Turning 34

This past weekend we celebrated my 34th birthday.  We celebrate in our household with a birthday week.  You get to call all the shots, have extra glasses of wine, choose all the activities and get full control of the remote because birthday.

It is amazing how a baby can alter or ruin all of this.

Saturday night my sister stayed home with the baby while the Husband and I went out for a lovely, expensive, over-indulgent dinner that lasted 3 hours.  Can I first say how quickly a glass of wine goes to my head with no baby in tow?  With baby, I can drink a bottle and never find a buzz because if I’m not careful that baby would take my phone and start ordering thousands of dollars in shoes from a foreign country I can’t pronounce.  Or something along those lines.  So I have to remain on my game.  Back to the dinner portion, it was fucking amazing.  And I ordered all the food and dessert and practically floated out of that place.

My 21 year old self was at a bar, in New Hampshire, taking shots and making out with a really hot guy, whose name I never quite got.

Like any normal 34/32 year old adults, we stopped at the grocery store for formula and wine before heading home, where I immediately fell asleep in a happy food stupor.

Sunday brought my actual day of birth which started with brunch with the in-laws and mimosas.  It all fell apart after there.  There was a trip to the beach that took hours to get to due to nap fights and other priorities.  The baby shit all over her car seat on the way there, which we were not prepared for.  Damn you baby swimmer diapers and my lack of an extra swimsuit. The rest of the day went from there with no chance to save it.  By the time we were home the Husband went to mow and I attempted, for an hour, to get Cora to bed.  Attempt being the key word.  At the hour mark we were both in tears and I sat there thinking, this is my birthday.  Rocking a pissed off baby and crying.

My 21-year-old self was sitting in the corner taking shots and mocking me.

I went to wave the white flag at my husband who got her asleep within minutes.  That made me cry harder.  She has been preferring him more nights over me lately and he was leaving town the next night for work.  I took a shower, poured a glass of wine and we finally sat down to our lovely meal at 9pm.  The baby promptly woke 5 minutes into the meal with a stuffy nose.  Needless to say, sleep has been non-existent the past couple of nights due to said stuffy nose.

My 21-year-old self didn’t have slept the couple of nights after that birthday but that was because she met Mr. Summer Love and had crazy sex every night.

34-year-old self.  No birthday sex because sleep.

But I do have the love of my life.  And a baby, who despite it all, is incredibly sweet in the middle of the night when she is sick and wanting to cuddle.  And coffee. I have coffee.  21-year-old self didn’t need that to survive.

Remind me next year to book a hotel room with the husband, minus the baby.

 

Those Weekdays

Monday afternoon I sat in the rocker in the nursery, rocking Cora to sleep with her bottle.  There was no fight, she was tired.  Her eyes were closed as she drank herself into another world of contentment.  I sat, slowly rocking the chair, and looking out her window to our front yard.  I realized I loved the way the tree shaded our front yard in the afternoon.  Something I don’t notice on the weekends.  I loved how quiet our neighborhood was during the week.  I watched the butterflies chase each other in the wildflowers on the front bank.  I looked down at the baby as she pushed the bottle away, shoved her binky in her mouth and settled, fast asleep, in my arms.

I sat there for awhile just being and watching the world, loving the calm moment.  Eventually I realized it was either I was going to fall asleep or I should get up and continue chores.  I slowly laid her in the crib and slipped out of her room.

That moment, that is why I knew I couldn’t go back to work full time. That quiet moment in my house, in her room, slowing down, and just enjoying the moment.  That was what I was looking forward to when I was pregnant.

The weekends are full of great moments too but these are the moments, her and I, on our own schedule and in our own world, that I love.  Those extra two days during the week are something I would never want to give up and it is time I will never be able to get back with her.

The funny thing is, she woke up 90 minutes later, a complete monster, who needed another nap, and made me want to pull my hair out.  That is called God giving me balance.  Can’t have too much of a good thing.

This Marriage of Mine

You know, I had this post about how having a baby hasn’t killed my marriage.  People warn you of that, how having a baby changes your marriage. Of course it does! So does building a home, losing a job, changing jobs, getting married, losing a parent, moving states and a million other things.  Everything that happens in life changes your marriage, not just having a baby.  If having a child ruins your marriage, well, you didn’t have a good one to start with.  Truth.

Here I thought we were doing fine.  I mean, we have our days and nights, for that matter, where we get snippy and annoyed with one another.  We have resentment when one feels like they are doing more than the other, waking up more at night, changing more diapers, working longer hours or has more snot on their shirt.  Our sex life isn’t non-existent, it isn’t what it was before but nothing that makes me worry.  We carve out time for sex, dates, talks that don’t include just the baby and the hubby reminds me that I’m beautiful and I make sure to smack his ass and tell him he looks good on the way out the door.

I thought we were good.

I thought  I was juggling this parenting, marriage, work, hubby crazy hours thing okay.

Apparently not.

Cue Sunday night.

Cue pure exhaustion from a baby with hand, foot, mouth disease.  Nights of no sleep.  Trying to make the best of Father’s Day for the hubby.

Cue wine that went straight to my head.

Cue a husband that made an off-hand remark that just snapped me.  Any other time I would have laughed. I took the baby for a bath instead and cried.

By the time we went to bed, well, I don’t know how the talk started.  We shouldn’t have had a talk like this when I was this tired and drinking but he kept going.

We went to bed with all these words and questions hanging in the air.  I spent the next couple of days with a sick, clingy, baby and he left to work out of town. This left me with time to be pissed, over think, be frustrated and annoyed.

We didn’t discuss it on the phone or via text because that is a rule of ours.  Serious talks need to be had face to face.  So when he came home last night, we put the baby to bed, handed the monitor to my sister and took off on a walk to hash things out.

One mile later, we were back on the same page.  We had ventured too far off the page from one another.  While I’m good about verbalizing what is wrong, he is not as good.  Mainly because if he doesn’t stop and think about his words, they come out really wrong and create more of an issue.  Which is what happened Sunday night.

A mile after that we were back to normal, catching up on the past couple of days.  We were back to where I knew our marriage was at but sometimes we need to stop and self check a bit better with one another.

We have chosen to be very mindful of having a marriage separate from being parents.  We don’t want to lose “us” in the day to day of raising a child.  Some days that is harder than others when a baby consumes a lot of our energy and time but we make it work.  But what happens in our marriage influences us as parents and that changes our family as a whole.

How has having a kiddo changed your marriage?

family

 

 

 

This is 7 Months.

I feel like 7 months if full of all the things.  This month may be the one that I have seen the most growth and change and I feel like it has all happened in the past week too!

Cora is still not a fan of baby food.  Every now and then she will eat sweet potatoes but anything else, she clamps her mouth down and shows zero interest. We try every night and basically throw away a lot of jars full of food.  One day she did decided puffs were not meant to feed the dog with but that she can indeed eat them.  And Mum Mum’s are a huge, messy, favorite.  I have moved on to giving her regular food which she seems more obliged to try.  Avocados being a favorite, mangos not.  Otherwise, she just likes her bottles.  This weekend she actually just started eating more than 4oz at a time.  I know.  I see other kids chugging 8 oz bottles but she won’t sit still long enough for that.

Due to all the busyness and not eating during the day, she still thinks the middle of the night is appropriate for all the bottles.  She still gets up twice a night, chugs them down and crashes.  I will say that it isn’t so bad because we are getting to the point that going down for bed and naps are so easy.  We rock her with a bottle and when done we set her in her crib and she puts herself to sleep.  No fighting.  Man, it all does get easier.

In the past week her first tooth has popped through, she took off crawling, and started pulling herself up on things.  When she gets ahold of your hands she wants you to walk her around the room.  Or if there is a toy to push around, so she can walk, she will do that as well.  She actually prefers to push around the diaper boxes.  I would bet she will walk in the next couple of weeks.  Yikes!

Then there is the planking.  I don’t know if it is from watching me do yoga daily or what but she gets there and holds her plank for a long time intentionally.  All. The. Time.  Other parents at her daycare have even commented on it.  She has amazing form!

Due to all of her crazy new moves, we officially had to take down her infant swing.  She could climb out of it (even while belted in) and was trying to pull herself up on it.  I posted a side by side photo of her last swing and her first swing. Woah, all the feelings right there.  This is officially the first month that I keep thinking to myself, slow down baby girl, time is flying.

She says mama and chases her poor puppy around the house.  We have put her in her little blow up swimming pool in the front yard.  She loves being strapped to me while we go for walks.  (I bought the Ergobaby by the way, best purchase ever!) We have also officially started letting her sit in shopping carts now like a big girl.  I also finally gave in at restaurants and let her sit in their high chairs.  All this has made our ability to get up and go just a bit easier.

Lots of people like to ask me about her schedule.  I can tell you that she isn’t an overly scheduled baby.  The one thing she is consistent about is bedtime at 7:30.  But if we choose to say, get 8pm reservations somewhere to eat and take her, no biggie! She goes with the flow.  She gets up between 5am and 7am, no rhyme or reason.  For the most part she is now taking three big naps a day or a million cat naps, depending on if we are home or not.  She takes a bottle when she wants one and we only wrestle with the food situation at dinner time.  I can say I am thrilled she is so flexible because we are on the  move a lot.

More than anything, she is becoming more and more interactive which makes it much more fun for us. I don’t feel as exhausted from figuring it all out.  I don’t question what I do as much, instead I just let her take the lead.  I think we might just be figuring this parenting thing out.

And because life is fun, we are heading into her 8th month with hand, foot and mouth disease.  That is such a joy.

 

Babies and Screen Time

We often have this problem when we go out with my Husband’s family of screen time at the dinner table.  We don’t get together often, birthday’s and other general celebrations.  But the other children (3 and under) are plopped into a high chair and immediately handed an Ipad with their favorite show turned on.  My poor neglected infant and, now 14-year-old, are not allowed such devices at the dinner table. Even my Husband and I have a no phone rule while eating.  Home or otherwise.  I sit in my chair and I won’t lie, I judge the crap out of my in-laws.  I’m pretty open-minded about other parenting but this is one I just can’t get past.  Am I crazy?

My 14-year-old learned how to act in a restaurant by sitting correctly, not wandering with food, not having a device other than the provided crayon and paper and if she acted up, I hauled her ass out to the parking lot to have her pull her shit together and not ruin everyone else’s meal.  We sat as a family and played tic-tac-toe or I spy and also managed conversation together.  I’m not saying it was always perfect but she learned how to be a human and have conversation.  I would like for Cora to learn the same thing.

The only thing I see in my in-laws kiddo’s is the inability to interact with others in public.  I know for a fact this is their normal at home procedure-eating in front of the TV.  Don’t even get me started on how I feel this creates eating issues.

Why are we as a society so quick to shut our kids up or stick them in a corner to be entertained?

Call me crazy, but we are following the recommendation of not allowing our child electronics, technology, TV, or whatever till the age of 2.  I don’t turn on Disney, Baby TV or anything else for Cora and we don’t have apps downloaded on our phone for her enjoyment.  Yes, our TV is on in the background when we are home but we normally don’t sit down to watch our shows till after she is in bed.

Isn’t the world around her enough? How much do you allow your children? Are you the family I’m judging at the restaurant?

Baby

Summer 2016 Goals

It seems every summer we have had some sort of large project going.  Preparing for our wedding, building a home, finishing the basement, being pregnant…the list goes on and on.  This is the first summer we don’t have anything huge going on and I’m looking forward to it.

My Husband and I came up with a few goals on how to spend out summer, as weekends already are filling up.  I don’t want to get into the rut of spending our weekends running errands and catching up on household chores.  That isn’t what it is about.  I feel like we get into a make sure we mow, sweep out the garage, clean the house and make it to Target mode and I’m over it.  That isn’t living and sure as hell not how I want to spend Cora’s first summer.

We kicked off our summer with a big party at our home with all of our friends and their kiddos.  Since then we have managed a weekend back home with my Mom and Cora’s first baseball game.  We have other weekends filling in with camping trips, weddings and so forth but we want to fill the more empty weekends with hikes, days at the zoo, sitting at the beach, more baseball games and anything else that sounds like fun.

I’m not saying spend gobs of money every weekend but just make some memories.  Those things we always say Hey, we should go do! Yea, I want to actually do them, try them, live them.  It is easy to say that we will one day but one day comes and goes quickly enough.  Then the little one isn’t so little and winter is upon us.

So that is our summer goal, to be mindful of how we are living our time together.  To breathe in summer a bit deeper, stretch the days out a bit longer, and show the baby even more parts of our little world.

What are your summer goals with your family?

Summer

 

All the Baby Things Reviewed

When we were first registering for baby items I remember telling my husband that I wanted to keep it minimal.  I didn’t want our house run over by every contraption for the baby when we didn’t even know if she would like said item or not.  I researched reviews of a few items that I knew I wanted and left it at that.  Fast forward to having a seven month old who loves contraptions.  All the things basically have found a home in our house and some have even duplicated to my mother’s house.  Some are the greatest, some are not.

By far the #1 item we purchased for Cora after she was born was the Disney Baby Finding Nemo Sea of Activities Jumper.  We learned early on that Cora is all about the jumping so that is why we went this route and not with a stationary saucer. This has plenty to keep her entertained and she will stay in it all day if we let her. She also has a Baby Einstein one at my mom’s that we are able to hang some of her favorite toys from.  And to make sure we have all of our bases covered she has this Wild Life Adventure one at daycare.  All equally awesome and I highly recommend.

Swings were one of the things I probably read more reviews on than anything when I was pregnant.  I really wanted to find the one that would work the best for us.  Probably because Rebecca was such a swing baby I thought it was the most important.  This was also something we purchased before Cora was born. We purchased this one because I thought the dual use for a bouncer was perfect, would eliminate the need for purchasing a bouncer and save space.  I can say we never use this as a bouncer. It is very bulky and heavy to do so.  In fact, we ended up buying a separate bouncer.  Otherwise she loves the swinging aspect and it gets the job done.

Cora ended up getting this Nemo bouncer as a Christmas gift from the Grandparents.  Basically we have a large master bathroom and we leave it in there but it is super light and easy to move from room to room if need be.  When I get ready or take a shower, she chills in there.  It is small enough to not be in the way and is a safe place for her to be contained.

As I mentioned Cora loves to bounce. You hold her, she will just jump on your lap.  She doesn’t believe in sitting.  We had registered for and were given this Graco jumper from Target as a baby shower gift.  This is something she loves but I will purchase a new one if we have a second kiddo.  I hate how the one strap comes down behind her head.  It also makes getting her in and out a nightmare.  I know they have some that the straps stay to the sides only.

We registered for and were given this Busy Baby 3-in-1 play mat for a baby shower gift.  I figured cheaper and simple was fine but that wasn’t the case.  While she loved playing with this one, she could hulk it over on herself.  I often turned around and she had the whole thing flipped over on herself or wrapped around her.  She has one at daycare that is much more sturdy that I would look into for a second kiddo.  Also, this is something that really is so short lived as something that they use.

Some people told us to wait on purchasing a high chair until after she was born since we wouldn’t need one for quite some time and could use a bumbo seat instead. (Never really used the bumbo.)  We did register for this Graco one and she was already using it by month 4.  We bought a second one to keep at my Mom’s.  It has different reclining positions, is easy to clean, easy to maneuver around the kitchen, 5 point harness to keep her contained and she seems to love it.

The most stressful thing, that a lot of people ask about, is a baby carrier.  I bought and returned a ton.  Where we live, a stroller is not an option so I need to strap the baby to me and ended up with the basic Baby Bjorn.  While I don’t think this is a bad product, I don’t think it works for me.  I’m 5’2” and weigh 109 lbs.  This basically doesn’t tighten far enough down for me, remains loose and kills my back.  I need to just go find a store that allows you to try these on and find something that works better. You know, what everyone said to do from the start:) Do you have one of these you can’t live without that I should try?

I know I previously wrote about our fun while trying to find a good car seat/stroller combo.  I will say I am 100% happy with our decision with this purchase.  The stroller is super easy to get in and out of my pick up, even with one hand.  It is easy enough to maneuver around as well and I don’t feel like I’m trying to drive a tank through crowds.  If you think you are going to need loads of room to store things underneath, don’t purchase this one.  There is enough space for my purse and not much more!

At the end of the day, your kiddo is going to be the lover or hater of a lot of the products you purchase. It is a guessing game on some items so don’t stress out when registering.  Best advice-keep receipts and hoard those gift cards! You can always return some of it and use those gift cards on items once you get to know your baby better!

What were your items you just couldn’t live without and what was the biggest waste of money you purchased?