddy here!

Thankfully when the plane filled up again a nice woman sat next to us and an equally nice man took the aisle seat. LA flirted for a bit and then passed out shortly after nursing for take off…..

 She slept nearly the entire way back to Tampa.

I saw a woman boarding the plane with FOUR children…. FOUR! One was only 3 weeks old, she had another woman helping her but still…. wow…..

When we landed everyone in the rows around us commented on how LA was such an angel… even the man who had nearly sat next to me and visably backed off when he saw LA was saying how perfect she was.

The nice woman actually wheeled our luggage and bag all the way up to baggage claim.

Daddy arrived… now the whole time we were getting off the plane LA was going “DaDa!” excitedly and looking around. But Daddy arrived at the moment she became entranced with the baggage claim carousel so he got a lukewarm reunion….although he did get an abnormal number of goodnight kisses the next few days.

Overall the return wasn’t bad either… although I felt stressed and scared the whole time over what “could” happen… without my car seat or space or what not… but she was good 🙂

I’d do it again… I think….someday……

Traveling ….there   Leave a comment

Thankfully, all my worry about the trip there and the trip back were for very little. But I could easily see how the trip could have gone very, very wrong. Luck was with us and we had an excellent trip on the way there and a good trip on the way home.

Heading to Texas!

We arrived at the airport about 7 (our flight was scheduled to leave at 8:20). We paid the skycap to check our bags curbside which was great because I didn’t have to worry about getting it all in. Kissing Daddy goodbye was hard, I always miss him when we go, plus this time I suddenly realized that I would have pretty much sole LA responsibility for the next 6 days. Sure I’d have my father and step mother, but since she didn’t know them as well it would be mostly me.

I breathed a sigh of relief as we arrived at security to find a short line. The attendant waved me through a family/pilot/attendant line and I didn’t have to wait at all. I took a deep breath and told myself to just take things one at a time and not rush. After clearing my pockets I did shoes and then loaded our carry on up computer diaper bag. While unhooking LA from our wheeled carry-on an attendant came up to ask for help. When I explained that this was my first time doing this and I was on my own she helped. She also shouted at another attendant that we’d have to put the car seat through “Big Bertha” because it was a bit wide for the regular x-ray machine. LA stayed in her carseat until it was time to go through, she was happy the whole time.

As we went through the metal detector our first helper shouted over “She’s on her own for the first time with the baby…. somebody help her!”

On the other side they had her car seat and moved it over to a bench for me so I could buckle her back in. Then they brought most of my other stuff so I could put us back together away from the crowd. That made it MUCH easier. They did take a bit of time scanning LA’s snacks etc. And at this point they took away her playdough, the guy apologized, but I told him it was ok. I only brought it because my friend used it to distract her son on a transatlantic flight. He was really nice and even showed me how they do the scanning and assured me it was safe for her food.

LA was pretty much happy this whole time, although she did request Cookie.

At the gate I found out there were spare seats all the way to Texas so we were able to bring the carseat on! Horray!

We boarded after A and premiere…. I ran into my first big issue. The car seat was too wide to roll down the aisle. Luckily the pilot and the attendant were there. They were both flirting shamelessly with LA, and she was doing the same back. The pilot said that since this was her first ride we’d have to get her picture in the cock pit when we landed. (this made me very excited).

He told me to carry her and the bags back and he’d bring the car seat… but the seats I’d grabbed were no good. Here is a note, if you have a baby car seat you can’t sit right before or right after the bulkhead. So we moved me back and then the pilot carried the car seat back for us!!!!

LA sat by the window (also where a car seat must go), I sat in the middle and a nice man who works for Southwest Unions had the aisle. This is where I also ran into a problem. How did I hold a now squirming LA and buckle the belt into the seat. Thankfully, the gentleman has an 8 year old daughter and he was happy to help, he hooked it right up. LA started fussing a bit so I pulled out my cover and nursed her. She passed right out and slept through take off and the first leg of our flight to Birmingham!

When she woke up I buckled her in her car seat and she sucked on her sippy cup for our second take off (we didn’t have to change planes btw). Then I gave her snack and that occupied her for a while. We tried various toys… the only big problem I was that when she was done with them she’d toss them on the other side of her car seat where I couldn’t reach, this was annoying. The beads worked best and for the longest amount of time. She enjoyed her stickers quite a bit and some of her other toys. The big hit was the sunglasses….

She wanted out of her seat after a while and wanted to ride with our new friend Southwest guy. Luckily he really liked kids so he didn’t mind. She nursed through landing and voila we were there!

Again, thank God for Southwest guy… he unhooked our car seat and carried it off the plane for us. It just took a moment to hook up her carseat to our wheelie and we headed for baggage. Unfortunately the pilot had already left because we were so long getting off… so no picture for me. I probably could have hung around and asked about the cockpit but I didn’t want to be a bother.

The toughest part of the trip was corralling her while we were waiting for our luggage at the carousel… mostly because she wanted to ride with the luggage and had energy from sitting still for so long.

Oh… forgot her cutest moment!!! While we were preparing to land she started signing “bird.” I looked all over for some birds but didn’t see any. I signed “plane” for her… but she was insistent. “Bird! Bird! Bird! BIRD!” I asked where she saw birds and she pointed at our wings. When we came down she pointed at the other planes, squeaked and signed “bird!” over and over. So all I can figure is she thought we flew in a bird! Which makes sense to a child if you think about it, more sense than a giant mechanical plane really! She was totally fascinated with the clouds and the view below… it was adorable!

So the lessons I learned on the flight there…….

1. The staff is really helpful! And it behooves them to get you through as easily as quickly as possible too… so they want to help! Let them!

2. People are nicer than you think… at least some of them. Sure some will give you the evil eye for daring to bring your child on THEIR airplane, but they are souless, child hating zombies cleverly disguised as humans… ignore them. Accept the help from the nice people… someday you will grow up to be one too.

3. Babies seem to sense what is going on and if you try to make it fun they will cooperate.

4. Remember to breathe… it will be fine!

Posted January 25, 2012 by etainl in How To, New Mom, Travel

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Preparing for Disney   Leave a comment

So we have an upcoming Disney trip!

I’m ridiculously excited and not for myself. I know LA is just a year old. I know that she has no idea what she is in for but I’m still excited.

I’m just sure she will love Small World and some of the other shows…. which means she’ll probably hate those things (because that is how kids seem to work) but still!

I’ve read the tips on how to navigate the parks. I think I’m prepared. I’ve been putting LA in her carrier more frequently (since she’d gone mobile she didn’t like it and I was lax in using it)…. this will be extra important while we wait in line. For navigating the park I’m pretty confidant in our stroller, she likes the stroller. But ever since she’s learned to walk she wants down and she bolts. I have images of her darting through all those adult legs while Daddy and I are hindered by the metal bars in the queue…. so I’ve broken out the sling and carrier. I’ve learned how to do a back carry and am working on a hip carry (just getting confidant in it).

We’ve been told to pack snacks and water. I’m bringing some new small toys and games. We are staying in a hotel and I’ve got things prepared for there too…. I think.

So excited! After we get back I’ll blog what we did to prepare and what worked, and what didn’t….

Posted October 26, 2011 by etainl in Celebrations and Milestones, Culture, Life, Mommy-hood, New Mom

Priorities change with baby!   Leave a comment

So everyone tells you that your priorities will change when you have a baby. They tell you that your entire world will shift on its axis. It’s all true…. totally, 100%

A lot of parents know this to be true but Steve and I got to have two experiences that literally showed us the change and we also were able to watch it happen (in a way).

The first was during labor. My husband crouched besides me in the bathroom of the birthing center helping me through contractions. There was a little gnat that was buzzing around. Naturally to be the most irritating it kept buzzing around my face. I’m trying to focus and visualize my baby and breath and all that and this thing was in my face…. literally. I asked Steve if he could catch it and release it elsewhere….. and I said, “Please don’t kill it. That feels…. wrong.”

He laughed and said he was thinking the same thing.

We were both on the same page. How could we kill something, even something so insignificant, when we were working on bring a new life into this world?

Gnat remained uncaptured…Wily thing.

Fast forward one hour or so later.

Me: “Steve will you kill that damn gnat I don’t care anymore!”

I wanted to care. I still felt bad but the gnat needed to go…. now! That was one way we could see the change in us as parents. 🙂

The next was that we seem to have rats living in our garage. They come and go and have since we moved in nearly four years ago.

Neither Steve or I wanted to kill them. We bought humane rat traps, we researched ways to keep them out, etc. It just seemed wrong to kill them for doing what came naturally to them.

During the week that we brough LA home we realized they were back. My gentle, animal loving husband immediately went to Home Depot and bought rat traps. The horrible, immediate killing ones. Then he bought cheese.

Not only was he now ok with killing the rats in our garage he was gleeful about it. Every time he “caught” one he would gloat.  He kept count!

I asked him about the change and he said he just couldn’t bear the thought of “those things” being near his new little girl.

Before baby- Two animal loving, no kill, peaceful parents

After baby- Two wildly protective, dangerous, princess guarding parents

Yes parenthood changes you 🙂

Side note…. this change is not always permanent. We do still love animals and take precautions to make sure the rats can’t come in so “protective Daddy” won’t have to take extreme measures. And even in the midst of the rat removal fest Steve did note that he made sure the traps were as humane as possible and quick. We aren’t terrible… just overprotective 🙂

Posted October 12, 2011 by etainl in Life, Mommy-hood, New Mom

My Day   Leave a comment

So I have been toying the idea of documenting a day or two in our life… just so I can see what happens and others too.

I started thinking about how my days go when I wrote my post on feeling so inadequate and overwhelmed.

I jotted down a few days and am just now going back to edit it all so it’s readable 🙂

September 7th

8 45 up Change LA, brush teeth, use restrooms…. diaper blow out again this morning- do NOT like these new diapers (just a note, we cloth diaper except at night)

9 LA in playpen, let dogs out, feed cat, feed dogs, clean up any glasses, underwear, etc left around house… do dishes in sink from night before, take out trash, put some laundry away, refill diaper wipes, start diaper load heat up some food for me to eat. Ugh another dead cockroach on the floor (stupid rain drives them in) at least it’s dead!… take care of that… other random chores that pop up in morning, can’t even remember them all!

9:30 sit at computer with food to eat…. try to eat, email, facebook, etc…. While LA is in her playpen

9:45 LA starts to fuss and mom calls. Put LA in bouncer in prep for Sesame Street…. make bed and move folded laundry on bed while I talk to my mom. Try to prepare some oatmeal for LA while talk to mom…. Scoop up the dirty laundry and take a few moments to coupon sort, while talking to mom….

10 Sesame street starts, I sit with LA and attempt to get her to eat breakfast (she is on a thing where she will only eat Cheerios in morning, nothing else!)…  LA will only eat Cherrios at 10:07 I give up and go to finally get to eat my pasta…. cold 😦

10:07 start working

11-11:15 Sesame street ends… LA is ready to get out of bouncer.  Take her out, change morning poopy diaper, get her dressed, get me quasi dressed (casual not PJ clothes), shift laundry around…. seems to be cooler outside so decide we will take a walk with her new car

11:45 Back from walk and LA is playing quietly I try to take a potty break myself, call Dr to confirm time for check up later on…. put on real clothes and more deoderant… was hotter than it looked out there…. take 60 seconds to update this (I timed it he he)

11:50 quiet play is over… she is following me around making milk sign and trying to raspberry my leg… this usually means sleepy and/or hungry… we go in her room, I put baby clothes away and clean up (realizing that another load needs to be done, sigh) while she plays quietly… hopefully unwinding. The nap routine has begun

12 She is done playing on her own… story time “On the Farm” 3 times…. nursing…

12:15 she is not asleep but seems to be done nursing. I put her in her crib with a quiet book and her sleepy music on and leave. 30 seconds of fuss and then quiet play. I go check laundry. I start to try to figure out dinner… this quiet on own time used to last 15 -45 minutes before she’d start calling me… this time 4 minutes. She’s not crying yet, just talking so I continue trying to figure out dinner. Really want her to sleep so she’ll be fresh for pediatrician at 2 30… of course there is 20 minute drive there….. and we both still need to eat

12:26 screaming… I figured out dinner though… I think

12:45 she’s asleep…it didn’t take all that time but I wanted to be sure. I need to find food.

12:45-1:15 “wasted” some time…. fixed lunch… checking email…..putting things away from b-day party

1:15 eating lunch and folding laundry while I watch some grown up tv, while folding

1:26 the moment I pick up the second piece of laundry I hear her cry. I am convinced she does not like me to fold laundry and has a sixth sense when I’m doing it.

… I get her and get lunch set up…. fold half of laundry while she eats and then she’s “all done”

1:45 try to fold laundry while she plays

2 quickly change diaper and out the door to Dr’s appointment…. hope she sleeps a bit on the way there

4 back from Dr’s appt… go by grocery store to p/u for mom plus milk Dr suggested and meat on sale with coupon I have…. spend 40 bucks… saved another 40… good deal

4 45 back from grocery store…. LA had diaper leak in store we are both covered… wash her off and change her, put her in playpen while I unload car and try to clean me up…. unload groceries and look at starting dinner a bit, transfer more laundry and get the last of laundry in washer

5:15 start dinner, stopped by LA wanting to nurse

5:30 start dinner and fold laundry while veggies saute

6 dinner is simmering… laundry is half way folded (not counting what is in washer and dryer)…. have to get some phone calls made for work before it gets much later.

6:15 Got about 15 minutes of work done before Steve came home. LA was excited to see him but no longer wanted to play on her own. Steve gave me some more time to work

6:30 work on dinner

7 sit down for dinner…

At this point in the evening it gets fuzzy because Steve is here…. I finish dinner, we eat, I clean up…. feed the dogs. Play with LA, give her a bath… sneak off to use the restroom alone, to clean up the kitchen a bit. Steve does some scanning, plays with LA, goes through paperwork etc….

9 LA in bed… I work a bit and Steve prepares some paperwork. We’ll probably watch AGT (America’s got Talent) results before we go to bed.

Goals I wanted to complete- All laundry washed, folded and put away…. it’s all washed, a little more than half is folded and put away.

I wanted to get LA’s birthday things put away… .about half is put away.

I wanted to go to Dr’s appointment and have nice dinner- Check!

I wanted to get at least 3 hours of work done- Check!

I wanted to get the clothes sorted and put in my closet- not even close

I wanted to get LA’s clothes put away- half way done

I wanted to get some quality time with LA- eh… quasi, we had a nice walk and some good snuggles but nothing really great

September 8th

8:15 – morning stuff, brush teeth, change diapers etc,… you know same old same old

8:40 LA goes in playpen… feed kitty, doggies, move laundry, do dishes from the night before… call mom and E…. fix food in attempt to eat

9″15 LA watching DVR’d Sesame Street….. start to work, check two emails before realizing that if we’re going to moms group I have to get dressed and get LA ready….

9:30 start to work for real (after getting dressed and getting us packed up, LA can change after Sesame)… while eating… work, eat and call labcorp about blood draw for lA (which I later realize we will not do, but I called because I had questions for them)

10 get LA dressed and out the door for mom group!

10:30 arrive at mom group… LA plays, I chat… mostly about stupid sleep and blood test for LA

12 we leave playgroup… on the way home we stop at Target to exchange a birthday duplicate and get stuff for Daddy

1 home- she drifted off in the car before Target so  I know she’s tired but she seems to have second wind so we both have lunch… I let her play while I try to find some paperwork for daddy

1:30 I think we should start trying for nap again… diaper change, story, nursing

1:55 still not asleep so I leave her quietly playing in her crib … I go digging for that paperwork, which I still haven’t found 😦

2:05 screaming…. I go in, nurse her… drat the dog followed me! I would have had her asleep but doggie nails on laminate wake her up

2:15 back out in living room, she’s asleep…. paperwork digging…start looking at dinner plans as well

2:20 wonder if I should yell at my my dog for continuously barking OR strangle the UPS guy for carelessly ringing the doorbell AND knocking

2:20 look for paperwork… fold laundry

3-4 work and deal with insurance/paperwork/refi phone calls and what not

4 LA up…. get her, change her, snack, nursing…..

4:30 leave to go to grocery store for stuff I forgot… head to mom’s house to help with ear candles

5:45 head home

5:55 or so arrive home to find back of house and bedroom flooded… Steve arrives shortly after and we clean until like 7ish

7ish start dinner

7:45 dinner in oven and I take bath…. Steve is most fantabulous husband ever in that he totally understands that without one or two relaxing baths a week minimum I might go insane. But I try not to let them get very long too often 🙂 I think he bathes LA while I take my bath

8:10 out of bath…. fix dinner for everyone…..this is WAY too late for LA dinner but we did just have a flood 😦

8:45 start putting LA to bed

9 LA asleep, come out to watch Project Runway with Steve… LA not asleep

9:20 we all go to bed… LA is having a hard time going to sleep, is it the new milk? (Dr suggested we try whole milk and she’s had a bit the last two days with snacks and meals)

10:30 LA is asleep, unforunatley Steve is too… no time for us 😦

My goals for the day-

finish laundry- made progress but not done

Finish cleaning up living room and birthday mess- not at all

Clean up kitchen and make nice dinner- yes!

Help out mom- yes!

Moms group and QT time with LA- yes!

Target and paperwork errands- yes!

work work- only a little… not as good as I’d like…definitely not 3 hours

September 9th

Goals-

Finish laundry-

Clean up birthday stuff-

Work at moms-

work work

some journaling or blogging

9:30 LA up… nice to sleep in but less time to do stuff… get up brush teeth etc

9:50 put LA in bouncer for Sesame Street… feed cat, start diaper laundry, fix oatmeals

10 try to give LA oatmeal – it’s a no go (she is not a breakfast eater)

10:15 I feed dogs, eat my oatmeal, clean up a bit from flash flood last night

10:30 start work work

11:15 Sesame Street is done and the beginning of Sid… she’s ready to get out…. I keep working

11:45 she wants to nurse and cuddle… not sure she’s ready for nap, she did sleep in

12 we go into bedroom with toys so mommy can attempt to hang up laundry while she plays quietly in preparation for nap

12:05 realize this will not work… she wants me… we go in nursery and read stories….

12:30 she’s not asleep so I leave her in crib with quiet toys

12:36 this is not working, go in nurse some more, read book….

12:50 she’s not sleeping…. consider bringing her back out but she has sleepy eyes and is obviously tired…. leave her in her crib again, one more time and then we’ll eat lunch, try to work

1 crying…. go in and pick her up… eyes closed instantly, nurse to sleep… hang around a bit to be sure

1:15 fix myself lunch and get things ready for when she’s up..work and eat

2:40 she’s up… get her up, fix her lunch and feed her

3- restroom, get me dressed, get her dressed

3:15 out the door to do chores for mom and run errands

5:30 arrive back home with LA

A day that is not going well-

7 LA wakes up and wants to use me as a human pacifier, I try to convince her otherwise ( she should really sleep till 8 or 8 30 for schedule, as should I). at about 7:20 I give in and she begins to go back to sleep. Until….

7:20 The cat jumps on the bed, LA sees him and shouts “NeNe!”

We are up

7:25 restroom, brush teeth, let dogs out, change diaper

7:30 LA in playpen (in excellent mood btw) I feed cat, feed dog, feed me (cereal), go through laundry, clean up kitchen, sweep floors

8 sit down at computer…. catch up on emails, lots of catching up, keep trying to work but things interrupt…. at this point I can’t even remember what…. but the interruptions continue

8:15 get LA out of playpen… she plays on her own in room. Stop her from climbing all the way up in her shopping cart…hard to work when my child seems convinced that the higher she is the more fun is to be had.

8:30 put LA in bouncer with Cheerios and put Sesame Street on and try to work

9:00 start to work, finally

9:30 Sesame Street is done, LA is NOT happy. I get her out and she decides I must hold her, she cannot be put down, she cannot play on her own. She does not want to be played with, just held. I decide this is an indication that nap needs to happen…. I thought it would be more like 10 bc that would be 3 hours after up time but she is obviously tired

9:30-10:15 try to get her to go to sleep…. she falls asleep several times but every time I put her down she screams, leave her with a quiet toy a bit

10:15 it’s awfully quiet in there… I go to check, she’s “reading” a book (cute! That’s my girl!)

10:30 screaming… well 15 minutes worth of work isn’t bad

10:45 she’s not asleep…. I readjust my strategy. We are going to take a shower… well, I am, she is going to play in the spray and have a bath…. fun for her and relaxing so we can try round 2! Plus we both get clean

11:03 we’re both clean… she’s happy but I don’t know about relaxed… I try sleepy time, no go. So I figure I’ll fix her lunch in the kitchen while she plays…. this becomes a disaster as she’s ONLY intent on getting the dog water, a battle that we continue

11:15 I go in and do the nap routine again and put her in her crib… I hate hearing her fuss while I get her grilled cheese finished, soon all is quiet

11:25 she is playing quietly in crib…. I’m about to just pack us up and go to have lunch with Imma since she’s not sleeping and I’m clearly not working… we might as well get out of the house.

12 after picking up lunch for me and Imma (my mom) she still has energy! how is this possible??? We have lunch with Imma and my daughter is pleasant and happy….

Honestly after that point I don’t remember. I think we stopped at Target on the way home…. I think she did take a nap but only a brief one. I remember the rest of the day was full of interruptions and phone calls and really nothing got done. Except taking care of LA, which isn’t a waste really.

I think what frustrates me on days like that is the stop and start…. it’s so frustrating to get partway into a project and stop. Then you end up with a bunch of half done things hanging about.

I am not a big believer in forcing a schedule on kids. I think it’s better to watch for cues and all that. But LA tends to be pretty predictable (most days). Nap about 3 hours after getting up. Although some days it’s more like 4 hours after… on those days she tends to take one nap that is 2-3 hours. I do not know if this is because she is trying to transition to 1 nap a day already. I do know when she takes a longer nap or takes 2 naps she sleeps better at night.

Another note is that the days that I logged were actually really good, productive days. I found that logging my activities as I went kept me on track…. kept me from feeling so very “in the weeds.” Maybe it’s something I should do just for me every day.

My last observation is that the last two weeks have been very slow work work wise. Usually I do 15 hours a week. But due to a staff conference and other things going on there hasn’t been enough work to make 15 hours out of it. So I have had more time to be mommy and wife…. I’ve really enjoyed it. My conclusion is that if I was just mommy and wife I’d have more time to do that, not feel so lost and even have more time for me or crafty things. It’s work work that gets in the way. And while I like work work, both for the job itself and for the fact that it gives us the extra edge so I can stay home I would be able to relax and do more without it. In the last two weeks I’ve gotten several projects done and nearly caught up with my bigger to do list. Almost at the point where I could tackle those big project, you know, like cleaning out closets and such lol.

Anyway, not the most exciting post but an idea in very, very basic terms of what some days are like. Now these are days where I’m trying to “do it all.” Sometimes out of necessity or scheduling there are days that are all LA days (I like those), there have been a few mostly work days, and even one or two all house wife days…. totally different those days 🙂

Posted September 30, 2011 by etainl in Life, Mommy-hood, New Mom, Stay at Home Mom

On your first birthday- A letter to my daughter   4 comments

My dearest LA,

      What a year we’ve had my little love! It is hard for me to watch you totter on stiff little legs across the floor when I so clearly remember that just a year ago you were this squirmy, precious, pink bundle in my arms. My days were spent in amazement as I studied how your lips moved, how you squeaked, how sweet you felt cuddled against me and how I was sure you were smiling at me already. Now my days are spent chasing you about, coming up with ways to make you giggle, bursting with pride when you master a new anything or with your fist wrapped around my finger as I help you across the floor. It’s a strange mixture of sadness and joy to watch you grow.

       What a difference a year makes!

        You still astound and amaze me every day. You are a miracle unfolding before my very eyes and I can’t help but feel blessed that I had anything to do with the wonder that is you.

         So if you see me sniffle a bit or look whispy around the edges please understand that I love you very much the way you are (and wouldn’t change you for the world) a part of me is mourning that tiny, squirmy bundle. The days just slipped by so fast and I tried so hard to slow them down. I reminded myself daily that each day was a gift and that you were changing with every passing moment… but still time marched on.  I know that in a year or two or twenty I’ll wonder where my one year old LA went.  But right now I can’t help but marvel at how we got from there to here.

       You’ve been a busy little thing in the past 12 months! Learning every day, growing and changing…. all under my nose.

        I love that each day I learn more about you… I can see that you are sweet and giving. You are always so excited to give one of your toys to others or to share your “yummmmm” lunch with me or Daddy. I love that you are so loving, your face lights up when you can give kisses and already you give the worlds best hugs. Plus, you seem to know just when I need one, clever girl. You are so observant, I’ll always remember how even as a teeny tiny thing you would raise your eyebrows and take in the world around you. This attention to the world has made you so very bright and so eager to learn. You are so social and just exude love. My little ray of sunshine.

          There are moments with you that are imprinted on my heart. Every time I close or open the car door you give me that same giagantic grin, the one that says “Oh hello Mommy! It’s just SO good to see you!” It melts me every single time.

         How you nuzzle against my breast when you fall asleep and your lips puff out into this adorable little pout as you relax into sleep. How even in sleep you will reach out and clutch my shirt, my hair, my finger suspecting that you will be moved but still wanting to stay close to me.

         You are so adventurous. This makes me so proud of you and so afraid for you…. every bump and bruise breaks my heart. I fear for my own survival when bigger things threaten you…. I’m not sure I’ll make it. I now know what my mom meant when she said she would take it all for me and more.

         So loving, you call me when you see something that tickles you…. like Elmo on TV. You dance when Daddy comes home and giggle when I snuggle up next to you at the end of the day.

         It is a bittersweet thing to watch your baby grow up…. I try to remember your tiny weight in my arms for midnight feedings. I try to imprint how your body curves around mine now when we cuddle for naps. I try to take pictures and videos but I also want to just watch you and soak it in without the digital aspect in my hand or over my eye.

       Part of me wishes I could go back in time to when you were a newborn or when you were just learning to sit upright (you’d bobble around like a weeble lol) or when you’d first learned to roll over (you were so proud of yourself). I now think that heaven is being able to go back and relive the “Best of” moments in your life… if that’s true than I’ll get to spend a lot of time with you. You and Daddy and our family (extended and all) is my best 🙂

       I expected to celebrate your first birthday with tears and bittersweet sadness instead I was smiling the whole time. How could I not smile when you had so much fun!? You didn’t love the cake like I expected but you loved having your friends and family here. You played and smiled and waved and just exuded happiness and love. It made me proud to see how confidant and happy you are.

        All day I kept thinking “A year ago this time…” I remembered the anticipation. The moment they placed you in my arms. Daddy’s and my nervous ride to the birth center. How your grandparents glowed when they held you. It did make me misty but I smiled as I watched that same little girl crawl around loving her first birthday party. We’ve come a long way baby… and while I may have a moment of sadness as I watch you do something that “big girls” do (like taking your hairbrush to brush the doggies fur lol), it is quickly followed up with pride and excitement for you. You are so very “you” and that amazes me… astounds me that I had anything to do with it.

       So while I miss your tiny, simple days I look forward to exploring zoos and playgrounds. I can’t wait to show you this amazing big world we belong to. And I look forward to what you will teach me about it.

      I love you so much my little LA and I hope you always, always know it!

Love,

      Mommy

It’s amazing how she has come from this:

to this:

*professional pictures taken by Brentwood Photography  www.brentwoodphotography.com

Posted September 26, 2011 by etainl in Celebrations and Milestones, Life, New Mom