Thursday, March 7, 2013

5 Confessions.

1. When I give Georgia puffs (those little snack cereals we pretend are better than Froot Loops) I shake the container first, just like I do when I'm looking for the cat and I want to lure her out with some treats.
These will get mixed up, I just know it.

2. I spend far too much time grabbing my own boobs and juggling them throughout the day, trying to figure out which booby is fuller so I feed her the correct side next time and don't end up lopsided.

3. When I powder her butt as I change her diaper, I feel like I'm shaking Parmesan cheese all over her rear.

4. I love Mister Rogers and vintage Sesame Street and that doorway jumper that might ruin her development if I use it too much and no one can agree on how much is too much but everyone agrees that any television at all is bad but hey, it gets us through the day and that's gotta count for something, right?

5. When she's sleeping, I still sneak into her room to watch the rise and fall of her chest. I suspect I will do this until she leaves for college.

Monday, March 4, 2013

A Postcard from a Tropical Isle

A week turned into a month. They say the days are long but the years are short. Try as we might to soak up the time, this parenting stuff is overwhelming and sometimes, all you can do is hang on.

It's like you and your partner were in a hot air balloon crash and ended up on a deserted, tropical island. You lost an eye and your leg is all mangled and your partner's hand is crushed, but you both want to survive, so you make a splint for your leg and a jaunty eye patch and wrap up your partner's hand and you build a shelter and make fire and find coconuts and fish.

You hold each other when there are unrelenting storms. It's tough but you're making the best of it! After a while, you can even laugh together about the day you learned there are herds of wild boars roaming the island.

Time passes. It's clear you're going to survive but you're so tired and you say, "Listen, I don't know if you're aware of this or not, but I was in a pretty serious hot air balloon crash not to long ago and I really need to concentrate on recuperation." but then your partner holds up his or her little stump of a hand and says, "Tell me about it."

It's easy to get annoyed with each other, to remark in a nasty tone that there is a lot less sand in the drinking water when you fetch it. Sometimes you fantasize about limping away and finding a cave you can hide in in private. Sometimes you're out in the water and you're supposed to be hunting for fish with a make-shift spear but you're really just bobbing and wondering what you'd see if you swam hard towards the horizon for an hour or so.

Of course, you know this happens. You know people alone on their tropical islands, finding edible berries on their own, keeping the little fire going throughout the night. They want to survive just like anyone else.

The sunsets and sunrises, however, are spectacular. If a rescue boat came at that moment, maybe you'd just wave them off. I suspect if we sit tight, we'll learn in a year or so that the island may be a peninsula. Maybe.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Y'all, We are TIRED

Bone weary.

We'll be back in a week. In the meantime, here is a gif of Jon Hamm, eating ham.

See you next week!

Friday, February 1, 2013

See You in Hell, Office; Hello, Playroom!

It's hardly worth discussing the symbolic meaning of turning my office into a playroom, right?

Some details still need work (like the patching on our living room walls? I do too.) but we've made the major switch. I love the way her room turned out-- bright, happy, safe-- and I can keep an eye on her from my "office", the living room and the kitchen.

I'm okay with my set up. I've felt lucky that I've been able to keep up with my work as well as I have but I can see that I need to work less in order to keep up with Georgia. It's hard. It's really really hard.

Some days, I wish I could just quit everything and focus on being a mom and a wife and myself run my household the way I would like. Then other days, I want to send out resumes! I'm lucky that I can choose how much I work to a certain extent but that also means I'm the one who has to let things go instead of making things work somehow. I worry about the money but I worry more about what it means for me. I can't really articulate it and maybe I don't need to. It's enough to say that looking into the playroom makes me feel sunny inside but that side-dish of office is giving me a belly ache.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

How to Cut Baby's Nails

I am still a novice mom learning to be better everyday, but cutting nails is one of things that I am good, nay GREAT, at. Fortunately, with a little bit of practice, a cooperative (read: SLEEPING) baby, and a great pair of clippers, you too can be a confident in your baby manicuring skills.

First things first.  Arm yourself with a great pair of clippers.  I think The First Years American Red Cross Deluxe Clippers are the cat's meow.  The magnifying glass is a throw away, but the clippers themselves are incredibly sharp, which is a good thing.  Think of it like shaving; you are far more likely to injure yourself when using a dull blade.  The same holds true for clipping!  Have faith, you can do this.

Once you get proper clippers and are ready to cut:

1.  Wait until baby is passed out.

2.  Put baby on tummy in his crib.

3.  Position yourself comfortably and gently pull pad of finger away from nail.

4.  Slip the bottom half of the clippers behind the nail but on top of the finger pad.

5.  If you are clipping fingernails, cut at least 3x per nail creating a rounded edge: once on the right side, the next on the left side (creating a point for the tip and avoiding sharp corners when the nail grows out a little.), then the last clip should be cutting off the point.
5a.  If you are clipping toenails, clip flat across the nail so you avoid ingrowns.  It can happen, take my word on that!

Here is a crappy youtube tutorial I made:

If you DO nick baby:
-Stay calm.
-Run the finger under cool water.
-Apply pressure with a tissue or cloth until it clots.
-Do not put on a bandaid!
-Remind yourself that this is much harder on you than it is on baby.
-Give baby lots of cuddles until you feel better.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Gear Changes for 2013...

Cori and Everett (8m)

1.  Baby Swing - Baby holding receptacles were once a hot commodity in our household, but now that E is fairly mobile and much more independent, they are much less in demand.  The swing was a space-saver, portable version that I could put on the kitchen island as I cooked, or in the living room while I pumped.  I would never have done without and he did enjoy his time in it.  Now, onwards and upwards!

2.  Bottle Warmer - As soon as I got home from the hospital and realized that at least some amount of pumping was a necessity for us, we invested in a decent bottle warmer.  However, once Everett was around 4 months, we started taking the breast milk straight from the fridge and little dude never seemed to mind.  We are lazy.  Now, we have officially retired the bottle warmer and my kitchen counter is inflicted with one less eyesore.

3.  Infant Seat -  E never did love the infant seat.  Now that he is 20+ lbs, lugging around this bucket seat is hard on my back, plus he's pushing the height maximum.  We are very happy to have moved on to using our Stokke stroller seat and Diono carseat in place of our infant seat.

4.  The Bumbo - It's easy to retire something that you never really used.  We found the bumbo to be uncomfortable and ill fitting.  We attempted to do some meals in it, but it never really worked for us.  SAYONARA! 

5.  Mobile - This is the hardest one for me.  The mobile represents newborn-dom, and while I'm happy to move on from this stage and love to watch him grow every day, it's just such a sweet reminder of little, helpless newborn Everett.  He has already tried to take this down, so it was definitely time to retire it, but it will forever be a keepsake of a time that was so sweet and so special.

Natty & Georgia (7 months)

1. The bouncy seat.

It made it possible for me to work while Georgia was awake in the early days and served us well for about four months but after that, her limbs dripped over the edges of the thing and she could headbutt the toy bar, so it went into storage.

2. The boppy.

Look at my itty bitty! I never used the boppy for breastfeeding. Pillows around my middle never made any sense to me. The boppy is a fantastic baby-holder though. Even that had a time limit, however, and Georgia was done with the boppy at around 5 months. I know some kids like it in the early days of sitting but she never has.

3. The swing.

I've been reluctant to take the swing apart, even though Georgia hasn't been in about two months, because when you need it YOU NEED IT. The only way I was able to eat dinner with both hands from months 2 through 4 was because of the swing.

4. The snap-and-go.

I loved this stroller in the days before Georgia could ride in a shopping cart or sit in an umbrella stroller but now I hate how much room it takes up in the back of our car and how hard it is to get things in and out of the basket underneath. She's still comfy in her bucket car seat but it's time to move on from this stroller. See you in hell, snap and go! Or at least until we have another little baby.

5. Bye-bye, play mat. This is where Georgia happily spent part of every day for the first six months of her life. I knew it was time to take it down when Georgia started to pull herself up on the soft, not-for-pulling-up soft bars.

Putting this one away made me cry.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Mid Boot Camp Update

Today, I come to you today a little less flabby and a little bit stronger.

In sticking with my resolutions, I started a fitness bootcamp class 3 weeks ago.  This is such a silly name because it's not much more than an interval fitness class on a fixed (MWF) schedule for an hour each day.  We meet in a park very early in the morning and get done about the time most people have just had their first cup of coffee.

A typical workout looks something like this:
 3 sets of 25 - jumping jacks, push ups, burpees (10 min)
 stretching (5 min)
 3 sets of hill sprints/jogs/walks, side steps (10 min)
 3 sets of different ab work (10 min)
 high kicks, frog hops, lunges for the length of the field (10 min)
 3 sets of arm work with bands plus curb kicks (10 min)
stretching (5 min)
What I like:
 It gets me out at least 3x a week.
 It caters to any fitness level and changes as you change.
 I am home before Bran needs to leave for work.
 We never have two identical workouts.
 Instructor makes sure form is good so I don't get hurt.
 Working out in a group keeps me honest and motivated.

Boot camps like these are now found all over the country.  In fact, in my 'burb in LA, there are at least two competing companies who offer great groupon deals at least bi yearly.  If you are considering joining one, I really encourage you to go for it.  Make sure you do a little research before you join; there are many different "flavors" and if you live in a larger city, you can almost certainly find one that suits your needs (higher intensity, later in the day, etc).

Now what sort of progress have I made?  I can now run a hilly mile without getting out of breath, I can feel my abs are starting to bounce back (if this is post pregnancy, you want to be careful here) and I generally feel stronger than I have in quite a while.  The scale hasn't really budged much, but my pants are fitting better and overall, I just feel better than I did just 3 weeks ago.