Saturday, October 31, 2009

A Mom's job is never done

Spent the night in a fever with chills, aches and a sore throat. Did I mention TG was having a restless night?
Been downing pineapple juice to reduce my fever as we ran out of acetaminophen last night and DH said that he'd go pick some up after he went to class and an audition. He's skipping the gym to help me today.
This is the second week we missed swim classes.
But the big thing is I just finished TG's costume for tonight. It's 12:17pm and I just finished sewing her 'antlers'. I stuffed her antlers with batting from the couch pillows while waiting for the bus for work and started sewing it while pumping at work but that was shortlived. I wound up spending my pumping sessions on the phone the last few days.
Now maybe I can get some rest before TG wakes up from her nap.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

My child is a Led Zeppelin fan

This is how we're influencing our child in quirky ways. She hums 'Four Sticks' by Led Zeppelin.
Apparently, my husband hums it while he juggles.
Now, my daughter comes up to me with items to juggle and starts 'singing' the song. At first I thought she was humming the circus song, Entry of the Gladiators. She goes 'Doo Doo Do Do Do Do Doo Do Do Do Do'. I was impressed. I was more impressed when I found out it was Led Zeppelin instead.

Led Zeppelin - Four Sticks from MusicGuy on Vimeo.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

My life is a never ending list of 'how dos'

And I am tired.
I'm exhausted.
I'm juggling like many moms and I don't think my situation is any different than other moms in a similar boat.
Unfortunately, I feel at times I'm complicating my situation by not addressing a more important matter, the difference in attitude between my spouse and myself. I don't address it correctly. What I do is work around it. Why? Because I know you can never change a person's true self and we're both on opposite ends of the spectrum. It's what makes us great as a couple but also is the source of tension and stress. It's what will help us grow if we work on it together.
I have a tendency to take a backseat. It's part of my theory that women have a tendency towards martyrdom for the sake of peace. Would I rather hear whining and deal with weeks of complaining or just adjust myself and my schedule to accommodate the needs of the family members?
I'm tired.
My day consists of 'how dos'. At work, I'm asked, 'How do you do this?' 'Can you do this?' 'Make this happen.'
At home I'm asked and told, 'How do I do this?' 'I want do do this.' 'Why can't I do this.'
In my brain I hear, 'We need to do this.' 'How can we do this?' 'Can we do this?' Strangely enough, I do say 'we' when I refer to myself. I think it's a coping mechanism. I don't want to admit it really is a solo job here.
To make my life easier, I prioritize and push my needs back.
Problem is, I'm feeling burnt. I'm feeling one sided. It doesn't help that my child is just coming off a cold. Any mom will tell you that when a child is ill, they generally tend to cling to a parent and that parent is usually the mom. It's stereotypical and sexist but I'm finding there is some validity to it.
As soon as I get home I know my child is going to want me and need me with a passion like no other. It's a wonderful feeling but it's also draining when your child becomes an appendage.
There have been times when I've gotten home and cannot take my coat off because she's wanted me to hold her and carry her around. She wants to feel my arms around her. Going to the bathroom with my child on my lap has become a norm for me now.
The moment I step into my house, I know my second shift is in full swing and it doesn't end until I'm out the door the next day.
The reprieve I receive is my commute. Years ago, I worked at the tip of Manhattan and my commute would take at least 50 minutes. I complained about this to no end. Now, I secretly wish the bus or subway would be delayed so I could just get a few extra minutes alone.
A friend of mine called me the other day and cut our chat short. She said, "Call me in ten minutes." I knew though that the moment I walked into my house, my list of to dos would rattle off and I'd be off an running. Spend time with child. Cook dinner. Prepare child's meal. Feed child. Feed myself. Prepare and pack my lunch. Get my child ready for bed. Finish Halloween costume. Do dishes. Write to family. Fill out paperwork. Take a shower. Go to the bathroom. Clear the toys and put away books.
My husband does do a lot but his inability to multitask and his priorities don't mesh with mine and so I do what I can.
I'm just tired and it's showing. There are disconnects now. I'm sure we'll get through it. I just need to get over it. I need to get over and not assume. My problem is I assume that I will receive a reaction and/or no action for a request. This prevents me from asking for more assistance when I should.
It goes back to 'do I live with this' or 'do I live with that'?
My friend would say right now, "Man Up! Both of you!" She's right but she's also the pot to my kettle.
Tomorrow will be a better day. Today is better than others.
I'm just tired.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Born Free

My daughter just ripped off her diaper and is roaming free.
I know it's not funny but it's hard to laugh. One day I may be able to tease her about this.
She sat down, undid the tabs and then yanked the whole diaper out from under her. Of course, she fell backwards but she was stunned only for a second. They she ran to me with her diaper in one hand smiling from ear to ear.
I should have seen this coming. A few days before, she'd rip one tab and then exclaim, "Noooooooooo." According to my husband, that's what he says to her when she rips the tab open.

Monday, October 26, 2009

I should rename my blog

to 'My husband can't multitask.'
Don't get me wrong, my husband is a very smart man. He's helpful and caring and kind. He just can't multi-task.
A blue screen of death appears in my husband's brain and shuts everything down.
What can happen with the BSoD appears? Here are just a few things that happened off the top of my head:
*He left his cell phone on the subway. [This wouldn't have been so bad if it wasn't the only means to communicate with him and I wasn't 1 week post partum.]
*He left and lost my laundry basket and a full container of laundry detergent.
*He left his Kleen Kanteen on the street in midtown Manhattan.
*He ran 40 minutes late for an appointment.
*He misplaced his house keys.
Now, thankfully this inability to multi-task has only lead to minor inconveniences to him (major inconveniences and hassles for me). Still, it aggravates me to no end.
I think the aggravation comes from the fact that it doesn't have to be this way with a little preparedness.
For example: It's 1:34pm. You need to get our daughter downtown for her doctor's appointment by 2:15 the latest. What does he do? He calls me at 1:34pm and rants about how he has so much to do and that he left his keys on the table and our daughter moved them. Here is a hint, big boy, don't leave your keys on the table. Put them on the rack behind the front door.
Of course, this aggravates him and then he's ranting again. By this time it's 1:45pm and he needs to take two trains to get to the doctor's.
What drives me absolutely bonkers is when he says, "I have plenty of time." This is frequently mentioned when I tell him he'll be late.
My second phrase that sends me up the 'pissy creek' is "No one seems to be bothered except you. So what if I'm late. I'm here now."
Ok, dude, I may be the only one saying this is a problem. I'm not saying it's earth shattering but it conveys that your time is more valuable than the others in the room.
I'm not Mrs. Punctual but I do try to make an effort and I try to prepare knowing with a baby, I need to add at least 30 minutes to my preparation to head out the door.
I hope to all hopes that my daughter is a bit more punctual.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Green boogied

Tg is offcial sick. Irritable. Clogged nose. Eye discharge. Cough. Spent the night rubbing her back and keeping her elevated. Trying to lay low today.

I suspect it's a sinus infection. She has a doc appt tomorrow to confirm.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Reflections on green snot

Can someone tell me how a little itty baby can have so much boogies crammed up her nose?

My husband also has some magic voodoo when it comes to extracting the boogies. She'll calmly sit there as he digs them out. Me, she swats at me like a pestering bee.

Love is satisfied in God

It's been awhile again but it hasn't been from lack of effort.
This exercise asked me to read a Book in the Bible.
I chose to read the Book of Mark every day to my daughter during bedtime. Most of the time she was asleep but I did it anyway.
The LORD will guide you always and give you plenty even on the parched land. He will renew your strength, and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring whose water never fails. -- Isaiah 58:11
The exercise asks, "How will spending time daily with God change my situation and my perspective?"
Immediately, I realized that my fears and anxiety are understandable but that I'm not alone in this world and like the cartoon of Jesus holding back the large stones while an occasional peeble may sneak through, I know I'm loved and protected.
Just as I tell my daughter daily I love her and just as I try to let my actions give her the confidence and reassurance to learn and grow, God is there for me. By spending that extra time daily to stop the world and remember how much God loves me makes some of those worries into pebbles on my road.
As we read Mark together, it served as a great reminder of how much love God has for us. Would I be able to ask my son to do what God asked of him?
The second reflection asks how I can expand my daily interaction with God. I suppose I can continue to read another book. I actually tried to read the Acts again but that quickly fizzled out. I think I'd like to read the letters again. Each letter is rich with human emotion.
I find myself praying to Mary more often nowadays. I used to pray to her almost daily as a preteen. When I felt misunderstood or confused, I would pray to her.
I think I've been thinking more about Mary these days because of the universal bond of motherhood. I keep thinking of how hard it must of been to stand back and let her son be persecuted.

On a side note: I know I'm taking forever to finish this but I actually find it very helpful and I can always flip through to a reflection and redo it under the circumstances I am in at the moment.

I started this to grow stronger in my relationship with my husband and with others but I realize now that the stronger my relationship is with God, the stronger my relationship with others will be.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Growth Spurt

My daughter has sprouted in the last few weeks. She's much more vocal in front of people. She grabs our hand to take us someplace if she can't vocalize her needs. She took me to the kitchen to get her a banana the other day! She's even holding make believe cellphone telephone conversations with her play phone. She uses her hands alot while she converses which is hysterical. I also love how she will walk around the house with the phone against her ear 'chatting'. I suppose I do that alot.

Now, I'm trying to help her vocalize her needs. So instead of whining when she needs something, I try to use a one word descriptor so she can speak her needs. It's kind of hard but after awhile you just get used to walking around the house and saying what you are doing or what an item is.

She's unfortunately learned that she can remove the tabs of her diaper and does this frequently during her sleep. Gone are the days of simple white t-shirts as pajamas. We've now got pants on her but occasionally during the late night diaper changes, they've been forgotten. This of course leads to potential leaks which is why I'm writing this entry at 5:20am. Thank goodness for our protective mattress pads.

I'm getting to a point where I'm not so obsessed with her food intake. I'm still monitoring it but I'm not as freaked out that she has a lot more grains than I'd like her to. The simple fact is, grains, mainly whole grains, are easier for her to eat by herself and that allows me to eat when she eats, clean up a little or let her eat a snack while I do something else around the house.

She's mastering the fork. I mean she usually can stab a 3-4 pieces of her food and get it into her mouth during a mealtime. Spoons are a little harder.

I'd like to say that she eats all her meals at the table but that isn't true. Snacks usually are in the kitchen or on the go as I'm doing something else. I try to do the meals at the table but sometimes, and most of the times with her Dad, she eats it standing next to us at the table or in the kitchen.

She's a breakfast fan though. She'll wake us up and take us to the kitchen or the dining room table in the morning. She prefers a scrambled egg and some yogurt with fruit in the morning. That is probably the biggest meal of her day. She then proceeds to snack every 2-3 hours until dinner.

I've noticed she seems to recall toys she played with as a baby. I rotate toys every now and then to keep them 'fresh' and she gravitates to certain toys that I played with with her when she was a newborn.

I also notice that some of what we've tried to instill is coming forth. TG will sit quietly and thumb through a book or two every day. She'll pull books out from her bookshelf and bring them to her chair and 'describe' it to us.

She'll pick up items and put them away or give us items to throw away. She picks up the furballs that have amassed during our dog's annual Fall shed and toddles them over to me to throw away.

She'll gently pet her stuffed animals just like how we show her how to pet our family dog.

She also seems to be an observer. In a room full or rowdy toddler boys, she'll watch them running and throwing things around. If she finds something interesting, she'll go over and play with an item but isn't phased by the commotion or sudden emotional outbursts that are common in a group full of 2 and unders.

She's also a cautious tryer. She'll call for us if she needs help and if we tell her she can do it, she'll assess it and most of the time will attempt it or occasionally call for 'backup'. I'm glad to see that she's not always depending on us. I credit my husband for this.

By the way, if you think leg warmers look cute on a baby, you should see them on a walking toddler. She looks absolutely adorable with her leg warmers. She walks around at home with a onesie and her socks and legwarmers. It's very sporty looking.

When she lays down for her nap, she grabs her lovey and instinctively pulls off her socks and leg warmers and lays them next to her. It's hysterical.

I've been slowly reading about potty training as she's now been telling us when her diaper is wet or dirty. She still doesn't tell us when she has an urge to go and I don't expect her to at such a young age but I figure it's better to read up about it earlier than later. Plus, keeping a potty around for her affords me the luxury of going to the potty myself without her tugging at me.

I feel like this past month was a whirlwind of growth and activity. Just when you think you understand something, a new ball is pitched at you. It keeps you on your toes.