Tuesday, October 27, 2009

I Had a Rotten Day

You ever have one of those days that just sucks from the second you open your eyes to the second you close them? That was my day today. It all started from the moment my alarm went off at 6:10 because I heard rain. I didn't know it was supposed to rain. That can tack on an extra 30 minutes onto my already hour long commute.

So I get up and haul ass getting ready, but Isabella woke up and I couldn't pass up the chance to play with her a little bit because she was in a fine mood. So I finally drag my ass out of the house to sit in massive amounts of traffic. It took me 2 hours to get to work today and I made it in 2 minutes before the bell rang. Only to walk in my classroom and see a strange girl sitting there. I have a student teacher. Great.

Then my principal informs me that my Smart Board will be arriving today at the end of the day and to make sure the spot is cleared for it. Only the Smart Board arrives at 9:30 and is sitting in the middle of my classroom. So a coworker helps me move it and it's ginormous and I stub my toe on it.

Then I sit in 2 hours of traffic to go home because of a big accident on the bridge. I finally get home and my crazy aunt is over visiting with the baby and my mom. The minute I walk in she's already criticizing my parenting. Is the baby eating enough? How many hours do you wait between feedings? Oh she was a nightmare to get down for her nap today. Seriously lady I just battled traffic for 4 hours total and worked a full day and all I want to do is see my daughter and you're jumping down my throat? No one can look at my daughter's chubby face and even think she's not eating enough. I don't get people. Keep you're lame ass remarks to yourself before I start commenting on the state of your fat ass.

Now it's time for Bella's bedtime. I give her a bath, read her a book, bottle and instead of going right to sleep like she usually does, she proceeds to yell and cry and fuss. I walk and rock her for a while and then my mom comes up to give me a hand and Bella falls asleep the second I give her to my mom. That killed me. She didn't want me. That's been a big fear of mine since I went back to work, that my daughter won't want me or know me as well as my mom. I had to go into the bathroom and just cry because it hurt so bad.

Then Andy gets home and instead of relaxing together we have to run out and get Halloween costumes for our party on Saturday. I still have to go to two more stores after work tomorrow.
I'm just done. I've never been more happy to say goodbye to a day!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

My Daughter Is a Demon

No joke, she might be harboring an otherworldly demon behind those chubby cheeks. Today was her Christening. We were very worried because it took place right smack dab in the middle of nap time and apparently the Catholic Church doesn't feel that my daughter's very delicate nap schedule warrants a time change for all the Baptisms in the congregation...whatever.

So we dress her up like a little princess bride and she looks sweet as pie, but about 30 seconds after we get into the church she starts wailing. She was so tired, but was so interested in everything around her that she wouldn't sleep...just cry and cry and cry. Andy had to walk around with her the entire ceremony until he finally got her to sleep.

About 5 minutes after she falls asleep we have to bring her to the font for them to pour water on her head. Yeah, that went over like a ton of bricks. Starts crying again. Andy got her back down, 5 minutes later they anoint her forehead with chrism...crying. Back to sleep. 5 minutes later some crazy bib thing we have to put over her head...crying. Such a nightmare.

So we drive around for an hour with her because she falls asleep in the car seat. We get into the restaurant and she sleeps about another 30 minutes, so I'm thinking "Sweet" she'll be in a good mood. Which she was for about an hour and a half and then she just got so annoyed of being passed around like a hot potato, that I just took her outside and walked with her. Then my mom came to relieve me and my aunt to relieve her until at 6:00 I finally admitted defeat and took her home missing the last hour of the party.

She was so tired. I put her in a quick bath, in her jammies, and then bottle. She usually falls asleep when drinking her bottle but she was so overtired at this point that it took about 15 minutes of rocking to get her down. Poor kid. So here are some shots of her special day.

Little Miss Personality

Everyday Isabella grows more and more into herself and I'm noticing some distinct personality traits that are starting to form.

She's a chatterbox. Every night at around 3 am I hear her having deep meaningful conversations with the butterflies in her mobile. She must be asking them how they're day went. She'll give them advice for about 10 minutes and then go back to sleep. Hey if I don't have to get up she can hang with those butterflies all she wants. Also, every morning that's how she wakes me up. Not crying, just chattering to herself.

She's a little violent. She doesn't just bat at her toys, she beats the hell out of them. Whacking them all around like a mad woman. I'm going to have to teach her to be a little more gentle when she grows up or she'll be a real bully!

She thinks she's a big kid. She has no desire to ever just sit. She needs to be standing up. She also tries to hold her own bottle. She doesn't realize that her hands are still too little.

She's very tempermental. One second she's giggling and smiling, the next she is super pissed off. There's a 3 second window to avoid a meltdown.

The fastest way to get a giggle is to kiss her neck. This causes her father no end of worry. She also likes when you give her a zerbert on her belly, except for when she doesn't (of course).

She also has no problem entertaining herself. Sometimes she prefers it. I'll try to play with her toys with her and she'll fuss and get pissy until I put her in her gym by herself. It makes me feel really guilty because I feel like I should be playing with her and spending time with her and stimulating her, but sometimes she just want to play in that gym all by herself. So to make myself feel better I sit on the floor next to it, so at least she can see me.

She's a little quirky but she's getting more and more fun every day.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Choose An Identity

Whenever you comment on someone's blog in the little box at the bottom it says "Choose an Identity" and it made me think of all the identities we have and all the roles we play. Before I was a mother I was wild. I'd get dressed up every weekend and go out dancing with my girlfriends at trendy bars and clubs in Manhattan or I'd go see a play and grab dinner with Andy or maybe drop half a pay check on a shopping spree. My days were jam packed, coffee with coworkers after school, meeting up for happy hour with my girlfriends, sex in the middle of the day on the washing machine.

My life was good and I'd be lying if I said that part of me didn't wax nostalgic for who I was and the life I had (no need to add in the obligatory "but I love my baby so much" because it should be implied and if you don't think so that's your issue).

Things are very different now. I may still see 5 am on Saturday, but that's the time I'm waking up, not stumbling in. I may still grab coffee with coworkers but I'm mentally tallying up the minutes it's taking away from me spending time with Bella. I occasionally may still cut a rug at a hot night spot, but by 1 am I'm a yawning fool. And I still drop tons of cash on shopping sprees, but instead of pumps and skinny jeans I'm spending it on onesies, formula, diapers, and toys.

How do I reconcile the wild child within and the mom without? Who the hell knows. I'm just trying to be the best mother I can be while not abandoning who I am as a person. Sometimes I get jealous of the easy, carefree lifestyles of my girlfriends. It can be difficult not to resent them when I'm in my pajamas by 10pm on a Friday night and I get a phone call asking if I want to go out for a few drinks. Because I would like to go with them and spend time with them and live it up a bit, but every move I make now must be very carefully planned.

But I have something that they haven't got...in a few years, I'll have someone to set the table and do the dishes and they'll have to do it themselves so HA!

(If you thought I was going to say a sweet baby who loves me you don't get my humor at all!)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

4 Months Old

My little girl is 4 months old. Well, yesterday she was 4 months old, but I had company so I was unable to blog. I can't believe how drastically my life has changed in 4 months. I remember when my Saturdays would end at 5am, not start at 5am!

We tried her on rice cereal yesterday for the first time and she wailed, like screamed her head off. So we're going to try again in a few days and see how it goes.

Andy had to take her to the doctor yesterday because she was crying all day and, while we figured it was teething, we just wanted to make sure it wasn't an ear infection or something else. Doc said she looks healthy and he told us what to do to help with the teething (tylenol, teething tablets, baby orajel, cold things to chew on). So hopefully things will get better in that respect soon. She weighs a whopping 17lbs! Chunka!

Here's her 4 month pic

And one of her in her superfly new raincoat, I like it because she's giving the side eye.

On another note, this is my 100th post! Holla! I was reflecting back on my blog and the whole pregnancy part was really puppies and rainbows. So not my style. I think I was feeling like I had to love being pregnant because it was inappropriate not to love being pregnant, but in all honesty I never really loved it. Sure there were parts of it I liked but on the whole it was really just a means to an end.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

The Mom Wars

So it seems to me that there's been some mom-on-mom crime going on. As women we should support each other and try to raise each other up. However, this is not the case. Women see each other as competition. Competition for men, jobs, even as moms. We even dress for each other (who else would envy my Betsey Johnson shoes?)

I've noticed this whole competetiveness thing with mothers a lot lately. It seems every interaction I have with another mother is either the flaunting of milestones as if they were trophies, attention whoring the fact that their kid is a "marvelous" sleeper and always has been, or trying to hide their kid's perceived inadequacies, "He'd sleep through the night if there wasn't a giant bumble bee the size of an SUV buzzing about in his room."

I understand as mother's we want to show off our children, but we should never do it at the expense of someone else.

For example, my cousin, my first cousin with whom I grew up with more like a sister, has a 2 year old. So in my sleepless desperation I asked her when her daughter STTN. She looked at me smugly and said "6 weeks." My daughter was 2 and a half months at the time and I was defeated because that meant I was the problem. That meant I was doing something wrong. Until I looked in her baby book (it's not a creepy spy kind of thing she let me look at it) and there in the section where you list all of your baby's first times in black and white:

First time sleeping through the night - 3 months

Liar! It doesn't make you a better mother or your baby a better child then mine because yours can sleep through the night/roll over/speak japanese/etcetera ad nauseum and mine can't/won't/hasn't yet.

Now I realize that not all mom's are evil smug wenches. For every braggart and "Supermom" there's a wonderfully supportive and genuine mother who will never make you feel less then you are.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Motherly Advice

We had a baby shower for a coworker on Friday and they passed out these little index cards where you're supposed to write out advice to the mommy-to-be, although how they think I could impart my wisdom on a 3.5 by 5 inch card is unfathomable. Here are a few of the tips that I would have liked to impart on the about-to-be mommies of the world.

Don't buy Miniwear clothes. They have no "give".

Don't compare babies. Some babies will roll at 2 months and others not until 4 months, some will sleep for 9 hours and others only 3. Your baby will hit their milestones when they're ready. Things have a way of evening out. So at 3am when you feel like you're losing it, just tell yourself that those "perfect" babies will be horrendous teenagers. (This may or may not be true, but it makes you feel better!)

You will cry. Sometimes more then the baby. You will cry out of frustration, happiness, sheer exhaustion, loneliness, and anxiety. It's ok to cry, don't try to hide it.

Be consistent. You may try one tactic to soothe your baby or help her sleep but it may not work right away. Give everything at least a week to see if it works before you abandon it.

Follow your child's lead. He or she will guide you into making the right decisions.

Don't be a hero. Take all the help you can get. Let you're mother-in-law, sister, friend, or neighbor lend a helping hand. They may not do things exactly the way you do, but that's ok.

Trying to clean your house while you have a baby is futile. The dishes will go unwashed, the floor unmopped, the clothes unwashed, but that's ok! Accepting that you can't do it all is fine. Take out and a few crumbs never hurt anyone. Do what you can and let the rest go. Because before you know it your tiny baby will be old enough to do the dishes himself!

A glass of wine at the end of the day can do wonders for morale.

Get out as often as you can. Time with your husband or friends sans baby will keep you sane and help you to appreciate your little one that much more.

Finally, disregard everything I just wrote. No one, not me (in my infinite wisdom), your mom, your doctor, or even your husband, knows what's best for your baby more then you do. People will be doling out advice left and right, much of it conflicting, if something doesn't feel right to you leave it be. All babies are different and what works for one might not work for another.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Adventures In Deswaddling

Well we did it. We have effectively demummified our little girl. After almost 4 months of swaddling to sleep, which worked like a charm, our little chunker was getting too big and too strong and was breaking out of it. She'd wake up like 3 or 4 times a night because she broke out of her swaddle and we had to reswaddle her. It didn't matter what kind of swaddler we used or how tight we bound her up, she'd always escape. We had had enough.

Wednesday we bucked up and psychologically prepared ourselves for a week or two of no sleep. That night did not disappoint. Instead of 5 minutes to get her down it took almost 30. Every time we put her in the crib her hands would fly up by her face and she'd wake up. We finally got her down at 7:30. She woke up at 8, 9:30, 11:00, 3:30, 4:45, and 5:15.

Sufficed to say I had to take off from work, Andy was already off. It was a bugging nightmare. But we did it together and we were not swayed.

Nap time on Thursday was easier. She'll take two short naps (30-50 min) in her crib and then a big 3 hour nap (1 hour in the crib and then 2 hours being held) it was harder to get her to sleep for those naps, but the times didn't change. She was super cranky on Thursday, but I expected that because who isn't nasty when they're running on no sleep.

Thursday night we mentally prepared for another night of hell. We got her down at 7, easier then the night before and she woke up briefly at 8 but we just kind of "shhhhed" her back to sleep for a few minutes. I went to bed at 10 and was still pretty darn scared she was going to wake me up so she could yell at me...and she did...but not until 3am! She had a bottle and was a little hard to get back down, it took maybe 30 minutes, but she went back to sleep until 5:30! We were making progress.

Friday night I went out to dinner with my girlfriends leaving Andy to fend for himself. I got a text message at 7:10 "Just got her to sleep, super easy." Excellent! I got home at midnight and she was still sleeping. She woke up at 3 for a bottle, pooped (which is odd because she usually doesn't poop in the middle of the night), and was back down at 3:30 and she slept until 6:30.

I almost shit my pants when I realized how long she slept. She just had one really crappy night and then came around. She still wakes up for that middle of the night bottle but I've completely abandoned all hope that she will ever sleep straight and am pretty happy with the way things turned out.

No more straight jacket baby for me!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Looks Like I've Made It

Sure Angelina Jolie was famous before Brad Pitt, but she really blew up once the tabloids snarked her as being a home wrecker. Jessica Simpson hadn't had a record in a while but everyone was talking about her when a papparazzo snapped a picture of her where she looked fat (which she is not). Looks like I've got my very own snarker. Here is the comment that was left by an anonymous poster on my gemini post.

"..still on with the complaining about your baby! i sure hope you arent planning on letting her read this when she is older... she will feel guilty as hell!"

Yay! Looks like I've pissed someone off. But since she (because you know this is a chick) is a scaredy cat and won't post under her real name so I can defend myself, I am forced to drag my dirty laundry into my blog. It's not that I mind snark, I actually appreciate it, but don't do it behind the guise of "anonymous" that's just lame.

I am not complaining about my baby, I am complaining about her sleep habits. When she wakes up 3 or 4 times a night and then I have to drive to work, work all day, drive home, make dinner, and start all over again it's exhausting. Am I supposed to be grateful for waking up at 2, 3:30, 4:00, and 5:00? If I came to your house and started screaming at you in the middle of the night I'm sure you wouldn't post a blog entry on how wonderful I was.
As for you hoping she doesn't read it...HA! Once this kid can read I'm going to print out this blog and wallpaper her room with it so she knows that even though she terrorized us for 3 and a half months, and counting, we loved her enough not to leave her in the woods to be raised by wolfs.

So there I said my peace, disabled anonymous comments, so you can go play with a puppy somewhere.

Monday, October 5, 2009

What's In a Sign?

I remember when I first told my cousin Lisa I was pregnant. After the squeals and hugs the first thing she asked me was my due date. I told her I was due on June 27th. "You better hope you don't go early," she said. She was the mother of two so I leaned in to hear her motherly words of wisdom.

"If you go early the baby will be a Gemini."
MmmmHmmmmm. Now I knew my astrological sign, but only as it pertained to the snipets in the back of Cosmopolitan Magazine and The Daily News. I never put much stock in them (So all single Cancers are going to meet a mysterious stranger at a party?").

I did wind up going early, 8 days early, and Isabella was born a Gemini.

I went to a party this weekend for my cousin Lisa's 4 year old daughter and she asked me how Isabella's sleeping habits were (This is the first question everyone asks and it is so terribly annoying). So I tell her that Isabella is like two babies rolled into one. There's my cooing, giggling, laughing, happy girl who sleeps 9-10 hours a night (with a mid-night feeding of course) and then there's the crying, yelling, red-faced, waking up every 2 hours, hard to put down, pain in the butt baby.

She looked at me knowingly and said, "Gemini."

I did a little research and this is what I found:

"The Gemini personality stands out as the zodiac sign that knows something about just about everything, making them good conversationalists and interesting acquaintances. They are inquisitive and quick to digest new information and ideas. Intelligent and logical, but with a lot of nervous energy, Gemini likes to keep busy and expand their horizons whenever opportunities arise, often multitasking between several interests. However, as the sign of the Twins, there is a dual aspect to the Gemini personality, making it difficult for these individuals to stick with any one thing in order to master it, and often making it difficult for bystanders to figure out which side their Gemini friend is really on. Gemini has more than one personality, which can change in a flash, and those near to them would do well to learn them both. On and off, up and down, back and forth, black and white, day and night, ying and yang - this is the essence of the Gemini personality.

For those with a Gemini child, get ready for a ride! These kids can be sweet, cooperative little angles one moment and infuriating monsters the next. Gemini children are very verbal and soak information in like sponges. They therefore tend to master the art of communication quite early, often displaying knowledge beyond their years. This is a high-strung child with a lot of pent-up energy, so don't be surprised if your 6 year old Gemini claims to have "tension headaches" or other physical complaints beyond his years. The Gemini child will not particularly like the rigors of school, but it is likely that he will know to turn on the charm to bluff his way through parts of it. Though he has the intellect to excel in school, it's just not in little Gemini to follow things through to completion, so he will rarely be at the top of his class. Giving him a rich environment at home will help offset this, so be sure to introduce him to nature, sports, music, and reading early on, and also provide stimulation via computers and video games to help broaden his exploratory nature and hold his interest. Gemini kids seem to have a conflict between emotions and intellect, and this can manifest in a variety of ways, often in strange eating habits. Your Gemini might love only red jelly beans or want peanut butter on bread with no jelly and nothing to drink. If you ask about this type of thing, he will blithely tell you that the red ones give him strength or that he has exceptional salivary glands - in his own mind, he is perfectly justified in his choices regardless of how absurd they seem to everyone else. Your best bet is to keep the multi-vitamins handy for these little ones! With regard to other family members, Gemini will entertain and delight and generally get along fine with everyone, unless someone comes along that takes away his limelight, such as a younger sibling. In this case, your little Gemini may turn into a tormenter of this sibling for years to come, and this can be very difficult to control."

Is there a cure for Gemini?

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Simple Truths

There are a few things that hold true across gender, creed, and race. It's kind of like the universe's way of keeping us all in check.

Your kids will find a way to keep you tired. Whether they are waking up all night, crying as soon as the coffee hits the cup, or they get sick and keep you up worrying. Don't worry though, one day they'll have kids of their own and they'll reap what they sowed.

Given the choice between an apple and an ice cream sandwich, the ice cream will win every time. If not, we can't be friends.

Your child will wait until you have just showered and put on clean clothes until s/he decides to spit up all over you. Additionally, they will wait until they are freshly changed with a clean diaper before they poop (Ok, so this might only be my daughter, but it makes me feel better to think that other people's kids are messing with them too).

Despite my best intentions to eat right and exercise, starting every single Monday, by Friday I'm eating ice cream out of the carton and drinking wine out of the bottle.

Such is life.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Counting My Blessings

So I've had a pretty tough week. Isabella was on a great schedule for about 2 weeks (she'd go down around 7:30, wake up to eat at around 3am, then sleep until 6 ish), then for no reason whatsoever, she started fighting her sleep at bedtime and would wake up at 2 and then every. hour. after. Andy and I were like zombies for 3 days straight. I couldn't focus at work and fell really behind on my paperwork. I was up to 3 cups of coffee just to make it through the day and was in tears before bed because I was terrified of what the night would bring. Last night was better, she only woke up once even though it took us almost an hour to get her to bed.

However, I hate feeling like Johnny Rain Cloud. All of this negative energy is really starting to get to me because I'm not usually like this. So I decided to bring a little sunshine into my life and talk about the things that I'm grateful for:

I'm very lucky to have a healthy baby. The no sleeping sucks but it could be a million times worse. I don't have to go to sleep tonight wondering if my baby is going to wake up in the morning. She has a full life ahead of her and that's what it all boils down to. She's not in and out of hospitals. She's home with people who love her.

I'm so blessed to have my mom watch her or Andy when he's off during the week. A lot of people have to either lose a salary and stay home or pay for daycare and I feel so lucky that I don't have to. I know her needs are being met and she's with people who care about her and would never hurt her. And the best part is it's free.

I'm grateful to have a job. So many people are losing theirs or getting pay cuts and we don't have to struggle at all. We don't live like rockstars, but we're comfortable and we're able to give back whenever we can.

I'm lucky Isabella is completely covered on both of our insurances. I hear horror stories about insurance bills and I don't have to worry about that. I paid a $200 hospital fee and that was it.

Sometimes I get down, which I've forgiven myself for, and sometimes I complain, which IMO is necessary sometimes because if I don't vent I eat and get fat and no one wants that, but I have a lot to be grateful for. I'm very blessed in many ways.