21 November 2011

so you say you're from ohio?

Ok, this might sound bad, but I prefer midwesterners.  They are my favorite kind of people.  Whenever I meet a midwesterner I automatically assume we should be friends, because of course they are going to live life at a slower pace, want kids, and be generally friendly and good-hearted. 

Here's how I rank the country: 
#1 Mid-westerners, followed by
#2 Non-East or West coasters

 That's it. Now you know where you stand in my world...

The city can be quite rude and taint one over time.  And I've been here almost 7 years!  I'm worried the East coast has corrupted me and I may not fit in when I return to the Midwest...someday, over the rainbow.  I might hate the slow walking and talking.  The Engineer might feel lost with out a traffic jam to get stuck in.  And LE might be scared of corn fields and cows.

Nah...I'm sure we'll fit in just peachy, someday.

17 November 2011

all in an afternoons work

The Engineer: What did you and LE do today?
Me: We went to Trader Joes, didn't make it inside though.
The Engineer: Sounds like fun.
This is a conversation I have far to frequently with my husband.  What is it about Trader Joes that I can only make it into the store about half the time.  I kid you not, I've been there twice this week, but haven't made inside yet. 

Both times I was in the neighborhood, so it wasn't a complete waste, but still.  The first time I realized I didn't have my wallet on me.  LE was hungry, so I nursed her and then she slept on me for 20 minutes.  The second time LE had fallen asleep in the car and I waited about 10 minutes and decided I didn't want to wait any longer, but I also didn't want to wake her, so I just left.  I pondered if Trader Joes might be interested in paying me some money to fetch carts while I waste away part of my afternoon in their parking lot.  Then I wondered if I was creeping the people out parked next to me, who see me sitting there when they go in the store and still there when they come out.  I want to point to my back seat and indicate sleeping baby...not a creepy lady sitting in a "way too big for the city, gas guzzling" black SUV.

I'm hopeful tomorrow we'll make it inside.  I know some people probably find my little "problem" to be ridiculous.  I agree, it is.  But don't you wish your problems were this simple and they came with a face this cute?

 LE's newest trick - on her hands and knees rocking.  Isn't it too soon...?

A closer look at my favorite rolls.  80% of all my pride is located in these thighs and booty.  You understand, though, don't you?

16 November 2011

confessions of this slacker mom

(I know this is an odd title after I post about being a "perfectionist.")
But here I am, sitting on the red couch and eating a brownie ice cream sundae, while LE naps.  Oh, and it's 9:30am. 

I've been reading a book called "Confessions of a Slacker Mom."  It's about letting kids experience the natural consequences of their actions, not buying lots of gadgety toys, etc.  The whole premise is that being a slacker (or in better terms, more laid back) mom teaches kids more life lessons.  Therefore, justifying one to be more lazy and cheap.  Right up my alley.

Anyway, a month of so ago I was at the mall with Sarah feeding LE in the "mother's room" at Nordstrom (very awesome of you, btw, Nordstrom!) and I heard a little explosion happen in LE's diaper, followed by a couple more explosions.  At this point all the moms are snickering and congratulating LE on her accomplishment (Don't we all celebrate a poop?).  Sarah and I look at each other, because, you see, I decided to keep it simple and bring NOTHING with us.  Luckily one of the moms took pity on me and gave me one of her toddler's diapers and some wipes.  I put the 2 sizes too big diaper on LE and was left with one messy cloth diaper.  Leaving me to have to ask a Nordstrom clerk for a shopping bag to place my poopy diaper in and carry it around a store way too posh for my stay at home mom life.  I felt a little like a slacker mom, but I also felt inspired how moms stick together.  Having a baby is an immediate entrance into a secret world of motherhood, where you help a momma out and take help when you need it!

10 November 2011

practice doesn't make perfect

I've been told I'm a perfectionist by both a psychiatrist and a counselor now, so I guess it must be true.  I thought perfectionists lined everything up neatly in their cupboards and ironed their underwear, but apparently I'm one of the non-clean freak type of perfectionists.

(At the risk of sounding like, as my brother tells me, a desperate suburban housewife that pops pills, I'm going to tell you about my "therapy".  Please don't judge, readers or brother.) 
When the whole PPD thing hit I saw a psychiatrist, but she was expensive (Like the kind of expensive where you say to yourself "I totally picked the wrong career...") and the focus was mostly on medication, so I've since switched to my primary care physician for medication management and a licensed social worker for counselling.  I feel like this combo is more productive, for me at least. 

I wasn't sure counseling would be terribly helpful, because I feel like I talk about things pretty thoroughly, but it does seem to be helping to have an outsiders viewpoint and someone challenging me on the true source of my anxiety.  Apparently, I have high expectations for parenting LE with a splash of "fear of failure."  You probably asking what mother doesn't have this?  It's this very combo of high expectations of self and fear of failure that has probably caused me anxiety throughout life, with my first memory of anxiety beginning in the fourth grade.  I also hate change.  Didn't need a credentialed person to tell me that one.  Just thought I'd throw that out there. 

I decided the counselor was probably right.  You see, for example, I don't want LE to watch to tv...EVER.  I think it's a bad habit and I decided the tv should never be on in her waking presence.  Causing a source of tension between the Engineer and I, since there's football, espn, news, etc at the top of his list of things to do on Saturdays.  I've pretty much completely gave up all tv, even my trashy tv favorites.  No more Kardashians, Sister Wives, Kelly and Regis...  Once she pointed this perfectionist tendency out in me, I realized I was being a bit extreme.  A little tv isn't going to hurt LE.  Our family isn't going to become couch potatoes if the Engineer watches one game on Saturdays.  Time to let go, Julie, time to let go.  Every parent messes up, but I'm still going to be a pretty great parent, and more likely an even better one if I let go of some of my expectations and perfectionism.  I don't need to be perfect, just overall great will do.

Can one overcome anxiety?  Especially if it goes all the way back to the fourth grade?  Who knows.  But I figure it can only get better if I try.

Now for your baby fix...

New favorite pastime: Knocking down towers.

08 November 2011

what i didn't know

about becoming a mother...
  1. My perfume bottles would have an inch of dust on them and my new scent would be sour milk.  I even bath in curds of spit up half the time when I take a bath with LE (which we both love doing, the bath, not the spit up).
  2. I would learn to pee while nursing a newborn...and on one occasion go #2 (I know, gross, but true).
  3. I'd say the phrase "Um, babe, I think I just peed all over the floor." (Ok, that's more the aftermath of childbirth, but still...).
  4. My life would feel like the movie "Groundhog Day," except less suicidal.
  5. Going to work or the gym would become a huge treat.  And even if I'm only gone for an hour, I'd miss my baby.
  6. I'd be so overwhelmed with exhaustion and love. 
  7. My romanticized ideas of a sleepy newborn would be crushed, and the Engineer and I would have to be "sleep enforcers," spending hours trying to get LE to sleep in her early weeks. 
  8. My new morning duties would include fishing out dried boogers from LE's crib.
  9. When talking to the Pediatrician, I'd need to refine the art of nodding my head in agreeance and exclude certain bits of information...such as "My daughter sleeps on her tummy."  Yikes!
  10. "Poop" would become my #1 topic of conversation.
  11. The Engineer wouldn't be allowed to LOOK at me unless there were at least two boxes of birth control in our house.
  12. The Engineer and I would freak out on anyone who interrupts LE's sleep, be it an angry driver honking their horn in traffic or a teenager bumping into her stroller at the mall.  Serioulsy people...can't you see the sleeping baby?!

Welcome to parenthood.  It seems to bring out the worst and best in a person, and humble you in a way you never knew possible. 

04 November 2011

baby led weaning

LE is the most adorable baby ever, but you already knew that...  Sometimes she does rather funny things.  Like her blank stare face with her mouth open.  I'm sure it's her curious trying to figure out the world face.  Or her excited kick legs and thrash arms up and down, hitting her self in the crouch repeatedly.  The Engineer always says "Why does she keep hitting herself in the junk?" 

 There it is...the famous open mouth, stare.

 Ok mommy, Twinkle, twinkle is my favorite song...I guess I'll smile for you.

 Mixing it up, classic stare with a drip of spit up.

 Oh how I love your face.  Those cheeks are irrestible.

We haven't exactly "started solids", but I did start to give LE chuncks food to knaw on.  She's been showing more interest in food in the last couple of weeks, so I figured we'd start experimenting.  Her favorite is apple slices.  I've decided to use a method called "Baby Led Weaning."  (Here's a good resource.)  Which essentially is skipping cereals and purees, giving baby chunks of food, and allowing them to feed themselves.  YES, it's going to be REALLY messy, which is why most choose to do purees and spoon feeding.  Right now I'm just letting her practice picking up foods and getting a taste for different flavors.  I think we'll try chunks of avocado this weekend.  With Baby Led Weaning your baby may or may not end up with any food in their mouth, but she gets a chance to explore food and decide when she's ready to eat solids.  Over time she'll take more and more food and les and less breastmilk until she decides to wean.  Sounds nice, right?  We'll see how it goes...

Which brings up a question that I'm asked frequently:
"How long do you plan to breastfeed?"
And to be honest I don't have a great answer.  Atleast a year, maybe two.  I secretely hope LE gently weans herself sometime during the 12-24 month period.  I haven't thought about what I'll do if she wants to go longer than 2 years.  Right now, I love breastfeeding and am in no hurry to wean, but by two years I'll probably be singing a different tune.

Happy weekend to everyone!  Hope it's relaxing (that's our goal).