Monday, May 10, 2010

Guest Post From Mommy and Molly!

Hi Readers,
As promised, here is the guest post from Alissa over at Mommy and Molly. Alissa is a dedicated, hard-working gal who manages to care for an adorable baby girl, Molly, while juggling the life of a work-at-home-mom. Make sure you check out her blog! And her Twitter feeds are great, too! Her handle is @MollyandMommy. Thanks for treating us to a guest post, Alissa!

My little girl is 8 months old and has yet to sleep through the night (okay, maybe she has once....but that's it).

A lot of people ask me how she sleeps, and when I respond with "She wakes up 3-4 times a night" they look at me like I just told them my dog died. Seriously. It's like people think that as soon as a baby is past a certain age they should be sleeping all night.

Does it bother me that I do not get much sleep? Not really. I do not mind it because I stay at home with her and can take a nap if need be. Have I considered sleep training/Cry it Out/Ferber....etc? Yes. But you see, I am not your typical new mom. I bed-share, baby wear, breast feed....I practice Attachment Parenting, and I love it.

Before Molly was born, I thought I would NEVER be an Attachment Parenting mom. I thought those mothers breastfed their children until they were 8 and found it a strange way of parenting. Little did I know how central it would become in my life.

From the moment Molly was born, I did not want her to be away from me for one second. She stayed in my hospital room, slept on me in the hospital bed and when I got her home, she stayed in bed with me. I wore her in my Moby when she cried and it calmed her down. I thought I would only breastfeed until she got her first tooth---she now has three teeth and I am still nursing.

There are so many things I thought that parenting would be before I actually had a child, and Molly has proved all of it wrong...and then some. What is funny is I continue to think that that "Oh, I will never spank Molly" "She will be weaned by the time she is one"...etc. When in reality, I have no clue what the future holds.

It can only be good things though, right? Like her sleeping through the night.

I can only hope.

Friday, May 7, 2010

From A to Zen

Hi Readers!
Some of what I detail below you might already know about me. But the cool part is that I had to do a little background/explaining in this post because it's being featured over at Mommy and Molly today! Alissa was kind enough to offer me the opportunity to guest post on her site after I asked if she would do a guest post here. What luck! So read it here, read it at Mommy and Molly, and be sure to check out Alissa's guest post on Monday!

I'm what you might call a type-A personality: organized, a tad anal, lover of lists and having to know exactly what the next step is. Sure, I'm a bit of a control freak. Sure, I drive some people crazy. Sure, I could probably benefit from some Valium. But most days, that personality drives my work and brings some stability to life. When I found out I was pregnant I was told by numerous people that I could just throw all that out the door. There's NO way to keep a schedule when you have a baby, they said. NO WAY. Like, don't even TRY, they said. So, kind of taking their word for it, I took a step back and let myself relax a bit. I was fully prepared for the you-only-get-to-sleep-once-
every-couple-hours gig. So why not this, too? Roll with the punches, right? And you know what? It worked. Dammit if it didn't actually work! Type-A, control-freak, list-making me was actually able to relax, sit back and take things as they came. Only I didn't realize how effective this new, Zen-like let-things-go-as-they-go approach was until a good six months into motherhood.

I was blessed with an extremely easy pregnancy. No morning sickness, no crazy weight gain, hardly any bloating (I think I'll stop here so you stop hating me). Yes, near the end I got a bit uncomfortable and was peeing every two minutes. But I just told myself that many women have it much worse and it'll all be over in just a few weeks. Zen Moment Realization One! As I type this, I'm thinking to myself, "YOU ARE A CRAZY WOMAN. Those last few MONTHS were awful! So uncomfortable! Not able to indulge in a delicious cocktail to take the edge off!" But honestly, in the moment, I was a pillar of strength. Possibly even glowing.

Due to my small stature (I'm "petite") and ever-growing size of my baby (Over 8 lbs. at my 37 week checkup), my doctor and I decided to go ahead an induce at week 39 should I be showing no signs of progress. (Side note: Everyone has their own opinion on induction, due dates, etc. I am by NO means telling you what to do here. Merely sharing what I decided to do for my specific situation.) Some women might freak out a bit here. Especially type-A freaks like me, who might, I don't know, start Googling "likelihood of induction with small frame and large baby" or some other asinine equivalent phrase. Cough. Or whatever. But then I remembered my little inner-mantra of going with the flow, and I calmed down. Quite a bit. And was actually able to enjoy my last few days at work and alone time with my husband. Zen Moment Realization Two! REALLY? I actually managed to inch back from the ledge and not dive deep into the bowels of Doctor Google? After my doctor telling me we might be inducing in a couple weeks? At this point, I wonder if I wasn't so high on hormones that it completely clouded my usual judgment.

And, of course, induction day came. We checked into the hospital at 2 a.m. Oh? You didn't know that "scheduled" inductions aren't really scheduled so much as thrown in if there's enough staffing at the hospital? Ha! Anyway...where was I? Oh yes. Induction day. We checked in, I got hooked up to all the monitors and the ever-important Pitocin drip, and we were on our way. TO HAVING A BABY. Was I freaked out? Nah. I was eerily calm and collected. I just hung out, let the Pitocin do its thing, watched some TV, dozed in and out of sleep and sat on my ass. And when the Pitocin REALLY started working its magic and giving me those horrendous contractions that only Pitocin can do? I was STILL calm. I breathed and clenched and squeezed my eyes so tight. And then I got moved to a new room where the lovely anesthesiologist (Hey, I typed that right on the first try! Go me!) gave me the nectar of the gods and hooked me up with that awesome epidural. That gigantic needle going in my back the exact same moment as a hugely painful contraction came on? Psh. The pain was just pain. We still had a long way to go. Zen Moment Realization Three! HOLY SHIT BALLS. I'm sorry, for swearing, but it's hard for me to put into words just how I feel right now. Looking back on it, that pain is like no other pain I've EVER felt. I can still feel phantom pain if I think about it. And guess what! That wasn't even delivering-a-baby pain! That was just contractions and a stupid needle in my back! But it still hurt and it still remains VIVID in my memory.

Does anyone know the statistics for inductions that end in c-sections? I think it's fairly high. Well, I'm in that high number. (Side note again: Everyone has their own opinion on c-sections, etc. I am by NO means telling you what to do here. Merely sharing what I decided to do for my specific situation.) While I had progressed (comfortably, thanks to my lovely epidural) to about a 7, I'd been going for 12 hours. And hadn't made much progress in the last couple hours or so. So when my doctor stopped by to check me and suggested we go with a c-section, I was all, "sounds like a plan!" Oh, and did I tell you that the contractions were so strong at some points that they were causing my baby's heart rate to increase? And they had me wearing a stupid oxygen mask for hours at a time to help with that? But that whole time I just laid there, watching some Arrested Development DVDs (CRUCIAL to the hospital bag, y'all. If your hospital has DVD players make sure you pack some DVDs to pass the time), joking with my husband and sneaking a few naps in. My nurse kept me apprised of any issues and/or progress. She explained why they wanted to do oxygen. She told me a c-section might be in my future. And I just nodded my head, said it all sounded good, and let's get this show on the road. Zen Moment Realization Four! DID Y'ALL READ THE PART ABOUT BABY HEART RATE AND OXYGEN AND C-SECTION????? I could use some freaking oxygen right now just thinking about it! I should have known I was being waaaay too relaxed about the situation when my nurse commented, more than once, that I was one of the most calm patients she'd ever had. Okay, Nurse Julie, you happy now? BECAUSE I AM FREAKING OUT that I was so calm. Seriously. I'm wondering how all this was humanly possible. And I was that human.

After a successful c-section, we spent another three days in the hospital, and then went home. Like with the baby. They were letting us take her home and her whole life was our responsibility. And we brought her into the house where we told the dog to calm down and smell his new baby "sister." And we fell into this whole parenting gig. And we had the "WHY WON'T YOU STOP CRYING???" moments. And we had the "Babe, come see this gigantic poop!" moments. And now we're in the "Oh my gosh, she just clapped!" and "Look! She's sitting up all on her own!" and "I feel a little tooth bump!" moments. Every moment of every day is different and challenging and satisfying and shows us just how blessed we are. And I hate to say it, but it really took me almost this long to realize how ZEN I was (and mostly am still) about being a mother. I am a textbook 180 when it comes to my attitude and approach to parenting before and after actually becoming a parent. Yes, I still churn out lists like a Mofo. Yes, some people at work still can't stand my anal attention to detail. Sure, my baby has her schedule that I try to protect. But I also know that any little hiccup can completely implode any schedule or plans I've made. And what was once a panic attack-inducing thought is now just a fact of life. A life that I never dreamed in a million years I would be lucky enough to have.

Thursday, April 29, 2010


Is that how you spell comeuppance? You know what? I don't even care (and that's saying A LOT) right now, because I am hurtling through such a shame spiral, I don't have time to spell-check myself. I just read this: and my eyes bulged and I mentally smacked myself around and I felt awful. Because, in case you haven't noticed. I'M A TAD JUDGY. I can't even tell you how many times I've uttered, "That kid is WAAAAY too old for a stroller!" in disgust to my husband while in public. Or tongue-clucked a mother for letting her child run free in the grocery store. And I know it sounds like I'm covering up my tracks at this point, but in almost all other realms, I'm very much a believer in the "You never know what they're going through" school of thought. You're late and didn't call? I don't know what you're going through...maybe your mom is in the hospital and the last thing you thought of was to call me to cancel our stupid COFFEE DATE. Sometimes this gets me in trouble, silently fuming when someone was just plain late. But I'm going to sigh a HUGE wind gust of relief the one time my coffee date's mom is in the hospital because that means I didn't pile another gigantic burden on that person.
Man, do I type fast when I actually have some opinions to express! Anyway. Wow. For all you Christians out there, let's try to practice the golden rule a bit better. And for you non-religious folks? Let's try to make the universe a better place to live. (Inside your head and not aloud ruining peoples' days) Judging is what it is. But you're at a 10 and I need you at about a two (myself included).

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


Time for me to update this blog, yo! I have a handful of posts swirling around in my head, but have yet to actually sit down and type them out. And I've been pondering this mommy blogging thing and how best to go about it, and basically over-thinking EVERYTHING. So yes, I'm still alive. And no, I don't have a good post ready for you. Just yet. But once I get my game plan completed, I hope to have some more content for you. Maybe even photos! But probably not.

Stay (not too closely) tuned!

Monday, March 8, 2010

File under T for "Things I Never Thought I'd Say"

Once you become a parent, you say a lot of things you never thought you'd say. Like ever. And oh, the massive amounts of things you said you'd never DO, and then you GO OFF AND DO ALL OF THEM. So yeah, I was a bit surprised (horrified?) when I barked to my husband as he made his way to the deep freeze, "Stay outta my milk!" And he was all, "Geez, calm down, I wasn't going to touch your milk, okay?" Wow. Two sentences I never pictured exchanging in my marriage with my husband. But as all breastfeeding mothers in the universe can understand, that milk is like liquid gold...or diamonds...or something equally rare and finite in supply. That milk is precious, that milk is important, and that milk needs to be cataloged with care and attention to detail. Deep-freeze milk apparently lasts only 6 months. And by "lasts," I mean is "good for your baby according to Google or whatever." So, not unlike my other tendencies to organize and put things in order, I dated each bag of milk before putting it in the deep freeze, and when we actually started using the frozen milk, I organized it chronologically so we'd always be using the oldest milk first. Did that desire to use older milk first merit a weirdo "stay outta my milk!" statement? Probably not. But my husband loves me, and therefore puts up with my ticks. To varying degrees.
Like our cloth diapers. We have a wide variety of colors. When stuffing them (they're pocket diapers, to those who are cloth diaper pros), we put one insert in for "day" diapers and two inserts in for "night diapers." After a load is dry, I sit on the couch and stuff them. My lovely husband often asks if he can help and asks me to toss him a few to stuff. I always toss him supplies for the "night" diapers...and always in the same color. Not because we need to match the Baby's pajamas to specific diapers, but because that weird, irrational voice in my head says, "why have two differently colored night diapers when you could have matching ones?" Yes, that's exactly what I think. And I don't think it's weird until my husband points out that it is. And again the whole, "wow, I never thought I'd be saying that" feeling surfaces. In fact, that feeling makes an appearance at least daily.
I can tell you that I've said the word "vagina" more times in the six-ish months I've been a parent than collectively my entire life before that. Yes, as a woman, I have a vagina. All my girlfriends have vaginas. All my female relatives do. And yes, even my baby girl does. Whose fault it really is that I say that word so often. I can't help myself! I, who knows why, feel the need to narrate everything I'm doing when I'm with her. And now we're going to wipe your vagina with the baby wipe and get all the poop off! Next, Mama's going to put some cream on your vagina so it's not so irritated! My baby is currently in a grabby phase, and shoots her hand out to grab anything and everything she can. Which, yup, you guessed it, includes her vagina. Stop grabbing your vagina, little lady! Mama doesn't want you to hurt your vagina! And now I fear all traffic on this site will be a lot of disappointed people who just wanted to see pictures of vaginas. Sorry! What a great way to start the week!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Sabado Gigante

Last Saturday, after we'd had a full week to recover from family and friends descending on our house to wish my husband a happy birthday, we finally had a "normal' weekend back to ourselves. All week I was looking forward to a nice, just-the-three-of-us weekend with our usual errands, taking in some college sports, just generally chillaxin' in the chill zone (kudos to those who correctly identified that reference). And then on Thursday night I came down with a shuttering case of the stomach flu. For 24 hours I rotated sleep, trips to the bathroom, chugs of Pedialyte, doses of Tylenol and cupfuls of Pepto. All the while, my superfantastic husband cared for Baby. Saturday morning comes and I'm, thankfully, feeling great. I nurse Baby and decide a family breakfast outing is in order, since my stomach has been completely emptied and is in desperate need of a refill. And THEN what happened? This all sounds innocent enough. Where the hell is this story going, Moleskine Mama? Well, I'll TELL you. After we took in about an hour of a local college sporting event, my husband dropped Baby and me off at home and headed back to watch the rest of the game. I asked if he was going to be gone long, and he nonchalantly said probably not, he'd probably be too tired to stay out long. HOURS tick by. I text him asking him to pick up some dinner on his way home. I ask when I might be expecting food (if this post tells you anything about me, it's that I am ALL ABOUT food...apparently) to be in my stomach. Husband says at least an hour or two. FOR REALZ? This is when my ugly completely-irrational-I-do-everything-because-I'm-the-mom-overlord beast rears its nasty head and I snippily text back, "Don't bother, I'll be in bed by then." Husband doesn't let on that he senses texting tone and just replies, "Sorry." I sullenly wash bottles, yearn for some fast food, but out of principle refuse to eat anything in the house. Because maybe...just MAYBE...the Husband will show up with surprise! Some food, just in case you were still up when I got home! Watch the time click by, get hungrier and hungrier, mentally refuse to eat any food unless it's of the surprise variety, give up, brush teeth, go to bed, pass out of STARVATION.
Sunday morning comes, and while I, empty stomached and cranky, am changing Baby, Husband cheerily strolls in and asks what our plans are for the day. Ugly completely-irrational-I-do-everything-because-I'm-the-mom-overlord beast surfaces and I snap, "I'M doing whatever I feel like doing for hours at a time while YOU watch the Baby." He innocently asks what that might entail, and I grumpily mumble something about whatever I damn well feel like, who cares. Who knew when he walked into the nursery that he was going to face my passive-aggressive wrath? The poor guy would have been much better prepared had he come bursting in with a pitchfork and torch.
Fast-forward to an almost-silent car ride to church, numerous compliments on how beautiful our baby is, me putting on a smile because that's what you do, and sitting down for our very first New Member Class. Where I am schooled in a good 'ole fashioned MAJOR Catholic guilt-fest. Father J talks about open communication, about how humans really at a basic level just need to speak and to be heard. And an instant sensation of mighty, mighty guilt piles on to me.
Really, people, what freaking bug crawled up my butt that I needed to be so nasty to my husband? AFTER HE CARED FOR ME AND THE BABY WHILE I WAS SICK. Commence self-hatred. I'd like to think I would have had this revelation regardless of church attendance (Right? I'm capable of these things...).
After my cloud of unworthiness lifted, I realized that sometimes we just have freaking bugs crawl up our butts. Sometimes we just have DAYS. I just wish there was a way to arm my husband with that pitchfork and torch before I drop the passive-aggressive-snippy-ugly-mood bomb on him.
So here, here, husbands all over the world. And life partners and spouses in general. You put up with a lot of crap (not including the literal crap your sweet babies produce), and I can't thank you enough for your patience, understanding and willingness to chock it up to just a teensy bit of crazy. The teensiest teensy bit.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Blogging is hard!

Well, not really. But you know what IS? Grassroots fan development. I suppose it couldn't hurt to actually, I don't know, SHARE the blog with people I know. Perhaps.
In other news, I've spent entirely too much time ogling other blogs and fretting over lack of followers (both here and on Twitter)...should probably get some work done at some point. I would be an awful campaign manager.
Okay, list time!
Things that made me smile this week (it's only effing Wednesday? Gah.):
  • B laughing uncontrollably as H and I ate dinner. She sat in her Bumbo on the table, just laughing like the funniest effing thing in the whole world was watching us munch on salad like cows in a pasture.
  • Getting my new issue of InStyle in the mail.
  • Watching my favorite college basketball team win.
  • Bringing new photos of B into the office to put in frames on my desk.
  • Thinking about family visiting soon.
  • Holding hands with H in the car.
  • Watching the Saints win the Superbowl. Neither from there, nor am I a fan, but that city deserves a reason to celebrate after all they've been through.
  • Possible (positive!) work changes in the future.
Next week is absolutely crazy, y'all. Once the madness passes I'll provide some insight. Judgy insight.