Monday, September 30, 2013

The Reason I'm Fat

Is because I can't stop nom nom noming on these fat cheeks!  I mean for real have you ever seen such a cute little baby?

Even in a grainy, unedited, unfiltered cell phone picture that baby is pure joy.  She loves to be snuggled, kissed, her play gym.  She hates dirty diapers, an empty belly, putting on pajamas, and the car seat and that's pretty much it.  She's such a good girl and I am really enjoying her so much. 

Granted I could do with a little more sleep and a little less sag around the middle, but she is just such a fun little baby who is quick to laugh at pretty much anything you say.  

I want to remember the way she snuggles in under my neck when she's tired or how smooth her cheek feels when I put it to my face.  I want to remember how sweet she smells after a bath and how she turns her head to find me when she hears my voice.  I want to remember how serious she stares at people with her grumpy old man face, but the second she smiles her whole face explodes into happiness.  I want to remember how she's so mesmerized by her toes.  

But we all forget don't we?  That's just the nature of things.  We hold on to what we can for as long as we can until it slips away.  If we're lucky we can hold onto the small things that photographs can't capture.  The smells and tactile feels of babyhood.  

I put her down on her back the other day and she rolled over to her tummy.  The first step in mobility.  I know crawling and walking are a long way off, but any mother can tell you that you blink and they're moving, blink again and their curious toddlers, blink yet again and they're sassy, independent preschoolers and I'm too afraid to blink again to see what comes after that.  The first minute step towards her independence from her mommy.  I'd just like her to stay little for a little while longer, so I'm not blinking.  

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Fall Bucket List

So you know how I love me some lists, even though I very rarely, if ever, complete them.  Fall is my absolute favorite season, minus the fact that it's when I start back to work and I pretty much spend September with my head up my ass.  I love the crisp air and the chilly mornings with the sunlight streaming in.  I love the colors and the foods and the clothes.  I'm all about the change in seasons.  So here is a list of all the things I want to accomplish this Fall.

1.  Go apple picking

2.  Go pumpkin picking

3.  Carve a Jack-o-Lantern

4.  Paint a pumpkin

5.  Jump in a big pile of leaves

6.  Make s'mores

7.  Have a glass of hot chocolate outside

8.  Let Isabella stay up late with a fire

9.  Have a pumpkin spice latte

10.  Throw our annual Halloween party

11. Go on a hayride

12.  Make this

and this

and this

13.  Do this craft

and this one

14.  Go to Sesame Place Spooktakular

15.  Watch a scary movie

16.  Drink hot apple cider

17.  Have a Fall/Halloween photo shoot

I can't think of any more right now, but I love our Fall and Halloween traditions and I can't wait to start them in our new house now that our family is complete.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Nursing In Public

Every so often there seems to be a frenzy of public information, news stories, blog posts, etc all about nursing in public.  People get outraged and defensive and all hell breaks loose on facebook.

I have a four month old who I currently nurse.  I have nursed in public many, many times.  Usually under a cover, for my own comfort not for anyone else's, but if it was too hot, I had no problem taking the cover off.

I've heard a lot of stupid arguments about nursing in public and I would now like to debunk them all.

It's Too Sexy

If you find the act of a mother feeding her child sexual get yourself some help.  Quickly.  Maybe find some registry that you can sign up for.  The tiniest patch of exposed flesh that you see when a baby is nursing is far less than you would see in any magazine, beach, or TV show.  Breasts become sexualized in the media, but their purpose is to feed children.  Bottom line.

It's Gross

I can't tell you how many times I've heard the argument that breastfeeding is a bodily function, like pooping, and it should be done behind closed doors.  Breastfeeding is eating.  Do you confine yourself to only eat where no one can see you?  Do you eat your lunch alone in the broom closet?  Do you never visit restaurants?  Do you put a blanket over your head when you eat?

It Offends Me

Here is a very easy solution to that one.  Turn your head.  Boom!  No more offensive babies, or boobies, in sight.

What If My Child Sees?

Then you have a 30 second conversation with your stinking kid.  You can use this:

Kid:  Mom, what is that lady doing?
You:  Feeding her baby
Kid:  Where's the bottle?
You:  Some mommy's feed their baby from a bottle and others feed them with milk from their body

See talking to your kid isn't so bad after all right?

I Don't Like It

I don't like a lot of things.  Like gas prices and the fact that chocolate isn't a health food.  Tough noogies.

Did I miss anything?

Sunday, September 22, 2013

All My Flaws

I'm not perfect.  Far from it.  Lately I've been acutely aware of all that I lack.  All my flaws.  Not in a dreary, Eyore, woe is me type of way, more like I was looking at myself from far away, except I have a front row seat.

I'm bordering on fat.  I know that I am.  I can see it in the width of my hips, the sag of my stomach.  It's not just the weight, but more my complete lack of self-control.  I diet and do weight watchers all week long and then one night on the weekend I completely gorge myself on food and alcohol that is terrible for me.  Every week.  I have a food hangover that sends me into a shame spiral and all I keep hearing is this food noise with me everywhere.  I can't get into the groove of exercising, so I don't want to pay money for a gym if I think I'm not gonna go.  None of my clothes fit, so I never feel like I look good.  I know what I need to do.  Stop eating crap and start eating healthy.  Why can't I do it?  I've done it before, but this time it's hard for me.  I don't know, but unless I want to spend a small fortune on new clothes I need to get myself together.

Do you ever annoy yourself?  Sometimes I really get on my own nerves.  When people talk about themselves or their kids, I always have to follow it up with a story of my own.  Not to one up them, just to show I understand with a similar story.  Maybe people don't want to hear about my kids, maybe they want to just tell a story of their own.  I catch myself doing it, and it annoys me while it's happening.

I feel very out of touch and out of the loop and like I'm always on the cusp of completely losing my shit.  So I'm self medicating with food, wine, and shopping.  I feel like a top spinning completely out of control.  I can feel myself becoming fat and lazy and a loser.  I never wear makeup, my hair is always in a ponytail, and I wish I could just crawl into the bags under my eyes and hide for a bit.

I know it won't always be like this.  I'll get where I want to be, I just don't know when or how.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Military Moving

So apparently, my ranting and raving about up and moving may seem to pale in comparison to the fact that military families have it way worse when it comes to moving.  The average military family will move every 1-3 years.  I couldn't even imagine having to pack up my life so often, especially since I'm on the high end of the lazy scale.

I think a lot about military "brats" and what it must be like for them to move so often.  On one hand it has to be tough to move around so schools, new friends, feeling unsettled, but on the other hand what an amazing adventure.  It gives them a chance to become adaptable, to make lasting friendships around the world, and to see and live in so many wonderful places surrounded by other military families who just "get it".  They must grow accustomed to such a wanderlust and an amazing opportunity to fulfill it.  I know my girl Sally from Exploits of a Military Mama has a few moves under her belt.

What I didn't know was that there was such a long waiting list for housing and that often times military families had to look into off base housing.  Military Town Advisor can help aid military families.

We have to be grateful for the sacrifices of our service men and their families who allow them to serve so bravely and hold up the home front...wherever that home front might be.

4 Months

Weight: 15.12 lbs 

Height: 24 inches

Sleeping Habits: Things are slowly starting to improve as we inch out of the four month sleep regression, which started a few weeks ago for us.  She'll go to sleep in her crib, on her tummy unswaddled around 7:30.  She wakes up around 4:00 to eat, which is brutal for me because I'm up for the day at around 5:30.  Then back down until 7:30.  I'll take it.  I'd prefer her letting me sleep, but beggars can't be choosers and she's just coming off a kick where she would wake up 3 times a night and be up for an hour so I'm happy.  Her naps range from 30-60 minutes in her crib.  If we let her sleep on us, I can get up to 3 hours.  It's a good thing my bladder is big!

Eating Habits: We still EBF and she takes bottles of pumped milk when I'm at work.  She eats every 2-3 hours.  She'll take 4 ounces in a bottle.  

Milestones: I don't think anything.  

Best Thing This Month: Getting a bit more sleep thankfully and I love her big smile when I come home from work.  

Challenges This Month: Going back to work has been an issue.  I'm trying to find my groove but I'm feeling spread way too thin.  There's just not enough of me!

Looking Forward To: It's Fall and I can't wait to take both of my littles pumpkin and apple picking!

Monday, September 16, 2013

The First Week Back

I just completed my first full week back at work after nearly four months home.  It's kind of a mixed bag for me.

On one hand, I really like being back in a routine.  I like the structure and flow that comes with knowing how you're day is going to go.  I'm glad to get a break from changing diapers and being able to see my friends at work each day, even if we're all frazzled and stressed.

On the other hand, I really miss the girls while I'm away all day long.  I wonder how they are and what they are doing.  I miss being able to nurse the baby in bed to catch a few extra zzzzz's in the morning.  I hate pumping.  I pump like four times a day and each time I hate it a little bit more.  I also feel like there's no time for anything.  I mean I felt that way while I was home all summer too, but now it's like extra true.  I get home from work and Arya wants to nurse immediately, she usually nods off a bit and while I love the sweet baby cuddles, I know I have to start dinner, get Isabella set up for school, make lunches, do laundry etc.  Andy and my mom step up a ton, but I miss playing with Isabella after she gets home from school and I can talk Andy through making dinner, but I love to be in my own kitchen.

I have zero time to clean or exercise.  Now that I'm back to work I'm thinking of having our cleaning lady come back in.  Andy is really fighting it on me because his M.O is to plead poverty for everything, but when it comes to my sanity you can't put a price on that.  I can't figure out when to exercise.

I'm also pretty sick of waking up once or twice a night with Arya.  And it never fails that she wakes up at like 4:30 every night when I have to get up at 5:30.  It's like a brutal tease.  If she could just start sleeping through the night I'd be ever so appreciative.

I know that I'll find my groove.  I know that things will naturally fall by the wayside and get picked up again later when there's time.  All in all it was an OK first week.  I still need to find my rhythm as a working mom of two and I know I need to really make sure I'm on top of all the papers that come home each day in Isabella's folder.  C'est la vie.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Parent Society

Come and check out all the great posts I've written over at Parent Society last month

5 Reasons to Ditch Your OBGYN - some funny reasons why the relationship between you and your OBGYN might not be working out.  Some dope in the comments thought I was for real.

10 Things Parents Let Go of Once Baby Arrives - some things fall by the wayside when a new baby come homes.  The same dope left a nasty comment on this one too (I think she's secretly obsessed with me)

5 Tips for Nursing In Public - tips to help you N.I.P

5 Ways to Spot a Sanctimommy - don't be a holier-than-thou mom, it's ok to laugh at motherhood

6 Over the Top Tips to Baby Proof Your House - step 1: rip up all creaky floor boards.

Hope you like em!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Summer Revisited

Now that Fall is upon us, I can almost smell the flavors of pumpkins and apples and see the leaves start to change.  Almost, because it's still about 90 degrees around here, but I wanted to revisit my summer bucket list that I wrote at the start of the summer.  I am notoriously famous for flaking on my lists, so let's see how this summer fared.

  • Build a sand castle at the beach
Yup!  We spent a whole week at the beach and built lots of sand castles

  • Go night swimming
No and I have to say I'm really upset we never did this.  August wasn't hot enough, but July certainly was
  • Sesame Place parade
Another fail.  We went to Sesame Place a bunch of times, but never stayed for the parade.  Maybe when we go for the Spooktacular
  • Craft/Experiment/Bake once a week (this might be tough, but I'm gonna try)
We didn't do it every week, but we managed to squeeze in a few crafts and stuff.  There were a few days when I just set up a potions lab in the back porch and just let her have at it.  

  • Eat S'mores in the backyard while looking up at the stars
No, the nights were mostly spent either trying to get the baby to sleep or in a stupor from trying to get the baby to sleep
  • Have a picnic
Nope, we failed again
  • Family game night
Yeah we've had a bunch of these.  Isabella kicks ass in Candy Land
  • Family movie night
Again, this was fairly easy to pull off and we had quite a few with popcorn
  • Puddle jumping in the rain
We did this.  Isabella loved it, but I thought it was gross especially since I had to participate in it.
  • Trip to the zoo
We made it to the Turtle Back Zoo and my sister took Isabella to the Bronx Zoo

  • Trip to the aquarium 
We made our annual trip down to Adventure Aquarium

  • Children's museum
No, but we'll get there in the Fall and Winter for sure
  • Park 
A ton of times.  Isabella is really into the monkey bars
  • See a baseball game
No, not this year
  • Have ice cream for dinner
Yes!  And milkshakes.  Yum

So this summer wasn't all that I had wanted it to be, but it was a summer of huge transitions and I'm ok with how it turned out.  There was more TV time and staying inside than I would have liked, but it's tough with a new little around.  The good thing about summer is that it'll come around again.  

Monday, September 9, 2013

I'm Tired

I am so completely fucking tired.  Man kids are awesome, but right about now I'm questioning my damn sanity for having another one, especially one who is as tricky as Arya.  A wee little baby who decided to be an A+ sleeper for close to three months and then BAM sucksville.  For real, that baby was sleeping through the night some nights and only waking up once on the, we're up 2-3 times a night every night.  Some times she goes right back down and other times she's up for an hour.

The decision to have another one probably went a lot like this.  "Oh hey Andy, we've been having good solid sleep for about 3 and a half years or so, and just the past year and a half Isabella has decided to sleep in until like 8:30, so lets give all of that good solid sleep up for a year ok?"

I know it's just the four month sleep regression and I know I can fix it, but I was so hoping to avoid sleep training.  I don't know if I have it in my to do cry it out again.  I really don't.  I'm giving her until 6 months before I make any rash decisions about sleeping.  But until then I'm totally fucking tired.  Anyone else tired?

Between the hours of 7am and 8pm I find her to be just perfect.  

Sunday, September 8, 2013

We're All Moving

You all know that in the past year Andy and I sold our townhouse, moved in with my parents for a very interesting 6 months while we saved, looked at about 70 houses, put bids in on two, lost them both, before ending up in the money pit of our current house.

We've completely gutted the kitchen, redid the floors, recarpeted the basement, relined the pool, put up a new pool fence, painted every inch of the house, switched out the doors and moldings, and we still have a laundry list of things we want to do.  Sometimes "burn the house down" is on the top of that list, but then I look at the beautiful neighborhood that we're in.  I think about the parties that we have when the backyard is filled with laughing children running around in swim suits and swinging on the swing set.  I think of lazy days where I can enjoy an ice cold beer in the pool.  I remember cold winter mornings where I would feel Arya kick in my belly while a fire roared and we sipped our coffee imagining what the future would bring.

Now that the future is here, I couldn't imagine having to move again.  Moving is rough stuff.  It's packing up a life, sorting it into boxes, and unpacking it anew.  Plus nothing makes you want to buy more and more new stuff than a new house combined with copious amounts of watching HGTV (Property Brothers anyone?)

Read More

Apparently, we're not the only ones.  Can you imagine 4 times the population of Manhattan moving in a year?  Holy packing boxes right?

Think of all those moves.  Some starting in sorrow, others in hope...all of those fresh starts, new beginnings, and sad endings.  Packing up all of your treasures and needing them to be safe and secure in a new home.  It's amazing if you really think about it.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Sayonara Summer

After almost 4 months off it's back to work for this mama.  I'm kind of in a weird place about starting the new school year.

On one hand I'm really excited to get back into a routine.  I need routine to thrive.  Without a routine my mind goes into dark and twisty corners.  It's not pretty.  Sometimes I hate the routine, but I know that I need it.  I'm also excited to be able to get dressed each day and be able to talk to adults.  September is also a really great month because students are typically on their best behavior.  It's also beneficial to my diet when I can't nosh and graze all day because I'm home.

It will also give me a break from taking care of Arya.  Isabella is relatively easy to parent and keep happy, but Arya's a whole other story for no other fact than she's a baby.  She eats a lot, poops a lot, takes a lot of naps that are a huge pain in the ass to give.  I hate giving naps.  I could see if all that shhhing and rocking and nursing led to a three hour nap, but it doesn't so I hate them.  Plus, it's either Andy or my mom watching Arya (Isabella will be in school) so I know she's in good hands.

On the other hand I'm very nervous to leave the baby.  Sometimes nursing is the only thing that will comfort her and I hate to think of her all upset and crying and wanting me and I'm not there.  It hurts my mama heart to think that she'll be sad.  What if she thinks I abandoned her?  I'll also have to pump at work and the only thing I hate more than giving naps is pumping.  I'll have to pump in the morning before I leave (if she's still sleeping), once before work, once at lunch, and once on the way home.  That's a lot of pumping.  It's a good thing I have my car adaptor.

I'll also hate getting up early.  Not that my kids let me snooze all day, but Isabella usually wakes up around 8 and Arya gets up around 6:30 BUT if I bring her in bed and nurse her there, she'll usually fall back asleep for an hour or so.  I'll miss having coffee while coloring with Isabella.  I'll miss hanging out with my mom when she comes over to help with the kids.

I'm anticipating that this year will not be as easy as last year because, in addition to having another wee babe, I'll have all of Isabella's school stuff to worry about.

Once I can survive September I'm sure things will settle into themselves.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Ocean City 2013

Finally I have time to sit and write about my sweet little vacation down the shore.  If you're a regular reader with a phenomenal memory, you know that every year we spend a week in August down the shore in Ocean City NJ.  If you're not a regular reader, every year we spend a week in August down the shore in Ocean City NJ.

Even though it's in my own state it's probably my favorite vacation of the year.  There's something so relaxing about being down there.  Every morning we have long, leisurely cups of coffee out on the front porch.  We spend a few hours at the beach.  Come home and shower and then spend some time on the boardwalk on the rides, playing mini-golf, looking at the shops.  Then we have dinner either at the rental house or at a restaurant and then we spend the night playing games and drinking copious amounts of wine.  This year I had to be a bit of a teetotaler, but two nights my mom took the baby so I could get a little bit tipsy and not have to worry about nursing (or waking up).

It's glorious.

The first year we went Isabella was 14 months.  It was fun, but she still needed to be really watched, but at least she was sleeping through the night.  The next two years were easy as cake.  She would play with her cousins while I read books on the sand.

This year with Arya being only 3 months at the time it was a little bit more challenging, but my parents are there and so is my sister, so there are a lot of hands to help and everyone helped a lot.  She was great.  She got a bit spoiled sleeping in people's arms or in the carrier at the beach or in the stroller on the boardwalk, but if there's one thing I know as a mother it's that you can fix any bad habit you make.

There was only one night she was a super huge pain in the ass and that was the night that we were going out to dinner.  Every year we go to one really nice restaurant called Obediah's.  I always get lobster and I always look forward to it.  But that's the night that the little witch decided she only wanted to cry.  She owes me a lobster dinner.  No joke it's coming out of her college fund, if we ever make her a college fund.

It wasn't without it's challenges, but it was a great vacation filled with a lot of fun and terrible boardwalk food (fried oreos anyone?  Chocolate covered bacon? No? ok)

I cannot wait until next year!

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Monday, September 2, 2013


I'm having a rough time lately.  Not for any particular reason, probably just because I'm two stops away from crazy town on a good day and sleep deprivation tends to take me a bit over the edge.

I feel like such a lazy slacker lately.  Arya's naps are so short and I only have a 30-45 minute window to really give all my time to Isabella, but honestly I'm so lazy that I really don't want to.  I'd rather zone out playing Candy Crush or throw in a load of laundry and I feel so guilty about it, but I still don't do anything about it.

I could easily leave Arya with my mom or with Andy and take Isabella someplace fun, just her and I, but I'm too lazy to lug the pump around and I'm out of places to go.  We've done the zoo, aquarium, Sesame Place, park a bunch of times, out for ice cream, and I'm all burnt out.

I like to go places as a family, but Arya hates the car.  She screams so bad that she spits up.  She doesn't hate the car seat, she's fine when we go for walks, but she hates the car.  I feel like a damned prisoner.

I'm just zapped for energy.  Newborns are squishy and adorable, but they consume so much energy.  I feel like all I do is nurse, rock to sleep, change diapers, over and over, day in and day out, lather, rinse, repeat.  It doesn't leave much time for Isabella and I need to change that.

Facebook is great for a lot of things, like keeping up with that girl I went to grammar school with that I haven't seen or spoken to in over a decade and probably never will again, but what it's not good for is that it makes you compare your life.  I see people with their kids going all these fun places, to boardwalks, the beach, the park, the zoo, play dates, all these fun places while I spend my summer melding into my couch watching the sunshine pour in through the windows while Andy and Isabella play in the pool.  It's depressing.

I've maybe seen my friends 3 times the whole summer.  My cousin Christie and I used to be bff's in another life, now she's in Italy and I thought she was leaving the following week and I didn't even get to talk to her before she left.  I can't muster my get up and go.

I feel like my life revolves around my boobs.  Feeding the baby, missing a feeding and pumping for the baby, storing up milk for when I go back to work, when am I gonna pump, where am I gonna pump, not drinking so I don't get the baby drunk.  It's all consuming sometimes and I wonder if this is my fate for the rest of the year or if I'll get a respite from my own obsession.  In that regard, I also use breastfeeding as an all purpose mothering tool.  If I don't know what's wrong with the baby I whip out a boob which sometimes makes her spit up and I have no idea if I'm doing this whole mothering thing right.  We're nowhere near being on any form of schedule.  We have a loose routine and even that goes up in the air most of the time.  Sometimes she's a dream and sometimes she's a nightmare.  That's all par for the course, but it gets so redundant and frustrating at times.

I think the bulk of it is that I'm not working.  I'm a person who thrives on routine.  Even in prior summers when I'm off from work I always had a routine down.  Wake up - breakfast- get dressed- gym - lunch- pool - shower- dinner.  Twice a week I'd make sure Isabella and I would do something fun like a play date or a museum or something.  This year things are completely up in the air and I've had an extended summer vacation because I had off for maternity leave.  I haven't worked a full day (out of this house) since May 13.  I know I'm lucky to have had so much time home with my littles, but I am so ready to go back to work, to get back into my routine, to interact with adults.

I've also never been this fat before.  Never.  I have never seen this number on the scale outside of pregnancy and I hate how I've let myself go.  I was doing really great, losing weight, eating healthy, running again, but then I completely binged out on bad food, especially on vacation and I gained a bunch of weight back.  None of my clothes fit and I feel so disgusted with myself.  I look at myself in the mirror and I barely recognize myself.  I'm embarrassed to go back to work looking like this.

Andy's also been working a lot.  He's taking practically every overtime shift that comes his way.  It's too much.  I know we need the money, but there are more important things than money.  Honestly, I'm starting to resent him a bit.  I feel like when he is home he's just like "I'm going to the store" or "I'm gonna spend two hours mowing the grass" or "I'm going to the gym".  But my chores and my needs are always on the back burner.  He's usually so good, but lately, I don't know, there's some sort of disconnect and it's chipping away.

There's no real purpose to this post other than to kind of dump out all of the negative feelings I've had lately.  Sometimes I just need to get them out to make them smaller.