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Charlie: 15 months and Things I want to Remember

Popsicle face boy

One of the best parts about being a parent is getting to watch this little person you’ve created, as they turn into the perfect weirdos they are. I want to make sure I keep a record of all the silly things Charlie does, now at 15 months.

He puts his shoulder up against his cheek and extends his arm out, palm up, while wrinkling his forehead and looking at something with his little doe-like eyes. This means he wants something. Also for want, the sign for “milk” applies to everything.

He isn’t walking yet but is tired of crawling on hands and knees, so getting around the house/yard sometimes involves “walking” around on his knees/legs, or crawling around like Mowgli, butt in air

It’s getting warmer out, so he enjoys being totally naked best of all

He freaks out a little when he goes potty in the yard without a diaper on. Then it’s cuddle time for a few minutes

He says “DOH?!?!?” at everything, seemingly wanting to strike up a conversation about it

He has started making a gutteral “guhg” sound lately. I think he likes the feeling it makes in his throat

Says pa-pa, da da, ma ma (rarely), and I swear he clearly said “daddy” and garbled “i love you” when I kissed him goodnight the other day

Gives kisses when you ask him for one

Is SO cuddly since recovering from icky Hand, Foot, and Mouth. He’ll just come up and lay his head down on mine or Matt’s shoulders. He actually stays put for a good 30 seconds, which is new

Puts the phone and TV remote on his shoulder, leans his head over and says “ah?”

Knows where his belly button is. We are working on nose, ear and eye too

When he throws a tantrum about something (he can’t put his finger in the cat’s bottom, he can’t put the rocks in his mouth, etc.) he kicks and cries for a minute before calmly laying down on the floor and curling up into a ball with his hands underneath him.

It’s so fun watching his little personality unfold, my sweetest, funny kid!

 

holiday post · parenthood

Fall Cleaning and Two Weeks Of Vacation

It is FINALLY starting to feel like Fall in San Diego! Every year it gets pretty hot and dry in October, and every year I ask my husband why it’s so hot and dry. He reminds me that the Santa Ana’s blow in at the same time every year, and we move on with our lives, destined to relive this same story line in another three to four hundred days.

quinceanera

But it is finally getting cooler, and PSLs are everywhere, which means Halloween is close. We are taking Charlie to his first pumpkin patch next weekend, and I can’t wait. I’m sure he will only be interested for about five minutes, but that’s enough for me! One of the fun things about being a parent is reliving every season through your kid’s experience. Hay rides! Pumpkin carving! Hanukkah bush decorating! Christmas cookies! Mom can barely contain herself.

This weather always gives me energy. After months of feeling like doing nothing in the sticky heat, I am up cleaning, organizing, minimizing, and even sometimes cooking. Not this week, but maybe next week with the cooking…

In other news, I suddenly have a couple weeks off from work, which is so wonderful at this stage of Charlie’s development. He is getting a little clingy, so I’m happy to be here with him full-time for a bit.

baby · parenthood · pregnancy · reflection

Dear Bdub

I found this wonderful little gem in my drafts today. It was a much needed pick me up, reading through my old thoughts from before Charlie was born! I almost forgot we even called him “Bdub” before he was born, haha. For the first month he was here, I kept almost calling him our little nickname for him; now he’s definitely Charlie!

_________________________________________________________________

Dear Baby,

I can’t believe we are just a few short weeks away from finally meeting you! I have pictured our first minutes together (and millions of minutes after) so many times, and your father and I are counting down the days until we can kiss your sweet face, hold you on our chests, and look into your wonderful little (and inevitably blue) eyes. I have dreamed of your tiny fingers wrapped around my own, and the wrinkly little toes and feet which are destined to patter up and down our hallway.

I think you are almost ready to come into the world, these days. Just this week I panicked once again as you slept for most of the day in my tummy, rather than stretching and kicking gently as you normally do while we sit in the swively chair at work. Momma has had a hard time not worrying about your well-being since the second we knew we were pregnant with you. It’s normal, I think for a first time mom, but I know I’ll forever worry about your happiness and health; a task I willingly take on as your mother.

I promise to always love you more than words can say. You are already the light of my life, and I am already proud of you for everything you’ve done and have yet to accomplish. I promise to always love you for exactly who you are – no changes, improvements, or tweaks to be made. You are perfect exactly as you are.

baby · Body positive · goals · Health · parenthood · Uncategorized · working mom

Post Partum Body Image

I know body image can be a touchy subject for some people, and I count myself as lucky to be able to say I gave up on caring a long time ago. I just sort of got to the point where I was tired of stressing over my thighs touching, my arms jiggling, and my tummy having a lot of skin (aka adipose tissue) to grab. Sure, I sometimes wish I was just naturally thin so that I could wear short shorts in the summer time without getting a heat rash from the chub rub, but for the most part, I just DGAF. Sorry, not sorry (did I use that right?).

Now that I am five months post partum, I thought I would check in with my body and see how things are going (that’s how busy I am, I have to set reminders to check in with myself . #motherhood). We’ll start with the TMI stuff.  I was extremely surprised how much my lady bits were affected by childbirth (is that naive?). I only had the teeniest episiotomy requiring two stitches because either my kid’s noggin was just that large, or mommy was just a little too tired/numb to push effectively, and OH MAN was I scared to go number two after labor. Everything healed up just fine within about 3-4 weeks, but sitting on a super hard surface is still not ideal. But, as they always say (and only a mother would), it was WORTH IT.

Now for the reason you clicked on the link to this post, my boooody image. In a word, right now I feel “meh” about my post partum body. On the one hand I’m like, “you are amazing, THANK YOU FOR CARRYING THIS MIRACLE CHILD, BODY!!” And on the other hand I’m like, tired of having to buy bigger pants. Like, several sizes bigger.  All of this balances out for a general feeling of just “meh” when I look in the mirror.

I’m proud of my body and all we’ve accomplished in the past year and a half. We got through some nasty morning sickness that lasted almost through two whole trimesters. We carried a gigantic 8 pound baby, and survived labor after three weeks of no sleep.we even made it through the steep, painful learning curve that comes with breastfeeding in those early weeks post partum. My body is like my awesome, fat friend who is smart and strong and amazing and just maybe needs to cut out a few burritos each week.

When Charlie starts eating some solids next month, I’m thinking of starting to clean up my diet a bit (who am I kidding, I have a LOT of cleaning up to do) and exercising at the office gym. Mommy is tired of having to adjust her tummy when she sits down, and all the junk food certainly isn’t helping get me going in the morning when I’m tired AF and still have to go to work.

baby · parenthood · Parenting · San Diego · Uncategorized · working mom · writing

Tips From a Tired Mom

Before Charlie graced all of us with his wonderful presence I thought to myself, “this blog is not a mom blog. I’m not going to only write about being a mom.” To be honest, though, I don’t even care anymore. Welcome to my mom blog, everyone. I enjoy reading parenting blogs, and I feel like now I have something to contribute to the parenting blogosphere. We are all just grasping at straws trying to figure it all out anyway, and if by writing down whatever I have to say, someone else gets one helpful bit of information or a laugh on a bad day, then I have done my duty.
There’s a lot of discord among the many parenting styles these days. Just read through the comments on one poor momma’s post in any parenthood forum, and see the absolute chaos that ensues. Don’t bother asking anyone else about vaccinations, breastfeeding, baby-wearing, or sleep training unless you want to feel like a terrible mother in general. Seriously, do some research outside of the forums and Facebook groups, and pick whatever makes sense for you and your child.
In this space, my intent is never to provide unsolicited and unquestionable advice – I just want to share the ways I’ve somewhat successfully muddled through five months of my son’s life.
So without further ado, here are my tips for general momming/dadding:

  1. Leave your spare key fob next to the bed so that when you awaken in the middle of the night wondering if you locked the car, you can hit the lock button and hear the satisfying honk of your vehicle. This only works if you live in such cramped quarters that your car is parked right outside your window.
  2. Buy gum in bulk from Costco. I have lost count of how many times I’ve discovered it’s 4pm suddenly, and I still haven’t brushed my teeth.
  3. Load up that Starbucks card. I am blessed to live in a world where I can literally walk about 200 feet and be at heaven’s door. This is whether I’m at home or at work. #YAASSS
  4. Moms, if you are breastfeeding, LEARN TO SIDE NURSE. At first I was all “I will never fall asleep with the baby in bed with me” and to be honest, when he was super teeny, and I was super out-of-it exhausted, I still wouldn’t; but OMG it’s wonderful to go back to sleep at 4am when he wakes up and wants a boob. Plus, those mornings when he wakes up next to me and smiles like, “Oh MOMMY! I sure love looking at your face/grabbing your eyes/lips/nose/nipple while you sleep!”
  5. Subscribe to Amazon Prime. Again, I was hesitant at first. Who wants to pay $100 in membership fees?! But I no longer run out of diapers or toilet paper, so everyone is poop-free and happy.
  6. Try eyelash extensions. I actually just took mine off because I don’t have time to get them filled every month, but WOW I looked fabulous when I first went back to work after maternity leave. They gave me some time to get a morning routine down while looking like a put some effort into my appearance. If you’re in San Diego, let me know and I’ll tell you where I went that didn’t charge a million dollars and isn’t sheisty.
  7. Make lunches/breakfasts for the work week ahead of time. Whether it’s the weekend before or the night before….don’t try doing that shit in the am when your baby is teething and waking up all night long, and you can’t see straight because you’re exhausted and can’t turn the kitchen light on because you just got your precious baby back to sleep, and you don’t want to risk waking them up. Just…plan ahead with the meals. Dinner, however, is kind of a free for all. We are still working on not getting tacos every night.
  8. Know that we’re ALL still figuring it out. You’re not the only one who feels like you’re struggling, there’s a whole world of tired, confused-ass parents out there, and we’re all ready to talk about it when you’re ready to admit you’re not perfect out loud.

Have some tips for me? Let me know how you survive!

Uncategorized

Saturday Morning Coffee Rant

coffee cup
I’ve just finished my third week back at work after my son’s birth, and I have to say that if anything, it’s nice to be able to savor the weekends again. On maternity leave, every day was Saturday (except on Sundays when Matt was home from work). Nowadays, it’s REALLY nice to have a Saturday morning to sip my coffee slowly, wait for Charlie to finish napping, and just write.

Speaking of writing – my writing machine (my beloved Mac!) has been at the doctor for the past week, and I’m happy to report that we can pick her up today! She’s been given a newly clean bill of health, although I lost everything that was on her. Time to start a regular backup, I guess…luckily I had been backing up all of Charlie’s pictures on a semi-regular basis. I would have died if all those precious pictures were gone forever! I refuse to pay more for more iCloud storage, so I have to back everything up to an external for now, which is somewhat labor intensive. Apple gets enough of my money on a regular basis (amiright??).

Fall is in the air here in sunny San Diego, and I am planning some fun fall surprises, which I’ll write about in detail later!

What fun fall plans do you have?

Uncategorized

Blue Collar Girl Living In a White Collar World

Lately I’ve been feeling like I’ve always been sort of mercurial in all aspects of my life. Growing up was, of course, difficult —who doesn’t have a hard time going through adolescence? —due to the fact that I experienced such extreme moodiness from about age eight until twenty-two, and had a pretty sassy personality to boot.

As a Capricorn on the cusp of Aquarius, I am just whimsical enough to put stock in my horoscope, while also being scientific enough to feel skeptical of its merits. I believe in black and white facts, but also totally understand the in-between, miraculous things. I am organized to a fault, while piles of laundry get thrown on top of my dresser and my car is a disgusting mess. I’m extremely strict about some things, and totally chill about others. It may seem like there’s no rhyme or reason for the things I do, but I promise you nothing is arbitrary.

I studied religion in college, but you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone less religious than I am.

Now in the working world, it seems I’ve continued this pattern of apparent duality, as I work in a pretty old-fashioned industry, but my clients are all very modern and tech-y. I love the rules and data-driven part of my job, but need this creative outlet in writing to keep me going. My friends are both white collar executives and blue collar construction workers, with a whole lot of creatives thrown in. My peeps are 50/50 on the blue versus white collar spectrum, and I feel at ease in both worlds.

Life is about balance, you know? I still struggle with finding it sometimes; I think it’s human nature to want to pick a label for ourselves, to simplify who we are. Some days I want to be strict, proper and organized, and others, I want to just be an artsy hippie who doesn’t care about rules or money. Ultimately, I have to settle for something in between the two, and I guess that’s okay.

Do you ever feel torn between two words? Tell me about it!