Thanks again to the hubby

Sebastian has been teething again for the past week or so. His two top front teeth are about to poke through, and he is also beginning to pull up on things and stand. He has been having a harder time falling asleep because of the discomfort, and also wakes up more often to randomly try to stand up in his sleep. As a result, I’ve been getting even less sleep. This not only makes me tired, but I tend to get more physical aches as well. My lower back and right knee started bothering me. Not to mention I just get into a foul mood.

Last night, it took about 2 hours to put Bash to sleep. Tommy helped out a lot, and even made the baby laugh in his sleep by making funny sounds! Tommy encouraged me to sleep as well. It was only 8:45 PM so of course I said no. I wanted to stay awake like a normal person! However, I think I quickly fell asleep. The next thing I remember was Tommy waking me up just enough so I could take my prenatal vitamin and to tell me he had put the leftovers from dinner away in the fridge. I then stayed asleep until 3 AM, when I went to use the bathroom. The baby didn’t fuss until 6:30 in the morning, so I got an awesome amount of rest!

Moreover, I was extremely happy that Tommy did those simple things for me without me asking. Although putting away some food and bringing me my vitamin are very small gestures, they helped me so much that night!

Thank you Tommy for being a wonderful husband and Daddy!

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Crockpot meals are a lifesaver!

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Before the baby I loved to cook. I wasn’t necessarily very good at it, but I liked to make a variety of things and experiment.

Since Bash arrived, cooking has been nothing but a chore. It takes time to prep, cook the food, and then clean up. Often by the time I’ve managed to do all of that he wakes up or fusses, so my food ends up cold. Honestly sometimes I just skip eating. Definitely not a good idea.

Now that Bash can eat solid foods with some texture, I’ve started to use the crockpot again to make dinner. It’s amazing!

  1. It’s super quick and easy! Just toss everything into the pot and turn it on. Precut and washed veggies make things even easier!
  2. I can fit a lot of food in there for 3 people, so I have enough food for a couple of lunches and dinners. Although it can be a bit sickening to eat the same thing over and over for the next couple of days, the alternative for me is munching on snacks or not eating at all…so I’m not complaining.
  3. The baby can eat exactly what we are eating and HE KNOWS IT! I’m not sure if the flavors are more familiar to him because he gets hints of it through breast milk anyway or if he just likes feeling a part of things. Regardless, he always eats more home cooked food and it makes me want to keep cooking!

The crockpot was helpful during pregnancy when I was feeling tired and wanted to make some freezer meals for after the baby arrived. It’s honestly an even bigger lifesaver now! The recipes are simple and healthy yet very tasty! I can’t wait until Bash is a bit older so he can help me add ingredients to the pot. I hope he grows to love cooking so he can quickly take over that task for me!

Messy eating

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Since Bash has started on solids (Gah, I’m not ready!) I’ve tried to let him be as involved as possible with mealtime. I encourage him to help hold his spoon and bring it to his mouth. This often leads to a huge gooey mess. I hate messes because I have to clean them up, but I think it’s important that Bash be allowed to practice feeding himself and to explore the texture of his food.

My family, Tommy’s family, and most surprisingly Tommy himself, are not fans.

One night Bash finished his solids and was getting grumpy. I asked Tommy to take the baby out of his chair and give him some floor time. Tommy then said, “But he’s dirty!”

OMG.

WTF!

In my head I got so mad. No shit he’s dirty. Wash him off. Duh! Kids get dirty. It’s just a fact.

I talked to Tommy about it later and he explained that he has an issue with touching messy food. Suddenly things started to make sense. No wonder he sometimes uses a fork and knife to eat a burger or some pizza.

I definitely have a bit of an ick issue with messy foods, but my love of food outweighs that. Tommy’s doesn’t apparently.

Now more than ever I want to let the baby touch his food. I don’t want him to grow up feeling icky around hot wings, and I hope I can slowly get Tommy to overcome his squeamishness as well. I love hot wings, and they are even better when shared with other people!

How my husband saved my first Mother’s Day

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I love holidays. I always have. Probably because gifts are often involved and lots of good food that I normally would not get to eat. I build things up so much in my head that I usually get upset when things don’t go my way.

My first Mother’s Day was sure to be a disappointment. I wanted an awesome gift from my “son,” a magazine worthy picture of him and I, breakfast in bed, the apartment to be magically spotless, a massage, sleep, and to look the way I did before I had a baby. In all honesty, I had the opportunity to have each and every one of those things except for looking the way I did before the baby (that would take too much work and I don’t care enough to put in the money or effort). Tommy was willing to make it all possible, and yet I was a crab. I’m not sure why. Part of it must be hormones, another part is my unfortunate perfectionist personality. I also think I wanted Tommy to just know that I wanted these things. But instead my morning was ruined because he asked me what I wanted. I know it makes no sense. I guess sometimes I just want to be surprised, and if people ask what I want then a) it’s not a surprise and b) I feel guilty for accepting anything.

Some of the things that went “wrong”:

  • I had Tommy help me stamp the baby’s foot onto paper to make flowers for his two grannies. And I made a spare one for me. Well one of them didn’t come out so well so I took that one. It looked pretty sad so I didn’t bother to decorate it the way I did for my Mom. No present for me.
  • I didn’t get surprised with breakfast in bed or flowers. I didn’t even get to sleep in until 7 am.
  • My day was filled with chores: diaper laundry, regular laundry, mopping and vacuuming
  • My family was extremely last minute about deciding where and when we would eat for dinner.

Some of the things that went right:

  • While I was in the shower, Tommy kept saying he “enhanced” my set of baby footprints. It sounded worrisome, but when I looked he wrote a very sweet note and added stems and grass. It became my favorite picture out of the three!20160509_093836
  •  Tommy did ask me if I wanted special food for breakfast and offered to let me sleep while he watched the baby. I was too mad because he asked so I said “no.” My fault, not his.
  • Tommy helped me do the chores and the place ended up spotless. He hung the diapers properly (in a way that preserves the elastics…Sounds crazy but if you are a cloth diaper lover I’m sure you understand), took over the vacuuming, and even cleaned the bathroom. All without complaining.
  • He was a sport about hanging out with my family, and he even stayed up late playing games with my sister and I, which made things way more fun.

I learned two things from yesterday. First, I need to stop being such an ungrateful brat. Nothing was wrong about yesterday except for me. My Mom was happy, my family was having a great time playing with the baby, and my son was showering us all with smiles. Second, I have an awesome husband who somehow manages to put up with my crap.

Tommy, thank you for dealing with my crazy mood swings and for making me feel special on my first Mother’s Day and every day. I love you!

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My “office”

So my sister decided to send me a picture from her new job…

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Man I got so mad. At first I was going to reply, “Oh shut up.” Then, I decided to take a picture of my own…

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My office. I win! 😉

Although I am currently wearing old pjs (the oversized, unattractive kind that are only comfy because they are worn to the point of developing holes) , smelly because I haven’t showered, eating a leftover sandwich at 10 am for “lunch” since I won’t have time to later, and writing this post to do something remotely adult with myself, I am, as my husband pointed out in the group text “living the life.”

I have a happy and healthy baby sleeping next to me. When he wakes up soon and interrupts whatever activity I just barely started, I know he will give me the biggest smile. That makes the sleep deprivation, backaches, messy apartment, and smelly coffee breath totally worth it. Every single time.

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I got the smile!

Couple-time after the baby

He's asleep! Delta force: Go go go!
He’s asleep! Delta force: Go go go!

If you have a baby and still want to do date/couple things with your spouse, you need planning and opportunism.

When the baby is awake, you’re generally going to want to spend time with him. Especially if you work in an office away from home, the time you have with him is pretty precious.

However, you and your wife will still want to do adult things that babies cannot participate in. Some examples:

  • Baking something complex
  • Playing a co-op video game
  • God forbid, actually having sex

The natural time to do such things is when the baby is asleep. However, how many of you just waste the precious nap-time duration just laying around playing with your phone? Yep, guilty as charged. The antidote to this is planning and opportunism.

The first step is planning, and all this entails is keeping in mind a few things you’d like to do together with your spouse over the next few days. Yeah – it’s lame to plan. I get it. Spontaneity is way better. However, even lamer than planning is not-doing-anything. I think some planning is just required now…

The second step is opportunism. Once the baby goes down for a long nap (based on his daily routine and patterns), you and your spouse should waste no time, and jump into action.

Now don’t take me too literally – I’m not saying you must have planned activities all the time, nor am I saying that you must do couple things right every time the baby falls asleep. And obviously it’s still cool to lay around and play with your phone – it’s a great way to relax.

But if you’re finding you have no time for couple time, this is one strategy Mary and I have used sometimes to get our date-time achievement.

Lactation cookie date night

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At one point I thought my milk supply was dipping, so I found a recipe online for oatmeal chocolate chip coconut lactation cookies. At first I followed the recipe exactly, which was delicious by the way. When I ran out of coconut I began to make batches with chopped almonds and dried cranberries. Awesome also! Anyway well I thought they were delicious, and so did Tommy. The only time he comes out of his mancave/closet is when he hears noise in the kitchen or smells something delicious.

Well the first couple of times I made them, Tommy said, “ooo cookies” and began munching away. Tommy stopped when I told him they were lactation cookies. But really, the only semi unique ingredient is brewer’s yeast.

While delicious, it is sometimes hard to find the time to make these cookies and clean up all of the dishes after. Plus when you have other people eating them, one batch doesn’t last very long.

For whatever reason (maybe a growth spurt?) Bash was napping every two hours on the dot for about 30 minutes each time. After dinner, Tommy and I took advantage of one of these nap times to whip up a batch of cookies. Although 30 minutes may not seem like much, it was really nice to have some quality time with Tommy. It made the cooking process fun again, and it was a nice way for us to connect. Towards the end the baby started to fidget, so we were scrambling to finish up. I often dread the fidgeting, but when working on a project with Tommy it turned the whole process into a game! During the baby’s next nap, we stuffed our faces with the cookies and some cold milk.

 

The quickest way to get put in the dog house…

So, I’m sure you all know that if a guy asks his girlfriend if she is PMSing/on her period when she is feeling upset, he might as well dig himself a hole and pull the dirt in on top. I expect that a few men forget this rule from time to time and get in trouble with their significant others. However, my boneheaded husband decided to take it one step further.

I overheard him say to his parents that the baby seems to get 100% full when bottle fed breastmilk and only 80% full when I breastfeed. I struggled for the first month to breastfeed Bash, and I now feed on demand instead of going by the clock (though that would make my life easier). That being said, I am positive he is getting enough to eat.

With the bottle, Bash acts like he’s at a buffet. He overeats, gets uncomfy, and goes into a food coma. With breastfeeding, Bash eats however much he wants and when he wants. Sometimes he wants a full meal and other times he just wants a snack. Frankly, I do this all the time.

Sometimes I find myself with my head in the fridge when I meant to do something else. I eat a bite of something because I want the taste in my mouth then I walk away. Or a sit down at a random time of day to eat a very large meal. Additionally, Bash pees and poops nonstop so he is getting plenty of milk.

Anyway well this incident pissed me off of course. When I was cranky later Tommy asked, “Mary, do you think you have postpartum depression?” WTF!!! I don’t know if he was trying to be funny or what. Some moms get postpartum depression and it’s a serious matter.

I definitely got the baby blues, but I was luck enough to not have postpartum depression. Tommy was there with me half of the times I was given that postpartum depression questionnaire and he heard the doctor say I was fine. Did he pay attention? Probably not. That’s his fault not mine.

Bottom line:

  • Don’t criticize your wife’s breastfeeding, especially when she has struggled with it for over a month. It’s like hearing your wife say you don’t make enough money, drive a janky car, or have a tiny penis.
  • Don’t ask your wife if she has postpartum depression every time she gets angry. I’m sure she got angry at you before the baby arrived for legitimate reasons, and she has every right to feel angry after pushing a bowling ball out of her ass, when all you did was sleep through her labor.

The baby challenges our marriage

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The baby has definitely challenged our marriage. Now of course the baby has brought us profound joy. Of course it is a life-enriching and perspective-altering experience. Of course we love him and would never give him back. Nor do we regret having a child. But all of that notwithstanding, it has challenged our marriage in a number of ways.

  1. Less time. Now you can talk to me the power of love to expand your energy and so forth, but there’s only 24 hours in a day. Between changing diapers, breastfeeding, bottle pumping, laundry, loading in and out of car seats, pediatrician appointments, etc. – there is just straight-up less time for Mary and I to work on our relationship.
  2. Less energy. If I have a hard day at work now, and I come home, and I see Mary with her hair all messed up and actively cleaning poop as I walk in, I’m not going to start talking to her about my day. We each need the other’s support, but in that case, both parties are too drained to provide it.
  3. Decreased spontaneity. You know, both Mary and I are pretty much homebodies, but we still had our moments of spontaneously going out to eat, see a movie, grab coffee, hike on the weekends, etc. Nowadays, this might be the new normal:
    1. Let’s go out for dinner! It’s been a while!
    2. Should we wait until your sister is available for babysitting?
    3. If not, we need to pack some breastmilk in an insulated lunchbox for the road.
    4. Does he have a wet diaper, has he been changed recently?
    5. We have enough diapers in the car right?
    6. Oh maybe you should pump first before we go out.
    7. Alright, I’ll shower in the meantime, I forgot to shower this morning.
    8. Now it’s 10 PM and I’m tired, let’s try again tomorrow.
  4. Competition for intimacy. I’ll just say there was one day we went to bed, and Mary kissed Sebastian good night. I waited for mine, but it never came. Mary just went to bed. Hmmph.
  5. More junk in the apartment. This might just be specific to Mary, but when the apartment is cluttered, Mary gets into a foul mood. With all the extra baby junk, the apartment is a lot more cluttered than it used to be.

I realize I’m supposed to end these blog posts on a positive note, but I’m just in a complaining mood today.

Extended family visiting

Since Bash was born in mid-November, both my family and Tommy’s family have been around a lot. My family lives nearby so I see them maybe twice a week now. It’s been both a blessing and a huge challenge having extra people around.

Pros:

  • More help! With other people to watch the baby Tommy and I are able to take naps, do chores, or have time to ourselves.
  • Bash gets to meet and bond with his extended family. I grew up with aunts, uncles, cousins, and my Granny right next door. I always had family I could spend time with, and I loved it. Each person offered something different and provided me with new experiences. Because my next door cousins were boys, I was able to play video games which my dad did not get for my sister and I. My Granny taught me how to crochet and I would spend much of my summer watching I Love Lucy with her and eating ice cream cones.

Cons:

  • Less time to bond with my son. With so many visitors, I spent less time with Bash. I felt obligated to let others hold him as long as he seemed agreeable. I had to pump more and breastfeed less so that others could feed him. My only alone time with him was during the middle of the night, when I was extra tired and at my worst. In the daytime, although others were watching him, I found it difficult to nap. I want to be awake during the day like everyone else and interact with other adults.
  • Unwanted advice. More people = more unwanted advice. It’s a part of having family over, but it’s still very annoying.
  • I feel like a prisoner in my own home. I don’t feel comfortable walking around topless or eating what I want when others are over. There is a lot more compromise involved, and frankly as a new sleep-deprived mom, these things really got to me.

Now that the holidays are over I feel more like myself and actually a bit happier. Although I like to be around people, too much socializing wears me out. I am able to take my afternoon nap with Bash again. I really missed that!