12.28.2010

new year hopes

The word "resolution" holds too much pressure. First, I don't think my list is a list of problems that need to be resolved. Second, if we just use another word such as "hope" - it won't look as bad when we give up in March.

Here is my list of hopes for the upcoming new year: 


  • Floss.
  • Get better at budgeting which in turn will make Chris and I argue less. 
  • Start running again which in turn will make me stop buying clothes for my new mommy curves, meaning less money, meaning less arguing again.
  • Stop time. Audrey is growing too fast. 
  • Stop texting and driving. 
  • Keep blogging. 
  • Try to can fruits and vegetables. The key word is "try".
  • Try to home make baby food. 
  • Try to live in complete darkness which in turn will make our power bill less and again, less arguing. 
  • Quit dealing with people walking all over me.
  • Don't book up every summer weekend by February.
  • Deepen relationships with the friends that really matter and care.

12.27.2010

baby's 1st Christmas







What a magical Christmas. Another moment in life that is completely different now with a child and so much better. She absolutely enjoyed all of it... and of course, she got spoiled rotten. 

Chris and I got to both pick out a present for her. I was practical for me: a shopping cart cover for her to sit in. Chris picked out a loud baby keyboard. Fabulous. Now I get to listen to that all day because she loves it. 


I always get so excited for Christmas, then I can't wait for it to be over. Now it is over and seems like it went by too fast. 


Time to start thinking of New Years resolutions...

12.24.2010

12.23.2010

cheers to the wives and mothers



I fill my glass of special egg nog and say cheers to all the moms and wives out there doing tons of work to make Christmas special. 

Cheers to writing and mailing the Christmas cards, getting all the gifts and doing the shopping for other family members, wrapping all the presents and making them so beautiful, grocery shopping in the crowds of people, sitting in traffic with screaming children, trying so hard to home-make everything including really difficult family recipes, talking and planning, then re-planning with all his and your family members, decorating for hours, constantly vacuuming up tree needles, always having a stand-by gift available for the unexpected, standing in long lines at the post office, and keeping a smile on your face (at least to most people). 

Merry Christmas!

12.22.2010

hello boobies

A dear friend of mine addressed a controversial topic on her Facebook page: breastfeeding in public. Quickly after, opinions were posted. 

I breastfed Audrey in the beginning and had the cute cover and everything. Personally, I didn't feel comfortable breastfeeding in the wide open, even with a cover. I would go to my car or most of the time, I pumped and bottle-fed her. 

I don't have a problem with it; however, it isn't something that doesn't catch your attention (especially when the child is at the age where they are asking for it). Therefore, knowing that I would have eyes on me- I didn't feel comfortable. 

Additionally, while women see their jugs as a means of food, men still see them as play toys. I went into "boobs are off limits" mode with my husband, but he didn't get it. He liked them even better since they were engorged two sizes. Again, more eyes on me...well not really me, but my boobies. 

In a conversation with a friend the other night, she was about to stop breastfeeding just because she was tired of sitting in her car outside the grocery store or restaurant. Her choice since she didn't feel comfortable doing it in public. 

It is obviously a matter of debate since breastfeeding has acquired many laws. Moms can take breaks constantly to pump at work and they can breastfeed where ever they desire. 

What is the real issue here? Why do we find it so distracting when someone whips out a tit at a nice restaurant? 

I feel strongly about two things: Please at least cover up, and when your kid can ask for a boob, I think it is time to stop.

Open forum: Please post your comments. I am curious to what everyone thinks and has gone through.

12.21.2010

happy half year

I can't believe six months ago I had a baby. Time goes so fast. All the sudden, she is no longer a baby- but a little person.

She is holding her bottle, eating with a spoon, grabbing things she wants, laughing when things are funny and singing herself to sleep. She is sitting in the stroller without the car seat and taking a bath without the infant holder. 

She is throwing food when she gets mad, yelling when she thinks she is being ignored and crying because she knows it is nap time. 

She smiles when dad comes home and gets upset when I leave. She reaches up when she wants to be held and arches her back when she wants out. 

Her clothes that fit her last week are now too small. She used to drink two ounces and now a full bottle (I swear all our money is going to formula). 

I used to wait all day to hear a peep come out of her and now she is a chatter box. Part of me cannot wait until she can say words, the other part of me CAN wait. 

It all makes me thankful that I get to stay home and watch her because everyday is something new- and you don't ever get it back.

 6 months
A few hours

12.20.2010

Baby in tow requires new approach to Disney vacation

As seen in The News-Review www.nrtoday.com

By the numbers:
Bags packed: 7  
Items packed for baby: 46 clothing items; 100 diapers; 200 wipes; 8 toys; 7 blankets; 1 stroller; 1 car seat; 1 portable crib; 1 Bumbo seat; 2 packs of formula; 2 packs of traveling toiletries; 12 Mum Mums; 7 pureed foods; 2 bottles; 40 bottle liners; 12 disposable bibs
Total miles traveled: 1,622 
Total pit stops:  12


                                                                      
Chris and I vowed that we would not be those parents that say they can’t go somewhere “because of the baby,” especially when the place is Disneyland. Instead, we are the parents that everyone looks at and says, “You are crazy for driving that far with a 6-month-old.” We like the challenge.

Driving long hours with Audrey was not completely uncharted water for us. Chris and I drove to Steen’s Mountain when she was 5-weeks-old for a summer camping trip. While Audrey handled that adventure well, I did not.

My electric breast pump died which forced me to get a manual pump that leaked breast milk all over the truck and gave me Carpal Tunnel, the mosquitoes and flies were swarming by the thousands causing me to stay in the truck protecting Audrey and myself and we had to sleep in a dirty tent.

The swatting and screaming from me created a chain reaction in wails from Audrey and then a fuming husband who after setting everything up, started packing it all back. 

That was the last big trip for us and possibly the last camping trip ever. This time around, we’ve got a 6-month-old, a suburban, five other family members and tickets to Disneyland.

The trip didn’t start too well. My sister got strep throat. It isn’t a vacation with my side of the family unless there is a stop at urgent care. My mom should have a punch card that after 10 visits you get one free. This caused chaos trying to keep her away from Audrey while sitting only inches away. By our arrival in Disneyland, she was all better.

We started early our first day and packed the B.O.B. stroller full of water, snacks, piles of Disney maps (even though we go every year) and tons of baby items. Chris and I right away began to realize that this wasn’t going to be like it used to.

No more running to the rides and cutting people off, no more staying up until 12 a.m., no more riding ride after ride after ride, and no more skipping all the kiddie rides and character visits. We were parents now. 

Days at Disney required someone waiting with Audrey while the others rode a ride, going back for naps and spending a large portion of time by the changing tables and feeding areas.

But after watching Audrey laugh on her first ride, gaze at the colors in the street and smile at the dressed up characters, Chris and I realized it was all worth it.  We may have to pack triple the amount of stuff, constantly stop for breaks and revolve our schedule around Audrey’s nap times, but this is parenting.  Traveling and the rest of our lives has become an entirely different world because of Audrey – and a better one.

Merry Christmas from the Happiest Place on Earth. 


12.18.2010

preview for tomorrow's column


Extra baggage: Traveling to with a 6-month-old
(Preview for The News Review's Sunday Column: My ABC Soup)

By the numbers
 Bags packed: 7  
Items packed for baby: 46 clothing items; 100 diapers; 200 wipes; 
8 toys; 7 blankets; 1 stroller; 1 car seat; 1 portable crib; 1 Bumbo seat; 
2 packs of formula; 2 packs of traveling toiletries; 12 Mum Mums; 
7 pureed foods; 2 bottles; 40 bottle liners; 12 disposable bibs
Total miles traveled: 1,622 
Total pit stops:  12

   
Chris and I vowed that we would not be those parents that say they can’t go somewhere “because of the baby,” especially when the place is Disneyland. Instead, we are the parents that everyone looks at and says, “You are crazy for driving that far with a 6-month-old.” We like the challenge.

Driving long hours with Audrey was not completely unchartered water for us. Chris and I drove to Steen’s Mountain when she was 5-weeks-old for a summer camping trip. While Audrey handled that adventure well, I did not. 

Read the rest tomorrow at www.nrtoday.com or here! 


12.17.2010

leaving her in someone else's hands

We're leaving her in the hands of Mickey.

12.16.2010

no longer kids

Last night Chris and I decided to do the after dinner until midnight run at Disneyland with my sister and her boyfriend. A little time to be kids again with no baby. Around 9 p.m., we were exhausted. We wondered why we were so tired this time around when we usually just go, go, go. Then I thought that while we did take it slower with the baby, there is so much added thought and organization required to having a 6-month-old. Guess our lives are forever different. All for the best though! 

Last day today!


12.15.2010

snap shots



12.14.2010

so far, so good

I can't believe it. There is actually (knock on wood) no major chaos. Of course there is the normal amount of chaos when you are with family and Disneyland, but Audrey is doing really well. 

So far we have discovered that dark and loud parts of rides, Audrey does not like. She loved Monsters, Inc. and Winnie the Pooh. Thankfully, we bought her baby ear muff/headphones for most the rides since they are so noisy.

And babies come with perks! Even though one person has to wait with the baby outside the ride, they get a plus one rider pass that puts you at the front. 

Off to Tomorrowland!

12.12.2010

we've made it!

I can't believe it, but we have made it. Not only have we made it, but we made it with no serious chaos. We had to make one trip already to urgency care in Sacramento- but it was for my sister who has strep. Luckily, she got some meds and is already back in action. 

I will start vlogging tomorrow! We'll see how she does on the rides...

12.11.2010

surviving santa

Yay! She loved it!



12.10.2010

everything but the house

Something so little requires so much. If you don't have a child, maybe you can see from this list how much STUFF you have to bring on vacation. Men, prepare yourself. You thought your wife packed a lot. Ha! You haven't seen nothing yet.

If you do have a child, what am I forgetting? Disneyland minus 24 hours.

1) Car bottle warmer
2) Video Camera
3) Camera
4) Water
5) Formula (2 containers)
6) At least 50-60 diapers
7) 2 packages of wipes
8) Bottles (2-3)
9) Bottle liners
10) Bottle nipples
11) Pacifiers (Soothie Duck!) & extra 3-4 (Soothie Duck on MOMMY MUST HAVES PAGE)
12) Spoons
13) Cereal
14) Solid food
15) Rags & bibs
16) Mums
17) Teething tablets
18) Baby Tylenol 
19) BOB
20) Car seat
21) Blankets
22) Swimsuits 
23) Baby life jacket
24) Bumbo
25) Pack N' Play
26) Toys
27) Monitor
28) Baby movies
29) Sheets & crib pad
30) Mobile
31) Ear muffs
32) Travel kit (first aid & shampoo/wash) 
33) Diaper bag (fill with diapers, wipes, rags, books, changing pad)
34) Disposable bibs 
35) Travel changing pads
36) Rain jacket & warm jacket
37) Sunscreen 
38) Baby towel
39) Hats & gloves
40) Cool outfits
41) 5-6 pairs of pajamas
42) Shoes
43) Hair accessories 
44) Sunglasses
45) Hand sanitizer 
44) Snacks in diaper bag!

Camping trip when A was 5-weeks-old. She required less then and it still looks like we are moving.

12.09.2010

silent night...holy night...

With everything in my life, I am organized. Since Audrey was born, I wanted to get a schedule for feedings, sleeping, seeing visitors, play time, etc... I understand now that is hard to accomplish. The minute we think we've got a routine down, she changes it on us. 

For the most part, we are constantly dealing with a sleep routine. Chris and I thought we were literally the most blessed parents because from about 3 months to 4 1/2 months, Audrey slept 12 to 13 hours including 3 two hour naps. Not to mention, they were all on schedule and she absolutely loved going to bed. 

With a cocktail of Day Light Savings ending and her teething, everything went screwy. She then wanted to blend her late afternoon nap and just keep sleeping- since it was dark at 4 p.m. After that, she wanted to wake up around 2 a.m. and then again for good around 5 a.m. That was not going to work. 

I am still trying to figure this out. Audrey now is back to three naps: a shorter morning nap, a long afternoon nap, and a quick evening nap. She then wakes up around 6-7 p.m. and stays awake until 8ish- not waking up again until 5 a.m. Friends gave me a book they praised called, Healthy Sleep Habits, Healthy Child by Marc Weissbluth, M.D. Here are some really good points that 
helped me:

 
  • Overstimulation (i.e. overly tired). My mom would called this, "Rummy". If Audrey does not get good naps and is being kept up past her bedtime, she will get overstimulated and then I have to prepare myself to listen to her cry for 15-30 minutes sometimes. I have cued into her sleepy signs like rubbing her eyes, having heady eye lids, etc... I like to put her down at this point and not at the point where she is crying because it is "nap time". She goes down SO much easier when I get her before she is overly tired.
  • After 4 months of age, the best sleep is in their crib. The author makes it seem like you must not have a life because your baby must sleep every nap and bedtime in their own crib. OK, that just doesn't happen. But, I do prepare for her nap time and bed time when we are elsewhere or running errands. I make sure she has her bedtime pacifier and blanket. These things are markers for "sleepy time." If we are going to a hotel or someones house for dinner, the Pack N' Play or a crib is the best. She won't sleep well on a bed or in her car seat.
  • A well rested baby is a baby who wakes up babbling, smiling, etc... If she is crying when she wakes up, I know it is not time (even if it has been two hours). I give her the pacifier and she goes back to sleep.
  • Never wake a sleeping baby EXCEPT when you are trying to protect a sleep schedule. About a week ago before we started getting this new sleep routine down, Audrey wanted to continue to sleep after she went down around 4 p.m. I started to nicely wake her up around 6 p.m., and she stays up until between 7 and 8 p.m. Now, she is waking her self up. 
  • Letting your baby cry it out is NOT the way your baby will learn to sleep- she will learn to sleep when parents focus on timing and soothing style. I will let her cry, like I said before, for 15-30 minutes because she is overly tired; however, if she wakes up in the middle of the night screaming, letting her cry for an hour does nothing but keep us all up. I usually know that she is trying to tell me something. 
  • Big meals before bed do NOT make your baby sleep better. I heard it many times, "Put rice in her bottle. It will make her sleep better!" Chris and I were so excited to try this. We were then disappointed because it made no difference. We actually found that Audrey sleeps better when she is not extremely full. If she eats a bunch before bed, she usually wakes up more hungry. If she goes to bed with a smaller amount of food, she wakes up at her normal 5 a.m. and has a snack of 1-2 ounces less than what she usually eats. She goes back to sleep until 7:30 a.m. 
The author made a good point about babies 4-6 months of age usually don't like to be awake more than two hours during the day. Audrey was exactly that. Right at two hours from her last nap, she would start complaining. 
The author also created this sleep pattern that by following some of the stuff, Audrey is exactly on: 
Start of the day 7 a.m. 
First Nap 9 a.m. 
Second Nap 1 p.m. 
Third Nap (varies)- Audrey is around 4 p.m. 
Bedtime 6-8 p.m. 
First Awakening 
Second Awakening (Audrey skips the first awakening, and this one is at around 5 a.m.)

Just like us, babies will have good nights and bad nights. I wish Audrey could just say, "Mommy, my teeth hurt." But that doesn't happen. Therefore, I try really hard to pay attention to the way she is crying and moving in bed. If she lays there and is staring at me, she normally just wants comfort so I give her the pacifier. But the last few nights she will just toss and turn violently and cry. I can tell she is in pain. I usually give her a little Tylenol and food. 

I would suggest getting the book. It goes all the way through childhood since as far as I know, there will ALWAYS be sleeping issues and new things to learn.

12.08.2010

some craftings

I am not crafty. I have the motivation to be crafty, but not the patience nor the skill. However, sometimes it is my only option when I don't want to pay a pretty penny for something I look at and say, "I think I can make that."
Here are some baby craftings...by me and my crew (sister and friend Terra)

pillows

I really wanted a woods/whimsical theme for our baby. We all LOVE owls. This cost $8 total. I bought the pillows at a craft store ($2 each) and then bought some clearance vintage fabric along with white and black felt. I first took a needle and white thread through the top and pulled it down to create a gather up top and then dragged it through the sides to create small pinches for ears (worked better on the more narrow owl). 

Inspired by: Etsy

scrapboxes

These "scrapboxes" are fun because it brought together both my husband's and my childhoods. I LOVE looking at the baby pictures all the time as Audrey grows to see who she is resembling. Cost was about $30. Each shadow box was $14.99 from Target.

Inspired by Darcy Miller @ marthastewart

wall name canvas
My very own Martha Stewart of Roseburg, Terra Lee, made this for Audrey. She used 1 ft x 1ft canvas' and covered them in my chosen fabric. She then hand pained the letters (yes, those are hand painted!). If you want one, let me know! She is awesome. 

fashion headbands
I can't find anywhere in town that sells fashion headbands for babes. We have a Christmas party Friday and I needed something quick (since everyone says SHE is a boy), so ordering one online was not going to work. This cost me $6! I got silk ribbon which is in the jewelry section at Michael's and then picked out which flowers I liked. It took me 5 minutes to sew the flowers on the ribbon. I also like the ribbon because it it soft, ties (so can be used for a long time) and does not leave marks on their head. PS: Also pretty cute on mom!

Rasta onesies

Every baby needs a little Rasta in their life. My sister hand painted this! The only cost was the white onesie. Buy a pack of white onesies for $8.99 at Target and do some painting.
Out of a pack of five onesies, you can make some pretty cute stuff! Tye-dye made by my sister as well.

12.07.2010

tuesday tape

vlog for the day...Audrey growling at Mo
video

12.06.2010

more eggnog please...

When growing up, my dad wanted really one thing for us girls in our mate. I suppose he figured this one skill meant a lot of good things of this man-- that, or my dad is just looking for a scapegoat. My dad wanted the man to be able to cut down the Christmas tree. So, I went and married myself a logger. 

Last year, we made my dad's Christmas. We took my husbands parents, my grandparents and my parents way up in the mountains for serious Christmas tree hunting. We had the whole forest to choose from. Chris whipped out his chainsaw and cut down some huge, beautiful trees. 

This past weekend, we did it again with just the three of us. We bundled Audrey up and headed two hours southeast. This trip went a little differently. 

Since pregnancy, I now get car sick. Sweating, nausea and headaches. That is how the trip started. Just as I was feeling better, Chris slowed down the truck to check on these people that were pulled over. Nausea rushed back as I saw them pulling a dead deer over a log with its guts left in a pile behind. 

We then get up as far as we can, snow permitting, and get out to pick our tree. I've always taken hours to select the perfect tree. This time I pointed at one and down she went. Audrey started screaming at the chainsaw noise. Guess she is not daddy's little logger. 

Once the tree got home, it was chaos. The tree was huge. Chris brought it in our tiny living room and it was like a scene from Christmas Vacation. Branches were crawling up the windows and walls and scraping the ceiling. I sat back and directed Chris on where to trim and how to turn it. His nerves started to boil over as I directed him on turning it a smidgen to the right, then back to the left, back to the right-- for about 30 minutes. Once it was ready, I started lights. I asked for his help which again led to me telling him he was doing it wrong and taking over.

I drank a little too much eggnog, so the next morning made for even more fun. I stayed in bed while Chris got up with Audrey. A few minutes later I hear this THUMP and wailing begin. I jump out of bed and say, "Where did she fall?" "Off the couch," he said. Aren't we just parents of the year? She probably falls of the couch once a week. Then he says, "Yah, want to watch? I filmed it." WHAT? 

Well, he was filming her standing on the couch and eating the tree (another fabulous parenting moment) and she loses balance and flips off the couch. You hear him on film go "Ah" and shut off the camera. I'm not going to post this in order to avoid calls from child services.

So I took her in my arms and comforted her. I handed her this orange pony ornament my sister had painted me when she was little. She immediately puts it in her mouth. A few minutes later I catch a glimpse of orange paint on my hand. I look at her, sitting on my lap facing outward, and she is chomping away at orange paint- absolutely covering her mouth. 

She lived. No bumps on the head and no paint poisoning. Every day makes for some adventure. Today, I'll probably let her eat some wrapping paper.

12.04.2010

sweet victory

All I have to say for this day is, especially as my husband and the rest of this town are Beavers: Go Ducks!

12.03.2010

the m and the p in my abc

I can't believe I have waited this long to introduce you all to two very important family members. It just goes to show how forgotten these members are ever since the A (Audrey) came into our world. Introducing Mosely (Mo) and Peeler. 
I got Mo from my cousin who picked him off of the street and paid way too much for him. We don't know what he is. Half pug? Half cat? Who knows? All I know is that he meows like a cat, enjoys getting his nails clipped, likes to spoon in bed and gets a lot of, "What is that?" when we go out walking. 

I got Mo as a puppy and it was just me & Mo. We did everything together and went everywhere together. Then I met Chris. Chris had a chocolate lab, Peeler (a logging term f.y.i.). I was pretty nervous to introduce them to each other.

Like Chris and I, Mo and Peeler were complete opposites. Mo is this diva and Peeler is a woods dog. Mo prefers 600 thread count and Peeler prefers a mat on the deck. But when those two met, they were instant brothers. Chris and I knew our family was meant to be. 

Chris and I had a lot of compromises to make however. Mo was an inside dog and Peeler was an outside dog. Chris says, "Dogs are meant to be outside." I didn't agree. I feel like they are your pets and meant to keep you company- not just sit outside. 

Chris would come home secretly and catch Mo in our bed. It was like catching me having an affair! So, the both of us caved a little and made sacrifices to make each other happy. Isn't marriage great? The pups have a rug we put out in the house and they stick to that rug. And to be honest, I have put them out more since they are both long haired and I am tired of vacuuming every second. 

Chris also was firm on making the dogs ride in the back of the pickup: rain, snow, wind, whatever...that is where they rode. But after my big baby lip telling him that, "Mo is just too little and gets cold," he let him ride on the floor in the truck. After awhile, I got used to Mo riding in the back and saw he actually loved it. And for cold days, Grandma got them dog coats...camo dog coats. Whenever we drive up to Portland, we get points, honks and laughs the whole way. 

I am thankful for having dogs first. Chris and I had two totally different parenting methods with our pups and had to meet in the middle.


video
Video: Mosely antagonizing his brother and Audrey getting a kick out of it. Sorry for the poor quality

12.02.2010

happy birthday, mom

I've had many mommy moments of being exhausted, angry, frustrated and sad where I thought of you, mom. I thought of how to raised to wonderful daughters and gave us so much love. I want to be the mother that you are to us. 

Thank you for always putting bandages and Neosporin on our tiny scratches, always watching and smiling as we put on our shows, letting us be creative and imaginative even if that meant playing with the pots and pans or dressing up in your old prom dresses, tucking us in and singing to us every night (and knowing all the words...something I need to work on), getting up and making us a fabulous breakfast almost every morning, packing our lunches with little notes inside, driving me to school because I didn't want to take the bus, coming to all of my dance performances, picking me up and dropping me off at all the social events, always allowing us to not be scared of being honest, driving to Eugene when I was sick, still stuffing my stocking and sending me Easter presents, welcoming and treating my husband like your son, calling to make sure I am home safely, loving Audrey just as you love me, and showing me how to be a wonderful mother. Thank you. 

I love you & happy birthday.



12.01.2010

snapshot

audrey & owen on their date

a rant day

Well December is officially here and nothing welcomes it better than having to get up eight times for the baby or the dogs, being on the rag, waking up with a kink in my neck and a swollen toe, bills to pay and a house that is a disaster. 
Maybe Audrey gets the diva from me...

If God really knew what's up, there would be NO periods in December and NO bills. Everything would just go on a vacation. 

On the up side, if there is one, I am six pounds away from my pre-pregnancy weight, Audrey is in a rather cheery mood this morning (most likely because she had a big poop. Funny how that controls her attitude), and I am nearly done with my Christmas shopping. 

I don't know what's up with baby anymore. Chris and I were so good about making and keeping a schedule for her regarding naps and she was really good up until Day Light Savings ended. After that she wanted to blend her 2/3 p.m. afternoon nap with nighttime sleep. She is also now waking up at 3 a.m. instead of 4/5 a.m. for her morning snack, and officially getting up around 6 a.m. Balls. 

It also didn't help that I read this informative but frightening article about SIDS. Chris and I are very careful about the information we take in because there are so many "no-nos" out there now built to just over worry you and over protect your child. The article had horrible baby death stories as they all do and said SIDS can happen up to 1-years-old. After freaking myself out, I came home and removed the bumper, pillows and excessive blankets from her crib. I also now check on her breathing at least once an hour. 

Losing the bumper has made Audrey go ballistic in the crib. She bangs her head on the bars and clings to them like a monkey in a cage. This causes her to wake up and yell a few times at night. Joy for me.  Especially when last night amidst the dark I ran into one of her several toys and now my toe is swollen. I did one of those quite but huge freak outs wanting to kick the wall in frustration and my husband caught me.

Her diva attitude has also shown its face recently. Chris and I are both mellow, and up until now- Audrey was too. I find myself actually looking at my 5-month-old and saying, "Audrey, NO!" Sometimes I know she is just complaining. She wants to be picked up, doesn't want to play with a certain toy anymore, doesn't want to see my face anymore, etc etc... I swear somewhere in her whines I hear, "But I WANT IT!"

My girlfriend brought her 3-month-old boy Owen over for a play date. I couldn't believe it: We put Owen in Audrey's Bumbo seat and she actually got jealous. She looked at him in that seat and just yelled. Sweet little Owen just sat around all night smiling and cooing while my Ms. Diva Pants made the whole house know that she is the queen.

I'm sure by the end of the day Audrey will be her diva self, my pounds will pile back on since I have been eating the mint Christmas M&M's I bought and there will be more bills to pay. 

Hello December!

11.30.2010

reasons why my sister says I am a bad mother

My sister & baby. And she thinks I am the crazy one?
1. Audrey has fallen off the couch twice. I just hate locking her into any seat/toy she is in when she wants to explore. 

2. I put her in front of the television to entertain her. At least most of the time it is educational programs. 

3. I make her wear skinny jeans and nylons, and other uncomfortable, but such adorable outfits. 

4. We tried to bring her into a bar. OK, in my defense- I was trying to just get some food and this was a big restaurant/saloon. FYI: Babies are not allowed in bars. 

5. I let her cry. When she starts to yell, I am pretty calm and take my time getting her bottle or thinking about what she could want. Sometimes (and a lot lately), I know it is just attitude. This makes other people sweat. My husband is always going, "Hurry!" like she is going to burst and other people look at me and go, "Wow, you are really calm," which is code for "I am not calm so shush that baby up!"

6. If she looks interested, we let her taste almost everything including paper, hummus, beer and soap. 

7. Sometimes I let a few pees soak up that diaper before changing it...and sometimes I just forget that it has been a few hours. 

8. There are times I or we just need a break, but this is translated into trying to get rid of her.

9. I no longer make sure her bottle is perfect temperature. If it is too cold, she will let me know. 

10. We let the dogs lick her face. 

11. Sometimes we don't know where she is. We'll go to a big wedding and she just gets passed around. 

12. A mother does not always know...or at least this one. Chris will say, "What is wrong with her?" Most of the time I just guess, and the other times I seriously don't know.

part II: reasons why my sister says my mom was a bad mother

1. Mom rubbed Whiskey on our gums when teething.

2. Mom had one glass of champagne during pregnancy. 

3. Mom would let my sister bring home frogs she caught and then accidentally vacuum them up. 

4. They would bring me to parties -they were 22-years-old and the first to have a baby out of their friends.

5. Mom gave my sister Diet Pepsi in a bottle. 

6. The many times my sister decided to be a vegetarian (with the exception of chicken), we would order pork and tell her it was chicken. 

We both turned out pretty darn well I must say, so WELL DONE MOM!

My sister is smart, beautiful and talented. I don't know why she doesn't want to have children...and sometimes I know exactly why she doesn't. But she is only 19, and while some parenting strategies are looked upon as outlandish - being a parent is tough work! And to all the other mothers, we can't be perfect and it is too exhausting to try. Cheers to you being a mom. 

 
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