Monday, May 21, 2012

Hail, Steubenville...

If you don't know the song, then I pity/envy you. Pity for not having attended, and envy for not having it run rampant through your brain for days after an encounter of the graduation kind.

But seriously, all hail FUS.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Stayin' Alive

But just barely.

The new kid on the block? He.doesn't.sleep.

And he hates the Moby wrap. Hippie fail.

John Paul: one million (number of dollars we've promised him if he'll bust out a 3 hour stretch of zzz's during the darkest part of the night.

Mom and Dad: zero (times he has taken us up on it)

All that and a trip to the ER for some lovely and non-dissolving stitches for one gravity-defiant older brother equal a week perhaps unparalleled in the history of parental misery.

And to think, I can't even have any cheese (or any other dairy delight) with this whine...

Bright side? Exterior baby was largely unscathed, save for 4 little pieces of plastic holding his lip together...and I saw THIS guy at a stop light.


Thursday, May 10, 2012

Survival Mode: In the Trenches of Motherhood

Dear new mom,

Yes, I'm talking to you. Whether this is your first child, your second, or your seventh, you are a brand-spanking new mama, because you have never parented this particular child before...and you only just met them.

I know that being post-partum sucks. I don't know if it does for everyone, but I know that it does for you. I know you wish the weight would just drop off like it seems to for other moms you know. I know you wish you had fewer moments of anxiety and anger and more moments of serenity and joy. I also know you feel guilty for feeling your feelings...and also for writing such a terrible sentence. But you know what? It doesn't help a thing, the guilt. And it isn't from God.

You aren't sleeping yet, and that is perhaps the hardest part...harder even than the harsh reality of maternity clothes weeks and weeks after delivery. Your baby cries and cries when you put him down because he is basically obsessed with you and with the food you provide, and while flattered, you are also beaten down. His needs are trumping yours at every turn, and it feels like you have surrendered complete control of your life.

You have.

But not forever.

I know it's almost as obnoxious to hear reassurances that 'this too shall pass,' and 'it won't be like this forever,' as it was to hear the same about month 10 of pregnancy...but it's true. It was true then and it is true now.

This too shall pass.

Believe it or not, there will come a night when you sleep undisturbed from 9 pm to 1 am, wakened only by your own panic that nobody has woken me up yet!

It will happen. It might be 2 months from now, or it might be a year away, depending upon this particular child, but eventually they ALL sleep. For a few hours, at least.

There will come an afternoon in the not too distant future where you look up at the clock and wonder where the time has gone, instead of wondering why it's standing still. And you won't feel the overwhelming need to reach for a glass of wine as the 4 o'clock hour descends upon you. (Well, you might still, but it will be for social and not medicinal purposes)

Your husband will arrive home from work and you'll look up with a smile and say 'home already?' And you'll be completely sincere.

There will come a time when your baby smiles at you, says your name, even. And that will somehow make this all worth it. It sounds trite and a little saccharine, but it's true. Baby smiles are repayment for sleeplessness and stretch marks. You just don't know that now.

As for the stretch marks, they will fade. They won't disappear, but then, neither will your memory of pregnancy and childbirth. Time will fade both, but it won't erase anything...and that's okay. Your husband didn't marry you for your flawless midriff, and bikinis after 30 are, quite frankly, embarrassing, so rock that one piece mama.

As for the rest of your body...well, don't hold your breath waiting to 'get it back.' That's a lie our culture has fed us, and a myth that too many mothers have embraced.

You can never 'get back' your pre-baby body, no more than you can 'give back' your child. The sooner you stop looking around for it, the more peace you'll find. You can get back into shape...maybe even better shape than life BB (before baby), but you will never again look like someone who hasn't had children. Because you are a mother. You earned this body.

Your child will eventually stop nursing. You can't imagine it now, but this will be bittersweet when it happens...and though the developing language skills and adventurous spirit of your toddler will be an awesome trade off from mewling, dependent'll still miss it. The closeness, the convenience, and the feeling that you and you alone can satisfy this little person. (You'll also be completely overwhelmed and resentful of this same phenomenon, and that's fine too.)

Motherhood is more of an epic saga than a tightly-woven narrative. There are peaks and valleys and seemingly endless sections that hardly seem to move the plot...and then suddenly everything changes, and even though you wanted so badly to see some progress, it also breaks your heart, because you also want time to stop, to slow down at least.

I know you feel like you're trapped here in this hard part right now, and in a way, you are. So use it for eternity...use it for the little souls who won't give you a moment's peace, or to sharpen and shape your own character so you don't awaken at 3am cursing the clock but rejoicing over the opportunity to serve your family.

And don't worry about that glass of wine delaying your weight loss efforts. I mean, it might be, but  can one really put a price on sanity?

Hope this helps a little. If not, I've read far more uplifting words of maternal wisdom here.

Just keep your head up and don't stop praying. You got this.


The Mom You'll Become

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Tools for Parenting a Newborn



2 packs of wipes in every room in the house - don't worry, you still won't be able to locate any when you're being splattered with electric yellow poop during a routine diaper change.

So Delicious non dairy coconut creamer.

Lots of towels.


Oh...Happy Cinco de Mayo! I just happen to have the necessary supplies on hand...

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

adjustments and alterations

Days postpartum: 12

Pounds lost thus far: 24

Hours slept thus far: see above (a correlation, I believe?)

Temper tantrums performed: 11 (Joey), 22 (Mommy), 3 (John Paul...all related to food scarcity or a perception thereof)

Minutes on the elliptical today (I love my husband): 25

Episodes of Dora: (daily average) 2

Adult beverages: (daily average) 1.2

Number of times per day John Paul farts so loudly I think a construction worker has broken into our home and is polluting it with flatulence: 35

In summary, I'm rapidly losing my baby weight*, my mind, my patience and my sense of humor...oh wait, nope, that's still largely intact. It has to be, for whenever Joey sees my bare stomach and newly concave belly button he points, squishes and giggles out the word 'beebee!'

Humility. I has it.

(*lest anyone get the wrong idea, I easily have 30 + lbs more to lose...this is no falsely self-deprecating 'omg I get skinny sooooo fast after I pop one out, tee hee hee.
We just love our new foreign exchange student/nanny/language instructor...