Wednesday, December 31, 2008

One of My Favorite Songs

That's What Tomorrow is For
By Queen of Hearts

We have a long way to go
on a long journey home
and we stumble and fall and fall short
we're not as good we could be
or all that we should be
but that's what tomorrow is for.

Now temptation and trial may cloud every mile
and the way may seem dark and unsure
but the future is bold and
a plan is unfolding
cause that's what tomorrow is for.

For living for loving
forgiving becoming
more than the day before

For learning our lessons
sharing our blessings
that's what tomorrow is for.

At the setting of the sun
the work left undone
I'm called in at last from my chores
grace will be spoken
the circle unbroken
cause that's what tomorrow is for.

For living for loving
forgiving becoming
more than the day before

For learning our lessons
sharing our blessings
that's what tomorrow is for.
oh, that's what tomorrow is for.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Custard and Mugs

Ok, some asked about my Christmas dinner. I usually list it. This year it was small but still very delicious.
Turkey (deliciously brined) I think it was the best brine job I’ve done in a while.
French cut string beans with shallots and garlic a bit spicy and hot but crunchy and delicious.
Creamed corn First thing to disappear, every year.
Mashed potatoes With the gravy, I could have just eaten that.
My mother’s sweet and sour crunchy pork chops Instead of soup, mom made these yummy 1” thick chops. Mmm good.
Dessert was chocolate cherry trifle. In the words of Joey Tribbiani, “What's not to like? Custard, good. Jam, good. Meat, good! “

Ok, back to the mug. In my last post, I told you how much I love that mug. I love that mug. I truly love that mug. It goes right up there with our wedding invitation mugs. For our wedding invitations, we sent everyone mugs with photos of us during our first communions. We photoshopped them so it looked like we were standing next to each other.
Well, not 24 hours later, I broke the cup. Expletives upon expletives spewed forth as I realized the calamity. I dropped the mug and it shattered into mini pieces of itself as my husband just looked at me with this look that said, “My wife is an absolute klutz. No wonder her Wii Fit age is ‘ancient’.”
I am so disappointed. DH said I would get another cup. So now with the after Christmas sales, I’m hoping to get a replacement cup at a bargain price.
You know, I’ve been stocking up on back ups for items BG has taken a strong interest too. Maybe I should get a back up lovey for myself too. LOL.

Words to Live By

But now you must put them all away: anger, fury, malice, slander, and obscene language out of your mouths. -- Colossians 3:8

1st Christmas Out of the Womb

After all the Christmas crazies, I have a new after Christmas crazy, photos and videos. It was BG’s first Christmas outside the womb and mom couldn’t be happier. I’m still trying to capture videos and photos and will post some as soon as I can. So needless to say, photos will be added to this post sometime soon.
Some old traditions and some new traditions were had.
Instead of Christmas mass, we went to Christmas Eve mass this year. DH and I each read which added to the family togetherness of the season for me and I hope the parishioners. BG was dressed in a red corduroy-like dress with embroidered dogs on the bottom hem. I decided against stockings and dressed her in a white footsie instead. She looked adorable.
As with every year, Christmas Eve was spent with DH’s family. After mass, we loaded the car up and drove up to DH’s cousin’s home. This year, instead of presents for everyone, there was a gingerbread house contest. We didn’t participate but DH, BG and I were judges. 1st place went to SpongeBob SquareHouse. We couldn’t help but choose this as a certain cute and adorable cousin sat patiently awaiting the results.
The drive to and fro was quite scary for me as the fog was dense and the country roads dark but DH’s driving skills assured us we’d get to our destinations safely. Thankfully, we changed BG into her Christmas pjs ‘Mommy’s Little Joy’ at DH’s cousin’s. The weather was milk enough to only wrap BG in her knit cape my mom made for her. And I thought we’d have no use for a cape for a baby. One quick release of a button and BG was ready for the crib.
Christmas morning came and Santa’s elf snuck out to help arrange the presents around the tree and stocking in bed. Santa’s elf was quite tired the night before and didn’t get a chance to help Santa in the wee hours of the night.
I heated the oven for the chocolate croissants and made hot chocolate for DH and myself. DH got a special ‘Irish’ Hot Chocolate. That’s when I saw my present and boy was it an awesome present. On the dining room table was a mug filled with juice. Apparently, Santa must have heard from DH that I love a glass of juice in the morning. The mug had a photo of myself and BG on it with the words #1 Mom printed on it. I love this mug. I can’t tell you how much I love it. I hugged the mug. Yes, I did.
Ok, B.C. (before child), I used to think those mugs that say, #1 Mom or Dad mugs as a bit hokey. Now, I freakin’ love this cup. If I could, I’d carry the cup with me wherever I go. More about the cup in a bit.
BG woke up and decided today she’d start what I believe is my second Christmas gift. She started the morning randomly speaking ‘da da da da da da’ and blowing raspberries. Parents can understand this when I say, I swear she’s talking to me. I know she isn’t saying ‘da da’ as in ‘daddy’ but she is definitely trying to tell us something.
Obviously since I’m still sort of at a loss to what she’s trying to convey my typical response has been, “Really? Tell me more.” Which elicits a smile and another stream of raspberries, ‘ba ba’ and ‘da da’s. I say ‘really’ so much now, that I’m afraid she’s going to say that before ‘hi’, ‘daddy’, ‘mommy’ or ‘poop’.
After some freshening up of all family members, we began our new tradition of Christmas Day together as a family. With hot chocolate (w/milk, shaved chocolate, nutmeg and vanilla thank you very much), warm chocolate croissants, new pjs for everyone (yes, even DH got into it), camera and video camera, we all settled together under the tree to enjoy Christmas together.
BG is pretty young and probably oblivious to what was going on but her mom had a great time filming the festivities while her dad opened her presents from Santa and Grandma S.
Afterwards, we took photos by the tree. Like a complete dork, I put on the Yule log on TV to make the picture complete. Our first Christmas together is not commemorated in a photo of all of us in our pjs by the tree and a tv with a Yule log crackling, BG is on DH’s shoulder with her Santa hat on, I’m to her right with my Santa hat and oversized pjs helps with breastfeeding and DH to her left.
BG took a nap while I made a quick lunch and started the turkey. I prepped most everything on Christmas Eve morning so all that needed to be done was to actually cook and set the table.
Christmas night my family came over and we celebrated with a simple Christmas feast. Text messages from across the US came flooding in and we gathered together to take a photo to send to our CA family.
My mom was very happy although tired. I noticed that she was a bit weak as well and didn’t lift our daughter. I kept an eye out and hoped she would finally get that surgery for her back. I pray she gets it before Chinese New Year. Mom took a nap while DH cracked open his Red Ryder carbine-action 200-shot range model air rifle. My brother, the coolest brother in the world, got us the Wii Fit. I’d been wanting this since I was post partum but didn’t want to spend the money on myself on such a frivolous gift. DH, the man who lives at the gym, couldn’t wait to try it out. Mom finally woke up in time to see the hula hooping and jogging games.
Finally on the day after Christmas, DH and BG went to visit his half-sister. I stayed home to get some much needed rest.
All in all, it was a wonderful Christmas. The best part and present for me was being able to spend it together and to start our own traditions. Happiness is definitely hot chocolate, hugs and holidays.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Love Fights Fair

The one thing about becoming a parent that has thrown me for a loop is the increase in fighting that my spouse and I have had. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t think this is out of the norm and our fighting isn’t over anything that most new parents don’t disagree about.
Think about it. Sleep deprivation and constant caring for the needs of a newborn/infant will turn two rational adults into two territorial cats in heat.
Fighting is normal but I didn’t expect an increase after the baby was born. Call me na├»ve.
DH and I love each other and we do get through them but in my heart of hearts, I wish fighting wasn’t part of relationships. Nobody feels good about it. Why do we need to fight?
Today’s exercise is to sit with your spouse and draw up healthy ‘Rules of Engagement’. If you’re doing this alone, draw up your own personal ‘Healthy Fighting’ rules.

Here are my own personal rules of engagement I plan to follow:
I will listen and be silent. Fighting is a steam release.
I will let my pride go.
I will determine if insecurities are fueling the fight.
I will not speak until the release is complete. Words do hurt.
In the beginning, middle and end of a fight I will remember our love for each other is more important than whatever it is we are fighting about.

Everyone should be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath, for the wrath of a man does not accomplish the righteousness of God. -- James 1:19-20

Friday, December 26, 2008

2009: Choosing Life

Terri Camp is daring us. She’s daring us to choose our life in 2009. She wants us to find three words that will shape how we live our life in the coming year.
Here are my three.
Me I’m going to live for me. I’m going to not place my needs on the back burner. This is going to be hard. Don’t call me a martyr. I’m not. I focus on J.O.Y. and don’t value my needs as much as I should. In my mind, if my desires are pushed to the side for the bettermint of the people around me yet my basic needs (food, warmth & shelter) are met, I usually forgo it. Problem is you have to be willing to do it and not expect it of others. You have to be aware that you make the choice and can't fault others for not feeling the same. This is a difficult task. I don't want to stop J.O.Y but for the bettermint of J and O, I need some Y.
Presumptions It makes me think of how Jesus didn’t have any expectations except rejection and persecution. He knew this from the very beginning yet he continued for 30+ years. Sure, he wanted to cocoon himself from it. Remember the garden? He didn't hide though because he loved us. I need to take care of myself and my needs within reason and stop my expectations. Expectations can lead to disappointment or occasional pleasant surprises. I just don’t want to make presumptions in 2009. Anything is possible. It has to be.
Dare I dare myself to be better than I am. I dare myself to be stronger. I dare myself to be a rock. I dare myself to be more silent. I dare myself to continue my love dare. I dare myself to think of myself before others, once in a while. I dare myself to stop presuming and start believing. I dare myself to sit still and still move.
So now it’s your turn. As the year closes, sit and reflect and choose your life in 2009. Make it personal. If you are like most I know, don’t be the mom or a wife for this dare. Be the individual you are and choose your life in 2009.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Equitable Division of the Stuff I 'Like to Do'

BG is 5 months, 2 weeks and 1 day old.
The one line I dislike from my husband is, “But you like this sort of thing.” No honey, I don’t like doing the dishes late at night. I don’t like doing all the Christmas planning and I don’t like trying to figure out how I’m going to cook something to eat after a long day at work. I just do it because it needs to be done.
I don’t help the situation though. When my husband does try to help and offers to help, I brush him away. For example, I needed to prepare the bottles and pump parts for work yesterday evening. They had all been washed but just needed to be packed. Instead of telling him to do it though I told him it would take longer for me to explain it and for him to do it than for me to just do it. Here is the deal: Fill bottles with breastmilk from fridge. Whatever’s left over, put in breastmilk bags, label and extract air. Take loose container of frozen breastmilk and transfer to freezer bag. Take breastmilk bags from fridge and place in loose container and return to fridge. Take pump parts and pack in pump bag. Take pump bottles and pack in insulated bag.
I know if I asked my dear husband to do this, he’d come back every step to see if that’s what I meant. He means well it’s just faster and easier for me to do it. Plus there is the added factor of how there are so many other things he can help me with.
The angel fell off the Christmas tree during a recent move brought about by a new rug in our living room. I’ve asked him several times to put it back up. He finally did while I was putting the breastmilk away.
Don’t get me wrong; my husband does do a lot. It’s just he and I run on different speeds. I think this is a typical situation as there isn’t a week where one of the parents I keep in contact with doesn’t tell me that equitable division of responsibilities is sore spot.
I’m very lucky though as DH does do a lot. Sometimes he needs to pick up the pace though and sometimes I just need to let it go.
It makes me wonder though, am I going to be the type of mom that says it’s easier for me if I do it rather than my daughter? I’d like to think I’d be more patient and more eager to show my daughter. I don’t want to be the mom to a kid who can’t tie her own shoes.
I want to parent by example and if I show partial treatment to my husband, how does that fair in her opinion of men, spouses and relationships?
It’s so confusing.

BG Accomplishments:

She now stares into the camera instead of at us or some crazy toy we're flailing around to grab her attention.

She loves her feet and uses them like monkey paws. Instead of bending and stretching to spin her alphabet wheel, she'll stretch her leg and spin it with her foot. She's also getting pretty good at crunches. She's a Pilates pro.

Am I so uptight I can't enjoy a darn Christmas present?

I have a confession. I’d much rather pick out my own Christmas present than have DH get me one. It’s not that I don’t like surprises. I just think with the current economic situation, I’d probably appreciate a gift I truly want versus something I don’t need.
For example, my husband gave me a very very generous gift after I delivered our beautiful baby girl. It was too generous and frivolous in my opinion. I don’t know when I’ll ever use it and I feel like if I don’t I’ll be wasteful as it’s money already spent.
In hindsight, I probably would have just loved a lovely set of pjs. I know, I’m ridiculously practical when it comes to myself.
I’m trying not to be a grumpus regarding presents but this is not the economy for frivolity. I’ll happily wrap my own present up for Christmas.
Why do I have such a hard time letting go though?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Christmas warms my heart like a nice cup of cocoa

BG is 5 months, 1 week and 4 days old.
I’m so far behind it’s comical. Part of it is being a new mom. Part of it is the economy. Part of it is the spirit of Christmas has not permeated. Usually, I’m an elf in human form, prancing around getting everything ready. This year, the year that Christmas turns into a kid’s paradise at our home, you’d think I’d be more into it but I’m not.
We’re still living in limbo. We desperately need a new rug and the current rug is a makeshift shabby sort. All my furniture has been pushed to the walls to accommodate foam alphabet mats, swing sets, bassinets, activity mats, blocks, mini chairs, you name it. The tree this year is fake with prelit but the adapter they gave me doesn’t fit the lights so it’s only half lit. {By the way, no one knows what type of adapter we need. Hubby went to Home Depot last night for light bulbs but forgot to ask. Guess we’re making another trip again.} My gift wrapping paper is still in storage.
And pretty much the only time I can make my gifts (I’m making them this year) is late at night when BG is asleep, we’ve finished dinner and I’m just about to get my stuff ready for work the next day. Of course, this is also the time my husband gently mentions that I’m not spending enough time with him and that I need to rest for work.
In his mind I make myself go crazy and if I didn’t have to do so much for Christmas then I wouldn’t get so wound up.
In reply, I present the following,
Things I wanted to do as part of my Christmas tradition that I am not doing this year:
1. Probably not going to have the Christmas train around the tree this year. It’s still in storage
2. Reduced the amount of Christmas cards (paper) I’m sending out. 95% is electronic, which is the route I wanted to go but we do have friends and family that are not owners of a computer so we need to send them cards. I’ve reduced this down significantly mostly on my side of the family that lives overseas.
3. Not having a Christmas roast beast this year. This year, we’re having turkey and only 2-3 sides.
4. Not using my fine china this year. Probably not going to use it for a few years with a toddler walking around. I’m trying to go Green but the idea of cooking and doing dishes is too much. Guess, I’m getting pretty paper plates and utensils at Target.
5. Not having my annual Christmas cookie blow out. Every year I make different cookies or treats to mail and deliver to loved ones. I only was able to muster up 1 batch of my crispy cherry chocolate chunk cookies this year, my old standby, and DH ate the entire batch. It also doesn't help that all my baking trays are in storage along with my holiday gift bags and boxes. Remember my husband was gung ho about moving? Guess, I’m going to try to make 2 more batches, 1 divided among the church and vet’s office and 1 divided among the mailman and delivery men. I may not have time to make cookies for gifts for my office and my dinner guests.
6. My husband singing O Tannenbaum and placing the Angel on our tree. This year, he didn’t sing it because I didn’t start it off and I wound up placing the Angel on our tree after numerous requests were not rewarded.
7. Decorating the tree while watching Elf and drinking red wine. Ok, the wine was nixed because of breastfeeding and my copy of Elf is still with my brother. Plus, with the baby spending most of her evenings with me, I had to piecemeal the Christmas tree decoration across several nights. Even then, I really had to force myself to finish the decorating. I hate feeling like such a Scrooge.

To make myself feel better here are some traditions that I am keeping with this year:
1. Baby Jesus does not display in the manager until Christmas Day. He hangs out and watches us until the middle of January.
2. No Christmas presents under the tree until Christmas Day excluding gifts from far away family although I’ll probably change that next year.
3. A new Christmas ornament commemorating something big from the year. This year, it is a sleigh with my daughter’s name on it.
4. A new Lenox Christmas ornament. This year, I hope Santa brings me a special baby’s ornament. Of course, I know this is probably our last year with most of my ornaments displayed for awhile. I plan to stock up on shatterproof ornaments for next year.
5. Christmas mass. This year, we’re reading at the Christmas Eve mass and I hope to also attend the Christmas morning mass but it depends on how everything goes.
6. An car for the train set commemorating something from the year. Again, this year Santa will be bringing my DH a train car. I’m sure you can guess what the commemorated event is.
7. Christmas Eve at my husband’s family’s home and Christmas Night at our home. It may be a smaller gatherings this year but the reason and memories will always be the focus.

There are some new traditions I hope to incorporate into our Christmas festivities.
I want to make my child’s Christmases special and family oriented. I had few Christmases with my family that focused on family time. It wasn’t as if they didn’t try it was just a sign of the times. Here are my memories I’d like to make for my family.
1. Christmas stockings by the bed. We don’t have a fireplace so this seems logical. Prior to our baby, I placed our filled stockings under the tree but by the bed seems pretty magical to me.
2. Christmas morning for our family, mom, dad and baby. We used to have to spend Christmas morning traveling to family but this year I start the new tradition of Christmas morning reserved for us. Hot chocolate, chocolate croissants and being together, whether it’s hanging out in bed together opening our stockings or sitting under our tree unwrapping presents.
3. New pajamas for our baby. Since we will be at our family’s home on Christmas eve, I plan to bring her pjs with us. When it’s time for bed, I’ll change her into her pjs so she’s ready for the crib when we get home. Of course, I could get us all new pjs but I’m not sure my husband is the type of guy who would wear matching pjs although a little piece of me would love to do that just once.
4. Obviously, the obligatory Christmas photo of baby or how can we make our kid look extra cute before they turn into teens/tweens and becomes noncompliant to wearing reindeer antlers.
5. Ok, this when the OCD kicks in, categories I must fill for Christmas for my child: clothing, books, a toy, a keepsake and Santa. Yes, my child will have at least 5 presents under the tree. Clothing as all kids need something to keep them warm like a hug. Books because my father gave me a n appreciation for books. A toy because kids love toys. A keepsake because I’m a sentimental fool. A Santa gift because every child should believe in magic. Don’t ask me why but it’s something I feel I want to do.

Finally there are traditions I’d love to start when my child is older:
1. Santa’s elf. How magical is it to have a special elf assigned to our house to watch over us and to report back to Santa on the daily naughties and niceties.
2. Santa’s cookies and reindeer carrots/hay. I suppose carrots would be easier than hay.
3. Book/Toy/Clothing donation. I’d like our child to prepare for the season by offering to share with others. I hope to do this between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
I hope you start your own traditions or reflect on your family’s own. Sure, the Christmas mojo isn’t hitting many of us as hard as it usually does but the meaning and spirit of family and togetherness on Christmas is what truly is important and what you will remember years from now. You won’t remember that you used paper plates instead of fine china. You won’t care if you made a roast beast or had empanadas. What you will recall is the warm feeling in your heart or the smile on your family member’s face when that Christmas magic fills the air.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Thank you for let us ride you, the MTA.

Monthly NY MTA MetroCard could jump from $81 to $104 next year wo state bailout.

Honestly, weren't they talking about a surplus recently? Who are their accountants? I have not seen any improvements to the buses or subways for years. Ridership keeps increasing yet services diminish.

And as a person that took the subway while 8.5 months pregnant and then later with a stroller (and shall avoid this like the plague), the MTA is not a friendly place for those who need extra assistance. Elevators are always down. Escalators are unreliable. There are not enough ramps and the place is filthy.

Anyone else feeling as if we're being violated?

Top 10 Signs You’ve Hired a Bad Accountant - David Letterman

10. You hear him on the phone saying, “Have I ever let you down, Leona?”

9. Instead of IRS, sends your completed tax return to UPS

8. His “short form” looks suspiciously like a cocktail napkin

7. He lets you list your imaginary friend as a dependent

6. Lists every time you laughed at Letterman as “charitable donation”

5. Used to be some kind of financial big-shot in Orange County, California

4. Announced he donated all your assets to O.J.’s defense fund

3. On the 1040, he lists your occupation as “sucker”

2. At least five times, he says “here’s a little trick I taught Darryl Strawberry.”

1. He makes you wear a hospital gown

Keep feeling fascination. Passion Burning, Love so Strong

BG is 5 months and 5 days old.
I’ve been thinking a lot about my relationship with my husband lately. I remember the love letters he’d send me. I remember the stolen kisses, the occasional hugs or squeezes and the just because ‘I Love Yous’. We’re both older, more tired, more harried but every day we still say I love you to each other just because. We still hug and squeeze each other. We still kiss.
Once, I asked myself if I’m saying I love you too much. Was I throwing it out there willy nilly? Was it losing its meaning? Then I realized, you can never say you love a person too much. Heck, when I say it, I mean it. Whether I say it occasionally or daily, it still means so much to me that I can turn to my husband and say, “I Love You.”
I wondered if he felt that we say it too much too but I guess not. He texts me, calls me and just tells me daily as well and we both say it to our daughter every day.
Every night after prayers, I remind my daughter how much we love her and every time, just like when I say it to my husband, it means the same maybe even more.
It’s true what they say. Your children in your eyes are love personified. I can’t but smile and my heart grows that much bigger every time I see my child. Every morning, she greats me with a huge toothless grin and my heart grows. Every day when she looks at me with curiosity and excitement/anticipation/confusion/fussiness/hunger, my heart glows.
This kid has me wrapped around her finger and she doesn’t know it. Ok, maybe she does know it.
She is now 5 months old and I am so blessed.
She still doesn’t roll over but she sits a little bit stronger every day.
She drools like a basset hound but her sweet milk breath makes it endearing.
She is becoming more and more vocal every day and can probably hit high octave ranges.
She has graduated to her big girl bath tub, big girl stroller and big girl car seat.
She can even sit in her car seat for long periods of time and not cry.
She has fallen asleep by herself several times. Ok, she has her seahorse and giraffe-ee but everyone needs an entourage.
She grabs her toes and holds onto them like a true yogi.
She can pull down her hanging toys from her activity mat and swing with the strength of Bam Bam Rubble.
She laughs and giggles when we dance.
She loves to swing like a pendulum in my arms.
She watches my mouth in fascination when I sing to her.
She stares at herself in the mirror for minutes and holds expression contests with herself.
Who needs HBO when I have my baby to entertain me.

Love lets the other one win

Ok, I’ll admit, I had a hard time with this one. I’m sure most would. In fact, I failed this one miserably.
I gave in and allowed my husband to win because deep down inside, I knew he was right. I made a big deal out of nothing more than my own insecurities. I won’t go into detail but my insecurities led me to stress out and stress everyone else out. I later became Ms. Negativity and that’s when my husband blew a gasket and let me have it. He scolded me and I just sat there and took it because I knew he was right.
I felt foolish that my insecurities got the best of me and felt deserved of the scolding but under different circumstances, I would have fought him tooth and nail and it wouldn’t have ended pretty. In fact, the whole night would have been shot and we’d probably both feel equally crappy. At least he felt better that he told me how he felt and I didn’t prolong the hard feelings.
Could I do it again? Sure. It would be tough but I think I could. I think it’s important to stop and think why am I feeling this way before reacting. In this example, I was angry because of my insecurities. It wasn’t my husband but me and because I stopped and realized that, I didn’t continue the fight. I let if fizzle out. If I didn’t always get defensive, perhaps things that may have turned into battles will just be discussions. Time will only tell.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Hopefully this will bring the Christmas Spirit

Lyrics by Jules Bass
Put one foot in front of the other
And soon you’ll be walking cross the floor
Put one foot in front of the other
And soon you’ll be walking out the door

You never will get where you’re going
If you never get up on your feet
Come on, there’s a good tail wind blowing
A fast walking man is hard to beat

Put one foot in front of the other
And soon you’ll be walking cross the floor
Put one foot in front of the other
And soon you’ll be walking out the door

If you want to change your direction
If your time of life is at hand
Well don’t be the rule be the exception
A good way to start is to stand

Put one foot in front of the other
And soon you’ll be walking cross the floor
Put one foot in front of the other
And soon you’ll be walking out the door

If I want to change the reflection
I see in the mirror each morn
You mean that it's just my election
To vote for a chance to be reborn

Monday, December 08, 2008

Holy Batcave, Mothra is hibernating.

I'm about to say something that is going to throw most off guard.
I'm not looking forward to Christmas dinner.
I know! Usually, I'm planning the feast before Thanksgiving.
This year, I didn't host Thanksgiving. I sort of missed it but was also sort of relieved.
You'd think I'd pull out the stoppers for Christmas night dinner then. Nope. 1) With BG's bed routine starting around 6:30-7, our nights are shot. This year, Christmas dinner will begin at 4pm. 2) With BG's gear in our apartment, I've moved the dining room table to the kitchen annex which means it's pressed against a wall. Therefore, dinner will be buffet style in our living room. 3) I'm being very miserly. The economy is bad. I'm not making a big feast. I'm still hemming and hawwing about it. Do I make a roast? Too expensive? A turkey, maybe a ham? I will make potatoes of some sort, green beans and another side but that's about it.
For my New Year's brunch, I'm thinking simple too. Maybe banana pancakes, chorizo potatoes and honeyed fruit with yogurt.
Listen, the whole Christmas/New Years meal deal is only reminding me of how behind I am in Christmas to dos. I'm dreading cookies this year and will go with the old standby, Dark Chocolate Chip Cherry Cookies. The tree is still not up although I did opt for a fake tree this year as a new baby and pine needles didn't seem like a smart new parent move. I'm overspending for my baby this year, I know it and in a really bad move, I can't figure out what to tell my DH he could get me from TG. We are not going to exchange gifts this year but thought if we really wanted to we can get something from our daughter to each other. Of course it has to be within $25 otherwise the not exchanging gifts to save money would be moot. Oh and I'm not sending out homemade paper Christmas cards this year. I'm making a scrapbook card and sending it out via email to save me time and be a bit more green. I feel super guilty about the fake tree.
Eh. I don't want to be a Scrooge but I'm not feeling very Christmassy yet. I know it will pass but usually by this time, I'm at least in Christmas Mothra gear.

Love Cherishes

It’s very easy to take for granted the ones around us. We see them every day. We can sometimes forgot how special they are to us and we may not express it.
Today’s exercise reminds us to cherish our loved ones. Let them know they matter.
Last week, a good friend of mine told me her sister in law passed away suddenly. She was only 36 and her brother is beside himself with grief. She leaves not only a husband but a child of 7 and an army of loved ones who are in complete shock at her sudden death. My friend told me this in tears. She said she knew that she was in a better place but she didn’t understand why she had to leave them now.
We get so bogged down in the day to day and the small stuff that we lose sight of the bigger picture sometimes. I have become bogged down in the day to day.
So today I tried to show my husband I cherish him and who he is. Usually before church, DH walks the dog but today he was running late and needed to be there on time as he was lectoring. I heard him promise the dog she’d be walked in an hour after mass. He ran to church as I was busily dressing BG for church. It was pretty cold out as snow had fallen. I really wanted to get to church early to speak to the priest and some parishioners who were starting a child care during mass program but decided to bundle BG up extra cozy and grabbed the dog and walked the dog for my husband.
It was a bit difficult with BG and the Z-girl but we managed. I made it to church late but that was ok. When mass ended, I met up with DH and he seemed frazzled. “I need to go home now to take care of Z-girl.” I told him it was taken care of and to go home with BG and spend some time with her relaxing. I then went to do the household shopping and came home and made him some breakfast.
Honestly, I don’t think this exercise reminded me to cherish my husband as much as the tragedy that happened to my friend last week. I didn’t have an answer to my friend’s inquiry. I told her the stock line, “We may never know God’s plan but we must understand that we may never understand.” Perhaps God wanted to remind everyone to cherish. I didn’t know this young lady but through the human link, she has taught me to be aware and appreciative of my beloved.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Happiness is contagious. Spread the wealth.


It’s random acts of kindness week at GNO. Now, I’d like to say that all GNO-ers do many ACKs and do so quietly and without pomp but being this is Christmas and kindness begets kindness (and happiness begets happiness), I will share my ACK for the day.
I hailed a gypsy cab for an elderly lady with a cane. Ok, simple enough, right? Yes it is. That’s the point.
DH had to make it to a gig so I needed to be home early to relieve him of baby duties. Of course this being December in NYC, traffic was horrendous and my bus never showed up. So I hoofed it. I walked 23 blocks home. With each step I felt time ticking down so I did the New York walk, swift with blinders on and goal in sight. I made it 13 blocks when I caught out of the corner of my eye an very small 4’7 elderly lady with a silver cane behind a parked car. She didn’t clear the hood of the car and her coat matched the car making it difficult to spot her but something about her made it’s way through my blinders. I noticed she would meekly lift her cane every now and then. It was rush hour and throngs of people were shuffling to and fro around her not paying her any mind. Something told me to stop. “Are you trying to hail a cab, ma’am?” “Yes, but they don’t seem to see me.”
So I did what any good citizen should do, I hauled my butt in the middle of the busy two way street and stopped a gypsy cab for her and helped her get in. Hailing a cab isn’t fun in NY and during the holidays, it’s even trickier. I helped the lady get in the cab and went on my way.
As I continued my brisk walk I thought about random acts of kindness and how I’ve always believed ACKs beget ACKs. Then I thought about why do an ACK. It used to be because we are human and we all need a little kindness. Now, as a new mom, I have an added reason, so that the world may be a better place for my child. Sure, I can say, that I hope my child learns by example but there is so much more than my child learning through my actions. I want my child to not only learn through example but also see that it can beget change even in a very small way.
How many times have I been uplifted by a simple smile from a stranger or watching someone on the bus give a to stranger a tissue to dry their eyes or blow their nose. That’s the world I want my child to see and live in. It’s a world of kindness and compassion. It’s a world where we’re not insulated and self serving. In a city where we can be total strangers to people sharing a wall with us, you can forget how important it is to be a part of the biggest society out there, humankind.
So I hope this inspires you to do a simple random act of kindness. Hold a door open for someone. Buy the homeless person you see on the train a cup of coffee. Give away your seat on the bus just because. Let that person with 3 items cut in front of you at the supermarket even though she’s paying by check. It may not seem like much but your building a better world for my child.

Love is unconditional

“Love is not determined by the one being loved but rather the one choosing to love.”
In the midst of every day stresses, I sometimes forget that love is not reciprocal to an action or being. Love is something I freely give to my husband. I don’t love him because he puts the dishes away or takes out the trash when I ask him to. Whether he does these things or not does not change my feelings for him.
Yet in times of high emotion, the simple act of forgetting to do something or say something can hurt. I spoke yesterday about how my perspectives changed when I became a mom. Things that meant more to me before have lower value compared to the bigger picture. I need to do that with my husband too.
It’s easy to get caught up in the everyday especially in times of great stress. The simple act of sitting on the couch and checking the mail while the other person runs around packing and dressing and getting things ready for a trip can make the other person feel as if he/she isn’t pulling their weight. During these times I need to stop and ask myself, is this really a big thing? A month from now, is this going to matter?
When I was 9 years old, an Aunt asked me why I loved my mother. In retrospect, I think that is a loaded question but as a nine year old you don’t think these things. I told her I loved my mom because she was my mom but she prodded for another reason. I thought about it and said, “I love my mom because she gives me things. If I need anything, she tries to help me.” My Aunt told my mother my response and I was scolded. I was told that I shouldn’t love my mother because she ‘gives me things’ and that I made her look bad in front of the family. I didn’t know how to react. I recall I was hurt and the incident left a little scar. I was too young to understand why how I loved my mom was wrong and later on as a teenager I was bitter that my mother didn’t know better that a 9 year old’s definition of ‘gives me things’ isn’t just about physical objects. I remember trying to figure out how I was supposed to love my mom but was too young to understand. I suppose I was probably part of some sibling rivalry.
So today’s exercise asks, has my love been based on my spouse’s attributes & behavior? No, it hasn’t been and it still isn’t. I just need to remember that. Love isn’t about who does the laundry or who writes a love letter anymore. It’s about freely giving yourself to the other person just because. No one should ask, why do you love. You love because you love.
The exercise included doing something to display my love is given freely and without reciprocation. I must admit this is hard as I feel like this is something I do naturally every day. Last night, I made some soup especially for my husband. I guess that counts. He said he didn’t want it but I could tell he could use the tummy warming effects of a homemade soup. He’s been feeling under the weather lately so at 11pm, when he arrived home, I had a fresh bowl of soup for him and I let him sleep the night through when BG woke up at 3am.
How do I feel about it? The same I suppose. I mean, even if the exercise didn’t call for this, I would have done it. Sure, I’m tired today. Cooking soup all night and caring for our baby in the wee morning left me a bit harried and tired today but I would do it all over again if I had to. I’m not asking for an award or medal. I do it just because I love him.
Some of these exercises I believe are meant to bring us back and reevaluate our perspective in a long term relationship. They seem a bit simplistic but I think they help us remember what is truly important.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Worker Bee back at the hive

BG is 4 months, 3 weeks and 5 days old.
I went back to work full time on Monday. It was easier to acclimate to work as I was following emails and checking in periodically so I didn’t feel completely out of the loop.
DH made it a special day , like the first day back to school for kids. He woke up early with me and shuttled me off to start the day.
I had a scheduled parent and me get together that DH went to and I’m glad it was on the first day back. It gave DH something to do with our BG and in a funny set of circumstances, the moms in the group inadvertently text messaged me status updates. “Your DH is here with BG. He’s doing great!” “She’s eating.” “He cleaned the changing table for us!”
Ok, the last one is actually pretty humorous. My husband finds the changing tables at public restrooms disgusting filthy breeding grounds. He apparently spent a good 10 minutes scrubbing it down before putting paper towels down, then the changing mat, then our daughter only to find out that it was a false alarm and BG didn’t need to be changed.
After all his hardwork, he came out to the fellow moms and dads and announced that he cleaned the table so anyone who needs to use it doesn’t have to scrub it like he did. This elicited numerous chuckles from some moms.
So how was my first day back? As a worker bee, it wasn’t bad. As an adult, it wasn’t bad. As a mom, it wasn’t as terrible as I thought it would be, especially since 1) my husband is watching her and 2) DH and BG came to visit and 3) DH kept texting and photo messaging me. Thank goodness for technology.
What still takes a bit getting used to is pumping at work. First, not many women can say that exposing their breasts in their workplace is commonplace. Second, pumping isn’t fun, at least for most women. The first time I pumped, I forgot to lock the door. Big mistake. After I flashed someone in the office, I made a mental note to lock the door before each pump. I’m not putting a sign up because I feel as if it’s declaring to the world that I’m sitting in my office breast exposed. That’s just not me.
The other thing about pumping at work is that the pump I have at work beeps. So it’s not like I can have a conference call while pumping and not attract attention. Lastly, I can’t stop obsessing about my pump schedule. I think subconsciously it’s my connection to my daughter so I feel the need to ensure my pumping schedule is not interrupted.
It’s not all that bad though. It does help me collect my thoughts 3 times a day. Instead of over focusing on something that is minute compared to the bigger projects, I’m brought back down to reality.
I give all women credit for pumping and breastfeeding. It is a tough job and society doesn’t really make it easy for us. Give yourself a pat on the back if you are or have breastfed and/or pumped.
Today someone asked me if I can manage being a mom and a worker bee. I responded, it’s not about if I can manage but how I can manage. Moms are tough cookies and we do what we need to for our family. Many of us aren’t just moms. We’re wives. We’re workers. We’re our own advocates. We’re our family’s advocates.
I told several co-workers that my perspective on life has changed. I’m still OCD but not in a different way. Things that were important a year ago have less value to me. I wear different hats now but I do it because it needs to be done for my family. There is no time nor is there a need to sit and ask why. Things kick into gear and instinctively we do what needs to be done.
I feel all the more better as a human for jumping into the mommyhood realm. I’m a better me. I’m a bit more tired and less fashionable and less hip but I’m better and my family, my husband and society will do better because of such.

On the breastfeeding front:
BG only drank 8 ounces while I was away on Monday. She hungrily ate when I got home. Guess she prefers the milk fresh and from the source.

At work I pumped twice instead of three times and got 4 ounces/1.5 ounces and 3 ounces/1 ounce respectively. I've deemed the right breast, slacker boob for her low output.

On the sleeping front:
She slept well and has been napping at 7pm and going to her full night sleep around (9:30pm. She did protest at 7pm yesterday when we went to bed. She screamed bloody murder so I spent the 7pm nap standing and breastfeeding her until she fell asleep.

I gave up on the cry it out and am trying the Pantrygirl method. The method is the following: 6:30pm get ready for bed: bath, massage/wash up, diaper change, pjs, storytime. 7pm swaddle, lie in bed and breastfeed 'til drowsy. Give lovey and transfer to crib. 8:30-9pm BG wakes up. 9pm diaper change, 2 minute sleepy dance and cuddle, swaddle, storytime with dad, lie in bed and breastfeed 'til drowsy. Give lovey and transfer to crib.

I've also added a flannel blanket to warm up the crib for her. I wrap it over the crib mattress and tuck the sides down. It is a much warmer transition for her than the cold all cotton sheets that we have on the mattress. When it's particularly cold, I'll lift up the bottom part, tuck her in with the swaddle in it and tuck the sides in for safety.

I also keep one of the closet lights on like a nightlight for her. It seems to freak her out when the room is pitch black.

So far, this method has allowed her to go to sleep without protest or a cryfest. I'm not sure if it's the best method but it is working for us and she sleeps until 7am and if she wakes up before she happily stays in the crib entertaining herself until we come get her for breakfast at 7.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

BG is 4 months, 2 weeks and 6 days old.
Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays as all that is really expected is to be thankful and maybe a bird.
It’s also the one major holiday that I feel became my own as an adult. My family weren’t big Thanksgiving folks so as an adult, I really tried to make it something special for me and my husband. Our first Thanksgiving spent together was the first time I got deathly ill and passed it on to my poor husband. I recall how we both took turns crawling in the dark to the bathroom. To this day my husband reminds me how I gave him some crazy virus that knocked him out cold. I remember not only were we unable to keep anything down, we were light sensitive and spent the entire week in bed or the bathroom. I suppose the light sensitivity was a good thing because I’m sure I looked more like a Gorg.
We spent the rest of the Thanksgivings together with his Uncle’s family which warmed my heart. The gatherings were always filled with families and children running back and forth trying to manage visits to both sides of the family. A little turkey here, some stuffing at the in laws, it was amazing to watch them do the Thanksgiving meal-a-thon.
Once we got married, I dreamed of hosting my own special Thanksgiving to incorporate my family. The first year my MIL had the same idea and asked me to host it. That year, I made 3 pies, 1 cake and 1 lb of turkey treats for our two dogs, one cat and my MIL’s 3 dogs who accompanied her during her visit. Our tiny 600 square foot apartment was overrun by animals and yet somehow I managed to accommodate a very large Thanksgiving table and 8 hungry humans and 6 four legged pets. My brother reminds me of how I was so nervous that I made chicken several times the week before to practice carving.
Then sometime during our third year of marriage I felt I was so fortunate I needed to give back and started to volunteer at a church. Every year after, I have volunteered every Thanksgiving morning. I hope the train downtown and walk past the crowds of children and parents watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade smiling at everyone. I then spend 4-5 hours helping serve a hot Thanksgiving meal to elderly folks who don’t have family to go to for Thanksgiving. Several local bands including a big band and a salsa band play music for dancing while hundreds of young and old serve, clean and entertain. Every year I see some of the same faces. We have nametags but in all honesty I don’t recall any of their names just their faces. Our focus is never on us but them. It really makes me happy to be there even for a brief period.
I head home ready to cook my Turkey day meal for my family and enjoy the feast. To organize the day, I generally cook everything in advance and set my oven for the bird. I know it’s a bit more work but it does make the meal taste all the better.
This year, with a new baby, we will be sharing the feast with my husband’s family again. Many of them have not seen BG yet so it will be a nice way to introduce her to the family. Next year, I hope to return to volunteering. I dream that my DH will volunteer with BG as well. He or I can be a hostess instead of a server so BG can attend. A hostess sits at the head of a table to assist the guests with their needs, dietary or otherwise. I want to instill in my daughter that Thanksgiving isn’t just about the bird or the parade but to stop and give thanks and share in the giving that we receive.
Sure, we’ll do the Turkey Day parade and even the inflation of the balloons one day but we all should remember to stop and be thankful for each other.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

BG is developing opinions.

BG is 4 months, 2 weeks and 5 days old.
I leaked through my nightgown again. BG went to bed at 8pm, woke up at 10pm, fell asleep again at 11pm, woke up at 6am and is currently being fed and lulled back to sleep by DH. I haven’t fed or pumped since 8pm.
I fell asleep hard and woke up to a wet mess and very engorged breasts.
I don’t know what’s up with BG’s schedule. I know I shouldn’t complain as she’s sleeping nice long stretches but they are at the oddest times.
I’ve cut down her daytime naps to two to see if that helps. I’ve even cut her afternoon nap short so she’s not sleeping at 5pm.
I guess she’s heading to a new sleep routine. I guess I just go with the flow for now.
BG is expressing her desires more and more these days. I’m slowly getting to understand her likes and dislikes. For example, today while she was sitting on my lap, she decided that mirror time was not what she wanted to do so she turned away. When that didn’t stop me, she pushed the mirror away. I’m fairly certain it was an intentional push away. I guess this is the beginning of her developing opinions. Oh boy. Lol
I put on her fleece bear footie pants today for our walk. They are still too big for her but I thought it would be a nice change to the fleece coverall. She looked hysterical with these large dangling bear print footies dangling but she was nice and toasty.
We also upgraded from the infant car seat to the convertible car seat. She hit the 27” threshold on the infant car seat. DH went to the Department of Transportation to get the seat inspected and installed appropriately. We’ll get to use it for the first time tomorrow on our way to Thanksgiving eats.
Yes, this year, as promised, I am not having a Thanksgiving get together. DH had asked me during my first trimester to not have one our first year so we could acclimate to parenthood. I obliged. I knew he was right but I do feel bad I’m not volunteering this year. Next year, I would like to volunteer again and maybe, just maybe DH and BG will accompany me. We’ll see.
To everyone, have a wonderful Thanksgiving and remember to think of one thing to be thankful for before you dive into the feast.
For me, I’m thankful for my husband, my daughter, my family, my friends and Fisher Price for making an awesome swing for BG.

Love makes good impressions

Greet your spouse today with a smile and enthusiasm. Ok, I felt foolish about this because yes, I’ve fallen into that rut where I greet my DH with a kiss every time but since the baby, it’s been a kiss with a haggard expression.
I know sometimes it can’t be helped. You’re exhausted and could use the relief. You secretly wonder how your DH can go off and spend 4 hours at the gym while you’re lucky to get 20 minutes to shower and freshen up. You sometimes count the minutes until your DH returns home so he can watch your infant so you can cook/clean/nap/bathe etc.
Still, it is very important to greet your spouse with joy and comfort. ‘I’m so glad you are here’ but now in a, ‘Here take the baby, I need to clean up the mess in the kitchen’ sort of way.
Positivity begets positivity and I want my DH to be happy to return home to me and our baby.
Plus we bounce off of each other so if I’m tired, he’s going to react and be tired. If I’m happy and helpful, he’s going to be happy and helpful or at least that’s my theory.
My baby is the perfect example of making a good impression. She greets us every morning with a wide toothless grin and flails her legs and arms joyously when she sees us. It warms the heart and makes you feel good all over.
So I took my baby’s lead and greeted my husband today not with just my usual kiss hello and inquiry to his day. BG and I did greet him with kisses of hello but I also made a concerted effort to smile and be more light hearted and uplifting.
I think it opened the air a bit more for us. I don’t have anything tangible to show but rather it’s more of a feeling.
I’m going to try to continue to lighten the greetings. After all, I have the best person to lead by example from.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Everything is new

BG is 4 Months, 2 Weeks and 4 Days.
BG has changed her sleep routine. According to the books, this is normal around this time. She started with sleeping from 7-9pm then 10:30pm-7am. Now she fluctuates between 7-9pm then 12-9am and 8-1am then 2-4am then 5am-8am. Obviously, her parents prefer the first two patterns but we get what we get.
We’ve gotten a few new milestones which is nice. She’s touching her toes and holding them more. She’s also grasping at objects. She has a set of links that makes for a great rattle and teether for her that she loves to play with. She accidently passes it back and forth between her hands. Her dad also places it on her rotating swing and she likes to grab it as it rounds its way around to her right side. She looks like a she’s holding onto the old fashioned handles on subways and buses. She is so strong, she’ll interrupt the motor from rotating. It’s very cute.
She’s also speaking more. She’ll happily spend some time babbling up a storm on her activity mat. She’ll back spin around and babble.
She seems to be much more attentive to us now. She follows us more and stares at us intently as if she wants to tell us something or interpret our actions.
I can spend all day watching her play and discover. Everything is so fascinating to her.

Love is not jealous

I found this exercise easier than other exercises. Today’s exercise was to throw out the negative list and show appreciation to my DH for a success he recently had. I’m always proud of my DH when he accomplishes something he set out to do so I happily took on the challenge.
He recently received a gig he had hoped to get. I was very proud of him and gave him a hug.
Did I find it hard? No. Did I find it hard to let go of the negative? No.
How can I encourage future successes? I suppose being supportive and patient with him will help. I also encourage him when he shows great interest in something even if it is something that I may wary about.
How do I feel after this exercise? I’m very proud of my husband’s accomplishments and flaunt them. It was nice to perform an exercise that wasn’t as difficult for me to perform.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Words to Live By...

Strive to recognize individual needs within the family and meet them to the greatest extent possible without compromising your physical and emotional health.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Sleep Day Two: I gave up.

4 months, 2 weeks old.
I turned off the baby monitor. I closed the bedroom door.
How is it she can sleep readily in my arms, even to the point she’s folded over my arm like a towel on the shower rod but not on the comfy expensive mattress her dad bought her? I was fine at home alone trying it out but tonight when dh was around, questioning the approach, I gave in at 1.5 hours into it.
In short, the reason why I wanted to try sleep training was because the last two nights co-sleeping and breastfeeding wasn’t working and dh said he could no longer carry our daughter on his shoulder without experiencing any pain.
The naps were difficult but we got through it. The night was my breaking point. Having my husband around caused me to seek empathy which I did not feel I received. On the contrary, we ping ponged back and forth on each other. He questioned the method and commented it was cruel and unusual. I asked for alternate solutions and he responded that I was the one who read everything so he had no recommendations.
After an hour and half of intermittent crying and consoling, I gave in. My gut instinct was sleep training seems oddly animalistic and that her natural circadian rhythm of sleeping from 7-9 and then 10:30-7 was find by me except for the occasional nights where I felt my breasts spent and my lack of time to do anything other than baby related care was frustrating.
DH’s questioning and commenting only made me feel more uneasy about the approach. After trying to explain to him my reasons for attempting to sleep train and why I went against my gut, DH said that I shouldn’t feel the need to justify my actions and that I shouldn’t stress so much. “Why don’t you meditate or do some yoga. Don’t just sit here and justify it to me.”
I left feeling as if the one person I could at least share my feelings with was less than empathetic. I went to get BG and she greeted me with a big old smile. My heart lit up and I hugged her for what seemed like forever. I changed her diaper and DH came over and asked me why I picked her up and essentially nixed everything we did. I told him the reasons why I decided to stop it where mentioned on the couch before he told me to stop justifying. “This is the reason why I don’t read anything. You’re only going to change your mind. What’s the point?”
“You agreed that it was cruel.”
“But you said you wanted to do it. One or two unpleasant nights of her crying and you’re ready to try something drastic. Now you’re going back to the original approach. What do you want to do?”
“I told you what I wanted to do on the couch and you told me not to justify things.”
“I just don’t know about you.”
I felt so upset. My insides were killing me from hearing her cry and my head was circling with everything from ‘All babies need to learn to soothe themselves.’ to ‘Babies shouldn’t have to feel their needs aren’t met.’ I didn’t feel like I could turn to my husband for support or advice.
As BG began sucking her fist, I took her cue to breastfeed her. As I was breastfeeding, DH again came into the room and asked me why I was breastfeeding after I said the books said that I shouldn’t interrupt the sleep training with a breastfeeding session.
“Because I’m cancelling out what I said about sleep training. I’m going back to soothing and bonding. That’s what I’ve been saying since the couch.”
“But you said…”
“I don’t care what I said, I’m going with my gut. I don’t care if you think it’s wrong or right.”
“I just think you’re taking one giant leap back and I’ll be here again letting her sleep on my shoulder while you’re in the bedroom sleeping later tonight.”
Well, in the end, BG fell asleep after a breastfeeding session. She held onto her lovey and slept by my side and not on DH’s shoulder.
How do I feel? I feel fine. How will I feel tomorrow? I don’t know. Today I feel as if sleep training isn’t for me right now. I understand sleep teaching. You want to instill a healthy and happy connection with sleep. I don’t see how sticking her in a dark quiet room by herself illicit a healthy attitude towards sleep. I could be wrong but all day today and yesterday when she was being swaddled, she started whimpering and murmur crying. It was as if she correlated the swaddling with sleep and me leaving her in the crib to cry it out. I don’t want her to think of sleep as something that is painful, lonely or hurtful. Before I started this, whenever I swaddled her, she’d look up and smile at me. She seemed to like her blanket and idea of calm downtime. Maybe I’m internalizing it but I don’t think crying it out gives a positive attitude to sleep.
Again, if there is one thing I learned with this parenthood thing, is that what doesn’t work one day, works the next and what I may think today may be different tomorrow. I’m not turning away from sleep training but today, it’s not for me.
BG is sleeping on average 8 hours straight and taking 3 naps during the day. I think that is completely respectable. She may not be taking her long nap at the hours we think are befitting but she'll get there. She's smart and her body has a good rhythm. We may not get to where we would like to be tomorrow but we'll get there hopefully with encouragement and positivity.

Oh, DH thinks that me going back to work will be a good thing as he believes I think too much about the baby. I'm still trying to grasp that a bit. Does he have a point?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Parent Challenge #62: Sleep

BG is 4 months, 1 week and 6 days old.
Sleep is one of the hardest things to teach a baby. Funny, if only a baby could learn by example, I’d happily demonstrate how to take a nap.
Essentially, parents need to work as a team to setup good sleep habits which I believe makes it a good relationship builder.
15 minutes into my sleep teaching and BG has now begun to cry.
Here is my game plan.
Her night time going to bed ritual includes:
Change to pajamas
Wash face, mouth and hands or Bath/Massage
A cradle to bed
A song while lying in bed
Prayers with a tummy rub in bed
Say goodnight.
This all should begin around 7pm, give or take.
During all this, DH lowers the lights in the house and lowers the volume of the television. We all lower our voices to present a calming atmosphere.
According to the experts at four months of age, we should start by giving her 30 minutes to try to soothe herself to sleep.
10 minutes into crying, there is silence in the bedroom.
If by five months she's still not able to soothe herself, we can try to teach her to sleep using Ferber or another method.
Today, I begin her sleep training starting with the naps.
At this stage she should have 2 naps a day, the morning 1 being the shortest and the afternoon nap being the longest. Her last nap should start no later than 2pm. Our daughter seems to like her naps and usually has 3 of them a day but at the same time the naps usually happen on me which we need to transition out of.
For me, this is tough because 1) I’m going back to work so I’ve up’d the skin to skin contact out of personal guilt and 2) I try to take her out often to get her used to being social and to avoid claustrophobia.
When we’re out and about she’ll take her nap while I’m wearing her. It’s not like I can have her lying on the grass at the park, especially on brisk autumn days.
Essentially, it's pretty tough to do, especially with daily schedules of events so we need to adapt without too much compromise.
5 minutes after silence, the murmured crying has begun again.
With work looming and her age, I suppose this is the right time to work on this together as a team. In order for this to go smoothly, quickly and with as little pain as possible, we need to stick to the plan. Of course, according to the books, this is much harder for the working parent, emotionally and physically. This goes double if the working parent is also the mom and is breastfeeding.
I'm not sure how this will work but I'm sure we'll get through it, it's just tough. I'm not sure if this is the right approach or not but I'm trying what I think is appropriate at this time. I’ve developed the plan on my own as when I discussed the topic of sleep to DH, he said that he wasn’t the expert and that I was the one that read the books so I know better. Personally, I think that’s the cop out but I am the mom so I am stepping up to the plate.
It’s hard though as last night when I tried to start this plan my husband didn’t like the idea of 1) our baby crying it out in the bedroom disturbing our neighbors 2) he kept picking her up out of the crib to try to soothe her and 3) he felt after 2 hours of periodic crying, she needed to eat. I tried to explain that this isn’t easy for me but that she doesn’t need a bottle or a breast as this would only prolong the agony as it essentially resets the clock but he said his child shouldn’t go to bed hungry. “I don’t understand it. If she wants to eat every 2 hours during the day, logically, wouldn’t she need to eat at night?” I wasn’t sure how to answer that but I wondered what he thought about her sleeping 8 hours without a meal meant.
So now, while I’m home alone with BG, I’m trying to teach her to sleep by herself starting with her day naps. 1) DH isn’t around so we’re not ping ponging the guilt, 2) our neighbors are at work so I don’t have to worry about DH’s concerns about our neighbors being disrupted and 3) I’m alone.
Right now, I fed her and swaddled and placed her in her crib for a nap with her lovey 30 minutes ago. She protested about being popped off the breast after her meal. The bedroom is a bit light which probably will make it hard for her to nap but my goal this morning isn't to get her to nap by herself immediately. I'll be happy if she stays in the crib for 30 minutes without too much protesting.
It has now been over 30 minutes and as you can tell from the italics above, she did cry but not until 15 minutes into her being left in the room alone.
She didn’t sleep at all. I guess I’ll be going in there now to check on her, change her diaper, wipe her eyes and clean her nose. Still no nap. What now? I think I’ll try to soothe her and as she heads toward the land of nod, which we all know she will after all that crying, I’ll try to get her back to bed again.
Wish me luck.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Love believes the best. Part II

Ok, let’s be fair. I’m working on the Dare by myself which has it’s positives and negatives. Since I had to list positives and negatives for DH, I should do the same for myself.
I’m too emotional, especially after I gave birth. Call it a lack of estrogen due to breastfeeding. Call it being a mom. Call it being a woman. I’m emotional.
I internalize my husband’s actions and equate them to myself. I’m not doing enough. I do too much. He forgot the eggs, he must think I’m too needy. I used this line once on my optometrist as a joke. Don’t ask.
I don’t stick up for myself as much as I should. If I hone the strength I have when I stick up for my daughter, my husband and my family and share a piece of it with myself, I wouldn’t feel like I’m giving in so much.
I don't keep quiet enough.
I give in because it's not worth the battle.
I need to delegate more. "You will surely wear yourself out, and not only yourself but also these people with you. The task is too heavy for you; you cannot do it alone.” – Exodus 18:19
I worry too much.
I expect too much.
I’m kind and loving.
I strive to do good and help others.
I really do cheer my husband on in his goals even though we differ.
I’m pretty creative for a person with OCD.
I try to balance wants and desires for the people around me at work and at home.
I try to look for the good in all things. I do need to try not to dwell on the other parts though.
Funny, it was easier for me to write my negatives list than my positives. I suppose we are our own worst enemy.

Oh, I started the day today with some me time.
I pumped my breasts, took a bath, worked on the Dare and had breakfast.
Then I cleaned the toilet and bathtub, did a load of wash and cleaned the dishes.

By the time DH woke up, I felt like I already had some accomplishments for the day. I also started his day with a kiss and an appreciation. I told him, "Thank you for being you."

He was taken aback and asked me what he did. I said I just wanted to compliment him.

Words to Live By...

Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved,
heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience,
bearing with one another and forgiving one another,
if one has a grievance against another;
as the Lord has forgiven you, so must you also do.

And over all these put on love, that is, the bond of perfection.
And let the peace of Christ control your hearts, the peace into which you were also called in one body.
And be thankful.

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, as in all wisdom you teach and admonish one another, singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.

And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. -- Colossians 3:13-18

Words to Live By...

Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. -- Philippians 4:7

Love believes the best.

I’m breaking out in hives. I’m stressed.
I don’t want to go back to work.
I’m feeling pressure.
I feel the need to not only be a mom but also be a wife and be a worker bee.
I need to be the person working.
I need to be the person making the decisions regarding our daughter. “You’re the one reading the books. You have more knowledge to make the decisions.”
I need to be the person that puts food on the table. “You like to cook.”
I need to be the person that keeps up with the parenting networks in the neighborhood. “You read and talk to the parents to see what’s going on.”
I need to be the person researching and finding bargains.
I lied to my moms’ group last week and said I felt like I had to cook for my family because I felt guilty I had to go back to work. Truth is I feel the need to cook because if I didn’t half our budget would be spent on hotdogs, French fries and cold cuts.
I know my husband loves me but I don’t know if he realizes the pressure I feel. In a lot of ways, I think he thinks tons of people do it why I am I stressed out over it. He’s a type of guy that says, “Things can be far worse so just suck it up and appreciate what you have.”
I try. I am very grateful for the time I’ve had with my daughter. I’m very grateful for loving family and friends. I’m very grateful that God gave me the skills to be a good worker and hopefully a good mother and wife.
I just wish sometimes that my husband was a bit more hands on. Don’t ask me what he needs to do. Don’t just sit in the car while I run around pulling out strollers, bundling our child and packing her bag. Pack some sandwiches every now and then. Do the dishes without me asking. Tell me that you know that it’s hard for me to go back to work but that you appreciate that I am. In short, stop scheduling us around his needs a little bit.
Last night, I commented to my husband that the baby safety seminar in our neighborhood was cancelled and that I had been looking forward to the event. I saw he immediately going to our family calendar and then commented to me, “What’s going on at 5pm?” “I was hoping to go downtown and get a hair assessment to schedule a free hair cut. I haven’t had my hair cut since I was pregnant and am in desperate need of a cut. It shouldn’t take more than an hour and a half.” “Who is going to watch our daughter?” “What do you mean?” “I mean I have to go to a rehearsal.” “Well, I guess I need to take her with me or reschedule. I had this scheduled for a while.” “Your hair looks fine. I like it long.”
I know this sounds ridiculous but I’m friggin’ going downtown for a free haircut. I don’t spend $150 on a haircut. I have students cut my hair, for free, and I’m being made to feel like I didn’t consider the family and his needs?
I’m trying very hard. I know he loves me. I just don’t think he realizes how he can be very self serving. Since he turned 34, he’s been in an ever present mid-life crisis and I just hope and pray that he’s not like his father.
My biggest fear is that I’m going to have to go back to work and work, pump, cook, clean, manage the family calendar, be my family’s advocate, be my husband’s advocate and be the family manager. In short, I need to be super woman. Tons of woman are super woman. I know this and I admire them but can I? How can I get past feeling like this is one-sided? How can I stop feeling like I’m doing this alone? How can I delegate more to my husband without feeling as if I’m setting myself up for disaster.
I’m scared. I’m nervous. I’m tired.
Today’s exercise is to list positives and negatives about my spouse. I need to live in the appreciation room versus the depreciation room. I feel like I love my husband very much. I try to live in appreciation but sometimes I feel like the fool. How is it that I’m the one giving up on my dream? How is it that the moment I became pregnant, it became about his needs and his wishes? How is it that I’m the one that needs to give in or compromise for the sake of our marriage and family? Why can’t I pout? Why can’t I through snarky barbs to get my way? How is it that he doesn’t realize how snarky he can be and how hurtful it is to his wife? How come I’m the one his mom calls to see if we’re ok? Why do I have to be the one that puts the brave face on and says, “Yes, just the normal new parent tension but we have a strong foundation and we will get through this together.” Why is it when I bring this up he gets defensive and tells me that it’s always his fault?
Anyway, here is my list:
He is an optimist.
He thinks anything can be overcome.
He doesn’t sweat the small stuff.
He has enough confidence and self worth to fill a water tower.
He doesn’t care what anyone says about him.
He knows what he wants and doesn’t care what anyone thinks.
He attends church with me.
He loves me.
He loves our daughter.
When he wants something he does what he has to get it.
He will attend something for the family if I ask him too, for the most part.
He says he never wants to lie to me and I believe he hasn’t.
He makes our daughter smile.
He tells me what he’s doing all the time.
He tries to make me happy.
He tells me he loves me at least once a day.
He strives to be the better person to people that have hurt him.
He defends me and stands ups for me and waits until we are alone to question me.
He occasionally tells me I’m attractive looking.
He thinks of my feelings when it comes to his interactions with other women.

So which list was easier to make? The positive list. Why? I think it made me feel better and it became easier for me as I listed more items. They flowed in like running water. The negative list weighed me down and made me more itchy.
What does this reveal? I would like to say that I like the positive and enjoy thinking about the positives more than the negatives even though the negatives seem to dominate my concerns and thoughts of late. The qualities I admire about my husband can also be the qualities that annoy me. In a way, I wish I was a bit more like my husband.

So today, I need to take one item on my positive list and thank him for it. I did thank him for loving me but I think I should thank him for something else too. I’ll postscript it.

Today’s Thankful:
Today, I’m thankful for my husband doing the dishes this morning. I don’t think I asked him to do it the night before either. It was nice to hear the dishwasher running this morning and I didn’t have to pack it.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

BG's rider includes periodic booby snacks between photo shoots

Baby Blues by Rick Kirkman & Jerry Scott

BG is 4 months, 1 week and 1 day old.

We finally took family photos yesterday. The last time we took them I was still bloated and completely sleep deprived. BG was still in the eyes closed phase.

This time around BG could sit on my lap and had her eyes open.

Of course, it took us 3.5 hours to get some photos but we're still new parents. There was the set up which took 2 hours. Don't ask. There was the the boob eats for BG. There was the changing of clothes. There was the "how to coax a smile" moments. There was the repositioning of baby after a topple over.

Family photos seems to be stressful for us, ok me. I hope it gets better as we develop a routine. The pictures mean alot to me as having photos of our growing family is important to me and the first year seems to have the most change.

My next big photo project is Christmas cards and this year, I plan to go green and send out an e-photo card rather than a paper card. No need to add to the pile of needless paper. My mind is racing

Love is Not Irritable

“Do like me, read the Bible.”
If I’m to follow the exercise in The Love Dare, I should not react to my husband’s comment with irritation. My husband’s belittlement irritates me and not just for my desire to perform the Dare. Blanket statements like, “Get over it”, sting more than words should sting.
Today’s focus is to not let my husband’s belittlement cause me irritation. I need to have more breathing room and not react as quickly. I’ve already failed this exercise as this morning, I became irritated at his sidelining of my needs. This exercise made me feel selfish.
I woke up engorged and ready to burst. The night before I washed my pump parts. I washed them angrily. Washing my parts half awake reminds me of how much my husband and I differ when it comes to our needs and need fulfillment. I’m not saying I’m right or he’s right just that we’re in opposite spectrums.
I view the statement, “You are the only person that can take care of your needs” sadly. I believe that when you love someone, you try to help them achieve their needs. That’s why couples should use their strengths to bolster their partner. DH misplaces many things, including his laundry. We found it in a bag in the basement. Apparently during one of his many late nights he left it in the dryer and never claimed it. To help him, I try to put his keys back by the door when I see them lying around. I don’t tell him I do it, I just do. He knows I do it and complains I effect his method to finding things but I still do it. Sure the motive it purely selfish, my tolerance for his ‘headless chicken’ routine when he’s running late is maddening, but I’d like to think it benefits him too. It gives him that extra 5 minutes to search for his wallet.
Well, today, I failed to not get irritated already. I woke up engorged and to the sound of my husband shuffling around the house searching for something. “Hi. I lost my phone.” he says as he lifts my leg off the couch cushion to check for his phone. Yes, I slept on the couch. Sadly, I’m such wuss that I’d rather sleep on the couch next to my husband who swears he needs no sleep {a falsity} than sleep in our big bed by myself hoping he’d come in and snuggle with me and not an hour before our child awakens. It makes no sense at all but it’s hard to break a habit that started nearly a decade ago.
“Do you need anything?” “Yes, can you get me the pump parts that are drying? I need to pump badly.” “Sure.” In the end, I got the pump parts and started pumping as his phone search was his priority which goes back to 1) I am the only person who can take care of myself and 2) I’m fourth behind his needs, his gym and our daughter.
If anything, this exercise made me feel so selfish, I just get angry at myself for feeling so hurt. Yes, these exercises are helping me build awareness but the solution cannot be suppression. I am a firm believer that you shouldn’t suppress too much or else you explode. It’s hard for me as I come from a family of suppressors. That’s what you get when you cross British politeness with Confucianism. I think I’ve jumped a few hurdles regarding suppression that have caused the strife between my mother and myself but at the same time my husband is miles ahead in his speak his mind even if it hurts others.
I truly believe that the complementary aspects of our personalities help build a better self but lately I’m feeling as if the weight is tilted. Part of this is the stress of giving up on my dream, becoming the bread winner and the anxiety of having to provide for my family, take care of our child and take care of the basics for my family such as putting a meal on the table.
My husband says that he’ll try to put a meal on the table when I get home but I’ve heard that before with the dishes. He’ll try to clean the dishes or put the dishes away. He’ll try to make it home on time. I foresee me coming home from work, breastfeeding our baby, cooking dinner, eating while breastfeeding and then getting our child to sleep before cleaning the kitchen, storing milk pumped during the day and setting up the pump to pump before I sleep and start the cycle again.
Even worse, I foresee my husband having to leave for one of his gigs texting me to come home early. So I would need to come home to relieve him and being the giant wuss again, staying up so I can spend a few short minutes with him before I need to sleep and regenerate for the next day.
I know that anticipation can be worse than the actual so I’m trying to give it a positive spin. I remind myself I may not be able to stay at home with my child but at least my spouse can. It’s a compromise that is easier to swallow. I remind myself that not matter what, I need to follow the Golden Rule and that although my actions have a degree of self preservation, I still do them out of love for my family. I strive to be a better person not only for myself and God but also for my child. Hopefully she will learn from action. Yes, she should be mindful of her needs but she should think of God and others first. She shouldn’t be a martyr but she should be kind and compassionate. I suppose, the best I can do is better myself to better her. Maybe she will be a happy compromise to her polar parents.
So we’ve discussed an area I need to give margin to and reasons for my actions. How do I start to resolve it? Honestly, my first reaction is to remind myself, “God gave me two hands. If I can do it, just do it.” As my good friend once said to me, “As a woman, you just have to do things just to keep the peace in the family. You just have to remind yourself, it’s not bothering them. It’s bothering you. “
I suppose I need to weigh the pros and cons. Is it really worth the irritation to ask him to help me get the pump parts or would it be better for me to get up and do it myself?
I don’t think I’m high maintenance, just low esteem right now. I need to stop reminding myself of the prioritization.
I will not be irritated today. I will do everything I can to not sweat it and just be. Heck, at the end of the day I want to pat myself on the back and be thankful that I can do. I spend my prayers being thankful for everything but myself and my strengths. A mom in my mother’s group said, “Remember, we’re mothers. We are full-time caregivers not only to our child but to our husband and ourselves.” Equality be damned, we do more than our spouses and because of such we expect more from them. That’s where our weakness is. Today there will be no expectations.

In continuation of yesterday’s be thankful…
My husband
Today I am thankful for the “I love you” text messages he sends me.
Today I am thankful for my multi-task.
My life
Today I am thankful for the opportunities given to me and my family.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Love is Not Rude

I was reluctant to do this exercise only because it required me to discuss what I was doing with my DH. It’s not like I’m hiding it from him. I just know his reaction to this exercise.
Today’s exercise required me to ask him to tell me things that make him uncomfortable or irritate him. At first I didn’t want to do this exercise because I was afraid of what he’d say and how I’d respond.
I finally asked him and his response was, “This. I don’t like taking tests especially relationship tests.” He proceeded to change the subject.
I dropped it.
I suppose the point of the exercise is to learn not to be rude to each other. No matter how long you’ve been with someone, there is something that each of us does that annoys one another. Most of the time we don’t sweat the small stuff but the point of the exercise was to learn the small stuff and make an effort to not do it.
With the hard part done, I let it go and laughed at my apprehension but today I realize the hard part is ongoing.
Today’s exercise was supposed to remind me to guard the golden rule with my spouse, not to have double standards and honor requests. I can’t do these things well without two way communication and clearly I’m doing these exercises on my own which will make it harder.
I need to remind myself not to hold my husband to the same especially since he’s not doing this exercise. This isn’t easy.
For example, I feel as if he’s not honoring my wishes to restrict his personal information that he posts on public sites, including photos of our child. Call me paranoid but my MIL tells me vicious stories. It then simmers the hurt I feel.
Today, I’ve been asking for family photos since our child was 3 months old. I asked him Monday if on Thursday we could take a family photo and he said yes. It’s now 6pm and there was no effort in trying to get the pictures taken. He took care of BG this morning then went to the dentist, got a haircut and is now going to the gym.
Yes, he takes care of our daughter but he knew how much this means to me but instead it was more important for him to schedule a dentist appointment today and then text me to ask me if he can go get a haircut. I’m such a wuss. I should have said, no, you need to come home and get the camera ready for family photos but what happened instead was me texting, “Yes, but can we please take family photos today or tomorrow?” His response, “So does this mean I can’t get a haircut?”
I feel as if my husband has no concern for me or what I would like sometimes. I’ve told him too that I feel as if I come fourth on his list just behind himself, the gym and our daughter.
So how do I handle this and how do I plan to improve these areas? I don’t know. It’s tough, especially since I’m going solo. I feel alone at times and I guess, that’s why I started this endeavor. I don’t want to feel alone and the one who has to always give in for the happiness of the family.
I guess I can turn this exercise around and name three things that my husband does that makes me feel uncomfortable and irritate me and think of ways I can handle it better.
Three things my husband does that makes me feel uncomfortable and irritate me:
1. His time management skills are atrocious. He’s always late, even to my father’s funeral. I’m trying very hard to account for this and prepare everything I can for him so I’m not as irritated. I try to put his keys and wallets in the same place so he can find them readily. I get my daughter and myself ready. I pack snacks and goodies the night before any trip, even small trips to do household errands. Another thing I suppose I can do is walk the dog. If I wake up a little earlier and take the dog, perhaps it would cut his prep time a little.
2. Many times, he will say he will do something for me but usually forgets. For example, he’ll say he’ll do the dishes but he falls asleep before doing them. He texts me if I need anything but either forgets to check his email or forgets to pick up the stuff I asked for. For the first example, I originally gave up on asking him to do the dishes or put away dishes and just resigned myself to waking up in the wee morning and doing them. Instead of doing them at 3am and feeling angry and upset about it, I can leave it there and ask him to do it the next day. Sure, usually he gets cranky as it wasn’t in his mind schedule but I can’t give him one chance only. I need to be patient and mindful that small things don’t need to be done immediately. For the second example, I’ve got nothing. I sort of just tell myself that I really didn’t need the item and make do without it.
3. I don’t have a third readily in mind but I would like to add to my exercise including, trying to walk the dog and be more patient with my husband, I need to look at one good thing every day that my husband does that makes me happy. DH does listen to my concerns when it comes to our daughter. Yesterday, when I came home from the office, he told me what they did and told me that he did turn the tv off. DH does honor some of my requests. He knows I do not believe our child should be sat in front of a tv for more than 30 minutes and he tried to respect it. So every day, I hope to add a thankful prayer for DH.

My baby flashdancer has a new ride

BG is 4 months and 6 days old.

BG is growing out of her footsies. I was hoping to have her live in them during the winter months but at four months of age her feet are busting out of her 6 month footsies. Then again, Carter’s clothes do run small.
Still, I’m trying to keep her warm but allow her to have accessibility to discover her feet and legs and hopefully roll over.
Last night I went through my box of 6 and 9 month clothes and decided that she’s going to live in her pants and onesies but I’m going to need to stretch her pants for a longer length of time and somehow find a way to keep them from riding up exposing her calves when I’m wearing her.
One of the mom’s in my walking group said her son lives in babylegs, essentially baby legwarmers, and that unlike socks, she shouldn’t grow out of them as quickly. So I searched and found a bunch of adorable babylegs for her to wear instead of footsies. Actually I’m hoping this is a win win as putting on tights on BG has become a workout for me. With the babylegs, I can change her diaper more readily, I won’t have to worry about taking them on and off and hopefully they ‘ll help keep her socks on.
If anyone is interested, babySNAZZ! has great prices and a large selection.

Anyway, all this talk about clothing and winter got me thinking that I should really stock up on her winter clothes but I don’t want to purchase everything and find I needed two articles. So far, I have one snowsuit, a friend gave us. It says 3-6 months but it looks huge. I figure she’ll rarely wear it and only wear it if we take some outdoor snow photos. I have two cute fleece outfits that she can wear when I’m wearing her or transferring her from stroller to car. We also have a Sherpa like coat for her to wear while she is in the winter bundleme in the stroller.
I figure I’ll keep one of the thick crocheted blankets my mom made for her in the car. Is that enough? Is that too much? I don’t want to go overboard. This stuff is expensive and only lasts one season at this age

Her ‘big girl’ stroller came in last night and DH was so excited he put it together immediately. The instructions were very limited but with the help of the internet and some trial and error, we figured out the bells and whistles. Hubby calls it a ‘fashionable’ stroller. He likes the smooth ride on the double wheels and likes the ability to lock the front wheels straight. The only thing he dislikes is the scrawny cup holder.
DH wanted to take it out today for a spin but it’s raining and I haven’t purchased the rain cover yet. Guess I should grab that soon as I believe DH’s ‘new toy’ is BG’s new ride.

BG is playing with objects slowly but surely.
BG can play alone happily for 20-30 minutes.
BG put her ring rattle around her wrist like a bracelet. I guess accessorizing starts early for girls.
BG is becoming more vocal and does this throat roll that is very cute.
BG started giggling more. Apparently when I imitate a dog and "Arf" it's funny. Bow wow isn't so much.
BG is liking roly poly ollie more and more.
BG whined but stayed in a modified cobra position for 2 minutes today.

I'm so proud of her.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

MTA is not mommy/baby friendly

BG is 4 months and 4 days old.

Yesterday BG and I rode the subway with the stroller for the first time. There is a reason why I’ve worn her on the last few trips on the subway.
In total, I carried BG’s stroller up and down 5 flights of stairs. It was the most tiring thing to do. The MTA needs to provide more elevators at the subway stations.
I had planned to take a trip crosstown to visit my brother so he could see his niece but after the 5 flights of stairs, I was ready for a nap. Thankfully, DH was on his way home so he drove to the Museum of Natural History to pick us up and take us to my brother.
We had lunch with my brother and BG got to snuggle next to her uncle for a bit.
She had her next round of vaccinations at the pediatricians and she was my brave little girl. The only thing I didn’t like was the nurse that took her measurements was a bit callous with her handling of BG. I caused her to cry and her mom to get a bit upset.
We also asked the doctor about her waking up screaming the last few nights and the doctor suspected night terrors. He said it was uncommon this early but not unheard of. He said it may be genetic as well. Go figure. I don’t recall having them but neither does my husband.
He finally recommended everyone in the house receive the flu shot not just me. The thought is she will receive some immunities from my breastmilk and my flu shot but the family should be protected. She’ll be old enough for her flu shot in a few months but in the meantime, we should all receive the shot.