Tuesday, January 31, 2012

you might think.

Dear Mommy-to-Be:

You might be scared to death of giving birth.
But millions of women have done this before you.  Your body was built to accomplish this scary feat.  You might not know what to do, but your body already does.  And so does your baby. 

You might worry about your recovery and how much it will hurt afterwards. 
You’re right, it will hurt.  But not for long.  In a few weeks, you’ll be saying “was I ever even pregnant?”

You might think there's no way you can get pregnant while you're nursing, and not having your period.
That's a lie.  

You might think you already know it all, but you don’t.
You might think you don’t have a clue how to care for a tiny helpless baby, but much of it will come naturally.

You might think you can do it all on your own and it might be hard to ask for help.
And you really might be able to do it on your own, but 90% of the people that offer to help really do want to.  So let them.

You might think that your baby will never smile.  But then one day she will and you’ll know she’s smiling because she loves you and then?  Then your heart will melt into a puddle at your feet. 

There will be nights when you wonder if you even deserve to have become a parent because it is too hard and you are too frustrated and this baby stays up way too long in the middle of the night.
But this (like everything with babies, good and bad) is just a phase and it will be a memory in the blink of an eye.

Your back might be tired from carrying the baby that has NOT LET YOU put him down for the last 12 hours.  You might want to put him in the crib the second he falls asleep.  But don’t. 
Sit there, with him in your arms, and look at that perfect, innocent face.  Stare at him.  Memorize the curve of his cheeks and the tip of his nose.  Listen to him breathing and fall into rhythm with the rise and fall of his chest.  Because before long, that tiny baby won’t want to be held much at all. 

You might panic when other babies are teething and crawling and cruising and eating solids and _______ (enter every other milestone known to woman) before your baby does.  But try not to place yourself under that unnecessary stress.  Your baby is an individual and he will do what he’s supposed to do on his own time.  He’s just perfect. 

You might find yourself saying over and over I can’t believe she’s ____ (insert age of child by days, weeks, months, then YEARS) old already!  Because even though it’s cliché, these little ones really do grow like weeds and time really does fly when you’re having fun.  Turns out, it even flies when you’re not having fun. 

So try to enjoy every moment as much as you can.  And when you find yourself in a particularly un-enjoyable moment, just remember “it’s just a phase it’s just a phase it’s just a phase it’s just a phase.”  Think about it this way.  You’ll remember the good times.  The bad moments are just moments.  They will fade and become blurry in your memory.  The smiles, the daily joys of parenthood, the wonderful memories – that’s what you’ll remember. 


I'm linking up with Mama G at Growing Up Geeky for the Toddle Along Tuesday blog hop.  Today's topic?  Advice for mommies-to-be.  Click the link to see what other mamas have to say.

What would you add?

Thursday, January 26, 2012

project 365 (jan 18-25)

Project 365, Days 18-25

18/365: Pure Joy.  I love three things about this picture.
1: Dexter's first tooth.
2: Dexter's second tooth.  (See it?)
3: The joy on his face.  Babies don't fake it.

19/365: New discoveries.

20/365: String of hearts.

21/365: He's still got it.  My hubby bounced our friends' sweet 6 week old daughter, Abby, to sleep on his shoulder Saturday evening.  He always wanted a daughter.

22/365: Hometown Rivals. 
The New England Patriots are coming to town for the Superbowl in a little less than 2 weeks. 
My hubby:  Thrilled.
The rest of Indiana:  Pissed.
The boys:  Decked out in their jerseys, thanks to our friends in Massachusetts.

23/365: I'm waging war against my diminishing milk supply.  Here's the ammo.

24/365: Cozy with mama on the couch.

25/365: Superbowl XLVI comes to town!

 This week, I can't pick a favorite because I really like them all for different reasons.  Except for my least favorite.  Uh, hello...Day 23.  I hate taking pills, especially 3 at a time!  Blech.  And the tea, well it tastes like licorice.  Double Blech.  Sooo, tell me.  Which picture is your favorite?


See all of my Project 365 posts here.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

go. patriots?

Living in Indiana, my husband gets a lot of dirty looks for being a Patriots fan.  Try as he might, he just can't resist the magnetic draw he feels to those wild boys, Bill and Tom. Indianapolis Colts fans are so mad that their biggest rivals, the Patriots, are coming to town for the Superbowl this year that a facebook friend went as far as to say "that's child abuse!" when R posted a picture of our boys in their Pats jerseys.

What do I think of it all?  It makes me laugh.  It's kind of funny to be rooting for the villian.  I mean...it IS just a game...right?



Theo's pretty proud of his jersey, even though he has no clue what any of it means.

and Daddy?  It's pretty safe to say he's pretty proud of his 2 awesome sons.


what i can't (or don't want) to live without

I got my Canon Rebel T2i for Christmas in 2010.  I am incredibly disappointed in myself for not taking the time to learn more about all the functions and what all those letters and numbers mean so that I can maximize the quality of the pictures I take.  Of course, I am mostly taking pictures of my kids.  I don't feel that they rise to the level of professional photos, but that is where I would like to be.

I've just started researching lenses and I'm trying to sort through a lot of information to determine what would be best for my needs.  They are just so expensive.  And fragile.  And I have 2 little kids.  Eek. 

Photography is definitely a hobby of mine, but I'm nowhere near good enough to take pictures of other people's kids for money.  I enjoy taking pictures for fun.  I think taking them for money would be too much pressure and I'm into low-stress livin' as much as possible. 

So while I could live without this camera, I sure wouldn't want to!  It is especially vital now that I have challenged myself to Project 365 - taking a picture every day for an entire year.

I'm linking up with Mama G at Growing Up Geeky for her Toddle Along Tuesday blog hop.

What's your one MUST-HAVE item?

are you judging me? or am i?

My husband said to me, "I didn't like your last post very much." 

I looked at him in shock.  All along, I had been thinking he was my biggest fan.  "Why not?"

"Because you weren't very nice to yourself.  I don't like it when you talk bad about yourself." 


I know, I know.  It was a harsh letter to my ta-tas.  I was feeling low, what else can I say?  Rhetorical question, guys.  You should know...I can say lots.

Don't get me wrong... I am grateful that I have been able to pump and nurse Dexter for the past 8 months.  I really, really am.  It is such a frustrating situation for me and I wanted to vent about it.  I just didn't want to mope and whine about it on here so I thought I'd be a smartie pants and put a mean, sarcastic spin on it.  Well, it was fun to read, anyway, wasn't it?  I thought so.

The thing is, breastmilk or formula...the kids turn out the same as far as I can tell.  I know more kids that were formula babies than breastmilk babies and I don't see them getting sick any more than my own kids or other booby babies I know. The whole health thing was my main reason for breastfeeding.  Then, of course, are the savings.  The fact that it's natural.  It's bonding time with baby.  Etc, etc, etc, right?

But now it has turned into my stubborness and feelings of guilt if I "give up" or don't make it to a year.  I don't know why I am beating myself up about this, but here's the truth.  I feel like I am failing at motherhood.  I was bound and determined to make it to at least a year.  Every day I pump a little less than the day before.  And every day I go into more of a panicky tailspin about how I'm a worthless mother if I can't make this work.  Because when it really comes down to it, I do love those quiet moments Dexter and I spend together while he is nursing.  And he's {more than likely} my last baby, so that kind of puts me into a panic, too.

Do I think mothers that formula feed their babies are worthless? OF COURSE NOT.  I just wanted to say that, in case anyone thought I was insinuating otherwise.  Here's some honesty - I don't understand mothers that choose not to breastfeed.  I just can't wrap my head around why they wouldn't want that.  Regardless, I realized that it is a choice that some mothers make.  So because I don't understand, I am probably a little judgy in that department.  But hey, whatever works for you.  What I do understand is mothers that try and can't do it, for a variety of reasons.  Because it's hard. Because they don't make enough milk. Because they have post partum depression or other medical issues.  It happens and I get that.  I wonder if all those other mothers, formula feeding and breastfeeding alike, ever beat themselves up for their decisions and/or circumstances.  Surely I'm not the only one.

We're all just moms, trying to make the best decisions we can for our kids.  And then others in society and the media and the crunchy mom movement make you feel like crap for doing that very thing. 

~I feel like I will be judged if I don't make it to a year of breastfeeding.

~I feel like I'm being judged if I breastfeed in public.  Or if I don't.

~I feel judged for having an unexpected pregnancy that landed me with kids who are only 14 months apart. 

~I feel judged for not being a Stay at Home Mom.  And also because honestly, I don't really want to.

~I feel judged for not even considering an unmedicated birth.  I never, not for one second, thought about skipping the epidural.

~I feel judged because I don't fix my hair and put on make up every day.

~I feel judged because my kids are in the 15th - 20th percentile for weight.  Even though the doctor says they are perfectly healthy.

~I feel judged because I'm not planning on throwing Theo and Dexter massive birthday parties every. single. year.

But why do I feel judged?  I don't judge others for those things. Or do I?  No one I know or communicate with has EVER, in person or on this blog or facebook or anywhere at anytime, said anything to make me feel judged for these things.  I place this judgment on myself because I see what other moms are doing and what other babies are doing.  I feel like maybe I'm not always on par with all the wondermoms out there.  I think that other moms are going to think I'm lazy or ugly or inadequate or and idiot or just a CFM.  Complete. Freaking. Mess.  Why do I let what everyone else is doing feed my insecurities and make me feel small?

Here are some non-rhetorical questions.  I would love it if you responded in a comment.

Has anyone judged you (your parenting) to your face? 

Do you feel ever judged simply because of what other moms are doing (or not doing)? Or by what you see on the internet/in the media?  

How do you keep from letting your insecurities get you down? 

I don't question that I'm a good mom.  I AM A GOOD MOM.  So why do I let this crap make me feel like I could do so much better sometimes?


Thursday, January 19, 2012

most pathetic boobs ever.

Dear Boobs of Mine,

You are a sorry excuse for a rack.  You always have been.  You've let me down ever since I was 13 when other girls had real lumps under their sweaters and you could only be classified as itty bitty bumps. The mean boys made fun of girls with smallies and ogled girls with biggies.  You were part of the reason for my low self-esteem for years.  I thought maybe you'd balloon up one day, but surprise, surprise...you failed me.

You're just a pair of failures.  Nothing more, nothing less.

Anyway, I learned to live with small boobs.  I bought padded bras.  Wonderbras. Went bra-less at times.  I tried to embrace whatever good I could find in having tiny ta-tas.  Sure, there were times that I dreamed of filling you up with giant saline implants, but eventually I grew up and grew to accept and respect both of you for what you were. 

Jugs.  Funny word we use for boobs, since "jugs" is commonly associated with milk, right?  I assumed that ONE day, you would at least serve a friggin' purpose if you couldn't just look cute in a low-cut shirt, for crying out loud.  You knew this day would come.  You knew that you would be called upon to do a very important job.  You knew that your obligation to me was primarily cosmetic, but what about the kids, guys?  Er, girls?  I gave you a pass for drying up 6 months into nursing Theo because I the dada slipped up and got me pregnant.  My hormones were wacko and you didn't know what to do so you shut down.  I.Get.It.

But what's your excuse now?  Why are you on a mission to deprive sweet little Dexter of your glorious milk?  He's only 8 months old.  You have made it this far (thanksforthatbytheway), so what's 4 more months?  I won't do this to you again.  Or at least I'm not planning to.  You loathed being engorged and deflated (lather, rinse, repeat) and the stretch marks that were left behind.  I know you are sick of being sucked on by a tiny human.  You are completely annoyed by being crammed into the dumb pump flanges for 30 minutes, 4 times a day, 4 days a week.  You hate wearing stupid crinkly paper diapers, just in case you spring a leak.  You hate being bound by ugly nursing bras.  I HATE ALL THOSE THINGS TOO.  Don't you get it? 

You know that quote from Spider-Man, "with great power comes great responsibility"?

I haven't asked that much from you in life.  Like I said before, I accepted your faults.  All I wanted was to make it to one year of breastfeeding with ONE of my kids.  Since I the dada admittedly ruined Theo's chances, clearly you were supposed to step up here and keep the milk flowing for 12 months with Dexter.


Worst boobs ever.

I don't know what your deal is but I can see that you are not going to be persuaded to make more enough milk by my drinking teas and popping pills.  And for that, stupid tits, you have disappointed me to the brink of devastation.  I can't beg you anymore than I have already begged you.  I can't stimulate you anymore than I have already stimulated you.  I can't keep reminding you to make milk - it is your one job in life and you have failed.

I am losing respect in you every time I pump and watch 1 or 2 ounces dribble out of your idiotic nips.  I will keep pumping you for every ounce for as long as it's worth it, but I have a feeling that your breastfeeding abilities are diminishing rather rapidly.  Piss poor excuse for boobs, you're breaking my heart.  I'll never understand you.  Either of you.

Disrespectfully yours,
Your owner

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

project 365 (jan 9-17)

Project 365, Days 9-17

9/365: Theo's new play kitchen.

10/365: The Chef.

11/365: Recently remodeled lounge area in the basement of my office building.  I'm so impressed.

12/365:  Stalling at bedtime.  Must. Inspect. Toothbrush.

13/365: Vintage bowls and fresh produce.  Perfect combination.

14/365: Niko.

15/365: Grabbing on, pulling up, and standing around.

16/365: Red fingerless gloves, perfect for driving on these cold, dreary days...courtesy of one Knittin' Nana.

17/365:  Going up.

Day 17? That's what you get when you mix oh-crap-it's-9:30pm-and-I-haven't-taken-a-picture-yet-today-and-I'm-already-at-work-hurry-quick-where's-my-phone? and Photobucket's fun editing tools.  Sorry, slow picture day I guess.  Still turned out kinda cool anyway, right?  If not, then just hush up.

What's your pick for favorite pic of the week?  I kinda like days 13 and 15 the best.  Oh, and 11 and 12.  Clearly, I suck at picking a favorite!

still snappin' left and right,

See all Project 365 posts here.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

sleeping baby

I don't want to press my luck here, but I have to say it.  I will probably jinx myself and everything that is good between here and Mars, but I have to say it. 
Dexter is sleeping through the night.
Since Dexter was born, he's slept through the night - meaning no one had to get up and go talk to him, pat him, rock him, feed him, etc. - a few times.  As in less than 10.  I haven't counted, but that's my best guess.  Last weekend, when we were at Big Splash, something happened.  He would not calm down.  He would not just.go.to.sleep.  Normally we rock him to sleep but it has gotten harder and harder.  He was so fidgety and restless, we resorted to putting him in his pack n' play wide awake.  He did cry.  It was sad.  But it only lasted a couple of minutes.  Less than 10...and he was out.  He slept until almost 6.  I know that sounds lame, considering that he didn't go to sleep until about 10:30 that particular night, but that was heaven on earth to me. 

We decided long ago that once we started, we wouldn't go back or it was all for nothing.  Two times last week, he cried for 30 minutes (Tuesday and Wednesday).  We checked on him every few minutes to reassure him that we were still there and that it was okay to go to sleep.  The rest of the nights, he either barely fussed at all or was asleep after nursing by the time I laid him down.  But guys.  The great news?  He has slept through the night (or at least put himself back to sleep without crying in the middle of the night) FOR THE LAST WEEK.  Do you know how magical that is?

I will say that I'm not a huge fan of crying it out, but I felt that we were out of options that made sense.  We could no longer get him to go to sleep in our arms.  He has just gotten too big and strong and stubborn.  If things continue to go like they have been, this will have been worth it.  Know why?  Because this little prince slept from 8:30 Saturday night until 7am Sunday morning.  And this mama slept from 9:30pm until 7am Sunday morning.

Thank you, Dexter.  You have no idea how much I needed that.  Now do that trick again.  And again.  And some more and then do it again. 


Monday, January 16, 2012

what the dudes are doing

My little Friday the 13th boy celebrated his 8 month birthday this past Friday.  Friday the 13ths will always make me smile. 

He's not one to disappoint on his monthly b-days, so at 8 months, he is sporting some new moves.  For instance, this face: 

It must have something to do with teething, right?  He's getting his second tooth (I can almost feel it) and all weekend, he was sucking that bottom lip in.  I swear, he doesn't always just live in pajamas.

I think it was Friday night that he decided it would be cool if he just started standing up and letting go.  Then he waits for us to notice and gets a big grin on his face when we start clapping.  Right before plopping down on his tush.  Once he lunged forward.  I'm not sure if he was just falling or trying to take a step towards me.  This kid is going to walk before his birthday, I just know it. Thing is, he's tiny.  He has no business walking.  Hop on up in mama's arms and stay little.  Mmmkay?

Look, ma!  No hands.

one hand
no hands

try again.

And y'all - whether it lasts or not remains to be seen.  But it seems as though this guy may finally be sleeping through the night.  It only took 8 (exhausting) months. More about this later!


Well, what's that other dude been doing?

Keeping up on his oral hygiene, of course.

Eating the meal of all meals - yogurt, a hot dog, and a pickle.  Dee-lish.

Snuggling up to Niko.

Hanging out with friends, Max & Mik. 
(Don't they look like they could be Dexter's cousins?)

Reading books to brother.

And finally...
Shouting "pee pee potty!" when it's already too late.  Then squirming and wiggling away when I try to take his picture on the potty.  What?  Don't all moms take pictures of their kids on the toilet and post them on the internet?  Maybe I should rethink this...nah.

Newsworthy:  We had no plans this weekend other than getting the Christmas decorations put away.  Success! We did the majority of it during Theo's 3 hour nap on Saturday.  Perhaps that was mean - he was pretty traumatized when he got up and everything was gone.  Once he noticed the tree had been taken down, he went looking for every string of lights that had been up.  It was sad, following him around as he searched for any trace of Christmas. All in all, it was a nice, relaxing weekend after being sooo busy these past few weeks.

Lastly, I have to say that the weekend would have been better had I not been made aware of some heartbreaking news.  I learned that sweet little 2 year old Tripp Roth lost his battle with epidermolysis bullosa on Saturday morning.  No, I didn't know him or his mother personally but their story has gripped my heart since I stumbled across their site on Top Mommy Blogs.  Take a moment to read about Tripp. You will fall in love with him.  He has so many admirers - I think tears were falling all around the world this weekend.  Rest in peace, little man. 

so thankful,

Thursday, January 12, 2012

splish. splash.

I feel like I am on photoblog overload.  But hey, a lot has gone on lately and there have been a lot of pictures to show for it.  Since this is my virtual baby book, this is where the pictures go.  Eventually I will write a post where I actually talk about stuff, but for this week, I'm editing, uploading, and posting tons of pictures.

Mostly, I think Groupon is junk, because all they ever post is 50% off a spa pedicure 45 minutes from my house.  Every once in awhile, they get it right.  My friend told me about a deal for 50% off an indoor waterpark and resort a couple hours from home.  Sounds like a fun weekend getaway, right? 

Welcome to our Big Splash Adventure. It was only $140 for 4 waterpark passes for both days you're there, one night in the hotel, pizza dinner with breadsticks and 4 drinks, and continental buffet breakfast.  I think that's a pretty great deal.

When we pulled up to the hotel, Theo said "beeeg house!"  He's really learning big and little.  He is also getting really consistent with colors.  He still surprises me every day with the workings of his little brain.

Anyway - we got there Saturday around 12:30 and got the boys suited up.

Dexter is looking pretty sassy here, don't you think? He knows he looks cute.

He spent most of his time in the water swing and playing with the fountains that shoot up in the kiddie pool (see below).

Theo was more interested in checkin' out the ladies.  Aw, yeah.

Fountain thingies in the background.  Dexter crawled around all over the place every time we put him in the pool.  Silly boy.

After a couple of hours it was evident that they needed a nap so we went back to the room and got them to sleep for an hour or so.  Oh, they must have slept hard because they had the bedhead to show for it. They rolled around on the giant KING sized bed (we only have a full sized bed at home) and shared a little Puff snack.  Some of the best moments from the whole weekend happened right then. 

I. Love. This.

And this.  Dexter with his hand over Theo's mouth.  I can already picture him doing this again in a couple years as Theo is about to rat him out for doing something naughty.  Can't you see it now?

Well, here ya go, brother.  Have a puff.  See the bedhead?


Theo loved this little bunk.

There was the pizza dinner (it was only okay) and more swimming.  More rolling around on the bed and overly tired, hyper little boys that didn't want to go to sleep.  Theo desperately wanted to sleep in that bunk.  We pushed his pack n play up next to it to serve as a rail, but he was just too excited.  Too excited about sleeping in a "grown up bed" to lay down and do just that.  We put him in the pack n play and he was out instantly.  Both boys were FINALLY asleep around 10:30.  You know, two and half hours past their normal bedtime.  Dex was up at 6ish as usual, and Theo slept until 8.  I think he would have slept a lot longer if it hadn't been for Dexter making such a ruckus. 

Breakfast was decent, then it was back to the pool. 

We allowed ourselves about an hour and a half before we needed to go back to the room and get checked out.  It only took about half that to realize that Theo didn't get enough sleep.  He was so tired.

Dex still loved the water swing.

Theo loved the slide.  He mostly went down by himself, this was just for funsies.

Shortly after this, Theo informed us that he was done "fwimmin" so we got ourselves checked out and hit the road.  He was asleep before we got out of the "beeeg house" parking lot.  Oh, but not before throwing a giant exhaustion-inspired tantrum in the room while we were packing up. 

Par for the course, my friends.

All in all, I'd call it a fantastic weekend.  Can't wait to go back!