Saturday, November 22, 2014

The attack of the hormones


I'm going to be really honest in this post, and try to avoid sarcasm. Cute baby pictures will be included as per usual.


For the first six weeks of Dalton's life, I was riding on a wave of euphoria.

I was so happy that nearly 2 years after we decided we were going to try to become parents, I was holding my baby in my arms. I honestly really didn't see what all the fuss was about regarding that horrible, terrible newborn period. I'd began parenthood on nearly 48 hours of no sleep, and then only slept for 90 minutes at a time at the absolute maximum for his first week of life. And I don't even remember feeling that tired! I'm pretty sure I'm more tired now. The “baby blues” were a mystery to me.

He looks like a different baby now! So much bigger!

Nothing really changed at six weeks, babywise, although my husband did go back to work. Dalton is still the cutest most loveable child on earth, and he is behaving exactly as he should. The difference was that I lost my ability to cope. It's not like it had been easy before - like any baby, he was thrust from a nice, cozy, warm home out into the cold, bright, scary world and wasn't always happy with that transition. There were sleepless nights and 2am crying for seemingly no reason. There was all the confusion that one would expect when a tiny person whose only communication option is crying enters your family. But the stress seemed manageable and the joy and love was overpowering.

Someday I will frame his newborn pictures.

At around 6 weeks I felt like the rug got yanked out from under me. First, I was so upset about going back to work and leaving him that I found myself sobbing several times a day. Daily exercise seemed to help with that, and so did a long phone conversation with our daycare provider. Still, I was struggling with crying bouts and despair.

I suddenly felt crushed with the weight of responsibility. Maybe before we were in survival mode, just taking it one diaper at a time, and unable to focus on the big picture . This beautiful, teeny tiny little boy that I love more than anything in this world is 100% dependent on me. He needs me for literally everything, down to making sure his airway is clear to breathe, to food, to even hydration. (Not to minimize what a wonderful father and husband Eric is, but he just can't breastfeed.) The enormity of that really hit me out of nowhere. It’s terrifying. And it’s for life. Sure, you can say it’s for 18 years, but we all know the motherhood switch doesn’t turn off, ever. I’d previously been able to use the “take it one day at a time” approach successfully. But now I started wondering “What if he never stops crying? What if I never sleep again? What if he will never sleep anywhere but on me?”

Who me? Crying?

I hadn’t missed our old lifestyle at all. We were married for six years before Dalton was born. We’d had plenty of date nights, plenty of time spent at bars with friends, plenty of weekend trips just the two of us. I know it’s still possible to do these things, but we don’t have any family in this state to babysit, and we will already be paying a lot of money for childcare while we’re at work. We both knew having a baby meant those times were essentially done, or at least changed for us. We
were excited to begin a new chapter.

Our last photo as a family of two. So beautiful.

I wasn’t pining away for a date night. However, it did strike me around this time that more than just that aspect of my life was forever changed. Sure, I was fine saying goodbye to our favorite bars, but maybe I wasn’t as prepared as I thought I was to give up doing everything on my terms. Like eating. Using the bathroom. Making a phone call.

Of course, with that frustration and fear comes the mom guilt. Why should I be upset? I wanted this baby in my life so badly that I once secretly cried at work after yet another negative pregnancy test while watching a mother kiss her daughter goodbye. I should only ever experience feeling joy, happiness, and love no matter what happens. I still do experience those emotions, all the time, at a greater intensity than I ever could imagine. It’s just that their redheaded stepchild counterparts have now snuck in.

He tried to fight them off for me.

I was also feeling more and more like a parenting failure. The whole time I was pregnant, I constantly heard about how that “skin to skin time” after birth is absolutely crucial. And I truly didn’t feel worried because I had missed out onthat. But just a few short weeks later, all the sudden I was inundated with “drowsy but awake”. I had never even heard of this, although granted I didn’t research infant sleep much, because I held out hope that I’d have one of those magic perfect sleepers. That didn’t pan out, so I had become the stereotypical mom frantically reading baby sleep books and asking everybody and willing to buy anything that would make my baby sleep.

Well, apparently you are supposed to be putting them down to sleep the second they start to look sleepy. Now everyone from the book authors to the pediatrician was angrily pointing their fingers at me demanding to know why I would cuddle with my baby until he slept, and then sometimes even nap on me, or at least that’s how it felt. First it was essential to hold your baby, now it was “what kind of mother are you, holding your baby all the time?”

I just love seeing this squishy face on my chest so much.

On top of all this, or maybe what was causing all this, hormones were bitch slapping me left and right. First I was crying because he wouldn’t sleep anywhere but on us and I couldn’t sleep. Then I was crying because he wouldn’t sleep anywhere but on us and it was all my fault and I had ruined him for life and he would never be able to sleep or be successful in any way. Then I was crying because he wouldn’t let me put him down to sleep. Then I was crying because he would let me put him down to sleep and I missed him and soon he would be crawling, walking, driving, and never want to cuddle with mom again and this was my ONE CHANCE. And now I’m crying just remembering all that crying.

I have a ton of support. I can’t even remember everyone who has reached out to me, listened to me, and told me it gets easier. And logically I know it must. I’ve been teaching elementary school for ten years, so probably 300-400 students, and not one of them has reported sleeping on their parents, or cried for no reason all day, or been unable to function unless someone is holding them in their arms. But, deep down, I don’t really believe any of these people who say it supposedly gets easier.

I don’t really have a point for sharing this, other than to remember my feelings at this point in my life. I thought I was in the clear since I felt fine when we brought him home from the hospital, but hormones are tricky bastards. I think they were just laying low to build their strength and launch their attack when they were at their most powerful.





Thursday, November 20, 2014

I like to judge things

I really find it frustrating when I see something on the internet that makes me roll my eyes because I suspect it's stupid, but I can't truly judge it because I haven't experienced it. Some things are worth doing just so I can pass judgments. Examples: Whole30 and rigid birth plans. 
He made it out, no birth plan needed.

While I can still be accused of being a judgmental jerk, at least people can't be all like “you haven’t been there, you don’t even know!”.

I have been suspicious of those lists floating around that new moms are supposed to post on their Facebook or tape to their door, with a list of "helpful hints" for friend and family. I never said anything, because the prospect of having a kid is terrifying enough without potentially turning down essential help. But I've survived nearly two months of new parenthood now, so I am ready to judge away. My first suggestion would be that prior to popping out that kid, find some friends and family that don't suck. I'm even more appreciative of the people in my life now because I had people coming out of the woodwork to visit and help, no stupid list needed.


Disclaimer – I have one kid, no pets, and an amazingly supportive partner. Single moms and moms of multiple kids are superheroes to me so maybe the list is needed in that case. I don’t really understand why anyone would want to own a pet but it is more responsibility so maybe pet owners need more help too.

 This is just one example, but I’ve seen a bunch and they are all pretty similar. I’m not trying to call anyone out specifically.

1. Buy us toilet paper, milk and beautiful whole grain bread.


Toilet paper doesn't go bad, so why is it on all these lists as a must have? We just stocked up at Costco before the baby arrived. You have nine months to prepare, it's not like a sudden storm where you get stranded and you are screwed. If you want to bring me bread, I'd prefer a nice Garlic Tuscan with fatty white flour please.


2. Buy us a new garbage can with a swing top lid and 6 pairs of black cotton underpants (women’s size____).

You are doing parenting wrong if you have destroyed a garbage can before your kid can even hold his head up. I don’t even understand this, it’s so specific. Personally I didn’t find I needed new underpants, but if I did, I wouldn’t be asking visitors to bring them to me. I have some close friends that I feel comfortable discussing some very private details with, but I’m not asking anyone to bring me undergarments.

3. Make us a big supper salad with feta cheese, black Kalamata olives, toasted almonds, organic green crispy things and a nice homemade dressing on the side. Drop it off and leave right away. Or, buy us frozen lasagna, garlic bread, a bag of salad, a big jug of juice, and maybe some cookies to have for dessert. Drop it off and leave right away.

Lasagna, yes, garlic bread, yes, cookies, yes, salad, no thanks. I can put lettuce in a bowl just fine, if I’m going to demand someone cook for me, at least I want the good stuff. But again, I had lots of awesome wonderful people do this, and I didn’t have to demand it, and if someone is close enough to you to meet your new baby at your home, shouldn’t they know at least ONE food you might like? And is it really necessary to say “drop it off and leave right away” not once but TWICE? I have this weird quirk where I like to actually see my friends, and I don’t get nervous about them coming over because if I need them to leave, I can just politely request it. Hint: not by posting it on my door for them to see when they’ve slaved over a hot stove.

4. Come over about 2 in the afternoon, hold the baby while I have a hot shower, put me to bed with the baby and then fold all the piles of laundry that have been dumped on the couch, beds or in the room corners. If there’s no laundry to fold yet, do some.
Good luck putting the baby to bed. Don't let this fool you, it's easier said than done.

Again, underwear…it’s personal. I don’t need anyone coming to my house to fold or, even worse, wash mine. Like really just imagine this scene. A grown ass adult being put to bed by their coworker who had the day off and thought they would try to stop by. And I’m a pretty casual, what you see is what you get type, but I cringe at the thought of taking a nap while someone is in my living room folding all my laundry. Just use the clean laundry off the couch instead of getting it put away. It won’t kill you.

5. Come over at l0 a.m., make me eggs, toast and a 1/2 grapefruit. Clean my fridge and throw out everything you are in doubt about. Don’t ask me about anything; just use your best judgment.

I’m noticing is whoever wrote this list seems to have a lot of unemployed friends, or at least friends who aren’t 9-5ers. And apparently a late sleeping baby, because 10am is way past breakfast time over here. Having someone come over and clean my fridge is even more uncomfortable to think about than the laundry.

6. Put a sign on my door saying “Dear Friends and Family, Mom and baby need extra rest right now. Please come back in 7 days but phone first. All donations of casserole dinners would be most welcome. Thank you for caring about this family.”

Another thing you could easily do ahead of time but seriously, having a baby is busy, but not so busy that you can’t write four sentences and tape them to your door.

7. Come over in your work clothes and vacuum and dust my house and then leave quietly. It’s tiring for me to chat and have tea with visitors but it will renew my soul to get some rest knowing I will wake up to clean, organized space.

This is actually sounding like a good way of responding to someone you really can’t stand who wants to visit. I kind of wish I had had that opportunity now that I think of it. But again, I actually like my friends and enjoyed spending time with them when they visited Dalton. I like a clean house as much as the next person, but not as much as I like not having my friends think I’m a total jerk. I get that diapers don’t come cheap and this is a good time to cut costs, but if some dust is really going to affect your sanity, just hire a cleaning person. Pay that person to clean your house and have fun with your visitors, and they’ll leave still liking you.

8. Take my older kids for a really fun-filled afternoon to a park, zoo or Science World and feed them healthy food.

Well, fun-filled afternoon and healthy food do generally go hand in hand for a child. I don’t have older kids, but expect me to come back and comment on this down the road.

9. Come over and give my husband a two hour break so he can go to a coffee shop, pub, hockey rink or some other r & r that will delight him. Fold more laundry.

How much laundry can you have? Even with the baby around, I was doing less by staying in my pajamas 24/7 and not changing outfits as often as I should have. I’m truly don’t mean this as a slight to my husband, because he’s amazing, but he doesn’t have boobs, so he could take a break anytime he wanted! He didn’t need someone to come over, because another adult was chained to the baby constantly – me. In the beginning, when Dalton was eating every two hours, there just wasn’t as much for Eric to do because so much of Dalton’s time had to be spent solely with me by necessity (and he still did a ton by doing everything around the house and waiting on me hand and foot, which maybe is why I don’t understand lists like this).

10. Make me a giant pot of vegetable soup and clean the kitchen completely afterwards. Take a big garbage bag and empty every trash basket in the house and reline with fresh bags.

Enough with the vegetables. There’s time for healthy eating down the road. As far as the trash, a majority of our trash output was (is) dirty diapers. That just seems to be to be a parent’s responsibility to take out. No matter how cute someone else’s baby is, I’m not interested in any part of their bodily functions. The least I can do is offer that same courtesy to my guests. I solemnly swear that if you ever come over, I will not ask you to literally take out a trash bag of crap.
No baby other than your own is adorable enough to deal with poop.

 I’ve been pretty forthright on here that I’m one of the most introverted, antisocial people out there. Yet even I was really honored that people were taking time out of their busy lives to come see me and meet my son. I also liked that he was beginning a relationship with all these good people. Plus, flattery will get you everywhere, and I certainly didn’t hate the compliments on his cuteness, and I even got some myself! Seeing lists like this while pregnant made me feel like the world’s biggest jackass for all the times my young, ignorant self went to visit a new parent empty handed and GASP just wanted to see their new baby and spend a little time with them. But I loved all our visitors, whether or not they came with a casserole. I even wanted visitors in the hospital! I thought that sounded awful, but when the time came I couldn’t get enough.
(Imagine a montage of photos of friends and family holding Dalton here, I don't have time to make it.)

I’m absolutely not saying I don’t need help. I’m a hot mess and just bumbling my way through as best I can. I’m just saying that maybe if you need to place all these demands on your door to get that help from people, it might be time to take a good hard look at your life choices. Personally I just think having friends I can turn to when I’m crying harder than the baby is more valuable than a freshly vacuumed carpet or an empty trashcan with a brand spanking new liner. But I reserve the right to treat everyone as my maid if we are lucky enough to have kid #2, because that looks hard.

Totally unrelated but I've been meaning to link to my friend Jessy's blog for forever and I keep forgetting. We were friends in high school and lost touch and then just reconnected on Facebook since we both recently had babies. She is saving my life and loaning me her Rock and Play when I go visit my family this weekend so there is a fighting chance I will get a few minutes of sleep.


Monday, November 17, 2014

Ramblings from the sleep deprived

My brain. It is no longer with us. I don't feel too tired during the day because coffee. But then I try thinking and it's a no go. It's not too concerning because breastfeeding and diaper changes don't really require brainpower but it might possibly be a problem when I go back to work. I wonder if I could make Starbucks my career instead, because I could make any drink on that menu exclusively using muscle memory.

The other day Dalton and I went to the grocery store (Wegmans, duh). We live in a third floor apartment. I remember thinking it was hard to carry all those groceries up when I was pregnant. The joke was on me because it turns out it's a lot harder with a screaming hungry baby in a 300 pound car seat.

But back then I didn't get to wake up to this face.

This week the weather did a 180. Earlier in the week it was gorgeous. We went for walks everyday. We met friends and had a picnic in the park.

Then it turned disgusting. I hate it. I didn't even step outside for two full days.

It's terrible.
But the advantage to the cold weather was now I could leave the groceries in the car until Eric got home and make him bring them up. I texted him to tell him.

Just a few hours later he came in the door laden with grocery bags. I immediately got pissed and was like "why would you buy all that crap when I told you I was going to the store today and even texted you to..... oh". Luckily I thought that instead of said it out loud but seriously what is my problem?

Saturday we were going to our good friend's birthday party so I strapped Dalton on and got baking first thing. I made chocolate chip cookies and pretzel dogs with beer cheese sauce (we're obsessed with this recipe).

In retrospect, a picture after I baked them would have looked nicer.
The birthday girl got sick and had to cancel - so sad! We took it upon ourselves to consume all the party food and embarked on an elimination diet where we eliminated all foods other than pretzel dogs and cookies. We also used the extra time to catch up on sitcoms. I had originally intended to run, but day drinking just seemed to fit the day's theme better.

Sweet red wine is my favorite.

So we're in this phase where Dalton only wants to be held. Round the clock. I love snuggling him, so it's not really a problem during the daytime. Although a 30 second pee break listening to screaming is a bit stressful. But then I think about how when he's a teenager he won't even want to be seen with me and it doesn't seem so bad. 
It doesn't lend itself to sleeping so much. For us. He sleeps fine as long as he's on one of our chests. It's weird how you adapt and now I think things like "I got a combined total of five hours, I feel like a million bucks!".


I took advantage of that time lying down and read the baby sleep book I have and it essentially said I'd been doing everything wrong for the past 7 weeks and was screwed. So that was pretty helpful.
It did reinforce my theory that as a mother, I can enjoy approximately 10-15% of my life without silently freaking out over something. About another 5% of my time is spent convincing myself not to spend our life savings on baby socks, because I really really love how cute baby socks are. Especially the ones that look like little sneakers.
Luckily I have good friends who remind me that no one takes their son to high school strapped to their chest in an Ergo or sleeps in a Rock and Play in their dorm room. Or just to get an umbrella and go for a walk.
I texted my friend the other day that I didn't get it when people said newborns have day and night confused because when Dalton was first born, we had to wake him up every two hours to eat per the doctor's orders so none of us had any real "day or night". But this weekend I think I got it.

Shopping at Dick's

After an hour of sitting in a dark room being "soothed to sleep".
I didn't work out at all this weekend because, tired, and then after the third time I found myself sobbing today I started to think maybe that was a problem. Working out was easier said than done (see above). It took me 5 hours and three separate attempts, but I managed to do a 25 minute Jillian Michaels DVD and even though it was pouring, we got outside for a 2 mile Ergo walk. It's only been an hour since then but I haven't cried yet, so I'll call it a win.
I'm too tired to think of a question so just tell me something good, like that you have kids and I'll sleep again someday.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

I can admit when I was wrong

I just felt the need to start with this picture because BABY LEGGINGS.

I've scoffed at a lot of "Body After Baby - I just want to exercise again for me it's not about the weight" type posts. Although I still maintain a lot of them are written by people who do just want to burn calories to be skinny again. I don't think there's anything wrong with that. I've officially reached the point where I'm tired of being fat (but not, like, tired enough to give up buttercream). I never, ever thought I would say this, but I'm even tired of elastic waist pants. Or at least tired of them being my only clothing option.

But since I joined the YMCA my senior (?) year of high school, I've never had to take a significant amount of time off from exercise. My 6 weeks postpartum was by far the longest I've ever gone without it. It seems I just got used to it and underestimated exercise's effect on my life. Since I was cleared for it a week ago, I've worked out every day and my mood is a horse of a different color.

Since last Wednesday, I've only really cried once and that was over something actually sad/touching (the NFL helping that little girl with cancer - if you don't at least get choked up you clearly have no soul). That might not sound like much, but I cried twice in the doctor's office, and my appointment was only like 30 minutes. Actual crying, like if I remembered where my mascara was or how to put it on, it would have been in ugly streaks down my face. Hormones. They are not a joke. (Also I had to text three people to remember the team to figure out a link for that story. Mom brain is not a joke either.)

My point is that exercise is saving my sanity so maybe there is something to the "it just makes me feel good" thing. It definitely hasn't made me skinny but I'm still enjoying it. Nobody cares, but I'm proud of myself, so I'm listing it.

Love her so much.

Wednesday: 3 treadmill miles (2 running, one walking)
Thursday: 30 Day Shred, level 1
Friday: spin class
Saturday: 3 miles OUTSIDE (2 running, one walking)
Sunday: 1 treadmill mile, No More Trouble Zones
Monday: spin
Tuesday: spin (I'm a little obsessed)
Wednesday: yoga

Plus a bunch of stroller/babywearing walks.

Seeing this face when I get back is the best.

 I'm under no illusions that this exercise intensity/frequency will continue, but a couple factors were at play.

1. I forgot to cancel my YMCA membership in time, so I have only a week and a half to get my full months money's worth (it ends Friday).
2. Next week Eric starts coaching basketball so he'll be home later.

Pretty sure they don't even notice when I leave.
Maybe just the one who depends on me for all sustenance.
3. I'm still riding high on the wave of exercise excitement. It will fade.

Don't worry, I carb loaded.
Obviously the runs are all super slow and whatever. My friend asked me if I hadn't posted them on Daily Mile because I was embarrassed and I was like um no I CREATED A HUMAN.

A pretty awesome one at that.
I mean, all that "I am woman hear me roar" stuff before I kind of eyerolled but now that I've done it, seriously, it's crazy. I MADE him.

Well I don't really remember how I planned to tie this together with the title but the other thing I wanted to talk about was my lack of sleep.

Obviously most of us go into this newborn thing with eyes wide open and everyone knows some sleepless nights are involved and that's fine. Everyone tells you to sleep when the baby sleeps. That's good advice. Some of us can sleep anywhere, anytime, and are great at that.

I accepted long ago naps were out for me. I haven't napped successfully since '86. I just fail at sleeping during the day. I thought I could use the time change to my advantage though. Dalton was sleeping Sunday night, and I was tired, so I went to bed at 7pm (was the time change last weekend? Maybe the weekend before? It felt later.).

I was up until he needed to eat and didn't fall asleep until 10:30 or 11pm, so that was nearly 4 hours of laying in bed awake. Monday night, I gave up and went to sleep at a normal time. Dalton was up to eat and I put him back to sleep at 2:30am. He was fast asleep.

Not here. This is from his first crib nap. It was only 30 minutes but I was insanely proud.

I laid in bed wide awake until 4am. Who ever heard of new mom insomnia? That curse was supposed to be limited to pregnancy. I thought I would be so tired I would always instantly fall asleep, which would be great. Nope. Now I have all the tiredness and I can't even passive aggressively blame my baby and secretly resent him. I have only myself to blame. My body is like "sleep can only occur between the hours of 11pm and 7am and maybe not even then".

I have high hopes tonight's yoga will help. I probably just jinxed myself saying that.

I had other stuff to say too but this has already taken two days and I don't really remember what I was going to say. So we'll end here.

What's something you can now admit you were wrong about?


Thursday, November 6, 2014

Don't call it a comeback because I never left

Yesterday I started a post on how hard it is to get stuff done with a new baby. Dalton woke up so I abandoned ship and intended to get back to it later (which is how I write all my posts these days). I thought I had saved it as a draft, but then I got a comment on it from Kara like six hours later, so apparently I published it, half done, without a title, and drifting off mid thought. I was going to take it down and finish it later, but upon reflection, it really illustrated my point about half assing everything in life but the baby better than I ever could have planned.

If anyone reading out there is leftover from the old days when I discussed other things, I did things this week unrelated to mothering! Granted, I will have to talk about the baby to fully explain them, but that's kind of life now.

1. I saw a movie!

I read Gone Girl at some point in my life that I can't remember, and loved it. I knew I would want to see the movie, but I figured I could wait until it was on out video, or whatever I'm supposed to call it to avoid dating myself now that videos are antiques. But then everyone and their mom started seeing it and raving about it.

 I'm having really, really bad anxiety over leaving Dalton to go to work. Like... it's bad. I would ask for words of wisdom from those who have been there but hormones are involved so logic is no help. Having taken child psychology as a college freshmen, I prescribed myself the cure of "seeing a movie" so I would have a little time away from him doing something fun and realize the world didn't end. The movie was a great choice because I was so into it that the time flew by. I thought the casting was dead on, and I love me some NPH.

While at the theater, I picked up this bad boy.

It's called Mockingjay, movie theater people.
2. I ran!


I never ever thought I would be one of those people who came home from the doctor's office after getting cleared for exercise and immediately put my sneakers on. But then pretty much everything I have said, thought, done and written since beginning this wild ride into parenthood is a surprise to me. I like running more than I realized and that's exactly what I did.

I got a salted caramel mocha on my way home - in retrospect not the best running fuel.

Eric had to leave right when I got home, so I ran until Dalton woke up. I was hoping to get a mile in, and he woke up right when I hit that point - such a considerate guy! Later on, when he went back to sleep, I ran another mile! Both miles I ran straight through, start to finish, and the last time that happened was so long ago I don't remember it. They were also both somewhere in the 10:xx pace, which was also a distant memory. I did some walking for a warm up and cool down to bring the total to 3 miles.

Make that 3.00 miles

I know that might not sound like much but I'm thrilled with it. It felt better than I expected, although I had extremely low expectations. WAY better than pregnant running, that's for sure.

It did not.

3. We voted.

I thought having my neighbor ask when I was due while I was wearing Dalton was the dumbest comment I could get. But then while Eric wore him to the polls, he got asked "Is that a baby?!". So I stand corrected.

What the hell else would it be? I can't even think of a sarcastic response.

We tried to take a family photo with our "I voted" stickers. It wasn't a huge success.

Prime and blurry baby


Best of the bunch, but still not a framer

4. This much anticipated, glorious purchase.

Love her.
I decided at some point, probably last year but I'm not sure, that Black Friday and Christmas are usually less than a month apart, and that's just not enough time for me. Even blasting Christmas music at every opportunity, which I do, it's just not enough. So I'm starting November 1st now and extending through New Year's Eve. It's a controversial decision that many disapprove of (my husband is quite a dissenter) but it's right for me and I won't compromise. So far, I'm still waiting until after Thanksgiving to put the tree up, but no promises for the future.

Christmas music - love or hate, and if you love it, when do you bust it out for the year?


Wednesday, November 5, 2014

If my experience is anything to go by, as a new parent, you'll constantly be plagued by confusion and doubt over every decision. Yet the universe hooks you up. While that can shake your self confidence quite a bit, it gets built back up. Suddenly things that you never gave a second thought to, like simple household tasks, or even things necessary for basic survival suddenly feel like award winning achievements.

Including, but not limited to:
  • Making meals
  • Eating meals
  • Showering
  • Cleaning
  • Doing laundry
  • Putting away laundry
  • Doing dishes or even just one of the dishes in the sink
  • Getting groceries
  • Making necessary phone calls (like, business-y things, not just to family where you can hang up on them if the baby starts crying or forget words without being judged)
  • Going outside
I completed my first postpartum workout too! I vacuumed every room with Dalton in the Ergo (and he didn't even wake up). I was sweating and honestly considered putting it on Daily Mile.

Essentially, doing even the tiniest task on top of keeping the baby healthy, dry, and fed deserves a mental pat on the back in my mind. Maybe other people are more capable, but that's where I am. My mom gave me the advice that my only job right now is to care for him and me, and I think that's the best way to look at things.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Day in the life- Halloween

I know the internet is divided with love/hate over "Day in the Life" posts, but I enjoyed reading the ones about life with a baby while pregnant. I still like to, I just realize now that not only is every baby completely different, but at this age, every day is pretty different. I mean, they all contain the same elements (eating, sleeping, diapers, "playing", crying, cuteness), but at different times and in different orders.

I'm enjoying them less now because I'm finding it amazing how some bloggers turn something factual into sounding so angry. Like, ZOMG, who knew that a day in the life after having a baby would include so much of the baby? So I'm writing my own (hopefully) non-resentful one. Just be glad I didn't subject you to my monthly letters to Dalton, I'm keeping those private.
A few notes:
  • It was actually much harder than I thought it would be to keep track of what we did all day.
  • I have some really exact times because I use an app (Sprout) to time feedings, the rest are more approximates.
  • I didn't include all diaper changes because there's no need, just don't think I change my baby only 3 times a day and just let his bum rot the rest of the time. 
  • I think it's gross when people say babies "had dinner" or inexplicably even worse "a snack" so I will just be referring to "feedings".  
  • The day we are discussing was Halloween and Dalton is five weeks old.
  • After rereading, I feel like I do talk about a lot of fussy times for Dalton, but I'm not trying to make him look bad, we all have our good and not so good days.
1:30 am: Wake up and pump - we had this idea that since Eric is a night owl he could do this feeding so I could stay asleep, but the girls weren't on board with that. We're working on revamping things.

4am: Eric gives Dalton a bottle (I stayed asleep) - he's often up earlier, closer to the time I pump, but not that night I guess! Babies do their own thing.

6:03am: I feed Dalton and he goes right back to sleep, which is a major win because that's my plan too.
7:27am: Dalton wakes up crying. I move the party out to the living room and feed Dalton briefly and he falls asleep, so I think he was just lonely, not hungry. I'm still learning! I watch the Today show and drink coffee and cuddle while he sleeps.

I've been practically peeing my pants with excitement over the Halloween costume reveal. Every year I miss it because of work and I finally got to watch. It was all I hoped it would be and more. I need to have a fall baby every year from now on. (I usually try to pump at some point after a morning feeding to add to my freezer stash but I got too swept up in the SNLToday excitement and forgot.)
9:25am: I reluctantly put Dalton down in his bouncer so I can eat breakfast.
9:35am: Dalton wakes up and wants to eat for real (breakfast is long done, I've learned to eat fast!). He's still sleepy so I have to keep him awake to eat by stroking his cheek and jaw. Side note - autocorrect changed "stroking" to "striking" in that sentence so good thing I caught it. I also unswaddle him and change his diaper. And this happens: 

10-11am: - We hang out, sing, "play" (he's a little too young to really play yet so it's more me making a fool of myself and pretending he's participating, mainly through voiceovers), have some tummy time, attempt to read a book (he's not a fan yet).
See, I swear he's having fun with me!
We are trying to get him used to his crib (so he will eventually sleep there) by doing some tummy time/hangout awake time in it each day. No idea if his memory is long enough to make this effective whatsoever, and google wasn't sure either, but it probably can't hurt. About a hour of happy awake time is his limit, so he's fussy and yawning by 11.
11:00: Time to calm things down and get him back to sleep. I'm not terribly successful.
11:15: I try to put him in the ergo (baby wearing thing) to cheer him up, realize he's hungry, so I feed him instead. Obviously.

11:50: A diaper change leaves him exhausted but wide awake and quite displeased with those feelings. Those diaper changes always do that. I soothe him with The Happiest Baby on the Block methods.

12:00pm: He's drowsy, so I put him in the Mamaroo to try to put himself to sleep. The pediatrician and the nurse at my mom's group recommended putting him down sleepy but awake to get him used to putting himself to sleep. It's hit or miss, this time is a miss.
12:20: I put him back in the Ergo, which usually cheers him up, and we head outside for a walk. On our way out, we run into a neighbor, who asks me when I'm due. I point to Dalton and say "he's right here". Maybe she doesn't understand how pregnancy works?
12:30-1:00pm: 30 min walk, Dalton is happy (I assume) and goes right to sleep.

The baby strapped to your body means he's already been born.

1-1:30: I keep Dalton on and make chili in the crockpot for dinner while listening to halloween station on Pandora. It was quite disappointing. I'm not sure what I expected, but it should just be Monster Mash and Thriller on repeat.
I had a picture of me browning the ground beef because most people never thought they would see the day, but that's gross and no one wants to see it. The finished product isn't beautiful either but we all know chili is delicious.

1:30: I feed Dalton, change his diaper and give him a water dunk in his bathtub (the pediatrician said to soak his lower half in water twice a day), and try to cheer him up when he gets a little cranky.
2:35: I hand Dalton over to Eric to try his luck soothing him and go take a shower. (He's not a deadbeat dad, I was trying my hand at independence to prepare for him going back to work on Thursday.)
3:30: I eat lunch while watching Les Mis (surprisingly Eric's choice, I can never not watch it if it's on TV) and Dalton falls asleep on Eric.

4:30: Dalton wakes up to eat and get a diaper change, he falls right back asleep on me around 5 or so. We were going to put him in his costume and take him for a walk, but we missed our window! We should have done that to calm him down earlier. More new parent fails.

6:23: Dalton wakes up again and gets another diaper change and his real bath, and he finally gets his costume on! Is there a way to give an infant a bath without getting soaked yourself? If so, we're doing it wrong. 

6:46: I feed Dalton. Because like his mom, he responds poorly to hanger.
Exhibit A:
Before eating
Exhibit B:
After eating.
7:10: Halloween photo shoot while blasting Thriller. It's hilarious and adorable.
STOP. I can't handle it.
7:40: Dalton gets fussy and doesn't respond to the usual so I feed him again, and he's starved like he's been in prison camp and not just an unwilling pawn for his parents to dress up and photograph. Babies and their super tiny bellies, amiright? He falls asleep in my lap again after he eats, and I put him back in the Mamaroo.

8:30: Chili time. I wanted to make cornbread to go with it but the Halloween photo shoot took precedence. Can't do it all. We watch an episode of New Girl while we eat. 
9:10: I get the coffee maker set up for the morning. The most crucial part of any evening.

9:20: I was going to have wine and cookies but instead get in bed because I'm feeling a little sick and achy. I screw around on my phone for ten minutes or so then go to sleep.

10:25: I feed Dalton in bed.
11:00: Go back to sleep.
Day in the Life posts - love or hate?

How much Halloween candy did you eat and what kind was the best? We didn't buy any because we don't get trick or treaters, but we went over to our friends' house the next night and they begged us to help them out with all their leftover candy. My favorite was the Reese's peanut butter cup (not pieces).