Getting better all the time.

Remember when I talked about how getting out of my comfort zone and meeting new people, specifically new moms, terrified me? Well, I did it. And I’m so happy I did. Through that, I’ve actually made a friend. She and I have a lot in common and we like each other’s company, not just tolerating each other so the kids can play. Actually, I like both of the women I’ve been play dating with regularly, so I’m lucky in that way.

Last week, my new friend and I actually put on adult clothes and makeup and went downtown. Alone. With NO KIDS. AT NIGHT. I cannot even begin to express how badly I needed that night out. I’d already had a couple of ugly mini-meltdowns, but I could feel the big one a-coming. So when she suggested we go do something, I probably sounded a little too eager in my reply of “YES! YES!!! WHEN??? OMG!” My poker face needs some work.

We drank beer on the patio of a really cute little restaurant and brewery that’s on the river. Then we walked around and ended up at a wine bar, where we each ordered a flight of white wine. I’d never had a flight of anything, so this was new and exciting. About half-way through the final glass, I had to put it down. Maybe next time I try to be less eager and just have one glass. I don’t need to try them all (at once).

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It’s also just nice to see Henry interact with other kids. I never really did that in Albuquerque because I didn’t really know any other kids his age and he was just a baby, anyway. So to see him play and interact (minimally, he’s still in parallel play mode for the most part) is really cool, and I’ve already seen changes is how he plays at home by himself. We’ve also been leaving the house more, mainly because if we’re home, Henry wants to watch Daniel Tiger non-stop (he actually stands in front of the TV and cries) and I have some standards as a parent. His favorite place is the park, so we go there A LOT. I mean, there are mornings where he has turned on the TV and stood there crying for DT, so I throw on pants and get the hell out of the house before I even eat breakfast. We get home around nap time, he passes out and I’ve successfully avoided TV for the morning. I do give him a couple episodes a day, so don’t go feeling sorry for him. Then there are days when I’m not feeling well or didn’t sleep the night before (thanks, anxiety!) and he gets more than a couple episodes. I let myself have those days without guilt because I’m human. I’m learning to go easy on myself just a touch.

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It’s a steep learning curve, but I’ll get there.

 

Updates and stuff.

Sorry for the lag in posts. I don’t get on the computer very often, and when I do it’s for fun stuff like deleting 2000 spam emails and paying bills.

I recently wrote a little column for the mother’s group newsletter that does a good job of explaining my feelings toward moving here and how I deal with transitioning. I’ll post that for your enjoyment soon.

Some updates before Henry wakes up from his 9 am nap (the result of waking us up at 5 am):

  • Henry is 19 months old and stranger danger is in full effect. He dislikes most people except me at the moment and other kids at the park. I’m hoping it passes soon so I won’t feel so guilty about maybe hiring a babysitter so Chris and I can enjoy some wine in this beautiful county of Sonoma.
  • Speaking of parks, that’s what we do most days. That stretch from nap time to bed time is looooong and I like to get him good and worn out. The only downside is since school is out, a lot of day cares and summer programs hang out at the parks too so I usually single out one or two “big kids” to watch out for Henry since he insists on climbing the jungle gym solo while other, larger, wilder children are jumping around on it. Not good for my nerves, at all. So far, it’s been alright though. 
  • I’ve made a couple friends and Henry’s had several play dates. I’ve already seen a change in how he plays and interacts with us, and I have a couple friends now, so it’s positivity all around in that regard.
  • I am very, very homesick. That will probably never change. 
  • Still homesick, but very happy we moved here if we had to move anywhere. I love the people, the scenery, the food, the atmosphere, the farmer’s markets, the proximity to San Francisco, all of it. It’s great. 
  • There is more that I can’t think of right now (got awoken at 5 am, remember?) I promise I will start writing with more substance. Someday. Here are some Henry play time pics to make up for it.

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F.U.N.

Well this week has just been a ball of fun.

Last Thursday, Henry and I met up for another play date at a park. As I was getting him out of his car seat, I noticed his nose was runny. Shit. His eye was watery too though, so I thought it could just be allergies. The next day, Friday, he was pretty normal and I didn’t notice anything amiss, except he was fussier than usual. On Saturday, we dragged him to the car dealership so we could sign off on our new SUV and I could tell he was just not feeling good AT ALL. Then came Sunday. Oh, Sunday. The poor kid was miserable. My champion sleeper who usually goes 11-13 hours a night only got about 9-10 and woke up at 5:30 screaming. I felt so bad for him the whole day as he struggled to nap, only getting 20-30 minutes here and there, where he usually takes 1.5-2 hour naps. On Monday, I noticed a bad red rash ALL OVER his body so off to the pediatrician we went. The verdict was double ear infection and roseola. After a couple day on antibiotics, he’s finally feeling better. If you can’t tell, this is the first time he’s been this sick. He’s had fevers before, but nothing like this. The kicker? Chris and I are sick too. FUN TIMES UP IN HERE.

Did I mention that Chris was in a car accident and our insurance company wanted to total it? Yeah, so hello car payments again. We needed a larger vehicle anyway, but my cheap ass wasn’t ready yet. I paid off that car in 2011 and I was so proud of myself. It was my first newish car (4 years old when I bought it) and I actually cried when I saw the photos of it all crumpled up and getting ready to be stripped for parts. I’m way too sentimental.

The cherry on the fun cake happened this morning when I finally put batteries back into our scale. I knew I gained some weight since moving here but I didn’t know how much. People. No. I shouldn’t have done that. Or maybe it’s good because that’s it — no more excuses. I’m losing this weight. I’ll write about it here to keep me motivated so get ready for that. We don’t have money for a gym membership so it means lots of walks with Henry, some floor exercises during nap time, and NO MORE ICE CREAM. We eat a lot of ice cream.

Henry is 18 months old today! I love that he’s still happy, even when sick. He’s the real reason I need to get healthier. I need to be around for as long as possible.

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Play dates, Alicia Keys, and Xannies.

I did it. I went on the play date. And it was awesome. The woman I met was super cool and we had a ton in common. We’ll be meeting up again on Monday, and I’m looking forward to it. Henry doesn’t care either way, but I’m sure he will be excited to play with some new toys.

I am officially a member of the Mother’s Club so I’m going to start flashing that card around and getting discounts on some baby music and tumble classes. Henry LOVES music. I know all toddlers do, but do all toddlers stop whatever they’re doing/playing with when a song comes on and run into the other room to listen? I don’t know. Maybe. I’m not a toddler expert. But he does and it’s really cute. When he was 6 or 7 months old, I used to play this song for him in the car on repeat because it was the only thing that soothed him. So it shouldn’t be a surprise that his favorite thing to do now is steal my iPhone and navigate his way to this video:

(Before you ask, it’s a video that came with the album download and also, this is not the exact video, but almost identical. Funnily enough, there’s another AK video on there he watches a lot too. What can I say? Cultured.)

After the opening piano segment, he rewinds. And rewinds. And rewinds. I really want to foster this love of music and piano and get him in some toddler music classes, which he did a little of back in ABQ and had fun but I think he’d get more out of it at this age.

I was messaging a friend today that I was a little worried about Henry because he’s such a calm, mellow kid who prefers to sit and read books or play on the floor as opposed to running around like a maniac, which I assumed all toddlers did. I could feel her silent judgement through the phone as a I typed and then just felt stupid. What kind of weirdo worries about that? I’m seriously considering getting on a low dose of xannies because I get anxiety over every. stupid. thing. these days.

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This face!

Time to go binge watch Orange is the New Black while Henry naps. Enjoy your weekend, y’all.

The slide.

Last week I was the uppity up. Now I’m kinda on the down slide, but I’ll claw my way back up, don’t worry.

What’s this all about? Well, let’s talk about insecurity because I am just rife with it today. The prospect of meeting local moms for play dates this week is exciting and terrifying. I’ve never really felt like this before, like people won’t like me when they meet me. But when I think of moms, I don’t think of someone like me. I think of bake sales and clothes from Ann Taylor Loft and Talbots. Soccer moms. Moms who do lots of crafts. Moms who cook out of cookbooks and make gluten-free muffins for breakfast. I could go on, but these false images of what all of these moms are like (obviously false since I’m a mom and have friends who are moms who are nothing like this) are paralyzing me. What it really boils down to is good old fashioned low self-esteem. I’m still working in losing weight (I’ll be fighting that battle for the rest of my life); my skin has never been dryer (tell me how it’s possible to move from the desert to 20 minutes away from the ocean and haver DRYER skin??);  I have no new clothes and refuse to buy anymore until I’ve lost weight because if I could lose 20 lbs, I’d have a whole new wardrobe and I’m cheap; post partum hair loss is making a second appearance (not as bad as the first time, but still sucks); and to top it all off — I’m still nervous about this whole situation away from my friends and family and life that I loved.

I’m probably not making sense. That’s ok, this is just a brain dump. I need to get out of this rut. I have a play date on Thursday and maybe even one tomorrow. Chris was in a car accident last week, so we are down one car until we get the rental. He’s fine, thankfully.

Henry is awesome though, and for that I’m beyond grateful. For real. He’s such a sweet, fun, easy going boy. No complaints in the toddler department.

So let me wallow just a little longer and then get my shit together. Not to say there won’t be more wallowing. The goal is to get the wallowing down to weekly or monthly events instead of daily or hourly.

On the up & up.

It’s amazing to me how getting thrown out of my comfort zone in every single way has actually been good for me. Who would have thought? (Almost everyone you ever hear talk about comfort zones and getting out of them).

Anyway, after a weekend of exploring this truly gorgeous, fabulous area (Sonoma County, Google it) I am feeling so much better about life here. We drove through vineyards and around curving hills where the grass flows in the breeze and cows are lazing around and sheep frolicking. We drove up the Sonoma coast and along the Russian River Valley through the Redwoods. We made plans for the future and talked and laughed and spent time with our son as a family. It’s what I needed in a big way.

sonomacoastIt was cold and I forgot his jacket. He was not thrilled.

I signed up for the mother’s group here in town today. I already have a play date for next week with a mom who has a son the same age (and nap schedule) as Henry. By the way, if you don’t have kids yet, the nap schedule always comes up in conversation when making plans unless you are one of those people with children who don’t have a nap schedule and are totally fine if no nap is had. In that case, shut it. My son runs to the bedroom door with his blanket and pacifier at nap time and giggles as I put him into bed, sooooo it’s kinda important we don’t mess that up. So I’m excited and nervous for the play date. Like I said, this stuff is out of my zone de comfort, but I know that’s what I need right now to make the changes that are needed. Like friendships and a social life, for instance.

For the most part, I’m feeling good about life here in the Bay Area and the future. It’s taking me back to my previous life in Los Angeles where despite not really enjoying living there, I felt like opportunity was abound. I have that same feeling here, but with much nicer people and a greater sense of community. Also, they celebrate something called Butter and Egg Day here SO THAT CAN ONLY BE GOOD. All caps.

So yeah. Things are looking up.

 

 

Trains and tantrums.

My social media experiment worked and also did not work. See, I didn’t tell people I was deactivating so I made some friends get all panicky (since they know I’ve been bummed lately and all). So I reactivated, but deleted all the apps from my phone. So now I’m just checking it when I can get on an actual computer, which is not a lot since Henry does not like me being on my laptop. Not unless he can punch every key, I mean. The Facebook detox worked because I barely picked up my phone today, except to text a few friends occasionally and checking work email (just to see if I had any). But before, I had my phone glued to me, checking it constantly for….nothing. Really. Nothing. So, maybe I’m making progress in kicking this addiction.

So yesterday I decided to put Henry in the car and just drive. I needed to see what else this town had to offer. I found out there is a post office, a Starbucks, and a chinese place like 2 blocks away. That is very handy. Then we drove to Trader Joes. As I got out of the car and walked toward the store, I saw a little toy store next door. The door was open and it looked so inviting, I had to take Henry in. The place is adorable and had all kinds of toys out for the kids to play with. Henry played with trains and a toy kitchen and had a blast. As a matter of fact, I had my first public toddler meltdown when it was time to leave (after an hour). He did that limp noodle move when I tried to pick him up.

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Am I the only mother who finds these things kind of humorous? I’m sure it won’t be so funny later on, but right now, I have a hard time not laughing when he pulls that stuff. However, I know it’s not cute to anyone else, so we do exit the premises with the quickness as to not disturb the peace. We never did make it into Trader Joes. Henry snapped this pic of me as I was putting him in his car seat (the phone was my only line of defense in getting him to sit still).

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I also emailed the local mother’s club for info on joining. Joining this group will take me waaaaaahaaahaaaay out of my comfort zone as I usually don’t like group settings with strangers and have bad experiences with other moms in general. HOWEVER. I need to get out this house, I need to make friends, my kid needs playmates and most importantly, having a support system is necessary and it seems that’s what this group excels at. I guess I’ll keep you posted.

**Please excuse the photos in this post. I was playing around with Afterlight to edit them and it (I) need some work.

Stepping back. Or to the side. I’m not sure.

A friend of mine posed a question on Facebook recently: When was the last time you got annoyed with anyone that wasn’t because of something they said on Facebook? I’m paraphrasing awfully. Her question was much more eloquent. But it rang true for me. I get SO ANNOYED by people I usually treasure by things they share, post, or do on Facebook. These things are starting to define these people for me, and who knows how many people think less of me from the BS I post on a daily basis (for the record, mostly Henry pics). But still! I got into a heated exchange with a girl that I have known since 2000, an ex college roommate. I love this girl and think the world of her. Then I post an article she doesn’t agree with, she kinda attacks the article, I attack her, and now a bitter taste is left in my mouth even though we hugged it out. Over what? A Facebook post? Ridiculous.

On a larger scale, I’ve had to hide the feeds of people I care about because everything EVERYTHING they post makes me roll my eyes. It isn’t their fault, it’s mine and my weird hang ups on different topics. In real life if these topics come up, we can discuss them, laugh about them, move on. On social media, it sits there and stares at you all day until more crap pushes it off your page. A cycle of never-ending stupid. I’ve lost friendships over misunderstandings on Facebook. Real, long-standing friendships. They see a picture and jump to wild conclusions and delete me and never talk to me again. Yes, this happened. So I’m taking a break. I doubt anyone will even notice, unless they read it here or wonder where their daily Henry pic has gone. And those who do notice will text me and we’ll talk and then I will re-activate it soon, and most will be none the wiser. Either way, I’m backing way off. Maybe I’ll have more time for blogging. Wouldn’t you be so lucky.

 

 

17 months.

I can’t do Yoda poses anymore. My climbing/running/crazy toddler won’t sit still long enough and when I attempt to make him, baby rage comes out and he throws Yoda across the room and does this:

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A far cry (pun intended) from this little ball of joy just one short year ago:

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I’ll just try again when he turns two. They always mellow out by age two right? (hahaha) But in all seriousness, and despite the above picture, Henry really is a sweet, good baby. Here’s some new fun Henry facts:

  • He loves getting out of the house. It doesn’t matter where we go, just as long as it’s not in the house. Lately, I don’t even bother with putting him in a cart or carrying him if we’re going to a bookstore or Target for one or two things. He will easily and happily walk along with me and hold my hand. When I tell him to not touch something, he stops touching it. In short, it’s fun to take him places and I like hanging out with him. Really.
  • He can climb stairs by himself (and give me about 14959 heart attacks in the meantime)
  • He can do things on the iPad and iPhone that I don’t even know how to do. But it is cool to just hand him the iPad and watch him swipe to turn it on and find his apps. Today, he started tracing letters with his fingers in his alphabet app. People who try to tell me tablets aren’t beneficial for toddlers, I’ll show them Henry tracing his ABC’s at 17 months old.
  • There’s not much on the speech development front, though he is always “talking.” When actual intelligible words are formed, I will never get a word in edgewise, so I’m not rushing it. However, he understands EVERYTHING we say. It amazes me sometimes all that he understands.
  • He eats everything. Anything you give him, he will try. Oh, sorry, no. Except meat. He has all his teeth (minus the 2-year molars) and can bite through an apple core (yes, this happened) but he won’t eat meat. Half of a caesar salad? Yes. Chicken? No.
  • He is very snuggly. This is my most favorite development. I love when I’m in the kitchen cooking or doing dishes and I just feel these little arms wrap around my leg.
  • When we moved into this apartment, we decided to scrap the home office and just give Henry a full room. This was the best decision I’ve ever made. He LOVES his room. It has really fostered a new independence in him and he doesn’t need to be entertained all the time anymore. I love peeking in there to him reading or stacking blocks or whatever kids do. On a bittersweet note, he loves his room so much that he no longer wakes up in the middle of the night wanting to get in bed with me. He’s sleeping 11-12 hours a night, on his own. I’ll be honest, I miss it.

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I feel like I am forgetting so many things, but what more can I say? He’s amazing. An average toddler to most, but my world, and I feel so lucky to have him. I thank God every night for him and try to steal as many snuggles, kisses, and laughs as I can every single day.

It just keeps getting better with him, really, tantrums and all.

Getting out there.

Henry slept like crap last night (I honestly think he ate way too many bell peppers and they gave him indigestion. Remind me to write another post about how much my kid loves bell peppers). So after his 2.5 hour long nap today, we decided to get out of the house as a family. The farmers’ market started today and I really wanted to get some local honey and spices. So we get downtown and it’s super packed. Like, not the market, but the streets. Turns out there was a car show to commemorate American Grafitti, which was filmed here, at least partially. It took us for-ev-er to find a parking spot and I almost ALMOST told Chris to just give up and go home. My stomach was kinda hurting anyway. But then someone pulled out of a spot in front of us and in Chris went. I didn’t mention to him that my stomach was hurting.

I’ve been having stomach issues since
Henry was born. I’ve seen a doctor and was told it was hormonal, but Henry is now almost 17 months old (tomorrow), soooooo I dunno. Part of me fears it’s related to the c-section. But what’s crazy is since we moved here, I haven’t had any issues. Not one. I was thinking about that this morning, and then as soon as we are walking through a crowd of 1,000 people, it acts up. So yeah, it was miserable at first but thanks to a kind young man at 7-11 who let me use their employee bathroom (which looked like a prison toilet) all was ok and I was glad I didn’t bail.

There’s a few things I know about this town:

1) There’s a nice Target nearby
2) There’s a nice Safeway nearby
3) Construction on the 101 can be heard very loudly during nap time (we are not that close to the freeway either)
4) From what I’ve seen, it’s beautiful
5) Everyone I’ve met has been super nice.

EVERYONE in this town is so nice! It almost throws me. Like, I can’t be anti-social here. People just come up and talk to me. They genuinely want to know about me, this new person in town they’ve never seen with the cute baby. They all tell me I have a cute baby! Even moms with their own cute babies! It’s weird and great. If for no other reason, I’m glad we got out and talked to people.

So. I think I’m gonna like this place. At least, I’m feeling more confident about it today and hopefully even more tomorrow. I just need to muster the courage to get out there on my own without the comfort of having Chris standing next to me. He’s super outgoing and that makes it easier to strike up conversations.

You can see a pic of Henry on the swing at the Farmers’ Market in Instagram link on the side bar. Follow me on there too, if you want, PS.

Ok, here’s another swing photo:

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