Monday, August 30, 2010

Made With Love By Grandma

Jellybean's middle name is special.  Rianna.  Not just a pretty name, it is also very meaningful.

When I was pregnant, W. and I lost two grandmothers.  "Ri" comes from my Grandma Rita, who we lost in May 2009 due to a long battle with diabetes and congestive heart failure.  And "anna" comes from W.'s Grandma Anna Louise, who passed away in March 2009.  There is a stupid joke on W.'s side of the family that the news of our unexpected pregnancy is what killed her.  Yeah, I don't hear any of you laughing either.

Jellybean would have been Grandma Rita's first great-grandchild.  And no one was more excited than Grandma Rita.  She even began to sign her emails as "G.G." (for "Great-Grandma").  Unfortunately, soon after we found out about the pregnancy, her health took a turn for the worse.  She spent the next few months in between hospitals and nursing homes.

Hospice had just helped us move her back into her home the day she passed away.  At four months pregnant, my belly was just starting to pop out.  If you hadn't been looking for it, you might not have even noticed the little baby-bump that was forming.  While Grandma was laying in her bed with her C-PAP still attached to her face, my mom grabbed her hand and laid it gently on my belly.  "This is your first great-grandchild, Mom," she said.  That moment is still so clear and so beautiful to me.  Three, almost four, generations held together with one touch.  She left us that evening, after only starting to crochet a white blankie for the baby-to-be.

When we went through her belongings after she passed, I scavenged her closets for any baby clothes that she may have sewn.  I was in luck.  We found several outfits she had made and attempted to sell on eBay.  Thank goodness they never sold.  These outfits may not be as fashionable as what you will find at Gymboree or Children's Place, but I have never seen my baby girl wear anything more beautiful.

G.G. would have been so proud.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Ode To New Motherhood

When the spare bedroom is no longer spare...

...and your Coach purse hangs in the closet while the Pooh Bear diaper bag hangs proudly on your shoulder.

When the phrase, "Check out that cutie by the pool," takes on a whole new meaning...

...and thunder thighs are actually kinda cute.

Girls' Night Out doesn't even compare to Girls' Day In...

You stop feeling sorry for the people who are schlepping strollers and bag after bag of kids' stuff around the mall...

...and you start feeling sorry for the ones who aren't.

Because every day you get to look into beautiful, perfect eyes...

...and when those eyes stare back at you with more love than any one heart can bear...

 can't help but wonder how you ever lived without them.

Friday, August 20, 2010


I don't qualify for WIC.

Which is, for some reason, absolutely shocking to other parents my age.  When I tell them that I don't get WIC their eyes widen, jaws drop a little, and sometimes they manage to utter, "Huh...?"  They can't seem to figure out how Jellybean and I aren't living in a cardboard box behind Burger King without government assistance. 

My family falls in the unfortunate category of making juuuust too much money to qualify for WIC, but also juuuust too little money to have anything left over after rent.  However, having no brothers or sisters, I do qualify for MAD.  What is MAD, you ask?  Mom And Dad.

That's right.  My parents buy Jellybean's baby formula.  Without me ever having to ask.  Although I am extremely grateful, I am also a little embarrassed.  When I come home from work and see a case of Simliac sitting on my doorstep I experience mixed emotions of relief and shame.  It isn't easy to admit that I can't take care of my daughter all on my own. 

"We don't do it for you, we do it for Jellybean," my mom tells me.  But I should be doing it for Jellybean. 

It's always the guilt that gets us, isn't it, moms?  I put so much effort into making sure that she gets good nutrition, regular doctor checkups, lots of love, quality time with me, quality time with all grandparents, and everything else all while holding down a full time job--and I will float my boat and say that I'm doing a damn good job.  But at the end of the day, I still need help.  By myself, I am unable to provide her with formula, a college fund, or even a father who cares enough to spend a little time with her.

So, I still need help.  I know how lucky I am to have parents like mine.  I know how loved I am.  You never realize quite how much your parents love you until you become one.  I look at Jellybean with so much love there aren't even words for it and think,  Wow.  This is how much my mom loves me...  So I suck it up and I accept the free formula.  They're doing it for Jellybean.  And, even if they don't say so, they enjoy being able to take care of me in this way.  Because that's what MAD is all about.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Motherhood: What Not To Do

Ever since I was a kid--even really young like six or seven years old--I had the idea of keeping journal or a running list of things that I didn't want to do to my children when they were older.  Even at that young of an age, I realized that my parents had long forgotten what it was like to be seven years old.  I knew (because they told me so often) that a lot of times they were doing something that I would understand better when I would become an adult and parent.  Still, I thought they could do a better job at helping me to understand things or trying to be a bit more fair.

I am disappointed in myself for never starting that list.  I think it would really help.  However, I am still very much in touch with my inner-child.  I have been told it is because I am still a child myself.  Whatever the reason, I am not ashamed to admit that my T.V. is usually on Nickelodeon, even when my daughter is in bed.  I cannot wait until my daughter is old enough to enjoy coloring, making beadie-buddies (does anyone else remember those?) and Play-Doh.  Call me immature, but I think these attributes are going to make me a better mom in the future.

So here is the beginning of the list, from what I can remember thinking about as a child.

Notes To Future Amie:  What Not To Do With Raising Children
  1. Don't laugh at their hairstyles or clothing choices, even when they're four or five and it looks really, really ridiculous.  I tried to braid my bangs when I was a child and my aunt and cousins laughed at my new do.  I was so embarrassed and can remember thinking that just because I was a little kid didn't mean that I couldn't understand when I was being made fun of.
  2. Approach the subject of crushes very seriously and do not tease or make a huge deal out of it.  It is especially embarrassing for a daughter to be teased about a crush by her father, and for a son by his mother.
  3. If I truly cannot keep a secret from my children's father, then don't promise them that I won't tell him.  Honesty should be the best policy for all ages.
  4. Don't lie.  Ever.  Be accountable for every word that comes out of my mouth.  Even if I have to tell them that I will explain more after I gather my thoughts or when they are older.
  5. Do not show signs of a low self-esteem in front of my children.  Being humble is one thing, but calling myself ugly in front of little ones who look just like me is not going to do much for their confidence.
  6. Sometimes kids really do forget why they did something.  Don't call a child a liar unless I have proof.
  7. My parents did not give me any chores at all.  Ever.  It has made me a very lazy adult.  I can not, for the life of me, keep a clean house.  There is a happy medium between making a child a workhorse and giving them no chores at all.
  8. Don't assume that just because I did something bad as a teenager that my teens will do the same.
  9. Don't tell a teenager that they have nothing to be stressed out about.  Schoolwork, after-school jobs, social issues, and trying to figure out your entire future is extremely stressful.  Just because they don't have bills to pay and children to take care of does not mean they are actually worry-free. 
  10. For teenagers, it is also very stressful to feel like an adult but to be under some one's thumb constantly.  Imagine, as an adult, someone monitoring my work performance, spiritual performance, relationships, friendships, nutrition, sports, etc. etc. etc.  While necessary, it is a genuine pain in the ass and I, as a parent, should be sensitive to that.
I know I had a lot more items I have thought about over the years.  I will try to remember to add them as I think of them.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Does This Baby Make Me Look Fat?

Yesterday I was super excited that a friend was coming to visit.  Most of my friends have moved away (temporarily, I hope!) for college and can only come into town a couple of weeks out of the year.  Buttercup is one of them. 

Last night, as we were gabbing on about this and that, she said the most dreadful sentence I've ever heard:
"So, Amie, have you lost any of your baby weight?"


I will have you know, dear blogging world, that I have lost at least half of that weight.  I am even wearing pre-pregnancy pants right now.  Who cares if they are so tight they look painted on?  They're on, damn it! 

Regardless, this was a wake up call.  Even though I have lost quite a bit of the weight, it is probably a good time to start looking into dropping the last twenty or so pounds.  I feel like if I don't lose it by Jellybean's first birthday then I might never lose it.  And people are going to stop looking at me like the chubby girl who just had a baby and start looking at me as the fat girl who had a baby and stayed fat.

So here are my goals:
a)  Figure out how much I weigh.
b)  Figure out how much I need to lose to get back to 145.
c)  Do it.
d)  Wait for Butterncup to get pregnant and await apology.