Interesting email

What changes when you have a baby? A better question may be: What doesn’t change?

Please feel free to add on via the comments.

1. You finally stop to smell the roses, because your baby is in your arms.

2. Where you once believed you were fearless, you now find yourself afraid.

3. The sacrifices you thought you made to have a child no longer seem like sacrifices.

4. You respect your body … finally.

5. You respect your parents and love them in a new way.

6. You find that your baby’s pain feels much worse than your own.

7. You believe once again in the things you believed in as a child.

8. You lose touch with the people in your life whom you should have banished years ago.

9. Your heart breaks much more easily.

10. You think of someone else 234,836,178,976 times a day.

11. Every day is a surprise.

12. Bodily functions are no longer repulsive. In fact, they please you. (Hooray for poop!)

13. You look at your baby in the mirror instead of yourself.

14. You become a morning person.

15. Your love becomes limitless, a superhuman power.

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Almost 5 months old!

Sheesh, the time goes so fast! I have been wanting to post a few updates about Elliott, and have been mentally banking them for a later post. He is changing and growing up so fast that I can barely keep up. I am going to bullet point the items just to be sure I get all of them in (while he is still sleep and before I have to work).

  • pre-teething began about 2 weeks ago (drool, sore gums, finger and the whole hand when possible is the mouth, crankiness, etc.)
  • which lead to his first cold (which he is still struggling with)
  • and during both –to chomping and chewing on my nipples while feeding (more on this saga later) due to being stuffed up and having sore gums.
  • he has been tired earlier so we have been giving him his bath at 5:30pm, he eats at 6pm and is asleep before 6:30pm, then I feed him again before I go to bed at 10pm
  • Last week–he slept from 10pm all the way until 4:30am straight through!!! And I think he would have slept longer, but I was so freaked out that he didn’t wake up in the middle of the night to fed that I went in to check on him and woke him up…
  • He seems to be working his way up to sleeping through the night. Typically he sleeps until 2am, eats and then wakes up around 6am. But every few nights he will sleep until 4am (rather than the normal 12am or 2am) without waking.
  • The best part of this is that regardless of what time he wakes up in the AM-he is waking up playing in his crib, laughing, cooing and smiling. What a joy to be greeted by that smiling, happy face. It melts your heart (even at 5:45am!)
  • While the overnight routine is in flux, he seems to also be working out his daytime nap schedule. We have not done too much sleep training. Instead we trusted and have allowed him to decide when to nap and when to go to bed. That is not to say we haven’t helped him along! But, more so we watch for sleepy signs, or excessive crankiness and then follow his lead. That being said, he has had a consistent bedtime since he was about 10 weeks old. And now it seems that the daytime naps are starting to get a little more solidified. Whoo hoo! They aren’t set yet, and vary in length, but they are becoming more consistent. Baby steps.
  • He hasn’t rolled over yet, and doesn’t seem to be showing much interest in it. He is content to lay on his back and occasionally roll to his side. He will play on his tummy for 5 or 10 minutes, but then starts to fuss signaling that his tummy time is over. Maybe we need to leave him there longer and not rescue him…but, i cant watch him struggle for too long before my sympathy kicks in and I need to flip him back over. He will figure it out in his own time. I am not in a rush, as crawling ensue soon enough!
  • He is extremely alert, attentive and interactive. He loves to read books, and play on his play mat. Bee is his favorite toy to swat at and put in his mouth.
  • His hand-eye coordination is excellent. He is very good at batting his toys, sometimes with both hands simultaneously and often times with his feet too.
  • Everything goes in his mouth! What a funny and interesting way to explore your world.
  • He had his first diaper rash over the weekend. It lasted 2 days and then resolved itself.
  • Bath time = Bliss for little Elliott. He LOVES being in the bath. As soon as his tushy touches the water, he melts. We call it spa time because he just sits there, all of muscles relaxed not moving, letting his Dad wash him, and pore warm water over him. Hubby bathes him every night. What a treat to watch the two of them play together and love one another.
  • He is pretty fearless already. He isn’t jumpy nor do loud noises scare him. He seems to like adventure and surprise.
  • He loves being outside. If he is fussy or cranky, we just take him outside. It is like an immediate calming force. While strolling around the neighborhood he just chills in his stroller observing the trees, sky and scenery. When he was sick, I took him outside at 4am just to calm him down (the neighbors probably didn’t appreciate it…but it soothed him immediately).
  • If I prop him up on the floor, he can sit up for a short time before toppling over onto his side. His muscles are getting stronger and soon enough he wont need to be held all of the time, or for matter want to be held all of the time. *weep* My little boy is growing up so fast!
  • I am looking forward to this day because he is so big and heavy, but I also want time to slow down!
  • We haven’t left him with a sitter yet, but I finally feel comfortable enough to consider hiring one for a weekend night. Woot! This will be the first time hubby and I have gone out together with out him. Drunken Saturday night here we come!

Ohh, sweet little boy, do I love you! I occasionally struggle with feeling overwhelmed, over tired or just over taken from…but most times, just a cute little laugh or smile from you is all I need to get me out of my funk and back to reality. Both Hubby and I work hard to be present every day, making sure we are making you are our first priority (he is far better at it than me)! Being present is harder than it sounds (for me anyway). I can always tell when I am not living in the moment, because caring for you ‘seems’ harder. But, when I do a reality check I realize that I am worrying about this or that and not paying attention to the here and now. This is a big challenge and learning opportunity for me. I am still working on it, I am growing to be less selfish and more patient and am WAY better than I was before you were born. Thank you for being patient and allowing me to grow and learn along with you. I love you son.

Kugel

Every Thanksgiving my Granny would make a Kugel. I remember the smell of the kitchen while it was baking, the way it looked, and ummmh the way it tasted. But, my Granny must have cooked it from scratch, because I have never seen a recipe. I think I might have recreated it just right this year (my Granny passed away 10 years ago, and I have been trying every year since).

Mix all ingredients together:
2 small bags of Egg Noddles (cooked)
20 oz cottage cheese
20 oz sour cream
1 package of cream cheese (chopped up)
1/2 package of Velveeta (chopped)
raisins (golden are my preference)
3 beaten eggs
1 C Milk
Cinnamon and sugar to taste (the kugel should be slightly sweet)

Melt a few tablespoons of butter in a deep pan. Line the bottom with a light layer of crushed corn flakes. Poor Kugel in, crush corn flakes lightly on top.

Bake for 45-60 minutes at 375 degrees until golden brown and warm throughout. Allow time to set up and cool. Serve with meal.

All aboard!

I think it is happening again…I feel like everyone is out to get me, I don’t care about what other people think, and I feel like I am the only rational one.

I think I might have caught it before it caught me. Now…what do I do about it?

Growth

Sunday night me and the girls went out for dinner and drinks. We chatted our way through the evening and with every word and breath refreshed our tired and weary souls. I always leave girls night with a renewed sense of self, and many thing to think about and ponder over the several weeks until we meet again.

This last meeting left me thinking about why I am the way I am. What makes me act a certain way, say certain things, or behave as I do. I dont want to analyze myself, but on a very basic shallow level, why am I like this…

In speaking with one of the gals, we realized that her hubby and I are very similar in our decisions and actions. I have thought and wondered if we had a similar upbringing, and if that was the cause of our personality similarities.

We both have a nagging desire to control our environments (the need to have everything put in its ‘place’, the inability to relax when things are out of place, anxiety when our environment is different or new), often times to our own discomfort and certainly to the discomfort of those who live in our circle. We both say things that we know arent the nicest things we could say…but we cant help ourselves. There just isnt an ability to filter. I dont know this gals hubby to well, so I dont want to project too many of my shortcomings onto him, but you get the idea.

Thinking back to my upbringing, I was able to identify several factors that may have influenced my personality as an adult. I am going to share them and hope for an unbiased, unconditional response.

The first is while I knew the unconditional love of my mother, our lives were often lived in flux. When I last counted I had moved over 65 times. Most occurring from the ages of 1-21. My mom has been married many times, and I have been exposed to many “Dad’s”. I went to 3 elementary school, one junior high and 3 high schools-all in the same town. I never felt unloved during this time, but I certainly felt a sense of instability. My Mom was magnetic though and she was always a stable force in our lives. So, while our lives wavered and our homes varied, and our father figures were many, we always had my Mom steadfast.

That is until my freshman year in high school. Which brings me to reason number 2. The summer before I started high school was probably the most pivotal summer of my life. Yes, I know that 14 is a tough time for all teenagers (and parent for that matter). But read on to see why. My Mom had recently divorced, which resulted in another move, this time to a townhouse in a lower income part of town. She had always been somewhat of a hippy and she did not hide her drug use. However, until this summer it was recreational and she was functional.

This was the summer where all things normal and sane went to hell in a hand basket. My Mom lost control of her use, and it turned into full blown addiction, sales and all things that are associated. The next few years ended with her serving a couple of years in prison, my sister(attempting) and I recovering from a coke addiction (just naming the main drug of addiction), and her pregnant at 14 years old. We both were left without a Mom, and without our beacon of strength.

During the time she was in prison, I was lucky enough to live with my Aunt and Uncle, and my sister went to live with her boyfriend and baby daddy. Anger, resentment, abandonment, hate, rebellion are just a few of the feelings I can still taste and remember from that time period. It was a hard pill to swallow, and still often is. The thought that my Mom chose drugs over her children is something I never will be able to forgive or get over (more on this later).

From these life lessons I learned how to be fiercely independent. I learned that the only person I can rely on is myself. I was conditioned to be wary of others, and skeptical. I learned how to be self-reliant, and yet not rely on anyone else. I learned how to care for myself and no one else. I spent a lot of time surviving and not very much time growing as a person. There just wasnt time for it.

When I met my hubby, all of that changed for me. I knew that we were meant for one another. I knew that I could trust him. I felt safe and at home. I was finally able to relax and let my guard down. I allowed myself to trust. He loved me and I grew. I was no longer in survival mode; I didnt need to guard my feelings. I could allow myself to open up, I was allowed to grow.

Money vs. social consciousness

I want to be the type of person who buys only organic fruits, veggies and grains. The mom who provides nutritious snacks with no trans fats, low calories and no HFCS. I want to make my own organic baby food, and cook more meals at home. I want to be environmentally aware of the different types of plastics, know about each ones harmful effects on the substances they come into contact with, and eliminate them from my repertoire of household effects. I want to eat only free range, grain fed, hormone and antibiotic free meat. I want, I want, I want…

If I only had the budget to accommodate all of my desires. Instead I buy organic when I can, shop at Whole Foods when the checking account and time allows for it. I try and eat at home and cook as often as possible. I am making more of a conscious effort to buy foods that are healthier, lower in sugar and fat, and more nutrient dense.

I feel guilty though when I can not shop or eat organic, or be as aware and socially responsible as I would like. I berate myself when I can not live up to my expectations. I often have to remind myself that I cant always get everything I want, and that I often have to make sacrifices and say no.

So, today I am trying to come to terms with the financial limitations of staying home part time with my boy. I get to spend more time with him, I get to be there for more of the firsts. I get to spend evenings laughing and playing with him without feeling rushed. And, after he goes to bed, I get to relax. It is certainly worth the trade off when I sit down and think about it.

What would you do?

Hubby and I were preparing to hand out candy on Halloween. We were getting the porch ready for trick or treaters, and I was holding Elliott. As I mentioned before, we live in an urban neighborhood, and do not have a driveway. Several houses on our street have driveways, but ours does not. Our hood is also mixed zoning, so we have SFR’s, apartments and condo’s as well as businesses, shops and resturaunts.

So, we part on the street, along with many of our neighbors. Most times this isn’t a problem, as there is usually parking close by the house, and I don’t have to lug things too far. Well, this day I was lucky enough to get RSP (rock star parking) right in front of our house. Hubby was parked behind me, and I backed up very close to his car to try and make enough room in front of me for a small car to squeeze in.

While we were standing in our yard, a gentlemen in a medium size SUV tried to park in front of me. He proceeded to play bumper cars with me and the car in front of him. The first couple of times he hit my car trying to park, I thought…hmm, it was probably an accident and he misjudged the distance. The next couple of times, I realized that he just didn’t care. As each time he backed up he hit my car, and when he pulled forward he hit the car in front of him.

The thought of his disregard infuriated me, and I went down to speak with him. I very nicely asked him to please cease hitting my car while attempting to park. He retorted and said, get this…that’s what bumpers were for. Now, I did not accept this as an answer, and asked him to park elsewhere, should he be unable to park here without hitting my car again, and explained that I often must park around the corner and lug my kid and his gear from my distant parking spot to my home.

Apparently I made him angry. He backed up hard into my car again as I was walking back to my house and screeched off. Hopefully not to assault someother car with his expert parking skills. When I returned to the porch, and reunited with hubby…I was met with a look of shock and disappointment. Hubby was very mad that I had confronted this man, especially with my boy in arms.

We proceeded to get into a long conversation about the positive and negative merits of confronting a stranger. You can imagine how the conversation went remembering that my husband is mellow, and often times a pacifist. I am curious to know what you would have done in a similar situation? Was I wrong to address this person? Should I have left it alone and not said anything?