Tuesday, February 22, 2011

bubble boy

image via

Doesn't that look like fun? I want one of these for the owlet. Only I want him to be in it all the time. When I was younger and single, I worried about things sometimes. After I got married, I worried about things a lot more. I worried about something happening to the hubs or to me. Now that I'm a mom with a family, I worry about things A LOT. Something happening to the hubs, to me, and of course, to the owlet.

I stopped watching the news a long time ago, because in my profession I just couldn't handle hearing terrible, traumatic things on the news because I hear terrible, traumatic things everyday. Recently I realized that I can no longer watch Grey's Anatomy. A show I loved for a long time, then stopped watching for a little while for no reason other than I forgot about it, and then fell back in love with, I can no longer watch because people, families, babies: they get sick and hurt and die on that show. And that's not ok, because it just adds to my fear that something unexpected will happen to someone that I love.

A few months back my best friend from high school lost her husband in a tragic car accident. Stuff like that is not supposed to happen. My friend should not be a widow at 34. There was a car accident the other day near where I work and a family of 5 was killed. That's not supposed to happen either. A co-worker's son has a brain tumor. Everyday people are diagnosed with cancer. Or Lukemia. Or some other life threatening illness.

I don't want to be afraid for my son all the time, because that's no way to live. I don't want to raise him to be afraid of everything. I want him to be able to go out and live life, because that's what it's there for. But I'd be lying if I said that I didn't want to move to some island somewhere where bad things never happen and no one can ever get sick. Or if I could stick him in a bubble so that he could never get hurt. I know it didn't work so well for John Travolta, but maybe it'll work for the owlet?
image via

Of course I say most of this in jest, but there is a part of me, a large part of me, that struggles with living life to the fullest, anjoying every moment, and teaching the owlet to do the same. Because what I really want to do is cling tightly to the owlet so that he never experiences an ounce of pain or heartache.

But like Dory says so well in Finding Nemo: "If you never let anything happen to him, then nothing will ever happen to him." Smart fish, that Dory.

Monday, February 14, 2011

what I like about you

I had a really tough session with a parent today. It took her a really long time to come up with things that she enjoyed and loved about her child. It was a little bit heartbreaking, really, to sit there with her as she struggled to name things that she loved. I know our kids do things sometimes that just make us want to pull our hair out (and mine's only 5 months old!) but I also know that as parents we love our little ones unconditionally.

So, partly in honor of Valentine's Day, partly in honor of the fact that the Owlet turned 5 months old on Friday, and partly saddned (and then inspired) by that mom today, here are things I love about the owlet, in no particular order.

I love his smile.
I love that he smiles when he sees me walk in the door.
I love that he babbles.
I love that he tries to grab the spoon as I'm feeding him.
I love that he splashes in the tub duirng bath time.
I love that he's learning to roll over.
I love that he loves to cuddle.
I love that he never takes his eyes off me when I'm changing his diaper.
I love that he's learning to explore his world more.
I love the way he laughs at the dog.
I love his laugh.
I love his sighs as he falls asleep at night.
I love that he sleeps with a little winnie-the-pooh.
I love when he blows raspberries.
I love when he plays with his dad.
I love that he loves story time, usually.
I love that he constantly kicks his legs when I put him on the changing table.
I love how happy and wiggly he is.

And, as much as I want him to stay little forever, I love that he's constantly growing, changing and discovering new things.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

the joys of being a working, breastfeeding mamma

Doesn't this woman just look so happy to be pumping while talking on the phone and doing paperwork? Just so you know, she is not me.

Don't get me wrong, I love being able to breastfeed the owlet. I'm happy to pump twice a day at work so that I can keep my freezer stocked full of milk for him.

But I have to be honest. I feel just a teensy bit weird with my pump strapped to my chest as I type away and do paperwork or play on the internet. I guess I feel less weird surfing the net than I do when I do my paperwork. Or talk on the phone. I'm always a little worried that whomever I'm talking to can hear the quiet chugga-chugga-chugga of the pump. (No it doesn't really chug, but I don't know the sound it makes, even though I hear it everyday.)

I feel even more weird when there is a cafeteria full of little people just outside my door, and I sit in here with a contraption strapped to my boobs. Or when I'm first setting things up. Because that little bra thing she has on there? I don't have that. I have a bella band with two holes cut in it. Classy. There is an intense amount of fear that my door isn't closed. or locked. or that someone is peeking in through the crack in the door. (they do that, by the way, but thankfully no one can see my desk through the crack. I hope.)

I guess it could be worse. I could have to stand in a bathroom stall for 20 minutes twice a day. I could be forced to pump in a closet, or a room with windows that I can't cover. I guess I'm pretty lucky that I've got an office all to myself, with a door that locks, so that I can sit here and pump milk while I do my paperwork.

How do you other working moms feel about pumping at work?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

productivity drainers

I love mom blogs. I love knowing that there's other mammas out there who are as wacky, crazy, frazzled, fried and just doing the best damn job that they can as I am. I also love that they are incredibly talented writers who make me laugh and occasionally make coffee come dangerously close to coming out of my nose. (For reals.)

While I've listed a bunch of blogs that I stalk over on the side there, these are the new ones I'm loving right now:

Smacksy I love this blog so much I actually went all the way back to the beginning of the blog and started reading from there. That's rare for me. It's also an amazing time suck. But this mom and her son Bob are just too cute and funny for words. I hope that my owlet is half as cute and insightful as Bob is. And I hope he loves Harry Potter as much as Bob loves Star Wars.

Mommy's Pen I just found this site the other day. Actually, I think this site led me to Smacksy's site, but maybe not. Do you ever just start clicking on the little links on people's pages and then wonder how you got where you were? Anyway, this site is great. Another incredibly well written blog about the joys of motherhood.

Look Mama Graphic Designer and mom. Awesome posts, great art. You'll be in stitches. Plus she's from Australia. She makes me want to talk with an Australian accent, but every time I try it comes out Bostonian. Ever notice how Australian accents and Bostonian accents are similar? You haven't? Ask someone who's not from New England to talk in a Boston accent and just watch in amazement as it comes out sounding like an Aussie.

So there you go. Three awesome blogs I'm loving right now. And for fun, this little gem.

Corgis Playing Tetherball

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Learning to sleep

As a new mom, I feel like I am constantly learning new things. Like how to make my owlet laugh. Or how to change his lovely blown-out diaper when we are out and about. How to nurse him in the backseat of the car. All sorts of fun things. My owlet is constantly learning new things too, right now we're in the process of mastering sitting up. He's totally getting the hang of it too. It's awesome to watch.

Something else we're learning is how to sleep on our own. We're starting to try the No Cry Sleep Solutions. My owlet, he is not the best sleeper at night (or at naptime, for that matter. unless he's on me. Then he's king of the nappers.) Anyway. I am not a cry-it-outer. I realize that this is a huge personal decision, you're either a cry it outer, or you're not. I am of the mind that if my child is crying or screaming for any reason, that I should go to him and meet his needs, assuming that I can. I want him to learn that the world is a safe place, not that he has to cry alone in a darkened room for hours before he eventually wears himself out from screaming. But that's just me. I know that there are plenty of other mammas out there who can let their child cry it out. And if it works for you, that's great. I'm not here to offend anyone or try to change anyone's mind. I'm just here to speak to my experiences. Maybe it would be different if the owlet wasn't still sleeping in his pack-n-play in our bedroom, where his cries are that much louder, but I doubt it.

Anyway. No Cry Sleep Solutions is a great book. The author has actually been there. She's dealt with kiddos who no matter what, just won't go to sleep on their own. And she didn't want to let them cry it out, nor did she want to be up every 2 hours for the rest of her kids life. And I don't blame her, because I don't want that either. Who does? As an author she feels very different from the other "experts" out there, because she's been there and done it and has 4 kids who learned to sleep through the night, with love and caring, and without crying for hours on end.

The first part of the No Cry Sleep Solution is creating a log. At first I was a little turned off by this, because do I really want one more thing to deal with in the middle of the night? But here's the thing: I'm up anyway, holding the owlet til he falls back to sleep. Plus I text the hubs everytime he wakes up, so all I had to do was write down when he fell back to sleep, and what he did when he woke up. Easy-peasy. The first night I decided to log, the owlet thought he'd be especially nice and ACTUALLY SLEEP 8 HOURS IN ONE STRETCH! I started to think that maybe we didn't need this book afterall, until I remembered that he actually took nice, long naps that day. The second night was a much better picture of what we go through every night: up every couple of hours, nursing for about 5 minutes each time, falling asleep on my shoulder, back to the back-n-play for another 2-3 hour stretch. Fun. Times.

Tonight we are on night 3 of our new routine with our new sleep associations thrown in. I've been sticking to a more strict bedtime routine of: bathtime, storytime, swaddle and eat. I haven't been letting him fall asleep with my boob in his mouth either, and instead either give him his binky if he's fussing a little, or just let him fall asleep on the boppy (or start to fall asleep. I guess that part's key). I'm also trying to nurse him with a lovey, so that when he put him down he has something comforting. And I'm not trying to hold him til he's in a deeeeep sleep anymore, because let's face it, I was always falling asleep too.

So we try this for 10 days, do another sleep log and evaluate where we're at, and if we need to change anything. Its sort of ironic, but I want to see change NOW, much like the parents whose children I work with expect to see change immediately. I guess the difference is I'm actually trying to make things work whereas they're just expecting me to do it for them. (No, I'm not bitter at all thankyouverymuch).

Anyway. I'm really hoping that at the end of 30, 60, heck even 90 days that we're seeing some sort of progress and that the owlet isn't waking up 7 times in a night. (She makes no promises that change will come quickly, damn her.) I'd honestly settle for once a night. At this point I'd be ok with twice a night, really. Just not every 2 hours anymore.

Hmmm. Maybe my nickname for the lil man shouldn't be a nocturnal creature. I bet if I start calling him something that's awake during the day he'll start sleeping better at night.

Or not.