November 04, 2009

My Accident Prone Little Man

Seems the bigger my little guy gets, the more busy he becomes. If there is anything I have learned over the past couple months since he started walking is that we cannot let him out of our eyesight for a second. Jack is THE most accident prone little guy I have ever seen! We try to keep him confined to the living room area so that he is at least safe, but I'm sure being stuck there is getting a little old- he wants to EXPLORE! Seriously, he has fallen on his face so many times, we've wiped up so many bloody mouths. It scares me so much when it happens! I know I can't constantly be there to cushion his fall and he has to learn, but it is excruciating. Not only does he always seem to fall on his face, but the other night he fell face first into his toybox as he went in to reach for a toy. Scared the hell out of me.

We've had two very scary events take place recently. The first was a choking incident that lasted far longer then we would've liked. Jack loves to shove his face with food and about a week ago, he was eating some fruit from a fruit cup and started choking. My husband and I got him out of his highchair quickly and ended up doing the heimlich on him. It got scary and was about to dial 911 when I heard the best sound in the world- his cry. Poor baby was just terrified (as were mommy and daddy). Jack is fine, but I thank god every day that my husband and I knew how to react in that situation.

The second scary event is that Jack came down with H1N1. While he is an overall healthy boy and it really amounted to nothing more than a very long 2 weeks of fever and illness, one night we got scared. Jack woke up crying- not unusual for him to get up at least once a night in search of nuks or mommy and daddy. The crying went on for awhile though and as I turned to ask my husband what we should do (we are a CIO house) his breathing became labored. He was grunting and I ran to him to see what was the problem. He we grunting and shaking and twitching from head to toe- he was very feverish. As he continued to struggle, he vomited all over me. We immediately headed to the ER. He shaked and struggled the entire ride there. They gave him a Tylenol suppository and as we waited to see the doctor, Jack calmed and was basically just tired by the time we actually saw a doctor. Of course, the doctor ribbed us for overreacting. I just kept thinking... you didn't SEE him. This type of reaction to illness is so out of the ordinary and he's had MUCH higher fevers with his ear infections in the past (up to 104), so 102.5 shouldn't have been causing this type of reaction. I will NEVER doubt that we did the right thing and I will put up with a condescending ER doctor to make sure that my little boy is okay. It was a scary moment and a scary night. Jack was sick for a grand total of 2 weeks with the flu and we are still nervous that he hasn't shaken it entirely.

I guess even though we have these scary moments, I know that we are blessed and lucky. I have been reading the stories of my online friends- near death accidents with their children that have changed their lives forever. Children who were born with special needs. These moms are my freaking heroes. I can't imagine all that they have to do and fight for on a daily basis whether it is just their sanity or the healthcare system. I am amazed. I think my point is that accidents happen and everything can change in an instant. I worry that one of these little Jack accidents will be the last and it scares me. There is not a day that goes by that I do not thank God for giving me such a happy, healthy and brilliant little boy. I know I am lucky and I do not take that for granted. Not even for a moment.

October 20, 2009

Playing Catch Up

I confess that I haven't been a great blogger. Well... here at least. So let's catch up with the latest and greatest in life and rants.

1) I am on a major weight loss kick. As we tip toe back into the TTC world, I feel once again that the only way it is going to happen is if I lose weight and get serious about being healthy. Not to say that I wasn't oh so careful when I was pregnant with Jack, but, I do feel that being overweight contributed to my unexplained infertility. Why else would I get pregnant after losing 15 pounds? Anyway, in order to do this, I have had to re-commit in a big way. I quit WeightWatchers which was only doing a couple things for me: jack and shit. I rejoined SparkPeople.com and have been seeing really great results as well as getting support through their amazing community. I have been keeping a weight loss blog there and it has really been great at keeping me honest and on track. Not an easy thing to do during the Halloween season of amazing chocolate at every turn. I really recommend SparkPeople and how their program works. I think it was just the kickstart I needed to get the weight loss moving.

2) Vaccine Rant:
With H1N1 messing up everyone's world, the great vaccination debate is firing up again. Everyone knows that I am pro-vaccination. When Jack started daycare, our family has NEVER been so sick. We caught every little cold, stomach virus you name it. Our house should have had a big bubble around it. I simply CANNOT imagine my child getting sick with something worse. As with anything, you have to weigh the risks. I have always looked at it from the point of view that I would rather my son be autistic then dead. Another way I look at it is- when I get a medication for something whether it be pain pills or antibiotics, I'm always told by my doctor or Jack's pediatrician that the benefits outweigh the side effects of the medication. I look at vaccinations the same way. I have also seen the horrors of meningitis and will do ANYthing to keep my son from getting that sick. I actually heard someone say "It's not like they can die from the flu." Unless you live in a bubble and never read or watch the news, you know that is NOT TRUE. There are plenty of VERY healthy kids dying from both H1N1 and the seasonal flu. Extremely ignorant to say that it could never happen to you. Fine if you are wearing your tin foil hat with your grass skirt drinking your tofu tea hanging out with your non-vaccinated children but keep them away from me and my family.

3) OH my god rant. I saw this posted on Parenting.com today and felt like I needed to rant: Article- Should Childless Children Get Maternity Leave?
Um. NO. Listen. When I was trying to get pregnant for 2.5 years and watching scores of women around me who were rubbing their perfect pregnant bellies and then leaving for 12 weeks on what I assumed was an extended vacation then coming back with a million excuses in the world for why they have to leave early to pick up little Ben from daycare or go to their holiday pageant it made me livid. Why do they get all this flexibility and I'm working my ass off until 5p? I sort of turned the other cheek and used it to my professional advantage. I'd steal projects, take all the glory. Then, I got my turn. Maternity leave is no treat. It is no vacation. There is nothing fun about maternity leave. Let's see. The first 3 weeks are spent in a baby blues blur of non-stop crying for pretty much no reason at all. I spent at least the first 4 weeks in recovery alone- the bleeding, the pain from both postpartum contractions and my episiotomy and not to mention that I also came down with a uterine infection that put me on horrible antibiotics, pain pills and a week of bed rest while I recovered. I didn't even bring up baby yet!!! There is no sleep. For Jack there was also no breastfeeding which just ADDED to my already on-edge baby blues issues and worry. Jack was jaundiced which meant a week on a bili bed and getting blood tests every two days to make sure that his bilirubin number was going down (which it wasn't because he wasn't eating) in which we then decided to switch to formula which brought on a firestorm of criticism from all corners. By 6 weeks (the normal maternity leave time off in the US that is actually paid for) Jack was still feeding at least twice overnight- the THOUGHT of going back to work that early gives me shivers. Through the glory of FMLA, I was able to take 12 weeks off and because of an amazing boss and CEO I was able to stretch that to 15 weeks. It was exactly the right amount of time that I needed to settle into an entirely new life, figure out a routine with the baby and completely recover from his birth.

So. Unless whoever these women are that want maternity leave for doing a whole lot of nothing want to go through EXACTLY this then they can kiss my ass. Hell yeah, I'd love 6 weeks off to do absolutely nothing, but IT DOESN'T WORK THAT WAY. Now... Giving leave time to someone undergoing infertility treatments? That is something I would be able to agree with. Infertility drugs and procedures are no cakewalk let alone the emotional aspect of it. I would think a woman should be well within their rights to have time allotted for that.

4) Breastfeeding Rant.
I will be the first to say that the benefits of breastfeeding are amazing. Those that were able to successfully do for a year? My heroes. HOWever... my rant isn't about those people necessarily. It is about the selfish breastfeeders- you know the ones. The ones who do it for THEM and justify their behavior as being for their child. The ones who did it to lose all the baby weight and then some. The ones who are obsessed with feeding (you do get some pretty amazing hormone rushes from it). I saw a post today from someone who is still EBF and her kid is over the age of 1 now. When I say exclusive? I mean exclusive. As in no other form of nutrition other than breast milk. No Gerber Puffs, no purees, no fruits, no veggies, no table foods of any kind and she is surprised that her son hasn't gained any weight in 3 months? It is time to LET GO of the breastfeeding- this is OBVIOUSLY telling you that his needs are changing! I was not a breastfeeder so I really shouldn't even comment, but when the answer is so right in your face... ugh.

I can't understand why some moms are so blind to their kids' changing needs whether it be naps, bottles, food... I am sure there are plenty of things that I turn my head to when it comes to Jack, but I have also learned when it is time to let go, too. I thought giving up the swaddle would be terrible. Turned out to be a non-event. I thought I would never give him solids in the fear of his choking. He eats grilled cheese like a champ. I thought losing the nighttime bottle would be a tragedy- also a non-event. I thought he would never go to sleep without being rocked- also not true (and very hard for ME to give up- I loved my snuggle time with him!). Ask me about the pacifier in a few months... ha! My point is- you can't hold onto these things forever and even though they can't talk, they are showing you signs of how much they are changing all the time and you have to roll with it. No matter how much you fight it- they really aren't babies for long. I, frankly, love my 1 year old. He is so much fun to be around now that he is interactive and dinner is a blast now that he can eat our food right along with us.

5) TTC #2 Rant
My DH and I have been TTC #2 pretty steadily now since about May. Sure, we should probably getting it on more often. A part of me just keeps thinking: WHY can't we be that couple who only has to do it once and we're pregnant? Those of you long time TTCers know what I'm talking about. It's not that the lovin' isn't great, it is just... a lot and it is stressful and not a good kind of stress. I've been trying to connect with others who are TTC #2 and wanted to keep an open mind. I joined a buddy group with my October 08 mums and out of 5 of us, 3 are already pregnant. WTF? Once again, I am the last one standing. I then drifted off to try another group. I lurked around, thought about posting and saw: "I hope my journey for #2 isn't as long as #1. It took us 4 months to TTC #1." I thought, "4 WHOLE months??" WTF!!! Who makes a comment like that??? I hesitate to even mention 2 1/2 years being long as I know there are others out there who have been at the TTC game MUCH, much longer than that. Just. Stupid. It is safe to say that I ran far, far away from that group never to open up the thread again. For a long time, I was indifferent as to whether or not I wanted a 2nd child. I'm sure it was on one of those not so good days with Jack. However, those thoughts are long gone. I REALLY want a sibling for him. I don't care if it is a boy or a girl (although a girl would be FABulous). We have a cutoff this time though- if we're not pregnant by the end of 2010 the gig is up. I refuse to go through any more TTC stress, drugs, or losses (which I am at a higher risk for with uterine fibroids).

Catch up rants complete!

September 25, 2009

"I'll Never Hear Your Sweet Voice Sing"

I just had to share this article from today. I simply cannot even comprehend what these people have gone through or anyone else whose baby was stillborn or died early. My heart absolutely aches and cries out for them and what they have put together here is beautiful. I plan to buy this CD.

'I'll never hear your sweet voice sing'

Father's ode to stillborn daughter now a song to comfort the grieving
By Molly Guthrey Millett
mollymillett@pioneerpress.com


Just two weeks before her due date, Mark and Susan Lacek's first child, Faith, died in the womb when the umbilical cord became tightly wrapped around her body.
As what would have been Faith's first birthday approached in 2001, her grieving father scrawled out a poem about all the moments he would miss of his daughter's life.
"I am never going to be able to hear her sing, I will never take her to her first day of school, I will never see her in her graduation gown," he said. "Those kinds of lost dreams and opportunities became the basis for the song."
Recently, after finding the piece of paper in his dresser, Lacek asked his friends in the Minneapolis band Rocket Club to help him turn the poem into a song. The result, "One More Day," is getting exposure locally, nationally and virally — on Facebook and YouTube.
The bittersweet tribute to the South Minneapolis couple's child will be played shortly after 8:30 a.m. today on the Cities 97 (KTCZ-FM 97.1) morning show.
"People hear it and they say what a sad song it is," said co-writer Joel Sayles, of Rocket Club. "But I've never looked at it as sad. It's a tough subject, but I believe the overall message is that we all get to carry the people we've been fortunate to know in life, the people who are not with us anymore, we carry them with us in everything we do."
Faith's legacy is bigger than a song, though.
In her memory, her parents founded the nonprofit organization Faith's Lodge in 2007 on 80 acres in Danbury, Wis. It is a retreat for parents whose children have died or who are seriously ill. Proceeds derived from the song's success will go to the charity. "This all came about because we were trying to figure out how we were going to go on after we lost Faith," said Susan Lacek, 40. "One thing we did was go away, just the two of us, to a resort in the northwoods that both of us found extremely peaceful and healing
"But we felt we couldn't talk to anyone else there about what we were going through. (Others) were all there for happy reasons, and we were there for very different reasons," she said. "We felt this void from that experience.
"We talked about it and said, 'What if we could create this place in the woods, a beautiful, healing environment that could bring families together who have lost a child, to support one another and know they are not alone?' "
The retreat has served about 350 families, many from Minnesota and Wisconsin, but others from across the nation are finding it helpful, too. The couple has received support for their outreach efforts from such organizations as the Ronald McDonald House Charities, Upper Midwest.
Cities 97 also has been an enthusiastic supporter of the Laceks. Some of the proceeds of the radio station's annual "Cities 97 Sampler" CD go to their charity. The station also invited Rocket Club to record an acoustic version of "One More Day" this week, with local musician Peter Ostroushko accompanying on mandolin.
Program director Lauren MacLeash said reaction to the regular version of the song has been enthusiastic.
"We got so many phone calls," MacLeash said. "Including Abigail Taylor's father, who said he had to pull over on the side of the road after hearing it."
Taylor is the Minnesota girl who died from complications of a pool drain accident, a death that led to a new federal law on swimming pool safety. Her family has stayed at Faith's Lodge, and her foundation is helping fund a


"Hope Rocks Volume II," a CD that includes "One More Day," benefits Faith's Lodge, a retreat created by Mark and Susan Lacek for parents of children who have died or are seriously ill. It will be available at Target stores beginning Sunday.
playground there, said Susan Lacek. Reactions from others include those who have been posting comments on the Facebook fan page of Faith's Lodge. Some examples:
  • "Even for those who have not had to endure the loss this song brings tears to my eyes."




  • "Some things can still make the tears flow like rain. I miss you Lilybean."




  • "Beautiful. Perfect. Just like our children who've gone before us."  The Laceks, who have since had two other daughters, Emmy Hope and Ally Grayce, suffered their loss in June 2000. On their way to a baby shower in their honor, the couple stopped by the maternity unit for what they thought would be a quick ultrasound check because Susan Lacek had not felt the baby move. There was no heartbeat. "I remember thinking, 'This can't be happening, this isn't happening,' " Susan Lacek said. "I remember both of us crying out, I remember Mark crying out, I remember him holding me, both of us sobbing. It's the moment in a bereaved parent's life where your whole life just changes in the instant."
    From that loss came the poem.
    "Mark is a good friend of mine," said Rocket Club band member Don Smithmier. "When he called me a couple of months ago and said, 'Hey, I found this poem I wrote on the one-year anniversary of Faith's death, would you and the guys in the band help me put it into a song?' I hope it was a rhetorical question, because how could you say no? We were totally into doing that."
    In fact, it was personal: Smithmier was 8 when his father died in an accident, and Sayles' first wife died of cancer when she was 28.
    "After I sent the lyrics to my bandmates and said, 'Can we get together and start working on this?' it was not an hour later when Joel called me and said, 'It's done,' " Smithmier said.
    "For whatever reason, it struck a chord with me," said Sayles. "We all share a common thread of loss that we've dealt with and got through. I just knew what to do — I sat down and it all kind of came out in a way that never happens as a songwriter — it made sense and the structure and form were there. I knew right then that it could be powerful for a lot of people."
    "The line that gets me is the second line, 'I'll never get to hear your sweet voice sing,' because I have three little girls, and it's the sweetness of their voices that I think about as a dad," Smithmier said. "But I do think the song will mean something to people who haven't lost a child. It's for all of us who have had loss in life.
    "It's also a song that makes you appreciate the now."
    Molly Guthrey Millett can be reached at 651-228-5505.
    IF YOU GO
    Hope Rocks, a rock benefit, will be Saturday at Epic in Minneapolis for Faith's Lodge and to feature the release of "Hope Rocks Volume II," a compilation CD of local bands and solo artists, including Rocket Club and Faith's song. The BoDeans will perform. General admission tickets are $150. For information, go to faithslodge.org.
    ONLINE
    Watch a video of Rocket Club recording "One More Day" at youtube.com/watch?v=TBBTwyzLVkc.
    LYRICS TO 'ONE MORE DAY'
    I'll never get to hold you
    I'll never hear your sweet voice sing
    I'll never get to say 'I told you so'
    I'll never read to you, or get to teach you anything
    But you'll always be my hope
    You'll always be my first light
    You're always gonna be Daddy's little girl
    You'll always be the strength I need to make it in this world
    I only wish for one more day
    I'm gonna miss your first day of school
    I'll never see you turn that page
    I'll never see you in your graduation gown
    And I'm never gonna see you coming of age
    But you'll always be my hope
    You'll always be my first light
    You're always gonna be Mommy's little girl
    You'll always be the strength I need to make it in this world
    I only wish for one more day
    Sweet angel of mercy
    Coming down to comfort me
    Faith, sit right here beside me
    I never want you to go away
    I'm always gonna wonder how you'd look
    Always gonna wish I took your place up there
    You'll always be our hope
    You'll always be our first light
    You're always gonna be our little girl
    You'll always be the strength we need to make it in this world
    We only wish for one more day
    We only wish for one more day"




  • September 22, 2009

    To Stay At Home or Stay at Work

    I always told myself when I got pregnant with Jack that if my job ever stopped being fun that I would quit and stay at home to raise him. Well... that time may have presented itself. There has been a drastic change in management and with that came drastic changes to my job and pretty much everyone's job where I'm at. So much to the point that I often wonder if they even need me anymore. The office stress has reached its peak and it is definitely not fun to come into work at this time.

    So, I'm faced with the possibility of becoming a stay at home mom (or SAHM as it is often referred to). I often wondered if I could be the type of person to stay home. I love my son more than life, believe me, but, I find that I do need my breaks from him as well. If I stay home, those will be few and far between since I have a husband that travels. On the other hand, how much would I love to have time for mommy playgroups, swim classes, mommy and me classes at the gym, shopping, playing... I find myself often dreaming about how it would be.

    Then... I realize that he goes to an AMAZING school. I will be honest and say that I do not think he would be as developmentally advanced without having gone to school at this place for the past 9 months. Yeah- I'm totally ripping on myself, but I just don't think I could've taught him all that he has learned. So why not keep him in there a couple days a week? Not an option. You pay full price whether he is there 2 days a week or 5. We would not be able to afford it if I weren't working. He even has a BEST FRIEND at school!! It's so sweet! I would hate to take that away from him!

    So now you see my great dilemma.

    After much agonizing thought and weighing the pros the cons the great the bad, I've decided to continue working. I have faith that things are going to turn around at my work and I'm going to get back to winning some of these battles here. At the end of the day, I do really enjoy what I do it is the company politics that mess everything up. Why can't we all just get along? Anyway- I just feel like Jack is in the best place possible, and, really, I am too. I am so proud of all that he has accomplished and amazed at the values they have taught him. I want him to continue on that path as well as I really want him to grow up with these kids if it is at all possible.

    Perhaps when he is school-age and going from sport to sport and lesson to lesson, I'll consider giving up my work to haul him around all over creation, but for now, I'm going to let the experts work their magic on him.

    September 14, 2009

    Amazing

    I know I spend most of my time on my blog bitching about everything and nothing. Today, I will not be a crab.

    Last Friday, my son turned one. In my world, it was just the most special occasion. Sure, he won't remember any of it, but I will. In a selfish way, his huge party was mostly for me. However, I felt like I was celebrating not just because I'm a proud mama, but because I want to celebrate that I have a happy, healthy and amazing little boy. I am blessed in so many ways that I can't even keep track anymore.

    For Jack's birthday we took him out for dinner at Applebees- all the pretty waitresses sang him their birthday song as he stared in a mixture of confusion and wonder. The next day was a huge celebration of family. Four generations were present and it was amazing the outpouring of love for our little man. We credit Jack in so many ways for bringing the family together at a time when everyone was growing apart. I want so much for Jack to know all of his cousins, aunts, uncles but most importantly that he got to meet his great-grandmas. I know he'll likely only remember and know that he knew them only from the photos that we show him, but I think it is amazing that they are even still here to celebrate him with us.

    It was just a perfect, wonderful weekend. Drama was left at the door. Two different families came together to celebrate a year in the life of my Baby Jack. Thank you my wonderful family for making Jack's first birthday one to remember.

    September 10, 2009

    My Baby Jack is Turning One!

    Just one year ago today, my dear husband and I were joking about how we needed Jack to wait until after the weekend to be born. That Wednesday evening, September 10, 2008, I had taken my best friend to have her nails and toes done for her wedding. I got myself a french manicure and had my toenails painted (no pedicures for my massively swollen feet). We stopped and got Wendy's for dinner. We kicked back and enjoyed a meal. I told her, "See you at the Rehearsal Dinner tomorrow!" I had officially gone on Maternity Leave that day and was looking forward to my BFF's wedding as well as we had our walk-through at our brand new house the next day. So much to look forward to, thus, the reason we were hoping Jack would hang out inside mommy just a little bit longer.

    As if it were a bad joke that my son was playing on me, I awoke in a panic around 1:00a thinking I had peed the bed (not uncommon in the 3rd trimester. Gross, but true.). I stood up to the oh-so-dramatic breaking of my waters. I hightailed it the bathroom with the non-stop gush and realized that this was indeed happening and thought, "Oh, shit! You've GOT to be kidding me!" I gently awoke my husband from a deep slumber with "Honey- my water broke." He asks, "Are you sure?" Uh. Duh! I was panicking. I didn't have a hospital bag fully packed. Hell, I didn't even have the HOUSE packed and we were to be moving in 2 days!! I quickly grabbed a bag and started throwing crap into it. Bathroom stuff, Jammies, clothes for Jack that were way too big... it was insane. I called my OB/GYN and the hospital to let them know that I was on the way. But, before I left, I HAD to let my poor BFF know that I would sadly be missing her wedding and sent her an e-mail. It was storming out when we began the long drive to the hospital (our new house was MUCH closer to the hospital, so this was not exactly anticipated).

    The rest of Jack's birth story has been documented, but I recap the initial stuff leading up to his birth because it is the memory that I often seem to forget about the most. My husband and I had been living in that house for 6 years together. It was the place where we almost broke up early in our relationship, the place we were when we got engaged and planned a wedding, the home we made for ourselves when we got married and where we conceived our beautiful son. I never got to say goodbye to that house and all of its amazing memories. Even though we complained about it and all the updates it needed and the poorly running air conditioner, we have the most fond memories of our lives together there. The night I went into labor marked a very profound change in our lives. Leaving that house behind meant saying goodbye to a life we will not know again for a very long time. In all the chaos of Jack's early arrival, I had forgotten about the wonderful life and marriage that we had before. It's not to say that our life with Jack isn't completely amazing now, it is just great in a different way. Our marriage has taken some hits over the past year as we are working to assimilate into parenthood.

    Jack has changed my life in so many ways. The most significant though is that of my heart. I never thought it was possible to love someone so much. It is true what they say, the bond between mother and child is overwhelming. Even through the late nights, the tantrums, and the illnesses I could not love anything more. He is my heart walking around. My life. My whole reason for being. I am so blessed that he is healthy, happy and that we are able to provide him with a beautiful home filled with anything his heart desires (or, at least that we think it desires!).

    So, on the eve of my little boy's first birthday, I am remembering with so much nostalgia not only the events that took place a year ago, but also the amazing life and story that my husband and I have made together over the past 7 years. I am a very lucky woman to have these amazing men in my life!

    August 31, 2009

    Don't Judge Me!

    Well it has been a challenging week in momville.

    Jack has been sick. He had a double ear infection that didn't seem to get better. We got called to pick him up last Thursday for what was thought to be Ringworm (and the "rash" seem to magically disappear by the time I got home from work... uh... Ringworm lasts for WEEKS). We kept him home on Friday as he was running a temp of 102.5. Doctor says "he has a virus". Love that diagnosis. His left ear was however still infected, so we got new antibiotics and his fever and ear issues were magically gone in about a day. We had nights of scary screaming, a high temp of 103.2 and two exhausted parents.

    On to the topic of the day. We are hearing from all sides the anger and frustration for why we won't let Jack stay overnight anywhere, not even having someone stay at our house. While I would LOVE to have a baby-free night at some point in time, now is not it. He's a terrible sleeper at home which would make him a worse sleeper somewhere else. It would take a week to re-program him to get him sleep even the solid six hours we are getting out of him right now. So, sorry. We are two full-time working parents. We simply do not have the time or the patience to have to deal with such things. To stay healthy, we keep things routine. For now, until Jack is able to communicate with words, this is how it is going to be. I am sick and tired of feeling the pressure to be and do certain things as parents. We already feel as though we have little time with Jack as it is with our jobs- and it is even worse for my dear husband who travels quite a bit. We want to be with our little guy as much as possible. Everything else simply doesn't matter. On top of that we were told that when he is old enough for an overnight, that if we let him stay somewhere and the other found out about it that they would get mad. Are you kidding??? This is the type of drama that we want to be free from. Why can't people just let us make our own decisions for our own son and then just LIVE WITH THEM without all the guilt trips?? What if we say: "Jack, where do you want to stay overnight while daddy and I go out of town?" and he makes the choice himself? We could play that game! How bad would that feel? Geesh.

    My second issue came in regards to our choice to let Jack cry it out at night. I made a comment on Facebook and someone commented back "You should really do the 'No Cry Sleep Solution' it is a much more gentle way to teach them to sleep." Okay. First of all, before you judge me on my choice, did you bother to ask about my kid? I'm not just being biased but he's one smart cookie. He knows exactly what to do to get our attention and knows how to manipulate us. He knows that when he screams and throws temper tantrums at night that one of us will come running. By going to him, we discovered that we start back at square one and it just pisses him off more when we walk away. There is no gentle back rubbing. No cuddling, No lullaby in the world that will soothe him. So, we made the decision that he has to learn how to work it out. Our longest stretch was 40 minutes. I'm not going to lie, it was torture. I hated every moment of it and it KILLED me not to go to him and hold him close. Once he was settled and I could hear him snoring, I peeked in on him in his happy, silent slumber. He was just fine. The next night, he awoke again at the same time. Same type of crying. Only 3 minutes and he was back to sleep. So, unless I want to sleep with him in a glider until god knows when, this was the best solution for our situation. I am perfectly aware that everyone has their own idea about how to teach their child how to sleep at night, but please keep your judgments to yourself please. Thank you.

    I've recently been feeling very sensitive about some comments being made on one of my mommy internet boards. I know they aren't directed towards me, and everyone has their own opinion, but really? Think about what you're saying before you hit "post". Specifically, someone asked about doing a birthday "registry" or Wish List as BRU/TRU calls it and if she should put it on the invitation. I sent out really cute printed paper invitations. Within a day we were getting bombarded with "What can I get for Jack?" "What does he like?" "What size clothes does he wear?" from just about every person that was invited. I had also planned on sending out an e-invitation that everyone could RSVP to as well as write on Jack's "wall". Since everyone wanted information (and believe me, even if you say 'no gifts' to these people, they'll come with one anyway), I put Jack's Wish List information on the e-invite. Someone responded how tacky it was. Thanks. In my oh so humble opinion, I'd rather they got him useful things like the things on his registry- books, learning DVD's, lullaby CD's and clothes (which he desperately needs as he has far surpassed the 12 month clothing mark) rather than buy hm some dumb ass toy that he'll never play with and collect dust in the corner because I didn't speak up and encourage other kinds of more useful gift items. Again. I'm sure this wasn't directed towards me and was just an opinion, but come on. This isn't a wedding. It is a kid's first birthday. We're going to have him open fucking gifts for god's sake. If one of our guests thinks it is tacky, well they can just screw off. If you're going to be that much of a dick to hold that against us then we don't want you to share in the day anyway.

    The other comment that was made was in regards to baby shoes. The question was posed about what kinds of shoes they should be wearing at this stage of beginning walking. Of COURSE I know that barefoot is best, but when you have a kid that spends practically his entire day playing on the playground at Daycare you have to protect their little feet! Plus, daycare requires it. So, after extensive research (and I shit you not, I did extensive research about which shoes would be best for my little cruiser) I decided that Robeez were the best way to go. They are soft-soled so they are as close to being barefoot as possible and one of the other important things- he cannot get these suckers off! He loves to pull at his feet and take his shoes off, but he can't get Robeez off. Well, there was one naive comment that "Robeez aren't good for the feet and that barefoot is best". Ummm.... DO YOUR RESEARCH BEFORE SPEAKING UP PLEASE!!! Another said, "I hate Robeez. I think they are ugly." Geez. Nice. Now I buy my kid ugly shoes. Come on ladies, please think before you speak. I know these are your own opinions and you are entitled to them, but comments like this are sort of hurtful. Keep them to yourself. Just state why you picked the shoes you did and how they are working rather than flaming other people's (hard researched) choices. Isn't this suppose to be an environment of help and support? For the record, Jack has two pairs of Robeez- one pair of suede brown loafers and a pair of blue sneakers from their "mini shoes" line. I think they are adorable.

    I'm sure I'm just overly sensitive about a lot of these things, but I hate it when people make judgments about my choices. Other than on this blog, which is mine and mine alone, I don't judge anyone's choices. We moms, we have to do what we gotta do for our own personal situations. If I don't like it, I rant here. I just wish sometimes that people came with an edit button that they could hit before writing an e-mail or before speaking out loud.

    August 20, 2009

    Unsolicited Advice Post #5 Million and Counting

    As I struggled with something to write about today and thought about leaving my Blog in the dust today, I was inspired. But not in a good way.

    Why is it that people feel it is necessary to give advice on things they know nothing about? To make conversation? To feel smarter? To just be plain bitchy? The conversation started something like this...

    Person: "Hey- did the storm last night wake the baby up?"
    Me: "Storm?"
    Person: "Yeah, a really loud thunderstorm rolled through last night."
    Me: "Naw. Storms don't wake Jack up. Me tiptoeing through his room and hitting just the right creek in the floor? That wakes Jack up."
    At this point, the conversation turns in a new direction some of which isn't important enough for me to remember.
    Person: "You only need about 15 minutes to put Jack down at night, right"
    Me: "Um NO. Try 45 minutes + these days."
    Person: "Is that because you don't want to let go of your 'nighttime cuddling' with him and let him cry for a half an hour?" This said in the most condescending, rude tone I've ever heard in my life and not really a question but a statement.
    Me: "Not that I should have to explain, but Jack is dealing with some pretty serious separation anxiety these days. I'm choosing to wait it out with him until he goes to sleep so I don't psychologically destroy my child."

    Person then goes on to tell me that she just went through memory regression therapy and remembered her first memory- that of her mother leaving her to fend for herself in terror and believing that Mom is never going to come back to get her. My point exactly. I don't want my kid at age 31 needing to go to therapy because I chose to listen to him wail in terror for more than a half hour to try and "teach" him how to sleep.

    But here's my point...  how does this person feel it is within their boundaries to even remotely judge me? As always, I know my son the best. Nobody has ANY say how to tell me what is right or wrong where my child is concerned. I will make that call.

    If there is one thing I have learned about Jack in his nearly 1 year of life, it is that things just take a very natural progression with him. For awhile, we thought that he would end up sleeping in his carseat forever and then one day, we just swaddled him up and he slept through the night like a champ. We took the swaddle off when he started rolling. We put breathable bumpers up when he started getting his limbs stuck in the slats, we put regular bumpers up when he started waking up from bumping into the changing table side of his crib. We gave him a sippy cup and he chewed it at first- now he drinks it. I let him play with his forks and spoons- hoping one day he'll figure out that they are for eating. I figure putting him to bed is not unlike any of these things- one day he'll be far too big for me to rock to sleep. Sure, if he finally gets groggy after an hour, I'll put him down, he'll cry and I"ll let him work it out. What is the big deal about rocking to sleep or just being there for them to love? This isn't co-dependent behavior (what "the person") called it. This is called being a MOTHER which she is not.

    So, again, I will not second guess my decisions. I will not let someone's rude, insensitive comments undermine what I know is best for my son. I will follow my instincts because so far? They have all been right.

    August 17, 2009

    First Allergic Reaction

    If there is anything I have learned over the past year of being a new mom, it is that I have to bow out of a lot of things. Sometimes, I have to stay behind while others go off to drink, play and have fun. As a new mom, I am more than fine with giving up those things to do what is right for my son.

    Yesterday was the 1st Annual Family Kickball Game. The time happened to land right at Jack's usual naptime. I gave him a bottle and after enormous pressure from everyone decided to roll the dice and attempt to keep Jack up long enough to go down and get some playtime in. So, we changed diapers, put on sunscreen, put on shoes and socks and I handed Jack off to get strapped in his stroller for his kickball adventure while I grabbed water and got myself ready. Meanwhile, Jack got to hold the kickball. As we were walking down to the fields, his forehead started breaking out and eyes started getting puffy and swollen. Not good. We heard many theories. "It is a heat rash." Um, no. Jack plays outside in the heat every day. "It is a milk allergy." Um, no. He's been drinking milk-based formula for the past year without issues."His skin is like his daddy's." This comment only proceeded in pissing me and my husband off (and of course being my family, made my DH dislike them even further). THE only thing he touched that Jack has never touched before is the kickball (i.e. rubber/latex). I made the journey back up to the house to try and get him cooled off and wiped down. Wiped his forehead, wiped his hands, dabbed his tearful, watery eyes. Tried to get him to sleep. He was interrupted by, well, everyone. DH finally got him to sleep and took a nap with him in my parent's guest room. He woke refreshed and hive-free.

    It was just one of those "I told you so" moments in my Momdom. I should always trust my instincts. They were strong yesterday and I should've listened. I've always been very happy with the way my parents have been in terms of letting ME raise my son and letting me call the shots. Yesterday was a huge departure from that and I am so disappointed in their comments and on how they pressured me to go to the park even though I knew Jack needed a nap. The thing other people always seem to forget is that what happens during the day affects how Jack sleeps during the night. We try really hard not to mess with this delicate balance and both my DH and I have busy jobs- we can't afford to not be on our toes. One bad night = a bad day at work and a crabby child at daycare. Why can't anyone respect and understand this?

    I guess this just one of the many parts of this mom journey that I will never understand.

    August 14, 2009

    Healthcare Rant

    I have to get this subject off my chest today.

    I have a friend. For as long as I have known her, she has always had financial problems. Whether she's had one job or five jobs she has always crawled along from paycheck to paycheck. She's always complained about it too. This is one of the many, many reasons I chose to go into marketing/business as opposed to going after my dreamy major in music (as she did). She also happens to be one of those people who got sucked into the Obama craze. One of those people who are looking at him as though he is a hero and through him they will achieve prosperity and a trip to the doctor's office. That's fine, but at what cost? Who is paying for that prosperity? Who will be picking up the cost for that trip to the doctor? So selfishly do these people sit on their asses and wait for someone else to fix everything for them instead of getting off their ass to do it themselves. I have been laid off before. It sucks. I only had about $1000 in my savings to get me through god knows how long of a job drought. Living off of my measly 60% of my salary unemployment check, I somehow made ends meet. I dropped memberships to gyms, cut cell phone plans to the bare minimum, student loans on forbearance.I ate minute rice and popcorn for dinner. Drank water. Lost about 40 pounds (not a bad thing! LOL!). At the end of the summer, I got a new job that I WORKED MY ASS OFF TO FIND. I didn't wait for it to come to me. I did all the work. All the follow up. Sent thank you notes. Kissed a lot of asses. The job offer sucked, but I took it anyway. I sucked it up. Did something I didn't like.

    Well, times have changed. My husband and I, we live the American dream. Or, at least our version of it. We have worked extremely hard to live in a beautiful house, drive nice cars and no longer worry about bouncing checks. We work 60 hours a week. We barely see our son, but, we still say we are living the dream and hopefully will be able to send our son off to college without him having to bear the costs and debt that we had to endure. However, there is someone out there trying to take all of this away from us. He's raising our taxes. He's trying to force me into a healthcare plan where I will no longer get to choose what kind of care I want.

    I cannot imagine not having the power to choose my own doctor. I could not have imagined anyone other than my OB deliver my son. An OB who SAVED MY LIFE mind you. An OB who was smart enough to know that I my PIH was getting out of control. An OB who kept me and my son safe. An OB whom I CHOSE MYSELF. I also hand picked Jack's pediatrician.We love her to death- she has taken amazing care of our son and helped us make important decisions about his health. As a consumer, AS AN AMERICAN I deserve to keep that right! The right to choose my own healthcare! Not only would I be losing that right, but, now I'll have to pay even more taxes to pay for someone else's healthcare because why? They were too lazy to go out and get a job at Burger King? Because they keep having unprotected sex and keep getting pregnant? I ask- where is the justice in that???

    The thing about my friend that makes me even more irate is her lifestyle. Her and her husband smoke, drink, stay out and up all hours of the night and do not exercise. They are sick all the time. Well, duh. Come on people. You live this lifestyle and than expect someone else to pay for your healthcare because you weren't smart enough to take care of yourself? Total BS. It is not fair that we have to pay for others' mistakes. Others' bad habits.

    I can understand the need to have better programs in place for those who lose their jobs. For those who suddenly lose a spouse. For those who have asshole ex-husbands who refuse to pay child support (one of my internet mommies is going through a hellish divorce and her I do believe healthcare costs are out of control. However, letting the government control it is not the answer. Is this really what the American citizens are asking for? What kinds of things will be covered? A sore throat? A broken leg? Medication? IVF? I can't even IMAGINE what the fine print of this plan looks like.

    I really hope that these down on their luck people are someday able to live the dream that I get to live. I really hope they get their taxes back and instead of that fat return they were used to getting find out that they now have to pay in $7K or more simply because we worked our asses off. Again, tell me why this is fair? Just wondering. How messed up is it that our financial advisor told us to NOT make over 250K? Are you kidding me? This is how big government is destroying OUR dream folks.

    I'll admit. I talk a lot of shit here. If you commented, I probably wouldn't have the ammo to fire back. All I know is, this is what my reality is and it hurts. Nobody handed me my dream. Nobody handed my husband his dream. We had to work for it.

    August 11, 2009

    The Baby Cage and Other Baby Must Haves

    I've been inspired by one of Jack's internet aunties to get off my ass and start blogging again. My excuse isn't because I'm busy at work or because I'm chasing after my 11 month old. I confess. I'm obsessed and addicted to Twitter. I can't stop Tweeting. I can't stop reading Tweets from friends, celebs, news. It is insane. So, on my honor, I will take a deep breath and actually take the time to write something that is more than 140 characters in length. 
    I digress. 
    I have a co-worker who is pregnant after many trials and tribulations. She has come to me regularly about advice. Mostly, around the realm of "Should I start clipping diaper coupons?" or "Is $399 a good deal on a 3 piece crib collection?" I shudder at my naivety a year ago. I had no idea of the cool gadgets and gizmos that are out there for babies so I have my list. This list of things that I absolutely COULD NOT live without in the past year. So to you, my very few followers, I pass on my wisdom (in random order). 
    • The Itzbeen Baby Timer: It is a timer with 4 different things you can track- how long since the last: bottle, diaper, nap and a 4th button of your choosing (which I used in the first couple weeks to track how often I was taking my Tylenol 3). It also has a nightlight on it. We still use it for the nightlight to take quick peeks at Jack at night. It is like $24 bucks and is absolutely priceless in my book.
    • A bouncy chair. Bouncer. Whatever you want to call it. Inexpensive, I think we paid $50 for the Fisher Price Rainforest one. We were able to strap Jack into it, turn out the lull of the waterfall and he stared at it in wonder for hours on end. Eventually he played with the toys hanging from it. This thing was great though- we could put him on the floor sans dog hair and on the counter when we were making dinner and he would be fully entertained by both us and the stuff on it. All the while, he was safe and strapped in (not like our newborn could actually GO anywhere) but I always felt comfortable stepping away from him to pee and know that he'd be safe in there. 
    • Graco Snug-Ride carseat: I am still using his infant seat (although he is just a few pounds away from outgrowing it). LOVE these because you need just one seat, a couple bases and it is easy to for use between two cars. He was comfy, snug in it. We did the whole travel system- we still use the stroller, but not the carseat IN the stroller. It has come in handy. We'll be able to use the stroller for awhile.
    • On the note of the carseat... if you're having a winter baby, you absolutely need the JJ Cole BundleMe. So much easier than those damn snowsuits and baby bags and they stay toasty warm all winter long. It rocks.
    • Cheat Sheet: onesies in the summer, bodysuits in the winter. Lots of them. 
    • We were partial to the Pampers diapers- swaddlers and now Cruisers and now Overnights. He leaked out of ever generic diaper out there. 
    • The Halo Sleepsack Swaddler. Jack was swaddled in one of these practically right after he came out and we swaddled him with these until he outgrew them and we had to move to the Kiddopatomus ones. Back is best and swaddling works wonders!! 
    • The Pack n Play. Jack slept in our room in the PNP for the first 6 weeks of his life. After that, we started napping him in there in the living room. He still naps in there (he naps best with lots of commotion. Yeah. My kid is strange). They now make PNP's with something called a NAPPER as well. Jack actually slept in his carseat for the first 4 months- NOT exactly the best in safety, but best for sleeping all around. Had we had this NAPPER we would've been golden. 
    • Breathable bumpers. I loved theses because when dude started rolling, he couldn't roll back and he'd get stuck against these in the crib. We never worried with these. Bumpers were a must for us because he loved to stick his limbs out the crib slats. 
    • Jumperoo. He still jumps in this thing. Great entertainment for both you AND baby. 
    • Exersaucer. Jack was absolutely obsessed with this from about 4-9 months. He would play forever in this thing. Even fall asleep in it. We officially retired it this past weekend :( 
    • The AngelCare Monitor. Jack was a belly sleeper from the moment we de-swaddled him. Not just a belly sleeper, but a FACE DOWN sleeper. It scared the hell out of me. We bought this monitor to be able to make sure he is breathing and never looked back. We still use it and it still gives me peace of mind, even though he is old enough to probably not need it. Now I am interested in a video monitor so I can see if when he is crying at night it is because he needs me or because he is crying just to cry (plus there have been a lot of scary stories in the news lately). 
    • The XT SuperYard. OMG. This thing rules. We childproofed as much as we could, but this kid finds every danger in our house no matter what. The SuperYard has allowed him to be enclosed, but still have plenty of room to play with his toys. Plus he has perfected his cruising skills in this thing. WE LOVE IT. We call it The Baby Cage. Sure, sometimes he doesn't want to be in it, but for the most part, he is more than happy playing in his super-sized playpen. 
    • We still warm his bottles using The First Years bottle warmer. I'm sure there is probably a better one out there- this was our 2nd effort and just left it at that. The days of bottles and bottle warmer are quickly coming to a close. 
    • WIPES WARMER. Jack hated cold wipes when he was a newborn. This thing was a savior. 
    • The Munchkin BathDuck. This inflatable duck has been Jack's bathtub since he started being able to sit up on his own. It is big enough for him still and makes bathtime fun and easy. Plus it quacks! 
    • The Kelty Baby Backpack Carrier. This thing is expensive but awesome. We took a long hiking vacation and could NOT have done it without this thing. Well worth it and Jack loved it too! 
    I know there are many more things that we have used and will update as I think of them. Perhaps a useful toy post soon??

    Milestones Galore! My Baby Turned 11 Months Old Today!

    Well, I can hardly believe that 11 months have gone by. It seems like just yesterday that I brought my little Baby Jack home from the hospital to a strange house in a strange neighborhood. It seems like just yesterday that I learned what REAL sleep deprivation is. It seems like just yesterday that he was all bobbly headed and fit perfectly into the nook of my arm. It seems like just yesterday when I learned what it felt like to hold your heart in your arms.

    Today, I have this charismatic, charming, funny, babbling, WALKING little boy. Yup, you heard right. He started taking his first steps over this past weekend and gets more and more daring every day. He's also started speaking and signing in dramatic ways. He says mama and dada regularly (AND directed at us), he says hi, uh-oh, and doggie. He gets pissed off and throws tantrums in ways that I did not know were possible. His smile melts my heart.

    He is my baby. My best buddy. My heart. My soul.

    Happy 11 months my little man. Mommy loves you!

    July 21, 2009

    Open Up Your Eyes

    I just got the new Daughtry disc. I love it. LOVE IT! LOVE IT! As a wife a miscarriage sufferer and after a long journey now a mom, this song seemed to hit me particularly hard and wanted to share the powerful lyrics:

    "Open Up Your Eyes"
    A single rose to remember
    As a single tear falls from her eye
    Another cold day in December
    A year from the day she said "goodbye"

    Seems it's only been a moment
    Since the angels took him from her arms
    And she was left there
    Holding on to their tomorrow
    But as they laid him in the ground
    Her heart would sing without a sound

    For the first time you can open your eyes
    And see the world without your sorrow
    Where no one knows the pain you left behind
    And all the peace you could never find
    Is waiting there to hold and keep you
    Welcome to the first day of your life
    Just open your eyes

    As a single lifetime lays behind her
    As she draws her final breath
    Just beyond the door he'll find her
    Taking her hand she softly says

    For the first time you can open your eyes
    And see the world without your sorrow
    Where no one knows the pain you left behind
    And all the peace you could never find
    Is waiting there to hold and keep you
    Welcome to the first day of your life

    Just open your eyes as I lay you down tonight
    Safe on the other side
    No more tears to cry

    For the first time you can open your eyes
    And see the world without your sorrow
    Where no one knows the pain you left behind
    And all the peace you could never find
    Is waiting there to hold and keep you
    Welcome to the first day of your life

    July 17, 2009

    Change

    My hubby makes these silly pictures of Jack on his iPhone. Hilarious. This was the perfect facial expression for this poster!!! 

    I know I haven't been a great blogger lately. Work is busy. Jack is busy. It is hard for me to find the 5 minutes it requires to throw down a decent blog post.

    Now, when I talk about change, I'm not talking about Obama's idea of change here. Just change in general. I'm one of those people who prefers to keep things status quo. While I embrace new ideas and try to come up with a few of my own, I find that big changes are hard for me to deal with. We have new leadership at my office and I have found it very hard to jump on board with the ideas that are being proposed. It is a complete 360 degree switch from how we've conducted our Marketing affairs in the past as well as I'll admit there is a little fear that the way things are going, my job might simply not be necessary anymore. I guess it isn't scary to me in the sense that if I lose my job, we'll foreclose on our home or fall into massive debt but scary in that I have been REALLY happy at my job and I would hate to lose it and have to start from square one again. I have toyed with the idea of becoming a SAHM (stay at home mom), but the hard-working career woman side of me always prevails. That and the idea that I'm not remotely as smart as Jack's teachers at his school and he won't turn out half as brilliant if he's at home with me. Despite the ridiculous politics that seem to be plaguing my company at this time, I actually do enjoy working and especially what I do. I have always felt very empowered in my job and lately have seen much of that slip away. I'm doing my best to remain positive and just let the new guy do his thing and just let whatever will be, be.

    Another area that is giving me a lot of change- JACK!! He's insane. He's all over the place. He's vocal. He's funny. He's... amazing. The older he gets, the more my heart aches with love. The way he looks at me like he actually KNOWS me now, how he cries when I have to say goodbye in the morning and rocking him to sleep at night I just stare in wonder. I am very protective of my little guy. I just don't know what I would do if anything ever happened to him and I do not take a single second for granted. Nothing else matters in this world little angel except for you!

    July 10, 2009

    Intellectual Honesty

    I know Matt removed this post from his blog, but I am happy that it still showed up in my RSS Feed. He couldn't have said it better and I couldn't agree more and thought this was worthy of being re-posted!!! 

    Intellectual Honesty

    I unfollowed several people on Twitter over the past week in response to Tweets about Sarah Palin. Without diving too deeply into politics here, let me explain. I totally understand the desire to criticize public figures. We should. I know I certainly do. But what I will never understand, or tolerate, is intellectual dishonesty in doing so.

    Over the last few weeks, Republicans have had a Governor lie about his whereabouts and cheat on his wife, while another Governor abruptly resigned from her post with an almost incomprehensible speech. Each deserves, at a minimum, some scrutiny. Both were considered to be possible GOP candidates for the 2012 Presidential Election. In one case, that possibility is long gone. In the other, who knows? Either way, their decisions were at best questionable, and were at worst criminal.

    So, do I expect criticism? You betcha (couldn't help it). They deserve it.

    What's my beef, then? The same people that criticize Mark Sanford for infidelity, worship Bill Clinton. The same people who mock Palin for being inexperienced or "Mavericky", say nothing about Joe Biden's countless gaffes. The same people who decry Bill O'Reilly, Rush Limbaugh, and Sean Hannity as extremist wackos have nothing to say at all about Chris Matthews', Katie Couric's, or Keith Olbermann's obvious partisanship.

    If you're going to make a point, on either side of a debate, at least have the intellectual honesty to use the same standards to critique the other side of the issue. Occasionally, even. Otherwise, you really aren't adding anything to the conversation - at least on anything more than a sophomoric level. It's much easier to claim side A wears the white hat and side B wears the black hat, I know. But that's not civilized debate. That's Saturday morning cartoons. Bugs Bunny isn't always right, and Elmer Fudd isn't always wrong. Be intellectually honest, or shut up.

    I have always enjoyed following David Gerbino (@dmgerbino), a community banker from New York, on Twitter. But I think now I know how he must feel over the several years he's followed credit union people. Banks are always evil, and credit unions are always good. That must be the message he sees. Truth is, there are many community banks that do a better job of "credit unioning" than some credit unions. I believe the core principles of the credit union movement, when correctly implemented, yield amazing consumer-centric benefits for members. But who am I, or you, to say that our way is good and some other financial institution's way is evil? That's simply not true, and things aren't that simple.

    If you truly believe in "Change," refocus your criticism at the entire universe of ideas - not just the subset of thought that you have predetermined to be faulty. You will find yourself on the same overall side of issues, I have no doubt, but you at least won't come across as a boring hack toeing a party line.

    PS. After writing this, I realized that by unfollowing the people I did, I was countering intolerance with intolerance. That's no solution.

    June 26, 2009

    Stressed, but... Come On

    Firstly, I think it is hilarious that I've been sitting on another post that never made it to publish for OVER A MONTH! I try to write, I really do!

    As a quick update, my little man is truly that- a little man! The amount of development he's gone through in the course of about a month is really incredible. He is now crawling everywhere, pulling himself up on everything possible and getting into whatever he can. With my DH traveling like he does, there are very few moments I have to myself anymore. I am VERY protective of my son. I admit it. However, I am with good reason. There are so many stories out there of women who just "let go" of the little things. I refuse. When he squacks at night, I am peeking in to make sure he is okay. When he's pulling up on things, I am right there to make sure the fall isn't dangerous to him (I do let him plop on his butt- it is important for him to learn how to move around!). There have been several incidents at school in ONE WEEK of him falling and bumping his head and it scares me to pieces! I know... he's a boy... he's learning... and these things will happen, but it doesn't make me any less paranoid.

    This was posted on my mommy forum recently:
     
    I'm hearing it was a rerun, but I had never seen it before.

    It was about the woman who left her child in the car.

    I think everyone should see this show. It was heartbreaking, obviously. I cried all the way through. But I am actually going to make my husband watch it, at least through the womans story. It could happen to ANY one of us. ANY SINGLE ONE OF US. I've said before that it couldn't-when I've heard similar stories-that I would never EVER do that, that it could never happen to me-but listening to this, I know it could. I absolutely know it could.

    The whole 'theme' of the show was telling moms to SLOW DOWN. To not try to rush around being everything to everyone and trying to be the perfect mother, wife, worker, etc. It's when you get caught up in life and the rush of your own world, that horrible things happen.

    Apparently it came about the same way a lot of these stories seem to. CHANGE IN ROUTINE. Her husband usually took both their daughters to daycare/preschool. But this day he had a dentist appointment and asked HER to take the 2 year old, Cecilia. She was an assistant principal at a school and it was the first day back or something, so she was rushed. She realized it was too early to take her to daycare/sitter yet though, so she went to get donuts for the teachers at her school. When she pulled out of the donut shop after getting the food, she just headed to work like she normally would having left that donut shop. She got out at the school (they even have it on video), unloaded her car and went to work. At 4 oclock another teacher was leaving and saw the little girl in the car. She ran back in and asked the woman if she had maybe gone and picked her up (as in recently). That's when the woman finally realized she had never taken Cecilia to the sitter. She had been in the car the whole day, a full 8 hours. And she was gone.

    An awful story, but it could happen to one of us. I think this was mentioned recently about some other story. And someone mentioned putting something back in the back seat that you'll always have to get out. I've decided to start keeping my laptop in the backseat. I have to take my laptop into my office with me, so there is no way I'd go inside my work without it. If I had to get it from the back, I'd know if Ella was sitting there. I can't imagine a scenario where she WOULD be, but I want to be safe rather than sorry. I would die without my Ella. I would have died without Logan if I hadn't had Ella to keep me alive. With only Ella left, I don't know that I could function if I lost her. (and I know you all feel the same way)

    Anyway, just something to think about. And I highly advise you to watch the episode if you haven't seen it. (are oprah episodes available online?)

    This woman was villified in her town, and she shouldn't have been. 
    While I do that that people could have been a bit more understanding for her circumstances and that I'm certain she would've never in a million years have done this on purpose and I fully believe it was an honest mistake and accident. HOWEVER... HOW do you forget your child is there? I mean, really? I am talking to Jack from the very moment I strap him into his carseat and during the drive. Our entire lives revolve around him- NOTHING else is more important to us. Plus, change in routine is what we do. With a hubby who travels about 50% of the time, I have to change our plans on a whim. Everything we do revolves around Jack. Everything. Period. Anyone who has a child should really be the same way. This gal talks about leaving her laptop in the backseat because she'd never forget that. Well, I'd never forget my kid. Ever. 

    Maybe I'm being critical. Maybe I'm talking out of my ass. I just don't understand. I read horror stories like this every day and they are exactly what makes me a freakishly paranoid mommy. In his crib? The most dangerous thing that it is there is his bumper- I don't like having it in there, but he sleeps so perfectly with it there. Before it was up, he was getting all his limbs stuck and hanging out- I was concerned about him breaking a leg or an arm. The bumper scared me for suffocation reasons so we bought the Angelcare. I've never looked back. Now he's bigger and I observe him in there often to see if he'll start climbing the bumper to try and get out. Great. Yet another thing to worry about. He doesn't get pillows, blankets, stuffed animals, silkies, loveys. Nothing. His crib is for sleeping. There is nothing in grabbing distance anymore- mobile has been removed, changing table items have been tucked away, the monitor is a safe distance away from his curious reach. 

    I know I can't protect him from everything, but dammit, I am going to try. 

    We do not very often let anyone babysit him. Not anyone in particular. Nobody really. It has taken a LOT for us to ask anyone to watch him. Both DH and I are stubborn asses- we have our way of doing things and again, we are protective of him. If something happened and we weren't there, we would hold ourselves accountable for sure. We are trying really hard to be more open to letting more people watch him so we can have a bit of a marriage back. 

    Just my 2 cents for the day!
     

    May 27, 2009

    Sad. Lonely. Tired.


    OMG- just realized this post was in draft! I wonder why I never posted it? Weird. Anyway thought I would publish because of the adorably cute picture of my baby.

    Okay, say it with me now. Awwwwwwww! Yup, that's my little angel! That just happens to also be my first ever official Mother's Day card! I think it is more than appropriate that I got one from him before anyone else. After a very challenging week, it really made my day and I can't stop looking at it!

    It has indeed been a challenging week. A challenging last couple of weeks for that matter. My darling husband has been traveling this great nation being a technical wizard. The better he gets at his job, the more they keep sending him out to clients. He's quickly becoming a hot commodity. I am super proud of him, but no lie, it is tough balancing a full-time job and an 8 month old (holy crap- my baby is 8 months old??!). All I can say is: God Bless the single mamas out there, because doing it on your own is a TOUGH job. There's no telling if you'll have a great night or a horrible night with sleep, you have to plan your potty breaks, you have approximately 5 minutes to eat dinner in preparation for an evening temper tantrum. Not to mention our poor, sweet amazing dog Sadie who needs attention as well. For two weeks, I had only one really horrible night where Jack woke up at 3:30am and just didn't bother to go back to sleep. Brings me back to the old college days where I would pull an all-nighter studying for a test and then slugging around the next day just hoping to stay awake. That is how I felt after that night. For the most part, I have lived off of caffeine and just constantly reminding myself to stay positive and not get frustrated with myself, with my husband or with Jack.

    I often get the advice of going to family or friends for help. I know that they have offered their services in the past and I know that I've turned them down. Which is probably why nobody bothered to even remotely check on me over the past two weeks to make sure that we were getting by okay. Let me explain myself... I GREATLY appreciate the offers to come over and help out and hope nobody thinks I take them for granted. I am a very routine oriented person and having someone come over to try and help sort of disrupts the routine if that makes sense? It actually makes things a little more difficult. What I would LOVE for someone to do, rather than help with Jack persay, is to drop off something for me to EAT. Pizza Rolls get seriously old after two weeks but are the fastest to nuke in the microwave in a very short amount of time and I didn't want to get fast food or take out every night. It just gets to be a lot. I know it is my own fault for turning so many away in the past, but that doesn't mean I don't like to hear the offers, ya know? Am I making any sense in my sleep deprived state?

    On a bright note for the day, hubby was able to get on an earlier flight thank GOD. We'll actually have a meal together and he'll get to see his baby for more than 10 minutes.

    I wonder if anyone else has noticed in the news that there has been a LOT of stories about bad mothers and parents? I mean... everything from feeding your 6 months olds McDonalds to not buckling your child in a carseat and having your FOUR WEEK OLD BABY flying out the door to biting your kids to discipline them. It makes me sick. It hurts my heart. These people have no idea that there are actually people out there who would give anything to have a baby and THIS is what they do. Tragic.

    May 26, 2009

    Hauser Thoughts

    I'm sure like many have, I've been following the story of the 13 year old boy who is refusing treatment for cancer because of "religious" reasons. He's refusing treatment because treatment sucks!! This family hasn't even remotely been specific as to what kind of "natural" healing they will use to make Daniel better which tells me that the kid is being just that: a kid. The real tragedy here is the that parents are just feeding into it. How could ANY parent just sit there and say no? Gee, let's see... 90-95% chance of survival with treatment or 95% chance of death without. KID you are getting treatment and that is that. This just in: he is being forced to resume chemo and latest tests show that his tumor is larger than ever. So how did that natural healing go for ya?

    It isn't quite cancer or anything, but Jack happens to be going through a pretty tough round of teething. Memorial Weekend was anything but a fun, family filled time. It was spent with a very upset, crabby child who had no ability to nap on his own and late nights filled with lots of tears. My poor little guy. It just breaks my heart to see him hurting like this. On top of teethers, Motrin, Tylenol... I'm kinda at a loss. Thankfully a Facebook post brought in a lot of pretty cool ideas that I will give a chance if we have another long night tonight. Now that the teeth are poking through, things should start to get better.

    In other news... I am taking my first trip away from my baby this week and I have so many mixed emotions about it I'm not sure how to handle it! I'm excited to get away with one of my BFF's- I haven't seen her since Thanksgiving and even then it was a group outing and very little chance to catch up. She's one of the most awesome and spontaneous people I have ever known and I'm so excited that she was willing to take a trip to Vegas with me on super short notice. I'm excited to take some time out for just me- to relax, de-stress, get a tan and most importantly- get some SLEEP. What I'm having an issue with is leaving my baby. I feel like a bad mommy for even remotely wanting to get away. I feel like I'm abandoning him and my husband. I already feel guilty for the lack of sleep my husband is about to endure. In the back of my mind, I know they both will be just fine and it'll probably be good for my husband to have to "do it all" for once. One thing that can't be fixed though is how much I will MISS my little baby. I haven't been away from him for an extended period of time ever and it is going to gut me. He may cry and keep me up all night, but there is NOTHING like to feel of him falling asleep with me as we rock to the sounds of lullabies. My heart just swells with love every time I think of him, every time I see him.

    May 20, 2009

    My Rant on Kate Gosselin


    First of all, let me preface this... I have maybe watched Jon & Kate + 8 all of once when my sister-in-law (bless her heart) tortured me through it while staying with us to watch Jack one weekend. Despite whether or not I watch the show, or whether or not I even liked it, I'm going to have to take Kate's side here. I know her husband thinks of her as a total overbearing bitch (as does the rest of America it seems), but unless you are a Mom, you just don't know. You just don't get it. Putting aside the stupid tabloid rumors of infidelity and contracts stating that their marriage is technically over but are together for the cameras (good God), taking care of kids is tough work. I have one and it is hard work, but to have EIGHT? She has every right to be as big of a bitch as she wants. She fricken gave birth to eight kids. Why shouldn't she want things her way? Why shouldn't she be a little greedy? She's got a lot of mouths to feed! As far as her appearance? Good for her getting stuff fixed! I'm envious! For real though. I am hard on my husband as well. While he definitely does his share of parenting, I do have the bulk of many of the responsibilities and when I leave things in his hands, there is always something missing. Granted, I'm a little more willing to let him make some mistakes and figure things out for himself, but sometimes I get in his face about how to care for our baby. It'll certainly be interesting when I go on vacation next weekend.
    Another rant of mine is of course dealing with the care of our babies from outsiders. They say that Kate fired more than 40 nurse nannies because they did not fit her standards. Well, I say GOOD FOR HER for being picky and choosy about who takes care of her kids! It is not easy to find a good match when it comes to childcare. As you all know, I have plenty of issues with mine. Anyway- those are my thoughts about Kate. Again, I say, if you don't have children yourself, you have NO right to judge her. You have no idea what it is like to care for a baby and how much pressure it is to have the responsibility of raising your child right- whatever you might be your "right" to be.
    In other news... another daycare FAIL. Jack got his first baby owie. Now, I know... this is bound to happen sooner or later, but it doesn't mean it irritates me any less. Supposedly, Jack was reaching out of the infant treehouse on the playground and he toppled and they couldn't catch him fast enough. I guess my question is- if you're going to put an infant in this thing who has only recently learned how to crawl and doesn't really have any sense of balance, WHERE were you? WHY wasn't the teacher right there looking out for them? This isn't social hour!!! He's got a little goose egg above his eye that doesn't seem to be phasing him much, but still. One of the reasons we chose this place is for the low child to teacher ratio and they seem to be having a poor time managing it.

    May 18, 2009

    Daycare Saga

    Okay, so I've been a little annoyed with our daycare provider lately. For the most part, they are fabulous. Jack is excelling in every way, shape and form and I'm so proud of him day by day. What is annoying me is more of the unsolicited comments and advice. I absolutely FEAR sometimes bringing up certain things with them in the morning because they'll come back with something that makes me sound like a terrible mommy.

    First came the Nuk. Jack is very quickly becoming addicted to his Nuk (paci, mimi... whatever you chose to call it). We are hoping that if we are able to break him of it now, it'll be easier. We already don't sleep so what's the biggie right? We decided that we would start out small. If he's playing and having a grand ol' time then he doesn't need it. He can have it after meals/bottles, getting ready for naps and at bedtime. I told daycare about our trying this and they totally bitched me out! "He needs it for his teething," was their response. Are you KIDDING ME? I'm the parent here. You do what I say. Period. I let it slide. I said to at least TRY to have him use it less and less and only go to it as a crabby last resort for him. That seemed to be a reasonable negotiation.

    My most recent annoyance came when I got home last Friday night to find that Jack had gone through his entire stash of clothes that we leave for him at school. He spit up at least a half a dozen times and definitely enough to warrant a clothing change (stinky!!). I couldn't figure out why he was spitting up so much! We tested the waters this weekend. After bottles, we sat him up, we held him, we let him crawl around we let him Exersauce. No spit ups. None. Drooling? Yes. No spit up. So again... what the hell are they doing to him that he's spitting up? Fearfully, I bring my mommy knowledge with me to daycare this morning and geared up to tell them my findings- that we went through an entire weekend without any spit up. I suggest that they not let him sit up and that crawling around seemed to be the best way to save his clothes if he IS going to spit up. On cue as expected- it isn't THEIR fault. She said I should bring him to the doctor to be checked for REFLUX. WHAT???? I said- "No. Jack does not have reflux. We've been down this road with his doctor and it has to do with his activity post-bottle." It just ANNOYED me! Again, a total cop-out response from them!

    Seriously, and I'm not just bragging because he's my kid, but Jack is the easiest baby in the world. He really doesn't cry that much. He's pretty low key and minds his own business. He doesn't nap well and that very well might be his only fault. Otherwise, he eats like a champ and he's such a sweetheart- always has a smile for everyone. Why are they so hard on him? Why are they so hard on ME?

    I'm sure I'm just overreacting because well, that's what Mom's do about everything to do with their kids. I take everything personally when it comes to Jack. I work hard to make sure that he is going to remain that happy, well-adjusted, sweet little boy. I pray that daycare doesn't screw it up!

    April 29, 2009

    Being Psycho Paranoid Mommy

    I feel compelled to blog about this tonight as the story I heard on my boards ripped my heart to pieces.

    Firstly, I have been a member of this online community for 3 1/2 years. I made friends from all over the world who were trying to have babies, unable to have babies, taking fertility drugs, pregnant, giving birth and all taking this amazing, and immensely intimate journey with each other. Together, we cheer our victories and mourn our losses. Not once have I felt alone in my long journey to motherhood being surrounded by these absolutely amazing women.

    Tonight, I read that a mama who had a baby in August of 2008 lost her little girl. From our limited amount of information, we understand that the baby became entangled in her sheets and therefore suffocated. Not SIDS but a really sad and terrible accident that I would not wish on any mother. As I said, my heart just felt crushed after reading this as I just cannot even imagine the pain and hurt that this mama is going through. I pray for her and her family and hope she will heal and find peace.

    I bring this up, not only to express my deep condolences but to prove my reasoning to all the people that say I am ridiculously overprotective of my Baby Jack. I am endlessly concerned that he is either too hot or too cold, that if I turn my back for a moment, he will crawl and get himself into something and get hurt. I worry that my carseat isn't in my car correctly. I worry that if I let him cry it out that I will have ignored something that he might really need me for. I rarely let him keep a bib on despite the fact that he is a huge drooler/spitter upper, because I am afraid it will strangle him. I leave nothing in his crib that he can get into. No stuffed animals, toys, blankets. I use an AngelCare monitor because Jack will only sleep on his tummy and from the start, it scared the hell out of me. Just the other night, I attempted to give Jack his first Gerber puff. They are supposed to melt in his mouth. No more than a millisecond that he had it in his mouth, I freaked and was fishing it out. I feel like I am constantly checking his head for fever and worry endlessly that he will get really sick.

    See? I just got the warning beep on the AngelCare and my ass just darted up to his room to check on him. He is just sleeping that hard and that quietly- I had to watch him for a minute just to make sure. How on earth am I going to make it through this night?

    I'm sure this list could go on forever and the truth is, the worry will never end. I think that is just part of the motherhood package. Deep in my heart, I know that what will be will be and I should just let go.

    God bless you baby Maggie. You are in my heart and my prayers.

    April 20, 2009

    This Week in MBOR (That is... Mixed Bag of Rant)

    1) There has been a Rubella case in MN. It caused a stir in the comments section of Star Tribune by of course all of the fearful autistic parents out there about how this article is going to cause people to get vaccinated and there will be more autistic children... Aren't they afraid of their children getting the MEASLES for the love of god??? I said it before, I will say it again. I will protect my child from deadly illnesses and disease.

    2) Miss California... I'm sorry. Was she supposed to be a liar? They asked her POINT BLANK what she thought of gay marriage and she answered the question honestly. I am SO sick and tired of people not being able to SAY WHAT THEY WANT IN AMERICA. What ever happened to freedom of speech??? Perez Hilton has his right to say all the horrible things he says about virtually everybody in Hollywood so why is it that she is crucified when she says how she feels and what she knows and WHAT SHE BELIEVES!! I'll be the first to say that I do not agree with her- gay people should have the right to be legally bound (married have you in the eyes of the law. Let the church deem what is appropriate for them... i.e. separation of church and state). She may have not said the POPULAR thing, but she said what was in her heart. More power to her. Totally hypocritical to jump all over her for voicing her opinion. Just like a bunch of liberals to do that.

    3) I don't talk often about myself professionally, but today I got pretty ticked. I work hard. REALLY hard. I work for a place that isn't quite yet "hip". They don't understand blogging, Facebook and Twitter. And I am trying to get them into the "now". Well, we are working with an agency on a promotion (I'll keep this general). This agency took it upon themselves to start a Twitter page for us. They didn't call either myself OR my director to see IF I HAD ALREADY DONE IT (which thankfully I hadn't). He even has us following a bunch of people (that make NO sense to be following mind you), doesn't have our logo up, and is basically BUTCHERING us. I feel like I had the rug pulled from under me. I have been working MONTHS on trying to put our Social Networking together in a way that makes sense and eases all of us into it (my boss and colleagues are admittedly clueless about how it works). I'm just really angry that I wasn't contacted and getting seriously pissed about the way some men treat women in the business world. He had no right to start this without our permission. Oh. Yeah. The kicker? We don't even have ACCESS to it at the office (it is blocked). We can't even make updates on it!!!! How fucking embarrassing is that????? Ugh.

    On the lighter side... My little baby Jack is now 7 months, 1 week old. He is. Perfect. Yeah- we're having a rough go of the teething stuff. He's up a lot overnight and is cranky, but for what it is, we know it could be a lot worse. He's at the perfect age where he knows who I am and even gets excited when I come home. Coming home to see his smile just makes everything else fade away. Not only does he sit up on his own, but he has started crawling (army crawling), we call it scooting. Now we are just waiting ever so patiently to hear his first sweet words.

    April 06, 2009

    Sooooooooooo Busy

    I was just thinking that it must seem like I am the most crabby person in the entire world because all I do when I get on my blog is bitch about everything!! I guess if it were going to be a happy, friendly blog I would've named it something other than "Mixed Bag of Rant". Therefore... I am going to continue to be a crabby bitch because this is one of my only outlets to let loose in.

    Let me start with some Jack updates. He is doing AWESOME!!! The older he gets, the more responsive he gets and the more fun he is to be around! This weekend he actually started scooting forward in preparation of crawling. I can hardly believe it. My little guy is totally a little overacheiver. We had professional pictures taken this weekend to kind of commemorate his half birthday (and... just to get really cute pictures of him taken). I can't wait to post them up here. He's such a little ham! Anyway- things with my little baby boy just couldn't be better. I love him more and more every day. Sometimes I think I might even burst from all the love I feel in my heart.

    I noticed someone today posted a story about their baby contracting German Measles (Rubella). Gee. I wonder why. Perhaps it is because someone didn't vaccinate their child!!!! You should see my eyes rolling right now. I really hope this lady's baby feels better really soon. Seriously. VACCINATE PLEASE so my little baby doesn't get sick too!!!!

    On the business front, my company officially changed its name and brand marking pretty much the most exciting thing I've ever gotten to own and work on professionally. It is amazing to see all my creations come to life. My rant of the day though is this: why do people have to be so rude, lazy and disrespectful???? Me and a coworker spent close to 4 hours cleaning out our marketing closet/room (otherwise known as the pig room, which in and of itself has multiple meanings). This room is always a disaster. We get shipments of collateral in and nobody unloads it. They just open the box and leave the boxes to pile up and up and up until you don't have any room whatsoever to walk. Can you say fire hazard? Well, we created an environment where everything has a "home". Brochures have their own little place, postcards have their own little place... this way we'll be able to keep track of inventory levels. So. After hours of sweat, papercuts and sore limbs, we got it cleaned up and organized. Our biz dev rep had the AUDACITY to tell me that she didn't like it and it didn't make sense. Where was her ass when I was sweating and throwing my back out moving all her shit around??? She said that she would have to "walk too far to get to the brochures" where they are and that she wouldn't have time to grab what she needs. ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME??????? THAT's why she doesn't like it? Because she'll have to walk an extra two steps? Seriously- my bathroom at home is bigger than this closet. I got pissed, walked away muttering "whatever". I thought she'd let it drop. She then barged into my office saying "I didn't mean to be rude but..." BUT WHAT? Now you're rude for coming in and ruining my day for the 2nd time with your poor reasoning for the hours of labor I put in. I got pissed. I said, "Listen, we spent hours cleaning up and organizing that room. If you don't like it, then reorganize it yourself." She swiftly left my office I'm sure to tattle on me and talk about what a bitch I am.

    Part of the reason I am turning into a total crabby bitch this week is because my DH is heading into a very busy travel month. I always feel so torn with his travel. On one hand, I bitch when he's at home because I don't feel like he does enough and I'm always telling him to help and the other hand when he is gone, it dawns on me how much even his little bit of help is worth. If I had a THIRD hand, I'd say that I actually enjoy the me time even though the house gets more than painfully quiet.

    Some other tidbits...

    American Idol- I am very happy Megan and Michael Sarver are gone. I'm rooting for Kris Allen although I'm not sure how much of a chance he has.

    Marley & Me. I watched this movie over the weekend. I cried. Then I cried some more. Spoiler alert... The movie is about a couple, like any other couple, who get married and to ward off the wifey's maternal instincts, he gets her a puppy. Most of the movie is about this very naughty dog Marley, but it is also about the truly amazing bond between dogs and their families. There are a lot of movies out there that I can relate to, but this... this movie was our life. Shortly after bringing home Marley, they get pregnant and then, have a miscarriage. There is a scene where Owen Wilson's character, John, walks in the door and his wife, Jenny (Jennifer Aniston) is sitting on the couch with Marley, sobbing. This was exactly what I did after I lost our first baby. I cried. I cuddled with Sadie. She just somehow knew how much I needed her during that horrible time. Even though I don't pay as much attention to her as I used to, I still love my dog. She's my girl. My buddy. I can't stand not sleeping with her by my side at night. Most importantly, I don't know what I'm going to do when it is time for her to go. She is now 6 and we're not denying the fact that we don't have that much time left with her. This movie was such a good reminder to cherish the time I have left with her.
     
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