Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The to-do list

Ivan commented on my last post that people never finish their to-do lists. You know what? You're right. I think I have figured out why. I wrote a to-do list and finished most of it, but then realized that I had done other things that weren't on the list. Yes, I have to take back the recycling, tidy the island, vacuum the upstairs and move a flat of pop downstairs. But I also have to make dinner, walk the dog, and load and unload the dishwasher. Those last three aren't on the list because they happen everyday (okay, making dinner happens every second day). But they should be on the list because I still have "to do" them.

So I have begun revising my to-do list writing. I wrote the first list at night, after the Babe went to bed. The next night I transferred what I had not completed to a new list AND I added additional tasks and errands I had completed but weren't on the first list to that first list and I checked them off. Walked the dog - check. Make a salad for a luncheon - check. Moved extra rolls of carpet from my office to under the stairs - check. Felt like I accomplished something - check check CHECK!

It amazing that just writing things down makes my anxiety lessen. If I write down that I'm going to take back the recycling, I feel relived because I know I'm going to do it. If I don't get to it today, that's okay, I'll move it to tomorrow's list. If I don't do one of the tasks for five days, I'll ask someone for help because there's clearly an issue there. Sitting down to watch bad TV doesn't make me feel guilty tonight because according to my list I hosted a class and a luncheon at my house this morning, walked the dog and moved a flat of pop this afternoon, and managed to feed the Babe dinner in her highchair before giving her a bath, a massage and reading her a story.

And then I leave the lists on the counter so that my husband can see them. Because I need outside acknowledgement that I'm getting things done. And so that he can also see the things I've added at the bottom for him to do ;)

- H

Monday, May 28, 2012

More hours in the day

Lately I have felt as though I'm not getting it done. Any of it. My house feels like a bomb went off inside of it, the dishes appear from out of nowhere, and all of a sudden it's time to make dinner again and the thought of cooking a meal is exhausting. I thought we would have gotten the hang of this by now. I thought it would be easier by now.

I have talked to other moms and I know I'm not alone in feeling this way. But why does it feel so overwhelming all of the time? Is it because we moved into a fixer upper that needed more fixing than we realized? Is it because on top of normal housework we also have a dog that sheds like crazy and needs to be walked more than I am walking her now? When did the thought of vacuuming become so tiring? As soon as the Babe goes down for a nap I'm in the kitchen, wiping and sweeping and before I can finish she's up again. I try to work grocery shopping into a walk, but more often than not I forget one key ingredient and it's frozen pizza night again. And I only have one, very good baby. How do people do it with more?

The problem becomes compounded by the fact that I am a very social person and would rather be walking with friends than cleaning. So there are a lot of instances where I have the time but I choose to spend it with other moms getting caught up on what the babies are doing. I become my own worst enemy. This week my mission is to finish the to-do list, and if it means being a little less social than that's what I need to do. Because my sanity may end up depending on it.

~ H

Saturday, May 19, 2012

We have a roller

And I don't know why I wanted her to roll in the first place. Because now she can roll, but only back to front. Which means at 11:30pm and 3:30am we hear screaming coming from the nursery and it's one of two scenarios. One: the Babe is on her front and desperate to get back to her back, or two: she is on her front and has shimmied over in her crib so that both her legs are hanging out of the crib and she is stuck that way. I probably shouldn't find it as funny as I do when I find her this way.

The rolling is bittersweet. I'm happy that the Babe is progressing through her milestones and keeping up with her little buddies. However, (and I'm actually getting a little emotional writing this) it makes me sad because she's growing up, bit by bit. My husband makes fun of me because I tend to mourn things early, such as the end of the weekend. I'm halfway through the workday and I'm sad because although the weekend has not yet begun, I am already anticipating the coming of Sunday night. I feel that way about the Babe. She can't even sit up yet, but already I'm sad that she's no longer a tiny baby.

That being said, if she could figure out how to roll all the way over and not get stuck and cry, I'd be okay with that.

~ H

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Starting solids

We started solids a week ago - well, solids only in that we started giving the Babe rice cereal and then oatmeal, though they are both quite liquidy (liquid-ish?). She will be six months next week and she had started showing interest in our food, so we figured it was go time. I strapped on her bib, sanitized her spoons and expected her to understand that eating cereal means putting your chin up instead of down with an open mouth. No such luck.

She didn't love rice cereal, so after two days we switched to oatmeal and she seemed to hate it less. I spent the next 30 minutes holding the spoon in one hand and her stuffed caterpillar in the other, dancing it in the air while trying to get her to swallow her mouthful. More of the cereal ended up on the Bumbo and her bib than in her stomach, I'm sure of it. This week I attempted squash mixed in, but that was met with a grimace and a locked jaw, so we've paused on the squash for the moment. I'll try again in a day or so, and perhaps attempt food in lieu of a feeding rather than in addition to. Fingers crossed!

~ H

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mom Day

Happy Mother's Day to all my faithful mother or/and daughter readers! Today the Babe giggled, ate all of her oatmeal (yes, we started solids but that's another post soon), skipped her second nap which resulted in a grumpy afternoon, and gave me some awesome smiles.

I also took a moment to remember my dearly departed mother and stepmother who passed away in 2001 and 2009 respectively. Both fantastic women who I miss dearly.

~ H

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

First family vacation

Traveling with a baby is an interesting task when you arean A-type personality like me. Not having complete control over a situation canthrow me into a bit of tailspin. So when it came time to jet off to Cancun fora week of sun and relaxation for our first family vacation, you’d betterbelieve I had packed, re-packed, consulted baby travel blogs, stockedup on infant pharmaceuticals and even quizzed my husband about how to best survive theplane ride. Fun right?

To fit with my aforementioned personality, my husband willoften accommodate me and leave the house extremely early, carry everything Ithrow at him (and I do mean throw) and listen to my one-sided conversationsabout all the possible scenarios we could encounter.  So when we boarded the plane, he knew that myanxiety level was high. Red alert high. And when a gum-popping, loud-mouthed19-year-old sat down next to us, chatting with her friend about how manytequila shots she was going to do once they reached their resort, he knew mylevel had just bumped up a notch. Cue the Babe starting to cry and my seat neighbor rollingher eyes. I saw her. She was facing away but I saw her! Since we had begun totaxi to the runway, I began clawing at my nursing tank, scrambling to get theBabe latched for takeoff. I wanted to ensure her ears popped so we wouldn’tstart the trip with a screaming baby. I also oftenexpect my (poor) husband to read my mind. As I fought with my nursing coverwhile trying not to smack the Babe’s head on the armrest as she kicked the girlnext to me he asked if he could do anything for me. “Fix the cover!” I snarledand shot him a dirty look. Now you know how the rest of the six-hour flightwent…

However, once we settled in at the resort, found out ourroom was only 50 paces from the beach and one of the restaurants, and I got theswing of nursing and napping (the Babe, not me, well one day it was me too) onthe beach it turned out to be a very relaxing vacation indeed. We had one dinnerout with the group when the Babe went to bed thanks to long-range walkietalkies and a clear view of our room. I got a night out with the group ofdrinks and dancing thanks to the husband and my Ameda breast pump. We had familyswim time in the pool and the ocean and the Babe loved both types of water.This calmed our fears that she hates swimming altogether. I read 4 books (yes4!) and the husband got to partake in the group sports he loves and I… don’t.I overpacked heroutfits, underpacked her sleepers, had enough sunscreen for her but not enoughsunscreen for us. Sidenote: resort sunscreen is mucho expensive.

We agree: the first family vacation was a resounding success. Welearned a lot – bring a few spare crib sheets because handwashingdiaper-explosion victim sheets sucks; stroller naps on the beach are awesome; andbabies will get covered in sand no matter what. Also, seven days is the perfecttime away number for us – long enough to chill out, but long enough to miss your own bedand washing machine.