Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Another Circumcision Post

The Semi-Organic Mom's Note:  This post does contain my views on routine infant circumcision.  As a mom of soon to be two boys, I am entitled to my views.  I came to these conclusions about circumcision after extensive research and they are mine and mine alone, but I do not apologize for how I feel.  I'm not trying to place judgment on someone who has circumcised their child, but rather educate others on the risks involved with this procedure.


I had to take Bug to the pediatrician today, something I really loathe doing.  I don't like him getting shots or poked or prodded at, and I especially don't like going when I'm afraid something is wrong with my child.

Today was supposed to be my lazy day this week, because I didn't have anything on the calendar (yesterday was the car, tomorrow is my 32 week appt at the OB, Thursday is Bible Study, Friday is playgroup), and it actually started out pretty good.  The boy spent most of the night in my bed last night as he's been going through some sort of toddler ish (I find that when this happens, I just let him come sleep with me, as it affords both of us the luxury of rest and I know that eventually he will go back to sleeping in his own bed.  Besides, when I have a screaming newborn at all hours of the night he may find his bed a much quieter place to be!).  Anyway, so Bug woke up around 6:30 but he was really groggy and so we cuddled until about 7:15, and then I hauled my fat pregnant rear end out of bed and took him to his room to change his diaper.

Imagine my shock and horror when I opened up his diaper and there was blood.

Blood.

Granted, it was only about two drops, but it scared me very, very badly.  Upon inspection of his boy parts I discovered that there was a small cut in his foreskin--probably from the not so great job I did cutting his nails and his natural predilection  as a toddler to, um, explore his body.  So I figured the best thing to do would be to just let it air out as much as possible and occasionally wash it with cold water.

Fast forward to around eleven when it starts to look worse.  Freaking out, I called the pediatrician and they said they could see us at 2:20, so I got Bug down for his nap and then when he woke up, off we went.

So first the good news:  I have to keep it clean and using water instead of wipes, but aside from needing to apply some neosporin, it should be just fine.

The bad news:  This one mom in the waiting area absolutely horrified me.

So Bug is a really friendly kid, to the point where I think he'd walk off with just about anybody.  After I had signed us in, he started roaming around wanting to play.  There was another little boy there and Bug went up to him and the two of them seemed to hit it off, and I struck up a conversation with his mother, who asked me if we were here for a well visit.

"Oh, no," I said, shaking my head.  "We're here because my son is way too interested in himself and he managed to nick his foreskin."

"He's not circumcised?" she asked, surprised.

I shook my head no, and she said, "Yeah, that's why we did (her kid's name).  I figured he didn't need any extra excuses to be masturbating."

I seriously froze at this point.  What does one even say to that?  So she cut off part of his penis to prevent him from masturbating?  I got news for you, lady--boys will be boys and do that sort of thing, regardless of whether or not their penises are intact.  I managed a tight smile and moved to go prevent Bug from eating a puzzle piece, all the while shaking my head.

By the way, the magazine Psychology Today ran a great series called "Myths about Circumcision You Likely Believe."  You can find it here.  It's definitely worth a read, especially if you are considering circumcision for your child.

As for me, both my boys will remain intact, and I strongly stand by my decision.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Stuff is gettin' real, y'all.

I had my 30 week appointment yesterday, during which my doctor determined that I ate way too much last month.  My weight gain is still good for the pregnancy, because I haven't gained all that much, but I sort of splurged a bit last month.  I've been hungry, what can I say?

So, since the weather is so nice, I have vowed to try and take a daily hour-long walk with Bug, which makes him happy because he loves being outdoors.

::yawn::  Speaking of Bug, he's asleep right now, but I was up with him for most of the night last night.  Poor darling has a cold, and last night around 9 pm he woke up with his nose running so badly that he was having trouble breathing properly, and he was very distressed by this.  And he only wanted Mommy, so that meant I held him and cuddled him and suctioned his nose until he calmed down and eventually fell asleep, which I think occurred two hours later.  Then he woke up sporadically during the night crying.  He feels better this morning though, but he's tired and I'm tired so I'm not entirely certain how much we're going to get done today.  I was super proud of myself that I managed to make dinner (Beef stew with potatoes and butternut squash) and I got a load of laundry washed and in the dryer before he conked out.  I had all sorts of grand plans for his nap but due to the pregnancy brain, I can't seem to remember any of them.  Oh well!

The weather is gorgeous here, it's a pretty perfect fall at the moment.  Jon, Bug, and I are planning on going apple picking this weekend, so I am already looking for apple recipes.  There's an orchard apparently about twenty minutes from our house.  I was originally going to go with my mom group, but they have changed the time to a day where we can't go and since it's Columbus Day weekend, we figured we'd have some family time.

I've been really trying to hunker down and get myself in order, but there's still a lot to do before B makes his appearance in the world.  Thankfully some of the things on my list I have been able to cross off, and this weekend we are making my IKEA run to get a few things that we need from there.  I'm such a fan of my husband having three day weekends.  I don't know how it's October already (and just a week and a half until my birthday on top of that), but staying busy is definitely in order.

Well, since Bug is napping I think I will join him.  The idyll of the sleeping toddler only lasts for so long:)

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Pregnancy FAQ

Everyone has been asking me the same questions lately.  I've gotten tired of repeating myself, so I figured I would collect all of them into a post:)

1.  How far along are you?
As of today, I am 29 weeks.  This basically means I have to be pregnant for about 8-11 more weeks.

2.  When is your due date?
December 11.  Baby B is full term on November 20.   I am hoping to make it to December, but boys in my family do tend to come early, as manifested by Bug, who showed up at 37 weeks 5 days.

3.  Can I come visit you in the hospital?
Absolutely!  I have been really touched by all the people who have asked if I want hospital visitors or if they can bring me anything.  If you are interested, I will gladly provide the information about where I am to you (I'm not going to do it on this blog, for obvious reasons).  I will also gladly welcome all taboo foods, because seriously, I WANT DELI MEAT SO BAD.

4.  How's your heartburn?
Awful.  Seriously awful.  Not as bad as with Bug, though, but hey, there's still time for it to develop.

5.  Are you excited?
Yes.  No.  Maybe.  Petrified, more like:)  I am having a hard time dealing with the fact that Bug isn't going to be my only darling anymore, but that's tempered with extreme excitement because I can't wait to meet B.  However, he has to stay in for at least 8 more weeks.  I hope you're listening, kid.

6.  Do you have any concerns?
Um, well right now B is breech.  He needs to get his cute little head down.  But it's too early for that to be a problem.  Thankfully, my placenta moved so as long as B puts his head down, I can have a vaginal delivery.  But life has been good--my weight gain is fine, I passed my glucose test (no three hour test for me!), and I don't seem to have any major issues:)

7.  Are you going to try that natural birthing crap again?
YES!  I'm actually going to try hypnobirthing this time:)  My goal is no epidural.  Hopefully I will have a shorter labor and it will be easier.

Bug has been very cute lately.  He knows that I'm worn out, so he will come and cuddle with me a lot during the day.  The other morning, in fact, he and I were sitting on the couch and I pulled him close and gave him a kiss.  "Oh, Bug," I said.  "What am I going to do with two little boys running around?"

He looked at me knowingly and very sagely said, "Uh oh!"

I guess that sums it all up:)

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Feeling Like I'm Treading Water

I have an addiction to sugar.

I love sugar.  I love chocolate.  I love Oreos.  I love...well, you get the point.

But.

My glucose test is on Wednesday.

I failed it with Bug, by four points, and that was probably because of something I ate.

So, I am doing my best to stay away from sugar and carbs at the moment (although not whole grains and stuff, just bad carbs.  Like pizza.  Oh no, now I want pizza).

Unfortunately, sugar, much like caffeine, is one of those things that your body goes through a withdrawl period from, which I learned the hard way in the summer of 2010 when I was doing the Candida Elimination Diet to get rid of my horrible bout of thrush.

But I don't really have a choice.  I don't want to do the three hour test again (which is actually a four hour test, and I emerged from the last one looking like a heroin addict thanks to all the bruising on my arms), because not only is it stressful, but I have an 18 month old to deal with, after all.  So either I'll have to get a sitter (which probably won't be easy since the test is always early), or Jon will have to burn up some leave and stay home and watch him.

But God willing, I won't have to do it.  ::fingers crossed::

So I've been trying to eat as well as I can, and avoid sugar and stick with protein-filled stuff, and I feel like I've been doing pretty well.  Not perfect.  Monday and Tuesday will probably be the worst--I am not allowing myself any sugar on those days (no fruit, no nothing), so I probably won't be the most friendly person to be around.

Anyway, not a lot exciting going on here.  I'm 26 weeks pregnant today, Baby B is busy kicking the crap out of me, and Bug is peacefully snuggled against me as he slumbers.  He didn't want to take a nap today, in spite of the fact that he was exhausted, but now he's good and conked out and I hope he wakes up feeling a bit better.  These teeth he's currently getting in seem to be giving him a really rough time, and he's been really up and down as of late.  My poor sugar.

Oh, sugar.

Friday, August 26, 2011

More Cloth Giveaways!

So, get this.  It turns out there is an actual website devoted to cloth diaper giveaways!  (I know.  Shut up).  It's called...well...www.clothdiapergiveaways.com.  Not the most imaginative name (not as cool as, say, The Semi-Organic Mom!) but hey, free diapers are free diapers.

I found some great CD resources on this blog too.  For starters...

1.  There's a great website called 29 Diapers, and it's all about cloth diapering on a budget.  They are currently giving away a Smartipants diaper (I want to win the black one!  How stylish will my boys be in a black diaper?)

2.  AppleCheeks diapers is also having a giveaway, and their contest is RIDICULOUSLY easy to enter.  It's so easy, Bug could probably do it on his own if he wasn't more interested in opening and closing my computer.

3.  Sandbox Lane is hosting a one-size Fuzzi Bunz giveaway (and you know how I feel about Fuzzi Bunz!) once they reach 800 Twitter followers.  I feel they can do it--I have more followers than that!:)

We've been cloth diapering for sixteen months and going strong!  Here's Bug in a bumGenius!  He's such a little stud, isn't he?

An Actual Conversation Between Me and Jon

Him:  Why don't you go lie down, honey?  You look exhausted.

Me:  I can't.  I have to go switch the laundry so we have clothes to wear during the hurricane and then I have to go hunt for turds.

Just another average day in my house:)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Free Diapers? Hook Me Up!

So, with Baby B's impending arrival somewhere between 13 and 17 weeks away (gulp!) I have started re-evaluating my diaper situation.  Bug had his 18 month checkup today and he's currently snuggled up next to me sleeping away the horrible shot he got (just one--his DTap), but I learned today (not that I was surprised) that he is now 36 1/2 inches tall and weighs a comfortable 30 pounds.

Seriously, why don't I have better arms?

Anyway, so I've had to formulate a new diaper strategy, because (like it or not) I am going to have two children in diapers.  So, I wanted to share with you (in case you're looking to pad your stash!) some great promotions/giveaways that are going on right now....

1.  In The Know Mom is currently giving away a One Size Fuzzi Bunz cloth diaper at her website!  Absolutely Free!

2.  Speaking of Fuzzi Bunz (my absolute FAVORITE brand of cloth diaper), they are having a great promo right now of buy 6 diapers, get two free.  You can check out the details here.  I actually headed over to Kelly's Closet to pick mine up because they are also having a promotion, which lasts through August 31.  If you spend more than $44 in an order, you can enter the promo code "Back2School" to get a FREE one size cloth diaper.  The best part?  You can use the promo code TWICE.  I placed two orders, and so now I am getting FOUR free diapers!

I also love Kelly's Closet because they have a loyalty program as well as coupons usually posted on their website.  Check them out!

3.  I have been entering in some Facebook promotions for free diapers as well.  www.diapershops.com is currently hosting a giveaway of TEN itti bitti tutu one size cloth diapers, PLUS an itti bitti wetbag!

Happy Fluff Shopping!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Disturbing News

Yesterday, to my horror, I learned that my son had stolen my cell phone and texted the following picture of himself to his Auntie Carly:

I need someone to explain to me (a) how the heck he managed that and (b) if this is a warning of things to come.....

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Being Sick While Pregnant? Gross

So, once again I dropped off the face of the blogosphere.  I've been super busy, and last week Bug and I helped out at my church's VBS.

And now, Bug and I are sick.  ::shakes fist at parents who don't keep their sick kids at home::

It's not horrible sick, but we both have colds and coupled with being 23 weeks pregnant, I most certainly do not feel great.  Bug got ill a few days before I did.  I knew something was wrong when we got home on Friday afternoon and he walked up to me and wanted to be cuddled.  Now that my almost 18 month old can walk, he wants nothing to do with sitting around and being held--unless, of course, I am reading him a book ::beams with pride::

Not a lot is going on with us otherwise.  I am trying to get well as fast as I can so that I can get to work on some major projects, such as reorganizing the closet that is in Bug's room (and will hold Baby B's stuff as well).  B already has a drawer, but he is going to need his own space in the closet....so we'll see how that goes:)

I've also started making my own laundry detergent!  Check out my post over at The Prime Parents' Club.

In exciting news, I will be having my third (and hopefully final) ultrasound on September 20, to determine if my placenta has moved (which I really hope it has) and also we can double check that B is a boy.  I'd like a good shot of the goods, ya know?:)  I was looking back at Bug's ultrasounds and it's much clearer on those.

Anyway, my goal for the little man and I is to leave the house tomorrow (something we haven't done in days) and hopefully we'll both be feeling better.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

It's a boy! (Again!)

Yup, just like I predicted, Baby B is a boy!

Well, we're 90% sure.  We only got one shot of his genitals, and I could see how it could be slightly confusing.  It looks like a penis to me, at any rate!

I am sorry for those of you who were waiting on here to find out, although I am pretty sure most people learned via my Facebook and Tweets:)  It's been a rough couple weeks for me, there's been a lot of personal stuff going on with my friends and family and in between that and trying to take care of Bug and not let my house fall spectacularly to pieces, it's been hard to keep up with everything.

I have been debating writing about this for awhile, but because it's been bothering me so much I think I will do it.  I always try to be honest on here, so here goes nothing.

I am shocked at the amount of people, most of whom I'm not even particularly close to, who have been asking me if I am upset that I'm having another boy.

Upset that I'm having a healthy baby?  Absolutely not.

A little sad because I was hoping for a girl?  Well, okay.  I admit it, even though I have known pretty much from the beginning that I was having a boy, I did sort of want a girl.  It sounded nice to have one of each.

But...I love Bug.  I love him so much it hurts.  He is the sweetest child, and I have noticed that the bond that the two of us have is even closer than the bonds of some of my friends with their little girls.  The thought of having another little boy to love and cuddle and read stories to and sing songs about poop to fills my heart with deep joy.  It's so funny, because I always assumed that I would have a girl when I had a child.  But having my son has been the most wonderful experience of my life.

I can only surmise that having another son will be just as wonderful.

Monday, July 18, 2011

So Excited!

I've been having a hard time focusing lately because I'm so distracted!  Tomorrow is my big ultrasound so we can find out what Baby B is!

Bug's just thrilled, can you tell?  That's his tricycle, by the way, which I'm sorry to say we haven't gotten out on too much.

We've had a LOT of company lately.  Bug's Auntie Shay was here at the end of May, and then in June we had back to back visits from Bug's Uncle Eric and Uncle David.  Oh, and then his Nana, Granddad, and Uncle Michael were here last weekend.  So while it's been fun, sometimes it's really hard to keep up with everything that's been going on.  And somehow I am now nineteen weeks pregnant and getting ready for my ultrasound tomorrow!


What's Bug been up to?  Well, he's gotten really good at walking.  Really good.  To the point where I am starting to wonder why I was so keen on him doing it in the first place.  With this newfound ability, I have been doing my best to get us out of the house so he can burn off energy--but it isn't always easy with a boy who is going through a growth spurt and a mommy who is at the mercy of her pregnancy sometimes!  Still, we have managed to make it out to the park more than once, and Bug really loves going on the swings.  In fact, we had Daddy join us there on the Fourth of July! He also is talking more, aside from the constant stream of jibber jabber that is usually coming out of his mouth.  Whenever we call Daddy at work and he hears Jon's voice on the phone he immediately says, "Dada!"  I think my favorite thing he's said recently, however, was on Saturday morning when I handed him my hairbrush.  "Here you go, Bug," I said.  "Thank you!" he replied.  I had no idea I was raising such a polite young man.:)

Anyway, I've been having a rough time keeping my head above water, but I think now that all of our company is gone things should settle down a little bit for us.  I will let you know what Baby B turns out to be (although I'm still thinking boy), so here's to tomorrow!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

"And They Won't Drink Milk!"

Lately, a lot of my fellow mommies have been lamenting to me that their children just don't seem interested in consuming the foods that are vital to their development.  I don't know what this is like.  I have a thirty pound sixteen month old who is about three feet tall and eats everything he can get his hands on.  (Literally.  I have to feed  him two scrambled eggs for breakfast every day.  I eat two eggs also, and I am a lot heavier than he is!)

But one of the biggest struggles I hear about is my friends having trouble getting their babies to drink milk.  And since we had a minor struggle with that, I thought I would share my tips and tricks for getting young ones to get the milk they need.

Supposedly, after 1 year, babies need 16 ounces of cow's milk per day.  I think if you are still nursing past the year they don't need quite that much, but if you're like me, your kid needs to be getting the fat to ensure proper brain development.  While you can get the fat from other sources, milk seems to be the method of choice and it's the one we use in our home.

But Bug was a little resistant to it, as he is with every new thing.  I mean, this is the kid who scraped blueberries off of his tongue.  But eventually, I got him to take in the 16 ounces, and this is how:

1.  First thing, he gets a sippy cup of milk.
Bug generally eats dinner somewhere around 5-6 pm, and then aside from his bedtime milk doesn't get anything after that.  So he generally wakes up ravenous and will generally take at least a few slurps of milk before he starts demanding something else.

2.  Then, I stick it in his food.
So, Bug used to have a bowl of oatmeal every morning for breakfast, which was a great way to get him about 3 or so of the ounces of milk.  However, about a week and a half ago, he decided he wasn't going to eat oatmeal anymore, and what I mean by that is instead of eating it like a good boy, he would shove the spoon away, or grab the bowl and throw it at my head.  Now the only thing he will eat for breakfast appears to be scrambled eggs, so what I do is I mix the eggs in with some milk and then give them to him.  Between bites of egg I offer him the sippy cup with the milk in it.

There are lots of foods you can mix the milk in, too.  If they won't eat oatmeal or another cereal, try making mashed potatoes and putting a healthy dose of whole milk in with their serving.

You can also buy whole-milk yogurt and cheese as a way to supplement stubborn babies who won't drink it.  Interestingly enough, my son doesn't really care for cheese, but he will down his milk:)

3.  Offer it, but don't go overboard.
I usually offer Bug a sippy of milk before his nap, to help him calm down and because that's been his routine for pretty much forever.  But I also make sure he drinks a little juice (to help his pooping) and plenty of water throughout the day.  Don't offer your baby just milk; he needs variety, and he definitely needs water!

So, those are my tips for getting your baby to drink milk.  But trust your instincts, and do what works for you.  When in doubt, talk to your pediatrician.  They usually have good advice:)

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Try and you WILL prevail!

Awhile back, my buddy Jen over at My Boss Is Teething posted about her success with getting her son to sleep in his crib without making him cry it out.

This filled me with hope.

You see, I screwed up.  Back in March/the beginning of April, my husband went overseas and left me with the Bug.

During that time, I found out about the existence of Baby B.

And so, I, er, got a little, shall we say lax about making Bug sleep in his crib.  So instead of spending most of the night in there and part of the night with me, I was basically just putting him to bed in my bed and snuggling with him and figuring that we could deal with it when Jon got home.

Unfortunately, by the time Jon did get home, I had rather successfully trained Bug to believe that his crib was Leviathan and he was in no way, shape, or form, going to sleep in there again.

Jon was kind of pissed at me over this, but seeing as how I am pregnant, I got a bit of a free pass.  Good job, Baby B!  But the fact of the matter remained, my darling child could not stay in our bed.  For one thing, my belly has started to expand (I now have a rather cute bump!), and for another, both of us were tired of getting kicked and whacked in the face while we attempted to slumber.

So, we went to IKEA and bought Bug a toddler bed.

I had broached the idea with Jon awhile ago.  "I think he'd do better in a toddler bed," I said.

"The crib turns into a toddler bed," my astute husband pointed out.

"I know," I said, "but we're having another baby, remember?  One that we'll probably need the crib for."

"But what if he gets out of the bed?" he asked.

I shrugged.  "I don't think he will.  I think he'll sit in it like he does his crib.  Besides, we'll hear him if he does."

So, we bought the toddler bed and went to work.

For the first week, we didn't even try to put him to sleep in it.  I would sometimes lay in it during the day and that helped Bug to grow curious about it.  Then he started climbing in it and sitting on it, so we moved on to Phase 2.  After his bedtime routine of bath and milk and teeth brushing, we would rock him and then lay down with him in the toddler bed.

Then we got him to sleep a few hours in it every night.

We continued this routine for awhile, and typically what we do is put him to bed and lay with him until he falls asleep, which doesn't usually take too long.

Now he sleeps for about ten hours in it every night.  He and I still take our naps together in the big bed, and I am actually getting a decent night's sleep.  It's rather exciting, especially since I am currently gestating another human.

But the point is, yes it took a long time, but we did manage to get this and it's working really well.  I am so pleased, and am really happy that I stuck to my convictions and I never made my child cry it out.  Especially since everyone was telling me that he was going to sleep in my bed until he was seven:)

I doubt that.  He's a big kid.  He never would have fit:)

Friday, June 17, 2011

Sometimes, you need to be selfish.

I feel fantastic this morning.

Why, you ask?

Well, last night I packed a bag and spent the night at the hotel down the street from my house.

I abandoned my husband and my baby to fend for themselves and I got a seriously needed good night's sleep.

I know.  I know.  Amanda, you selfish, selfish woman.

But oh, it felt soooooo good.

I haven't been sleeping well at all lately.  I think Bug is teething again, and since he's always been a restless sleeper I am rather frequently awakened by him smacking me.  Plus, since I am pregnant, there are the multiple bathroom trips I wind up taking during the night when my bladder decides to frantically signal to me that if I don't go and void it RIGHT NOW I will wet the bed.

Let me explain a few things, though...

First off, a lot of baby books will tell you that your child will "sleep through the night" by age four months.  And this is sort of true, but for a baby to sleep through the night, it means that he or she will get five hours of consecutive sleep.  Does that do your sleep-deprived self any good?  It does at the time, but on a long enough timeline, you start to unravel a bit.  Now, Bug was a fantastic sleeper for awhile.  But then teething sort of shot all of that to hell, and lately I find that he can sleep, but I can't.

So, the other day I approached Jon and said, "Hey, would you be okay if I took a night and went and slept at the (nearby hotel)?"

My husband looked at me with relief and said, "Yes.  Do that.  ASAP."  Because he also knew that I really, really needed a break.

So, last night I packed a bag, grabbed some carryout, and got my first really, truly good night's sleep in a long time.  I climbed into the comfy, comfy bed, surrounded myself with pillows, and passed out while watching The Office (which I haven't done in FOREVER).

And Jon and Bug were just fine.  Bug even spent 8 full hours in his big boy bed--and we think he probably would have slept longer if not for the fact that he soaked himself rather thoroughly.

For my part, I slept in until almost 8 (which is UNHEARD of for me), got up, took a shower, got a hot chocolate from Starbucks and came home and was happier to see my boys than I have been in awhile.

I think as moms a lot of the time we feel guilty when we need time away from our families, but the fact of the matter is, sometimes we need to recharge.  When you constantly give and give and give, it really runs you down.  And to be perfectly honest, I've been feeling lately like I'm coming apart at the seems.  The pregnancy coupled with the demanding toddler plus the demands of everyday life have just really been taking a toll on me, and it felt really good to have a mini-vacation.  I obviously won't do this all the time, but I think from now on, I am going to really listen to my needs and be more vocal about them, because I seriously feel like a new person this morning:)

Sometimes, you need to be selfish.

I feel fantastic this morning.

Why, you ask?

Well, last night I packed a bag and spent the night at the hotel down the street from my house.

I abandoned my husband and my baby to fend for themselves and I got a seriously needed good night's sleep.

I know.  I know.  Amanda, you selfish, selfish woman.

But oh, it felt soooooo good.

I haven't been sleeping well at all lately.  I think Bug is teething again, and since he's always been a restless sleeper I am rather frequently awakened by him smacking me.  Plus, since I am pregnant, there are the multiple bathroom trips I wind up taking during the night when my bladder decides to frantically signal to me that if I don't go and void it RIGHT NOW I will wet the bed.

Let me explain a few things, though...

First off, a lot of baby books will tell you that your child will "sleep through the night" by age four months.  And this is sort of true, but for a baby to sleep through the night, it means that he or she will get five hours of consecutive sleep.  Does that do your sleep-deprived self any good?  It does at the time, but on a long enough timeline, you start to unravel a bit.  Now, Bug was a fantastic sleeper for awhile.  But then teething sort of shot all of that to hell, and lately I find that he can sleep, but I can't.

So, the other day I approached Jon and said, "Hey, would you be okay if I took a night and went and slept at the (nearby hotel)?"

My husband looked at me with relief and said, "Yes.  Do that.  ASAP."  Because he also knew that I really, really needed a break.

So, last night I packed a bag, grabbed some carryout, and got my first really, truly good night's sleep in a long time.  I climbed into the comfy, comfy bed, surrounded myself with pillows, and passed out while watching The Office (which I haven't done in FOREVER).

And Jon and Bug were just fine.  Bug even spent 8 full hours in his big boy bed--and we think he probably would have slept longer if not for the fact that he soaked himself rather thoroughly.

For my part, I slept in until almost 8 (which is UNHEARD of for me), got up, took a shower, got a hot chocolate from Starbucks and came home and was happier to see my boys than I have been in awhile.

I think as moms a lot of the time we feel guilty when we need time away from our families, but the fact of the matter is, sometimes we need to recharge.  When you constantly give and give and give, it really runs you down.  And to be perfectly honest, I've been feeling lately like I'm coming apart at the seems.  The

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Mommy's Tummy Troubles

So, I am 14 weeks pregnant now.  Hello, second trimester!  This pregnancy has been...interesting, compared to my last one.  Of course, for one thing, the last time I was gestating a human, I didn't have an almost sixteen month old to chase around.  And he has gotten FAST!  We had been playing on my bed and I set him down on the floor and turned my back for one second and he literally disappeared.  I frantically tore through the upstairs, only to find him in the office, playing with the door.

What is it, exactly, that inspires this profound love of doors in children?  Specifically my child, who feels that if there's a door nearby, it's a complete and utter waste of his life if he isn't attempting to open and close it.  ::shakes head::

So anyway, back to the pregnancy...when I was pregnant with Bug, I wanted milk.  Like, all the time.  I would seriously drink somewhere between 3-5 glasses of milk A DAY.  This time around, dairy is killing my stomach.

Now, I have IBS, a common affliction in young women my age, but normally I have it with constipation.

Not so much lately.  I've been having the, ahem, opposite problem.  Every time I drink milk or have something with too much cheese, the pains start and I find myself trapped on the toilet.

So anyway, I am having to be creative about how I get my calcium.  Truthfully, the best thing for your body in terms of calcium absorption is to simply not drink soda (and of course, guess who's been craving soda?  I don't drink it when I'm not pregnant, but suddenly I am carrying a human being who has no need for high fructose corn syrup in his/her system and it's all I want).  For some reason, the carbonation in soda has a tendency to break down the calcium that is stored in your bones.

But darn it, I want a Coke sometimes:)

::yawn::  Anyway, Bug is asleep and I think I am going to be joining him for a nap.  I haven't been sleeping well lately (another thing that makes this pregnancy weird.  When I was pregnant with Bug I slept at least ten hours a night, plus naps), so hopefully I can get some rest:)

Monday, June 13, 2011

Oh dear..

Whoopsie!

Went away again.

I apologize, it's just in between buying a new car to hold two children and dealing with life, I've been...busy.

I even have a cavalcade of blog topics to write about.  But I don't have time to do that this morning, so I will just share a quick anecdote.

So, I have been wondering if Bug is ready to start thinking about learning about the potty.  Not strict potty training per se, but introducing it and seeing what happens.  He's not really keen on being in wet diapers, and he's sure to let us know if he is unhappy.  He's also walking more (PRAISE JESUS), so that is one of the many thoughts that's been swirling around in my head lately.

Well, this morning, apparently I missed the boat, and I didn't notice that he was wet, and he hadn't told me anything to let me know otherwise.  So at one point, he toddles up to me doing what I have dubbed the "Frankenstein Walk" (SNOTTY ENGLISH MAJOR NOTE:  Yes, I am fully aware that Frankenstein was the creator of the monster, not the creature himself.  However, I feel like it takes too long to say "Frankenstein's Monster Walk", as if I just say "Frankenstein Walk", everyone knows what I mean and it elicits a chuckle).  Then, standing in front of me, he proceeds to undo the velcro tabs of his diaper, hand it to me, and then giggle and prance off naked.

That's my boy.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Bad Words

I feel horrible today.  Not sure what the deal is--I thought you were supposed to start feeling better as you move into the second trimester?

So, I have been thinking a lot lately about the subject of my post, and I will now share what's been going through my mind with you...

I sort of have, uh, a pottymouth.

"But Amanda, you look so sweet and innocent!"  And I do, don't I?  Here I am with Bug when he was three weeks old, and I have to say, I look fairly benign.

And how little is he?  Seriously?  My teeny tiny baby is now almost three feet tall...::sigh:: 

But let's focus, shall we?  Appearances can be deceiving, as Brad Pitt well knows (yes, that was a Burn After Reading reference).  And in polite company, I can converse rather well, without dropping any sorts of vulgarities.

But oh, I have a bad mouth.

It started in high school, where a lot of the books I was reading contained all sorts of words that would make your mother blush (notice I said your mother, not mine, as MY mother is a NICU nurse and she's heard it all).  And really, I see nothing wrong with the occasional swear word (in fact, my alma mater, the University of Florida, published a study a few years back which actually highlighted the benefits of swearing.  As it turns out, swearing lowers your blood pressure and is a very effective form of stress release).  But now that I have a child, especially one that repeats random things that I say, I have to be a little more...vigilant with my tongue.

Normally, I do a pretty good job of this.  There's only one particular instance in which I have as of yet been unable to curb my tongue, and those of you who live in the DC Metro area probably know where this is going.

I'm talking, of course, about on the road.

If you have never driven around DC, well, you've probably added years to your life.  To give you an example of how traumatic the driving conditions here are, allow me to replay for you an actual traffic report that I once heard:

"Okay, traffic!  495--BAD.  66--BAD.  270--don't even bother."  (Thank you, Toby from Hot 99.5, for that insightful recap).

So, as you can imagine, the drivers around here aren't exactly the best.  And while I have the amazing ability to display seemingly endless patience with my sweet little boy, the same isn't necessarily true with these bastions of unsafe driving that appear everywhere I turn when I'm carting myself and Bug around.  However, unless I want my son to start calling people a certain word that rhymes with "dockmucker", I feel I may need to alter how I deal with my road aggression.

One day, in fact, some jerk cut me off only to then promptly slam on his brakes, and I may have screamed out, "WATCH IT, YOU MOTHER...::pause::  ::then weakly::: trucker."

If only I lived closer to the Metro.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Behold, Baby B!

Here he (or she, but my money is on it being a boy) is!

Baby looked perfect at my ultrasound, nuchal was normal, and it was fun.  Poor little one had the hiccups so there was lots of bouncing around the screen.  But at one point it looked like B was waving!  I'm going to like this kid:)

So, normally when you get a pelvic ultrasound under 16 weeks they tell you to drink 32 ounces of water an hour prior to your scheduled exam.  And then you have to hold it.  This is because the water causes your bladder to push your uterus up and they can get a better view of its contents.

I don't do that.

First off, no matter what, if you drink 32 ounces of water, you're going to need to pee fairly quickly.  For me, if I drink that much water all at once, about 30 minutes later I am doing the "I WILL NEVER SURVIVE UNLESS I EMPTY MY BLADDER RIGHT NOW" dance.  In spite of the fact that I've only had two pregnancies, I have had a fair amount of ultrasounds, because when I was a teenager and into my early twenties, I had ovarian cysts.  So I usually do my water drinking about half an hour before the scheduled exam.

Also, there's the fact that no matter what, no matter HOW FULL your bladder is, when you get to your appointment, they will never, ever see you on time.  My ultrasound appointment was scheduled for two.  I wasn't even sent back to change until 2:20.  The tech finally moseyed on in around 2:30.  And by that point, I was feeling pretty darn full.  Especially since when I checked in, they told me they wanted me to drink another ten ounces of juice in addition to the 32 ounces currently bouncing around in my bladder.

I peed about sixteen times in the subsequent half hour.

Anyway, I am super excited about my little jumping bean, and I am looking forward to finding out if Bug is getting a brother or a sister!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

What NOT to Read When You're Expecting

I love books.

If you were to look at my house, the first thing you would probably notice is the large amount of books and the dearth of everything else.  I'm not really huge on decorating.  I am huge, however, on collecting books.

Even though I recently bought a Kindle, there are some books that I will still continue to buy because I insist on having the hard copies in my hand.  I can't explain it.  My husband doesn't understand it--but he accepts that I won't change, so there's that:)

Anyway, the reason I bring this up is when I discovered that I was pregnant again, I immediately dragged out all of my books on birthing babies, as I couldn't remember exactly what it was I couldn't eat, and I had some other questions.  After perusing my books for about twenty minutes or so, it dawned on me why I had been so freaked out the entire time I was pregnant with Bug.

These books are designed to scare the crap out of pregnant women.

And they do a great job of looking so innocent about it too!  Take The Unofficial Guide to Having a Baby, for example.  On the surface, it looks like a handy guide to conception, pregnancy, and postpartum.  In reality, it is clearly a tool of the devil to freak you the heck out.  While reading the first few chapters, I couldn't help but note how it seemed like every other page was like, "WARNING:  You will probably have a miscarriage" (I am paraphrasing, of course, but really, does any pregnant mom need to be reminded over and over that about 20% of all pregnancies end in miscarriage?).  Then when I got to the chapter about the third month of pregnancy, which is entitled "Anxiety Alley" and talks about how you, the pregnant woman, are probably freaked out that you are going to have a miscarriage, I threw the book down in disgust and decided that I wasn't going to look at it for the rest of my pregnancy.

Then I thought, well, maybe it's time to bust out with What to Expect When You're Expecting.  This also turned out to be a mistake. Now, before I rag on this book, it probably should be noted that, yes, it does provide a lot of answers, a nice week by week breakdown of what to expect during your pregnancy, suggestions for postpartum, etc. 

BUT.

In case you wondered how many weird things that have an extremely low probability of occurring but are indeed out there, this is your resource.  I do remember one day when I was pregnant with my son, my husband came home to find me in absolute tears because I had self-diagnosed myself with all sorts of horrific diseases.

Of course, as you all know, Bug came out just fine.  He's currently passed out.  I got him down for an early nap (with very little protest, as the poor guy was tired!) because we're going this afternoon for my twelve week ultrasound:)

But I digress.

So, take it from me.  DON'T read any of these pregnancy books that freak you out.  In fact, if you start freaking out, IMMEDIATELY DISCARD whatever it is you're reading and find something else.

Look, I'll be honest.  Somewhere between 20-25% of pregnancies DO end in miscarriage, and that's horribly sad.  In fact, 30% of FIRST pregnancies end in miscarriage, which is something that a lot of people don't really tell you.  But the odds are on your side that your baby is going to be just fine.

So, here are some books that I personally read while pregnant, and enjoyed and found helpful:


Belly Laughs by Jenny McCarthy--This book made me feel one million times better about my pregnancy.  Jenny McCarthy is hilarious, open, and extremely honest about all of the wonderful and extremely unpleasant changes that go on in your body, and it was rather comforting to know that I wasn't the only one experiencing this stuff. 

The Girlfriend's Guide to Pregnancy by Vicki Iovine--Ms. Iovine, the mother of four kids, tells it like it is, and her straightforward approach to pregnancy and childbirth is soothing and informative without being stressful.

Husband-Coached Childbirth by Dr. Bradley--As I've mentioned before, I took Bradley classes in preparation for Bug's birth.  I still got an epidural.  But this is a great book which teaches you relaxation and breathing techniques, as well as giving a great guide on how to eat for your baby's optimal health.

Well, I am going to join my son for a nap.  I am looking forward to my ultrasound and I will hopefully have fun pictures to post later!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Preparing for Two

How the heck am I going to have two children?  This is still boggling my mind.  I mean, I know I can handle it, because (a) I don't have a choice, and (b) I am a strong, hardworking woman and mom and I am already thinking of myself as a mom of two.

So, because I know that as the pregnancy progresses I am going to get less and less interested in doing things, we immediately have set to work on preparing our house for another little angel.  This has meant a few things, the first being that we went out and bought Bug a toddler bed, and a dresser and bookcase for the nursery.  We didn't have those items previously, but with another kid, we really needed them--especially the dresser.  Bug hasn't started sleeping in his toddler bed yet; we just got all the furniture put together and organized in the way we want it, but we have yet to do the quintessential bolting to the wall.  I am concerned because my son delights so much in pulling on his new dresser drawers and opening and shutting them that I would rather be safe than sorry.

Secondly, we went out this weekend and bought me a larger car.  My beloved RAV4 held one carseat okay, but two is simply not an option.  So, we decided to take advantage of the Memorial Day sales and we went out and bought me a 2011 Honda Pilot.  I had been wanting a Toyota Sienna (up until this point, I have previously been a Toyota snob), but the Pilot seemed like a good fit for our family--and Jon really liked it as well.  I have had a bit of an ordeal with that, but I don't have time to go into the details.  Maybe later:)

Anyway, tomorrow we are going for my 12 week sonogram.  Can't wait to see Baby B!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Where Did I Go?

Hi folks!

I know I've been MIA for a few weeks now.  It's just there's been a lot going on.

First, there's this:

Yes, Bug is getting a sibling!  While my due date is December 11, if it's another boy, I will probably go early again (which is the case with boys in my family.  None of them seem to make it past the 38 week mark!). So I've been dealing with the ups and downs of early pregnancy.  (Note: I had NO idea I was pregnant when I wrote that post about what not to say to pregnant women).  Anyway, I am almost twelve weeks along and seem to have gotten past my nausea (I did have morning sickness a couple times.  Bug thought that was hilarious).  The only thing that I am still dealing with is the perennial tiredness.  When the afternoons roll around I seriously watch the clock and pray that my husband won't hit bad traffic.

I really hate it when people say that they were surprised that they are pregnant.  That's a major pet peeve of mine.  However, nobody was more shocked than me when took a pee test and the result was positive.  I literally stared at it for about ten minutes and said, "Huh" over and over. 

So, there's that.  Plus, my sister was visiting last week, and between trying to keep up with my fifteen month old, I've had a bit of a time.

Speaking of my darling, Bug is asleep, which is highly unusual for this time of day.  But I suppose that's what happens when you wake up at 5:30 and refuse to go back to sleep.  I heard him start giggling and I knew I was doomed.  Luckily I got him back down  about an hour and fifteen minutes ago, so I also got to get some rest (but not sleep, as I'm still peeing every fifteen minutes).

Now that I have a pregnancy to blog about, I am sure I won't run out of topics:)

Monday, May 9, 2011

Mommy Time

So, Bug decided that 5 freaking a.m. was a good time for he and I to start the day.  I opened my eyes to see my beautiful boy sitting up and clapping.  When I groaned and closed my eyes again, he signaled his displeasure to me by a well-placed kick to my sternum.

Not impressed.

So I wanted to write today about taking time to be yourself.  I think a lot of the time we, as moms, spend so much time with our kids that sometimes we lose a part of ourselves, and that's not necessarily a good thing.

That's not to say that I don't believe in sacrificing for your kids, because I do.  My parents most certainly did it for me, and I always look to them as my example when I am taking care of Bug.  But I also know that giving up the pursuit of your own dreams isn't a healthy thing.

Some things, obviously, aren't easily attainable while you still have a toddler, but that doesn't mean you still shouldn't try.  For me, my biggest dream is to be a published author.  So when Bug naps, I frequently take time to work on my writing.  I do research.  I query literary agents.  Because I know that I can be a mom, and do this, as well.

So, I guess I'm just trying to say, make sure you don't lose yourself in the mommyhood.  It's easy to do, but it's healthier for you as a person if you look in your heart and see what matters to you.  And it doesn't have to preempt your obligations to your children.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day weekend to all the wonderful moms out there.  Being a mom is tough, but it's the best job I've ever had and I am so grateful to all the other moms in my life who have been my sources of strength, support, and encouragement.  There are so many moms who have helped me through moments of stress and self-doubt, and I love being in this sorority with you, knowing I always have a shoulder to lean on when I need the support.

And most importantly, Happy Mother's Day to MY mom, who is the most amazing mother I know, and without whose continual support I would not have become the woman I am today.  I love you, Mommy!

This is my mom and Bug last summer, during Bug's first swim in my parents' pool.  As you can see, he's doing what he does best:  trying to eat his flotation device.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Keep Your Sick Kids At Home!

I vaccinate Bug on a delayed schedule.  He's had a few minor reactions to shots (low fever, irritability, swollen legs) and so I never let him get more than one or two shots at a time.  So even though he is slightly behind other kids in terms of immunizations, he is fully vaccinated (although there are some shots, like the flu shot, I have chosen to opt out of). But that's not really what this post is about.

This post is about the fact that if your child is sick, keep him (or her!) at HOME!

You see, friends, I am fairly fanatical about Bug's health and if he has so much as a bad runny nose, we don't go ANYWHERE.  Sometimes it sucks, but the fact of the matter is, my baby comes first.  If he's sick, we stay home and cuddle and read stories.  That doesn't mean, however, that I don't understand that it sucks to be home with your kid and not be able to go anywhere.

But really, what the HECK are you thinking when you drag your sick kids out and about?

I say this because Bug and I attended a birthday party a few weeks ago for one of the little boys in our Mommy group.  One of the other moms apparently brought her child there with the Rotavirus.
THE ROTAVIRUS.

Not only was this mother aware of the fact that her  kid had the Rotavirus (it's not hard to figure out--lots of diarrhea, dehydration, lack of desire to eat or drink), but she exposed all of the other kids at that party to it.  And some of them weren't vaccinated against it, and two children even wound up in the ER.
The lack of responsibility here floors me.  Like I said, it sucks when your kid is sick and you can't go anywhere.  I've had to pass on activities I've really wanted to do because Bug's had a cold or whatever.  And I know that some illness-spreading is inevitable, as a kid might have a slightly runny nose which turns into the Niagra Falls of runny noses later, but that's not a serious illness, people.

So anyway, please, if your child is sick, keep them home!  Go out when he or she is feeling better, you'll have a much better time that way anyway!


Sunday, May 1, 2011

Fears of a New Mom

Now that Bug is 14 months old, I have relaxed in a lot of ways. You see, I was a bit, um, highly strung.

First off, when I was pregnant with him, I spotted from Week 4 to Week 6, which is not uncommon, but was still stressful for me. Plus, we had confided our news in a family member who was part of the medical profession, who, instead of sharing comforting words with me, said, "Well, about 30% of first pregnancies end in miscarriage."

Hmm, I should probably add that to my post about what not to say to pregnant women.

Anyway, after the spotting stopped, I breathed a little sigh of relief, and I did okay until I was about ten weeks, when I had my subchorionic bleed.

And then, at 29 weeks, a blood vessel on my cervix burst and I had some spotting again.

Oh, and then we had a vicious snowstorm when I was 35 weeks, and I was convinced I was going to have to deliver my baby in my bathtub.

So anyway, I had a bit of a stressful pregnancy, and you would have thought I might have gotten some sort of reprieve after Bug was born, healthy and beautiful.

Fat chance.

First off, Bug had jaundice. Here's a picture of us when he's little little, and you can see (compared to my extreme whiteness) how bad it was. So that freaked me out.

But what I was the most petrified of was SIDS.

The idea that this baby could be ripped away from me with no explanation shook me to my very core. And I was determined to do all I could to protect him.

So, I wanted to share what I learned from doing my research.

First off, SOME SIDS cases are preventable. There are lots of ways to reduce SIDS--in fact, one of them is the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends keeping your child in your room with you until he or she reaches six months of age. The peak ages for SIDS are between two and four months, with the risk going down to almost nothing after six months. While I want to be very clear here and say that the AAP does NOT advocate for cosleeping, they do endorse keeping your child in your room, in a separate bed. A cosleeper is great for this. You can also use a pack n play or a portacrib. I know some people who have even moved their babies' cribs into their rooms, but the layout of my bedroom would not allow for that! But the reason why this is effective is babies will match their breathing to that of their parents, and will not "forget to breathe."

Secondly, using a fan has been known to reduce the risk of SIDS. This is because the constant circulation of air reduces the rebreathing of carbon dioxide, which is also thought to contribute to SIDS.

Thirdly, make sure your baby does NOT overheat. This was a big fear of mine, especially since Bug seems to have the same body temperature as his father--about two degrees higher than my cool 97! He also wouldn't tolerate being swaddled after about two months, and when I moved him into the Halo Sleepsacks, I have to say, my worries about his body temperature dropped.

Now, as I've mentioned before, I coslept with Bug a lot, and I continue to do so. But I am also very aware of him when I sleep. I have trained my body to wake up pretty much any time he stirs in his sleep. And while cosleeping has worked for us, it's not for everybody, and sadly, it has been blamed in some SIDS cases, because parents will roll over onto the child. Heavy sleepers shouldn't cosleep. Be safe with your baby.

I apologize for my recent lapse in posting, but I haven't been feeling well and dealing with a toddler who is FINALLY figuring out walking might be okay has been taking all of my energy. But I promise to do better in the future:)

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Bug's Playlist

While we were driving home from an Easter Egg Hunt yesterday (and I'm not even going to go into THAT), Bug wasn't happy with my choices of music. "GAGA!" he proclaimed.

I ignored this. "What about U2?"

"GAGA!"

See, most babies say "gaga" in some form. But when my son says it, it means he wants one thing, and one thing alone.

So I sighed. "Sweetie, Mommy just doesn't have Lady Gaga in the car right now."

"GAGA! GAGA! GAGA!" This went on until we got home and I opened up my computer and put on the coveted song.

You see, back when Bug was a lot littler than he is now, around 4 months of age, we went and visited my parents for about three weeks. My husband was out of town on business and so we went and let my parents take care of us, an arrangement that suited both Bug and myself very well.

Anyway, the point of this story is one morning my sister and I went out and got pedicures and got some lunch. And by the time we got home, my mother had introduced my son to Lady Gaga.

And there was no going back.

So anyway, I thought I'd share some of Bug's favorite music, some of which is geared toward kids, and some of which I probably shouldn't let him listen to.

Kid Appropriate Music:

1. SteveSongs--Oh, my little boy LOVES SteveSongs. I'm actually a fan myself. Back when I used to work at The Toy Store, this was one of the few CDs I could stand to listen to. Particularly I am a fan of the "Marvelous Day" album, because it contains my favorite: The Water Cycle Song. And what kid DOESN'T need to know about the Water Cycle?

2. Lightning McQueen's Fast Tracks--This is another CD that I got into when I was working at the toy store. The songs are inspired by the movie Cars and most of them are pretty cute and don't grate on your nerves too badly.

3. Anything by the Putumayo company--This is a great collection of CDs that feature music from around the world. I am a big fan of "Celtic Lullabies" and "Hawaiian Playground".

And what does Bug listen to otherwise? Well...

Here are his favorites:

"Bad Romance" by Lady Gaga (he also likes the Glee Cast Version)

"Misery" by Maroon 5

"Love and Memories" by OAR
Pretty much anything Britney Spears (I know, I know). Same goes for David Bowie, U2, and of course, the Labyrinth Soundtrack.

Oh, and "Talk Dirty to Me." By Poison. Yup:)

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

First Words


Predictably, my son said, "Dada" before he said "Mama". Which is fine, and very normal, as apparently my son is following the pattern of his mother and saying "Dada" first. It didn't really bother me, as apparently it's easy to make the "d" sound instead of "m."

But since then, his vocabulary has been fairly hilarious.

Bug has recently been referring to himself as "Bugga", which kills me. Sometimes I sing to him, "Bug-a-bug-a-bug!" So the fact that he's calling himself "Bugga" just about melts my little heart.

He also says, "Okay!" and "Oh yeah!" And of course, whenever he wants to eat breakfast, he very proudly says, "Egg? Egg?"

I did get the coveted "Mama!" But usually it's, "Mom! Mom! Mom!"

He hasn't said "No!" in awhile, so I am hoping that maybe he forgot about that.

The downside to him learning to talk is he's gotten very good at repeating things that I say. So I guess I'll have to watch my language from now on:)

Friday, April 15, 2011

Trashy TV

I have a confession to make.

This week has been crazy. Lots of stuff going on. Good stuff, but crazy stuff.

So, as a coping mechanism, I have turned to my old standby: trashy tv.

Specifically, reruns of Sex and the City.

I know. How un-mom like of me. But the fact of the matter is, I have really needed to just decompress and watch something that is completely unrelated to my life. And I definitely don't have as many shoes as Carrie Bradshaw, but I do sort of enjoy her silliness.

I also went shopping today! Now that Jon is home from his business trip, I have finally had a few minutes to just take some time to myself. So I went and got the eyebrows waxed (the Teen Wolf look is soooooo last year). But before that I went to Barnes and Noble and bought two books: Heresy by S. J. Parris (Matthew Pearl recommended this book, and I read pretty much everything he tells me to), and...

...Sweet Valley Confidential.

Don't be hatin'.

I used to love the Sweet Valley series, back when I was in elementary and middle school. And now, as an adult, I can't resist reading about Elizabeth and Jessica, who are apparently my age now.

Well, a year younger. They're 27.

I guess sometimes I just feel the need to remind myself that I have other interests. I love my son, but honestly, sometimes I need a break from the dirty diapers. I just need to decompress. And when I take the time to relax, I am a better mom as a result.

Hope you enjoy your weekend!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Ways To Save Money


Every time I make a purchase, I seriously ask the question: "Do I really need this?"

Why do I ask myself this question?

Well, duh. Here he is:

It seems like every time I go to the grocery store, or to Target, or to the mall, and I want to buy something, all I can do is think about whether it will affect him or not.

And really, I guess that's a good thing. Bug gets a good chunk of money that goes into his 529 plan for college every month. And in order to do that, I can't buy everything that I want. Sort of like when we had to feed him formula, and I imposed a moratorium on shoe buying (I kid you not. I didn't buy a single pair of shoes Bug's first twelve months).

But there are other ways to save money, too. So I thought I'd share some of my favorites:

1. Groupon--Gosh I love Groupon. If you don't use Groupon, you should. Sometimes their deals are completely unrelated to me, but there are some really great ones. Ones that I have purchased have included $6 for $12 worth of Firehouse subs, and $10 for $20 worth of Barnes and Noble credit. Total wins.

2. Certifikid--I really like Certifikid, even though I've only purchased one deal from them, but it was a good one ($135 for four hours of housecleaning, INCLUDING your fridge and kitchen). They offer a lot of kid-related deals, including discounts for kids' birthday parties and mommy deals.

3. LivingSocial--LivingSocial sometimes offers great deals, such as $10 for $20 worth of Amazon gift cards, and I actually got my membership to the local farm that delivers my produce through them. They're definitely worth a look.

If anyone has any other suggestions for money saving, do send them my way:)

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Etiquette Lesson #2: What NOT To Say To New Moms

I chronicled a lot of what happened during my early mom-hood with Bug on Facebook, and I went back the other day and read those entries. It was a fun yet frightening, overwhelming yet amazing, absolutely wonderful time.

Except for the whole horrible breastfeeding thing.

One thing that shocked me a bit when I first had my son was how everyone had an opinion about what I was doing with him. ("Why didn't you circumcise him? Are you a heathen?" "You're giving him formula? That's poison, you know!") I remember one day I came home from socializing (which isn't easy when you have a new baby) and positively wept because everyone was critical about what I was doing with my child.

That particular night I had gone to a barbecue, and I had received some really snarky comments about how (a) I wasn't nursing anymore (that was when I had gone to just pumping and supplementing with formula--Bug was about three months) and (b) he shouldn't be sleeping in my room anymore (I didn't mind this one so much, as I was so paranoid about SIDS that I was keeping him in my room until he was at LEAST six months). Plus, my husband was on a business trip so the baby had been my sole responsibility for about three weeks at that point.

So I got Bug into bed, and then I got in the bathtub and I sobbed for awhile. Then I got it together and reminded myself of a few things.

1. I am Bug's mom. Not them. And I do what I believe is best for him, no matter what. Other people's experiences are not the same as mine, and every child is different. And my kid is healthy, happy, and perfect.

2. Everyone has their own unique challenges with kids. While I had a terrible time nursing, I had a pretty great sleeper on my hands. And I made things work for us, in a way that kept him healthy and kept me sane.

3. What I do with my child is nobody else's business, anyway.

I kept telling myself that last one. I still sometimes have to tell myself that one to get through encounters with people. I know some of them are well meaning, but I also know that others aren't. Sometimes people just want to make you feel bad. And that sucks, but you have to keep your head above water.

But in all seriousness, new mothers have a rough enough time as it is. No matter what they do, they're criticized. Women nowadays are encouraged to breastfeed, but only until a certain point. Otherwise it's just "creepy" (I find this ridiculous, btw. Human milk was made for human consumption. Cow's milk, as delicious as it is, was made for consumption by COWS). If they formula feed, they clearly don't love their child. If they let their kid cry it out, they're horrible parents. If they DON'T let their kid cry it out, they are spoiling their child.

Anyway, I asked a few of my friends for their stories on this one. And because this is such a personal subject, names are changed.

One of my girlfriends, Beyonce, informed me that on the day she gave birth, her mother called her at the hospital (quite intoxicated) to inform her that she never should have married her husband. What a fantastic way to start her journey into motherhood.

Beyonce's mother-in-law was holding her grandson for the first time. Like most babies do, this little one pooped. The MIL was so grossed out that she screamed for her son, Tito, to clean it up. STAT.

One of my dearest friends, Shakira (am having too much fun with the name thing) had a baby that wouldn't sleep. Never. We don't know what his deal was. But he just wouldn't do it. One of her friends was listening to Shakira lament her lack of sleep, and then said, "Yeah, my little girl slept through the night after the first month. Never had trouble after that."

I informed Shakira that this person was either (a) lying or (b) didn't remember what it was like to have an infant.

And finally, and this is an important one: I don't care how ugly the baby is. You tell the parents that that child is the most beautiful creature you've ever seen.

One of my friends, Britney, called me in tears one day because someone had told her she had an ugly baby. Now, thankfully, I find Britney's child adorable, so I didn't have to lie when I reassured her that her little boy was darling. Almost as cute as mine. But I will admit, I do have friends who have had kids who I didn't think were all that cute. Thankfully, they've all turned into adorable kids, but some babies are just funny looking when they're born! They have cone heads! Bug actually kind of had this Klingon thing going on with his skull, but he grew into it. I mean, he was still darling, but it was a little funny:) But seriously, have a little tact!

Bug is still recovering from his ear infection so he's passed out. I think I'm going to get some writing done and then call it an early night myself. Happy Saturday!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Five Minute Friday

I am going to try this Five Minute Friday thing that I was introduced to by the amazing Jennifer Luitwieler. Five minutes of writing. The topic? If You Met Me.

So here goes.

If you met me, I'm sure I'd have my child attached to my hip. I don't go anywhere without him. In fact, you'd probably notice him first, with those bright blue eyes and that adorable smile. But that's okay. I understand, he's cuter than me.

If you met me you'd probably notice that I am rather vocal and have strong opinions. I am unapologetic for who I am. But in a lot of ways, I am a shy little girl, trying to overcompensate, trying to make sure that you don't actually see the core. I don't like to share all of me, and it takes time to break me down to the point where I feel comfortable to do so.

If you met me I hope that I would learn as much as I can about you. I have a tendency to talk about myself, and I don't always mean to do it, but it does happen. I do want to get to know you, obviously, and I want to share with you the things about me that I want you to know. I'm a mom. A writer. A lover of art.

Sometimes I don't communicate as well verbally as I do when I write. I find it's easier to put pen to paper than to get the words out sometimes. Please forgive me for this.

If you met me, maybe we could go to Starbucks and get some hot chocolate. Because that sounds amazing right now.

If you met me, I think you'd like me. I am funny, even though sometimes I make lame jokes. But that's not my fault. I'd have to introduce you to my dad so you could understand that it's genetic and I can't change that.

If you met me, I hope you'd like me. But if nothing else, you'd probably like my kid:)

Be Careful What You Say...


Bug is at the age where he randomly repeats words that I say. For instance, I always make eggs for myself for breakfast, and then I give him some of them. Because if I made him his own egg, he wouldn't touch it. But Mommy's eggs? YUM!

Anyway, I had just taken the eggs off the stovetop and put them onto a plate, and said, "Bug, would you like some eggs?"

"EGG!" he piped up.

I laughed. "Yes, Bug. Egg! Very good!"

Anyway, I was thinking this morning over some of the cringe-worthy things that I have said to my son, in moments of tiredness, weakness, irritation--and also moments where I just wasn't really thinking before I spoke. And since I thought some of them were fairly funny, I figured I'd share them.

(After Bug had been awake since 12:45 am, and the clock just hit 4 am) "If you don't go to sleep RIGHT NOW I will flush you down the toilet!"

"You're going to wear pants, and you're going to like it!" (After I said this I sort of shook my head at myself).

"Bug? What are you doing? It's quiet so you must be doing something you shouldn't!"

This is the worst one, but let me set it up for you. We went to go visit Jon's grandparents (Bug's great-grandparents) when Bug was about...six months? Anyway Jon's grandmother spent a lot of the time teaching Bug how to make noise. We came home, and he was pounding on his high chair. And I, in annoyance, said....

"I REALLY WISH YOUR GRANDMOTHER HADN'T TAUGHT YOU HOW TO BANG!"

Happy Friday!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Blogs I Read

When I was a little girl, I had a lot of ear infections, all of them culminating in me having some pretty intense surgeries on my ears when I was about ten. Since then, I haven't had an ear infection. But the thought of my sweet little boy suffering like I did always sends chills down my spine.

He has his first ear infection. It's not a full-blown one yet, but I took him to the pediatrician earlier and his ear is red and irritated. Also, we spent most of the night awake, so obviously he isn't feeling too good.

Anyway, I feel horrible, but hopefully if I give him his antibiotics (and a healthy round of probiotics!) we can keep the situation at bay.

So, that's what's going on with us. Since I need to be focusing my attention on him, I figured today I would just share with you blogs that I read that give me ideas:)

1. My Boss is Teething My friend Jen runs this blog and I have to say, she does a great job with it! She usually hosts some pretty fun giveaways, too, so you should check out what she has to offer. Her advice is always on point, and she usually asks some thought-provoking questions. She and I met in Bradley class and her son is just about as cute as they come:)

2. (a)Musing Foodie My friend Liza, who I met on Twitter, is simply amazing and runs a great website about one of my favorite topics: food. She's also really funny and is a fellow mom, and has many redeeming qualities that outshine the fact that she lives in Maryland.

3. WritRams: Writer Ramblings on Parenting Imperfectly Jacqueline Wilson (who I also know from Twitter!) is hilarious. Her child appears to be as awesome as mine in terms of crazy incidents. In fact, I don't read Bug any of the stories about E, for fear that it will give him ideas. But this blog always makes me smile.

Alright, time to go play with cranky child. Have a good one!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Bug's Birthday


Okay, I've been a total slacker lately. And I do apologize, it's just life has been kind of nuts lately! But I figure the best way to appease my audience is to show you cute pictures of the baby.

Because let's face it, that's at least about 50% of why you come here.:)

Here are some photos from Bug's First Birthday Party!

A good time was had by all. And even though I made homemade organic cupcakes for this kid, he wasn't really all that into them. I was sort of crushed, I'm not gonna lie.

But now he's...almost...14 months old. Yikes! His vocabulary continues to expand, and even though he's standing on his own a lot more now, he still has zero interest in walking. And he's heavy! ::grunts::

But maybe I should count my blessings?

Friday, April 1, 2011

Lazy Friday

Hi!

Bug is currently passed out on my bed.

I spent three hours cleaning yesterday due to the impending arrival of my friend Meghan tonight. Then I started on our avalanche of laundry, and vacuumed today, and then dealt with the Verizon guy.

I hate Verizon. But that's for another post.

Anyway, the point is, I had a brilliant idea for a blog post, but I have no idea what it was. And I'm tired. So, instead of writing something thought-provoking, I figured I would just try and make you guys laugh.

Here are two of my favorite links that I feel expectant parents/new parents/people who have any sort of interest in children might find funny. I hope you get some laughs!

Funny Baby Onesies

Creepy Halloween Costumes for Babies

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

What NOT to Say to Pregnant Women--About Labor

Oh, labor.

So it was pointed out to me yesterday that I left out a key element of what people try to tell you about when you're pregnant, which is, of course, labor.

Everyone has an opinion about it.

I, of course, wanted an all-natural childbirth. I took Bradley classes, I worked on my breathing, I practiced relaxation...

So guess what everyone said to me about that?

"You know, giving birth HURTS, right?"
"Oh, you say that now, but after a couple hours you'll be begging for that epidural."
"Wow! Since when did you become so granola?"

On the flip side, some of my friends knew that they wanted no part of the whole pain thing, and they said they were getting epidurals. Guess what people said to them?

"You know that you're probably going to have to have a C-section, right?" (For the record, yes, sometimes getting an epidural slows down labor, and it does lead to an increase in C-sections, but really?)
"Well, if you really want to do that to your baby, I guess it's your choice."

Why is it, exactly, that we as women can't win? We want to do it like our ancestors have done for how many thousands of years, and we're nuts. We want to use the pain medication that modern science has provided, and we're selfish. It just boggles the mind why we can't be more supportive of each other.

As for me, I guess I am more granola than most, but ultimately, I feel it's the woman's choice as to what kind of birth experience she wants.

For the record, I didn't exactly get what I wanted, because my water broke. Then I had to have pitocin. Then the back labor got really, really bad and after I labored for about twenty-four hours, I realized that since I was only 5 centimeters dilated, and the contractions were pretty bad with the whole baby's head grinding against my spine since he was posterior thing, that maybe getting an epidural wasn't the worst thing in the world. I remember my husband and the nurses reassuring me that I was going to feel better after I got it.

I also remember the moment that I realized it wasn't doing ANYTHING for my pain, and I started screaming at Jon and the nurses about how they had all lied to me, and how bad it hurt, and how I was probably paralyzed.

Not that I'm dramatic, or anything.

Ultimately, though, even though my birth experience didn't go exactly the way I wanted, it all worked out in the end. I do look pretty happy here.

But let me just say that after I gave that final push and that baby came out, I felt pretty darn good about EVERYTHING.


Aww, look at him and his little puckered lips and his chubby bubby cheeks...and me! Not bad for the whole 28 hours of labor thing, huh?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Etiquette Lesson: What NOT to Say to Pregnant Women

Ah, pregnancy. That wonderful time of joy and excitement, before your child is born and refuses to let you sleep.

Oh wait, that's just me.

And to be fair, after he hit two months, Bug slept great until 9 months. So I guess I can't complain too much.

But (as usual!) I digress.

So my buddy Chad and his wife are expecting a baby, and Becki is due in October. Clearly, this baby MUST be born on my birthday. But anyway, yesterday Chad seemed to be out of sorts because apparently everyone has been telling him how tough it's going to be once this little angel pops out.

Well, duh.

But it made me think back to when I was pregnant, and all of the wonderful things people said to me. And because I was pregnant at the same time as a lot of my friends, I asked them for help while writing this blog post, because I do remember more than one person being fairly hysterical over something someone said.

So, dear readers, here's what you should NEVER, EVER, say to a pregnant woman:

1. Comments about how much weight she's gained.
When I was pregnant, I gained 34 pounds. I gained about 20 of it from the time I was 14 weeks to 29 weeks, and then I didn't gain any more weight. Bug was gaining, I was losing, it was all good. But I felt like a whale. I actually remember waking up in the middle of the night to pee one night and seriously considering asking Jon to help me up.
I gained what is considered a healthy amount of weight: my doctor had actually predicted I would gain about 35 pounds. But this isn't the case with everyone. Some of my friends only gained about 15 pounds; others gained closer to 50. A lot of it depends on your starting weight, etc.
But you know what? No woman wants to gain weight, no matter how noble the cause is (such as carrying a new life). And we don't want to hear your comments about it. Please don't say things like, "Wow, you've kind of exploded, haven't you?" (oh yes, someone said that to me), or the much more blunt "Wow. You sure got fat." (thanks for sharing that gem, Jen!). Please also don't say things like, "What? You mean there AREN'T twins in there?" (That's rough, Elizabeth).
On the opposite end of the spectrum, the women who are tinier don't really appreciate being told how they either haven't gained enough weight, or how something must be wrong because their bellies aren't that big. My friend Bianca, who is rather petite to begin with, was apparently asked if she was carrying a dwarf baby, since her belly was rather little. Really? Really, people?

2. Please don't tell us how tired we look.
Carrying a baby is rough work. I would sleep for about ten hours every night and sometimes take a nap in the afternoon and still feel utterly exhausted. My first trimester was particularly rough. Even though I never threw up in the mornings, I did have a fair amount of nausea and would often be confined to my bed at times. So yes, we're tired. We don't want to be told that. As my friend Ana commented, "It gets really old after awhile." And it does! We're already sensitive about our weight, please don't add our appearance into the mix.

3. Don't give us your lame parenting advice.
Okay, this is a toughie. Jon and I haven't gone out alone much since Bug was born, but a lot of that is our choice. And on one hand, some advice is good! But please don't tell expecting mothers things like, "Make sure you do (x, y, and z) now, because you will never have fun, ever again, after the baby is born! First off, this is simply not true. I mean, yes, you will wind up foregoing certain things that you did before. But you have a wonderful new world of experiences and moments that completely make up for it. I always joke that I don't remember life before Bug, and in a lot of ways, I don't. But I can't picture my life without him now, and I'm completely cool with the fact that he has invade the bulk of the me time. I know that before long, he won't want anything to do with me, and so I'm cherishing these moments while I have them.
Also, don't tell new moms to sleep when the baby sleeps (thanks for this one, Emilie!). It's the biggest load of BS. In the beginning, baby sleeps like, what, 16 hours a day? So if I'm sleeping when he's sleeping, when am I going to shower? Take a sanity break? Definitely sleep when you can, but make sure to make some moments for yourself. Giving birth is an intense experience, and it takes a toll on your body.

And finally, I want to share this simply because it affected me rather greatly. And I really want to drive the point home here, so let me be as clear as I possibly can be:

IF A COUPLE DOESN'T HAVE CHILDREN RIGHT AWAY, IT IS NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS WHETHER OR NOT THEY ARE HAVING PROBLEMS CONCEIVING.

I say this because Jon and I had been married for about four years when we announced to the world that we had a baby on the way, and we had been getting a fair amount of comments for the previous two about when we were having kids, whether or not we were having trouble producing them, etc. And it was really, really hurtful. First off, we were way too poor to even consider having children in the beginning, as we got married fresh out of college and were living in an expensive area on not great of salaries. Secondly, we weren't sure if we could have kids. Like I mentioned in an earlier post, when the pregnancy test said "Pregnant" I fell off the toilet in shock.

Now I'm being asked when we're going for Number Two, because apparently the only thing that matters is whether or not I'm popping out more spawn. The answer is I don't know. I love my son, but he's a handful, and before I can even think about having another baby he needs to at the very least be walking.

Well, that's my rant for the day. Tune in for the next etiquette lesson, which is "Things NOT to Say to a New Mother."

Monday, March 28, 2011

"But why would I sleep, Mommy?"

I love my child, I love my child, I love my child.

BUT.

These past couple nights have been ROUGH.

So, on Saturday night, Bug went to bed at his usual time, which is 6 pm. He woke up an hour later screaming bloody murder. And I do mean bloody murder. I don't know if he had a nightmare, or what, but this was a completely distressed cry.

So, Jon and I went and got him, and we tried to get him back down, and we almost succeeded, when he went and pooped himself (Someday, I will write a blog post that doesn't involve feces in some fashion. I promise). And after Jon had begrudgingly changed his diaper, Bug suddenly lost interest in sleeping.

Now it's 9 pm. We've been dealing with this child for two straight hours now in which we were supposed to be having grown up time. Neither of us is very happy at the moment.

So Bug winds up in our bed, but he doesn't want to lay down with us. No, he wants to stand up and reach for the window blinds.

The following discussion ensues:

Jon: I say we throw him in his crib and turn the monitor off.
Me: We're not doing that.
Jon: Well, what do you propose we do?
Me: He's got to go to sleep at some point.

So Jon, in a lack of display of camaraderie, went to go sleep in the nice, cozy, baby-less study. And left me to deal with Psychobaby.

The following discussion then ensued:

Me: Bug, you're going to sleep.
Bug: Gum?
Me: NO! NO GUM! SLEEP!
Bug: Haha GUM. (Gum is his new favorite word. We don't know what it means)
Me: Bug ::wails:: Don't you love Mommy?
Bug: Yeah!
Me: So...sleep?
Bug: ::very solemnly:: Gum.

Anyway, he eventually went to sleep, and so did I, but AAARRRRGGGGHHHH. Somehow, someway, this has got to stop.

He's asleep now, for which I am supremely thankful. If only he would do this at night. For oh, say, twelve hours straight. And another hour in the afternoon.

Wishful thinking? Probably.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Weight Loss Update #3

Well, I gained a pound back this week.

::hangs head in shame::

But, I had a very stressful week, and even though I tried my best, sometimes being stressed takes its toll on your body. So, I'm not going to worry about it, and press on, knowing I will do better this week.

Total weight loss: 5.4 pounds