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.

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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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Catching Up.

I know I haven’t blogged in a while. How professional mommy bloggers do it, I dunno. I usually spend any “free” time I have cleaning or cooking or trying to make myself presentable. Here’s an extremely abridged version of what I’ve been up to:

  • Still working a few hours a week and love it. The extra money goes toward paying my student loans, which takes that burden off of Chris and frees up that money for things like food.
  • We went to Florida to see my dad (I’ll write a separate post on the trip soon) and had a blast. I have become a semi-freaked out flyer as of late, I think from post-partum hormones. It’s such a ridiculous fear, I know, but now I feel better about it and I’m ready for our next trip whenever that is.
  • Henry turned 10 MONTHS OLD last week. He’s crawling, cruising, babbling up a storm, HILARIOUS, and almost walking. I just can’t get enough of him.  He’s got a hot temper, but he’s also very sweet and cuddly. My favorite? His baby kisses. Full heart in the house. I will write more on what he’s doing in a separate post too. Too much for bullet point format.
  • I’ve started working out at the gym again. I’ve lost around 6 pounds, which is great, but I need to get more serious. I don’t know how, but I’ll figure it out.
  • My dad had heart surgery, which had some complications, but he’s doing better now, thank the Lord (and not Voldemort). After a few days in the hospital, he’s recovering and the cardiologist is optimistic about his prognosis. Keep him in your thoughts though, would ya? I’ve been somewhat of a wreck over it. Also, somewhat = most extremely. My husband had to take a day off work because he didn’t want me being alone with the baby in the state I was in.
  • We’re getting ready for Halloween and Henry will be a baby Jedi, OF COURSE. You’ll see pics. Lots of pics.

Alright, I must go join the baby in dreamland. It’s 9:30 after all.

Here’s a picture of my big boy and a little Yoda. (sniffle). It’s not the best pic. He doesn’t want to sit anymore and he also knows how to get off the sofa by himself soooo…try to control that. You can’t.

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Let’s talk about guilt, baby

If you’re a mom, then you are probably all too aware of what I am going to discuss: mommy guilt. For me, I feel guilty over almost everything I do/don’t do. In the beginning, I had milk supply issues that threw me into a tailspin of depression. That was probably the pinnacle of my mommy guilt thus far, but I still have my moments. Guilt for working a few hours a week; guilt for not working more; guilt for letting the baby sleep with me half of the night; guilt when I make him stay in his crib…the list goes on and on and, if I am anything like my own mother, will continue until my children are in their 30’s and 40’s. And forever.

Then comes those moments we’re not so proud of. When our patience is worn down to a nub from lack of sleep and lack of “me” time (aka getting to shower and use the bathroom) and we have a minor meltdown. I haven’t had too many of those, but when I do, oh boy the guilt floods open and swallow me whole. I’m not sure why, since I’m the one crying hysterically in the middle of the day, but I feel bad for feeling bad. After all, I’m lucky. Incredibly, insanely lucky. I have a healthy, happy, gorgeous child. He is everything I wanted. So I shouldn’t be feeling anything other than pure happiness tied up with some rainbow glitter ribbon, right? Right. I’m appreciative of my life, but I am starting to allow myself to feel what I’m feeling if you feel me. (Sorry). After all, I spend most of my days alone (and recently, a few late nights alone while Chris works on a big project), I’m still battling post-partum hormones and self-esteem issues, and I have the weight of motherhood on my shoulders. It’s to be expected that I’d shed a tear or two eventually. Talking about it helps. My friends, my husband, and my mother — they remind me that it’s ok and perfectly normal to feel overwhelmed. Being a mom is hard work and it’s 24/7. I can’t be perfect all of the time. My new goal is to not beat myself up so much. That’s really all I can do. Besides meds. Meds might help.

I apologize for the rambling post. Thanks for reading if you made it this far!

sookieguilt

 

House update: No house. We are re-signing a 6 month lease in our little apartment and giving ourselves some breathing room. I may feel cramped, but it’s better than the stress I was feeling before. We are going to do some re-arranging and de-cluttering and hopefully that helps. Time is flying like crazy so 6 months doesn’t seem so far away to me. Pre-Henry, 6 months was an eternity. Now it’s like, OMG WE ONLY HAVE 6 MONTHS!!! Continued good luck our way is appreciated.

Good day.

Have you ever had a day where everything just went smoothly? You hit all the green lights, your hair looked good, and you arrived everywhere on time? Those days are very few and far between for me lately, but today was an exception.

Henry took a long morning nap, which allowed me to not only shower, but also put on a cute outfit, do my hair, AND makeup!! (!!!) He woke up just as I was getting his car seat ready and off we went to my mom’s house for grandma babysitting duty.

Work was productive and we got a lot done. I love being productive and that’s probably why being a full-time stay at home mom is rougher than I thought it would be. At the end of the day, the baby is clean, fed, happy, and healthy so obviously I did stuff. Lots of stuff. But looking around my wreck of a living room and all of the sudden I wonder where the day went.

Don’t get me wrong, I love staying at home with the baby and even the few hours a week I’m gone, I miss him terribly. It just feels nice to do a little bit of work outside the house but there is no way I’d go back to work full-time now. Not for a while.

I had another run-in with a kitchen appliance tonight. I was pureeing some peas for Henry and the food processor lid jammed. It wouldn’t close all the way or come off. I had to beat it out with an attachment. At least I’m not scrubbing peas off the cabinets.

And just because every posts needs a photo, here’s a picture of a rhino at the zoo on Sunday. Henry got tired after the elephants, so he missed out.

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Keeping of the house.

Lately, I’ve been putting a lot of pressure on myself to be a better housekeeper. That’s what stay at home moms are supposed to do, right? Take care of child and home? Maybe do some cooking? Well, that’s what I thought anyway. But taking care of an infant has proved to be a full-time job in of itself, so I’m lucky if I get the kitchen clean and laundry folded. After all, I spend a lot of time doing stuff like this:

henrymirrorOh, hey good lookin’.

There is no reason for the extra added pressure (like I don’t already have enough). Chris doesn’t care. As soon as he walks in the door at night, I’ll apologize profusely for the messy living room and he’s like, “It’s ok, you’re busy!” Then I’ll tell him that he can sit down and I’ll make dinner. “Nah, you’ve been working all day, I’ll cook dinner.” What a guy, eh? But despite this, I’m still determined. As Henry is getting older and less needy of A-L-L of my time, I’m going to pull my act together. Dinner might not be ready, but I have a threshold of messiness and dirt I can live in and we are bordering that now. And if a guest is coming over, it’s got to be spotless. My mom drilled that one into my head from an early age. Even when I lived in the on-campus apartment in college, I would scrub the toilets before I had a guest come over. The school had a cleaning service — didn’t matter.

Henry will be crawling in a few short months and I am paying a professional carpet cleaning service before his precious little hands touches the floor. I have a feeling my OCD need to clean will be in hyperdrive then. The Swiffer Wet Jet might be perma-attached to my person, along with a can of Lysol. We’ll see.

With the baby sleeping 10 hours a night these days (with one nourishment break at around the 7.5-8 hour mark), I also have more time to blog! I’m sure you’re all super excited about that. I don’t feel the need to go to bed as soon as he closes his eyes because I know I have a buffer of time. Time to do nothing but be myself in our office and write, or fart around on Facebook, or read my favorite sites like this, this, aaaaaaaand of course, this. So that’s good that I’m using my spare time wisely, huh?

Any other time suck websites I should be aware of? I’m not too into food blogs or healthy living blogs. Who really eats that much quinoa? No one, that’s who.

 

Just venting. Moving on.

Maybe it’s just me, but I’m confused. Lately, I’ve been seeing a lot of Facebook snark about people talking/posting pictures about/of their kids. I’m sure it was there before I had a kid of my own, but I must not have paid attention. Personally, I LOVE when people write about their babies and I LOVE LOVE LOVE when I get to see cute babies in my feed, rather than lame internet memes involving grumpy cats or uninformed political s***.  But when my friends post about their hobbies, their careers, their businesses, their families, whatever makes them happy – that’s what I like to see on Facebook. Take a picture of your damn salad. If you enjoyed it, then hell, good for you.

Now I know this snark isn’t aimed at me (and I’m sure most of it is just lighthearted ribbing), but I have to admit I take it a little personally. So, my life was ok to write about when I was bitching about Monday mornings or hailing the arrival of Fridays, but it’s lame to take a picture of my baby and post it? Because I’m pretty sure both things are a part of my life and that’s what we do on social media sites, right? We write about whatever we want, whatever is going on. Right now, for me, the most important and wonderful thing happening to me is Henry. Period. I’ve never been happier, more in love, more fulfilled, more inspired. Is that a bad thing? Should I run out and find another job to fulfill me and then it will be ok? Will I be cool again? Is that more respectable?

In my early 20’s, I had a friend ask me if I ever wanted to be a stay at home mom. I told her I wasn’t sure because I’m a feminist and women should have careers like men. I didn’t want to be barefoot and pregnant, spending my days changing diapers and sweeping floors. Then she told me something I have never forgotten: If a woman chooses to stay at home with her kids, if that’s her choice, is that not feminism? That we are lucky enough to be able to choose?

That empowered me when we made the difficult decision that I would take care of our kids. No one takes better care of her babies than their mothers and that’s what I intend to do. I’ve had a pretty good career so far, making decent salaries with good benefits, which is what made this a huge decision for our family. But, as of today, as of right this moment, I never felt an ounce of the happiness I feel seeing my baby grow, change, discover new things, and smile. And that’s my job now. The job I chose. It doesn’t come with a paycheck or a set of business cards, and apparently I’ve lost the respect of some people, but that’s ok. None of that matters. Henry matters.

And if any people on Facebook or Instagram hate looking at my baby, there is a handy unsubscribe feature and an even handier unfriend feature you can use. It won’t hurt my feelings. I use them both often.

You know what else is cool? I’ve always loved writing and wouldn’t you know it. Here I am. Writing.

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Quickie

Some noteworthy happenings:

  • Got my hair cut and colored for the first time since I found out I was bearing a child. I feel like a new person and now I won’t have to spend the 8 seconds of spare time I have in front of the mirror obsessing over all of the gray hairs before throwing it up into a messy bun type thing and leaving it that way for a couple days before I decide to wash it and start all over again.
  • Henry is already holding his head up pretty great. His fave position is sitting up on our laps, with no support on his neck. If you try to support his neck, he gets very annoyed. And tummy time should be called “scoot across the floor time.” This kid wants to move.
  • We no longer have a newborn. We have a baby now. A babbling, giggling, alert, smiley, funny baby. I had to put some of his newborn clothes up this morning and he’s filling out his 0-3’s nicely. I love watching him grow, but it also tugs at my heart.
  • I’ve been doing more and walking. It’s been nice weather and I have the cutest little walking buddy. It knocks him out, though. Even after we get home, he continues to sleep for hours. Not that I’m complaining. An overtired Henry is no bueno. A growing boy needs his rest.
  • Chris continues to be amazing. Even when I’m stressed over stupid stuff, he’s calm and patient and talks me down. I’m lucky that I married a guy who tries to empathize with a new mom and all the stresses that come along with that. He also knows how hard it is to have a 24/7 baby-raising job and is a really good support. I have to brag on him because he deserves it. He puts up with a lot from my hormonal ass.

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What he’s wearing:

Hat: knit by someone and given to Henry by a nurse at the hospital. First placed on his head when he was minutes old.

Sweater: Baby Gap (on sale)

Overalls: Old Navy (on sale)

Socks: Trumpette Skater Boy (not on sale)

Pacifier: Nuk

 

Sleep (or the lack thereof)

Ya know what I miss?

sleepTHAT.

I haven’t really slept since I was induced at the hospital on December 16. Yes, I remember the last day I felt rested. It’s all worth it, of course, but the exhaustion is kind of shocking.

I love Shan’s recent blog post about how she sleeps on the floor just so she can get some consecutive sleep. I’ll admit — if it worked for me, I’d do it too. The other night, Henry slept from 10 – 6. Straight. I freaked out, then I jumped for joy! Then he didn’t do that again last night. I got up, changed his diaper, fed him, and laid down. He was still fussy, so I placed him next to me in the bed. He passed out immediately. I am going try to not make that a habit.

Alright, I know that new mom’s are supposed to be tired. I’ll stop complaining about it (today).

Here’s something interesting: I got to leave my house yesterday sans baby! My mom lives very nearby and practically begs to babysit for me. She really wants to have him spend the night and when I remind her that he’s not sleeping through the night yet, she changes her tune for the moment. Anyway, she came over and watched the Mouse while I went to lunch with some friends of mine that I used to work with. When I came home, Henry was still asleep and she was baking cookies. She told me to go take a nap while she baked and watched Downton Abbey. I was so shocked that I got maybe about 10 minutes of actual sleep. It was still really great, not gonna lie.

Next week, I am getting my hair done thanks to my babysitter. I have not had it dyed since before I found out I was pregnant. The gray hairs are out of control and need to be covered with chemicals immediately. Hopefully it will help me feel like less of a frumpy housewife. My self esteem hasn’t been at its highest lately.

I need a major pick me up. I don’t know if it’s the beginnings of postpartum depression (I really hope not) or what, but I’m really hard on myself these days. I need to take a chill pill, or a real pill perhaps, and cut myself some slack. Any ideas from other mommies on how to do that?

henrycouchRelax, mom. I’m fine. 

 

One month.

I can’t believe it’s been one month already since little Mouse* was brought into this world. He seems so much older to me now.  He’s sleeping longer at night, he’s smiling when I sing him songs (his new favorite), he’s already lifting his head up, and he LOVES taking a bath.

baby bathHeaven. I could stay in here forever.

We are also getting our daily routine down. Wake up around 6 or 7, he eats, I eat, he naps, I pay bills/clean/fold laundry/organize/sleep/mess around on the internet/watch TV (this repeats several times a day), tummy time, play time, reading time, song time, bath at around 9, in bed by 10. And about a dozen diaper changes sporadically thrown in.

I’m healing really well from the c-section and getting used to the exhaustion, which makes things easier. I am really just enjoying this stage in his life, since he’ll never be this tiny again. This involves letting go of new mom nerves and relaxing. Much easier said than done.

I used to wonder why stay at home moms would count down to Friday along with the rest of us. Isn’t it all the same to them? I TOTALLY GET IT NOW. On the weekends, I have my husband here who can help me. He can change diapers, he can put him down for his nap, he can play with him. Mom finally gets a little time off on the weekends, and maybe a little more sleep. I am TGIF’ing like crazy today.

Other milestones:

  • Henry is now finally above his birth weight by several ounces. In other news, our pediatrician is a saint for putting up with me.
  • Breastfeeding is slowly getting better, which is great. I’m still supplementing, but whatever. It is what it is, and Henry is as healthy as a horse. I must be doing something right.
  • He’s putting himself to sleep now at night. I just lay him down in his bassinet right when he’s at the brink of sleep. He lays there and moves around for a while, then falls asleep. It’s a beautiful thing.

I’ve seen people track their baby’s monthly growth by placing them next to a stuffed animal. I thought it only appropriate to do the same with Yoda:

baby yodaGrowing, he is.” – Chris, when I texted him the picture. Don’t worry, Henry. You’ll be bigger than the Jedi Master before too long.

I know you are all wondering who the professional illustrator is who drew the sign. That would be me, one handed with a sleeping baby on the other arm. Not too shabby, considering.

*Henry makes the cutest little squeaking sounds when he’s sleeping or falling asleep. I started calling him Mouse and it’s sticking. My husband calls me Monkey, and now we have a Mouse. Monkey & Mouse. I should turn that into a children’s book.