Archive for the ‘The Best Laid Plans’ Category

Being a Real Girl, pt2

Yesterday was a no good, very bad day. But it all came out good.

It started with me going in to get my dress altered. You know, that blue one I ordered? Ya, well, it was too small. And not just a little that she could let out. 3 to 4 inches to small. Not exactly the confidence boost a 4 month post-delivery mom needs. :/ I promptly returned the dress.

Then I found out that the apartment Hubster and I have been considering moving to is going to cost more than originally quoted. It’s a long story, but it just left me grumpy and frazzled.

And THEN I went to pick up our local produce box (similar to a CSA) at a community center. The woman behind the counter proceeded to argue that the box had been left FOR THE COMMUNITY CENTER and I was like “No, it has MY NAME on it!”

Grrrr….

I did some dress hunting online. Everything I liked wasn’t at a local store for me to try on. Until I checked out David’s Bridal. Sure, I’m not going to a wedding, but I need a nice dress in a plus size that isn’t going to cost an arm and a leg.

Then my mom showed up to babysit so I could go meet some old coworkers for dinner at Red Robin. It totally saved the day. I had a drink with alcohol in it. We laughed and joked and talked about what everyone is up to. There was even discussion of our various favorite vampire novels, I came home with some interesting titles to look up (if I ever have the time hahaha). It was just so refreshing to get out and have adult conversation.

The fun continued today, I went to have brunch with a different old coworker from a different job. She’s 38 weeks pregnant, and it was so cool to think back to just 5 months ago when I was all super pregnant. What I had assumed would happen, and how it all turned out so differently. We met at a bakery and indulged in donut-y goodness. (After dinner last night and donuts today, I swear its salad and water tomorrow!). Seedling was uncharacteristically good for the hour drive, mostly sleeping. It was a nice respite from her usual screaming. She woke up at the bakery, smiling and cooing and being very sweet. With her sleeping on the way back I decided to run by the local David’s and try on a dress I had seen online I liked. We got the right size, it was comfortable, in my price range, and we would be able to just get it in time for my trip. So I placed my order. Lookie at pictures! (They only had a black to try on so you can’t appreciate the draping detailing… I ordered it in dark blue…)
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Obviously must find a bra that doesn’t cover my entire upper back… Lol. Oh the glamor of a nursing bra…

On a Seedling Milestone note: today while changing her diaper, she reached for… and grabbed her foot!!!! She has reached lots, but this was the first time she’s gotten a hold of one! The photo is blurry, but it was the best I could get in the moment:
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Thoughts on being a SAHM

Way back when I first met Hubster, and we started dating, I made the statement that I wanted to be a stay at home mom. Looking back now, I realize that I pretty much felt I was going to college to please my parents, society, and feminists everywhere. I basically figured I would get a degree and a job until I found a man, got married and had kids. I know, how very “unenlightened” of me. But from a young age I saw a great value in being a mom who was around!

This week my very dear friend Suzy and her husband Professor bought a house. Suzy and professor are the same age as Hubster and me. They got married the same year as us. They had a clear life plan. They stuck to it, going to college for a normal amount of years, graduating on time, obtaining jobs and saving up until they started their family, and now have two dazzling kids. Suzy is a SAHM now, but because per-kids they had both worked, they were able to pay off all their debt (including student loans) before buying their home. All before they were 30.

If left to my own devices I can’t help but wonder if we would be further along in our life. If we would be buying a home, instead if renting. If our debt would be paid off. Because here’s the thing: I was on the path. From high school I went to college. My first year is when Hubster, Suzy, Professor and I all met. We then transferred to different colleges, but we were on “the path”. Keeping in mind I was getting a degree… Well, mainly for fun. Because that’s what I was “supposed” to do. I was basically killing time until the whole married-and-babies thing happened. So what was I getting a degree in? Biblical studies. Until I changed majors to Theology. Until I realized that with Hubster pursuing a career as a firefighter I might actually need a job and career and what in the world would I do with a degree in theology??? So I took a year off. Floundering. Trying to figure out “what I wanted to do”. When the truth was that what I wanted could not be gained from a degree. But to say “I want to be a mom” was offensive to most people, like as if declaring I wanted to be a stripper. Because desiring to be a stay at home mom must mean I wasn’t very intelligent or intellectual. I was lazy and an unproductive member of society.

Finally I decided to go back to school to be a vet tech. And the truth is I fell in love with the field. So I had a new plan: vet tech/mom! But then we hit infertility. And a miscarriage. The miscarriage coming right as I was finishing my degree. So I made several highly emotional decisions in an attempt to work through the loss. Decisions that set my career back.

At the end of the day, there has never been a solid chunk of time where both Hubster and I have been working. One was always in school, or dealing with some medical issue, or just unable to find work in a struggling economy.

I know there are other reasons we aren’t on a debtless-home buying place of course. Things that were completely outside my control. My vehicle dieing, and having to take on a car payment a month into our married life. (That we just recently finally paid off! Woot!) The next month Hubster had a seizure at work, and was subsequently out of work with some pretty big medical bills. You know, stuff like that…

But maybe if I hadn’t floundered… Maybe if I could have embraced my SAHM desires, we wouldn’t have my student loan debts. I could have spent those years of I was in school focusing on learning better budgeting skills. Better housekeeping skills. Maybe we’d have a little less debt and a little more life skills.

Of course, can’t forget that becoming a mom (working, home, or other) wasn’t as quick and easy as we had hoped. So the real truth is that whether I had gone to school or not, our picture probably wouldn’t look that different. And I know I shouldn’t compare my life to my friends… The grass always looks greener. But I still have regret for money and time wasted. I lived the vet field, but I’m really glad to be home. To watch my daughter grow and change and learn. I’m even entertaining thoughts about homeschooling! (More on that later…)

I guess what I’m trying to say is I love being a mom. I’m so thankful I tried working (so I can’t wonder “what if?”) but even more thankful that now I’m home. I wish it hasn’t taken me so long to get here. But Im so grateful to finally be here.

Nap Routine

I love attachment parenting.  I love babywearing.  I love co-sleeping.

But it came to my attention here recently that Seedling will.not.fall.asleep unless she is in her Ergo.  And, well, as I’m now a SAHM and need to get housework done, that’s difficult to do while wearing a sleeping 12lb+ baby.  And really, the kiddo needs to learn to fall asleep without the Ergo.  Also, transferring from the Ergo to her bassinet or crib?  Usually she wakes up as she goes from being upright to horizontal.  Up until now the way I’ve been handling it is cranky/fussy baby goes in the Ergo, where she inevitably falls asleep.  Then I try to transition her, and 75% of the time she wakes up.  Eventually out of frustration I just let her nap her entire nap in the Ergo.  By the end of the day we are both cranky and exhausted, and my back is killing me.

So I knew that once I was no longer working I would start transitioning her to falling asleep outside of the Ergo, and that she would have her naps in her bassinet or crib.  No more sleeping in the Ergo.  (But we still plan to co-sleep at night.)

The day started off ok, but a bit shaky.  I’d hold and rock her and put her in her bassinet or crib half asleep – and she’d start screaming her head off.

A call to my SIL “A” helped me to realize I was trying to do too many things at once.  Having her learn to fall asleep outside of the Ergo is a big enough transition.  Having her learn to fall asleep by herself?  A totally different transition.

So I decided her new routine to fall asleep will be this:

When she starts getting fussy, and no longer wants to play, and is rubbing her eyes – I will calmly pick her up, loosely wrap her flannel blankie around her, turn on the fan in her nursery and go rock in the rocking chair.  (Which up until now has mostly held clean clothes that needed to be put away because sitting in the Ergo was difficult for me)  I rock and jiggle her, and sing her lullaby.  (I don’t really know any lullaby’s other that “Soft Kitty” from BBT, so I sing the “Lord Have Mercy” from liturgy.  It has a pleasant tune, easy to sing, repetitive nature that makes it actually a really good lullaby!  It also helps me to keep my patience when she’s screaming in my ear because she wants to be in the Ergo.)  I do not get out of the chair until she is asleep.  And even then I allow myself 5 minutes to sing softer and softer, and rock more and more gently until I’m sitting still and barely whispering the song.  Then it is stand up gently, place her in her bed, wrap her blankie around her, then top with “the magic blankie” (a crocheted gift from a family friend, that I swear is magic) and quietly leave the room.

I realize today was day number one, but so far, it’s gone well.  Yes, the crying while rocking goes on for a bit, but I’m trying to retrain her.  She is fed, has a dry diaper, and is being held in loving arms.  So I know she is crying out of confusion and frustration.  Crying is the only way she has of communicating.  But eventually she will figure out this is the new routine, and we will be ok.

For her “bedtime” prep, I put lotion on her when I change from clothes to jammies, and then read a story before the rocking and singing… I hope in that way to help her realize the difference between daytime naps and nighttime sleep.  And yes, she is currently in her crib at 10pm, although I expect her to wake up for a midnight dreamfeed.  My plan is to go in, feed her and then bring her back to bed with me until the morning.

Anyway, that’s the happy-hap-happenings.  I’m sure there will be some rough days, but for the most part, especially as this was just “day one”, I’m pretty content with how it went.

Wish me luck!

Midnight Mumblings

Oh it’s been so long *sigh*.

– Last weekend Seedling was baptized into the Eastern Orthodox Church. It was so beautiful and moving, and I am so excited to share pictures with you all!

– Seedling is going through a growth spurt… Or something. Her sleep rhythm is all out of whack, she has been heart-breakingly cranky… Spending most of her time in the Ergo, frequent small-snack feedings. We are running on low, broken sleep. I’m just hoping we are on the upslope and on our way out of it…

– Hubster found a job! We are very excited to be able to pay our bills… But admittedly it comes with mixed emotions. With him being in school full time, he misses plenty, but he’s been able to spend time with Seedling in the morning. So far he has been having “Father-Daughter” day when I work on Saturdays. See, with Hubster covering Saturdays and my mom watching Seedling on Fridays, I only have to pay for daycare one day a week. Let me break down the math for you:
Daycare 1 day a week $200 a month.
Gas for a month about $160 a month.
My paycheck for a month about $400 a month.
So… Not a lot of wiggle if I have to pay for another day of daycare. But Hubsters new job? Full time, mornings Monday through Saturday. Which means I’m trying to figure out who will watch Seedling on Saturdays… I have some short term options with friends and family but nothing that will work long term… Also that means Hubster will go back to being home for about 5 or 6 hours. It breaks my heart he will miss out on time with Seedling. But also really overwhelming to think it will be back on me to take care of Seedling. I have gotten used to having Hubster be able to give me the occasional helping hand. I think back to when Seedling was first born and Hubster was working and going to school…. That was so hard. But I wasn’t working then. Now I’m working on top of it. It feels like too much. But I can’t just quit… What if Hubsters job doesn’t work out? We need me to have something to fall back on… It’s all just very complicated. I’m not explaining it very well. Low on sleep. Highly emotional. My daughter is fussing and needs some snuggles, so I’ll unpack it all, more, better, later.

All that matters is that I have a daughter to snuggle. The rest will work itself out. Right? Right.

Oh Bloody Hell

You guys, I had such plans. SUCH PLANS! It was supposed to go like this:

1-Baby Seedling is born.
2-breastfeed Seedling, causing delayed menses.
3-when menses returns approximately 6 months post partum, start TTC baby #2.
4-conceive baby #2 in summer of ’13, with EDD in spring of ’14.

Why so soon to try again? Well, a few reasons.
1-it took 2.5 yeas to conceive Seedling, and that was unexplainable. If it takes another two years, better to start trying sooner rather than later, especially since…
2-my brother and I are 4 years apart. So that means once he entered junior high, we never went to the same school. We had different interest, different personalities… And while we’ve never had any sort of major “falling out”, we aren’t close either. Not that children close in age guarantees anything, but my observations of other families show a correlation.
3-Hubster and I would like a medium family. 3 to 4 kids. And nobody is getting any younger … Especially with a history of IF!
4-there is a general knowledge that women are particularly fertile right around when they begin menstruating again. Why miss a good window of opportunity?!

But here’s the thing. I didn’t want to get pregnant any sooner than 6 months after Seedling was born.
1-I wanted time to focus on learning the ropes of being a mom.
2-I wanted time to focus on getting my body to a healthy place. I hadn’t met my goal of under 200lbs when I got pregnant before. Since I was so careful about my weight gain with Seedling I’m only about 5-10 lbs heavier than my starting weight. 6 months seems like a healthy, reasonable time frame to lose about 20 lbs.
3- a part of me thinks its weird when kids are less than a year apart, that at a certain window of time they can both say “I’m 4 years old!”. I don’t care if you want that, it just feels weird to me.

If anything I knew my 6-month-idea was a long shot. Lots of breastfeeding women take more than a year to begin ovulation.

But I never expected to start my period right away! The first time I thought maybe it was just a delayed bit of post-delivery bleeding. But now I’m on my second time. My second period.

Say whaaAAAaat?!

So… Nope. I won’t be trying “as soon as my period starts”. I won’t be taking advantage of the “peak” in fertility. I hope I’m not missing out on a crucial window of opportunity… But I’m not ready. We, as a family, are not ready.

I’m trusting the God has this all figured out. Or, I’m trying to trust. Dang me trying to over plan my life, lol! At the very least, I know Hubster and I can go back to considering adoption. There is a lot to think about in that… But I just have to remind myself there is more than one way to build our family. And to stop over thinking, and let it rest until this summer. Easier said than done… *sigh*

It’s Gonna be a Rough Day

Hubster sent me to bed, determined to let me catch som e sleep son e I return to work today. And the man tried, he really did. I can only assume Seedling is having one helluva growth spurt. It started a few days back, being fussy in the evenings. But it’s slowly
progressed. Tonight it was inconsolable screaming. As in “the zombies are eating my brains, WTF aren’t you people going anything to stop this torture?!?!”

So 3am Hubster came and got me. I hadn’t slept much, hard to ignore those kinds of sounds coming from your child. He looked like he’d been through hell. I sent him to bed and was able to finally console her with nursing. (Which lately nursing had been pissing her off – she’s been preferring the infinitely easier to eat bottle. But this morning? It is apparently the magical love of get life. Whatever works! Right?)

Crying alone I can take – but I can’t shake this anxiety that its more than the “6 week growth spurt”. What if something is wrong? Really wrong? What if there is some underlying health problem, that could prove fatal?

What if I gave birth just to lose another child?

…..

Later today I will return to work. When I think about it as just this one day… It’s not so bad. My mom is going to come over and watch Seedling on Fridays. My mom – for all our issues and drama – has been amazing. She has come and helped me, sometimes at a moments notice, driving out in heavy traffic and heavier rain. I don’t know how we would have survived without her. So long story short – I know Seedling will be in great hands. I don’t worry that something bad will happen. I worry that something good, significant will happen, and I will miss it. That I will miss out on smiles, on her grabbing my finger, on her coos and cuddles. What if I miss her first rolling over, or her first real crawl? What if I miss her first really big, hearty laugh? It’s selfish, is what it boils down to.

So I’m crazy, right? As in, clinically insane. I’m struggling with a child who is displaying and more signs of colic every day, a child who is physically and emotionally exhausting myself and Hubster – yet the thought of being gone brings me to tears.

The hard parts… They are so very hard. But the good parts? Pure fairy magic. I wouldn’t miss out on the good stuff for anything.

But it’s going to be a rough day. Seedling is currently sleeping, drifting off from nursing, nuzzled to my left bosom. She’s one overtired infant. With a penchant for waking up inconsolable. Hubsters plans to give me sleep have failed. Hello sleep deprived mommy. Add on the emotions of returning to work. And, of course, my job isn’t exactly all sunshine and roses – there will be the dick clients that feel the need to take out their issues on me.

And then I get to get up and do it again on Saturday. Because, of course, I’m not just returning to work for one day and calling it quits.

So I get on WordPress. I pour out my worries, my stress, my exhaustion. I rock my now-sleeping babe. I pray for strength and forgiveness. Because its all I know how to do in times like this.

Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy in me, a sinner.

Christmas in Review, and more Signs and Symptoms!

So far, still pregnant, so Seedling can at least rest easy she will not have her birthday ON Christmas. Although, signs are looking good for sooner rather than later… (More on that later in the post)

We had a lovely Christmas yesterday. Yes, we are Orthodox and that means we sometimes celebrate Holidays on different days but we still celebrate Christmas on the 25th 🙂 there are some Orthodox that follow the “old calendar” and celebrate Christmas in January, but those are churches mostly in Eastern Europe. To learn a little more about that and the “12 Days of Christmas” check out this link: http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twelve_Days_of_Christmas

But back to our lovely day. Although it didn’t start out so lovely. Hubster threw his back out and literally could not get out of bed. Since I’ve seen him push through some pretty intense pains, it breaks my heart to see him so down. Especially on a important, celebratory Holiday! We made the decision that he should just stay home and I would go to my dads for brunch. I knew my emotions were just a bit on overdrive, feeling bad for Hubster home alone, worried my family would be upset/angry that Hubster wasn’t there, very aware of the humbleness of the gifts I was about to give… My family has always made a big deal out if the holidays, but Christmas seems to bring out the extravagant generosity… And usually means quite a bit of money spent in beautiful, wonderful, thoughtful gifts. We just didn’t have the money to reciprocate in quite the same way and I didn’t want anyone to feel that the smallness of the gifts in any way reflected a minimal love or thought… Anyway, I should have known my family would totally understand that things are tight for us right now. And everyone was very sweet and understanding about Hubster. My stepmom was scatter brained about getting brunch together, but that was the biggest hiccup. It was so wonderful to see my brother and his wife and their kids. The son is 3 and their daughter is 13 months, and this was the first time I got to meet my niece! It was just so great to spend time together, catching up and watching my dad play with his grand kids, watch my brother be a wonderful and fun father, watch my brother and his wife get to spend time together. (With my brother in the military, SIL has to function like a single mom a lot of the time.). Everyone got along without unnecessary family drama, everyone gave a lot of love, and a lot of loving, thoughtful gifts. I wish we could be together more often for moments like that.

Dinner was to be done with my mom. When she heard Hubster was out of commission she offered to pack up the entire dinner and presents and being them to our place. But after talking with Hubster some more we decided we should just go to her place. Since Hubster hadn’t moved most of the day he felt somewhat up to the idea of going out, and with his back out and me so pregnant there would be no one to help my mom carry all that stuff up the three flights of stairs to our apartment!

So we got into the car and drove over, all of Hubster’s gifts from my dad and brother still in the car. We got to my moms and between her and me we brought in the gifts and helped Hubster to a comfy spot on her couch. We started with cookies and tea and present opening. Much like my dad and brother she totally outdid herself, we really appreciate all the thoughtfulness and generosity with things we greatly wanted and needed. Dinner was delicious and casual, aside from the gun debate my mom and Hubster had… It was very civilized but they both hold to very opposite opinions and all I could think about was someone taking it too far and it blowing up, but it didn’t. (Just a side note… perhaps someday I will write a post about my feelings on guns, but today is not that day. The issue of guns is an emotional one for both sides and I recognize that all any of use want is to feel we and our families are safe. Please don’t turn the comments section into a place to air your opinions at this time). We had pie and eggnog and watched one of the many movies we reviewed, “My Fe.llow Amer.icans” which is a great satire about politics and makes fun of both parties, and seemed particularly timely after the political discussion over dinner.

Came home and was able to consolidate the mountain of gifts for as few trips as possible. (While at my moms she shared what I can only guess was prescription strength ibuprofen with Hubster so he was feeling quite a bit more mobile and was able to help). We fed the pets and went to bed. Last night was another frequent-trip-to-the-bathroom-night. This time with a little light pink “bloody show”. This morning it was a mix of light pink and a little brown. I’ve been continuing to have sporadic Braxton Hicks “uterine aches” but nothing very concrete. So I called up Doula P just to check in. We had a very nice chat and she said not to worry that contractions weren’t really happening. It could still be a while yet but these are all good signs my body is getting ready for labor. (Plus the softer stools I’ve been having). I had planned to run several errands but with the symptoms and the fact that I’m still working to get over a cold she advised me to stay home and try to nap since my sleep is all messed up. I’m in a weird place of being fidgety and restless but also tired so I have yet to be able to nap. Hoping that by typing this all up my brain will stop buzzing and allow me to sleep!

I hope you all had really wonderful holidays with lots of love with people you hold dear!