Middle of the night wakings

When we were dropping bottles and formula, I was dead set on dropping that middle of the night waking that my child insisted upon as well.  I read enough sites, researched, asked around, figured there was no reason why my one year old couldn’t sleep her happy ass through the night.  She was merely waking up for a sip of milk and a cuddle. Nothing else.

So we gave it a try.  Crying it out.  Ignoring.  Counting her own sheep.  Then she got sick so we (we as in me, my husband didn’t do shit) put it on the back burner.  Then she got better.  Then she was teething.  Then she wasn’t.  And somewhere in there, in the middle of the night, I decided to drop it.  To not give a fuck that my kid wakes up once a night for a sippy of milk and a cuddle.  All of which lasts 10 minutes.  My kid lies right down for bed, naps great, and always sleeps in her own crib.  90% of the time it is only once a night.  Unless teething.  Because fuck teething my friends.

Sure, I would love to sleep through the night.  I really would.  I know my kid doesn’t need to be rocked, with a sippy of milk in the middle of the night.  I also know that this time will end.  How she hands me her sippy when she is done, pops her binky back in, curls up against me, clutches to my shirt and closes her eyes, while I rock her….that all will end.  A 10 minute routine that is just us in the calm, dead of the night.  Instead of forcing it to end, I have decided to accept it.

I do not accept the waking every hour, on the hour, for teething, like last night.  That I do not accept but that I apparently have zero control over as well.

I have also come to realize that maybe this is something she needs just as much.  She needs that cuddle and that closeness.  She needs the dead of the night.  It is almost like a meditation time for us both.  Clear minds and nowhere to be.  10 minutes to ourselves to reconnect and then back to dream land.  So I don’t have any advice for you mammas in the same boat.  I’m just going to ride this one out for a bit until it feels like I need to crack down on it or she gives up on it.  They are only this little once and I can lose 10 minutes of sleep a night  for it.

Unless teething, then send coffee.

Triggers

When I went through my divorce 6 (6!) years ago, I fully dealt with it.  I can say that I look back now and I just don’t know that person.  I don’t know that wife, that person who signed divorce papers, the person that cried a lot of tears and went through a lot of ups and downs.  Not that I am embarrassed (well, a little) but I have completely changed, as we all do in general and my life is different.  I dealt with it heavily by writing about it, going to therapy, changing my life, changing my attitude, changing my perspective, learning and growing.

I’m proud of that.

However, there are times, when the past never seems far away.  A co-worker of mine has found herself in the midst of her own divorce.  A divorce she knew to be coming at some point as her and her husband have been living separately, two hours apart, for two years.  She finds herself at my desk, almost daily, venting her frustration.  I offer her words of encouragement, advice when she asks, and support. It quickly has taken a turn into the pity party zone though.  The heaviness she brings in each day is suffocating.  To make it worse, it is also affecting another co-worker of mine, a good friend, who still has issues she still hasn’t fully worked through from her divorce. She then starts rehashing from the beginning as well.

I remember clearly the amount of people who were there for me in my divorce days.  I have always returned the favor to each person I have come across in the same situation.  BUT you can’t live in pity party world.  I don’t know how to support you but when you are literally doing nothing for yourself, I just can’t.  Worse though, this is happening at work, not in my home with a glass of wine as friends do.  No, at my desk, while I’m trying to get shit done.

Rehashing the same divorce topics over and over, daily, for me is a trigger.  I suddenly remember these details like it was yesterday and it makes me sick to my stomach.  I fully understand where she is coming from when she talks about the unknown future for herself.  I fully hear her words and nod in agreement when she tears up.  I feel the pain.  But that is just it, I feel the pain come from that scar deep down in myself and I then carry it home. That weight I shed a long time ago is suddenly on my shoulders for no reason because it is hers to carry, not mine.

I went home last week and explained it to my husband.  I suddenly just wanted a date night with him.  I needed the safety net of him, which was stupid and I realized I had to put an end to helping a divorcee in need.

I felt horrible.

I couldn’t walk into work everyday and have two people needing to talk this all out.  With a fresh week, I have ignored the co-worker when she pushes her chair to my desk.  I chirp happily about other things, don’t offer advice, and don’t ask her how she is doing when she offers me the saddest face ever.  Call me horrible.  The other co-worker, my dear friend, we resumed that talk over normal wine drinking hours.  And she also resumed that conversation with her therapist because she is doing something about it.

I’ve been there.  I did my time.  Suffered my pain.  I have supported many friends but the line has to be drawn somewhere.

 

Get a Mole Check. Trust Me.

I’m pretty good about my health and my body.

I see my gyno yearly.

Monthly I check for lumps or bumps that shouldn’t be there.

I have heart issues, I see my cardiologist yearly.

I go monthly to my chiropractor to keep aligned.

For the most part, I eat healthy.

I only drink coffee, water and wine.  Normally in that order.

I workout.

I wear sunscreen.

And for the first time, last week, I went to see a dermatologist to do a full body mole check.  I have them.  None of them concern me.  It doesn’t run in my family. But hey, I see things and read things and keep thinking that it is something I should schedule.  Something I should take care of.  You know, just in case.

A friend of mine recently went, so that promoted me to just make the damn phone call.

Got the appointment.

Went to said appointment with concern over what I assumed was a cyst, being inflamed, by Cora’s love of beating her head on my chest while in her Ergo.  Suspicion confirmed and a large steroid needle was jabbed into my chest that caused me to curse like hell at that doctor.

Moving on.

She looked at the moles here, there and everywhere with a microscope, declaring them no big deal and then fell upon one.  That one caused her great concern she said.  I stared at the mole on my stomach that I just knew to always be there.  One that had changed a bit while I was pregnant but I assumed that was because I was pregnant.  There were others I figured she would call me out on but no, this was the one.  This one didn’t look like the gross pictures they show you in magazines.  So they dug the sucker out and sent me on my way.

I didn’t give it a second thought.

Until today, when my phone rang.  A nurse simply stating that the biopsy came back and it was melanoma.  But no big deal she says.  And also, they are certain they got it all.  Come back in a year for another check.  Have a great day.

I’m sorry, what? I didn’t have time to ask a question or process what was said.  No big deal.  It apparently is the total norm in their world but obviously not in mine.  I was just going to go because that is what you are supposed to do.  Now I have questions and would like to be educated but the bitch hung up before I could say WHAT THE WHAT?

I’ll have to call back.

First, I made my husband call and schedule an appointment.  Which he did.

So ladies and gentleman, make the phone call.  Get naked.  Let them look you over with a microscope.  It was 20 minutes out of my day that was one of the most important things I could have done.  It seems the older we get the more we need to add to our list of things to check over.

Who else has gotten naked lately and was so glad they did?

 

 

Halloween in the books

We can officially say we have another Halloween stuffed in the books! It was a whirlwind of a week celebrating because that is how we celebrate things, a full week at a time.  Plus, it is the best way to end my favorite month and we got to do so with unseasonably warm weather in the 80’s.  Score!

We have an annual costume party every year, adults only.  Full of boos, food and baseball on the TV.  This year was a Peter Pan theme which stems from the theme of Cora’s nursery.  Hubby was Captain Hook, I was Peter Pan, Cora was Tinkerbell, Fenway was the crocodile and my sister was a mermaid from the lagoon.  We pretty much nailed it if I do say so myself.  Now don’t go thinking I made those myself.  Nope, not that crafty.  But I can order online with the best of them!

I let Tinkerbell spend one day in her costume running around outside because it was 80 in the Midwest.  Bare feet, wand waving, dog chasing, fairy wings flapping and a big, fat, pumpkin bucket in the other hand.  I could not get enough of it.  She eventually plopped down in her favorite spot, in the mulch, and started digging.  Moments I just ate up.

Another day we took her to the city, downtown, to trick-or-treat amongst the businesses. This is where she managed to sneak her first sucker.  Once she figured out what was under the wrapper it was game on.  It was honestly a bit of a flop but we got out, walked around and made the best of it.

The next day she kept up with us during our party.  Happily turning in circles, in the middle of the living room, till she fell down.  She lasted until 9pm and crashed while we kept going till we were all having costume malfunctions.

Then came the actual day of Halloween. The Husband didn’t have time to change into his costume and my sister could barely mange hers during our party so she opted for a simplified back-up of the devil. We loaded up the truck, with a game plan and headed out.  Obviously, going after the treats at this age is more for the adults than for the wee one.  I get it.  For us, it was fun to get her out and see her reaction.  We took her to places that did a couple of different things such as the fire stations, nursing homes and a few churches.  There was so much going on at each that we killed time, took pictures, ran into friends and didn’t have to get in and out of the car seat a million times.  She chased dogs, stared at costumes, screamed at strangers and climbed fire trucks.  Again, I ate up every moment.  We finished up our night at a bar to grab beers and grub.  Our costumes, tattered and stained, were happily tossed to the side when we got home.

This is what Halloween is now.  These memories.  What you make of it with your family, in your little town, on an extra warm October night.  Nothing spooky, just a lot of candy to over eat, more pictures than what may be necessary, a lot of laughter, and the comfort that we get to do it all over again next year.

 

 

 

My Baby on Social Media

There was a small situation that came from Cora’s first birthday party, involving social media and well, my child.  Let me preface this by saying, I’m not to bothered by people posting photos of her.  Everyday I post a photo of her on Instagram (private account) and occasionally on Facebook. We have a lot of family, all over, that love to see her photos and they will let me hear about it if I miss a day.  So in general, I’m not bothered.

The day of her party we obviously took a ton of pictures and then tossed our phones to the side when we weren’t using them.  I’m not one to post photos of an outing/event until later in the evening or after said outing/event because I’m enjoying the moment.  No big deal.  However, at one point during her birthday party, my Husband waved his phone at me to get me to look at my own phone.  He was pointing out that our Facebook was blowing up with notifications.  Someone at the party was already posting pictures of Cora.  Cora with them, Cora eating her first cupcake, Cora opening gifts.

Later that evening, with just a few friends left, we were drinking and someone brought it up.  The friend that posted them has some boundary issues and I realized all over again I was flat out hurt by this and it takes a lot to hurt my feelings.  I wanted to post her first birthday photos first.  Then others could.  That seems to be a general understanding amongst my friends with kids but not with her.  For the record she has three of her own kids.  There are moments that I want to be the one to put the photos out there first. Is it petty?  Maybe.  But once again, the boundary lines are tough with this person.  So I think it is compounding.

There was something else to it too.  My Mom didn’t get a single photo with Cora that day.  Cora isn’t a big fan of people and hates to be pushed to sit with people.  Obviously it was an overwhelming day.  No one fought her for a photo, including my Mom, except for this friend.  So congrats, you posted a photo, with my child, on her first birthday, in a moment that you bribed her for, but my Mom didn’t.  It just nagged at me.  So much so that my Husband then posted something to Facebook, which is very unlike him, and all hell broke loose.  I made him take it down and she texted me knowing damn well it was about her.

So I explained to her that my feelings were hurt and apologized for the Facebook post and so forth.  Long story short, she must have missed the point completely.  In fact, I know she did.  The problem being, she likes to hijack my life.

There was a time, before I had Cora, I took a break from Facebook.  It was life changing.  I wish it were that easy now.  I then would feel bad for the family that is only on there and not on Instagram.  We are talking the grandparents, great aunts and uncles, second cousins and people who truly look forward to the videos and pictures.  This is their way of seeing her grow up and isn’t it great that we live in a time that they can see this!  It does come with us price though.

But seriously, give me my moments with my kid first.  Is that too much to ask?

 

 

Another Child?

I didn’t know this was a thing but when you your child turns 1, they are no longer a baby and the tides will turn.  Suddenly, just like the day you were married, your friends and family will take a new interest in your sex life and what might result from that…besides an orgasm. It goes something like this:

  •  You will run into a family member or friend or hell, they may corner you at the 1st birthday party itself!
  • The person will exclaim how quick your child’s first year of life has gone.
  • You will nod your head in agreement.
  • They will then give you that look.  You know that look.
  • Out falls the question, “So, when are you having another one?” or “Isn’t it about time for another one?” or for more options “Are you guys trying for that next one about now?”
  • I eye roll.
  • Fight the urge to say that we had sex on the kitchen counter last night but we were just trying to hurry before my sister came home.
  • My only answer is NO.  Firmly.
  • The person will pout.
  • Then there is this weird, almost attitude that pops out from some, “A lot harder than what you thought, huh?”
  • I bite my tongue so a “fuck you” doesn’t roll off of it and change the subject.

I didn’t know this is where people would really start in on us again.  Every single time the question makes me sick to my stomach.  I don’t want to think about starting from square one.  I don’t want to think about the possibilities and have the 9 months of waiting for something bad to happen.  I’m just not mentally there yet.  I may never be.  I have no idea.

Secondly, this child that I have, doesn’t sleep through the night yet.  We are patiently working our way towards table food.  You guys, we are still in a baby stage if you ask me.  There is still a crib she resides in, an infant carrier she still uses and a 1am bottle we are still fighting.  I have zero desire to add to that anytime soon.  We are at a 2-1 ratio so at least 80% of the time the hubby and I are the bosses.

Thirdly, I’m just enjoying where we are at.  I’m enjoying the stage we are at without having fears in the back of my head to create another one and safely bring it to this world.  I just don’t feel like I want to take anything away from where Cora and I are at right now.

I do have to say, I have people politely ask if the older Cora gets does it make us think about trying for another child soon or at all?  Is it the wording?  Maybe.  Is it their tone?  Probably.  I get the curiosity from people.  I really do.  But this is our lives and I’m really happy with where we are at. I don’t know how I will feel about it down the road or when/if I will want another.  Right now, we are happy and that should be all that matters.

Baby’s First Birthday Party

It was officially time for Cora’s first birthday party!

I learned people either believe first birthday parties are over done and too much or they are just like me and love a reason to celebrate.  Maybe I fall somewhere in the middle. Of course I didn’t over do it because my husband killed my bounce house idea:)  But I also realize I have one, maybe two years tops, of doing her party the way I want to do it before she has her own opinion.  So pumpkins and pink and gold glitter it was.  Just at our home surrounded by loads of friends and family.  We had cupcakes from the same bakery that made our wedding cake, baby shower cake, baptism cake, and all the birthday cakes in between.  We had food and we had booze.  We asked people to show up at 1pm but they showed up at 11am instead.  We had windows thrown open, people crammed in corners, laughter from all angles and the dog happily underfoot picking up the crumbs.

Cora had a pumpkin onesie and pink and gold tutu with matching headband.  All carefully picked from Etsy.  She, amazingly, handled all the people quite well after a well-timed morning nap.  She had no problem figuring out how to open presents and happily showed each one to her little cousin.  She got 6 John Deere tractors, several cars and one dump truck.  (She loves anything with wheels!) She got a ton of wooden puzzles, touch and feel books, legos and balls.  She got one of the worst outfits I have ever seen and an outfit in a size 6?!  Our house is now overflowing with every gadget that has noise and lights.

We all gathered around her and lit her first candle while we sang happy birthday. She looked, wide-eyed, at the flame in front of her and continually tried to grab at it.  Eventually I blew it out for her.  It took her some time but she eventually dug in.  The mess that resulted required a rinse down in the sink and an outfit no longer fit for a party but we didn’t care by then.

Later she settled in for a nap and people settled in for more bottles of wine.  I looked around at all of my amazing friends and family.  You know, some people don’t understand a one year old’s birthday party because the baby will never remember.  I get it, I do.  But it wasn’t just about celebrating her first birthday. It was about my husband and I celebrating the survival of our first year of parenting a baby together.  Keeping her alive for the first year.  Making it through the 4 month sleep regression, the first teeth, the first baby flu, the never-ending first nights, and all the other firsts with her.  It was about celebrating with our friends, who stood by us, supported us, were patient with us, and love our child even though they don’t have to.

I have to say it was even a bit emotional as all these women and I gathered around Cora in her high chair to take a picture.  All these amazing, strong, women who she can look to for support and guidance as she grows older.  These women who each have their crazy own stories and journey’s.  My village.  My people.  My family.  Her village.  Her people.  Her family.

The last person left the party at 11pm that night.  Cora lasted till 9pm before crashing.  I sat on the couch with my husband, lingering over a glass of wine, talking about the party.  Talking about where we were at in our lives a year ago.  Two years ago.  Talking about how happy we were to just be there in that moment.

Tomorrow, on her actual birthday, just the Husband and I will take the day off.  We will take her to the Children’s Museum in the city and walk around downtown looking at the fall trees.  We will go home and carve pumpkins while watching Charlie Brown’s Great Pumpkin.  Again, she won’t know what the day means but we will because we will know that a year prior our lives were changing.  Then this weekend the hubby and I will go to dinner and celebrate our 4th anniversary.  Another day that changed our lives.  I can truly tell you, I don’t know where I would be without all of our Octobers.  I also can’t wait to see what the next year holds for us.