Monday, August 31, 2009

She talks, alot.

Just not in front of people.

Honestly, she does.
She even says sentences, I swear.
My child has decided that speaking is best reserved for her parents and in private. This wouldn't be an issue, except for the occasional 3am wake up because she must practice 'E-I-E-I-O' at a high decibel rate. Except, when we tell folks she talks, they look at us like we're just new parents who are deluded. Eh, I figure when she is on tv accepting her Nobel Peace Prize, she'll have the last word, literally.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

I love you but I'm packing like a camel.

I love my husband. I do. On occasion, however, he does things that drive me absolutely batty. It's not his fault though. I'm sure in God's sense of humor, the things that make my husband attractive to me in a way also cause him to be quite annoying at times. I'm sure it's the same for DH.

Here is an example of what annoys me. It's 7am & TG has woken up cranky. She's crying and needs a diaper change. I need to get ready to go to work. I've just finished breastfeeding but she's still a bit fussy. I've had to go to the bathroom for the last hour but breastfeeding takes priority. I figure, I'll change her diaper, hopefully she'll feel better and I can run to the bathroom. I get up to grab a diaper and some wipes. DH jostles awake and looks at me.

I say, "Good morning. She needs a diaper change." His response without blinking, "I need to pee."

Ok, I honestly don't think that he's saying this to get out of changing her diaper. I think he's just a 'put mask on self first' type of person.

I go back to changing her diaper while he slowly stretches and gets out of bed.

In my mind, I'm thinking, I have a crying baby and a full bladder. Is it necessary for him to tell me that he has to go to the bathroom? "Hear ye! Hear ye! Thy man is in needed to relieve thyself! Send out banns!" I'm fairly certain everyone in the room, including our dog, has to go to the bathroom at this very moment.

Check out Tiffany's blog for more 'My Husband is Annoying'.

Saturday, August 29, 2009


To pass the time (It's raining) and since TG has run out of pjs, I decided to do her laundry.

I live in an apartment. Doing laundry entails lugging it down to the basement and hoping that 1) a washer is available and 2) I have money on my laundry card.

Nowadays it also includes 3) TG is not sleepy and can handle being downstairs in the humidity.

Since TG is mobile and the idea of her crawling on the basement floor terrifies me, I pack her in her radio flyer wagon with a few of her friends a couple of toys.

TG loves her wagon. I mean she hearts her wagon.

So today, after changing her clothes, sorting her dirty clothes, packing the laundry basket, stopping to change her diaper again, stopping to feed her again, stopping to let her rest (She went to her bed and sat there which a cue she wants some downtime or a nap.), packing the wagon with toys, finding the laundry card and searching for my keys (TG likes to play with my keys) I was ready to go downstairs to do her load of laundry.

I dragged her wagon out the door while TG played in the kitchen to avoid pull her fully packed wagon over the door jam.

TG took this as a sign I was leaving without her and tried valiantly to walk/run to me and her wagon. Unfortunately, her mind was faster than her body as she's still taking baby steps.

This is what I hear in the kitchen, "Mama! Ahh!" Pitter Pat Splat!. "Waaahhh!"


One of the things I try to remind my husband and my daughter is that we are a team. I throw it in here and there. We are a team and I want my family to remember that. As a team we have highs and lows but we support each other and try to work together.

I know it's early for TG but I figure it doesn't hurt for her to hear it every now and then.

As a team, I'd like to think that I could help with the dishes but I know that if I do 1) he'll only nag about the way I pack it (which sadly is atrocious) and 2) I'll go back to cooking and cleaning.

It was hard for me not to do them. In fact, DH packed the dishes this morning before he left but didn't start the washer. I pressed the start button but then quickly turned it off. Must stop the compulsion. He will do the dishes when he gets home.

So I rationalized the T-E-A-M concept and I washed TG's stuff. I know. I know. It's an illness. I'm also doing her laundry as we speak. What is wrong with me?

Friday, August 28, 2009

The dishwasher

If you haven't checked out My Husband is Annoying, please do so. To be able to commiserate has been cathartic and sanity saving.

I know I've been a bit grumpy this past week. I mean, I know I'm being snippy but it is out of my control this week.

The dishwasher is like a hangnail in our relationship. It's a bit annoying but we live with it. Sometimes it gets irritating and sometimes, we just ignore it.

Here is the backstory. DH bought me a dishwasher when we first moved into our apartment. He bought it and said, "You cook the yummy meals and I'll clean up." Flash forward to today and I've pretty much run out of dishes. How is this possible?

It's a combination of things. 1) While I was pregnant, DH wanted to sell our place so before I got too big, I started packing my kitchen away. 70% of my kitchen is in storage which tells you how much you can really live without. 2) I knew that when a baby was around, all the dishes would be a hazard and/or pile up so I only left out enough settings for 8 people.

My MO is simple, I cook a meal and do the dishes afterwards. Usually, I pack the dishwasher as I'm cooking. This is simplified as I try to make big meals during the weekend and only reheat a meal during the week.

Unfortunately I will be the first to admit I am an awful dishwasher packer. Simply put, it's one place where I really don't have patience nor do I care, so long as the dishes are washed. Occasionally I try to be conscience and pack it so it's more energy efficient but for the most part, I have no time and my kitchen is small so I shove the dirty pot or pan in the dishwasher and move on.

DH detests this and has put an ultimatum down that I'm not allowed to pack the dishwasher. It is his duty. Now remember how he promised he'd do the dishes? Well, gosh darnit, I love him but his idea of doing the dishes is when every single piece of cutlery and/or dinnerware has been expended.

I, pantrygirl, cannot work under these conditions! However, as I was grumpy and grouchy and since this could lead to dishwashing being DH's, I relented.

So now, I'm sitting here trying to deal with the fact that the sink and one of the two kitchen counters I have is filled with dirty dishes. Oh and just in case you are wondering, the kitchen scales that DH has been using to measure and remeasure his food are sitting on the same counter so at least I have one semi-free one.

I love my husband but if he doesn't do any dishes soon, I'm fairly certain we'll be eating out of the cast iron skillet tomorrow and TG will be using a spatula to eat her meals.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

"So, when I get scared I'll think of Him And close my eyes and smile!"

Today was another day filled with whys...

I suppose I'm in a strange funk this week. I mean, even being with my daughter didn't pull me out of it. DH annoyed me a little with his remarks but then later allowed me an extra long hug which I really needed.

Today I kept asking myself, "Why do I care so much if others don't?"

Don't get me wrong, I'm not painting myself as Mother Teresa.

I'm a pilot navigating my passengers through foreign terrian. If I see what is coming down the pike, I try to brace folks for the turbulence. Right now, no one seems to be taking my warnings seriously.

I'm the a parent that knows what will happen if my daughter pulls on the dog's tail but the daughter does not heed my warning and thus the dog barks and the daughter cries out of fright. By the way, when this did happen my daughter looked at the dog, looked at me and gave me this expression of 'what did i do to deserve that' before the silent jaw drop followed by piercing cry of a toddler.

You would think I'd probably ask, "Why bother?" At this point in my life it's more like, "Are you kidding me? Do you not know what you are setting yourself up for?"
I suppose, it's the mom in me. Scary how motherhood effects all parts of your life.

Unfortunately, I'm at this point where I can only be that 'fasten seat belt' sign and wait for the fall out. And that's where I dislike my situation. I feel complacent and to jab the knife deeper, it isn't my complacency that is ticking me off. Ok, maybe it is. I do have alternatives but I won't go there. That requires more than just my handheld can opener.

I know I just need to be strong and like a mom sit in the sidelines at points and be there to help dust them off later. It's hard to be at this juncture though.

I know I'll feel better praying on it.
On an off topic, am I the only one that smiles hearing Junior Asparagus sing?
He always makes me smile.

"God is Bigger" from Veggietale episode 'Where is God when I'm Scared?'

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

There's a fork in the road, dear Liza

I've been feeling out of sorts today.

Today it's a battle between me, the mom and wife and me, the individual.
I'm at another point where a woman has to make a decision on what she desires and values.
I can only speak as a woman so don't think me sexist.
I just find that as a woman who desires to be a wife and a mother, there are little branches in our path where we need to make decisions.

It sounds obvious that most moms choose the mom/family path immediately but sometimes there are branches where the decision isn't as clear or as easy to make.

In my case, I think it's a matter of acceptance. I know what I want and choose but I need to accept it.

Now don't give me the 'women can have both'. Yes, women can balance both but you really can't have both. Plus, being a child of the 70's and 80's I've seen what the shoulder pads and boxy suits look like and that isn't me.
I'm not necessarily talking about work but that was the only reference that came into my head.

A few days ago, I wrote about how I gain pride in giving my all to a project, to the point where I try to do everything at least once. When I became mom, I knew my obsessive compulsive and anal retentive tendencies would test me but I found that I easily gave in because I saw the greater good was not that the tables were dustfree but that I got to see my daughter's first smile, first poop face, first taste of green beans, etc...

I still get on my weird, must-do-now kicks but not as frequently and I don't obsess as much because my values have changed. Personally, I think these values have changed for the better.

But what if you hit a crossroad where a true value is tested? What if you are tested? Afterall, life is a test in your values. What would you do? Could you live with yourself? Could you be proud of yourself? Would you live in regret?

One of my biggest annoyances is complacency. How do I fight the feeling of complacency? How do I know if I'm complacent or not? When and How do I pick my battles?

It's weird now because I know in my previous life, I probably wouldn't be feeling the way I feel. I'd know exactly what path I'd take.

I suppose that's what makes this particular crossroad a bit tough for me. I know what path I'm going to take and in a strange way, it's a parting of my old self and new self.

Wow, this past week has been pretty introspective and it's only started.

I suppose you are getting a a cup full of the zaniness that is inside my head.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Being a Good Influence...

A few days ago I had an introspective moment. Why do I feel the need to do things by myself? Better still, why do I try to avoid relying on others?
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not as if I don’t ask for help when I need it. I do but only to a select few. I know I’m not going to cover the multi-layered quandary in just one post but hear me out.
I’m the type of person that becomes passionate to the point of obsession regarding a task. Once a task becomes engrained in my head, I need to do it and I mostly do it by myself. It’s not that I don’t trust folks or believe I can do it better than anyone else. It’s that I need to experience all facets at least once. Afterwards, I’ll more than happily dole out to dos, again to a select few.
For me, part of the challenge and sense of accomplishment from a task is to say and do it. That way, in the future I have a reference point.
In short, my overall experience is based on my actual hands on and emotional experience working on the task.
This lead me to another question, what do others who do not feel the need to do ‘everything’ feel after they accomplish their task? I suppose, better still, “Why is my sense of accomplishment or task worth based on my ability to understand and experience said task?”
I mean, I’ll never know what another person feels nor will it matter. I am what I am. So why do I need to do everything?
I suppose if you do the standard, “Go back to your childhood” train of thought, I can cite numerous events that led me to strive to be self-reliant but I don’t think I’d list them because it’s not a blame game. What we are is what we are for better or worse.
At this point, it rolled over into my parenting. Will my child lean towards interdependence or independence? I hope she is a bit of both. I can’t change her disposition but I can focus on being a positive influence on her.
Which lead me to remind myself of things I’ve told myself b.c. (before child) that I hope I do follow through on.
Here is a short list of……
Things I told my pre-mom self I’d try to do: Oh, and please don’t try to figure out my childhood based on these items. You’ll get it wrong. My parents love me very much and I was blessed with wonderful grandparents that influenced my childhood.
1. I will tell my child I love him/her every day.
2. I will tell my child I am proud of their accomplishments but not to the point of being condescending or frivolous. Don’t just say, ‘Good job!’ Tell him/her why you are proud of them.
3. I will read to my child every day (even if it’s a magazine article).
4. I will not tell my child how much I’ve sacrificed for her.
5. I will be an active listener to my child. In a week’s time, I won’t care that the dishes weren’t done. I will care that I got to spend time learning about my child.
6. Whatever I do with my child, I will do with focus. Don’t be half-assed!
7. I will not prohibit my child from doing something that he/she is interested in merely because 1) I’m scared, 2) it is foreign to me or 3) I have no interest in it.
8. I will try not to fight with my spouse in front of my child. If/When I do, I will fight fair.
9. I will cultivate my relationship with my spouse as our relationship is a foundation to my child’s future relationships. I will not talk about relationship insecurities and inequalities to my child. My child is not my friend!
10. I will be honest with my child.
11. I will let my child know it’s ok not to know something. No one but God has all the answers. What is important is that we try to learn or understand.
12. Everyone errs. It’s human. We learn from our mistakes and we strive to avoid making them again.
13. I will say prayers and thanks every day with my child.
14. I will smile at my child at least once a day.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Dare update, An Engagement, A First & Modern Parenting

Ok, sorry for being a stranger.

A lot has happened.

First, I am working on my next Love Dare. Actually part of the exercise is to read the bible in earnest. I decided to read John and read a chapter a day. The best time I found was while TG (yes, she's a Toddler now!) is nursing to sleep. After we say our prayers and she's settled with eyes closed and arms wrapped around her lovey, I read a chapter.

On to developments, I'll speak of family in second. First, my brother got engaged! I'm spreading happiness to everyone! My brother planned this for awhile but it all came down to yesterday's end of summer bbq.

In front of friends, family and her family, my brother asked his girlfriend to marry him. I'm so proud of my little brother. He'll always be my baby brother, you know.

Onto the nuclear family...

I got a tickle in my throat.

Three days later, DH got a tickle and congestion. He developed a cold. His sinuses were so blocked, he gave in and did neti. I'm so proud of him. He's still battling it out and was a real trooper when I even dragged him out to the BBQ. If it wasn't a big event, I would have told him to stay home but it was an important day. Thank you DH.

This morning (ok, last night), TG had a rough night of it and sounded wheezy. This morning, I confirmed it, TG has her first cold. Her nose is all crusty and she's just miserable. She's probably achy and tired and her throat might even hurt.

She was whining last night and kept nursing, I suppose to help ease and throat soreness.

To make matters worse, for the first time, TG didn't want me to go as I headed off to work. She kept unpacking my bag and clinging onto me like a starfish.

As I headed out the door and waved my usual 'Bye Bye', she reached out to me and said, 'Momma!'

She settled down soon after though which made me feel better. It would have killed me to hear her crying as I entered the elevator.

So now she is resting.

The big question is what do I do for a toddler who has a cold? With an adult, I've been through it many a times so I have my checklist. As soon as DH said he felt ill, I ran through the list of ingredients for my chicken/veggie soup and made giant vat of my liquid gold concotion. I keep the liquid gold in full supply in the house until everyone feels better.

But a toddler is not going to eat soup. I tried. Stop laughing.
Maybe I can make the broth and mix it with potatoes to make it thick.
At least she's eating the egg noodles I cook in stock. That should help, I suppose.
She's also eating the carrots that are in the soup.

I plan to nurse her more often to help fight the bug and we've been using the NoseFrida to pull out the boogies but other than that I suppose I can only help her get some rest and nutrients in her system.

Oh, funny thing happened at the end of summer bbq, I overheard my mom tell my brother's soon to be in-laws that my husband and I practice parenting on a strict schedule.

I thought it humorous because we actually do the opposite but it showed how confusing Attachment Parenting can be to those who lean towards conventional parenting.

DH and I try to follow AP practice recommendations. We strive to be responsive parents.

Because we strive to be responsive, we've noticed cues to her circadian rhythm. We know that she likes to be in bed around 6pm now. We also know that she enjoys a nap anywhere between 1-1.5 hours after lunch. With me, she likes downtime (cuddles no napping) before lunch.

So when folks ask us to do something and it conflicts with bedtime, we generally pass on the offer. We're a bit more open regarding her naps as I can always wear her and she'll happily nap on me while we're out.

I'd like to say we are protective of our child's time but to an outsider, I suppose, it does look like we're on a schedule. I guess that's why some folks find AP so confining. I think it's the opposite. I believe AP is about openness and acceptance of multiple methods. In other words, you can't say I'm going to do it this way and call it a day. I may be new to parenting but the first thing that struck me is that what might work today may not work tomorrow so don't throw all your eggs in one basket.

Still with all methods, you do have die hards and I suppose they can sometimes feel like they are the most vocal.

I don't even try to explain it anymore. I figure unless, 1) you are a current parent to an under 12 and/or 2) don't have any parent guilt (hahahahahhahaha), schedules/routines/cues will all look the same to you.

AP may be one of the oldest methods of parenting out there but it's still pretty foreign & considered modern in some parts. This is made more apparent in a society that treasures independence versus interdependence.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Breastfeeding & Mom Support

Today we attended the Breastfeeding Awareness Caravan Subway Ride. It began 4-5 years ago when word of mouth spread that a woman was ticketed by a transit police officer for exposing herself. She was nursing her infant at the time.

The purpose is to bring awareness to a woman's right to breastfeed in public in addition to the 'Breastfeeding Bill of Rights' which was recently passed by the NY Senate.

What I got from the event wasn't so much about breastfeeding but how fortunate I am to have a small band of moms in my neighborhood who freely share their experiences as a new mom, seasoned mom, working mom and/or stay at home mom.

We all have babies ranging from 8 months to 18 months yet we have the same apprehensions, worries and triumphs to share.

It really helps me put things in perspective.

Today we were a bunch of moms who shared the accomplishment of being extended breastfeeders. We do have mom in our group that formula feed or hybrid feed but due today's festivities we were mainly extended breastfeeders.

We talked about everything during our ride and I realized that we share many commonalities. We are concerned with sleeping. We have had biting issues. We have had our pros and cons regarding co-sleeping. Our spouses who support our decisions but who also occasionally ponder when co-sleeping will end, breastfeeding will end, when their wives will return to pre-baby menality.

We wonder the right time for another child is. We wonder how to have multiple children in a city that seems to be pushing more and more families away.

I'm not sure if all women have this luxury to be able to have women of all walks of life share openly their thoughts and feelings. I'd like to think more women do but sadly from what I gather regarding breastfeeding, many women are still feeling siloed and may not know how to reach out.

I met the group of moms and dads by simply walking out my building. By walking and simply introducing myself to moms and dads with children of the same age, I support a parent network began.

I know that this probably wouldn't happen in a suburbian area but if you live in a city or near a park, go to the park with you baby. Get some sun. Trust us, it will do you wonders, especially if you are spending all day nursing your child indoors. Trust me, nursing outdoors opened a whole new world for me.

I thought I'd be apprehensive but I soon realized by learning to breastfeed outdoors, I could go out and enjoy the day, see nature and break free from the four wall prison I felt closing in on me.

Plus, it helped build up my breastfeeding confidence. In New York, I fairly certain folks are so absorbed with themselves that breastfeeding will only noticed by other breastfeeding moms. That's how the conversation starts. You talk about your experience and the next thing you know you've struck up a conversation with someone who you probably would just pass by.

I suppose the whole point in today was for me to realize and appreciate how truly blessed I am to have met a group of parents who I am comfortable with sharing my fears and embarrassing experiences and/or confessions. I hope it continues as I continue down this journey of motherhood.