Thursday, February 26, 2015

The best thing in life

Another blog post brought to you by another snow day!

He was mainly indifferent. 
I have some actual topics I would like to discuss, although granted they are mostly mommy stuff. But first I need to share my weekend. Because cute things happened all over the place. Hopefully those posts will happen someday.

First of all, on Friday night, Dalton finally got to meet his baby buddy, Calen. Dalton and Calen were born ten weeks apart and his mom and I have taught together since 2005!

Like everything else placed in front of him, Dalton felt this other baby needed to be in his mouth.
So much fun. I can't wait until they are old enough to really play!

We had a wild ladies brunch this past weekend. I really enjoy hosting events and requiring people to wear pajamas. Because wearing real clothes should be strictly a Monday through Friday thing. If I ever become president, I'm outlawing even that.

Make a note. Bubbles will amuse kids of all ages. I can vouch for this up to 2.5 years.

Then things really got crazy. Baltimore got hit with snow hard and fast. This is a city that shuts down for an inch, and we got like a foot. Everyone was screwed getting home, and Carolyn and Nathan got stuck with us.

Luckily for them, Nathan is only a size up from Dalton in diapers and we had plenty of 3s for him. Also, Santa brought Dalton some baby food in his stocking. Since Dalton is holding out on real eating for now, he shared some with his buddy. 

We followed his good example and shared our bacon wrapped meatloaf with his mom.

"My dad can eat more bacon than your dad."
Since Dalton is a growing champ, Carolyn had brought us some bigger jammies, because between his chunky thighs and love of peeing on things, we didn't have enough to carry us through each week. When we looked through our larger clothes to find some pjs for Nathan to borrow, we found the same pair. This allowed us to experience one of life's greatest, cutest joys. Babies in matching outfits.

Is there anything better in this world??

Nathan is the happiest person I've ever met. 
In other news, I am continuing to attend class Wednesday nights to learn how to teach the fifth grade health curriculum (unpaid yet required). My saving grace is that Dalton's daycare is on the way to class, so I can at least stop in and squeeze him for ten minutes. Otherwise I wouldn't see him for twelve hours and then I'm pretty sure I would die.

A direct quote from a handout in this class "If a student asks what an orgasm feels like, tell them it feels different for different people." Everyone else in class is acting like this is normal. I would rather stab myself in both eyes with a fork than discuss that in school. I want to have a very open relationship with Dalton and hope he asks me or Eric any questions he has. I just don't want to answer these questions in the classroom for other people's children. I feel comfortable bringing this up on my blog because (as I've learned) it's a Maryland state law that we teach this unit and all parents are allowed to view it at any time. The bottom line is, if you hate your job today, remember I have to say "penis" to a room full of ten year olds.

What's your "I don't get paid enough for this" moment? 

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Ways I'm ruining my kid: part 1 - Sleep training (or lack thereof)

Before Dalton was born, I just assumed I would sleep train him. Because I love sleep. In fact, it’s a basic human need.
But then it turned out he was still cute, even at 3am.
 Next to labor and delivery, the lack of sleep was probably my biggest fear regarding new parenthood. If I had a quarter for every time I heard “sleep now while you can!”, I would have so much money. Enough to pay for like half a day of daycare. There is no greater joy as a parent than frightening pregnant women about L&D and lack of sleep. I will admit I am guilty of the former. But I try to avoid the latter.

Because they do sleep, on occasion. 

                A few weeks ago a friend sent me this post and I loved it. Another friend just sent it to me today and I loved it so much it made me cry. She says it so much better than I can, but basically the idea is that while it can be tough to get up multiple times in the night with a baby, the really hard part is feeling like it’s your fault, and even worse, that you are ruining them for life.

                Yes, the internet is a huge problem in perpetuating this. But I run into it in real life too. One of the first questions people ask when they see you holding a baby is “how is he sleeping?”. Then they will often inform you that they read such and so book and their baby then slept through the night (STTN) at 5 minutes old. Rice cereal in the bottle, then they’ll sleep like a champ! Which implies that, since I did not read such and so book and I’m not giving him rice cereal and my baby is not yet able to STTN, it’s my fault. Maybe they aren’t implying that at all, but my mom guilt sure does. People love to say things like “it’s time to let him cry it out!”. Why exactly is it time for that? It’s always followed with stories of how they let their baby cry it out and now she sleeps for 12 hours straight every night and then even changes her own diaper while she’s at it. And again, then it feels like the implication is that I’m doing something wrong by soothing him when he cries.

                Let’s stop right here. I am 100% pro sleep training. Because I know that it’s hard, and therefore if you do it, you have a good reason, and its right for your family. I am just not pro people telling me when it’s time for me to do something. Especially, as it so often is, when it’s strangers or people I barely know that have spent about ten minutes with him.

                If the time comes where it’s right for us, we will sleep train, or cry it out, or do whatever we need to do. I’m not feeling it right now though. He’s up to eat 2-3 times per night, more often than not 3 and maybe some others for unknown (to us) reasons. The doctor said this was fine.

It doesn’t bother me. I feed him, put him back in his crib, fall back asleep. I don’t watch the clock or count wakeups or tally up the total hours I get of sleep so I can whine and be a martyr about how god forbid my healthy child is behaving completely normally. Albeit not as “good” as some other babies (don’t get me started on the “good” baby nonsense). That easily leads to the self-fulfilling prophecy of “I only got x hours of sleep, I will be sooooo tired today). Nobody cares how much or how little sleep you got, how long a stretch you slept (or didn’t sleep) I’m not the only tired person out there, and I’m still expected to do my job at 100% regardless. As I should be. Because I expect Dalton’s teachers to do their best, even if they just popped out their own kid and he or she isn’t a “good” sleeper.

However, I was getting really scared. Almost all my friends have sleep trained. I started to wonder what would happen if we didn’t sleep train. Not sleep training was unheard of. You might as well just not potty train. The sleep is not a problem for me, it doesn’t seem to be a problem for him (he’s rested and happy, at least as best as I can tell during the day), so if it ain’t broke, why fix it? Well, because everyone and their mom is (ha! See what I did there?). Nobody wants to be the odd one out.
We are trying everything to get him off the swaddle, but he's a true junkie.
I texted my mom to ask if she sleep trained us. She did not. So that makes at least 3 non-sleep trained babies who are now productive adult members of society. I considered posting about it on a mom Facebook group. It’s such a loaded topic though. I couldn’t think of a way to word it that wouldn’t result in some sort of heated debate.

I was terrified of the four month sleep regression. It’s a THING. It’s well documented on the internet. So it’s real. Sure, my mom never heard of it, the doctor never mentioned it, but it’s ON THE INTERNET. Tomorrow Dalton will be five months old. I’ve been wondering when we will get slapped in the face with this regression. Probably now, since I spoke of it. My Instagram friend, who had her baby a few days after me, told me they just came out of the 4 month sleep regression. Her baby was waking 1-3 times a night. Around here, we call that a good night! Maybe everyone’s perceptions are just different. It is possible, because babies are all different. Almost like they are real people. Getting sucked in to fearing something just because the internet says it’s a THING can turn into another self-fulfilling prophecy.

I tried to read some sleep books. Eric threatened to burn one because it stressed me out so bad. They are really big on telling you what you did wrong. There is no way to right these wrongs. The best you can do is start socking away bail money or at least money for therapy because you have ruined your kid. The books say sleep training is great for working moms, because obviously you need to be at your best to be professional. Perfect. Then there is all this stuff you are supposed to do to make them nap right so they sleep at night. He naps at daycare. I can’t control what happens when I’m not there. The books tell you to make sure they sleep until 7am. That’s when we walk out the door. They want them to sleep 12 hours at night. Sorry, but I’m not putting him down five minutes after we get home, unless he really needs it. We need time together. Maybe by working moms the books meant people who blog full time for a “job”? Because no one I know with a real job can do these things.

Long story short, for today, I’ll continue to do everything “wrong”. Picking him up when he cries, nursing to sleep, letting him nap on daddy, and sometimes even *GASP* bringing him into our bed.
I miss when he used to pass out on me all the time.

Maybe sometime I’ll fall asleep in a faculty meeting and risk getting fired and we will sleep train immediately. Or it will just be time. Maybe I never will and won’t bother potty training either and we will send him off to college in an adult size Halo sleep sack and adult pampers.

Experiences with baby sleep, sleep training, non sleep training, your own sleep, or mommy martyrs at work who whine about sleep. Go.


Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Red velvet oreo review and romantic Valentine's Day

Finally, we have a snow day.

Waiting until temps get to the double digits for an outdoor picture.
This is my tenth year in Maryland. I used to think snow days were a glorious, magical gift from the gods. Now, I feel entitled to them. It's a problem.

Here's what's been up with me.

1. I found creative, stupid ways to injure myself.

Bacon burns. Don't ask.

When walking was too hard.
I really thought I broke my toe here. I took my leftover meds from giving birth (granted it was just giant Advil, but still, a pain med) and I was still limping. So I asked twitter and googled. You know how you know if you broke your toe? You don't. You know what the difference in treatment is for a broken toe vs. just a bruised toe? Nothing. Wait it out. So it doesn't really matter if its broken or not. I took two days off running/exercise and then felt better.

I also bit the crap out of my lip. I have a lot of practice eating, but, I guess not enough to do it properly.

2. Valentine's Day
"Heartbreaker". Truth.
I like Valentine's Day but not in a "lets go crazy making it the best most gushy romantic day of my life" way. Typically Eric and I don't do much and I have some sort of fun girls date with my BFFs to watch Nicholas Sparks and eat chocolate or similar. Last year we celebrated by “seeing Dalton” for the first time at our first ultrasound so that was pretty awesome.

This year is even better, obviously.
"I will steal your heart". He did.

He was really into the balloons.

We celebrated with a trip to Virginia to finally meet one of Dalton’s BFFs, baby Nate!

They were both fascinated by the other baby.
Romantic dinner. We had heart shaped homemade pizza!

His mom and I have been friends since middle school and these boys were born just 8 days apart.

Since then, we have exchanged approximately 700,000 texts trying to figure out baby sleep/eating/etc. As you can see, Nate has an older sister, so this dashed my hopes of being a baby expert next time around.

She called Dalton “baby Dolphin”. Tell me that is not the cutest thing you’ve ever heard.

I don’t know how but babies somehow communicate. Nate has been breaking out of his Halo swaddle lately (they have the exact same one because when I let experienced moms create my registry and it worked out well). Dalton never had. The very next morning, here’s what we came in to.

Yes, we still swaddle him because sleep.
3. Sunday we had friends over for a game night. My takeaway: I think I need to just accept that we fail at cleaning, so we need to have guests over weekly to force us to get off our bums and do it. I’m hosting ladies night Saturday, so my goal is not to let this place turn into a disaster in the next five days.

4. One of our friends brought this and I turned it into beer bread.
It was as wonderful as you might imagine.
5. We tried red velvet oreos.

The timing was an issue. I had just made red velvet cookies for our game night, and they are basically crack. So already the bar was set pretty high. Eric took a bite and threw the rest away. I didn’t care for my first bite, but then it was better. I probably wouldn’t buy them again though. The package is smaller yet the same price. Lame.


Don't judge me for wearing a tank top during record lows, I still have crazy hormones that give me hot flashes.

On a scale of 1-10, how romantic was your Valentine's Day? Justify your answer please.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

I am busier and therefore more important than you and here is why

Let’s talk about why it took me two weeks to write a single post. (Although I did write this post and get paid $15. I've never been paid to write before and $15 buys like half a month of diapers. Almost.)

Amazing photo courtesy of my mom!

Just kidding, he's perfect and can do no wrong. The problem, as usual, is that I'm not a lady of leisure.

Lately, my life consists of managing to fit in three things. Keeping Dalton alive, keeping myself alive, and trying not to get fired.
We are living in a disaster zone. I managed to clean before my parents’ visit by just not going to bed after feeding Dalton at 3:45 am, and this was on a work day. Luckily for the internet and world at large, I am willing to spend this morning’s two hour delay blogging about how I have no time and ignore the fact that every article of clothing we own is clean on our living room floor.

Before our floor was a war zone.

I always thought I was fairly good at time management, but that’s gone down the tubes. In order to wake up at the crack of dawn to do a tiny bit of exercise, I go to bed the same time as a 4 month old. Then I read approximately half a sentence of my book and pass out. I’ve been at 18% on the same book on my kindle for like 3 weeks. Let’s not even talk about how behind we are on our TV shows. It’s embarrassing. Also we totally don’t need any time together as a couple. Overrated. We can talk while we give Dalton his bath.


When we get home, I start the balancing act of not wanting to waste a single precious second together, yet needing to be entirely ready for bed before starting Dalton’s bedtime routine and getting absolutely every single thing ready for the morning to streamline that process. And, you know, eating dinner myself. That happens through a combination of babywearing and running around like a crazy woman during evening naptime. I really don’t understand where the time goes because every night I am sure I’ll have time to go above and beyond and do actual house cleaning, and not just the minimum amount of chores needed to get us through the next day, and every night that doesn’t happen.

 To further assist me in failing at life, tomorrow I begin a required class to teach fifth grade heath that is 3 hours after work. So I'll be away from my baby for 13 hours. Pretty sure the Geneva Conventions should ban that because it's cruel and inhuman.

This post is not all a complaint. I have mastered some important skills. I can now literally feed my child while I am sleeping. I can pump while driving. I can eat lunch in under 5 minutes while pumping. I can pump and soothe a baby simultaneously (ok most of these skills involve pumping). I can also speed up pumping (slightly) by using one arm to press down on the pumps and the other to type one handed on my laptop and therefore continue working. I have bruises to prove it. And I never bruise.

This is how I spend my nights now.
I'm actually changing the name of this blog to pumping is my life. Note - NOT one day's worth, unfortunately.

Weekends, it’s amazing how much time grocery shopping and prepping meals for the week takes up. I could actually spend more time on my weekends being productive, but then I wouldn’t have any fodder for a whiny blog post, so instead I spend the rest of the time having fun. Family time, coffee with my BFF, trying new workout classes, and mommy night with my fellow pumping teacher buddies.



They have girls. I laughed at him in pink and promoted gender stereotypes.

It's true though.

I need more ways to combine necessary activities in order to introduce TV back into my life. Ideally learning to pump on the treadmill. Or possibly clean and sleep.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Baby's first police car ride

Not that anyone cares, but I have a whole list of excuses about why I haven’t posted in so long. So many I think I can milk those into a separate post. For now, let’s check out what the world’s cutest baby is doing.
A four month checkup. The doctor asked if he was eating well. I was like excuse me do you not see the thighs on this child?

A whopping 14.8 pounds!
His next appointment is for 6 months at the end of March which means I'll finally get to have an exciting spring break - starting solids!

Sometimes your kid inherits traits from you and it's really cool. Or so I hear, so far all I've noticed is that he stretches like me and pees a lot. Also, my mom has all these awesome skills that I don't. But anyway, sometimes there are things you pray they don't inherit and for me one of those is my crippling fear of needles. This was Dalton not 30 minutes after his shots, so I would say we are on the right track.

Now don't get all "just wait" on me, I've heard the 3 year olds screaming in the doctor's office and I know the battle is just beginning. But still.

We went to one of Eric's basketball games (he coaches middle school boys). I've been going since '06 and I always just sit with the spectators, wave, and leave. Now I show up with Dalton and it's all "oh, sit with the team!". I see how it is.

Sports are fascinating!
Mascots are not.
Grandma and Grandpa came to visit! And, shockingly, apparently we only took pictures of Dalton. But it was so much fun having them here. They came to visit me at work and did a photo shoot in my classroom while I was out at dismissal.
Baby's first time getting caught not reading? He looks guilty.

Last Thursday we had another fun baby first! Baby's first time in a cop car!


I had just picked up Dalton from daycare and we were on our way home with that glorious “I’m free!!!” feeling when you are about to spend the night in pajamas no longer having to answer to the man (or in my case, 50 children).

Then BAM. I hit this.
I did not win. Two flat tires.

I pulled over, called AAA to come tow the car, changed a diaper, and then I was sitting there trying to figure out what on earth to do. The extra fun part of this story is that Eric was at an away game, so it would be hours before he was even on the bus back to his car.

Two other women came and knocked on my window. They were pulled over with two flats too from the same stupid road break, and from there the party just kept growing. Before long, 7 cars had joined me. Someone called the police and we waited while they filled out a report.

The good news was that AAA expedited my call because I had an infant and we won the towing race with all our fellow screwed new friends. The bad news was that I hadn’t fully thought things through. The tow truck guy offered me a ride home, but I didn’t know how to install the car seat without the base, and I wasn’t sure youtubing it on the side of the road all jacked up on cortisol was my best bet, safety-wise. So I sent him and my car on their merry way. That left me on the side of the road with a baby, car seat, pump bag, work bag, and diaper bag. It was 25 degrees out and getting dark.

Luckily the nice officer let us hang out in his car until my amazing friend with the same car seat base saved the day and came and got us. I wanted to get a better picture, but unfortunately, it turns out the back of police cars are extremely tight and cramped, and not at all designed for photography. I’ve learned my lesson – I need to immediately purchase a selfie stick and never leave home without it.

Have you ever been in he back of a cop car? Share the story!