Gonna Learn Him Up… Real Good

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My brain is slowly turning to mush. I need adult interaction… and some socialization with other babies would be good for Munchie, too. (He will not grow up to be that socially awkward kid in the corner… not on my watch.) So… this morning, I pulled up the library schedule. Baby Storytime 0-12 months… 10:15am. I look at the clock… 9:20am. Munchie still needed to be fed, changed, get dressed… and I was still in my pajamas. I figured I should shower, seeing as I certainly wouldn’t make any new friends in my current state.

Five minute shower. Mixed bottle. Fresh diaper. Clean clothes (on Mommy and Munchie). Load car. Roll out.

I was quite impressed with our timing. We arrived at the library before they opened. I sat on the steps and fed Munchie. Another mom joined me. Before I knew it, there were flocks of people surrounding me. (Truthfully… kind of shocked, and impressed, that so many people still go to the library.) The doors opened and people flooded into the lobby. I was still stuck out front, feeding the baby. Hurry up Munchie!!! Bottle finished. Baby burped. In we marched.

We walk into the children’s area and get the run down of how this all works. I was issued a ticket… shaped like an animal. We strolled around and read a book… just waiting for the story room door to open. I am pushing the stroller around, trying not to run over children, when the door opens. We walk in… and I’m obviously a newbie. Strollers aren’t allowed in the story room. I unload and park my stroller outside. I was slightly hesitant to leave Munchie’s chariot just chilling in a public place. I mean, should I have brought a bike lock or something? If someone took my stroller… I would be a hot mess!

I returned to the room, plopped down with the other moms, and the group began. I was quite impressed with the structure of the group. We introduced ourselves, sang songs, moved our babies around (I had to be careful not to bounce Munchie around too much… or that bottle might have made a comeback all over the library carpet!), played with a parachute, and read some books. The other moms were super friendly, as were the babies. Munchie and I may have been new, but we were welcomed with open arms.

I talked before about screening Munchie’s friends… and I feel like this library storytime has some promising subjects. If nothing else, these friends might end up bring pretty smart, from all the books they are reading… so at least he won’t be hanging out with the dumb babies. Right? Sorry Munch… when you are older and get to choose your friends, I want you to be friends with everyone… but for now… Mommy has high standards.

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Oh Crap… I’m One of “Those” Moms…

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During my pregnancy, I read stories and blogs about moms thinking their kids were all something special. Don’t get me wrong… every child is special in their own unique way… but these people were bragging about their kids doing normal baby crap. I would read them and think… “So what if you kid can roll over… my dog can do that, too” or “Your baby pooped twice today? Glad I wasn’t around to smell it. Everything they were bragging about was completely normal, non-impressive baby behavior.

I was never going to be one of those idiot moms who drove everyone else crazy talking about her kid being an honors student at XYZ school… and I certainly wasn’t going to plaster it on the back of my car. I wasn’t going to post five million picture of my baby sleeping and brag about how adorable he is. I wouldn’t bore everyone with baby stats… because people don’t care how big my baby is… and I probably wouldn’t remember the numbers anyway… right? Wrong.

My wise cousin bestowed some wisdom upon me at some point during my time as a human incubator. She strongly discouraged me from using the “N” word. That’s right… she told me to NEVER say NEVER… because when you use that evil “N” word… you will most likely do the exact thing that you have sworn off. (I believe the conversation started when we spotted a child on a leash. At one time, I saw this as cruel… but I am beginning to grow fond of the concept.)

I once vowed to NEVER be that annoying mom that people rolled their eyes at… I wasn’t going to be crazy baby obsessed… I wasn’t going to brag about nonsense… I wasn’t going to clutter everyone’s newsfeed with photos of my offspring. No… I was going to be different.

Yeah, right. The moment Munchie popped out and immediately started peeing all over the operating room, we started bragging. The moment his little tushie hit the scale, the measuring tape was pulled, and the crud was wiped off… we were so in love with, and so proud of, our amazing baby. From that moment on, we started spewing baby stats and information. Weight, length, new skills… it was like an infection. I was spilling information about Munchie and just beaming with delight.

At about five months gestation, Munchie started to astound doctors with his growth and development. He continues to do so today. This afternoon, we went in for his 2 month check up. He is 24.5″ long, 15lbs and 8oz, and in the 97th percentile for both. The doctor was baffled when she went to check his neck control. She had him hold onto her fingers and sit… then he pulled himself up to a standing position. She checked a few more things and said that developmentally, he is at a 4 month old level. BAM – SUPER ADVANCED NINJA BABY!!!

I have turned into THAT mom. Sorry world… but when your kid is as kick ass as ours… you just can’t keep it to yourself. (Pretty sure all moms feel this way about your kid… I mean… seriously… the smallest things make a parent so flippin proud!)

What I Need is Accountability… Not a Free Pass

People have been walking on eggshells around me, and I know it. People have been treating me differently, and it’s getting on my nerves. If you just met me, you might not have any idea why people are trying to protect me from life. Well, I’m just going to lay it all out there for the world to know. This summer has been hell. I had a baby (which is NOT something that is easy to do). You might be thinking, well… people do that all the time. Yes. You are right. But typically, it doesn’t happen 12 days after they unexpectedly lose their father. Mourning is hard enough… and so is being a new mom… but put them together… and it’s hell. I am just thankful we found a doctor to induce me at 39 weeks, so that I could make it to my little sister’s wedding. A month after Munchie arrives, I go in to pick up my final maternity leave paycheck and learn I no longer have a job. Lovely.

It has been a hell of a summer… and I know people have been treating me differently because of it… but you know what? STOP IT.

I appreciate the sympathy. I appreciate the support. But… I really need some normalcy and accountability. If I’m acting like a bitch… call me out on it. If I’m totally out of line, knock some sense into me (with your words… not your fists, please). We all need a free pass from time to time… but I’m ready to turn mine in. I need to put on my big girl panties and keep moving forward. I want to be a badass mom, because Munchie deserves that. I want to find a job, because I have incredible talents and skills. I want to honor my dad by being an amazing person and carrying on his legacy. All of these things will require accountability. Sitting around, feeling sorry for myself, isn’t going to get anything done. I know that. You know that. We agree.

So, please… feel free to cut me some slack… but don’t let me get away with too much. Today, I’m hanging up my free pass. I’m going to keep it within reach, just in case I need it again… and I’m sure there will be days I do… but for today… I’m going to breathe… and be the best ME that I can be. Your job is to hold me to that. (Unless I throw my free pass in your face… then back away… slowly.)

Oh… and you all have free passes, too.

 

HELP! Mommy Has the Camera… AGAIN!!!

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In my defense, I don’t use a camera… I use my phone.  Thank goodness for all of this newfangled technology that lets me take pictures with my phone, edit them, and share them with the world. I can’t even imagine how many rolls of film I would have gone through by now, or how many photo albums I would have filled, or how many boxes of photos I would have in the closet. I also feel like I would have missed some awesome photo opportunities, if my trigger happy finger didn’t continuously tap the screen until I caught the perfect shot. Sometimes I have to take thirty pictures before capturing Munchie with his tongue out… fifty, if I want to catch a smile… and even still, there are some moments that he seems to refuse me the privilege of photographing. I’m just saying… I love the ease and convenience of documenting Munchie’s life. AND… since he is so cute… I document a LOT of it.

Confession: You Joked About It… But I Ate It.

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My Facebook Friends will attest… throughout my pregnancy, I ate a LOT of things… but I venture to bet none of them would expect me to consume this. Heck, not even I thought I would eat this. But I did… and here is the story. It took me a while to be able to admit this… but I ate the placenta.

I have tried a lot of things over the years that people might consider “hippie bullshit.” Reiki energy work… reflexology … acupuncture,.. things that are actually starting to become more mainstream. That being said, there had to be a line… right? Well, of course! I was never going to do anything funky, like eat an organ. I have previously mentioned that I tried to keep an open mind throughout my pregnancy… not placing judgement on people who opted for decisions that were different from my own. Placenta consumption, however, was one decision that made my skin crawl. My stomach would literally churn… a feeling that I am certain many readers are experiencing right now.

From the moment people found out we were expecting, placenta jokes started flying around. Again, making my stomach flip each time it was even mentioned. As my pregnancy continued, one of my Facebook friends started posting about a bunch of “natural mom” stuff. I started reading her blog posts… learning more and more about a more holistic and natural point of view. For most things, I could keep an open mind… but again, there was still this topic that made me uncomfortable.

At my baby shower, a friend made a comment, “Hey, are you going to eat your placenta?” I gagged and said, “NO WAY!” The room started to chuckle… and one of my friends chimed in from the corner and said.. “I did.” The giggles stopped, but nothing was discussed any further. We just moved on.

I started to get curious. The friend who “did the deed” was someone I trusted. She was a good mom with awesome kids. So… I started to pick her brain and gain some additional insight. She said that with her first, she didn’t and with her second, she did. She explained the extreme difference in recovery, milk supply, energy levels, moods, etc. After that discussion, the wheels in my mind started to turn. I sent an email to my friend who had been blogging about placenta encapsulation. (I took pills… didn’t make a soup.) She actually has a business and offers the service. I was very frank in my email about my hesitation… just not being able to wrap my head around the concept… thinking it was creepy… etc. She addressed all of my concerns in a very real way.

In the end, I decided to go for it.  I decided I would rather have the pills in my fridge and opt not to take them, than completely pass up on the opportunity. In the end, I was beyond thrilled with my decision. I stick by the mantra, “Don’t knock it till you try it.” I tried it… and it was for me.

I know there is a chance that I will catch a lot of flack from people for admitting that I did this… to which I will tell you… a lot more people do this than you realize. Since sharing my story, I have learned that there are quite a few closet placenta eaters out there.

Confession: I am Terrified of Bathtime

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I don’t know what it is… the tiny bathtub, the tiny accessories, or the tiny human I am required to clean… but I am terrified of bathtime. Am I using too much soap? Did I rinse all the soap off? Is the water too warm? Too cold? Am I scrubbing too hard? Did I clean out all of his rolls and creases? Does that look like a rash? How did my baby get a freckle? All of this running through my mind, with the constant fear that his is going to freeze when the air hit him… or slip under the water in his tiny little tub. 

No need to call CPS or anything. Munchie isn’t dirty… he is perfectly clean. Thankfully, we have plenty of family who love baby bathtime and come over to help (or help in their own homes) on a regular basis. Daddy is good at Munchie showers, too. I don’t know how they can do it. I guess I just feel safer when my child is fully clothed and a little more… grippy and not so… slippy.

So that’s my confession. Once Munchie can sit up on his own, I don’t think I will worry so much… but for now… I’m a hot mess when it comes to bathtime. If you are in the same boat, I suggest finding a relative, friend, neighbor, responsible looking stranger, etc to help you out. 

One thing I fear more than bathtime? Neck cheese. (Definition: The crusty dried milk that gets trapped in baby neck rolls.)

Woah… Did She Really Just Say That? Awkward.

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Some people make “baby sharing” extremely awkward. We aren’t overprotective parents. In fact, we tote our kid around much more than other first time parents. He was at a wedding at eight days old, has already been to a community crab feast (with hundreds of people), a couple of pretty big summer parties, church, etc. We don’t mind taking Munchie places… but we do draw the line when it comes to having people over to the house. So far, visitors have been pretty limited. (Family, close friends, people dropping off meals, etc.) This has helped to eliminate unnecessary chaos and helped keep us all from getting overwhelmed. When people ask if they can come visit, I take a look at the calendar and let them know what days we are free. I schedule no more than one non-family visit per day. Manageable… that’s the goal.

So far, people have been very respectful of our schedule… until this week. Someone, who has made scheduling a visit extremely difficult… tried to make ME feel guilty that their schedule didn’t allow them to see Munchie when he was still “little” and them expressed how disappointed her kids were going to be that they didn’t get to see him when he was “little.” I responded with… “Well, Munchie was never very ‘little’… so I guess everyone missed out on that!” But what I really wanted to say was, “Oh, well you don’t have to see him at all, considering he is too big now… and maybe you should teach your kids not too overreact and just to appreciate people making time in their day for you to come into their home.”

I want to kick the refrigerator… that’s how frustrated I am right now. Did you seriously say that? Way to make things awkward.

One day, Munchie is going to ask me why some people always have to insert a comment, into a perfectly normal conversation, and make everything super awkward. When this happens, I will just look at him, sigh, and shake my head… maybe even roll my eyes. Sometimes I wonder if people make awkward comments, just to get attention… or if they are just that ridiculous. One thing, I know for sure. When it comes to dealing with awkward people… “ain’t nobody got time for that.”