Wednesday, September 12, 2012


This couldn't possibly be interesting to anyone other than myself, but as C works so hard to express herself, here is what her vocabulary consists of (and how it really sounds) - and for those of you who say animal noises are not words, I confirmed it with a learned doctor (aka the pediatrician)...

Woof (oouf, oouf)
Meow (Aeaow)
SSSStttth - the noise a snake makes
Quack (cock caulk)
Howdy (owty)
Hey (Hey)
Daddy (Daaatee)
Doggy (Daaatee, but followed by Woof)
Ball (Bahw)
Mama (mmmmahmma)
Nanny (NnnnaNNy)
Cookie (Ccccki - like a throat clearing)

This is on top of the secret language that she shares with Mr. P.  This sounds like "mwi mwi mwi, dubba, dubba, dubba!" at high volumes followed by hysterical laughter from both of them.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Party Like It's 1999 (if 1999 = me surviving a whole year of motherhood)

Well, if you think it took me a long time to get to the post about Charlie's first birthday party, then you'll find it amazing that I still haven't gotten to the Thank You notes.  She has already outgrown some of her presents!  It was a good day- I was less emotional than I thought I'd be...I don't really yearn for any of the time back as much as I stand in total awe of what has become of this little person in just a year's time.  It's so fun to watch that once teeny tiny helpless thing figure out her entire world.
The party was exactly what I wanted it to be.  A mellow day with a LOT of friends and family, good food and drinks, beautiful weather and a fun theme!!! Another plus? I wasn't being cut open, so MUCH improvement from the year before!
All the grandparents, and a great grandparent, were in attendance, along with lots of other people...the nugget was in high demand that day!
After little gym that morning, I dropped C off with my mom to get a proper nap (which is impossible to get with a running stressed mama).  I went home and finished everything up with Mr. P.  Here are some highlights....
I had the most fun with the party favors and am glad that enough kids came to make this fun! I didn't want to include candy because the kids are mostly too young for that so I used Oriental Trading Company and Michaels to add mini beach balls, sticker beach scenes, and leis to beach pails.
Party Favor Buckets

Little Kahuna-ess' Throne (note: Kahuna is unisex in the world, but not in my head)
 I freaking loved the cake, AND it was super duper easy.  One of the best tips I ever received was to buy a Costco cake plain and then decorate it yourself, because for me...that's the fun part!  For this I made a flat sheet of blue jello (which ended up being way tasty to boot), crushed some teddy grahams and let some live (fun fact: one of the teddy grahams is a boy in a speedo and one is a topless chick - the artist gets to decide this stuff). The rest is candy.  I'm not outrageously talented OR creative.  Pinterest. Duh.
The everybody fun cake
 These are my totally un-fun cupcakes that I made for Charlie and any other food-issue kids.  The recipe here on this website I've used for feeding questions and ideas for the last 7 months. I was so afraid of all the stuff in the cake and frosting...but two months later the kid has had- and loved- pancakes, cookies, ice cream, and juice.  She's more of a powerhouse that we thought.
The Gluten-, Dairy-, Soy-, Refined Sugar-free cupcakes for C
 There are so few pictures of me and this bug that I had to post this even if it isn't that great of me.  I don't have a tiny birthday hat on either...that's someone's shorts behind me that are just well placed.
C loving the un-fun bday cupcakes
 This part took the longest...I made the tutu and threw together the head piece out of the left over pieces without checking the size.  It's hugeness was kinda cute.  Also, her onsie says, "Life's A Beach, Then You Turn 1."
Too Cute

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Independence Day

Freedom Bra
Shortly after celebrating the Independence of our nation and before celebrating the Independence of C from my womb, I declared independence for the vast nation of my boobies...bordered by my neck and my torso (although the nation of boobies is always threatening to invade the peaceful land of my torso, and it is taking increasingly strong walls to resist).
The morning of July 9th was C's last taste of the boob.  It seemed like a good time because Jake had the week off and could attend to her more often.  Most people I know stopped breastfeeding because they dried up or their kid made the decision for them - I did it because I was tired of my hair falling out and my body was screaming that I needed to stop giving away my hydration and nutrition and freedom.  I had to Google how to do this because I didn't take the freaking breastfeeding class because I was tired of seeing the hospital and figured either C and I would figure it out or we wouldn't.  Well, we figured it out. And we stuck with it.
The first day we snuck it under the radar pretty easily, but by day two she got the hint and wanted to make sure we knew she did NOT approve. It took about 5 days of violent tugging at the neckline of my shirts, dirty looks, and climbing into my lap and putting herself into prime boob eating position, for her to really give in.  As long as I fed her food or distracted her every time, she seemed to be mildly okay with it.  However, it wasn't lost on me that she became very attached to Mr. and -call me crazy (or stand in line to do so) - but I'm pretty sure she essentially STOPPED saying "mama."
WTF?! and Where Can I Find One of These?
I did alright too...I did not let myself dwell on the fact that we would never have that particular bond again or that this was a true sign that she was moving on from being my little baby or that if we crashed on a desert island, LOST style, I couldn't single-handedly keep her nourished (yes, these things cross my mind more than you'd like to know).  I was easily able to bring up the feeling of "done-ness" that inspired this in the first place.  I was Pamela Anderson for about a week...with rock hard Jugs that hurt like crazy and couldn't be any fun even though they looked great.  I had to bind them and heat them and ice them - ironically in my office the only ice I had was a leftover frozen bag of breast milk - and once I even broke protocol and emptied out the super producer (otherwise known as LEFT BOOBIE) in the shower to relieve some of the stabbing pain - and discovered that should be PART of protocol.  It hasn't had any further pain since then.  (now on day 15).
So now Mr. can get up with C - although the universe's joke is on me...since she's not gonna get any boob juice, she's not so interested in getting up in the middle of the night anymore.  I can now wear high necked anything and regular bras...speaking of which, I'm researching one that makes cream puffs out of flapjacks.  Suggestions appreciated. They are definitely not full on pancake boobies, but the have migrated slightly south and lost a little gusto - like a week old Mylar balloon.  Ok, enough about my fun bags.  C is done breastfeeding and I own my body once again.  At least for the time being....

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Get Me the Number for CPS

It was the scream (2 in a row actually) heard 'round the world (or my world...about a 1/4 square mile of it, I'm guessing, because the windows were open).  After some failed attempts at crib-napping my little sleep resister, I tried laying in my bed with her.  She was up climbing over me and then doing laps to the end of the bed and back.  She would crawl, sit-to-turn, and crawl back.  I figured I would let my little free spirit get her sillies out then maybe she would sleep...but before she did, one off-balanced sit-to-turn resulted in me watching my daughter spill backwards, and disappear over the end of my bed.  I screamed twice and then went into mommy mode.  When I got to her, she looked a little stunned...understandable since it was her first solo back-flip dismount...but instantly started silent-superlongbreathless-followed-by-howling-crying.  The fact that this proved she lived made me feel better for about 0.2 seconds, and then I was overwhelmed by the tidal wave of guilt that crashed over me.  I calmed her down, telling her over and over that "we" were ok ( insert C thought bubble here: "of course you're okay, you sorry excuse for a parent! You laid there while I plummeted!").

 Once she was calm, I put into practice my extensive experience as a D.H. (Doctor of Hypochondria) and checked for bruising, moving limbs, fluid from the ears and nose, bleeding, or weird eye movements.  In my hysteria I figured I was missing the sign that I had permanently damaged my child.  I picked up the phone, considered 9-1-1, but I looked out the window and called my neighbor instead.  She came over and took C while I lost my momentary calm.  She checked her over and told me stories of HER son falling off of HER bed.  Finally, mom's sharing their stories gives me relief- there's a first time for everything!! Ultimately I convinced her we were both fine and she left, giving me a little welcome to the club grin.  I was still not ready to smile.  I was, however, ready to call the nurse so she could tell me what I knew in my head - that I needed to rush my daughter to the emergency room.  Turns out HER babies fell off the bed too! Damn, are we a bunch of shitty moms or WHAT?! She said the baby sounds fine and told me the stuff to watch for - like if it ever happened again, because she was so sure C was ok.

At this point I just sat holding her for the hour or so until Mr. got home. He wasn't all that concerned - hello! Aren't any of these people as compelled to call Child Protective Services on me as I am? I'm obviously an unfit, lazy parent - who, by the way, at this point was also having PTSD-style flashbacks of the fall.

I'm told this will not be the last time, and that this is parenthood. Well, that's not acceptable. See how easy that is? C is strictly forbidden from being in any form of danger or getting hurt in any way. I may have laughed in the past - but I am SOOOO not against a full time helmet policy. Or a full time bubble wrap policy. Whatever works...hey, you live under my roof! If a plastic bubble is good enough for John Travolta, it's good enough for my little nugget!

P.S. - Don't ever write a similar blog, and then look for a picture by Googling "Bubble Wrap Baby." Trust me on this one.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The New Crawl (aka The "Igor")

C's crawl has evolved from the Wounded Soldier to the Igor.  (She actually can crawl the old fashioned way, but she doesn't do it very often)

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, June 11, 2012

I Am A Working Mom

Ok, this is not going to be a popular post.  I don't  like the idea of pitting granola mom against Gerber mom, or PBS mom with Nick Jr. mom, and all that crap.  Do your best, the kid is probably going to need therapy either one is perfect, yadda, yadda, yadda.  I know quite a few SAHMs (Stay At Home Moms) considering I didn't know they really existed when I was young and it was just the TV moms that stayed at home.  Some moms don't WANT to be SAHMs, some moms can't for whatever reason, and a lot of my teacher friends do it one way during the year and do the SAHM thing during the summer.  I personally would love to be a SAHM, and really loved the time I was home with C for the first eight weeks, and on our recent "staycation" together.  Maybe it's because I didn't try to conquer the world while I did it or try to be a lady who lunched, but I enjoyed it.  It wasn't a walk in the park (wait, it actually literally WAS for an hour or so a day) and I was legitimately tired by the end of the day.  Loads of laundry I had my eye on never left the bedroom floor, recipes  laid unmade, a nap schedule never quite found its way into our home as I planned.
I will admit though, I do take offense to the following phrase, and phrases like it:
"All Moms are Working Moms"
I'm sorry (no I'm not) but there is a difference between being a mom who also has a job outside of the house and one that doesn't.  Some of the differences are to my benefit.  I can make my breaks line right up with the times that I have to use the bathroom - and therefore I use said bathroom without getting a gyno exam by a 10 month old who is hanging onto my panties for dear life while trying to get her sea legs.  I don't have to share 1/2 of my lunch by ripping it into un-chokable pieces.  There are semi-long periods of quiet and some of the demands on me are articulated in discernible English. But this is all while I do my job.  My job (as discussed with an over-intellectual friend who happens to agree with me) is something that has to be done, but other people don't want to do, so they give me money to do it.  Parenting is a decision I made, something I wanted - always wanted - and that I love.  A labor of love, but love - unpaid love - nonetheless.  Unemployed-Americans that have dogs, or a house, or other elective responsibilities would be regarded as asinine if they professed to actually have a job even if they didn't get paid.  Yes, there is value in walking a dog and in caring for, cleaning, and maintaining a house.  There is value in providing childcare too, but when you are at home with your own child it is just different.
When I leave for work in the morning I feel guilt that I am not taking care of my baby.  I have the best of all possible childcare and C barely notices that I leave, but I am keenly aware that Monday through Thursday, between 8a.m and 5p.m. I won't be pointing out the color of things on our walks or holding her hands and she does endless laps up and down the hallway.  Not surprisingly, if I leave that laundry, or those bills, or healthy ingredients home when I am away - they don't wash, bake, prepare, and pay themselves.  I don't always come home to a clean, well rested, nutritionally loaded child with whom I can just sit lovingly with and read educational materials until it's time for her to drift off into a peaceful sleep. (Ha ha, get it? - Sleeping like a baby?! Really? Lame phrase)  In the morning, things don't go according to her little internal clock.  I'm pretty sure if I stayed home I wouldn't have to compromise and let her use the toilet as her indoor water table so that I could straighten my hair and apply some blush, or at the very least brush my teeth (because that's a good example right? Double Whammy) within the allotted 2 hours we have together in the morning.
And another thing...Mr. is an amazing dad - truly amazing, but if anyone believes that if both parents work, then they are even-steven in the parenting - well, it's just not true.  As a general rule, mom is the project manager of baby land.  I keep track of what C has and has not eaten and has and has not reacted to.  I make appointments and notes on what to ask at the appointments.  I adjust the amount of formula and obviously the breastfeeding schedule.  I notice when we need different stimulation with different toys.  I decide on her swimwear and know if she's taken tylenol or put on sunscreen.  I don't know when my car's next oil change is...but I do know some very detailed information about what the last poopy diaper looked like.  Maybe it's a control thing to make up for not being with her all the time.  Maybe it's nature or maybe it's how I was raised -but I know as far as the moms I know go, this is the norm.
So, there you have it, as challenging as being a SAHM is, in my opinion it is not being a working mom.  Why not just be proud of what you are and not trying to make it into something else? Why isn't not having a job for the sake of being your child's exclusive caretaker acceptable? Why, just because we now supposedly have the "right" to do it all, do we beat ourselves up when we chose a few things to give our all to?
Ok, rant over.
Nothing to do with the post, but these kids are awesome!
On a lighter note, I'm now 33 (and 3 days).  So far it's just as awesome as 32 was and 31.  30's rock so much more than 20's.  I can only assume I'll glow in the dark or have some other awesome super power by my 40's!   

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

A Direct Message (sort of stalker-y) to Far Superior Blogger - and Playing with Links

Hi Modg!
Just to warn you, I can't offer you anything listed in your "reasons to contact" (well I lie, I have a baby and a picture of a penguin, so I guess I could if I wanted to) but I still think this is something you need to hear (or I need to write).  I imagine you get a lot of emails thanking you for what you do, and it's just like the labor and delivery nurse, or just as important, the bartender at your wedding - that they do it everyday and it's just a job, but it's super important to you (you, as in me) and can make or break one of the biggest experiences of your life.  I'll keep it short (FAIL already).
In January 2011, I was about 4 months pregnant and having dinner in total public with a friend -actually one of my favorite little angels who often seems to give me exactly what I need- and as I teared up for the millionth time that day, I explained to her that I didn't like being pregnant and was overcome with the guilt of it all.  She - interestingly enough a single girl whose babies were her crazy social calendar, successful career, new house and pets among other things - mentioned a blog she loved - ModgBlog.  She said it was a new mom who ate her placenta - SOLD! By some stroke of universal intervention, I remembered the name of the blog she mentioned when I got home (by which time I had already puked up my dinner and peed myself in the car).
When I started reading I liked that you had done Hypnobabies (I started it at 13 weeks - neurotic much?), the tone was on par with my own wedding blog , you cloth diapered (as I was planning and ultimately loved) and I had a friend-crush (in a platonic way, not a Women's Studies way). I was entertained by you.  Then I had my baby...
A planned, natural, Hypnobabies birth turned into a series of decisions that even I could have been better prepared for - and despite a mom, sister-in-law, and other friends who have all had c-sections, my thoughts while getting prepped were honestly, "Modg did it."
When my new little person started spewing un-explainable things from her ass and not gaining weight I found myself on an elimination diet that you had made light of, and when everyone nearly insisted I just give up breastfeeding, I knew there was someone who had made it through (C is 10 months tomorrow, I'm still breastfeeding, and I can eat whatever I want).
And when you came up with names for the shelf that resides over vag, well - my respect for you only grew (and my husband's was created).
gratuitous cuteness to reduce creepy-ness
I follow you on Pinterest and when you started posting ideas for a nursery, I got excited for the news that I knew would follow - and excited for you to do it all months before me again, and basically write my guide. Your most recent post was the awesome straw that broke the Thank You Camel's back.  At my 6 week appointment, my doctor said I was a prime candidate for a VBAC, and I poked her eyes out for even suggesting I would do this all again.  Then a family member who also happens to be an older, east coast surgeon asked me why I would EVER consider a VBAC as it makes for FULK (&*$%ed up looking kids). Mind you, he does gallbladder surgeries.  As the sparks of the baby-fever flame start to flicker again, I have been researching this, talking to every doula, and consulting all the available information I can.  And I came to the same conclusion that you did.  People roll their eyes, and will say and do worse when I actually am pregnant again (no time soon, other readers who do know me- all 4 of you!).  I am the ultimate information gatherer - and I found the stats you did.  I look forward to hearing your journey - as I realize on some level that you are a real person having this real experience, and not just for my benefit - and thank you.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

I Want to Take a Picture of Confidence

I take a lot of pictures of C (duh!) - I'm guessing the cyber-world has a gigantic stadium piled high with digital pictures of adorable babies.  How did our parents even  pick just the few to fit in the albums?! One thing I can't preserver (mush starts HERE) and wish with everything in me that I could, is how much this little girl loves herself.  We walk by a wall that has an engagement picture of Mr. and I looking childless and rested under which there are baby pictures of Mr., myself, and C.  She gets this look on her face and it is obvious that she is just enamored with the baby she sees in her picture - even more than the two other babies, so it's not just a "baby" thing.  When we're getting ready for bath time, she checks herself out in the mirror and she's thrilled to see that baby again.  She smiles when the baby smiles, looks the baby up and down and looks genuinely impressed with everything about that person in the mirror (more so than the same old mommy or daddy in the mirror).  She pats her tummy with pride often throughout the day.  She loves the look and movement and taste of her hands and feet.  She feels completely free (and totally unedited) to express herself.  She isn't embarrassed to be the loudest one in the room.
More likely than not, this unconditional self-love will be gone before she even has a memory of it and that totally breaks my heart in a million different pieces.
When I found out I was having a girl I was a little stunned - mostly because I recall myself, and how difficult I was from age 12 through...well, I'll let you know when it goes away.  At first I thought how difficult it was for my parents...emotions that couldn't be named or explained, but were nonetheless spilling out of me. An unpredictable swinging pendulum that could take out a grown man in the blink of an eye.  And a sudden awareness - nay, INSISTENCE -  of everything real and imagined that was wrong with me, my looks in particular.  But now that she's here and I want perfection for her life, I remember how much it royally sucked for me too.  By junior high I could stare into a mirror and criticize what I saw endlessly - in high school, it got worse despite the fact that photographic evidence proves quite the contrary.  AND it's STILL's really a big cluster &%$# because crazy hormones when you're young add to it, but then aging adds to it, then pregnancy and crazy body changes, and finally menopause.  As a friend of mine once said, "as men age, they start looking more like Sean Connery, but as women age they start to look more like...Sean Connery."  He's an ass.  But he's not totally wrong.  Despite this fact, I want to break this cycle...
As I had one of my not-rare-enough, exhaustion and guilt fueled, mini breakdowns the other evening (probably a Wednesday - those suck) I blabbered to wide-eyed mister, "I'm not saying this so that you'll try to make me feel better like 'one of THOSE girls' but sometimes I really feel like I suck at everything and am so uuuuugggggllllyyy <sniff, sniff>"  To which he responded, "'so should I not tell you that you aren't or...."  I then calmed down and explained that I need to change ME (as in my thought patterns, not plastic surgery).  If not FOR me, then for C - because neither of us want to find out in 12 years that she has posted her picture on the world wide web asking total pervy strangers if she "Hot or Not."
Totally Confident Katie
Not-so-confident Katie
So this is going to be my way of trying to preserve C's self-love...being a good example (balls! that always takes work!)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Earth (Day) Mama

Happy Earth Day(two days late)! Funny...when I was in college Earth Day was mainly celebrated a couple days early and the celebrations was very...plant based.  It would be awesome sauce if we could save the planet by being environmentally friendly once a the spring...when it's not too hot, or too cold, and we've planned for any inconvenience brought on by complying.  However, we are in the real world (where people stop being nice, and start getting real - "can you get the PHONE!") and so this year I am using Earth Day as a reminder to make more efforts to do LESS to destroy the earth and my body and the bodies that I chose to bring into this world and the world that I leave them - yadda, yadda. Oh, and it is TOTALLY prairie girl to make these changes...
Deodorant - I made my own twice with this recipe- the first time it worked well.  The second time I had used 2 year old ingredients and had some major chaffing during a Jazzercise class.  I decided I didn't want ugly pits for my wedding, so I put off the granola.  When I was pregnant I switched to the Crystal Deodorant, because...I don't know, I didn't think my blank tinted armpits needed anything else to help them be weird.  It worked well, worked through the pregnancy, labor, and back home through a time when a friend had convinced me I would have period of NO deodorant working.  As far as I know, I very rarely stink of B.O.
Shampoo - I've tried "no 'poo" before and was utterly grossed out at how oily my hair got.  There is an adjustment period.  My hair is always phenomenal the day after I do the Baking Soda/Apple Cider Vinegar treatment, but the days in between are a little iffy.  Well, I'm going to try to make it through the adjustment period this's not bothering me too much - maybe because I'm already dealing with ugly for beauty by trying to let me eyebrows fill in so I can get them reshaped.
Soap - I've used Dr. Bronners soap on and off for years, and I am only bothered by the religious rambling all over the bottle and that it dries my skin out a bit.  But I put Coconut Oil everywhere before getting in the shower, and this really helps.  I think I might give a homemade body scrub a go too.
Lotion - I use the Coconut Oil and I like it, but I'm tired of the smell and need to find some essential oils to change it up.
Toothpaste - I tried straight Baking Soda...ewwwww.  No beuno.  I found a recipe including...of course, Coconut Oil, BS, and Mint Extract.  I want to try it.  I DID however try oil pulling.  I'm not holding my breath for it to cure my allergies, but it really does feel like you just went to the dentist when you're done.  AND it didn't make me gag.
Cleaning Supplies - still trying to get away with as much vinegar use as Mr. can stand. Seriously the stuff does everything - include kill bacteria and mold.  Down with Bleach!

And for the baby...
Diaper wipes - I bought one bottle of this expensive wipe solution called "Diaper Area Wash" and then started filling the bottle with a solution of strong Chamomile Tea, a few drops of Dr. Bronners Soap, and a few drops of Almond Oil.  I spray it straight on her hiney and she makes a "F*&$ing A! That's cold!" Noise and then all is fine..  Although, I never spoiled her with any warmed wipes.   And she's had one diaper rash for less than 24 hours, so it works for us.
Diaper Cream - I have about 5 bottles of the corresponding expensive diaper cream - when they are done, I plan on switching to Coconut Oil.
Soap - once we are done with the Aveeno wash that I got for my baby shower, I will switch her to Dr. Bronners
Lotion - Same for Lotion, I'll switch her to Coconut Oil or Almond Oil.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Fighting Perfection

I recently read this article posted by another FB mommy.  But wait...deja vu, my mom drilled a few things down deep into my brain as I grew up, one of which being - you will drive yourself bonkers if you try to be perfect.  She was a victim of the "you can do it all" feminist philosophy that all too often changed the "can" to "MUST."  She had to be perfect in her wildly successful career WHILE being a dinner-cooking, entertaining, fresh-cookie-baking, Christmas-tree-ornament-sewing (this is 100% true) homemaker WHILE being at the forefront of fashion and hairstyles WHILE raising kids who danced, played soccer, swam, girl scout-ed, etc.  She gave up on perfect a while ago (but she is perfect to me) - and although she still struggles, she's pretty good at it.  Good enough that I should have soaked up some of it.  But this must be a lesson one needs to learn on their own...
So while this article preaches the difficulties of stay at home motherhood (which I don't discount at all - in fact I COVET it!) I would argue that the same pressures are being felt by the working mom who ALSO often wants to be the do-it-all SAHM, just in her time off.  This guilt-driven, sleep-deprived species of mom either wishes she was a stay at home mom (raising my hand) and wants to do all the things she thinks she would do if she were; or feels bad about not being the one to provide constant learning-based, multi-cultural, bilingual, organic stimulation to her kids.
How does this apply to me?
 I don't need to see the movie, I'm living it 
(Pee Wee's Great Adventure reference)
I have admitted more than once that I want to be Laura Ingalls.  I have always had this huge desire to live off the land and be fully self-sufficient - except for cable...and candy...and central air...and magic shell.  Anyways, you get it.  Some I do out of guilt, some I do because I believe I can do things better than other people, some I do for my family's health, some I do out of frugality, and some I actually enjoy.  But after reading the above article (way to get to the point THREE PARAGRAPHS LATER!) I finally said out loud, "I HATE making baby food." Ugh! I mean, I really freaking hate it.  I get stressed enough about trying new foods on C like she's a little lab rat, waiting to see if she'll explode.  But add to that needing to make it correctly (read: palatable), with the right (read: organic) ingredients, in a timely manner (must be food available when she multiple times EVERY day!!) I have to have gone to the store to do it, I have to have time in the kitchen actually doing stuff that I can't hold the baby while doing, and I have to do it while she's awake because it involves a food processor that is powerful enough to shake the house.  I have to be geared up to snap at Mr. for no real reason and make a sizable hole in the roof for my blood pressure to go through. Then I needed to carve out time to feel utterly unappreciated.  So there, I said it.  I said it to myself about a million times first.  Then I "stumbled" upon the article again as Mr. and I sat on the couch and read it to him...and then I said it to him.  And then I said it to my mom.  
Mom was proud...Mr. couldn't care less, unless caring would refer to being thrilled at the reduction in chance encounters of super-bitch, and then he was probably happy to some degree.  We went to the store that day to buy jars of the food I was comfortable feeding C.  I organized them.  And this is where I am simultaneously flattered and reminded this whole deal has very little to do with what I want ....
C doesn't like most of the food.  She likes her mommy's cooking.  I finally feel just a little valued for my peel, steam, puree, clean and repeat.  That along with just being able to say that I hate it, and I'm ready to get back to it...even sort of excited.  
And after I make this next batch with renewed enthusiasm, I'm guessing my sweet little child will decide she only eats solid food, not that silly mush. 

Thursday, March 29, 2012

And the Purple Heart Goes to....Charlie

The nugget is now 8 1/2 months old.  Her "peers" are starting to crawl...even some of the younger ones.  I intellectually know that she is well within the time for normal crawling, but she is such a mover that sometimes I get a little "what if-y" and am lead to entertaining lame-ass ideas like this one. Really? They even make toys to try to make your baby crawl.  I would get the look of death from my very attitudinally - if not physiologically- mature daughter.  She can give a WTF face that would rival any bushy browed pre-teen any day of the week.  Debbie Gibson save our souls in 12 years or so....
So she's not crawling...but she does move, and pretty fast - if you consider having to look for her if I've left her long enough to attend to bathroom matters "FAST."  I do.  She can also make it to the end of the bed in seconds flat...and really so can I, but she goes for it.  Over. And Over. And Over again.  Obviously she's never experienced a fall.  And with all her noisy, colorful, plush, genius-inducing, chewable, shakable, smackable, toys - she only wants 3 things.  A phone. A remote. A wire connected to the wall.  Oh and occasionally she'll go for a shoe if that's the only really gross thing around.  She can make it around a couch, under a table, and behind a toilet before you can say Hepatitis C three times fast.  "But how does she do this?" you ask.  "Is she already walking? Running? Pirouetting?" I can see how one would assume this from a ball of pure genius such as mine, but no.  She does what I like to refer to as the "wounded soldier."  She drags herself around like she's starring in the first 10 minutes of Saving Private Ryan.  You would think she's avoiding a grenade instead of pursuing her doll (yes, she has a doll now, I didn't buy it, but I did feel compelled to name it Baby Gloria - as in Steinem.  The next doll, because I know there will be one, will be deemed Baby Betty unless Charlotte names it one of her favorite words.  "Nng, Dadada, or Pbbttthhh")
So the wounded soldier is now dramatically dragging herself through her own roving battle, but I know she'll either start doing it conventionally soon or skip right to walking so I documented the body-dragging that I will one day look upon fondly.  Unless I remember every stray hair I had to pick off the front of her clothes...cruel trick of nature that babies start moving all over the ground roughly around the time that your thick pregnancy hair is falling out in clumps that make you feel like you were targeted by those teen biotches from The Craft.
Anywho, here's the video.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Best Advice

This advice was given to me for having a baby and HAVING a baby.

1.  Buy SUPERSIZED versions of your favorite shampoo and conditioner.  You will feel gross to say the least. Your daily shower (and yes, if you want to take one you will find a way) may be the quickest, yet the most relaxing time of your day - and your only alone time.  Getting to the store is hard.  If you don't want to end up using an old bottle of Suave that you picked up at the 7-11, then have these things ready to break open like a good bottle of champagne when you get home from the hospital.
2.  Get new sweats, panties, and t-shirts.  Yes, you will very likely come home much closer to the size you left than you were expecting, and you CAN wear your maternity clothes.  But by this time you will despise every last article of maternity gear, not to mention they may have gone through any combination of pee-pee accidents, throw-up, excessive sweating, taco bell craving spills, or amniotic fluid (in my case all of the above) in the last few weeks. These won't exactly get the royal treatment, so don't go all Lululemon, because this will make blow outs less funny and more infuriating.  But make them cute, comfortable, and clean.  These will be in pictures F-O-R E-V-E-R!

3.  Be in pictures.  You will want to take a million pictures of your baby - put someone in charge of snapping a few that have you in them.  Even if you feel like Jabba the Hut (and you will) because one day your child will challenge you to prove that they are yours and the wrecked body somehow won't convince them (I believe you now Mom and Dad).
4.  Have an 8th grade flashback.  Get something to treat breakouts fast.  This is a good option, but know what works for you.  Recall the breakouts you got when you first found out you were pregnant.  Multiply by a gazillion.  And remember, the pictures.

Ok, now that your ready to come home, it's time to go have the baby.

5.  Don't take many clothes, and don't take ANY that you don't want to put in the trash swiftly upon your return home.  Even if you think you would rather be in your own clothes, wear their gown.  Socks and slippers will at best be all over a hospital floor and at worst (read: likely) get soaked by a combination of 3-5 bodily fluids.  Ask me if you really want to know what is going to happen the first time you stand up, or just trust me that you want to be in their gowns.   They will be checking or manipulating you every few hours at least - you want them to have very easy access.
6.  Find a nurse that you like.  If you don't like yours, it is ok to ask for a different one...THIS will be your angel or your worst nightmare for the next few hours.  Then tell them if you are scared.  It really helps to say it out loud and they will make you feel better (if they are the angel variety).
7. Be flexible.  You can have all the plans you want, but this is going to go how it's going to go. Definitely know what you want, but be ready to throw what you want out the window if it means healthy baby and healthy mama.
8.  It's ok if you don't love the baby right away, it's NOT ok if you want to flush the baby down the toilet - and if you do, call someone(this was the most well put AND useful advice I received).  By the time my nugget was born I had been through a couple of days of labor, had been given meds to numb me, meds to calm me, and meds to stop me from hurling.  I was dizzy and shaking and overwhelmed and scared.  I couldn't look at her and skin to skin was likened to setting a boulder on my chest at that moment.  Within four hours, my heart was bursting every time I looked at her.  I never had a problem after that, but I had a plan in place in case I started feeling depressed.  That alone may have been what helped me.
9.  Take the medicine.  They may give you Vicodin or suggest Advil - whatever it is, take it.  A negligible amount will get into your breast milk if you're breastfeeding.  The baby will be fine, and will be better the more comfortable you are. In fact, not being in pain and awake in the few moments that you COULD sleep may do much more good for your milk supply.

And this final one is c-section specific.

10. Move as soon as you can.  Bicycle kick your feet as soon as you can (I could  move my feet throughout). Get up and stand STRAIGHT up.  Not hunched or you will think you can never stand without tearing open. Take walks to the bathroom, up and down the hall, around your room.  It will be good for your circulation, help you heal, and show you that you will not split open with the slightest movement.

So for all my detesting of advice- this was actually some good stuff.  Special thanks to involuntary contributors to this blog, including My Ma, Auntie G, Liz, Susie, and Courtney.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Good, The Bad, and The Epidural

For those of you ready to grab a garbage can and lose your lunch, this is not my birth story - per say.  It is sort of a run down of what has worked (for me...everyone is different, no advice, blah, blah, blah) thus far and what has not, even with the best of intentions and worst of my stubborn attitude on my side. Also, I'm not beating myself up for anything that didn't work out how I expected it to...

What Did NOT Work:

Natural Child Birth
I started studying Hypnobabies birthing method very early in my pregnancy.  It was honestly, the best thing I did even if I didn't use it so much in the delivery room.  Practicing was some forced relaxation on a daily basis, and there were a lot of positive affirmations that I really needed.  I planned to use it to control pain through labor that I hoped to do a lot of at home, then go in to the hospital towards the end...yadda, yadda.  Instead I was induced to avoid preclampsia.  By the time I went in to Labor and Delivery to have the baby I had been there 6 times before- using my Hypnobabies every time to relax, bring my blood pressure back down, and stay positive while waiting for something, ANYTHING, to happen.  I used it during my Braxton Hicks and I used it for all the contractions that I had (or as I like to call it, the imaginary baseball bat being rammed up my hiney - sorry, maybe you do need that garbage can).  I actually ended up getting the epidural, not for contractions, but for this evil procedure called a "Foley Bulb."  And then I ended up with a c-section- lots more medication, very un-natural, but resulted in a healthy baby and healthy mama. Although this story isn't over...I can still try next time.

Sleep Training
Cute Can't be Learned
That's not completely true, but the crying it out that I had always told people was so important to do...couldn't and still can't.  Every once in a while I do let her fuss to go back to sleep, but I have never let her wail for a couple hours to get her to sooth herself.  She goes to bed at the same time daily, gets up once to eat (although she probably COULD sleep through the night), and probably gets up a little early...but I'm just not ready to introduce her to more disappointment than the shots, and not being allowed to Gnaw on my Gnipples.

Baby Led Weaning
Happy with mush
This is a method where you basically just hand your baby what you're eating (within reason) and let them feed themselves whole food with very little interference, maintaining breastfeeding or formula as the main source of nutrition from 6-12 months.  This is great in theory.  However, 1) The doctor suggested (strongly, amid suggestions of possible malabsorption issues) that I start feeding before 6 months with the intent of getting as much as possible INTO her, 2) we still deal with the possibilities of allergies, and 3) I am a control freak.  I feed C food that doesn't leak from me twice a day during the week (SuperSitter feeds her lunch).  Once I am getting ready to leave for work with a bit of a time crunch, once I am tired and have roughly 2 hours with the baby before she goes to bed.  Neither time do I have it in me to put all my energy toward relaxing about choking and moving at her pace instead of mine.  C has proven herself in the "taking bites" with bread, a roll, a gardening book, and a birthday card for Auntie G but I can't bring myself to let her try to navigate it all in the self destruct button chasm that is the back of her mouth.

What Did Work:

'Cause that's how big they felt
My boobs, in their sad shape, might disagree.  The future income of a local plastic surgeon might emphatically agree.  This was my one brag-worthy moment from C's birthday...she latched on within 1/2 an hour. She briefly gave up the next day when her efforts were still fruitless, but picked it back up with no trouble.  I've had to drink teas, and pump, and fully eliminate everything that I couldn't pick out of the ground myself...after about 2 months essentially everyone around me encouraged me to quit to maintain my own sanity. 7 months later, some days I want to punch my pump in the face for making that noise that can only be translated to "Wack-o, Wack-o."  Some days I want to eat whatever processed, dairy filled, cheesy shit mess that I please.  But I am starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel, and I am getting a little sad about getting there.  At 3 am, or during shots, or during the stranded-on-a-desert-island catastrophes that my mind can create...I am easily able console AND nourish my sweet little bugger.  And it's cheaper.

Cloth Diapering
that's some crunchy shiz
On this one, I must respectfully say suck it biotch to all the haterators that laughed at me for this one.  Comments (to my face, so who knows what was said otherwise) like, "oh, can't wait to see what you do the first time you see a huge poop" (like I hadn't considered that my baby would produce a deuce) or making bets about how long it would last.  It works great for us...doesn't work well for everyone, but we like it.  Even Mr. P is a fan.  My washing machine is NOT covered in shit, C's room doesn't NOT stink to holy hell, and my baby's booty is NOT a mess.  In fact, since we started at 7 weeks, we have had one mild diaper rash.

And ultimately what has worked is taking things as they come and being flexible...not easy for an anal-retentive, closet routine-freak.  Who me? What?! No! Ok. Yes.  But add good mom to that. Great some days, fair on others...not too shabby on most.  Mr. P is pretty awesome too.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Working (Out) Mother's Guilt

Ok, so I'm now the working mother that doesn't see her baby 8 hours out of 4 days every week - like the normal kind of working mother (but still a little privileged in my opinion).  And I have to say - I've adjusted almost too well.  As Mr. P said,  I was working 80 hours in 40 hours time and it was wearing me (and in return him) ragged.  I was a mess and full of tension all the time. Yes, I was incredibly lucky to have the opportunity and I will always treasure it.  And yes, I loved seeing her face all the time - but DAYAM it was hard. I ALMOST feel guilty feeling so relaxed, except I know she is getting the utmost spoiling and naps in her own bed and she doesn't bat a long, beautiful eyelash (they used to be mine - she stole them when I was pregnant and they never grew back on me) when I leave.
So I can feel as guilty as I want, but I don't really have a this point, without some major lifestyle changes, we wouldn't be able to do it any other way.  However, here is where a real balancing act comes in...
The time that I am not at work...I want to be with her every second.  I have already decided to forego my desire to play with her until I'M tired so that she could have a nice early bedtime. I try to get as ready in the evening and wee hours of the morning so that I can sit and enjoy her before I head off to work.
First pic texted from the sitter
Sooo....I've recently signed back up for my secret healthy indulgence...Jazzercise.  I know I will not be back at 6 days a week anytime in the near decades...but even just going back for a couple of sessions of shaking my completely reshaped-by-baby-growing ass a week is worth it to me.  I get a workout that clears my mind, works my heart, builds some bone density, strengthens my muscles, and gets some silly suburban lady chat in before and after.  Going on the weekends is a no-brainer as the grandmas are chomping at the bit to spend an hour or so changing poopy diapers and wiping up drool for the chance at an eight second smile or the hint of a giggle.  But I would like to go one day during the week to make 3 workouts a week...and it's so hard to decide to do it.  The self-help book reading, Womyn's Studies major in me tells me that I need to put on my own oxygen mask take care of myself so that I can best take care of my family.  The guilty working mother tells me to get my ass home as fast I can before my daughter forgets who I am, feels completely abandoned and finds her way 3 blocks down at the strip club bearing her low self-esteem for any man who chooses to bring her dollar bills instead of going to Jazzercise.   June Cleaver would say I was I stay up late peeling the smallest EVER organic apples to make her fresh food as penance.  Oh god, am I going to teach my baby to eat her emotions?! Mr. P wants the time alone with her - and that's good for her.  So ultimately, as it stands the Pros outweigh the Cons.   I'll be shaking my money maker and hoping that this is the good example that I hope it is - and that ultimately I will be a better mom as a healthy mom.  SHIT, why didn't someone mention that getting up at night would by far be the LEAST of my worries....

Separation Anxiety

...mine, not hers - to be specific.  I went back to work at 8 weeks...and from day 1, I had the nugget in tow.  It has been wonderful...and hard as shit.  I love my little girl, but doing a job and taking care of her at the same time has left me feeling like I'm constantly falling short at both.  From what I hear, that won't go away anytime soon.  At this point, C is a real human who wants interaction and attention...and I want her to have it.
It would be selfish for me to keep her here, just to get to see her smiles and hear her babbles when I had the time for it...
Luckily she will be watched by someone I trust a lot...but it's still hard.  Like - burst into tears when I talk about it hard.  So here are some pictures and a video of our little office baby....
Very important business meeting

Regularly brings Gpa to his knees

Joining Gpa for volunteer award

Friday, January 27, 2012

Happy 0.5 Birthday!

My baby girl is 6 months old.  Didn't have any clue that it would be so exciting for me (and seriously, look out come July 17!) It sounds so "parent" but this six months has brought so much change. We've come to know so much in this little nugget, yet she is still so much the same as I imagined as she lounged in my belly and kicked back at Mr, P's nudges.  One good aspect of my "all-hands-on-deck, prepare-for-the-worst" outlook is that I am so often pleasantly surprised.  I was hunkered down ready to be overwhelmed with howl-filled, marriage-destructing sleep deprivation.  I was prepared to bear-and-grin-it through caring for a person I was missing the gene to love - and all this after losing all my support and being ejected from the delivery room for crazy poor behavior. I was ready to crumble at illness or injury.  And guess what? None of that happened!
So yes, C has accomplished so much - from following a moving toy with her eyes, to spinning herself around to get to a toy, babbling "dadadad," rolling over, and sitting by herself.  She giggles and babbles and wiggles and smiles.  She smiles a LOT.  But this one is a little more about me, because I'm actually pretty proud of myself and am going to toot my own horn...
I made it through a rough pregnancy (albeit with lots of rants, but that's what this forum was for), I made it through a rough labor, and a c-section, and the recovery of such. I didn't have a choice in any of this, but still...
Mothering has come out of me, sometimes vigorously.  Not that I haven't lost my shit - I have.  I've cried or handed her off so I could take respite in the aisles of Target.  But I have also kept at nursing her, every day now, for 6 months.  I have given up dairy, eggs, soy, and gluten in order to make her more comfortable...and these 5 ingredients are in EVERYTHING.  Birthday  Grabbing something at the last minute...impossible.  I've gotten up at night, and then STILL gotten up in the morning.
By her 6 month birthday I have lost all the baby weight (although I now need to lose the wedding weight, dating Mr. P weight, and generally disgusting lifestyle through my 20's weight...)  I fit back into my work pants (therefore regretting throwing out 75% of my clothes when they didn't fit at 6 weeks postpartum), can wear my wedding ring again, and am working out regularly.  I went back to work at 8 weeks...and I take the baby with me, which is VERY lucky, but also a major challenge.  I have handled bumped heads, Linda Blair vomiting, medical tests, vaccinations, coughs and runny noses.  I have put her in her own bed, and stopped running to her cries (although I'm not sold on the idea of ever letting her cry it out...especially at this age).  And as much as this is all run of the comes from someone who took a week to take the baby out of the house and in the car by herself!
So here's to another six months of surviving the new normal.

Friday, January 13, 2012

The God(less) Mother

On Saturday I will become the godmother to my squishy 10.5 month old nephew.  He will be baptized in the Roman Catholic Church, like so many of us before him.  I'm willing to bet it won't mean much more to him than it did us, but that will be for him to decide.
Those who know me well find it funny that I'm his godmother, as I am pretty open about being one of the roughly 2.3% of the world's atheist community.  So how do I justify this endeavor? Welcome to the inner workings of my version of logic....

If he's gonna wear my shoes, I prefer it be these
1. Look at the kid...he's adorable, we share blood, I can't get enough of him, and if something is asked of me that has to do with him, the answer is YES.
2. The promise I'm making is to ensure his spiritual growth if his parents can't.  I know plenty about Catholicism and if that's what they want...I will make sure he becomes the wizard of all Catholics if need be.  However, if he asks what I believe....
3. In the eyes of the church, I'm not really "godparent" material since I live in a marriage unrecognized by the church (thank you for not being in charge of the IRS, the Macy's registry or California's Community Property laws, church!) so if they are overlooking little stuff, so will I.
4. In godparent class, we're told that once you're baptized you can't be UN-baptized.  Meaning, I am forever a Catholic in THEIR eyes, unless I do something to get myself kicked out and internal "failings" (i.e. doubts) are not grounds for excommunication - so I'm covered there. Therefore criteria of confirmed Catholic over the age of 16 is met. Check.

So, in as much as I have no intention of disrespecting the Catholic church or believers of any faith...I am doing this:)
I will follow up with pictures of the little angel and his pagan cousin ASAGP (as soon as godly possible -ok no more jokes).

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Masticate, Ingurgitate....Expectorate

We just saw a rather rotund 8 month old at the office next door devouring some yams and coconut and cottage cheese.  C couldn't care less, and mommy looked on with rabid jealousy.  Cousin Aidan has apparently never spit anything out - but if he doesn't like it, he just holds it in his mouth.  (Add this to the list of things we will one day mock).  C's mild mannered, flocculent friend Miles sweetly ate a jar of green somethings the other night without an argument. 
Ahhh, eating.  One of the great joys and sorrows in life.  People will pay dearly and anticipate for weeks when a good meal or treat for the mouth is on its way.  Children will endure punishment to avoid what they hate or to sneak what they like, at the known risk of stomach aches and the such.  Babies, however, will do whatever they damn well please.  And as far as I have figured out, there's not a damn thing anyone can do about it. 
C is defying a somewhat unfortunate gene pool and most of the pounds she adds only seem to serve to make her taller, not much rounder.  The pediatrician (that I'm still considering switching due to her failure to laugh at a very obvious joke I made) expressed mild concern about 5 weeks ago at her 4 month torture session.  Since then we have been supplementing her previous diet of 100% boobie chowder.  Doctor suggested avocado, but failed to mention the .00001% chance that any baby would go along with that as their first food.  Luckily other moms (including my own) gave me some other suggestions - and I've tried most (ok, all EXCEPT the ground up bacon...suggested not once, but twice...once by my bacon loving husband). 

WTF Mom?!
Avocado: Went down like a lead balloon.  As Dr. Seuss would say...
she did not like it in her rice,
she did not like it by the slice.
She did not like it mushed to power,
she did not like it with boobie chowder.
Not in a bottle or off a spoon,
not from my finger by the light of the moon.  (yes I tried this one night when we were both too tired to be trying anything new). 

Playing banana cars
Rice Cereal: the thing about this is you want to make it with this stuff just falls out of the sky.  When you fail to rouse yourself and hook up to the screamer milk extractor you think, "well, maybe formula will be good...I'll make it with that"...but you don't want to make a full 2 oz which is the minimum the directions give you and your hormone tainted, usually quite sharp math skills can only take you down to 1 oz, which is probably too much you think of water, and then think you are cutting corners with your child and you punish yourself.  Rice Cereal = Guilt.

Banana: Obviously a better taste, but still just sits in her mouth until it's watery enough to run out the side of her mouth.  Slightly more swallowing, but nothing impressive. The best shot was when I handed her a 1/2 peeled banana and she took a bite out of it and that disappeared.  Sorry Beyonce! Didn't know you were Ms. Independent!
Sweet Potatoes: Yes please.  BUT only if daddy is feeding them to me...because why would I reward the person who makes all this food, thinks it all out, and feels defeated at my indifference?!

Baby Weight Gainer 3000: Ok, that's not an official name - this is when we take formula and make it with breastmilk instead of water.  It's double the density and C sucks them down like a rock star.  I credit these with her swift movement through 3-6 month clothing and small sized diapers.

I have to defer to my friend, Mama Malibu (who's son Max was eating peas as we spoke on the phone the other day...he's 3 weeks YOUNGER that C), and remember that she's not going to be a 15 year old spitting out her food at her first dance- this will obviously pass in good time.  Until then, anyone on my speed-dial will probably get at least one exhausted, irrational call needing some talking down when I diagnose C with some tropical "retardation of the swallow" disease.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Happy New Year! (and 10 days)

As I type, 2012 is well upon us...and by upon us, I mean we are back at work, paying bills dated in 2012, and the holiday decorations are put away.  I have quite a few intentions - which I hear pave some pretty heavy paths - but since I don't believe in all that heaven and hell 'ish- these will pave the path to the next year (and set of intentions). 
Most of my intentions are driven by my little nugget - now a babbling, laughing, gene-defyingly slim nugget.  And some by mistakes I've made thus far (yup, already). 
I want to get healthy...duh, who doesn't? But it's not just a weight loss driven intention - although dropping the sexy fanny pack in the area previous referred to as the baby bump, and previous to that as a simple ute puff would add to my health.  No...I wan't to be flexible and have endurance and feel emotionally grounded - not just to fit into jeans (ahhhh, jeans....) but to be able to fully enjoy the nugget, every day with the Mr. and life. 
I want to make more stuff, even the stuff that never turns out right, because it has always been a good outlet for me and 3/10 times we get something  mildly useful out of it.  Plus, I am told again and again to do stuff for me to make me a better parent. 
Along the same lines, I want to work at my relationship with Mr. P.  Not because I feel like it's bad, but because a) I'd like to keep him around- he's pretty fun, and b) I think happy parents are good for a kid too (notice happy comes before TOGETHER in my mind).  I have seen a lot of marriages fall of the cliff and smack their head on rocks to be a bloody mess and wisked out to sea - I don't know how ensure that from happening, but I have some ideas and they are all worth the effort. 
So after a holiday of following, oh ZERO of these really, I barely worked out, ate as crapily as is possible when you are avoiding everything yummy so your baby doesn't have questionable dookie, started projects and left them on the table for days, and grouched around in my own entitled stress - it is ON. 
Smiling baby surrounded by her gifs. She lives in a material world and she is a material girl.

Sitting on Booja's lap in their Xmas pajamas...longstanding family tradition. 

This was unplanned, but on a mall trip for Jake's birthday the santa had no line.
C had a wonderful Holiday and was an all around champ for a time when she doesn't get all the magic and excitement, but gets the way effed up schedule and crowds of people regardless.  She put on a smile and did her little jumpy dance for everyone and look as humble as her five months could muster when people gasped at the strength in her little body.