work/mom/baby/flow

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Hi guys,

I know, I’ve been absent far too long. Truth is, finding this working/living/breathing mommy flow is harder than I thought it would be. I find myself simultaneously wanting to work, relax, punch something, sleep, clean and cry all day, but also wanting to laugh, play and have lots of one on one time with the little guy who is just growing so fast. I have not found the balance yet.

I feel like there is always a strive for balance…a sweet spot if you will. A place where everyone is chill and in sync, like a school of fish just swimming along…baby is chill, dad is chill, and mom is chill. I have come to realized this place may not exist. We are not chill (and I’m positive many families aren’t). My husband and I have no idea what we are doing, or how to schedule anything in relation to work, life and our child. Our “routine” changes almost every week. Then there is our little offspring. A 5 month old who has decided he’s just going to blast through infancy and sloth like movements and instead focus on the higher levels of sitting up and crawling and shit. This is tough because we went from like 2 to 10 in a blink and now I can’t put him down and expect him to stay in one place. I wonder my eye around the room for one second, look back and he has scooted across the floor with the corner of the rug shoved in his mouth. This makes it hard to focus on anything but him. Smart little chub monkey. He wins.

The thing is, I thought all of these mobile milestones were supposed to happen MONTHS from now?! WHY. NOW? Just give me one more month of being a burrito baby and I’ll be fine. But the crawling and the shoving anything and everything into his mouth has created yet another state of existence. Besides focusing on working, cleaning, eating, sleeping and all that jazz, I also have to keep my child alive, unharmed and in clean clothes. The only thing I can think of is how much more intense it would be with TWO. oof. All you mama’s with more than one little nugget to watch, you are my hero’s.

The little bean is also in this wonderful phase where he cries if he sees me, and cries if he doesn’t. I know it’s totally normal, but sometimes I find myself on the verge of an emotional breakdown because I don’t know how to make him happy…he cries when he sees my face no matter what. No win in that. I constantly find myself wanting to cope with this wonderful phase by shoving large amounts of cake in my face, and I don’t even like cake!

Ugh. The balance.

All of us are trying to find the balance. Some days I wish it was back to when my only role was to recover from birth and feed my baby, because now, those days feel so simple and perfect.

Some days I wish my adorable, smart, ever growing little poop nugget didn’t want so much stimulation or need to be mobile and active so we could just chill the F*** out.

But then I REALLY think about it, and even though I complain and the stress is real, each day is my new favorite. He’s learning and doing something different every day, and so am I…so I will keep searching for the balance. Some day I’ll get there.

 

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something beautiful

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I haven’t written a post in a while, mostly because my crazy every day routine has kept me so busy. However, yesterday was such a massively beautiful and hopeful display of love and unity that I can’t not document it.

Yesterday was the woman’s march, and though I had originally decided not to participate because I have a 3 month old who depends on me round the clock, there was something inside me telling me to try, to make an effort and be as involved as I could. I knew I wouldn’t be able to march with the hundred’s and thousands of woman in D.C or even L.A because I was just too much of a nervous mama to take Harland with me in that kind of crowd, as peaceful as it was. However, there was a local rally in Pasadena, and even though it wasn’t a “march” it was moving none the less and I am SO happy I decided to take part in such a historic moment.

As my husband, son, mother in law, sister in law and I walked to City Hall all I could notice were the hundreds of woman (and men!) all strangers, hugging and laughing, resinating hopefulness and strength. As we all merged from different corners of the city and into the street at City Hall there was so much love in the air it was almost palpable. There were mothers, daughters, fathers, sons, children and babies, grandparents and elders, teachers, students, gov’t workers, and everyone and anyone in between. People from all different races, religions, classes and ages united together to fight for each other and for women. While I stood in a crowd of nearly 700 people, I didn’t hear one negative, unproductive comment. Of course there were undertones against our new administration, but nothing said was outright cruel, or aggressive. Everyone was there for the same reason, wanting the same thing, equality, unity, peace, understanding and LOVE.

Yesterday was the first day in my whole life where I saw such masses come together to protect and fight and in such a loving and peaceful way. I am so grateful to have been able to stand there and hear our Senator’s and city officials speak about how we are going to create a resistant, a movement against such a broken system, “When they go low, we go local,” was a common chant amongst the crowd. I felt proud to be standing there with my husband and son, knowing that this day will be remembered and we will have made a small dent, or even a large one for our future and the future of our children.

Yesterday almost 3 million women, men, and children stood together to fight for something bigger than themselves, and it was such a beautiful sight to see. Even though I am scared and unsure right now, I no longer feel so alone. I feel so much support and comfort in knowing there are millions of people out there willing to fight the fight together, and that’s something beautiful.

time really does fly, and I can’t stop it.

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People always tell you, “time flies, so enjoy it” and as rookie parents we always seem to brush it off with a yeah yeah…that’s what they all say. Well now I’m eating my words because somehow within this last week or two it’s hit me like a ton of bricks that time really is flying by, so fast that I’ve barely been able to notice. It seem like just a day ago I was still pregnant, large and swollen, just waiting to meet my son, and now he’s 10 weeks old and I can’t even think of where the time has gone. It doesn’t help that he was born in October, the beginning of the holiday season.

The other day my husband said, “Some day he’s going to find someone that he connects with better than us.” That killed me, because all of the sudden it made me feel like time really is so fleeting and I can’t do a damn thing to stop it. Today, I feel like before I know it I’m going to have a teenager who doesn’t want to cuddle or need me for anything anymore. I suddenly have these mixed emotions of both excitement and sadness for Harland to grow up. I can’t wait to see the person he turns into, but at the same time it makes me so sad to know that all of this will be a distant memory some day preserved through pictures and videos and maybe this blog. Suddenly I feel like I need to document everything from a burp, to a stretch, to a smile and a coo, because some day it will be hard to remember, and I really want to remember.

Today my little boy is 10 weeks old and it breaks my heart a little. Obviously I’m more excited and in awe to be the lucky mama who gets to watch him grow, but I’m not going to lie that some days it’s harder to handle the reality of time.

At 10 weeks so much has happened, so much has changed, and I feel like a new little switch has turn on in Harland’s brain. He’s fixated on his hands and fingers, staring at them and watching them..when he’s not shoving them in his mouth. He’s talking so much I’m having a hard time even remembering when it all started because it feels like he’s always been able to coo and caa and gurgle. The changing table is his favorite place for a conversation and we could be there for hours just talking to each other in his little language with an occasional smile breaking free and stretching from ear to ear. Those SMILES. he’s been teasing us with a few here and there for a while, but we were still unsure if it was gas or not until recently and now each morning we are greeted with the best smiles and babbles from Harland. He makes every morning better now that he can actually look into our eyes, smile and say “Good morning” in his own little language. It’s amazing. A month ago he could barely hold his head up or see us, and now he’s looking from side to side, trying to sit up, and tracking our every moves with those big beautiful eyes.

Not until a few days ago when I watched him fixate on a pillow with cacti on it and try to touch them did I realize the progress he’s made, and now I can’t stop seeing all of his little subtle changes. His pinching with his fingers, his deep stares into my eyes.. or for some reason the ceiling fan, his vocal stylings letting me know what he needs or if he’s upset, and his newest addition…teething and chewing on everything he can get his chubby hands on. It’s amazing. Now I look back at pictures from the week he was born vs. now and the differences make me want to freeze time so that I can carefully observe and enjoy it all, but alas time keeps moving, and I can’t do a damn thing to stop it.

Even though I feel like this post is a little more on the sad side, it still comes from a place of happiness and excitement to be a mom and be able to watch an newborn become a real little tiny person with his own personality to match. The smiles are melting my heart and I can’t wait for those giggles to start!

Two months looks good on you little bub!

the holiday hurricane

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The holiday’s have always made me feel like I’ve been hit by a train..a large train with relatives and presents piled up and falling out. This time of year is crazy and overstimulating for most of us I think? But this year doing it with a kid…I’ve realized the whole game has changed. It’s no longer about buying myself those shoes on sale, or that jacket I’ve been eyeing while I shop for gifts. It isn’t about going to the movies on a whim, or drinking every day to cope with the constant interactions with distant family members and hilariously inappropriate creepy uncles. All of this has changed because now it’s about selflessly and gladly throwing myself in front of the train so my tiny human creation doesn’t get hit. The holiday parties and family gatherings consist of three thoughts now:

1. Where is my child?

2. Is he alive?

3. Is he in distress?

That’s it.

No more, where’s the wine to feel that nice buzz as long as possible? or staying up until the wee hours of the morning carelessly. Now my only focus is on a bed time and LOTS of sleep so that demon baby stays away, preparing for diaper explosion damage control, keeping a hungry little tummy full, and recognizing when mama’s soothing touch is needed in the midst of all of the craziness and continuous game of pass the baby, BUT… I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I love this time of year for a different reason now.

As a fresh off the boat mom with an infant, the holiday’s hold a new kind of magical chaos and less of the consumeristic variety that’s previously trapped so much of my time (and money). I’m sure by next year when my son is older this will all be different yet again, because he’ll want toys and such, but for now I’m enjoying that the chaos of this holiday season is built around making sure my little booger bug is happy as a clam as he stares at the christmas lights or into the eyes of his family members he’s meeting for the first time. Suddenly this time of year is about creating traditions and memories with my crazy little family unit that we will be able to share for years to come instead of past traditions such as excessive consumption of alcohol and food as a key holiday survival tactic.

Things are different this year, and I love it. Not to mention the amazing photos that come out of the tired, happy, sleepy life that is the holiday season with a new born.

 

Now for New Years…Goal is to see if we stay awake past 10, the odds are not in our favor.

Happy holiday’s everyone!

Playing dress up

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Oh man, I never thought I would be one of those parents who couldn’t wait to put their baby in one adorable outfit after another, but here I am, totally that person, and totally obsessed. I always thought I’d just take the lazy route because I assumed everything would either be pooped on, thrown up on or both so why bother trying to make the kid look nice, right? Oh wrong. Every time my little guy explodes out of his clothes, or spits up enough to make the room smell like baby vomit I happily sing, “what to put you in next?” I get so excited to change him and put another adorable outfit on it almost makes me sick. But I can’t help it. I’m sure I’m not alone in this either, please tell me I’m not.

I’ve also noticed a bit of a theme going on here. I can’t resist stripes. None of them. I love them all, fat ones, thin ones, colorful ones, vertical ones, horizontal ones. On shirts, on pants, on socks on hats…it’s becoming a bit of a problem. Maybe it’s because I love wearing them too, so I’m subconsciously forcing my offspring into the same obsession as me, or at least trying to enjoy dressing him up in what I like before he’s big enough to decide he wants to wear his underwear over his pants and 3 layers of shirts and socks on his hands? (which will also be adorable).

The other thing about this dress up obsession is I can’t stop taking pictures. Every time I put him in a new outfit I’m climbing on the bed or moving furniture to get the best angle of my BABY. Clearly too much time on my hands, because I’m also constantly trying to outdo myself. Best part is, my husband has joined in and now we have these competitions to outdo each others adorable picture taking skills. It’s insane, and part of me is super embarrassed to admit any of this, but like I said, there is no way I’m alone, right??

All in all I’ve come to realize I am surprising myself with the parent I am/becoming, but I’m also totally ok with it. I am no longer taking any possible strange obsessions or quirks off of the table, because I honestly don’t know when another one will strike. For now I am going to completely enjoy it, and eventually embarrass my son with all of my “baby model” pictures I’ve started collecting.

 

boob, baby and bottle

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It’s been suggested to start the bottle feeding transition (if you are going back to work or want to have some freedom while solely breastfeeding) within 3-5 weeks after birth. This is apparently the best time because you have formed a solid and respectable relationship between boob and baby, but also because your little one is still to small to understand they’re being tricked into drinking from a fake nipple.

A little over a week ago, I realized Harland’s bottle introduction was upon us if we wanted the relationship between the two of them to be a positive one. With that in mind my husband and I decided to start the introduction in our son’s 4th week of life, because that’s when I felt solid with breastfeeding and (honestly) coped enough with the idea of not being the only one who gets to feed my baby boy. I say cope because there were definitely some unwanted feelings that surfaced once I realized the time had come. I don’t know if it was because I thought that Harland would want me less, or that our special moments would be taken by someone else, or that I would no longer be the sole provider for his survival, or a combo of all of the above. For me, those feelings were actually surprising, and the first time I watched my husband feed our son with a bottle I cried. Now, of course the cry was a combination of things: it was my own previously admitted insecurities obviously, but they were mixed with the love and deep connection I saw my husband and son share that they hadn’t engaged in before. I realized in a moment that it must be so hard for him to not be able to share that kind of bonding, the moments I get so often throughout the day and totally take for granted. When I watched how happy my husband was to be able to stare into our son’s eyes while he ate and talk to him and bond with him, I felt a huge rush of love and emotions I’d never felt before, and it was very unexpected.

Those unwanted feelings I talked about are still sometimes there, but I’m understanding there are bigger, greater and more powerful new feelings I get to experience. I love the feeling I get when I watch my two favorite dudes be able to share such a special time together, and it warms my heart every time.

Now, of course breastfeeding is still going to be our son’s primary source of food, but on those mornings when I want to go work out a little longer, or that one night my husband and I want to enjoy a meal together or with friends I know that our child won’t starve or scream because he’s hungry and that feels amazing.

Going to the grocery store used to be a stressful experience for me because the whole time all I could think about was how long I was gone, or if he woke up. It’s totally a shitty double edged sword and that feeling of being wanted and needed is wonderful and fulfilling, but it’s also a stressful full time job, a job that’s actually kind of nice to give to someone else every once in a while.

Relinquishing control and allowing Harland to feed from a bottle every so often has given me a greater appreciation for breastfeeding as well as a better understanding for the emotional connection it provides, not to mention the occasional freedoms I’ll get to enjoy.  🙂

Feeling thankful, but also panic.

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Thanksgiving is always a double edged sword for me. I cherish being with the ones I love, and I enjoy cooking with family and being together and present for one another. Thanksgiving also makes me feel overwhelmed.

I feel like I spend the first half of the day in a panic, cooking frantically, forgetting to eat, and practicing poor time management. The first half of the day goes by in a blur where, at times, I want to kill the loved ones who are just trying to help, because in the moment I feel flustered and overly ambitious of my own ability to make 10 things at once, take a shower, get dressed in something without throw up on it, and try to remember to feed my child. Everything happens at once in my head and I freak out.

But then I take a step back and watch my village come together. Suddenly I see and acknowledge my husband trying to console our crying son, my dad trying to prepare a dish he doesn’t understand, and my in-laws taking care of all of the little things I would totally forget. Then I realize, I’m being an asshole, an over reactive and dramatic asshole, and this day is as stressful as I choose to make it.

This is also the first year I have a child of my own, making it completely different from any other year. I have my own little family I am creating memories with, memories I eventually want my children to remember and look back on with love and excitement.

The realization hits me hard and for the second half of the day I stand around my loved ones in awe of what we all achieve together and how we all manage to make each other a priority in the midst of our own selfish and busy lives. I truly do feel thankful by the end of the day and wish it could be like this for more than just the holidays, but I’ll take what I can get. 🙂

 

Next up…Christmas.