Friday, May 28, 2010

9 Annoying Things Every New Mom Should Know

1. Just so you know, every woman who already has children will begin every sentence to you with “Just so you know...” Since her baby is all of eight weeks older than yours, she is all-knowing and her comments and advice should be treated as nothing less than Gospel.

2. Don’t even bother with discount diapers. Seriously. The $3.99 you save is no where near worth all of the cute outfits you lose when they leak. I don’t know how Luvs makes enough money to actually purchase air time for commercials, but live and learn and don't buy Luvs. Huggies or Pampers are the only way to go.

3. Don’t stock up on tons of Dreft unless you plan on using it until your child goes to college. That stuff lasts forever. When our daughter a week old we cracked open the smallest size jug they sell. She is now 7 months old and we’re still using the same jug.

4. If you thought your parents were intrusive before, just wait—it gets worse. There is something about becoming a grandparent that makes you feel the need to insert yourself into every. Single. Event.  Ever see that family at the zoo that has one small child and a posse of nine adults following her around?  That's us.

5. It takes your breasts way too long to stop producing milk. I stopped nursing when her first tooth poked through two months ago—sounds reasonable, right?—and these darn things still produce.  Oh, and hold on to that memory, they won't be firm again until you have another baby.

6. It’s okay to have that list of things that you aren’t going to do to your children when you become a mother, but try not to make a big deal out of it to others. Actually, never mentioning anything on that list out loud is probably your best bet if you aren’t looking forward to the big ‘ole slice of humble pie your family will be sure to serve you when you change your mind.

7. Three words: Dora. The. Explorer.

8. If you think dressing your little girl in frilly, pink dresses with pantyhose and big bows is going to make anyone realize that she is not a boy, you will be sorely disappointed. No human over the age of 65 is able to tell the difference between a baby boy and a baby girl. Even after you tell them your baby’s gender, you will still end up hearing something like, “He is so cute!  May I hold her?"

9. Ohmygosh, save all of your boxes! It will fight against every natural instinct you have to throw out an old box, but packing up the out-grown baby swing into an empty diaper box is so impossible.

So these are the the 9 most annoying things I have come across in the past 7 months, and as you can see, none of those things are the baby herself.  It's just the inevitable bullcrap a mother must put up with in order to experience the greatest adventure of her life. 

I will tell you it is absolutely worth it.  I won't tell you what I would like to say to my inlaws.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Failure to Ferb

It only took me three nights of mental preparation to attempt the Ferber Method for getting Jellybean to sleep in her crib.  It only took her zero nights to accomplish this.  That's right, she slept through the night in her crip.  On the first try.  Sorry, other mothers.

Truthfully, I was a little disappointed.  I was expecting to do something about the ordeal last night but she never gave me the chance.  She cried one time at 12:35 a.m. and stopped by 12:38 a.m.  Fine then.  If nobody needs me, I'll be in my bedroom getting my beauty sleep.  Or pouting.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Who's Side IS Time On Anyway?

When I was a small child, I remember thinking that growing up was something that happened overnight.  One day you wake up and you're a grown-up with a job and a house and you live on from there.  As I got a little older, I realized that growing up isn't something that happens overnight, but actually very slowly over time.  Every day you grow a little more and a little more for years, until life ends. 

But as I look at the pictures hung on the walls of my home, I come to realize that I had it right the first time.  Growing up may not actually happen overnight, but it sure does look that way, doesn't it?  Just looking at those pictures takes me back to the days of birthday parties and loose teeth.  The days of soccer practice and really big lollipops.  I remember riding in the car with my parents really late at night from Grandma's house on Christmas Eve.  While my parents were in the front seat worrying about speed limits and drunk drivers, I felt so safe and comfortable that I could just fall right asleep in the backseat, knowing that they would carry me to bed when we got home.  They probably realized back then how quickly time was passing.

Fast forward to me in the sixth grade, sitting on my bed talking to my best friend, Amanda.  I was telling her that I didn't like Heath anymore, but now I had a crush on Zach.  I remember Amanda telling me that she liked to look at Joe's butt.  We laughed.  We knew that we were growing up, but it didn't seem too fast.  In fact, it still seemed like it would be centuries before we were old enough to shave our legs, drive a car, or go on dates with boys.

But when I turned around, I was sixteen.  I ran to my car after my summer job so I could go home and shower before my boyfriend came over.  I thought it was total bull crap that we weren't allowed to go into my bedroom, but had to stay downstairs with my parents all evening.  My mom told me I would understand some day.  I do.

Then one day, just like I had imagined, I woke up and it was time to graduate.  A week later I had a job as a full-time secretary.  I got an apartment with my boyfriend.  We got pregnant, we got married, the baby came, I blinked and she turned seven months old.  What was I doing two years ago?  Driving around town with my boyfriend, chucking beer cans at mailboxes?  And now here I am, playing patty-cake and peek-a-boo.  It's hard to believe how quickly life changes.

In the mean time, the dishes pile up, the bed is unmade, and the same load of laundry I started yesterday is still in the washer.  But it can all wait until tomorrow because I'm rocking my baby, and babies don't keep.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Ferber Method (A.K.A. Let-Your-Baby-Cry-It-Out-Because-You-Are-Terrible-Parents-Method)

I am pretty strict when it comes to my daughter’s schedule. My husband has even gone so far as to call me (jokingly… I think) the Nap Time Nazi. Lunch at noon, nap at one, sieg hail! What can I say?... I enjoy sleeping through the night. And when Jellybean misses her nap, everyone is going to hear just how tired she is later.

I can still remember the first time she ever slept through the night. It was March 14, 2010—the happiest night of my life. She fell asleep in her pack-and-play in the living room, with the television on in the background. And since that day we have always put her to bed at 8:00 p.m., in the pack-and-play in the living room, with the television ON. Of course, teething, crawling, and other big milestones have kept her up through the night on several occasions. But the success rate of the 8:00-p.m.-in-the-pack-and-play-in-the-living-room-with-the-television-on procedure has far outweighed the rate of failure, so we haven’t messed with the system.

This evening, as we tiptoe around our sleeping baby and oh-so-quietly try to get a glass of water, a sandwich, or go to the bathroom, we are beginning to think that there might be some benefits to putting her to sleep in her crib. We have tried it a few times in the past, but it didn’t go over so well. So since then, the $559.99 crib has been put to excellent use by our cat, Dizzy.

So, at the fine age of seven months, I think it might be time to move my little bugaboo to her crib. We are going to try the Ferber Method, also known as the Let-Your-Baby-Cry-It-Out-Because-You-Are-Terrible-Parents-Method, or perhaps better known as the Get-Absolutely-No-Sleep-While-Trying-To-Put-Your-Child-To-Sleep-Method. For those of you who are interested in learning about this technique of self-torture, I will be sure to post our progress. (Or lack thereof.)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Accidents Happen

Am I absolutely the worst mother in the world? In seven short months, I have bumped my daughter more times than I care to admit. But as long as my parents don’t know about this blog, I will admit these things to you:

The horrible things I’ve done to my daughter:

1. Bumped her head on the handle of the infant carrier while leaving the doctor’s at her two week checkup.

2. At about a month old, went to lift her legs up to change diaper but instead managed to slide her entire body upwards and bonked her head on the lip of the changing table.

3. At a few months old, turned a corner too sharp and hit her head on the door frame to her bedroom.

Noticing a theme here? It’ll be a miracle if she makes it to 3 years old without brain damage…

4. Passed out from exhaustion my first week back to work. With her in my arms. This one was the most serious, and resulted in a trip to the ER for both of us. The good news is that when I passed out I hit my head on the closet door (if you can really consider that good news…) and slid to the floor with her in my arms. She ended up landing in my lap, but we still had to go the ER. Three months old—baby’s first CAT scan! All came back clear for Jellybean, and I was granted permission to nap… as if.

5. During what was known in our household as the “Days of Colic” I fell asleep on the couch while I was holding her. She managed to wiggle the top half of her body from my arms and was hanging upside down off of the couch. That I woke up early is nothing short of a miracle from God.

6. While walking through the store, I handed her a toy without removing the piece of cardboard it was zip-tied to, and she cut her little gums while chewing on it. What was I thinking? Luckily, it healed fast. Now I rip the cardboard (AND zip-ties!) off of the toy before handing it to her to play with in the store.

7. About a month ago I put her down for a nap on my bed, surrounding her little body with pillows in case she happened to roll over in her sleep. Came back in to check on her 20 minutes later, only to see no baby on the bed and about half the pillows missing. Walked over to the other side of the bed and there she was, sleeping on her belly on top of a pile of pillows… PHEW!

8. Since she has been crawling, I will randomly be overcome with a strange feeling that sends me rushing over to see if she has something that shouldn’t be in her mouth. More often than not, she does. So far this past week I have removed a Dora the Explorer bandaid, a piece of foam from a slipper Tex tore up a month ago, an unknown piece of cellophane, and a dog toy from her mouth. It appears we are going to have to bump up our daily vacuuming to and hourly chore. I wonder how many things she has swallowed but luckily not choked on…?

So there it is. The confessions of an exhausted, unaware, completely paranoid, young mom. I can’t be alone here, right?

Monday, May 10, 2010

Dealing With Dora

If you have daughters of any age, chances are you have caught a few episodes of Dora Dora Dora the Exploreeer, who’s a super-cool ex—stop it. Even as young as three months old, Jellybean has been absolutely fascinated with this show. Like every other American mother, I began parenthood with the famous last words “MY child will not watch any t.v. Ever. What’s the benefit? There is none! Nope. No-sir-ee, no t.v. for my little bundle of joy.” Three months and zero showers later, I changed my tune. What’s twenty minutes of a little Nick Jr. so I can shower/sleep/poop…?

So now, at the fabulous age of six and a half months, Jellybean loves Dora The Explorer. Loves. It. My husband and I, however… not so much. I think he actually yells at the screen more when Dora is on than he does when the Browns play. “What do you mean Swiper swiped your flute!? All you had to do was say ‘Swiper no swiping’ and he would have just snapped his fingers and walked away!”
After much detailed discussion, my husband and I have decided that Dora may have ingested some funny mushrooms. I mean, just look how big her eyes are... That fact alone will tell you that something is not right. Her best friend is a talking monkey with boots—something that I don’t even want to get into—and during one episode she actually needed a map to find her own house! I think our favorite episode is when Benny the Bull is trying to build a house. He is standing with his head stuck in what is basically a bird house, he looks at the screen and asks, “what’s wrong with my house?”

As much as we despise Dora, we will continue to watch her every Saturday morning from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m., to please our Jellybean. After all, you have to at least try to be interested in what your children enjoy. Yeah, it kind of sucks when it’s Dora the Explorer or Yo Gabba Gabba, but we will reap the benefits when it’s time for Playdo and Disneyland…right?

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Young Moms

Some moms get all the crap.  Since when does age define how good of a mother you are?  I have news for you, people: age is just a number.  Age is the amount of years you have spent on this planet.  Age does not make you a better, wiser, or more capable mother. It is education, experience, and the love in your heart that makes you a good mom.

There are all kinds of moms out there.  Young moms, step-moms, foster moms, adoptive moms, birth moms, working moms, stay-at-home moms, moms that never see their children at all... maybe you are one of these moms.  Maybe you are a combination of two or more of these moms.  Who is anyone to tell me that I am less of a mother because I am 21 and they are 32? 

I may not be old enough to rent a car, but I am still capable of teaching her how to clap her hands, how to blow raspberries and how to say Mama.  I will still help her with school projects and yell at her to clean her room, just like any other mom.  I will tend to everything from booboos, to scraped knees, to broken hearts.  I will be there to help her with those very first steps until she takes those steps across the stage when she graduates. And I will be there still when she dives into motherhood.

A good mom is a good mom because of the love that flows from her heart.  This weekend is to celebrate us, ladies.  Whether you are related to your child through blood, marriage, or months of paperwork, whether you are home pulling your hair out or at work wishing you were home, whether you are 16 or 60, happy Mother's Day.