Thursday, May 28, 2015

Random life updates

As a teacher with a June birthday from a cold climate, I thought I couldn't love summer any more. This summer is going to be beyond my wildest dreams though.

When he was an itty bitty newborn, I wanted to freeze time and keep him teeny tiny forever. But I had no idea how much fun things were going to get. 

He has turned in to a standing, crawling, on the move maniac.

I remember when we first got this changing pad (I don't do affiliate links or anything that's just an awesome idea for new parents) and I was like "what are these straps for?". Ha.

Diaper changes now resemble WWE events.

Friday I was ridiculously excited for three whole days with my little man. Of course, then I blinked and I was saying goodbye Tuesday morning, but we had some fun in between.

After Dalton's bedtime, a wild Friday night ensued.

Being an adult is exhausting

On Sunday we went over to our (new!) friends' house for a barbecue. Their son is only a week younger than Dalton. 

As a blogger, I'm naturally socially awkward so making new friends is kind of a big deal for me. I do generally make them on the internet, and this was no exception. My record of internet friends being 100% awesome continues. So much fun, so much cute baby.

This is pretty much my favorite picture of all time so far.

Have you ever tried to take a picture of two or more babies? It general involves trickery, and a minimum of two adults acting like total idiots trying to get smiles while a third takes the picture, and then Eric was on security detail.

We are very, very slowly working on that whole "not living out of boxes" thing. Our walls were looking a little bare, so we drove around on Saturday looking for estate sale signs. We found one, and bought $25 worth of artwork, dusted it off, and problem solved.

Dark picture of our hallway. I just got up from the couch to take it. You're welcome.
Just waiting on my call from HGTV. Full house tour coming. Ha. Yeah right. I would never. But I will give you one if you come over and drink wine with me.

My big upcoming race, the Baltimore Ten Miler, is only 9 days away. Yikes. I pretty much took all of last week off because I finally gave in to my doctor and started a new asthma medication and it resulted in like 6 asthma attacks a day. As soon as I stopped that med, it went away. That was fun.

I did manage to get in long runs the past two weeks. 8.6 miles and then 9.1 miles. The 8 miler was on Baltimore's hilliest route with a really fast friend. Genius planning on my part. I would hate her for her natural talent but she's really nice and fun so I can't. So annoying. I was forced to ask personal questions to trick her into telling a long story to hide the fact that I was dying and couldn't breathe. The next week I was smart enough to at least suggest a flat route. We ended up with a 9:27 pace and that's pretty much my 5k pace these days, so I was pleasantly surprised. I ran before work each day this week and thank god on Saturday my friend has to bring the double stroller and I can only pray that slows her down.

Dalton has supported my training as well. Monday, a (different) friend, Dalton and I went to a (different) hilly path (why I'm actually driving to exercise on all these hills when I finally live in a relatively flat neighborhood is beyond me) for a walk.

It is scenic, though.
 I figured Dalton would pass out in the stroller, like he tends to do. He didn't fall asleep until we'd completed the three mile loop, leaving me no choice but to go around again. This time I ran, and added some distance by getting lost.

I just took this one to text her and be like WHERE AM I. 
I LOVE that Dalton can eat meals with us now. It's so much more fun. He eats like a grown man. The other day he finished his breakfast and then was screaming for mine. I think I'm done making "baby food", because we've just been making him a little portion of whatever we are eating and he's in heaven, other than the fact that we annoy him by pausing his meal to take bites of our own. He even tried (and loved) peanut butter this weekend!

Naturally I couldn't wait to introduce him to the world of desserts. He had a little baby mini homemade strawberry shortcake, because if it has fruit, it's healthy. (There is only 2tbsp of sugar in the whole recipe so I didn't feel like quite so much of a parent fail.)

He nearly dove to the ground trying to get the spoon in his mouth faster.

I'll just leave you with this picture to melt your heart.

Am I the worst mom ever or do other people let kids try dessert (or have their own) at young ages? 

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

I'm not the kind of mom I thought I'd be

From my very limited pregnant understanding, there are different parenting categories, like attachment parenting, babywise parenting, more that I don't know, that you can decide to identify with once the baby pops out. I don't actually know anyone who has done this. Every parent of an infant (including me) that I know goes with one type of parenting. It doesn't have a fancy name, but in a nutshell, it's do the best you can to get through the day with a healthy child, question every decision you make - "is this going to ruin my child?" (spoiler alert, the answer is always yes), and for the love of god, try your best for everyone to get some f#$%ing sleep. So far, that parenting style has got us through nearly 8 months with no disasters, knock on wood.

I tried to keep my expectations of how I would handle motherhood low, since who really knows what life is like with an infant? But even so, I've strayed pretty far from the mom I thought I would be. Particularly in the following ways.

1. Sleep

We want this.
They want that. "Can't stop won't stop"
I love sleep. I figured I'd suffer through the first few months, then as soon as the experts said it was allowed, sleep train. I'm a teacher, so my job is literally to make kids cry (KIDDING). Obviously I could handle a few tears in the name of 8 glorious uninterrupted hours. Our pediatrician is all for sleep training right away, and pregnant me thought this was something we agreed on. Then I heard my own child cry and it all went out the window.

Here we are 8 months later, rocking to sleep, cuddling up, nursing to sleep (although lately that's not effective) and not minding the occasional co-sleeping.

Lazy Saturday morning.
I'm still all for it in theory. And tell myself I'll do it when we really need to. But I can guarantee it wouldn't work right now. If there's one thing all the baby sleep websites agree on, it's consistency. I know I would crack. So I regularly panic that he'll never get a good night of sleep in his life unless we move in with him as an adult and co-sleep, all because I was too weak when he was a baby.

Thursday I read some blog and it actually said, all in caps, that if you don't put your baby in the crib awake YOU WILL NEVER SLEEP THROUGH THE NIGHT. I'm not even joking, it said NEVER just like that. So naturally I panicked, because at that very moment Eric was snuggling Dalton to sleep, because he just loves sleeping on his daddy.

Then I realized - I'm a blogger too. Bloggers don't actually know anything. Some of us openly admit that, and some of us pretend to be experts for pageviews. Clearly she's in the latter camp, because we all already have slept through the night, on occasion.

2. Baby food

This just in - our kid likes buffalo wings and pizza.
I am definitely as busy as the average person with one child. I feel I could really hold my own in the classic "who's busier?!" pissing contest. I'm two episodes behind in Game of Thrones and that's actually an improvement over last week (but can I still talk about it with someone because I am DYING).

Just chew on this raw asparagus and stop bothering me. Winter is coming.

I got a food processor as a gift in August (from my friend with an awesome blog) and I was like, cool, maybe I'll make some baby food. I didn't plan to go crazy about it, because ain't nobody got time for that. It's actually really easy though, and I love to cook, and it turns out I love to cook for my kid even more. Soon he'll be a toddler and probably only eating chicken nuggets, so I might as well enjoy it while I can and attempt to make all his food and make it delicious.

It's definitely cheaper that way. I bought ingredients (beets, apples, carrots) for about the price of 3 of those teeny single serving jars and made about 15 baby servings the other day. We also do a lot of "here kid, have what we're eating", like penne with shrimp, feta, mint, and spring veggies (one of my favorite recipes make it immediately). I like that he eats all sorts of things that aren't usually considered "baby food", like chicken curry, for example.

I'm not on some sort of crusade against store bought food or anything. I bought puffs and teething wafers. I'm just lazy. It's a lot easier to buy and prepare one meal rather than one adult and a separate kid meal. I'm fine with the jarred stuff if I don't get a chance to make anything. Unlike formula, which I pretend to be fine with and I am in theory but deep in my heart I know I will cry the first time I give it to him, this I'm actually ok with.

2a. Organics

I've been buying all organic produce for Dalton, which I don't really understand because I was definitely under the impression it was a grocery store conspiracy before. BUT WHAT IF?! It actually doesn't make any sense because I don't eat organic, and still supply his actual nutritional needs. We also let him try pizza, buffalo wings, and a bagel with cream cheese this weekend, but I'm sure those organic beets canceled all that out. So far, we have not found even one food he has disliked.

3. Cloth diapers

I love our mother earth. I recycle. I bring actual silver wear to eat lunch at work instead of throwaway stuff. I tried to stop using paper towels except the reusable kind were inferior. But I wasn't about to become some hippie washing poop before heading off to my drum circle just to help limit waste in the landfills.

Then I had a baby and realized that once you are a parent, you are going to be dealing with poop, regardless of your diaper choice. We Facetimed with my BFF Kari and she gave us a tutorial, complete with a nursery tour and even modeled a diaper change. Modern day cloth diapers are pretty much just as easy as disposables, and soooo much cheaper.

Most importantly, they are significantly cuter.

Turtle power.

I mean...zebra butt.

Naturally, it was off the table until we owned our own washer and dryer, and now that we are actually living that dream, we made the switch. We haven't started sending them to daycare yet, but once we run out of size 3 disposables there, we will.

Long story short: I'm pretty different than I expected to be, and I'm still at the super easy stage. The part where I have to figure out how to mold him into a good person and productive member of society - TERRIFYING. Give me poop and 2am wakeups please.

Porch dinner date!

What part of adulting have you handled totally differently than you expected to?

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Firsts and whining

Amazing Mother's Day weekend. My gift was a new car!


Dalton drove us home.
Ha, get real, that would never actually happen in my world. But after weeks of researching and carpooling, we did finally get a second car. New to us, but actually older than the one totaled. It's really more like Eric's, because he's big, and my Honda Civic is small. Which is a bummer, because I was due for a "new" car next. Also, the above picture was in my car. The interior of the new car is orange and so pretty. I promise we (ok, Eric) did real research and didn't just go on color. It's a Nissan Murano and the Today show JUST featured it as performing the best in SUV crash tests! Yay safety!

Short of actually seeing my mom, we did have the best Mother's Day weekend because my first little love came to visit - my nephew!

Showing Dalton Mr. Bear. If you know Harrison, you know this is a BIG DEAL.
Dalton had a lot of exciting firsts. First zoo trip.

There was supposed to be a giraffe in this picture.
First taste of crab. It's important to put down those Maryland roots.
Like literally every other food he's tried, he liked it.
First taste of frozen yogurt. #cleanliving

Again, liked it.
Lastly, his first playground visit! I wanted to push him on the swings, but they didn't have any. He had a horrible time.

Now he's experiencing a less exciting first. First ear infection. Does it count as first and second if it's in both ears?

He fell asleep on the way home last night. That hasn't happened since winter.

His thighs barely fit in the car seat.
When he finally woke up and came inside, he barely nursed then fell asleep again in the ergo. I ended up rocking him like that until Eric came home.
Open mouth - that's when you know they are out.
He never even ate dinner or had a bath, we just put him to bed, he was so exhausted.

In the morning, Eric got him up while I went for a run. He said Dalton was totally out of it, and even when he put him in the exersaucer (his favorite thing ever) he just laid his head down. I was getting really nervous because he had 101.9 fever, and was so lethargic. Every other time he's been sick, he's still been his normal energetic, happy self. He barely nursed again and had a dry diaper for three straight hours, unheard of.

And here's where I'm going to complain. It sucks having a sick baby, and it really sucks to have to worry about making tough choices on top of that. First of all, who's calling in to work? I could either call in, and feel guilty about missing work yet AGAIN, or go in, and feel guilty about not being there to comfort my sick baby. I went with option A. Employee of the year. I raced to work as soon as we could get in the building to get what I needed to make sub plans. Dalton passed out again while I was gone, which is seriously just not like him at all.

It is like his father, however.
Then Eric had to leave for work so I was trying to comfort Dalton while also trying to type up sub plans and text people to ask them to take time away from their busy jobs to do favors for me since I couldn't come in. I had Dalton behind me on the couch, and he passed out yet again.

I just wanted to be able to focus my energy on being a good mom, not ignore a miserable child who wants his mommy to deal with work, but the sub plans needed to be done right then. But then I also want to be a good teacher, and although there's no question about what's more important, I still wish I could be in two places at one time and no matter what happens there's guilt. I'm grateful because I know I'm luckier than most working moms. I still have some sick time left after using most of it for maternity leave, since I was forced to take half of it unpaid. My coworkers are amazing and always jump in happily to help, but still, no one wants to be the one who's always a burden. We just need to get some grandparents to move down.

That was extremely whiny. To cheer up, watch John Oliver discuss how America screws over working mothers in a much funnier way.

I did achieve a major life accomplishment.

Nailed it.

What's your biggest source of guilt right now? I laid it on thick to the grandparents above, in hopes I'll get what I want.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Mother's Day sappiness

Happy Mother's Day, from me and my boys!

Once upon a time, I was fairly anti-sappy posts. I still am in theory, but having a kid has changed me in this regard, as well as so many others. With it being Mother's Day and all, I've done some reflecting and I'm just going to do a deep dive into cheesiness, and to assist me, I've had some wine. Buckle up. 

As a kid, of course I thought my mom was the best mom ever, with the exception of some bratty teenage moments that I look back on with embarrassment. As an adult, I now realize that isn't the case for everyone, so I feel insanely lucky to have grown only more impressed with what a great mom I have. If I can be just a fraction as good to Dalton as she's been (and continues to be) to me, I'll call my life a success. 

Tiny Dalton with his two amazing grandmas
I always thought mother's day was designed to thank the person kind enough to bring you into this world, and that's still a good plan. But today I've thought just as much, if not more, about how grateful I am to be a mother myself this year. It's unfortunately not something that comes easily to everyone who wants it, and I count my blessings every day for it. 


It seems crazy to me now that when I was pregnant, I would have moments, like, a lot of moments, where I had thoughts like "WHAT WAS I THINKING I LOVE SLEEP". I would actually worry that I was going to hate giving up my freedom. Everyone said that once he arrived, I wouldn't be able to remember my life without him. Which doesn't make sense. At all. And it still doesn't, but somehow it's true. I can't believe I ever thought that I would miss scrolling through Facebook at my leisure, or watching The Office repeats, and whatever else I filled my time with previously. Those things are still great, but they don't hold a candle to watching this amazing little person that I (ok, we) created explore and discover his world, but still looking back to make sure I'm there, and smiling when he sees me.

He's off! As always these days!

Friends told me that they would alternate weekend days getting up with the baby, so that each person could sleep in one day, and pregnant me thought that seemed genius. In reality, we've never done it, and right now it sounds awful. No matter how early it is on a Saturday or Sunday or how tired I am, as soon as I hear him in his crib, I'm excited to get him and start our day together. Eric sleeps in sometimes, but that's usually because he's a night owl and he's gotten plenty of quality time with Dalton after the sun set. If not, he's usually up to see him as well. 

I've complained a lot about having to work and take him away from my little man, and I will continue to do so. But I do feel the advantage of spending time apart is that I truly treasure every single moment with him and don't want to miss a single one. There's no way of knowing if I would feel differently if I could stay home or work part time, but this validates my lifestyle so don't argue with me.

Part of being a one car family meant Eric was responsible for daycare drop off and pick up. I live close enough to walk, but let's get real, I got rides. The first day of this, I cried when I got to work because it meant an extra half hour (at least) until I got to see Dalton at the end of the day. Although in retrospect, if a "problem" in my life is that I love someone so much that I can barely make it through the work day away from him without tears, I'm doing pretty good. The one day I did get him, I needed to stop for milk. His daycare is right behind a grocery store, and as I turned on to the street, I told myself to just stop, run in, and then pick him up, because it would be so much faster and easier. But I couldn't do it. I picked him up first, and then ogled at his cuteness as I pushed him around the store and felt I made the right choice. I just love being with him so much.

My little fireman

Seeing my 2.5 year old nephew this weekend had me so excited for all the fun times to come as Dalton grows up.

Cousins in matching outfits THE BEST
 But at the same time, I want to freeze time and keep him a sweet little baby forever. Right now, I've only ever felt love and adoration and all sorts of other positive mushy gushy feels toward him. I know the trade-off for all the fun in the future will be that he will make me mad at times, and the thought of being mad at him breaks my heart right now. And at the same time still, I want to go back in time to when he was a tiny lump of a person and could do absolutely nothing but eat, sleep, and poop, and just slept on our chests 23 hours a day. Now he's too busy exploring to cuddle. I thought I had more time before that!

One day old. Seems like yesterday.
So, in closing, when people said they felt lucky to be their kids mom and other stuff like that, I totally thought it was BS, but actually it's true (for me). Seeing this face every day makes me happy beyond belief, even if it's crying at 3am.

Giving me my Mother's Day gift. What a sweetie. 

Thursday, May 7, 2015

I need a nap (story of my week)

It's been one of those weeks where Tuesday night I couldn't believe it hadn't already been a month. But is there anything cuter than a baby in a Guess romper?

First of all, on Friday of last week, we all finally returned to work and daycare, back to being pictures of health. So we thought. Then Dalton's daycare lady said she thought he had pink eye. As soon as she said it, I was like OF COURSE. I'm a classic stupid first time mom all week thinking "weird he has green stuff coming from his eyes, I've never seen a cold do that, babies are so strange". DUH. But in my defense, he had been to the pediatrician and they hadn't mentioned it.

Obviously, as a teacher, you can't just peace out even if your kid does have pink eye. We had a fun conundrum where I was able to get coverage, so I could leave, but Eric had the car, and no coverage. Eventually he was able to work it out and left at 11:30 and got Dalton and the doctor called in eye drops and by Saturday his symptoms were gone and we even figured out how to administer them with zero crying.

On Saturday we finally test drove some cars. But we had to take turns driving while the other person sat in the back seat of my car with Dalton, so testing two cars took like half the afternoon and then Dalton was over it and we had to go home. Pretty effective. Originally we had planned to ditch him with friends so avoid that whole issue, but, pink eye. Although leaving him even more upsets me anyway so I wasn't mad.

We also won a kickball game and I also got on base which might be a personal best. Eric's friend invited him over for the fight and he was all like "nah I'll watch it at home" because he felt bad leaving, Baltimore was still under curfew so if he went over he would have to stay all night. I was like "um it costs $100 and if I hear one more word about this stupid fight I'm done see ya in the morning don't let the door hit you on the way out".  I watched reruns and went to bed at 9 and then ended up sleeping all night in bed with Dalton because he was coughing so bad and waking himself up every ten minutes. I felt so bad for him, but again, not mad. I love the cuddles.

Sunday was awesome. Dalton and I did a 7 mile stroller run with our friends Katharine and Zoe. It was perfect. Then we went to my happy place, Wegmans. I spent all Sunday afternoon cooking adult and baby food and unpacked zero boxes while Dalton passed out on his dad for FOUR HOURS. He needed that nap so bad.

When he woke up, he tried chicken for the first time. I mixed it with carrots, basil, and a good amount of garlic and paprika. Loved it.

Monday night we had an evening event at school, so that was a long day. I brought my tiny BFF, because really if I don't see him after work I have nothing to live for. He likes looking around at all the people anyway.

I drove him around the grocery store in this and couldn't stop laughing at how cute and hilarious it was.
Tuesday was our big fifth grade field trip! We went all the way to Philly on a coach bus and did a walking tour. The kids loved it and it was so much fun. Obviously I would never post their pictures but I wish I could because they were adorable.

Betsy Ross house

Liberty bell. Obvi

Pretty tulips outside the liberty bell
My friend at work lent  me her pumping backpack so with all my gear I felt like I was back in GORUCK on the walking tour. I pumped on the bus and in the bathroom by the liberty bell. Good times.

Also, I was on the radio again (about halfway through).

Wednesday I came home to this.

We have a leak, to say the least. It's loud. We can't actually talk on our main floor now, because that's all we can hear. And it goes on until Saturday. At least! Then they start ripping the entire floor up in our kitchen, living room, and dining room! Home ownership! Yay!

In order to carry on a conversation, we ate on the porch. The weather was gorgeous. Dalton shared chicken masala and naan with us (pre-made from Costco, no way I'm cooking in that mess). I was surprised he liked it so much because it was a bit spicy! 

He's crying because I'm not feeding his majesty fast enough.

He also had some spring vegetable soup with leeks, carrots, cabbage, and basil that I made him on Sunday. So far, he is his mother's son with his love of garlic and strong flavors. 

Would you rather take 70 ten year olds out of state, or have water from your kitchen flooding your basement?