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!
 
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