Tuesday, January 31, 2012

I need a personal shopper.

I took the day off today - a good decision.  I need a random day off every now and then to spend time with my boy(s.)  I was all set to go shopping this morning - E. was watching the baby and I wanted to get a few things for him and for me. 

I went to Babies R Us first.  I bought some plastic bibs, a finger brush to clean baby's emerging teeth, and a portable place mat for when we go out and about.  I intended to look at umbrella strollers.  I had no idea that was to be my undoing!  I got all "floopy" - my word for overwhelmed and stressed - doubting whether we really needed one right now, wondering if this was too much to pay for one, etc. etc.  Then I pondered buying a giant box of diapers, trying to calculate prices versus the smaller sized box we usually buy at Target, and I became floopier. 

There were, of course, babies in the store, and I just missed my little guy.  I waited in line for ten minutes to check out, because as usual, there was only one register open.  That store is overpriced, understaffed, and overwhelming!  I finally got the hell out of there... and decided that I didn't have it in me to go on to Kohl's and shop for clothes for me.  Since I've had the baby I don't know how to shop for myself anymore!  Opportunities to go out by myself are rare, what with our work schedules, and I suppose when I do get the chance there's all this pressure to make the most of the time out.  I really need some new clothes, but I have no idea what to get.  It's easier to wear old jeans and t-shirts all the time. 

Anyway, first-world problems, right?  Despite my mishaps, it was a great day.  Such happiness in being at home with E. and J.  My baby boy will be seven months old tomorrow!  How is that possible?  

Monday, January 30, 2012

Greener Grass

A stay-at-home mom of two boys under the age of 5 told me today, "This (working in a library) is my dream job - so quiet and orderly."  Well, for the most part it is that.  But it got me thinking about how I sometimes envy the stay-at-home moms who come in frequently with their small children, and how the grass is always greener on the other side.  I know from my all-too-brief fifteen weeks of maternity leave with Baby J that  staying at home can be lonely, boring, and maddening.  I don't know if I really could be a stay-at-home mom, even if our money situation allowed for it.  In my perfect dream world, I would work part-time (say 20 hours a week) and still retain our family's health benefits.  But that's unlikely to happen.

Some days it kills me to leave home in the morning.  Baby J is all smiles and funny shrieks, rested and fed and happy to play in his jumper or on the floor.  My husband, wonderful father and spouse that he is, stays home with him for most of the day and then goes in to work around 4 or 5.  He has a loooong day.  I do too, in that I assume baby duties when I get home and all night long, should J wake up in the middle of the night.  We are making it work with the help of our mothers and fathers and my aunt.  It really DOES take a village, if you want to keep your baby out of daycare.  When J is a bit older, say about 18 months, we'll reevaluate the situation. 

Sometimes I'm irrationally angry that I can't stay home, and sometimes I feel so grateful to have a job that provides for our family and that I enjoy - just like the mom who came in today must sometimes love to be at home and sometimes wish for adult conversation.  There is no perfect solution, there is no perfect life.  There is only my imperfect, beautiful, crazy, untidy, blissful life, and all the blessings therein.

Monday, January 23, 2012


I haven't felt like writing lately.  I was in quite a royal funk for a week or so.  Sometimes its really, really hard to be a parent.  Yes, I know how fortunate I am - a healthy child, a job, a husband whom I adore and who adores me and is a fantastic dad.  Knowing this makes me feel even worse about myself.  So I sulk, I eat, I cry, I watch television.  I feel fat and frumpy and out of the loop.  And then I get over it.  This week, I'm better.

Two lunches out with friends make a first-time mom feel good.  I reconnected to my friends and to myself.  My husband and my mom gave me the gift of time to myself, which really is the most precious gift anyone can give a new mom.

And I realized something - I want to be the best Mom I can be for Baby J, which means I need to do whatever it takes to make myself happy.  When I feel good about myself I can focus my energy on my son with gusto and joy, which is exactly what that amazing little boy deserves.  Being happy with myself means I deserve time with friends now and then.  It means I should wear clothes that fit and make me feel good.  It means I need time to move.  It means I stop freaking out about dirty floors and dirty dishes all the time.  This motherhood is mine - what's with all the comparing?  Snap out of it! 

J. deserves better.  I can be better. 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Remember This Always

I will never tire of the way Baby J. will periodically stop nursing and look up at me intently, as if memorizing my face.  There is a searching quality to his gaze, like he's trying to figure me out.  (Good luck, kid!)  It is priceless and sweet and makes me tear up with happiness.  There is absolutely nothing like this kid.  I am so in love with him.

I will also never tire of this face (my good friend and rabid Philadelphia sports fan Jon sent him this bib:)

Or this one:

He is my heart.

Apparently he is also always in his jumper.  I do let him out occasionally. 

Sunday, January 8, 2012


So I totally caved.  On Christmas Day I was down at my in-laws' house, awaiting lunch.  I looked down at a bowl of chocolate candy, picked up a mini Mr. Goodbar, and ate it, with little pause.  A split second after it hit my tongue, I thought, "Oh well, guess that's it for my month-long ban on candy!"  Just like that.  I've started going off the deep end again with the sugar, so I'm gonna have to be careful.  I'm not going to buy junk and keep it in the house anymore.  If it's not there, I won't eat it.

On a more positive note, I've been doing well with my one New Year's Resolution so far: to eat at a minimum one fruit and two vegetables or two fruits and one vegetable per day.  Before the baby I was pretty good about eating healthy foods, but since I've been time and sleep-deprived, I've eaten more carbs and less fresh food.  So far, so good.  I figure a relatively easy resolution like that is one I can manage to keep.

I'm really trying hard these days to give myself some slack.  No one expects perfection of me, so why do I expect it of myself?  I fall prey to comparing myself and my mothering/wifely skills to others.  It's silly when I stop to think about it.  If my floor is dirty, if the laundry's unwashed, if the Christmas lights are still up outside, BIG DEAL.  I'd rather spend time playing on the floor with my son, and sleeping, and reading books, and having a real conversation with my husband.  Those are the things that matter to my heart.  I've got to lighten up on the whole "to-do list" rattling around in my brain all the time.  I work a full-time job, I have a six-month old, I have a LIFE.  And it's going to be messy.  I've just got to accept it.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Dear Baby

You're six months old and one day today.

You're doing this cute thing with your tongue now - sticking it out and blowing air, making a funny little sound.  I love it.

Your feet touch the ground now when you're in your jumper.  We used a thick dictionary under your feet at first, but now you don't need it.

You were diagnosed with an ear infection today, your first.  The doctor said it's early, thank goodness.  Maybe that's why you haven't wanted Dada to rock you to sleep the past few days like you normally would.

You've started playing with your diaper during diaper changes now.  You undid one side this afternoon.  So helpful!

You got quite a few new toys for Christmas, but you're still growing into them.  I can tell it frustrates you somewhat that you can't move the car like you'd like to.  Once you can sit up better on your own you will enjoy them so much more! 

You weighed 16.9 pounds at the doctor today.

You love bath time.  You love the bath time song I made up ("We're gonna take a bath, take a bath bath bath.  We're gonna take a bath bath bath."  It's cute.  Trust me.)  Bath time is still in your blue tub that I sit in the kitchen sink.  It will be bittersweet when we move to the actual bathtub!  (And OMG I'm going to have to clean it before then!)

You are the love of my life.  Along with your Dada, of course.  I never knew my heart could hold so much.

love, Mama