May 9, 2013

mothering, a tribute to the cause (jeannine)

Posted in Guest posts, Parenting at 3:05 pm by lifebytheday

Originally posted on PAIL Bloggers:

This time of the year is all about honoring mothers. Over the next two weeks, we have International Bereaved Mothers Day (May 5), Birth Mother’s Day (May 11), Mother’s Day (May 12), and Step Mother’s Day (May 19). In recognition of this, we will be featuring a different post every day this week from a PAIL reader who has volunteered to share her thoughts about mothering. We hope you enjoy reading everyone’s posts this week! 

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This is what I wanted, right?

Many women I know struggled a bit when they initially became mothers – even those who had planned and hoped and prepared for YEARS – with not knowing exactly how to “handle” a newborn, feeling like they didn’t know what they were doing, and spent much of the early days feeling stressed and out-of-control.

I was the opposite.  Of course, I had my moments, but in general, I…

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April 20, 2013

This says it all

Posted in Life at 2:54 am by lifebytheday

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So amazed, impressed, and thankful for the Boston law enforcement community. Thank you for everything you did so the people of Massachusetts could sleep soundly tonight.

April 18, 2013

Marathon musings and prayers for peace

Posted in Faith, Life tagged , at 2:52 pm by lifebytheday

The events of Monday at the Boston Marathon have prompted me to come out of my unintentional retirement…not because I think I have anything of value to share, but because I need a place to work through my feelings and emotions.  As a self-described Catholic, I struggle with events like this.  Events like this – and the doubts they raise in my mind – make me question my right to call myself a “good” Christian or a “strong” Christian, but I definitely am a true Christian.

I know for sure that evil does not come from God, nor does he “allow” it, but that evil exists in the world despite God’s best efforts.  At the same time though, I struggle with the sentiment that this is all God’s plan.  I do not believe that he “plans” for things like this to happen…for people to die or be maimed…but I do believe that he lifts up those that he can and sets them on a path of meaning.

I choose to believe that the three people who died were chosen by God, not because they didn’t “deserve” to live, but because he knew they would be better off with him.  I choose to believe that the first-responders and doctors were God in the flesh that Monday afternoon, saving as many people as they could.  I also choose to believe that whoever committed this heinous act was acting on behalf of the devil and will join him in hell upon their death.

I’m using the word “choose” very carefully here.  It has taken me all week (and the writing of this post) to wrap my head around how anyone could be so evil as to hurt children or people who were already at their physical (and mental) limits…and the only way I can make sense of it is to believe that the person who did this was truly the devil incarnate.

At this point all that is left to do is pray for peace in the city of Boston and for healing of those who were physically, mentally, or emotionally injured (both here and in Texas).  Please join us for “wear Boston” day tomorrow, and wear anything you have that shows “Boston,” one of our sports teams, or any of the Boston or BAA/marathon colors.  May God bless America and all those who strive to make the world a better place. 

August 20, 2012

Memorable moment Monday

Posted in Life, Remodeling at 10:17 am by lifebytheday

That moment when you realize you got your dates wrong…

…and we’ll be another full week without a kitchen sink or countertops.  Oof.

 

August 16, 2012

Thought Vomit Thursday

Posted in Life at 11:14 am by lifebytheday

I’ve always loved these kinds of posts. ;-)

  • Why is it that A says “dada” ALL. DAY. LONG. but only says “mamaaaaaa” when he’s whiny and wants something?  Literally, first thing out of his mouth in the morning – “dada”, every time he hears a car or sees a truck – “dada”…and so on.  S is loving it, but COME ON! :-P
  • Why is it that I hear about an opportunity for a full-time position at the same time as my freelance work is finally starting to trickle in again?  I have a call this afternoon to get details, but I would (not-so-secretly) hate for it to be an opportunity we couldn’t afford to turn down…
  • Why is it that I still assume I’ll be able to get pregnant like a normal person?  I’m five-weeks post-AF and actually convinced myself that I needed to take a pregnancy test!  I should know better…
  • Why is it that my body is fighting me every step of the way back to getting in shape?  It is no longer negotiable…I was just recently asked “so you’re working on #2, huh?”, COMPLETE WITH BELLY RUB!  Seriously?!?  I’m blaming it on my mini alcohol binge post-BFing, so no more bottles of wine on weekday nights, but I’m still annoyed that I can’t work out like I used to.  Whenever I try, I’m so sore the next day (or two!) that I can barely move or pick A up!  So now I’m trying to do less (end my workout before I feel completely “worked”) but more often.

I think that’s it for now.  Here’s a picture of my little punk:

 

And for fun, here he is last year in the same hat: ;-)

 

August 15, 2012

Book review – Bringing up Bébé

Posted in Books, Parenting at 2:33 pm by lifebytheday

I finally got around to reading Bringing up Bébé (I recently decided that I didn’t have much of an excuse to still be reading the crap that I used to read to “relax” while working/pregnant/etc.) and was extremely gratified to realize that I’m somewhere in the middle of the French and American contingency.  My goal in raising my kid(s) is like the French cadre – strict limits about certain things with a lot of freedom in between.

I believe strongly in independent play, manners, and helping your children become good eaters (more French than American per the author).  However, I’m a proud breastfeeder, and am also completely guilty of narrating A’s actions and praising their results (all good things I think, albeit more American).

I think the author does a good job raising questions and topics for discussion without making many judgments of her own.  And as anyone already parenting knows, all your great ideas and good intentions go out the window once you’re dealing with a real person and their personality. ;-)

I still think that it is a good idea to have goals though.  A lot of the things I had already been doing (or trying to do), but the book made me realize how much I still rely on things like snacks and A’s pacifier to prevent shrieking and meltdowns while in public.  So that’s my new goal – help A try to get more words so he can express himself without screaming, and not just shove food into his mouth to shut him up. ;-)  If you hear a toddler yelling from across the store or restaurant, think of me and wish us luck, okay?

Also, will all you readers out there send me some book recommendations?  Any parenting books that you’ve found particularly helpful or other new fiction/non-fiction that I should read.  Thanks!

August 10, 2012

My fight against CHAOS

Posted in Life at 10:04 am by lifebytheday

Soon after A’s birthday, my freelance work dried up (more on that later) and I became a bona fide SAHM.  Around the same time, A became more mobile and began refusing to stay in his playroom (a small gated area off our main living room).  I looked around and realized that our house was a DISASTER – not child-proofed, not clean enough, and FULL of clutter.  When I was working full-time (and even part-time), everything got done “enough” – clean enough, organized enough, just good enough.  But once A was crawling around on the floor full time, I knew things had to change.  And to be honest, I had NO idea where to start.

So I did what anyone else would do in that situation…

I googled!

I think my exact search phrase was “how to organize your life.”  ;-)  And the website I came across was nothing short of life-changing.

It’s called FlyLady.net and has a whole host of guidlines, routines, and prompts to help you conquer the CHAOS (can’t have anybody over syndrome)!  It’s set up so anybody can use it – SAHMs, working parents, retirees – and written in a way that breaks through the guilt and procrastination and sheer overwhelmingness (is that a word?) so you’re able to jump right in.

They divide your house into zones with a different zone focus each week (for more detailed cleaning), and then every day there is a cleaning or decluttering “mission.”  They also encourage you to set up weekly routines (certain days for errands, paperwork, cleaning, etc.) and every month there is a different “habit” to focus on (laundry, drinking water, etc.).

That is just a snippet of the value the site offers, but honestly guys?  I have never felt this in control of my life.  I know that I’ll be able to keep up with it, even when my freelance work picks back up, and I foresee our family using these guidelines and routines for years to come.

If anyone out there is feeling a little out of control, go check it out!  You’ll be glad you did. :-)

This is not a paid advertisement for FlyLady.net.  The FlyLady has no idea that I exist…I just had to share my great find with all of you!

August 8, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

Posted in Life tagged at 9:45 am by lifebytheday

Early morning breakfast on the beach

August 7, 2012

14 mos!

Posted in Parenting tagged at 10:11 am by lifebytheday

I won’t even apologize this time…let’s just all agree that I’m a terrible blogger and move on.  There are some major psychological issues underneath my lack of blogging and I’m not quite ready to explore them.  And while we’re playing ostrich, let’s ignore the fact that I just finally acknowledged (on this blog) that my son is now a toddler. :-P  So ANYWAYS…what’s A up to at 14 months?!?

  • Not only do we have a toddler, we have a WALKER!  A took his first steps around 13 months, and was walking two weeks later.  Now we’re getting closer to running, which I am SO not ready for.  But now that he’s on his feet, grass doesn’t seem so bad. ;-)
  • He’s starting to think and understand so much more now.  He understands (and obeys!) when I tell him to sit down, and now he’ll actually come into the kitchen and point to the fridge and then sit down on the floor while I get him his milk. ;-) He still doesn’t have many words (hi and dada are in main rotation), but he does a lot more grunting and pointing now.  And the cutest part is that if you guess what he’s trying to say, he does this cute little sigh thing, almost like he’s trying to say “yeah!” accompanied by a huge smile.  I spend a lot of time pointing things out and practicing words and sounds…I don’t want him to be short-changed stuck at home with just mama!
  • Now that A can MOVE, he has lost all interest in his toys – spices and pans and remotes are much more fun.  ;-)  And he gets bored with home much more easily, so we’re going on field trips a lot more often lately.  It’s so hot out (and A is so fair) that I have been trying to avoid just hanging out outside, but he definitely needs more entertainment now.  He hates sitting down in the tub lately, so the baby pool is out too.  But we got him a water table with his birthday money and he loves it!
  • A has been completely weaned for a few months now. After being paralyzed for a week or so as to whether to drop his morning or evening nursing first, one night he lost interest, and the next morning, my milk was completely gone.  I knew that I wanted to be done breastfeeding, but it was hard not to have a “last” time to enjoy.  Luckily, my little guy still loves to cuddle, and when he’s tired or sick, uses my hair as a security blanket.  It’s super cute. :-)
  • Less than a month after being completely done nursing, I got my period – my first un-medicated cycle in YEARS.  I’m waiting to see what happens this month and whether it actually turns into a regular monthly cycle.  I’m trying not to get my hopes up, but it’s hard not to imagine the possibility of being “normal.”

That’s it for now…I won’t make any promises, but I hope to be talking to you again soon. ;-)

We officially have a TODDLER!

Posted in Parenting tagged at 9:17 am by lifebytheday

I wrote this post months ago, but never finished or posted it…I’m pressing publish without making any edits so I don’t stall anymore.

I honestly can’t believe that a year has flown by already, and am having a hard time processing my emotions…especially when I think that we were still in the NICU at this time a year ago.  I wish I was one of those people who got more eloquent when filled with emotion (a poet I will never be)…instead, I become almost mute, with all of my emotions bouncing around inside of me, not able to put my feelings to words.  It’s annoying.  I love writing, and would love to be able to express myself (maybe even write a book some day), but I’m so much of a perfectionist that I become crippled with the need to formulate my thoughts perfectly.

Anyways…let’s talk about my little man!  And since there’s less pressure in bullet form, here’s what A’s up to at a year:

  • He finally starting signing “more” around 11 months.  Since we started it at meal-times, it has come to mean both “give me more food” and “I’m hungry”, so I’m now focusing on the sign “eat” when we start eating, and using the sign “more” as part of play-time.  Other signs that we’re working on are “all done”, “milk” and “water”.  In fact, signing “more” led to his first time standing on his own (since he needed both hands to make the sign)!
  • We started weaning at 11 1/2 months and it has happened pretty organically.  We started with milk at his afternoon snack and he sucked it down in his sippy cup like he had been drinking milk his whole life!  The mid-morning feeding was the next to go, followed by lunch.  He’s still not drinking much milk during the day (always does the best in the afternoon), so consequently our morning and evening nursing sessions have gotten a bit longer.  I’m having a hard time figuring out which one to drop next…he seems to want both for the time being…but we need to be completely weaned by the end of June.  S and I are leaving him with my parents for five days and taking a trip to California!
  • He has already started getting very stubborn and FRESH.  I noticed it around 11 months, it was like he flipped a switch and all of a sudden was a little boy with an opinion of his own!  The poor kid comes from two stubborn and feisty people so he never really stood a chance, but I’m trying to start being consistent with discipline before it turns into a real problem.  He’s already throwing food on the floor (holds it out until I look at him and say no and THEN throws it on the floor), pretending to kiss my shoulder and then biting me instead, throwing a complete temper tantrum during diaper changes (complete with a leg out to the side to kick me in the stomach)…I’m sure that we’re in for a wild ride. ;-)
  • But he is equally one of the sweetest and happiest little boys you’ll ever meet.  He loves to cuddle, always has a smile on his face, loves people and will hold his arms out to just about anybody.  His Grammy (my mother) is one of his absolute favorite people, and he also loves his Uncle D (went to him at his birthday party and wouldn’t even come back to me)!  D is 6ft+ and he must have a better vantage point from up there. ;-)
  • He doesn’t mind sand, but HATES grass.  Whenever we put him down on the grass to try and take a picture or whatnot, he literally picks up every one of his limbs off the ground and whines until we pick him up.  I’m trying to make sure that he’s not OCD like his mother, so that’s what we’re going to be working on throughout the summer.  Even if I put him on a blanket surrounded by his favorite toys, he’ll play with the grass but WILL NOT crawl on it.  It may as well be an alligator infested moat, lol!

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