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Monday, November 28, 2011

Video Mondays: Sleeping on Mommy

Being a new parent is a lot of work, and I am constantly learning about my little one. I think most parents run into the problem of putting your little one to sleep. One day I learned that if I could get Baby E in the perfect position on my chest, he would fall into a deep, peaceful sleep. I was so in love with my little bugger that I didn't mind being his personal bed.  :)

Baby E on May 26th -- 1 month old

Friday, November 25, 2011

Fun Fact Fridays: Sun Bleaching

Fun Fact Fridays #5
There is a lot to learn in the world of cloth diapering. What do you do with stinky dirty diapers filled with poo? How do the stains come out? Well kids, let's look up at the sky. What is that you see? The sun!! Bingo!

I'll admit that I was skeptical at first. Would it really work on those nasty stains? Can the sun really be as powerful as bleach? I put a stained poo diaper to the test by first washing the diaper and then drying it out in the sun. Sure enough the stain magically came out after a few hours of "tanning." Now I no longer worry about Baby E's poo stained diapers or clothes. It may sound crazy, but give it a try. You might just be amazed.  :)

Baby E on July 8th - 2.5 months old
surrounded by clean, sun bleached diapers :)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Turkey Day is Near...

Thanksgiving is quickly approaching, and this year will be different from most. Baby E will be celebrating his first Turkey Day at home, and we have invited our parents over for lunch. We usually spend the day with H's extended family, but Baby E's sleep schedule doesn't allow us to go out as a family in the evenings (he goes to bed at 6pm). I hope his family will understand.

Vietnamese Hot Pot on Thanksgiving
no hot pot Thanksgiving for us this year with the family
I have a fairly simple meal planned, which consists of the following:

Alton Brown's Turkey
Vegan Mashed Potatoes
Roasted Carrots & Cauliflower
Green Beans
Cranberry Sauce
Pillsbury Crescent Rolls

Yup that's pretty simple. H has made the turkey for the past 3 years, and hopefully he can recreate the awesomeness again this year. We're making mashed potatoes with Earth Balance butter & almond milk, which is actually really yummy. I have to stick to a wheat free vegan diet thanks to Baby E's allergies. I'm not making anything complicated because time does not allow for it. It is lunch after all, and that means early morning cooking.

Turkey at Home
mmm... turkey
Hoping this Turkey Day will be a very memorable one this year with Baby E. I plan on watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade with him in the morning. :) Maybe he can help us out in the kitchen too.

Oh and here is a picture of Baby E to make this post worthy of awesomeness. Yay!

Letting Out a Big Yawn
Baby E on May 21st - one month old
letting out a big yawn with the cutest face ever

Monday, November 21, 2011

Recognizing My Problem...

Something is missing. I can't always pin point exactly what it is, but I spend a majority of my day feeling less than stellar. Is it depression? Possibly?

Parenthood is difficult. I didn't expect it to be easy, and I knew that it would bring about lots of challenges.  The first couple of months were brutal. I was all on my own during the day taking care of an infant. On top of the usual feed, play, change diaper routine, I was pumping every 2 hours. I never had time to myself, and I desperately wanted things to get better. Every new change in Baby E also meant a new change to our schedule. Every step forward that we took was always followed by one step back. It felt like nothing ever got easier, just more manageable for a short amount of time. I fell apart and would break down almost on a weekly basis. I cried for so many nights and felt so defeated.

Elliot in Car Seat
Baby E on May 26th - one month old
constantly on the move and trying to fight mommy & daddy

Then it started to actually get easier without stepping backwards. Baby E started rolling and moving around. He developed a super awesome personality and found ways to communicate with us. He stopped eating every 2 hours, increased his intake per bottle (from 3.5 oz to 5.0 oz), and started to eat every 3 hours.  I gradually started to go longer between pumps, from 2 hours to 3-4 hours. We established a bedtime schedule, and he went from 3-4 middle of the night feedings down to 1. He dropped a few naps, and now we're down to 2, both of which last between 90 minutes and 120 minutes. He goes down for the night between 6:00 pm and 6:30 pm.

Hanging Out with Ham
Baby E on October 6th - 5.5 months old
loving life and loving his Ham

H and I finally have time for ourselves at night. We can cook dinner and eat together without interruption. We can sit down on the couch and watch an entire movie. We can have a babysitter watch Baby E for the night and not worry about a thing. It is a great feeling.

Ocean City 2011
Family Photobooth Fun in Ocean City - Baby E 4.5 months old

So it is official. It has gotten easier. Of course there are always challenges, and it keeps life interesting. I love living in the moment and seeing my baby grow. Sometimes I even miss the days when he was itty bitty. I know that I will continue to enjoy each milestone of his. I am looking forward to his 1st birthday, the moment he learns to walk on his own, hearing his first word, and so much more.

What's missing? Life is getting better. Taking care of Baby E has gotten easier. I no longer break down on a weekly basis. Well maybe I do but in a very different way. I find myself buried deep in thoughts. I beat myself up over every flaw and every failure. I am constantly on the move trying to accomplish 10 things at once and then being so overwhelmed that I actually don't get anything done. I feel constant pressure to be super mom and super wife, and I believe that I fail at both. I can't do everything, but I feel like I have to. I feel like everyone is watching and scrutinizing my ability to be a stay at home mother. I no longer feel like myself anymore...

I have concluded that my issues are much deeper than I sometimes even realize. I recognize that I have a problem, whether it is defined as depression or not. I need to make the step to analyze my life and figure out why I feel the way I do. This is my first step -- realizing I have a problem. Next up -- finding an outlet to express my feelings. That is where my blog steps in...

Video Mondays: Baby E's Moves

I would like to introduce to you Video Mondays on the blog.  Tada! It's the perfect way to start your week with a little dose of me, H, or Baby E (depending on who will be featured... most likely a lot of Baby E).  I'll travel back in time and present to you a video of Baby E when he was a week old. He was always a mover inside of me, and it's no surprise that he would constantly move his limbs outside of the womb too. He is my little fighter.  :)

Baby E on April 26th - 1 week old

Friday, November 18, 2011

Fun Fact Fridays: Baby Nails

I'm bring back "Fun Baby Info" and renaming it "Fun Fact Fridays."  :)

Let's start the first official Fun Fact Fridays by talking about baby nails.  Did you know that babies can be born with super long nails?  Somehow I just assumed they would be the perfect length at birth.  Boy was I wrong.  Baby E had long nails, and we were very worried parents.  Would he claw himself?  He was a pretty active infant who would constantly move his arms and legs.  Could his nails bend and inflict pain on my little one?  To put our worries aside, we went to Walgreens right after leaving the hospital to pick up a nail file.  We were too scared to use real baby nail clippers, but we were not patient enough to slowly file away at each and every nail either.  A few days later I used baby nail clippers and clipped his nails while Baby E took a nap.

His nails grow at an incredibly fast rate, and I can barely keep up with him.  It has become increasingly difficult to cut his nails because he hates being restrained in any way.  Oye.  It doesn't help that he loves to scratch, and no matter how often I cut his nails, they are always sharp.

In case you are wondering, the answer is yes.  I accidentally cut too close and inflicted pain on my little one resulting in tears.  I won the worst parent award for that day. There was blood and a nice band aid to cover up the boo boo.  :(

Baby Elliot - Day 1
Baby E on April 18th right after being born -- pretty goo-licious
Check out those nails!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Baby E "Walks"

I have failed tremendously at keeping up with Baby E's life on the blog.  As a peace offering, I give you this video of him walking in his Around We Go Activity Station by Bright Starts.

Baby E on Oct 23rd - 6 months old

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Official "I Need to Start Blogging Again" Post

This is my official "I need to start bogging again" post.  It happens every so often.  I blog for a week or two and then jump off the bandwagon as usual.  Maybe this time will be different.  Maybe this time I will make this part of my schedule and not abandon my blog for weeks/months at a time.

Honestly, I need blogging.  As mentioned multiple times on this blog, I have been doing this since 2003.  That's 8 years of blogging!  It has saved me so many times before, and I need it once again to keep sane.

The last couple of weeks/months have been mentally and physically draining.  Finding time for myself is rare.  I need to make a better effort to take care of myself, whether it is finding the time to take a shower or finding the time to sit down and relax.

Now I have to figure out how to wiggle in some "me" time without sacrificing sleep... hmm.

Brain Dump: Things that Bother Me

Entry written originally on Sunday, September 4th...

There are a few things that are really bothering me as of late.  Brain dump time...

I still can't get over my in-laws lack of involvement in Baby E's life.  I think I just get more angry and frustrated as he gets older because that's even more time that they're missing out on.  My FIL came over on Friday while my SIL was babysitting for the evening.  We just assumed that he would stick around for a while, but he left 15 minutes after we did.  By the way, the baby was taking a nap at the time, and he didn't even get a chance to say hello.  Argh.

[update] It has gotten better, and my in-laws have made more of an effort to see Baby E.  Just wish that relationship was established from the beginning.

My Mom informed me that my in-law's family had made a few comments about me being a stay at home mother.  An Aunt had spoken to my sister about my new role, and it wasn't in the positive light.  Oye.  H begs to differ.  I can't help but to think that people look down upon me.  I have this weird thing where I actually care what other people think of me, and having people judge me for my decision to stay home to take care of my son makes me feel very crappy.

[update] My mother pointed out the aunt who made the comment in a family photo.  Now I'm reminded of the comment all over again and still feeling pretty crappy.

I have been pumping for almost 20 weeks.  *pats self on back*  Although I'm proud of myself for sticking to it, I wonder if anyone else thinks what I'm doing is worth it.  What sane person would spend over 120 minutes (more like 200 minutes) a day at the pump?  Going back to my in-laws lack of involvement... do they even understand how much time and effort it takes to pump, especially away from home?  It is a pain in the butt to carry my pump, accessories, soap, bottle brush, and extra bottles with me just to go to their house.  I spend a lot of time pumping and washing every 2 hours.  They don't see the behind the scenes production work.  Bottles with breast milk just magically appear.  It is not that easy.  I wonder if they even know that Baby E has been drinking solely breast milk for the past 3 months.

[update] 20 weeks turned into 28.5 weeks.  I officially reached my long term 6 month goal.  Woot!  I pump less often now (every 3-4 hours instead of every 2 with only 1 middle of the night pump).  Very proud of my pumping efforts but increasingly feeling inadequate for not being able to breastfeed directly.  

Back to my Mom... she told my younger sister to steer clear from the path that I have taken into being a stay at home mother.  It is better to find a career than to start a family and stay at home.  Be independent she says.  Okay, I'll go ahead and take away your grandson.  Pshh... only if you knew most of the stuff that she says on a daily basis.  My Mother isn't the nicest person out there, far from it.  My angry high school days did a great job of documenting my not so great relationship with her.  People ask her about her involvement in Baby E's life, whether or not she takes care of him.  Most people just assume that grandparents watch over their grandchildren.  She responds with the same answer each time.  She doesn't know how to take care of babies.  No lie.  She is the most awkward when it comes to holding a baby.  She makes everyone in the room feel uneasy and tells everyone she doesn't know what she is doing.  In case you couldn't tell, my Dad took care of us.  He is also the one who comes over when I need help taking care of Baby E.

[update] The longer that I'm in the role of being a SAHM, the worse I feel about myself.  I don't feel any approval from anyone besides my husband.  I hate it when people look down upon me.  I wish I could be a better me, a person who can actually contribute to society...