Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Thoughts on being back at work

This adorable, slightly concerned cat with eyebrows is here to indicate that this is a slightly concerned blog post.

It seems like just yesterday I was rushing to get to a good stopping point on all my projects at work before Scott was born.  It's hard to believe that now I have an almost-12-weeks-old and that I've been back at work (part time) for a whole month.  Awhile ago I wrote about my experience being a full time mom while I was on maternity leave, I thought I'd give an update on how it was going doing the whole working mom thing.

I should start by saying that I'm so so so so so greatful that I've been given the opportunity to continue working part-time while Scott is little.  I know many women have to go back to work (to jobs that are much more time consuming and stressful than mine) when their children are younger than Scott, and I give them a huge amount of credit for the amount of work I'm sure it takes to keep both of those balls in the air.

In a way, working part-time is the perfect situation.  I'm able to spend more time with Scott and not feel as rushed to take care of all the household responsibilities, but I still have a reason to put on pants with buttons and think and interact with adults in the "real world".  On the other hand, it's been harder than I expected to split my time in two different worlds.  On Monday, Wednesday and Friday I'm adult Chelsea and am trying to keep up with my responsibilities at work.  On Tuesday and Thursday I'm mom Chelsea and am singing the ABC song during diaper changes and doing finger plays at the library.  Often at the end of a work day, it's frustrating because I simultaneously feel like I just don't have enough time to get everything done but I also miss my little guy.  I want to be able to focus my attention on what I'm doing that day at that moment and let the responsibilities of my other life wait for when I'm involved in that life, but it rarely works that way.  At work, my thoughts drift to Scott or what's for dinner, or what we need to get from Target and at home my thoughts drift to what I'd be doing if I were at work then.  It's not a 100% bad thing... last weekend while I was in mom mode, I had some ideas for the discussion section of the paper I was writing, but it's definitely more difficult than I though it would be.

Even though it's not as perfect as I'd originally thought it would be, I do think that continuing to work part-time is the best decision for us right now.  Plus, after this week I'll be doing some work on the days I'm not actually at work so hopefully I'll feel less disconnected on my off days than I do now.  I'm not sure how long I'll keep up this schedule before I return to work full-time, but I really do want to enjoy my extra time with Scott and not let vague notions about not doing everything well enough to allow some idea of perfect to be the enemy of the already very very good.

Thoughts?  Words of wisdom?  Cat pictures you'd like to share?

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Let's talk about poop

Actually, let's not.  As a new parent, there's a temptation to regale people with stories of the late nights, endless nursing sessions and epic poops - because let's face it, poop stories are usually pretty funny - but leave out all the sweet and wonderful things about sharing your life with a new baby.  Yeah, having a baby changes everything about your life, but some things are so so so much for the better.  Here are my top 5 things (so far) about being a mom.

1. Middle of the night feedings - It seems strange to say it, but I actually like waking up to feed Scott in the middle of the night.  I love the intimacy of wrapping my body around his while he nurses and I doze, and although I try to get him back into bed after he's done, I love drifting off to sleep with him in the crook of my arm and waking up to find him there, peacefully asleep, a few hours later.  Nursing during the day can sometimes seem frustrating or hurried (he always seems to need to eat right when I'm hungry, need to go to the bathroom, want to put the laundry in the dryer, etc.) but at night with no distractions it's peaceful and relaxing. 

2. Watching Daniel be a parent - It'll probably embarrass him to read it, but I love to watch Daniel talk to, sing to, read to, and take care of Scott.  It's a completely different and new way to think of your spouse, and it makes me happy to see two people who I love so deeply love each other (well, Scott will one day).

3. Comedic timing - Okay so this one is about poop, but Scott's got a way of letting one rip at just the right serious or sweet moment.  And they are so loud!  How does such a little creature have so much to expel from his body?  

4. Watching Scott learn and explore the world - He's still pretty much a potted plant (people always laugh when I say that - laugh, people!), but he's starting to magically turn into a mini person.  He responds to sounds now and will watch Daniel and I if we walk in his line of sight or turn toward our voices.  He's starting to "play" with toys that we put in the way of his flailing arms and legs and the smiles... oh, the smiles.

Yes, crazy woman with the camera, I do see you.
5. Thinking about the future - The fun thing about little kids is that every new phase is fun and exciting (until puberty when it all goes downhill).  I look forward to all the new things that will happen for him - from sitting up and walking to having his first taste of ice cream (it's great, Scott).

What are your favorite moments being a parent?  Or people without kids, what are your fondest memories when you were growing up?

Monday, February 25, 2013


So far, we've called Scott
  • Cuddlebot

I was programmed for maximum cuddle output

  • Cuddleuffagus (like snuffaluffagus)
  • Crankodile, Grumpelstiltskin, crabby patty and Mr. Crabs when he is fussy 
  • Potato, sweet potato

You're giving me a complex.
  • The Guy
  • Scottzilla
This has been a big week for smiles and watching Daniel and I.  He'll look at the mirror on his activity gym and turn his head (sometimes) when he hears a rattle or we squeak his Sophie.  The smiles are still involuntary, but, as he approaches the 3 month old mark, to watch him waking up to the world bit by bit.  

But Scott, how do you type with boxing gloves on ?
 What are some of the strange nicknames you came up with for your kids?  What were you called growing up?

Friday, February 22, 2013

Five Things Friday

1. We went to two baby story times this week - one at the Monroe St. library and one at the Middleton library.  We did some songs and little finger plays and read a couple children's books.  I liked the activities, but honestly, anyone can write a kid's book.

2. I took advantage of the library outing to pick up this

and this (hat tip, Andy)

I started reading Stiff (aloud) today while I was nursing Scott, and I think we're both going to like it.

3. Does anyone have a recommendation for kids' music that isn't awful?  I've started singing the ABC song, Twinkle Twinkle, etc. for Scott, but a run out of songs and animals that make one syllable sounds pretty quickly.  In general, I hate kids' music and TV programming, but I wouldn't mind finding a CD of nursery rhymes and traditional songs - preferably one that doesn't have kids singing on it.

4. 43 reasons why growing up in Florida was paradise on Earth.

I love that there two dedicated to Publix (Publix subs are the best), although I disagree with #18 because Grad Nite at Disney was AWFUL.  So crowded.  So all night.

Coquina and manatees are pretty sweet.

Hurricanes and jean shorts, not so much.  

Yes, are drivers' tests are a joke.  No, I can't parallel park.  Other than some flurries, I didn't see snow for the first time until I was 13.

5. I did some running and stuff.  I'm guessing you guys can live without details this week.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Taking the morning off

We had a long night and a late morning, and I'm going to forego blogging today in favor of taking Scott to baby story time at the library and (hopefully) getting in a nap later.  We'll be back to our regularly scheduled programming tomorrow.  

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Scrub a dub

While living during the Edwardian era did have some drawbacks - rigid social hierarchies, the risk of dying from... well... everything - it was pretty awesome if you had a lot of money because you could pay people to do everything for you.  Heck, rich people weren't even expect to get dressed on their own.

Oh yes they did.
Unfortunately that's not accessible to most of us today, and if we want the chamber pots emptied, we have to do it ourselves.  However, it's frustrating to feel like you spend a huge chunk of your free time studying to take over for Joanne Froggatt when she decides to leave Downton Abbey and they kill off Anna next season.  Downton Abbey and the Mystery of the Missing Cast Members...

Anyway, after spending a particularly annoying Sunday afternoon feeling like I had a mountain of cleaning to do when all I wanted was lay around and cuddle Scott and maybe do a little blogging ;), I decided to come up with a chore schedule so I could get a little done each day rather than putting my dust blinders on during the week and going on a weekend-long bender with my pal Mr. Scrubby Bubbles.

Unload and re-load dishwasher

Su - Meal prep, Target
M - Vacuum and dust downstairs
T - Clean kitchen and downstairs bathroom, grocery shop, wash towels
W - Vacuum and dust upstairs
R - Clean upstairs bathrooms, wash sheets, take out trash
F - Vacuum and dust downstairs
Sa - Clean up laundry room and garage

I'm just starting this week so I can't tell you if its working yet, but I'll give you an update.  I saved the bigger, more time consuming chores for days when I'm home and the smaller, easier ones for evenings after work.  Thursday and Friday will swap once I'm working on Thursdays instead of Fridays.

So what's your housecleaning strategy?  A little each day?  Do it all at once?  Feel like your time is worth the cost of hiring someone to clean for you (I would totally do this if we could swing it - maybe if I ever get a sweet blog patron or a book deal)?  Have a character you'd like to see die off on the next season of Downton Abbey? 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

In the bag

As a teenager, I could leave the house with just my keys, $10 (remember how cheap gas was in the 90s?), drivers licence and some lip gloss (Lip Smackers watermelon flavor, if you're wondering) in my pocket.  However, my "mom" card came with a lot of added baggage - literally.  Here's what I'm carrying around so hopefully I'll never be found changing Scott on the hood of the car using a Culver's hamburger wrapper for a diaper and a plastic Target bag onesie.  

I bought a diaper bag right after we learned that there was the possibility that Scott might be born much earlier than we'd expected.  A combination of frantically trying to be prepared and stress-induced retail therapy led me to the diaper store where I bought this very cute but not really cost-effective Skip Hop diaper bag. 

Here's the contents.  I've got my nursing cover, an extra outfit for Scott, a burp cloth, pacifier wipes, baby wipes, some disposable diapers, A&D ointment, an umbrella (a holdover from when I lived in Florida and carried an umbrella in every bag), and a plastic bag to bring home dirty cloth diapers.

All of this is fairly evenly distributed within the pockets of the diaper bag.  I don't really have a system.  I just try to keep any dirty diapers in a separate pocket in case the plastic bag has any leaks.

When we were making our first outings, I used to bring both this diaper bag AND my big shoulder bag, which was way too much to carry so now I just stick my wallet, phone, keys, etc. in the front pockets.

OR, if I'm living dangerously (we're only going to be out for a single errand), I'll just bring my shoulder bag with a burp cloth and a pacifier.

A few other essentials I carry with me are a pacifier case strapped to the side for easy access

And hand sanitizer for easy hand washing after diaper changes.

The only thing I know I'm going to regret not having one day is an extra top for me.  However, I've been lucky so far and only been the victim of a single poop explosion while out and about.

So far my only complaint is that the bag is just a tiny bit too small, which I'd probably say about any bag smaller than a steamer trunk.  Stuff expands to fit the size of the container, and I really don't want to drag around waaaaayyy too much stuff.

What do you think, moms?  I know the contents will change as he gets older (read - emergency puffs stash), but is there anything I'm missing that you've come to appreciate having with you?  Or do you have any strategies for going out with out feeling like you're part of a camel caravan?

Monday, February 18, 2013


Not much new to report this week.  Just a few cute pictures.

Scott made his first art project in daycare last week for Valentine's day.  His teacher said he tolerated it.  I of course love it and have it displayed prominently on the refrigerator.  My first piece of mom art.

Also, Scott is NOT a morning person and prefers to sleep in as late as possible.  I caught this scene Saturday morning while Daniel was playing the guitar and Scott was passed out


He's starting to be a little more smiley, though not reliably so, so I haven't been table to capture it in a photo, and is definitely starting to follow things with his eyes- especially Daniel and I.  I know I say this every week, but it's hard to believe he's already 10 weeks old!

Friday, February 15, 2013

2013 Race Calendar

First a run down of the week's workouts:

Sa- 5mi at 10:20/mile
Su - Shred level 3
M - 4mi at 10/mile
T - 3mi walk
W - 4mi at 9:30/mile, 9:00/mile, 9:30/mile, 9:00/mile, weights at the gym
R - 3mi at 10:30/mile
F - 3mi walk

I'll do 6mi tomorrow, but otherwise next week will be an easy week before I build up again before the Shamrock Shuffle.

Now for the fun part - here are the races I'm thinking about doing this year.  Except for the Syttende Mai and Twilight 10k, all of the are old favorites.

March 17 - Shamrock Shuffle 10k
April 27 - Crazylegs 8k
May 18 - Syttende Mai 10 miler OR May 25/26 Twilight 10k or Madison 1/2 Marathon
August 17 - Madison Mini Marathon
October - Literacy Network 10k
October 26/27 - Haunted Hustle 10k or 1/2 Marathon
Thanksgiving weekend - Berbee Derby 10k

Any locals planning to do any of these races?  Got a suggestion for a race I don't have on the list?

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Three Things Thursday

1. Scott had his 2 month old physical on Tuesday.  The doctor was pleased with his weight gain and developmental progress.  Scott was NOT pleased that he had to get 3 shots.  He grabbed my fingers and I held his hands while the nurses did the dirty work.  I had to close my eyes while he was getting stuck, but at least I didn't cry, too.  The rest of the day he was really sleepy and irritable and didn't eat much (I pumped 10oz in one go first thing Wednesday morning!), but he seems to be perking up now.  On the plus side, we found out that he weighed a little more than 11 lbs - almost twice what he weighted when we brought him home from the hospital.

I love this picture

2. I'm not going back to work full-time in March.  I'm going to reduce my hours to 75% time and to in to work Monday, Wednesday and Thursday and make up 6 hours each week at home.  I think it's going to be a good balance of getting out of the house and thinking and having adult interaction while also having time to spend with Scott and do all the house stuff that takes approximately 20 bajillion times longer than it did pre-baby.  I felt like, if I went back to work full-time, I would have spent every second of my time with him getting ready for the next day or week of work and not much time interacting with him and enjoying all the fun and excitement as he grows this first year.  Yeah, it probably means we'll have to dip into our savings for the next couple years, but maybe this is what we were saving for.  Also, I feel so blessed that my boss and coworkers are supportive of the decision and our daycare is flexible enough that we could change Scott's schedule

3. A day in the life of a teenage girl in the late 1990s. (Hat tip, Kerri)

This one took me back.  I did SO MANY of these things down to the "wash your hair with Herbal Essences shampoo and spritz yourself with Gap perfume".  I remember getting so excited for my YM magazine (so much more mature than Teen) and Delia's catalog to come in the mail.  And yes, I spent way too much time re-affixing glow in the dark stars to my ceiling.

It was a simpler time.  Now That's What They Call Music was on volume 1 (up to volume 45 as of February 2013).

"Wasting time on the internet" hadn't been invented yet.

And our versions of the iPod


and iPad

were decidedly less cool than the real thing.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Book stuff

There are a lot of activities I enjoy that have either had to be cut back or discard since Scott was born; however, reading hasn't been one of them.  In the past 9 weeks, I've spent A LOT of time with a baby attached to my chest and not much else to do except read - much of it I've done aloud for his "benefit"*.  Here's a snapshot of the books I've read since Christmas:

Part travelogue, part history (think Bill Bryson), the book details a middle-aged adventure magazine editor's trek through the Peruvian Amazon with his surly guide as he learns about the Inca and their incredible public works projects.  I hiked part of the Inka Trail to Machu Picchu when I was a senior in college, and it was fun reading about places I'd visited and learning more about them and their history.  It was a quick, easy, and fun read, although I don't really recommend trying to read it aloud because the Quechua (native Peruvian language) names are impossible to pronounce.

Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey by the current Countess of Carnarvon

This book is about the real Countess of Carnarvon who lived in Highclere Castle (where Downton Abbey is filmed) during the Edwardian era.  She was an amazing woman who, similar to some of the plot lines on the show, became a nurse during WWI and offered her home up to be a hospital for wounded soldiers.  In her spare time, she accompanied her husband on trips to Egypt while he was looking for antiquities.  Sadly she wasn't there when he, along with Howard Carter, discovered King Tut's tomb.  Again, this book was a fun and easy read with lots of cool pictures.  If you like Downton Abbey, I think you'd like this one.

Blah - I wish I could say I liked this book.  Actually, it wasn't that I didn't like it or think it was good, but for some reason whenever I read a book on parenting advice, my natural reaction is to rebel and do the opposite.  The idea is that by 12 weeks old, a baby is old and hearty enough to get four feedings, four hours apart during the day and sleep for 12 hours at night (plus about 3 hours of napping during the day).  This is good for the baby because he needs that much sleep and good for the family because they need sleep and time to do things that are more difficult to do when the baby is awake.  

While those things are all well and good, my rebellion comes in because it's not just Scott that finds it comforting to be nursed to sleep, I do too (well, I find it comforting to do the nursing), and I truly don't mind feeding him in the middle of the night.  Yeah, waking up after 4 hours makes you tired, but nursing at night is such an intimate (please don't take this in a creepy way) experience that I'd be sad to be done with it.  From reading comments on other blogs, many families have found this book very helpful, but I've decided I'm just going to let Scott continue to do whatever he does and not try to get him onto a schedule (more that we already are).  It might take him longer than 12 weeks to sleep through the night regularly and his naps might not happen with the clock, but I'm okay with that.

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy by John LeCarre

This book was probably the biggest letdown of anything I've read in the last... I don't know how long.  I love British mysteries, and I mistakenly though that that's what this book was going to be.  Instead it was the most un-action-packed action story ever.  The main character, George Smiley, is an agent in the British secret service trying to discover a Russian double agent in their midst.  Sounds cool, right?  Wrong.  Waaaayyyy too many characters are introduced so it takes most of the book before you figure out which ones you are really supposed to care about, the main character discovers the mole, not by doing cool spy stuff, but by holding court for the whole book, and there's not enough character development for you to be surprised or really care once you find out who the mole is.  This is a book that lots of people love, but like The Lord of the Rings, it just wasn't for me.  I do plan to watch the old mini-series with Alec Guiness, though.    
Read anything good lately?

*He doesn't seem to care about content so I've just been reading things that are interesting to me.  And thanks to my reading of The Atlantic, he's been exposed to all the bad words.  Can't do that for much longer...

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Cloth diapers

Before Scott was born, I decided I wanted to use cloth diapers for one single and very important reason: cloth diapers (or at least the covers) are incredibly cute*.

After some back and forth, I decided to use a diaper service rather than committing to the process - and it is a process - poop must be rinsed into the toilet, diapers must be pre-washed before they can be regular washed, etc - of cleaning them myself.  So far I've been happy with it.  Every Monday morning we get re-stocked with 70-80 prefold (flat, old-school) diapers, depending on how many we used the week before.  

And the old ones are carted off to be washed.  
Ew yuck.
The diapers we've been delivered have always been perfectly white and smelled clean without being perfume-y.  Since Scott is 100% breastfed right now, we don't have any trouble with diaper odor, but I'm aware that it might become a problem once he starts to eat solid food.

The "diaper" that is washed and returned by the service is only the inner, absorbent part.  These prefold diapers also need a cover (the cute part) to keep everything in place and keep his clothes from getting wet.  We bought several Best Bottom brand covers from the local diaper store which have about 50 snaps that you can use to size the diaper from "teeny tiny" to "should be potty trained by now".

We also have one cover that only goes up to 18 lbs and some rental covers from the diaper service that are just plain white and we use as back up when our other covers are dirty.  We do wash the covers on our own, but they don't have to be washed every time - only when body fluids get on them or they just start to feel kind of icky.

Before having a baby I had basically no diapering experience and we only used disposables for the short time while we were in the hospital, so I didn't have the preconceived idea that disposable diapers were "easy" and cloth diapers were "hard".  So far I haven't found that to be the case.  Maybe it's because I don't have to do any more work with the cloth diapers than I would with the disposables.  The only really important thing to remember is to make sure ALL of the diaper is contained by the cover.  Gaps by the legs = wet pants.

If you're interested, there's actually a ton of variety in cloth diapers and methods of cleaning them and attaching them to your progeny's lower zones.  You can read here for info on different types of diapers and how to wash them and  YouTube is full of videos of teddy bears having their cloth diapers changed.  The cost of the diaper service is about the same as with disposables, and, yes, we carry around some disposables with us for when we are out and about.  

I see us sticking with cloth diapering/the diaper service for the near future with the possibility of re-evaluating the situation once Scott starts eating real food and his poop starts stinking.  The diaper service provided us with a deodorizing trash can and liners and claims that odor will be controlled between the once a week pick ups, but we'll see...  At that point we'll have to decide if 
  1. The smell is not too bad and we can continue with the service as is
  2. The smell is bad and we want to go on with cloth diapers but buy our own and wash them more frequently (I have to keep reminding myself that he won't go through 70 - 80 diapers a week for the rest of his life and they won't ALL be pooped in)  or
  3. The smell is bad and we want to use disposables
Any opinions on diapers you want to share?  Heard any good poop jokes lately?  Ever think about how many times someone else dealt with your poop when you were little?

*While I'm not the most environmental person in the world (not by a long shot- using cloth wipes, now that's environmentally conscious), seeing how many diapers Scott goes through in a week does make me kind of glad that I'm not adding them to a landfill.  

Monday, February 11, 2013

2 months old!

2 months at a glance:

We tried... he just wasn't having it.

  • Edited to add: 22.25 inches and 11 lbs 3 oz - almost twice his birth weight!  He's now in the 15th percentile for height and 22nd for weight, up from below the 5th percentile for both at his last appointment.
Clothing/diaper sizes:
  • 0 - 3 month onesies and pants
  • Size 1 diapers
  • 6 month sleepers (these are too big now, but the 3 month size are hard to get on his legs)

  • Looking at lights - particularly the chandelier in the dining room
  • His bouncy seat and hitting the little animals that hang down
  • His pacifier (sometimes)
  • Cuddles
  • Having "dance parties" in the afternoon

  • Waiting to eat
  • Getting his nose suctioned out (he's got his first daycare stuffy nose and cough)
  • Edited to add: Shots

Working on:
  • Smiling socially
  • Looking at faces and following things with his eyes
  • Grasping things
  • Sucking on his hand/fingers for comfort

Friday, February 8, 2013

Running, running, run running, running

It's only been my first week as a (part time) working mom, but I've already had a major change in my thinking about working out.  Before pregnancy, baby, etc., I didn't feel like a workout "counted" unless I put in an entire hour - bonus points if I did more.  Now I'd 100 times prefer to do a quick (30 - 40 min) but hard   workout so I can go on with my day.

I went to the gym to do strength training twice this week during my lunch break, but I felt like that was even too much.  Not too much physically but too much in an "When I'm at work I want to focus on work so when I'm at home I can focus on home/Scott stuff" way.  I do think that strength training makes a huge difference in my running and helps keep me from being injured, but I also think that I can get that from one day in the gym (to do exercises like lat pull-downs, chest press and heavier squats that I really can't do at home) and one day doing Shred (or P90X or the like) at home.

I just want to do what I need to be in shape enough to enjoy running and doing some shorter races - no filler - nothing more.

Workout brain dump:
Sa- 5mi 10:30/mile
Su - Shred level 3
M - 4mi - 2mi at 10:30/mile, 2mi at 9:30/mile + weights
T - 3mi walk
W - 4mi at 9:30/mile + weights
R - 3mi at 10:30/mile
F - 3mi walk    

I haven't registered for it yet, but I'm ready to say that the Shamrock Shuffle 10k will be my first race back post-partum.  I've been doing a little race browsing - stay tuned for next week for my 2013 race calendar.

And now for something completely different (and cute)... dinosaur booties:


Thursday, February 7, 2013

Three Things Thursday

1. Scott has - more or less- had a good first two days of daycare.  On Monday, his teacher said he'd been sleeping and eating well and otherwise just chilling and out and watching what's going on in the room.  Wednesday was a slightly different story.  He took a good nap but didn't eat very much (only 7oz unless there was a mistake recording how much he ate - his teacher was gone by the time we picked him up), and he's got a little bit of congestion and a cough.  So I dunno... part of me is glad he's there because - even though he obviously doesn't really "play" yet, but I think he gets older, he's really going to benefit from the experience of being around other kids - but part of me already feels bad for dropping him off to starve in sickville (major exaggeration - I know that's not what's really going on).  On the whole, I've been remarkably okay with it though.  It helps that 1. I feel like the majority of the interactions I've had so far with the daycare has been positive and 2. I know that, while I miss seeing him on days I work, I also know that I'll get to spend all of Tuesday and Thursday with him, so it's not so bad.

2. Nursing moms - Did you know that the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) requires health insurance companies to cover a breast pump as of 1/1/2013?  I called Dean on Tuesday and found out that our plan covers the Medela manual pump if you have a prescription from your doctor.

I called mine and explained that I wanted to get the pump to have as a back-up in case something happened the electric pump (or if we were traveling and I didn't want to bring the entire milking parlor) and she called in the prescription.  I picked the pump up from Home Healthcare United (by Upper Iowa University - you can see it from the belt line).  There was an $8 copay, but $8 (well, plus our health insurance premiums) for a $40 pump is a pretty good deal.    

3. This is my new favorite blog: Parenting Illustrated with Crappy Pictures.  Hilarious.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

January resolution recap / February goal

Remember New Years?  I only vaguely do, and I was off the Vicodin at that point.  Maybe it was the sleep deprivation.  When I wrote my January resolution post, we were still doing 11 pm feedings.  That was rough.  To recap, this year I'd decided that, rather than making and summarily forgetting a whole list of resolutions, I was going to make and forget a separate resolution each moth, all falling under the theme of finding balance between work and life with motherhood added to the mix.

January's resolution was to get back into working out in a way that I could maintain after I went back to work.  Although there were some days when - due to late nights or trouble sleeping or general laziness - I had an epic fail, overall I'd say this was a success.  For the past few weeks, I've consistently been getting up after Scott's early am feeding, working out, and getting showered and fed in a reasonable amount of time in the morning.  Last week we had some help, but Monday I got in a decent workout (40 min run) and Daniel and I managed to get Scott ready and to his first day of daycare and then to work on time.  No, I'm not going to be training for a marathon anytime soon, but I'm definitely getting back into shape.  We'll see how it goes the rest of the year as he gets older and needs more attention in the morning.

My resolution for February is something totally different.  I used to have a good habit of a daily Bible reading and devotional time first thing in the morning, but that slowly faded over the last year for various reasons and totally ended when Scott was born.  This month's goal is to get back into that habit.  Both our sermon series at church and our discussions in our small group have been about developing spiritual disciplines and the steps we can take to work toward deepening our faith, so it's a timely goal and one where I have a lot of outside support.

Now that our morning schedule is more or less regular, my plan is to do my reading/devotional time first thing in the morning while I'm pumping.  Yeah... that seems a little weird, but it's 20 minutes of dedicated time that I can't really do anything else, and I might as well use it for something constructive.  And so far it's been going well.  Last week I started a devotional guide that was handed out at church that goes along with the sermon series we are doing on the book of Hebrews, and this week, because I realized too late that we were supposed to start the devotional this week, I've been using the time to read The Life You've Always Wanted, a book on spiritual disciplines that we are going to be discussing during our life group meetings this spring.

If you made resolutions, how are they going?  If you have a regular prayer/meditation practice, when/how do you find the time to nurture that habit?

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The indispensable

7 things that have made life much easier as a new mom:

  • Baby carriers.  So far I've mostly used the Ergo.  I love being able to cuddle up to Scott and also have my arms free to do stuff (like write blog posts).  As far as I can tell, he likes it, too.  He almost always falls right to sleep when I carry him in it.  

          I've also tried using the Moby wrap a couple times, but the learning curve is a bit steeper.  I think I will        like it a lot once I've gotten better at using it because, unlike the Ergo, you can just take the baby in and out of it and leave it on, and because you can nurse with the baby in it (if you can do it right).

  • My glider/nursing pillow/side table set up.  Water?  Check.  Kleenex?  Check.  Book for reading aloud?  Check.  (You're never too young for a good British mystery).  Blanket?  Check.  Let the feeding frenzy begin.  

  • Hand sanitizer.  In the bathrooms so we don't have to run cold water on our hands at night and in the P&P and on Scott's changing table.
  • The bouncy seat.  He seems to really like that thing, and fighting the hippo and lion gives him something to focus on and gives him so me exercise for his arms.  Or just take a snooze.  Whichever.

  • Sleep sacks.  Scott could break a swaddle by the time he was 10 minutes old.  He was not interested in having his hands away from his mouth.  These have worked very well for us because they give him the warmth of a blanket without the associated risks and don't restrain his arms.

  • Baby swing.  We borrowed this from friends and are still using it as a bassinet at night.  Scott spits up enough that I like the idea that his head is elevated at night, and as a bonus, it can be turned on to sooth him when he's cranky but I need to do something crazy like take a shower or dry my hair.

As a bonus, I wish I had:

  • An extra arm for baby jiggling while I'm doing my make up, drying my hair or eating my dinner.
  • Baby foot glue to keep tiny socks on tiny feet.

Edited to add - After I wrote this post, I found out that these exist:

And they work.