Sunday, January 31, 2010

Selfish

I'm selfish. I'm not proud of it. I'm not ashamed of it. It just is. Andy's selfish too. When Isabella came it was a lot more difficult, nay, nearly impossible to be selfish, since becoming a parent involves so much self-sacrifice, and rightly so. However, I do try to sneak in a little selfishness when I can.


Once a week I do something that's just for me. Not for Andy, not for my friends, not even for Isabella because, let's face it, she gets every other second I have.

Sometimes it's big selfish, like a night out with the girls. We get dressed up, go out dancing, drink too much, eat greasy diner food at 4 am. Crash at Christina's apartment and wake up with raccoon eyes and a hangover. This may not sound like fun to you, but trust me it's totally awesome.

Sometimes it's medium selfish, like a date night out with Andy. Maybe we'll get dressed nice and go out to a fancy dinner. Maybe we'll catch a movie. Maybe Isabella will sleep over at Grandma's and we'll kill a bottle of wine and watch bad TV. It's nice because it gives us time to reconnect and remind ourselves that it's important to give our relationship some TLC.

Sometimes it's itty bitty selfish, like a mani pedi or grabbing a coffee after work with a friend or taking a bubble bath with a good book and a glass of wine while Andy does bedtime.

Irregardless (as an aside, this is totally not a real word, but they say it in Mean Girls and I just love it), of what kind of selfish it is, I think it's important to spend a little time on yourself when you can. When everyone else gets a piece of you and there's none leftover, claim a little of yourself back.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Techno Amish

It's no secret to those that know me that I am, less then adept in matters of technology, but what I lack in techy skills I make up for with my good looks (ok, my charm? wit?). I'm not being self-depricating either, my blackberry surely has more uses then a camera and bbm. My GPS kept trying to take me to New Mexico. I have Smart Board Technicians in my classroom so often we're on a first name basis. It's pretty bad.


So now, dear readers, I have some questions that I, for the life of me, cannot figure out. Maybe you can hook me up with some answers since I know you're probably not as in the dark as I am with matters of technology.

1. All the "stuff" on the sidebar of my blog, the buttons, awards, followers etc. I don't like the order they are in and whenever I try to drop and drag them to a new spot it always goes to the top (right under my header). I just want them in a different order. But how?

2. How can I follow someone who blogs on wordpress? Do I need an account? Do I just type in my e-mail? Wordpress scares me.

3. What is Twitter all about? I joined it and I put a button on here, but I don't know what it's all about. Some people have pretty looking pages. How do I get a pretty looking page? Also, why does it say that I'm following Spencer Pratt? I never signed up for him. He's douchetastic.
Ok I'm thanking you in advance for your answers and if you don't answer me, I'm cursing you under my breath in advance.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Flaws in the Plan

I have a pretty good relationship with God. I pray, I try to live out my life in a way that doesn't get me sent to hell, so I feel like I can tell Him that there are some flaws in his plan.


Hard bone pushing through tender pink gums is not a good idea once let alone 32 times (I think that's how many teeth we have but I'm not even trying to google it to make sure). Teething should tickle and make baby giggle. Isabella cut her first tooth a few days ago and her second one is about to push through and she's in a lot of pain. I remember how much pain I was in when I got my wisdom teeth and they gave me codine for that, but babies only get orajel, hylands, and tylenol. Poor kids.

Babies should be born knowing how to sleep and loving to sleep. You should not have to train them. Maybe God could offer a sleep training class in heaven for all the babies waiting to be born.

Poop should smell like roses and always stay in the diaper.

Kids should never get sick. No child should ever have to sit through chemo or have surgery or die. Subsequently, no parent should ever have to say good bye to a child. It's unthinkable.

Giving birth should be a painless experience, why are we still paying for Eve? Additionally, bodies should bounce right back to pre-pregnancy shape 3 days after giving birth with no exercise and no dieting as a reward for carrying a baby for 9 months.

Just a few suggestions that the Big Man might want to entertain.

Monday, January 25, 2010

A Day In The Life of a Working Mom

Now that life has settled and everyone is in a routine that works for them, I'm realizing that my days are jam packed. Let me give you the run down of my day as a working mom.


5:50 am - the blaring "beep beep" of the alarm rips me out of my dream where I'm just about to kiss Johnny Depp

5:50-6:10 am - snooze

6:10 am - out of bed, dressed, face washed, teeth brushed, makeup (sometimes) on. If Andy isn't working I kiss him, if he is working I miss him.

6:30 am - I start the car. Automatic starters are the best invention ever and if you don't have one I suggest you get one. Getting into a toasty warm car makes mornings bearable, especially when it's 20 degrees outside.

6:40am - grab my travel coffee mug with the picture of me and Isabella splattered across the front, my lunch, water bottles, and purse and I'm out the door.

6:40-7:50am - drive from New Jersey into Brooklyn and enjoy the quiet. Well, relative quiet, the radio is on and I listen to Elvis Duran and the Morning show (love them), horns are honking, and sometimes Andy or my mom calls me to tell me when Isabella woke up (usually at 7am). But its a peaceful drive. I drink my coffee, munch on a granola bar, and just kind of veg out. I look forward to the morning commute.

7:50-8:10 am - Hunt for a parking spot. This sometimes means "love tapping" the cars in front and behind the spot I'm trying to smoosh my SUV into, but this is the nature of the beast. However, the past 2 weeks I have been a rock star at finding a spot. Like 5 minutes. It's unheard of. It must be all of my positive affirmations.

8:25 am-3:27 and a half pm (I shit you not, that's our contractual time to work) - I set up for the day, check homework, 90 minute literacy block (mini-lesson, small group, two conferences, mid-workshop interruption, book clubs, Guided Reading, read aloud, and share), teach writing, teach math, reconcile Mariam and Saja who are fighting, keep Edgar from sharpening his pencils down to a nub, eat lunch, teach ELA test prep, take the kids to Gym, check in on Isabella, grade papers, make Smart Board slides, plan lessons, return books, plan for next week, write and rewrite my "To-Do" list, first dismissal, teach extended day, second dismissal, shoot the shit with my friends, walk to my car and sigh that I survived the day.

3:30-4:45 pm - drive home. My afternoon commute is way worse then my morning commute. I'm worn down, I have no coffee, radio sucks, and the traffic is nuts. I call Andy and my mom to find out how Isabella's day went. I mentally map out the rest of my day.

4:45pm - get home and kiss my husband and scoop up my little girl who's face lights up like a Christmas tree the second I walk in the door. We play on the blanket with her toys. If my mom is watching her she usually makes tea for us before she leaves, if Andy is with her he usually goes on the computer or takes a shower when I get home.

5:00 - dinner for Isabella. Her favorite is anything with sweet potatoes.

5:30pm - naked time for Isabella. I take her upstairs and strip her down to her diaper and we read books and she rolls around on our bed and practices crawling. She's great at going backwards. She'll push up on her knees and rock, but I'm in no rush for mobility. There's something about being naked that puts this girl in a fantastic giggly, shrieky mood.

6:15 pm- bedtime routine begins. Bath, massage, pj's, bottle. One of us will do bath and the other one will do bottle. We meet in the middle and do massage and pj's together as a family. Unless Andy is on midnights and then I'm on my own.

7:00 pm - in crib

7:15 pm - Isabella is out for the night.

7:15 pm - I make dinner (Andy will set up the coffee pot and make our lunches and fill our water bottles for the next day). I like cooking. It relaxes me.

7:45 pm - eat and have a glass of wine. We either watch TV while we eat or catch up at the table and tell each other about our days.

8:15 pm - I usually either go on the computer and check my e-mail, catch up on blogging, or visit my GP mamas and Andy will watch sports or we'll watch TV together or a movie if we're feeling crazy.

9:00 pm - I shower, set up my clothes for the morning, separate the laundry, etc.

9:30 pm- In bed either reading or making sweet sweet love to the hubs.

10:00 pm - lights out and Andy and I will talk and snuggle for about half an hour before we fall asleep and the day starts all over again.

My days are full from morning until night, but I love being busy so I wouldn't have it any other way. Although after writing all of this down, I think I need a vacation!





Thursday, January 21, 2010

An Interview With Dad


Motherhood has changed me in ways I can't even describe (or ways that I've described to death), but I don't think I've ever paid much attention to how it has changed Andy, my husband. So I was interested to see how he would answer a few questions about fatherhood. And, to my surprise, he agreed. I already debriefed him on how this blog works. No sugar coating, no puppies, no rainbows. Brutal honesty. Let's see what he has to say.


Me: What is the most challenging aspect of fatherhood?

Andy: Trying to juggle everything together. Finding time for her, working, going to the gym and doing things that I enjoy. I mean I still do things that I enjoy but not like it was before. It's hard to fit everything in.

Me: What is the best part of being a dad?

Andy: Her smile. It can melt your heart.

Me: What was the biggest surprise about becoming a dad?

Andy: How hard it is to get her to nap. I don't understand why she needs dramatic rituals to fall asleep. It scares me when I have to put her down for a nap.

Me: What's your least favorite baby chore?

Andy: Putting her down for naps. That's why I try to wheel and deal with you.

Me: How has having a baby effected our marriage?

Andy: Sometimes it's stressful but overall I think it's the same. It hasn't effected it too much. We cut to the chase and don't bicker about stupid shit. You never keep your feelings in.

Me: What's the worst part of fatherhood?

Andy: That I can't do what I want when I want. I miss waking up after a midnight shift and I watch Sports Center, drink coffee, eat breakfast and do what I want. I only had to take care of myself.

Me: Why don't you read my blog?

Andy: I live your blog.

Me: What are your thoughts on the first three months?

Andy: So stressful. Such a complete overhaul. I was trying to take care of her and take care of you because you were such a wreck. You took things really hard and I didn't know how to handle it or what to do for you.

Me: Am I better now?

Andy: A thousand times better. But sometimes you still worry too much about spending enough time with her. Maybe you can put her down for all her naps to spend some extra time together?


Ok, so some of the answers I expected and some I didn't. He's a lot more mellow than I am though. I'm a bit high strung. So there you have it...an interview with dad.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Sleep Training

I hate the phrase "sleep training", it makes me think of circus animals training for a carnival, which is weird because I'm quite fond of both of those words separately. For example: I got to sleep for 8 hours or The baby went to sleep without a problem and Potty training or On the job training. However, put those two words together and it gives me the creeps. This is neither here nor there because whatever you call, we've done it.


I mentioned recently that Isabella started sleeping through the night at 4 months and then stopped at around 6 months just to make sure we were still paying attention. Sometimes it would take an hour to put her to sleep after feeding and changing her. After 2 weeks I'm pretty sure I couldn't blame it on a growth spurt which was sad because I love to be able to blame night waking on something. We had had it and we knew something needed to be done, so I followed my instincts.

If she woke up before 3am I'd let her cry and usually after 5 or 10 minutes she'd go to sleep. After three I'd wait 10 minutes and then offer a bottle. At first I'd only wait 5 but after 2 nights of heating up a bottle and having her fall back asleep before I got upstairs I figured I'd wait it out. After about a week and a half she got it and I'm glad to say she's sleeping from 7pm-6am and twice this weekend she slept until 7am.

So I'm glad that once again my spunky child is sleeping through the night...for now.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

I'm On a Roll



Another award! I feel so honored. Mrs. Andreazza over at http://www.andreachoate.com/ gave me the 101 award and now I have to list ten things that make me happy.

1. Isabella's giggle
2. Santa Margarita Pinot Grigio
3. Bad Girl Lash Mascara from Sephora
4. Betsey Johnson shoes
5. When Andy makes my lunch the night before
6. Sleeping past 6am
7. Reminiscing with girlfriends about things we all remember
8. The smell of fresh brewed coffee in the morning
9. Realizing you have a network of "strangers" who would support you through anything
10. New comments on my blog

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Instinct Parenting

I'm done with baby books! Done. I'm tired of reading that if my kid doesn't take two 2 hour long naps she's going to be some ADD serial killer. One book says that you should pick your baby up every time s/he cries. Another says, close the door and don't open it up until morning no matter what you hear. Another says, let the baby cry for 5 minutes, go in and soothe and then repeat. Another says check once and then let the baby cry. Not only do the authors of said baby books contradict each other, they contradict themselves. One book I read said not to let a baby under 8 weeks cry but then told success stories of the cry it out method with a 6 week old (too young IMHO). One author said not to try cry it out or controlled crying before 4 months, another said 3 months, and yet another said 6 months.


I am so done with these books. I think baby books are a great way to learn how your baby develops and how his or her body works and things they might be getting ready to try or experience, but other than that I'm trusting my gut. If it feels like it's OK I'm gonna stick with it, if it doesn't feel right I won't. I'm sick of thinking about what I'm "supposed" to do or what my friends are doing or what my family did.

I'm coming into my own as a mother and I know my child and I will follow my instincts and intuition despite what The Happiest Healthiest No Crying Ferberized Confident Baby on the Block says!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Not My Kid


Before I became a mom I was mom of the year. There were so many things that my kid was never going to do...so many things that I was going to do. For example, my kid was never going to watch TV. I was never going to poison her young brain with mindless dribble. Ahem...points to pic. Fail. That would be Isabella, watching The Wiggles. So maybe TV isn't so bad. This 20 minute show (OK 30 min DVD) allowed me to go to the bathroom, have a cup of coffee, brush my teeth, and get dressed which makes for a much better day then a decaffeinated, stank breath, pissy pants. It's not like I plunk the kid in front of the tube all day, but I don't think a little TV is as bad as I once thought.

I also swore up and down (before I had a kid) that I would never let my child cry because it's cruel and heartless. FAIL. Isabella started STTN when she was 4 months old and then stopped when she was 6 months old. She'll wake up 1-3 times a night. Sometimes to eat, sometimes in pain (teething), sometimes just for shits and giggles. So we had had enough. We asked the pedi what to do and he said that at this age she's going through so much developmentally that it effects her sleep. He also said that her memory is really starting to develop now and that when she cries and we go in and pat her tush or rock her then that's how she'll "remember" to go to sleep. He said let her cry until the morning if necessary. Well, that's a little harsh in my opinion (however if you let your child cry for a long time I pass no judgment, different strokes). So we capped it at 30 minutes, but have never gotten past 15, which I'm thankful for. We started this a few days ago and she has always put herself to sleep after about 5 minutes, never longer then 15. So I'm thankful for that. I feel like she just has to let off steam sometimes.

Also, my child will sometimes wear jammies all day, a big no no before I had a baby. I was going to make my own baby food, but yeah, I have to work all day and drive forever. And I was going to be a "hot" mom, dressed nice everyday with full makeup and hair. Now it's hello sweatpants and ponytails.

I was an awesome mom before I was...well a mom.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

I Got An Award


Thanks to my good friend Sare over at http://fallingforbaby.blogspot.com/ (sorry not clicky, but I'm a Mac) I have this awesome new award. I have to list 10 hones things about myself.

1. I love bad reality TV. Jersey Shore, Intervention, Teen Moms, The Real Housewives of Everywhere. Andy makes fun of me regularly but I don't care, I love it.

2. I've actually hated some of my students. You might think it's impossible to hate an 8 year old, but it's not.

3. I am terrified of birds. I'll go out of my way to avoid them, even if it means walking blocks out of my way.

4. I cried every night for weeks when we decided to leave New York and move to New Jersey. Brooklyn is my home, but in the end I'm glad we live here. We could have never afforded a house in the city.

5. I got my first tattoo when I was 15 years old. I was dating the 19 year old tattoo artist and it was free. Even though we only dated a month he did all of my other tattoos for free, until he got married and then I was on my own.

6. For a long time, I'd say from high school up until after my wedding I didn't want children. At all. Andy always wanted them and was betting on me changing my mind. Guess he made a good a bet.

7. I love Oreo cookies and will eat an entire package in one sitting.

8. I'm a great cook but a terrible baker. I hate to measure things and apparently if you don't measure things exactly when you're baking, things don't turn out too well.

9. Sex and The City makes me cry. I don't know why but it always does.

10. I'm a selfish person and sometimes I'm nostalgic for how easy life was when it was just me and Andy and we could do whatever we want whenever we want and wear whatever we want without fear of it getting peed, pooped or spit up on.

The people who I think deserve this award are

Miranda @ http://prayinghopingwishingwaiting.blogspot.com/

Pink @ http://mrs-pinkslife.blogspot.com/

Lea @ http://minipingers.blogspot.com/

Sarah, Stephen, and Luke @ http://welcomebabymatthews.blogspot.com/

The Neuff @ http://neuffj.blogspot.com/

I realize that the links aren't clicky, but these women have some great blogs...totally worth the copy and paste.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

New Age-ism

Before I had Isabella I was starting to get into what I guess you would call New Age philosophy, not the cheesy The Secret type stuff though. I read Eckhart Tolle's A New Earth and The Power of Now as well as Louise Hay's You Can Heal Your Life (although the title of this book does sound mighty cheese-tastic). It's really all about being centered and present and the thoughts that you think and the words that you say creating your reality.


Anyway, fast forward 9 months later and it's very difficult to be centered and present and accepting when you're sleep deprived and stinky, at least for me it was. I had no time to meditate or write down positive affirmations. But now that things are settling down for me I'm getting interested in pursuing this again.

I really like the idea that we are responsible for our own experiences. I like that thoughts can be changed. I like the quiet of meditation and the feel of experiencing the moment as it happens. I'm just beginning so I'm probably making a lot of mistakes, but that's ok.

I don't know how its going to be trying to practice and learn about this new philosophy as a new mom, but it'll sure be interesting to find out.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Buh Bye Fat Ass

It's not so much as a New Year's Resolution, as much as a statement that I'm fed up with my thunder thighs, pudgy belly, and jello butt. Sayonara to sweat pants and Spanx (although, I'm not convinced I'd ever give them up, they're way too fab).


I joined Weight Watchers on-line because I have zero time for a meeting, plus I don't want to get on a scale in a room full of strangers. Ok, so I didn't just join WW online, I joined about 6 weeks ago and was successful at first, but then came Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas, New Years Eve, and New Years Day and I'm basically exactly where I started off.

But that's all in the past. This is a new day. I'm just really tired of feeling yucky. I'm tired of looking at myself in the mirror and hating what I see, so I'm making changes. Not only in what I eat and my activity level, but also what I wear and how I do my hair and even the thoughts that I think. I want to take pride in myself and I want to clean out the negativity.

I'm half tempted to put my starting weight and some future "Before" pictures (I took them today), but I'm just not sure I'm ready yet. Wish me luck!

Friday, January 1, 2010

A Year End Review

2009 was such a life altering year. Michael Jackson died, New Moon was released, the Jersey Shore was turned into a reality television show, anything else...oh yeah, I had a baby!


As this new year is ushered in I'm nostalgic about the one that we're leaving behind. This has been one of the most wonderful and difficult years of my life. I became a mother. I became responsible for another human life (whoever thought that was a good idea was probably not looking at my track record).

So much has changed and I've learned an incredible amount about myself, my family, and my friends.

  • I've learned that I can fully function, which includes driving an hour and a half, teaching a bunch of 3rd graders, and having adult conversation with colleagues, on 4 hours of sleep.
  • Coffee and wine are right up there with air and water on my "Things I Need" list.
  • Sweatpants and a ponytail have replaced Christian Loubitan and Mac as my go-to's to feeling sexy.
  • I've learned that people who were your friends before you had a baby won't necessarily be as close to you afterwards. It's a sad realization, but one that is very true.
  • People who you weren't extremely close to will become wonderful friends.
  • Some cliche's are so very true, time is fleeting.
  • Showers are optional
  • Your heart can stretch to amazing lengths to accommodate the love you have for your child.
  • There is a dawn to even the darkest of nights.
  • Sometimes the only thing left to do is let go.
  • I've learned that I'm stronger then I ever thought possible.
Since I've learned such an incredible amount in 2009 I'm hoping that 2010 won't teach me as much and I can just coast.