Friday, June 25, 2010

Who does Number Two work for?!

Let's preface this to say that I am a huge CSI fan. So much so that when I found out a co-worker's nephew works on the set, I begged her to get me the fetal pig that always sat on Grissom's desk.

Yeah, I'm that weird girl.

I've seen the CSI team find trace evidence in a month old barrel of human goo, a house filled with blood, shoe prints and some bubble gum wrappers, and a go-cart that traveled with a decapitated body.

I have never once seen them find evidence in a pile of poop.

So why is that I think I can super-sleuth my way into CSI fame-dom by searching through Bjorn's diapers?

I don't remember the last time I went Number 2. But I can tell you what time (7:45), consistency (dry, stringy), color (creamed spinach), odor (dirty pig mud-sty) and how many times (6) that Bjorn has pooped today.

I can tell if he ate chicken, apples, bananas or blueberries just by looking inside his Huggies.

And while I'm ashamed to admit it to anyone but you Bloggy Mama's. . . . I have actually picked up the diaper, walked it out to the Hubs in front of the TV and said 'Look at this one!' Not only have I done it, I've done it more than once.

He's sick of the poop talk. I'm sick of the poop talk. But when the baby doesn't speak, ya gotta let his poop speak for him.

Which is why you'll still see me examining his poop with every change. Because that's what Mamas do. But don't worry, I stay away from Number 2 pictures. With a mom who blogs, a kid has to have some kind of dignity.

They don't have to talk to say something. . . .

There is nothing like your baby boy playing drums on your tummy just to watch your belly jiggle to make a Mama head back to the gym.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

All Good Things Must Come to an End

Dear Twix,

You know you are the caramel to my chocolate, the biscuit to my satisfying crunch.

But this has gotta stop.

This incessant need you have to keep drawing me in, begging me time and time again for just one more little taste.

The way your chocolate melts so quickly in this AZ heat so I must (must!) gobble you up in mere seconds.

The way your caramel is stretchy and gooey - but not too stretchy like some of those other caramel-y treats (ahem, Milk Duds).

The way your biscuit crunches deliciously. Like an apple. But with a much tastier taste.

So, yes, baby, I love your ways. Everyday. (Yeah-eh-ah.) But this is too much.

Do you know how many calories you are? And, since I have started my food journal, how many times you, dear Twix, have appeared on the list?

Too many to count. So many I'm embarrassed to send the number into blog-world. Me - the girl who posted her weight. Yup, that's right.

So it's over, Twix. We had some good times you and me. (Remember that time at band camp?!) But those times are no more.

Every good thing must have an end, and while your end usually comes with a lip-smacking "Yum!" and the ever-present milk chocolate melt on fingertips, now you will hear the crunch of a celery stick. Or maybe carrot if I'm feeling crazy.

Good-bye gooey, melty, lovely Twix.

Forever in my Tummy,

Me Too

P.S. Can you also send this over to your friends, Peanut Butter M&M and Rolo?


Mama Kat's Writing Workshop. Head on over to check out more o' my bloggy friends - and add your own while you're at it!!!

The Prompts:
1.) The Love List. Write a list of 50 things you look for in a man.
2.) Write a poem about a picture.
3.) What does your child do that reminds you most of yourself? How does it make you feel?
4.) Write a letter to whatever is stopping you from losing the extra weight you’d like to lose.
5.) What summer means to your family.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Remembering a Year

Today is my birthday.

I don't say that for celebrations or presents (although I will take both) but to explain why it is that I am feeling so introspective.

Today is the beginning of the end - of my 20's, that is. The last year I can be considered a twenty-something.

As I look back over the past year, I can't believe how much I've grown and changed. At least, internally. I'm not sure that anyone would consciously be able to see it, but it's there. I've changed.

I started Year 28 with a a baby boy. . . and what I now recognize as mild depression.

Call it postpartum. Call it hormones. Whatever you call it, it was depression.

And that sucked. It sucked to have this awesome baby - really, he was remarkably easy - and still be depressed. To have this baby and still cry every day for weeks. I have many pictures of my newborn baby boy, but very few of myself with him. I ran from being in pictures - ashamed of my fat body, my unwashed hair, the circles around my eyes. The few pictures I do have, I am smiling, but not my smile. Not the one that crinkles the eyes and in thirty years I will regret for all the lines around my mouth. No, this smile is a caricature of my smile.

I'll never know if I would have felt the same had I had a vaginal birth. But I didn't - I had a c-section; a horrible, painful c-section. I know that this was a large part of my depression.

I cried whenever I talked about it. Whenever I thought about it. Whenever I looked in the mirror at the scar I thought would never heal and the belly I had heard would never go away - all because I had a c-section.

I cried when my cousin, after hearing that I had a c-section, said, "Oh, you won't pee when you sneeze like other moms do!" as if that is supposed to make me feel better.

I cried when, after asking to hear my story, my friend said,"But isn't it just important that you have a healthy baby?" as if I shouldn't be feeling this way.

I cried when other mothers talked about their natural births, and when I asked how they could do it without drugs, they replied,"Oh, I had an epidural. I just didn't have a c-section." as if the way I did it was so un-natural.

I still cry sometimes thinking about it. But now I cry because of all the time in the past spent crying. (Crazy, eh? But that's the nature of feelings! There is no rhyme and reason.) I am upset that I don't feel like my friends did after their babies. I never felt like harming my baby or myself (as so many postpartum mothers do), and I was never a danger to anyone. But that feeling of overwhelming love and devotion, that solid glow of happiness - I didn't feel that until much later.

Much later. Months later. It took until I went back to work, and stepped outside of Mommy-dom for me to look at myself and my life and say "I was depressed." And to began to pull myself up.

But depression isn't like the sadness you get after your boyfriend breaks up with you. It doesn't last for two weeks of eating ice cream and watching 'Clueless' on repeat. Sometimes it swallows you up completely while other times it lingers, not completely gone, but far enough away that you might not even see it in the background of your Christmas picture. It mutates with your life.

But no one talks about it. I told a friend recently that I think I might have been depressed and she looked right at me and said, "Yeah, I thought that, too."

I wanted to scream at her "Why didn't you help me?" but I know I wouldn't have listened. I didn't listen when my husband wanted me to see a doctor, to talk to someone, so why would I have listened to her? Another friend felt bad because she didn't see it - she didn't know. But that's the thing about having out of town friends. It's easier to hide the tears over a telephone. Or a funny blog post. You can hide anything behind humor, can't you?

As I look back over this year, unfortunately, I see depression. But looking further, I see a whole lot more.

I see a husband who stood beside me even when the sadness lasted far longer than he could have ever expected. Who let me take things me at my own pace and didn't get upset or angry when I repeated the same feelings and behaviors over and over. I know that this is what marriage is all about - not the date nights or the cuddly Sundays, although those are great too. But marriage is about sticking through when things are rough and coming out shiny on the other end. It's not all fun and games, and I have a man who realizes that, and wants to be with me for me, not because I am always happy or silly.

I made some pretty good friends after I had Bjorn. Some of the friends went through situations similar to mine and felt pretty much the same that I did, and because of that, I felt that I didn't have to pretend with them. Because, you see, no one wants to ask a new mom how it's going and hear 'OK, I guess.' They want to hear how great motherhood is, and how you're not getting any sleep, but that's OK because your baby is just beautiful. Hearing that you cry when your baby breastfeeds and you can't even get into a car because your stitches broke open again and it's been three months and you can't even talk about your birth story are at the bottom of the list of things others want to hear. But having someone who wanted to hear how bad it was because she felt that bad too actually helped. It's true, misery does love company. And for me, miserable company helped in a way that a sympathetic friend who had never experienced postpartum couldn't. I am grateful for my friends.

I have a baby who I appreciate so much, partly because I know I didn't appreciate him as much as I could have at the beginning. I can see that each day I spend dwelling on the past takes away from a day spent playing with him. I also can see that by being a SAHM, I was being buried alive under diapers and self-doubt, and the best thing for both of us was for me to go back to work. I love my kid more than I ever thought I could. But I wish mothers knew that it's not a Hollywood movie - that wonderful mother-son love doesn't always come in a rush right at once. Sometimes it is gradual and flowing.

So yeah, I've grown. I feel I have had to grow up this past year. Becoming a mother. Struggling with postpartum. Those are two very very big things, and while I'm not glad for the depression, I am glad for what it taught me. And for what I know about myself now.

All in all, even with everything, Year 28 was a good year for me. I got to see my baby grow and walk, babble and laugh. That's enough of an achievement sometimes. And I can't wait to see what Year 29 has in store.

Monday, June 7, 2010

It ain't a party 'til. . . .

In college I had a friend Jacob who used to get really drunk and pee on the floor. In the middle of a party. Once he went into his roommate's closet and peed into all of his shoes, thinking it was the bathroom.

It was at these same parties that one could find not only bodily fluids, but cheetos, beer, and all sorts of chips, pretzels and various half-eaten food products on the floor.

Apparently, college parties and kids parties aren't that different.

In the first ten minutes chips and cantaloupe were strewn across the kitchen, beer and apple juice dripped down counters and somebody had peed on the floor.

A fun time was had by all.





**Memo to self for future kids/birthday parties: Maybe blue frosting wasn't the best choice. . . . **

Friday, June 4, 2010

Mama Mistake #457 and counting. . . .

So when you are trying to introduce cow's milk to your kiddo for the first time do you:

a) warm the milk so it doesn't irritate the stomach?
b) mix 1 part milk with 3 parts formula?
c) put the milk in the sippy cup, hand it to your littl'un and just let 'er rip?

Yeah, Answer "c" would be me.

But only because I was so excited to have him try milk, and because he has never had any reactions to any foods before and he won't take formula during the day and I didn't want to wait until tonight. . . . .

So I got puked on. Alot.

And so did the high chair. And the floor. And the dog a little bit. (But she cleans herself up. Ewwwwwwww.)

It wasn't an allergic reaction. Just a reaction to the cold milk hitting an empty stomach.

And that's why you should warm the milk up at least a little bit.

Bad Mama.

One Year Stats

Bjorn

Height: 29 inches
Weight: 20.2 lbs
Head Circ: 46 cm

In between 10th and 25th percentile for all categories, so he is proportionate.

Mama

Height: 5 foot 1
Weight: PRE-BABY and still losing! (Cheers!!!)
Head Circ: Can't wrap my head around that my boy is 1 year old!

The Hubs and I were a little worried because he seems to be the smallest kid in all of his play dates, but then I realized one thing. . .

I need to STOP COMPARING. (Easier said than done.)

He's happy and healthy and talking and walking and - take a deep breath - the Doc says he is 100% healthy with a strong heart. No reason to fear. After all, I'm pretty small. But since Hubs is over 6 feet and built like a football player, we just assumed we would have a big boy. Maybe we'll have a big girl next time around?!

Anyways. . . . B's 1st birthday party is this Sunday. And although we are not planning anything big - hot dogs, beer (adults only!), a baby wading pool for a little coolness in this 110 degree heat - it is becoming chaos just thinking about it. Why? Because we have a 1500 sq foot quasi-kid-proofed house that on Sunday will hold 20 adults and 15 kiddos without anyone hopefully bleeding, throwing up or pooping on nicely unstained furniture.

What were we thinking?!

Planning a kids birthday party is like planning for war. Make your strategies, bring your supplies and if all else fails, just duck and cover.

That's my plan.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Happy Birthday

Recently someone told me to enjoy Bjorn's baby years because while the days may be long, the years are short.

Today B turns 1.

And I'm not sad.

I am just surprised.

One? Already? Where did this year go??

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Breast is Best?

When I was pregnant, I imagined that my big belly would be the ticket into the Mommy Club. No need for membership fees - my stretch marks paid the dues! I would join this great big group of Mommies who would all love each other and laugh and joke about their kids. Of course, there would be a little comparing and frustration, maybe even a few fights. But we would all be sisters, getting past the fights and the differences because we share something so wonderful that we can't help but be friends.

Ha!

I found out quick that this Mommies Club is more like any sorority I never wanted to join. Bad-mouthing, cat-fighting - you name it, the Mommies did it. (Fortunately, I have found three or four Mommies I love, but I'm talking about the other Mommies here.) When our walking threesome became a twosome because the other Mommy didn't want to hang out with me because I am "dirty" (i.e. my burp cloth fell on the floor, I rolled over with the stroller and - gasp! - used it again), I realized that just because I am a Mommy and you are a Mommy doesn't mean we are going to be friends.

But that doesn't mean we have to badmouth each other. We don't have to be mean. We don't have to judge and shame and hurt other women who are just trying to do as good a job at this parenting thing as everyone else.

There was an article in Redbook recently (No, You Don't Have to Breastfeed) about breastfeeding and formula. Omigosh great article. Then another popped up. Again, greatness. It was so well-written, a different kind of breastfeeding article. Instead of focusing on how breast is best and is the only way to go, it listed the pros and cons of each, giving specific examples from women who didn't breastfeed. Each one had been shamed for giving their baby something to eat that is specifically made for babies.

Wow.

I breastfed my baby for 7 1/2 months and I still loved these articles. Because I never felt pressure from my husband, my parents or my friends on how to feed but felt the pressure from strangers and doctors. Because new mommies are scared and worried and want to do everything right and finally someone out there is telling us that formula can be right for you and that's OK.

Because two friends of mine were not able to breastfeed. Both of them felt guilty. Both of them stopped attending a baby play date group because of comments and back-handed shaming from other moms. Both of them wonder if they had done something - anything - differently, would they have been able to breastfeed?

And no one should make anyone else feel bad for something they do with their child that doesn't hurt them.

That's right. I said it. Formula feeding does not hurt a child. Do you think that at this kid's high school graduation a mom is going to lean over and say "If only she were breastfed. She might have made valedictorian."

Sometimes a mother makes choices and sometimes these choices are made for them. Whatever the reason for not breastfeeding, it does not hurt the baby. Isn't there all this literature out there that states that mommies who take time for themselves, whether at the gym, the library or the mall, are better mommies? That happy moms are good moms. And if not dealing with engorgement or mastitis, with leakage or publicly feeding without turning it into a peep show - if that makes you a happy mom, isn't that good enough? Shouldn't we support moms who have found something that works for both their baby and them?

I never enjoyed breastfeeding.

There. I said it. And I'm glad I did.

I never felt the "closeness" that I was told I should feel, nor was it comfortable or easy. I cried every time he ate for the first four weeks because the pain was so bad - nipple covers and all. I leaked milk like a faulty water faucet. I couldn't multi-task (type, eat, talk at all) while feeding or he would get distracted and not eat. I felt forced to sit and do nothing for what seemed like hours and I am someone who always likes to be doing something. The only time I really liked it was after my own dinner, when Bjorn was hungry, and that meant I had to sit on the couch and feed while the Hubs cleaned the kitchen mess. Definitely a plus to not clean dirty dishes.

It took almost a whole month to wean Bjorn from breastfeeding to bottle. Because I wanted to go back to work (Yes, wanted. Being a SAHM was driving me nuts.), and as a flight attendant gone for days at a time, I couldn't breastfeed while I was gone. He had to take a bottle.

At first we tried breast milk in the bottle. Then half and half formula and breast milk. Then, about four weeks into pumping on a plane and worrying if my milk was still good because I couldn't refrigerate it for twelve hours each day for three days, so I tossed it because I didn't think it was good enough for my baby (tossing the golden milk!!), I quit. Yup, I threw in the towel and the nursing shawl and headed out to Wally world for some good, old-fashioned formula.

And my baby is fine. He began walking at 10 1/2 months. He babbles and knows words like "dog" and "milk". He can point, laugh, high five and climb. He's a normal kid. Not because I breastfed for 7 months. Not because I formula fed for 5. But because I am a happy mom, Hubs is a happy dad and Bjorn is just the way he is.

There are all sorts of groups out there for breastfeeding - the La Leches being the first to come to mind. And I have nothing against them, as they have found something that works for them. But that doesn't mean it works for everyone. Those who formula feed aren't bad moms. They just need to start their own club.

The La Formula League. The I'm a Good Mom because I Love my Kid League. The I Don't Judge You No Matter if I Agree With You or Not League.

I'll be President of the non-judgers club. Because as snarky as I can be about the jeans shorts and jelly shoes you are wearing, I never want to make another mom feel ashamed for anything she does that does not harm her child.

I'm off my soapbox now. But head on over to Mama Kat's to read more about current events to feel strongly about!