Friday, October 31, 2008

First Halloween

Baby Bean is 3 months, 3 weeks and 5 days old.

Happy Halloween everyone. It was BG’s first Halloween. Well, last year, she spent Halloween in my uterus as I dressed as a fox riding with my DH on his Harley to the Village Halloween parade. I think my DH truly loved the ride with his wife. It was the first long ride I took with him. At the time I suspected I was pregnant but it wasn’t confirmed until the first sonogram on November 6th.
This Halloween, BG dressed as a strawberry. I tried fruitlessly to find an apple costume. DH suggested an apple as BG is the ‘apple of his eye’. Unfortunately the only apple costume we found looked more like a deflated apple. Then he wanted a chick being hatched but that was even harder to find.
I know. I know. Right now you’re probably saying, “But Pantrygirl, I would have expected you to make something for Halloween.” I probably would have but energy is still a bit low and my motto of late has been, don’t bite off more than you can chew. Ok, I have several mottos of late.
Don’t bite off more than you can chew.
Life for today. Spend my precious time with what matters most.
How much will this cost me?
I’m sure I have more but who can really think at 3 in the morning? Yes, the only time I really get to myself is at 3am while I’m pumping.
Going back to Halloween. Halloween was a super busy day for BG and it was filled with firsts.
Firsts:
First talking outside
During the mom’s walk get together, everyone was admiring each other’s wee goblins when BG started babbling in front of everyone. It was for a brief moment and wasn’t a very loud babble but it was a babble and I was so proud of her. I’m guess she was saying, “Can someone tell me why I have this big warm red outfit on and why are there floppy green thingies falling over my eyes?”
First tights
To keep her legs warm, I put her first pair of tights. They were white, of course, with black ‘mary janes’ on the bottom. It took me 10 minutes to put them on her. I had to pull them off and on 3 times for diaper changes. I think I burned off the Halloween candy putting them on and off her.
DH did have a first himself. As he changed her out of her outfit and into her pajamas, he exclaimed, “Wow, your feet are cold. I guess that’s what girls have to go through. I’ll warm your feet for you though.” I suppose men don’t have many items in their fashion collection where comfort isn’t a priority. Oh and DH now knows that little girls wear tights not pantyhose. lol.
First parade
No, it wasn’t the Greenwich Village Halloween Parade. We’re not nuts. It was our neighborhood parade. The kids march down from the school to the park and circle around before disappearing into the night for some trick or treating. The police close the street off for safety reasons. It was such a fun parade. The kids looked great and the jack o’ lanterns were beautiful. We got ride of half our candy during the parade much to the happiness of my DH.
BG passed out and we strolled our sleepy strawberry home to await trick or treaters.

All in all it was a great day. Unfortunately it left her overtired which led to a bit of a fussy night but all is well. DH and I ended the day realizing that this time next year, BG may be waddling around. That left us excited and terrified at the same time.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Daddy Dance

BG is 3 months, 3 weeks and 1 day old.

DH has become a master daddy dancer. While pumping in the dark, I silently watched my husband do the daddy dance he perfected in 3 short months.

He woke up just before BG began to rustle. He quietly warmed a bottle of breastmilk in the kitchen and returned to BG's crib just as she woke up. By the way, kudos to BG for waking up without crying! You rock!

Then he gingerly picked her up and brought her to the changing table, changed her diaper making sure to use the warm wipes to avoid cold bottom shock.

He then prepared her swaddle, picked up her warmed bottle from the kitchen and re-swaddled BG and placed a bib gently under her chin. He then proceeded to feed her.

When BG was battling it out between bottled breastmilk or her thumb, he calmly asked her which she preferred and waited a few minutes before giving her the bottle again. Every so often, he'd pull burp her and wait for her queues for more milk.

He now has her over his shoulder and is rubbing her back trying to soothe her back to sleep.

Did I mention all of this is being done in the dark?

It's moments like this that melt my heart. BG is one lucky girl.

Compassion! Turn to the left. Compassion! Turn to the right.

Baby Blues by Rick Kirkman and Jerry Scott

Lying in bed, I started questioning myself. I wondered what is the mathematical calculation to determine self worth? What are the factors that diminish self worth? Is self worth diminished if you lower expectations of others around you? How do you not feel arrogant for saying this? How do you not feel like a pompous heel?
I know this sounds funny for some but I started to pray. I knew if I didn’t, I was in for a restless night. I felt my emotions brewing in a pot. I felt all the insecurities of my situation surfacing. Yes, things don’t always turn out the way you think they will but you make the best of the situation, be thankful for the positives and trust in God. “The Lord will provide.”
Still, I was scared and still am. I’m scared of resentment. I’m scared of lowering standards. I’m scared of settling. I don’t want to settle. My fear of complacency stems from a fear of diminished self worth. I grew up with a very strong woman who taught me what it means to have strong sense of self and another woman who believed self sacrifice was a duty for a woman. I don’t want to sacrifice myself. Yes, we give up things and heightening our perspectives based on influences but no man or woman should sacrifice to the point of diminished self worth.
My ponderings in the wee hours bubbled up my questions of self worth at the cusp of my new role as provider. I started making my list. My self worth has increased with motherhood. It has been strengthened by childbirth. It has been bolstered by the love and care received by friends, family and unlikely folks.
Why am I so afraid my self worth has been compromised? Then it hit me. I had so many expectations and associations with being a wife and a parent. I had dreamt of being a parent for so long that a fantasy was formed. I wasn’t na├»ve to think parenting would not influence my relationships but I didn’t realize Newton’s Third Law.
So I lay in bed, and while the family was sleeping soundly, I asked Mary to help me not connote self worth with my reality versus fantasy. Like the warm blanket that enveloped me, the message wrapped me. It all comes back to unconditional love. We love those around us faults and all just as God loves us faults and all. Why should I pass judgment on myself based on my insecurities? Yes, I should work past my fears and apprehensions but these fears and apprehensions do not determine my self worth. God loves me for who I am and will guide me towards being a better person every day. He does this not just for me but for all mankind. I need to do the same not only for others but for myself.
Every relationship is about surfing, finding the balance. Riding the waves takes diplomacy and a gentle touch. I’m not lessening my values; I’m adjusting and counterbalancing the breaking waves. I’m still me and my self worth will only strengthen and increase.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Words to Live By...

"There are three things I've learned never to discuss with people: religion, politics, and the Great Pumpkin." -- Linus in 'It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown'

All I need now is a wallet filled with photos

BG is 3 months and 3 weeks old.

Yesterday, BG, DH and I spent the day playing on the living room floor. I put a blanket down to do roly poly ollie. The next thing you know, all the couch pillows were on the floor. We played with her toys, we ‘sat up’ and went through the alphabet, we breastfed on the floor.

It reminded me of afternoon playtime with my brother. When we were kids, my brother and I would take the couch pillows, blankets and what not and spend the afternoon on the floor together. I’m not sure what it is about being on the floor but there was this comforting feeling. I suppose it’s the vast space and endless possibilities that a floor filled with toys and pillows can bring.

BG is getting longer. She just fits into the changing table attached to the pack and play. She's also becoming more mature. She wakes up in the morning without crying. She contently will stare at her mobile or look around until we come by and start our day with a 'good morning' hug. She still cries herself awake during her afternoon nap but her early morning and morning naps start off with inquisition versus confusion.

DH reminisced last night. He came back from placing her in the crib for her nap and exclaimed it's so much better than it was the first few weeks when it took an hour or more to get her to sleep in the crib.

She certainly amazes us and everyday she grows a little more. We're so infatuated with her; we've become those parents that beam and annoy anyone who politely asks us how our daughter is.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

I could use a good stroller nap.

BG is 3 month, 2 weeks and 5 days old.

I know this sounds ridiculous but I feel more tired of late. My back is a bit more achy. My arms are a bit heavier. My mind is a bit more groggy. I think I need a full night’s rest to recoup.

BG is growing and every day she does something amazing that astounds me. She has started to be more vocal, especially at the image of a baby. In front of a real live baby not so much but in front of her mirror image, she’s all ‘la la la’. She’s also starting to do this strange high pitched sometimes soundless laugh. It makes my husband smile which in turn fills me with mommy love.

All this growing and development has kept her consistently eating approximately every 2 hours. I continue to use the sign for milk before most feedings. We’ll see how it goes.

She’s also rolling to one side more and more. Since she’s not keen on tummy time, roly poly ollie is played more which I hope is helping the rolling.

I’ve also taken BG downtown via subway and facing out in her carrier. She’s still a bit young for that but I didn’t bounce her too much and kept an eye on her neck. I think she liked looking out and seeing the horses at Central Park and the big buildings and whatnot. We stopped off at my job and showed her off a bit. She was a bit more vocal in the office and I think it was due to the trip and her being older. She sounds off when she’s uncomfortable (usually a diaper change), hungry and tired.

I’m not sure if all this growing and learning effects this but DH and I swear she’s upped her dirty diaper quotient. Within the first 15 minutes of my CA cousins visit, I changed her diaper 3 times.

So I guess more diaper changes, more play time, more games and more discover via outings equals more tired mommy. Ha Ha

On a good note, she’s {knock on wood} sleeping well at night. She has catnaps (30-60 minutes) during the day but sleeps more heartily at night. By 10:30pm, she’s ready to sleep in her crib. Eventually, I’d like to see her sleep earlier but for now, I’m happy to see that she enjoys her naps.

I must say though, she is a bit vocal when she sleeps and the vocals are a bit on the fussy side. It makes me wonder what she’s dreaming about or if it’s just the end of her REM cycle and her body is trying to determine if she should go back to sleep or wake up. Yesterday evening during her evening nap, she fell asleep on my breast and after 30 minutes she let out this tiny whine that made me feel awful. I knew she was ok but that sound just stopped my heart for a moment. I rubbed her back a bit and she stopped whining and went back to sleep. DH said that I looked so worried and concerned and didn’t understand why. I tried to explain that sound cuts into you but he thought I was being silly. I guess we’ll always be in disagreement. I mean, I know she’s ok and I don’t plan to run at the first sign of fussiness but it still gets to that piece of my heart that grew when she was born when she cries and expresses discomfort. Honestly, I feel like the Grinch. My heart grew 3 times larger the day she was born. It also strangely grew a part that wouldn’t even blink at the idea of physically hurting someone that tries to hurt and endanger my child.

Oh, since we don’t have crib bumpers, DH is concerned all BG may hurt herself when she moves around in her sleep. I hadn’t thought of that but all signs point to no bumpers. What’s a mom to do? I suppose I’ll ask around and see if that a real issue or not.

Favorites:
The image of BG passed out on the breast with her mouth relaxed and a drop of milk on her lips.

Her groggy eyes looking up at me from the crib in the morning and then the sudden toothless grin formed at the realization that her mommy is here.

Her excitement when I tell her ‘all done’ after a diaper change.

The smiles she elicits from her father.

BG’s expression when changing her diaper and I say, “Pilot to bombardier. Pilot to bombardier. Deploy hatches. I repeat deploy hatches.”

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

What I've learned so far...

BG is 3 months, 2 weeks and 1 day old.

Ok, I’m not a veteran mom but I’ve been a mom now long enough to have a list of what I’ve learned.

Things I’ve learned, product edition:
1. Sleep sacks were totally useless for this baby. I wound up buying more swaddling blankets (ginormous 47”x47”) ones. In the summer, the muslin blankets are best. I swaddled BG with arms tucked until she found her hands (apx 3 months). Now, I swaddle her for naps only and allow her arms to stay free and tuck the swaddle under her arms.

2. Swaddlemes were unnecessary. DH found them too complicated and they only became useful in the carseat but by the time I figured that out she had outgrown them and looked like a bursting sausage. Again, I should have stuck with swaddling blankets.

3. Gerber stuff is not worth the $. So far I find most of the Gerber cloths are too thin and wear out quickly. I like more bang for the buck so have stuck with clothes from BabyGap, Carter’s, Zutano, Tea and some items from Osh Gosh.

4. Skip socks sized 0-3 months and just jump into 0-6 months. By 2 months, BG was outgrowing the 0-3 month knee high socks her Grandma gave her. It was a shame too because they were super cute.

5. Exchange all items received sized 0-3 months. I kept a small drawer full of clothes which she wound up never wearing. Of course, I pulled off the tags and washed them all and brought them all with me to the hospital because I couldn’t decide what she’s go home in. See below. It was the humid heat of summer and I had a newborn. She lived in white kimono tops made by Carter’s for practically 2 months. When she went out, she was always worn by DH or myself. When visitors came over, she was swaddled. I only can remember a handful of times when we put her in an outfit outside of the kimono and diaper. I strongly recommend keeping maybe 3 outfits but exchanging the rest for bigger sizes and make sure the outfits you keep aren’t crazy zippers/buttons/snaps in the back craziness. The newborn is too tiny and wiggly to be dealing with that. Stick with cute simple outfits that don’t have snaps or buttons in the back.

6. Unless you live hours away from the hospital, the chances your little one is going to be wearing their going home outfit for very long is unlikely. Don’t break the bank. Don’t be like me and pack her entire wardrobe either. My hospital bag was filled with her clothes with a little Ziploc bag of my clothes and essentials. Honestly, your best bet is to have a cute t-shirt for him/her to wear for the few photos you take. 1. Newborns are so jello like, anything that requires you to put it over their heads and down past their fragile necks is going to give you an anxiety attack. 2. Their belly buttons will be tender and you’ll panic at anything that brushes it. 3. They are going to be swimming in the outfit (don’t buy newborn. Buy 0-3.) and before you know it, they will have outgrown it.

7. Don’t go crazy buying the must have bottles. Your baby will most likely reject it and you will spend a small fortune buying every bottle known to man and the accompanying nipples until your child finds one he/she prefers. This goes to all breastfeeding and formula feeding moms out there. If you follow me you know I breastfeed so buying a case load of bottles wasn’t going to be my concern. However, my concern was that my husband have the best bottles in town for when we were ready to give her a bottle. For me, I had to have the BPA free Dr. Brown bottles. Of course, I delivered just as they were shipping out and just as every other mom in the world ‘must have’ it. The only BPA free Dr. Brown’s bottles available were glass. I resigned myself to glass bottles. Then every store in the tri-state area was sold out. So I resigned myself to ebay and craigslist. I got myself 3 4-ounce and 3-8 ounce bottles for more money than I should have spent. Then my lactation consultant tells me, don’t use Dr. Brown’s. They say they are slow flow nipples but they aren’t.
Long story short, I now have 3 Playtex Drop In bottles. We didn’t like the latex nipples that came standard so we bought silicone nipples. Then one day during a particularly trying feed my husband calls me while I was at Target to ask to upgrade the nipples to fast flow. She hates fast flow and after consulting La Leche league and kellymom, we found out that for the duration of her bottle feeding, she’ll most likely stick with slow flow as most breastfed babies prefer it.
So now we have a bin full of unused nipples, bottles and contraptions (Dr. Brown’s dishwasher container) we have not used. I plan to give them away to a local mom but not any time soon because…

8. What doesn’t work today may work tomorrow. It’s not that a baby is fickle. It’s not that a baby is trying your patience, on purpose. Sometimes a baby may not be ready for something. Unfortunately, after trying and trying, it usually is about the time when a parent gives up on something that a baby develops to enjoy said item. So before you give away those bottles he/she rejected, before you give up the swing that she/he hollered at everytime they were placed in it, hold onto it. Before you know it, the swing becomes a helpful tool that she doesn’t cry at but laughs at whenever she sees her face in the mirror in the swing.

9. Restrict yourself to two books/websites per topic otherwise you will be inundated with too many opinions and recommendations. In the end, you do what you feel is right for your child. You will always be showered with opinions from strangers and mainly relatives. Smile nicely and thank them for the suggestions but do what you think is best. You are your baby’s mom. You will be surprised but you know your baby better than anyone including the pediatrician.


Be on the look out for more 'What I've learned'.


Milestones:

First restaurant dining with baby
Done with some La Leche League mommies. 6 babies. 6 mommies. Delicious eats. Great company and the comfort of breastfeeding in a restaurant without stares. What a great way to do this first!


First use of a changing table in a bathroom
Completed at a local cafe. I know this is a weird first but I'm skived out by most bathrooms in NYC.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Moving and Grooving


Baby Blues by Rick Kirkman and Jerry Scott

BG is 3 months and 2 weeks old.


Yesterday DH took us on a day trip to Philly.

It was a short trip but I took it as a bonus birthday gift of family time.



The trip reminded me of all the weekend trips my dad took us on. We couldn't go too far but dad made it a point to spend time with us and take us out of the city.

I told my husband if possible, I'd like to do the same for BG.

For the first time my DH and I had an authentic Philly Cheesesteak. As a foodie, I had to request a taste test between Geno's and Pat's. Pat's won hands down. My DH loved that it had more meat. I liked the cut of meat and the marinade. If you go to Philly, do a taste test but if you can only choose one to eat, I recommend Pat's.

On a milestone front, BG is learning to turn to one side now. She disliked tummy time so much that I started doing Roly Poly Olly time. I put a blanet down and we gently roll back and forth each time we meet back up face to face for a kiss. At first she didn't like it as well but tolerated it more than tummy time. Now, she seems to like that she gets to see my face after she rolls over.

Oh, and this morning, after her first morning nap, she had a grand old time talking to herself. At one point she screamed a delight scream. I never heard that before so I rant in to find her laughing at herself. I have no idea what her first laugh was about but obvious it was a personal joke.

My DH also took her to her play group so I could get a break. I took the time to work and wanted to do a load of her wash. We have three clean bibs left but decided I should take the opportunity to do something for myself so I took a nice bath and read a chapter of my book. It felt great but it felt better greeting my DH and BG after their play date.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

And now for a moment of self absorption...

BG is 3 months, 1 week and 5 days old.

Happy Birthday to me.
Happy Birthday to me.
Happy Birthday, dear Pantrygirl.
Happy Birthday to me.

Today is family day. That's my gift from DH, that plus his annual s'ghetti & meatballs dinner.

So far, he handled BG's breakfast so I could sleep in. Thanks, dear.
Then BG slept in so we skipped 9am mass and DH & I cuddled.
Next we went to church together and now after BG's lunch eats, Sunday pancakes! Today I plan to make blueberry pancakes with blueberry sauce.
It's a bit nippy but perhaps we'll take a walk together in the park and tag along with DH to the grocery store.
I'm so excited I may even make a cake to celebrate. I know, why would I make my own birthday cake? Because when I get excited and am happy, I cook or bake and who doesn't prefer a homemade cake?

It's funny how I'm counting my daughter's age down to the day and I had to remind myself my birthday was coming up. I have heard that having a child makes your birthday and age that more memorable. We'll find out.

UPDATE:
After breakfast, DH, BG and I sang, played, napped, went for a walk, went shopping, cooked and ate together. It was a wonderful family day.

While my husband was cooking he reminded me that this time last year, we started this amazing journey. Unbeknownst to us, our darling daughter was growing and developing and starting her journey to becoming a human being.

Isn’t that wild?

He said he'll always remember we began this wild ride called parenthood on my birthday. He's so funny. He can't remember where he left his keys but at least he remembers the important stuff.

Friday, October 17, 2008

"You've got to spread joy up to the maximum; bring gloom down to the minimum"

BG is 3 months, 1 week and 3 days old.

Judy reminded me not to focus on the negatives and be thankful for the positives. She’s right. I know the negatives can sometimes weigh down a person and there are so many positives I am thankful and blessed with.

I’m blessed with a husband who loves his family. Yes we are having some disagreements of late but I truly believe that we both love each other very much.

I have friends and family who care for me and my baby.

I have a wonderful daughter who wows me everyday with her eagerness and fascination with this big world.

I have caring co-workers and colleagues that makes me thankful.

We just celebrated my daughter’s baptism. I was and am so proud of her.

I have good neighbors that inquiry about us.

I met a great set of moms in the neighborhood who make me feel like I’m not alone entering the mommy zone.

I have a place to share my thoughts, my anxieties, my memories, my joyous moments.

I have a church that is welcoming and comforting.

I have a warm raisin bread to nosh on.

Ooh and my crockpot of beef stew makes my home smell wonderful.

Mom and baby are getting more sleep. Hallelujah!

BG is 3 months, 1 week and 3 days old.

BG is getting bigger. She no longer likes to be swaddled completely. With her learned control of her arms and the discovery of her hands, she prefers to have the swaddle under her arms. She’s so cute when she sleeps. Either she has her arms stretched on both sides or they are at 90 degree angles either facing up or down.

She’s been sleeping better at night as well. We start our wind down around 6pm and she takes a nap around 7 but she doesn’t go into her long sleep until after 10pm. After 10, she will go to bed and sleep practically through the night. knock on wood

She wakes up around 6-6:30 and she has her first breakfast and a diaper change and then goes back to bed until 7:30-8 when we begin our day with an am freshen up and good mornings to everyone and everything.

The highlight of her development is now when she wakes up it isn’t a crying wake up but more often than not a gentle wake up. She still wakes up crying on occasion, especially during the day but for her morning wake up for the last few mornings she wakes up and entertains herself. When I get up and say “good morning”, she looks up at me and smiles. That smile makes all the tiredness and body aches go away, temporarily.

She’s getting bigger every day and I feel blessed to be able to experience as much of it as possible with her.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

"...Strengthened for our task on earth."

Could it be if the pillars are not standing tall in unison, small inconveniences become large nuisances?

It's like my cousin says, "It's Karma for the past."

What if self absorption leads to strange karma?

Stolen personal information
A Parking ticket every week (practically)
A Layoff
A Medical Illness
A Stolen Bicycle
A Motorcycle accident (while parked no less)
A Stolen license plate
A Slashed tire
An ill dog
Another ill dog

How do I strengthen the pillars by myself? Can I strengthen the pillars by myself?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Hi!

BG is 3 months, 1 week and 1 day old.

My daughter just mimicked me and said, "Hi." and smiled at me. I know it's not a real word yet; she's too young but that was a much needed "Hi."

I've been on baby duty since 4am by myself and I'm beat but need to be strong for my daughter.

"Hi, BG." Thanks for giving mom a little more gas in her empty tank.



BG had this whopper of a sticky booger in her left nostril yesterday. Usually, I try to avoid using the suction bulb doodad as I’m sure it’s not the greatest feeling when performed. My plan of attack for BG’s boogies is to warm a soft paper cloth towel, gently wipe around the outside of her nostrils and if it’s within my finger’s reach, I try to grab the sucker. If it’s really deep in there and blocking her, I’ll use the doodad. If it’s not bothering her, I let it be.

Yesterday, everytime she exhaled, this thing popped out like it was toying with me. Unfortunately, BG would suck it back in with her inhalation and as she became more aware of what I was doing, her breathing became more rapid so this thing was popping in and out of her nostril so quickly that I couldn’t grab a hold of it. So, I reached for the bulb however this bad boy was not letting go without some serious intervention. I finally got it out with my moist tissue.

Sadly, I thought this would be the highlight of my day, you know the kind of thing you tell your spouse when you get home. Then at the eleventh hour BG mimicked my “Hi” and that made my day.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Excuse me, did you say something?

Baby Blues by Rick Kirkman & Jerry Scott

BG is 3 months, 1 week old.

My husband believes I may have lost some hearing during delivery. I have noticed that I’m constantly asking him to repeat things. I don’t think it’s because I’m ignoring him or that I have hearing loss. I have a theory that a mom, a new mom at that, is always running behind schedule or in to dos that when she has free time, she is making a running list of items that need to get done.

Inside a mom’s head is a rolodex of to dos and when she has a free moment like when she’s cleaning bottles and pumps or picking up laundry or going to the bathroom, she’s flipping through said rolodex and determining what she can and cannot do that day.

When someone walks in and begins speaking to them, mom’s have to snap out of the rolodex flipping and may lose the first few sentences of a conversation.

My suggestion to spouses is to start a conversation with a salutation and a pause. I’m not sure if this will work as I haven’t tested this but it may give moms a few extra seconds to ‘snap out of it’.

Team Mommy and Daddy

BG is 3 months, 1 week old.

So much has happened this week that puts things in perspective for me.

First, my MIL came from Florida and in a Felix Unger move, decided after one night at her friend’s house, she didn’t want to stay there for the rest of her trip and showed up at my doorstep with her luggage.

With sleep deprivation, a newborn, two ill dogs and a baptism and baptism party to prepare for, DH and I couldn’t contain the stress and aggravation and wound up being more than snippy in front of his mother. His mother, a naturally anxious person, became more anxious. Her anxiety came out in the form of worrying and trying to help but causing more work for both of us. It all came to a head on Sunday night after the baptism when DH and his mother had one of those knock ‘em sock ‘em repressed feelings arguments. Of course it ended with them laughing and enjoying the rest of the night.

As a hostess to my MIL, it can be nerve racking. See, she’s the type that doesn’t want to impose but by not imposing, she imposes. I think my mother and her have that in common. They think they are helping but it doesn’t help but cause more problems. That’s why putting them together is a disaster waiting to happen, the Lucy and Ethel effect.

This time around my mother told her that we wouldn’t starve because she comes over twice a month with food for us to eat. This cause my MIL to feel like my mom thinks her son is destitute and lying to her. Meanwhile I know my mom 1) wants to let my MIL that she is ‘taking’ care of us and 2) wants to let my MIL know that she disapproves of the neo-traditional SAHD role.

Both my mothers are passive aggressive so that led to some fun times for me.

Then my MIL tells my mother that she was spending some time alone with BG while DH and I went to the vet. Now my mother heard was, my daughter allowed one grandma to spend time alone with her granddaughter and she is not allowed to. I’m going to get hit with that guilt trip for weeks now.

DH and I of course had a disagreement but in the end it was the kind that makes both aware of each other’s feelings and both become more attentive to each other. After all, we aren’t just the pillars of our family, we are a team.

I suppose we had to be as the next thing that happened was one of the most adult things we as a team had to do, P-man got worse. As we cleaning up after the baptism party, which I’ll get to in another entry, P-man lost the ability to use his back legs. He couldn’t go to the bathroom outside. He couldn’t stand. He couldn’t sit. The pain medication we received from the vet the day before didn’t help. DH and I spent the night changing bed linens and trying to keep him as comfortable, dry and clean as much as possible. I made a fresh dinner of poached chicken and rice for him and DH hand fed him.

The next morning, both of us took him to the vet prepared for what we needed to do. He was suffering and the vet determined after the nerve tests and the pain medications that the prognosis was not good.

I kissed him goodbye and told him I loved him and then went to the car. DH stayed with him to the end and made the cremation arrangements.

Then I dropped off DH at the police precinct as our license plate was either stolen or had fallen off our car and I went home to check on my MIL and daughter and prepare for my MIL’s departure.

All in all a very hectic 3 days.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Rest in Peace, P-man

We love you. I hope you are chasing some squirrels in Doggie Heaven.
You were a great protector and companion for 13 great years.
We miss you already.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

I have to feed people now?

BG is 3 Months & 4 Days old.

So my MIL is here and I forgot one crucial thing, I have to feed her. I know that sounds funny, especially since my name is Pantrygirl and I love to cook. Since I delivered, cooking is not a priority. I stock piled a ton of food prior to delivery and lived off of that for the first 6 weeks. Ever since, our diet mainly consists of high protein, quick meals such as crockpot stew, crockpot chicken, pan seared salmon, broiled salmon, crockpot pasta Bolognese.

My menu these days consists of what is cheap and quick to cook. I tried to have my husband take care of eats but unfortunately 1) his eating schedule is not the typical 3 meals a day and 2) with breastfeeding I try to eat mini meals every 3-4 hours to keep up my energy and my supply.

Well, yesterday my husband picks up his mother at 1pm. I was so busy cleaning and tidying up with my husband that I forgot to eat lunch. I didn’t realize this until I was walking back from my mom’s get together. I make it back home at 4:30pm to greet my MIL. DH leaves to do errands for the party and he says that he’ll pick up sandwiches at the deli for eats.

I’m thrilled as I completely forgot about food and have only eaten a bowl of oatmeal and didn’t have the energy or desire to figure out what to cook for him, his mother and myself.

I would entertain my MIL and my baby until he returned. Of course, I didn’t realize that would be at 8pm. Even my MIL was alarmed by the lateness of our meal. I was so hungry and tired but I couldn’t nap and I couldn’t eat anything because I really didn’t have anything to eat in front of my MIL.

If I was alone, I’d grab a few slices of cold cuts or cheese and just gobble that down. I couldn’t do that in front of guests.

Oh by the way, the supermarket caterers told my husband and his mother that no one comes down to the supermarket to order the catering stuff so they didn’t take care of that until I got home. Good grief, I’m at a loss on how hard it is to do this. I mean, is my husband trying to make this get together harder to put together or what?

So now, as I’m pumping and writing this, I’m trying to make a list of things I need to get at the groceries to feed my MIL. Oh, and she just informed me that she has decided to stay at our tiny apartment for a day so now I’m scrambling to make sure I have breakfast foods to serve and to find the extra sheets that are packed away in storage somewhere.

Oh, and party favors still haven’t been made yet. I know. I know. Strangely enough, I’m so apathetic, I’m unphased. The old PG would be stressed and in full Mothra mode. The new PG is sleep deprived, itchy (from an attack of a vicious mosquito), hungry and in need of a good back massage.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Quick update

BG is 3 months and 3 days old.

Life has been a bit hectic these past few days.

My husband changed the baptism plans and has decided that he'll deal with everything on Friday and Saturday. Of course this causes Mothra PG to panic but I know it will end well.

I finished the gown and will work on favors tonight and tomorrow. My friend said not to worry about them but I'll try at least to do something. If I can't, I can't. People will understand.

My MIL is on her way here. My husband is picking her up. He did a quick cleaning and shoved everything in his closet. I'm not concerned. I've gone beyond panic now that I'm just smiling and going with the flow.

BG slept from 1-8am last night. I'm not bragging because all moms know what bragging will do. My nightgown soaked through again but I'm so proud of my beansprout. It allowed me to finish creating a brag book online for the relatives.

Oops, BG is crying.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Rantings of a sleep deprived mommy.

BG is 3 months old.

Today I was faced with a choice, a choice between going to the bathroom and catching up on some ‘me’ time activity. I know that sounds ridiculous, but moms of infants can relate, I’m sure. As I made my way to the crib to set my baby girl down for her afternoon nap, I ran through a list in my head of things I could do. I could clean out the coat closet before my MIL arrives on Friday. I could prepare and eat lunch. I could go to the bathroom. I could finish a chapter in that book I started reading before my time was consumed by baby. I could check email. I could dust. I could take a shower. I could take a nap. I could make that list of phone numbers my husband wants since he completely changed our baptism plans.

Yes, going to the bathroom has now become an option to me. Who knew natural bodily functions can become options in a person’s life.

In the end I opted to go to the bathroom and make the list for my husband. I know. I know. I can’t keep putting off ‘me’ stuff. A healthy mom is a healthy baby and health includes downtime. I just feel hubby’s decision to change the baptism 6 days before the actual ceremony is nuts. I’ve decided hubby will now take over baptism planning as I’m too busy with baby and the impending MIL visit to stress.

To add to the stress my mother gave me a stern lecture on how my MIL should be staying with even though my MIL has said she doesn’t want to impose and she realizes staying with us in a 1000 square foot apartment would probably end in emotional upheaval. My mother than proceeds to lecture me that if I don’t tell my MIL that my mother would like to take her out to dinner even though she’s only here for 3 days that I’m making my mother look bad and rude. My mother doesn’t seem to understand that she’s the only one that thinks this way. Personally, if you don’t want to do something and you only do it for the appearance, it’s a disservice. Still, I promise my mom that I will offer her dinner invitation.

Anyway, it is official, my husband has changed the baptism even from a small family gathering to inviting extended family. Now, I generally don’t mind this but wish he had done this when I first discussed the baptism planning with him a month ago. I’m all for a get together with family but give me some time to plan. “What’s to plan? Buy some sandwiches and vacuum the house.”

We live in a 1000 square foot apartment with no furniture and all my stuff packed in boxes in storage. The wall still have blue painter’s tape, the family photos and everything that made our apartment homey are in storage and you want 20-30 folks to come on over and sit on what, two couches, a recliner and four dining room chairs?

Anyway, now, I’m about to send him phone numbers and the catering menu to order the food. I told him he needs to call his mother as she wanted to host the small brunch afterwards. He thinks she will be fine as a buffet will be cheaper than a sit down. I asked him to ask the church to rent the recreation room so we can have the shindig there. Of course, the church lady gave him a lecture about the last minute reservation. After the lecture, she accommodated us and so now he has to call her back with the total head count.

I reminded him to invite her and some of the other church volunteers. Honestly, if I could, I’d change the time of the baptism to 9am instead of 11am. I truly wanted it to be held during the 9am mass so that the many church family members that ask about BG could witness her initiation but the I relented to the pressures of my husband and the priest. I knew it would be slightly inconvenient for guests and would make for a harrowed morning for me but I really wanted those folks that care about BG to be there. Oh well. Next time I won’t be such a sucker and give in so easily.

Now before BG awakes, I need to get to compiling and send the list of to dos to DH. Oh yikes! He needs to call my mom to reserve the cake as she was only expecting to order a cake for 10. I’m not going to make that call as I’m not ready to hear another lecture.

UPDATE: DH made the phone calls. The invited list went from 10 to 54 which means 25+ folks may be attending. I reminded hubby to invite the priest and some church folks that are helping us out, to make a donation to the chapel, purchase the decorations and order the food and drink. Hubby is going to have a busy few days before his mom comes. I foresee a last minute cleaning of the apartment on Thursday and Friday. I’m going to my happy place…

I still have not purchased the godparent gifts or the priest’s gift. I planned on making personalized magnets from photos taken after the baptism for our small party. I guess I’ll be in Mothra mode the next few days.
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I slept through another pumping session. This is not good. Granted, I really needed the sleep as I’ve been consistently feeding her every 2 hours from 7am – 12 midnight but I really need to keep my supply up. For the last few days, she’s been enjoying eats every 2 hours. I’m not sure if this is a new schedule she’s trying out or a growth spurt. I was so happy to see that she was stretching her feedings to every 2.5-3 hours but it seems like we’re back to the every 2. I’m not complaining as she’s a good eater and seems to enjoy eating and sleeping. A fellow mom in the nabe said that her 4 month old still eats every 2 hours.

I do have a confession though and most moms probably agree. After all the breastfeeding worries, concerns and bumps on the road, breastfeeding is one of the best feelings you can feel. I mean, it’s euphoric. The bonding is part of it but there is something else that relates to a surge of happy hormones that races through your body when you breastfeed. I suppose it’s the body’s way of encouraging breastfeeding.

Here’s the story though, I think I’m intentionally sleeping through my late night pumping to avoid the possibility of having DH ask me to do something while he’s caring for BG in the wee hours of the night. I know that sounds awful. It’s not that DH can’t do or care of our daughter. He does a great job but I think sometimes, it’s easier to give her to me when it’s 3am than to figure out what and how with a crying baby. Heck, there have been times where I’ve taken care of BG knowing that if I just grab her before she’s overly fussy, both of us could take a nap quicker. I know I should allow DH to care for her while I nap but I figure one less tired parent is better but by doing so I make it harder on myself.

I know this sounds absolutely ridiculous but if I received one 8-hour day to do whatever I wanted, go wherever I wanted to go I’d choose my bed. Seriously, I would not leave the comforts of my bed. In fact to add to my fantasy day, I’d sleep in and have someone come in every 2-3 hours to hook my breasts up to a pump and pump me. To make it easier, I’d even sleep on a massage table with cut outs for my breasts so I can just have the pumps attached to me at all times. Let’s trump that. I’d leave my bed if I could sleep on a massage table with breast cut outs for pumping. While I’m sleeping a large handed man or woman skilled in the arts of massage can massage my back, arms, temples and legs. That would be my fantasy. Man, I’m so jealous of Sleeping Beauty.


Milestones:
3 Months and I'm still breastfeeding!
Pat self on back. Each month brings me closer to my goal. I hope and pray I can keep it up.

Monday, October 06, 2008

"Ow, I’ve got the funk. Want to give up the funk. Yeow."

Baby Blues by Rick Kirkman and Jerry Scott

BG is 2 months, 4 weeks and 1 day old.

I’m officially in a funk. I hate when I’m in a funk. It doesn’t happen often but when it does, it really socks me. I hate being in a funk because I know how depression can affect loved ones. I don’t want to be in a depression. At this point, I think I’m borderline.

It pisses me off when I’m in funk. I can’t talk to anyone about it. Well I can but in drips and drabs and certainly not with my husband. My husband as dear as he is doesn’t understand it and tells me to get over it. I will get over it, thank goodness but it takes some time. Honestly, if I could I’d prevent the funk. It’s not like I want it.

I think that the time it has taken for me to hit the funk is a good indicator that I perhaps may not be as susceptible to depression as I thought I may be. I guess that’s the positive.

Anyway, I’m a firm believer that when you are in a funk, you are the only person that can pull yourself out of the funk. Friends and family are great to vent to but unfortunately we live in a society where everyone wants to give you a solution and well, for me that only compounds my funk.

I know I’m in a funk because I slept through my pumping last night. Ok, I slept through my pumping even though my breasts leaked a small river down my nightgown and bed linens. I know this probably sounds tiny but this is a big thing. Since breastfeeding and providing milk for my child is a huge priority for me, keeping my milk production up is my obsession.

Last night, I asked my husband to watch our daughter after I fed her so I could make us a light dinner. Usually after her 7pm meal, I swaddle her and get her in night mode. I guess hubby would do the same but his idea of watching her was to put her on the bouncer. Ok, so I know our parenting skills will be different. I’m more hands on, he’s hands on but mostly swing/bouncer/activity mat on. I suppose it makes BG more well rounded.

We ate dinner as BG entertained herself playing with her hands as we ate. BTW, what is it about babies playing with their hands that is just so darn cute and smile inducing?

Afterwards, I sat back on the couch to relax a bit before her next feeding. In my mind, she wasn’t going to be asleep for her next feeding so I should relax and prepare. Hubby kept her on the bouncer and sat with me. At first I was a bit upset but then realized as a couple, we should have some downtime together.

We tag teamed for eats. I gave her one breast. DH burped her, changed her diaper and swaddled her. I gave her the next breast. Soon enough BG gave the glazed over look of a milk drunk who was ready for bed. I asked hubby to cradle her for a bit to avoid reflux and then put her to bed. I have a theory that if you hold a baby on an incline for 15 minutes after his/her meal, it helps prevent spit ups and reflux.

Hubby held her for five minutes and then put her in her crib. Afterwards, instead of doing chores, I took the opportunity to relax with DH and we sat together on the couch again and glazed over some television program. Within 45 minutes BG started to cry. Hubby went to check on her as I went to prepare for bedtime. As I was brushing my face, I heard BG continue to cry. I changed into my pjs and came out to find BG fussing and DH swaddling her.

I have this confession. Whenever BG is crying and fussing and DH is attending to her, I have this ‘drinking game’. Ok, I don’t drink but if I did I’d be one sloshed momma. I suppose it’s a dime game. I try to figure out how long before DH suggests that BG is hungry and wants the boob. At first it was funny but now I think that it irks me to the point of sarcasm.

Anyway, sure enough, as soon as I made it into the living room he suggests that I give her a breast. Now, usually my gut instinct tells me if she’s truly hungry or not and something told me she’s not. She’s fussy because she’s over-tired.

“That makes no sense. If she’s overtired why doesn’t she just sleep through and not wake herself up.”

I try to explain how when you are exhausted how your sleep can be fitful and less relaxing, how babies who sleep early wake up later, how she missed the 8pm window for her night nap and it’s probably messing her up.

He doesn’t believe it. “It’s all guess work and theories.”

After about 20 minutes of fussing and crying, I take BG and cradle her and sing to her. She looks at me with the wide eyes of a sleepy child, they rarely blink and they look at you with a distinct, please help me look.

Within 15 minutes she’s asleep, so is my husband. I leave my husband in the living room and head to the bedroom where I spend the next two hours attending to my daughter. She wakes up 45 minutes after for a feeding. She drinks for 10 minutes and passes out. She wakes up again in 30 minutes, I continue her feeding and 15 minutes later, passes out.

By 12 midnight, she finally was able to truly nap. I took the opportunity to sleep myself. That’s when I slowly realized I was hitting a funk. As I was lying in bed, I realized I was a bit perturbed at my husband. Today, I spent the entire day with BG. Yes, I slept in an extra hour but I still managed to go to church, go to a mobbed tag sale with BG, drive home with her crying most of the way, circle for an hour looking for parking while she continued to cry, feed her, feed myself, do some chores and take a shower. Trust me, a shower warrants mentioning. All of this was done while holding or caring for a 13 lb child. After all the craziness of the day, I still can manage to stay up to attend to our daughter’s needs. Why can’t he?

“Honey, he doesn’t have to. You are there. Hence he can be more relaxed. You are on duty.” said a close friend.

I suppose so but as I was thinking this, I realized that it’s not my husband’s fault he’s tired and that I’m irked and a little bit jealous of his ability to sleep through our daughter’s crying and fussiness. I felt horrible for feeling this but knew it was the truth. As I drifted into sleep I tried to figure out how not to feel resentful.

I awoke to my daughter’s fussiness. She wasn’t at full cry yet and I knew if we hit the sweet spot just before she cries, we’d avoid a longer soothing period and perhaps allow her some time to soothe herself. I know that the waiting game drives me nuts and my patience for it is minimal but for the sake of my daughter’s well being as well as mine, I needed to give her the opportunity to soothe herself. Plus, hubby usually offers to handle the late night soothing/feeding/diaper change.

Seconds turned to minutes. Minutes turned to longer minutes. Fussiness turned to whines. Whines turned to low cries. Low cries turned into… Well, honestly, I don’t know if the low cries turned into something more as I willed myself to sleep. Yes, I willed myself. I told myself, husband is going to take care of her so go to sleep. The more you focus on her, the more you’ll get angry.

I thought about getting up and pumping as that was my usual game plan but something told me that I’d be even angrier if I did. BG has not been taking to the bottle well these last three days and DH would only irk me when he requested I offer her the breast instead. So, I slept through it. I slept through her late night snack and my pumping. I think it was a self preservation move.

That’s how I knew I was in a funk. I woke up feeling horrible. My breasts were rock hard and leaking. My linens and nightgown were soaked. The guilt of possibly affecting milk production sunk in. I freshened up and shuffled my way to the pump and proceeded to pump. BG may wake up but my breast were just too engorged for her to be truly comfortable so I decided to pump for 10 minutes to relieve some of the pressure.

It has now been over an hour since I woke up and began pumping. I’ve pumped twice, each for 10 minutes, and BG is still asleep. The guilt and funk I felt was clouding me is slowly lifting as I write these words. The ability to release my thoughts onto paper, cyberpaper, as I pumped has lifted a few bricks off my shoulder.

Now BG is starting to stir so I must end today’s train of thought. I actually feel a little better.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Living in a cloud, afraid of the unknown

baby

"But I will trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing to the Lord, for he has been good to me." -- Psalm 13:5-6

BG is slowly tolerating the infant car seat/stroller but now I’m thinking we should look to purchase an umbrella stroller. The infant car seat is great for quick trips to the car or to the local shops but as the weather gets cooler and she continues to grow, the sling and Baby Bjorn aren’t going to cut it.

I just purchased the fleece cover for the Bjorn to help keep her legs and feet warm but I’m sure there will come a time when my back will appreciate a stroller.

The hunt for a stroller got me thinking about another big ticket item I should prepare for, the convertible car seat.

With my husband’s layoff, I’ve been so miserly with my spending. We have different spending styles and it’s been leading to some conflicts. I try to be understanding but it hasn’t been easy.

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I’ve had to stop my research as I’ve been met with another surprise. After weeks of asking my husband’s help with arranging the baptism, my husband has decided that the small informal get together should include more people.

In less than 7 days, he would like to change the sit down brunch to a buffet. He’d like to invite a gagillion more people and he’d like to have it in our tiny apartment. The apartment that I love but do not consider homey ever since my first trimester when he had a handyman come in to repaint, pull up the carpeting but later put patches back on the floor for our arthritic dog and he rearranged all the furniture to the outskirts of the entire room.

All my pictures and photos have been packed away. All my furniture is sitting on patches of carpeting. This change made me realize I’ve been feeling like I’ve been in limbo for so long. After delivering my beautiful baby girl, I gave up on my apartment. I love my apartment but to protect myself, I began detaching myself.

I told myself to focus on my baby and my breastfeeding concerns and difficulties. The apartment got worse and worse but I figured that it was my tolerance level getting to me. To this day, the apartment is what I deem my husband’s apartment. Yes, it bothers me a bit at the same time it’s not my focus.

Now with my husband taking over the baptism planning I feel comfortable enough to say that I’ve been living in a sad semi-depressed state. At first I thought it was me just focusing on my child but the truth is my child is keeping me going. There has been so much going on since the delivery that any person in my shoes would feel down and blue.

Along with the normal post partum concerns (breastfeeding, hormonal surge, new mom anxieties), I’ve been met with some surprises (credit fraud, layoff, family crazies, illness and pet health issues to name a few) and have learned a lot about my goals, dreams and desires and the reality of things.

I had a lot of romanticized images of my post partum period. I had many preconceived ideas of parenthood. I’ve changed. I’m not the same person that I was before and that has changed my perception.

I’m afraid. I’m afraid that I’m alone. I’m afraid but I keep telling myself that God will guide me. I shouldn’t feel like I should be the conductor all my life. There will be times I’ll be the passenger and I need to trust the conductor.

Words to Live By...

"Live so that when your children think of fairness and integrity, they think of you." -- H. Jackson Brown

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Welcome

BG is 2 months, 3 weeks and 4 days old.

I finished embroidering BG’s name and date of baptism on her gown. Here is a picture of her gown. Her gown is white instead of pink, of course. I wanted something simple and not ostentatious. I also didn’t want to go traditional with a long flowy gown as it is a simple ceremony. Plus I don’t think God would have wanted us to break the bank to welcome our daughter into the church.

My mom knit a beautiful sweater and booties that we plan to complete her outfit with. The dress is 100% cotton and I hope to pass it on to my daughter if she has children. The last thing I would like to do is embroider a cross with gold thread on the front. I’m not sure of the location though. Should I do it in the middle of her chest or by her left breast?

I’m fairly excited and am happy that I can introduce her to the church and hope that she grows and is strengthened by God’s love.

I know that I should have saved money and used a recycled gown I received from a neighbor but I wanted a heirloom piece and the gown she gave me, although lovely, is 100% polyester, off white, lacy and frilly and discolored. I wanted something simple and inheritable. I got it at 50% off so at least I don’t feel as if I broke the bank.

I wish...

BG is 2 months, 3 weeks and 4 days old.

I’m a wuss. That was one of the realizations I made during my fourth trimester. My tolerance level for things that irk me has increased and my expectations have been lowered. For years for the betterment of my relationship with my husband, I’d swallow and deal rather than rock the boat or set off another night of debates and ‘Who gets the last word?’. I figured in the long run it probably won’t be as important. Maybe I am too demanding. Maybe my obsessive compulsiveness is getting the better of me. To keep the peace, just keep quiet. In the end if I keep quiet, husband is happy and I don’t have to deal with the tantrum that will ensue later.

I wish I could be like other women who don’t swallow it and tell their husband what irks them and expects them not to repeat it. I’ll just say something, sometimes I get an apology sometimes I get complaints I’m too demanding. Sometimes there is follow through sometimes it happens over and over again to the point where I just realize my husband does not deem it important enough for my consideration.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I love my husband. I don’t think I ask him to do anything above the normal requests in coupledom. I just wish I was more assertive and didn’t feel like I have to lower my expectations and increase my tolerance for things. Right now I feel like, man does not change unless he desires change so why try to fight him anymore. You can only change yourself so deal with it and so I acquiesce.

I don’t think my husband is not trying in order to belittle me or my feelings. I think if he actually took the time he would be slightly more attentive. He’s just in his own bubble and has always been in his bubble. I know has intentions to try. I was less aware or less phased by it when it was just me but now it’s me and my daughter. I want her to see that her dad focusing on his wife a little bit more.

Many times I get jeered for moving things and reorganizing but when push comes to shove and he’s 30 minutes late for his ‘to do’ and he doesn’t know where the paperwork is or where he put keys or what forms he needs, I’m the one who has it ready and that’s what some of my friends say is enabling this self attention. Here is the kicker. If I leave him be and watch him run around like a beheaded chicken, it drives me insane. I’d rather help him and feel a bit neglected than watch him tornado through the house setting off the dogs, the baby and me with feelings of anxiety and despair.

I think I prefer to help him to prevent the storm, to show him I love him and in an embarrassing admission, in the hopes that one day it will not be about him but about me. I want so much for him to just one day say, “Today is your day. It’s not about me but about you.”

He cares and loves me but every day is about him. I want one day for it to be about me.

I’ve been thinking about this lately. I think it boils down to our past. I’m the eldest in a family raised in the teaching of Confucius. The needs of the family, especially the elders, are of greater importance than the needs of the individual. I rebelled through most of that but still consider my family of greater importance than self. I wish I rebelled more and grew a backbone for the greater good of my family.

DH was raised an only child by women who instilled in him the importance of self. I wish I had a bit more value in my own being. I’m proud of who I am but find sacrificing for the greater good is my usual option. I’m afraid if I keep it up I’ll become embittered and lose myself. I love myself too much to want that to happen.

How I wish I could stand up more for myself and my desires, big and small. I wish I could just tell my husband in an assertive voice, “12 years I’ve asked and I’m not going to ask anymore, stop putting your bag and shoes behind doors. The block the doors from fully opening. They ricochet doors, cause me to trip and are really bad for feng shui.”

I wish I could turn to my husband and say, “Today is family day which means no errands unrelated to family nor are we rushing through our trip so we can go home to do individual projects.”

For now, I’ll continue to hit my head on doors, pick up shoes and bags and sit quietly in the car and rush through stores and silently hope that the next day brings that special ‘me’ day.

Funny thing is, and it’s still very early, but I don’t think I tolerate that from my daughter. Yes, she’s still very young but when she fusses when I put her down and she’s been in my arms for awhile and all her basic needs have been met, I don’t give in as readily. If I have to go to the bathroom, I’m not skipping it to attend to her need for me to cuddle her. I’m not forcing myself up to assist hubby during the wee hours when she’s been crying steadily. Why am I doing so for DH but not my daughter?

I think its self-preservation. I love my daughter too much to allow her to climb all over me like her dad gets to. If I allow both members of my family to climb over me, I’ll go insane. If I allow myself to raise a human being that climbs all over a person, I’d be providing a disservice to my child and to the world and her future spouse.

I guess my tolerance level has increased for my husband but balance things out, I’m a bit more observant to not allow this to happen with my daughter. Who knows; maybe I’ll completely wuss out in a few years but for now, I have a strong conviction to teach my daughter a medium between self and others. I’m not sure what that is and how to instill it but I want to learn and share it with BG.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

What about mom's transitional object?

BG is 2 months, 3 weeks and 3 days old.

I have conversations with BG. Most of the times she looks at me like I’m nuts but every now and then I get a smile or a reaction other than indifference. The last few weeks I’ve felt a bonding with BG that is reaching another level. It’s as if we have this unseen, unspoken bond. I’m sure it’s most of it is in my head but it sure feels good.

I took her to my office for a visit this week and someone made a statement that took me aback. She said, “She hasn’t been away from you yet, has she?” I wasn’t insulted nor did I feel like it was a comment but it did get me thinking.

Then today during our mother’s walk a mom with a baby the same age as BG asked a few of us if we’ve left our child yet. One of the mothers looked at me and we both exclaimed aside from our husband we have not left our child in the hands of another family member or friend. We both have had family and friends hang out with our babies while we ran around the house but we haven’t left her alone.

The other mom who has a 4 month old made me feel a little better. She didn’t seem to be in a rush nor did she seem phased by it. I know I will need to leave my baby girl with a family member, friend or sitter. I’m just not ready for it. I know it will be the toughest thing for me. My husband knows that. I know that.

“Just start with an hour or two in the neighborhood.” Listen, I know to start with baby steps. I’m just not ready yet so stop reminding me and pressuring me. I will get there soon enough and I’ll look back at this entry and laugh.

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Well it’s official, baby girl is in Size 2 diapers. Size 1s are looking like slim fits on her and we have had late night leaks with the size ones. One of the ladies in my chat group mentioned how the size 2 characters on the diapers look so much older than the size 1s. She is correct. They look so much older, I’m expecting the characters to have briefcases and ties on the size threes.