I’m not down with OPPC: Other People’s Parenting Choices

I wish that wasn’t true. I wish I was very zen about other people’s parenting choices (OPPC). But I’m not. And it’s probably the biggest surprise to me since I became a parent.

Understand when I say that  “I wish I was very zen” I don’t mean that I’m out there berating parents who make parenting decisions I wouldn’t make or that I think my choices are the gold standard of parenting or that I’m perfect. Just the other day, I decided to keep Stella out of the dogs’ water bowl by giving her her own bowl of water. Shockingly, SHOCKINGLY, I ended up with a mad wet baby and a puddle of water on the floor.

What I mean, and what’s been a huge surprise to me, is how much seeing other parents make choices I wouldn’t bothers me. I suspect OPPC upset me because I just don’t understand. 95% of the parenting choices I’ve made (and Sean has agreed with), I made because my instinct told me to do it that way. Stella slept on my chest for the first three weeks of her life because it felt like the right thing to do. We practice baby led weaning because my instinct told me she didn’t need purees at 4 months old. I wear her a lot because keeping her close feels right. I think because my parenting “book” is just my instinct, I don’t understand how or why people make other choices.

A lot of parenting choices I make aren’t exactly mainstream. I know the way Sean and I parent isn’t for everyone and that all parents do what they think is best for their child. Hell, other parents probably even have different instincts. But. That doesn’t make me feel less sad when I find out a friend gave up on breastfeeding two weeks in because they didn’t have family support.  I hope that the intense… feelings I have about OPPC will fade with time. Or that at least I’ll get so used to it being there that I can ignore it. Right now though it’s raw. I know I’m not the first mom in the history of the world to have this problem, so any suggestions for dealing with this?

Unbelievable

So, I went to the doctor a couple of weeks ago for my physical and a couple of vaccinations (the flu and whopping cough–both only because of the baby). Yesterday, I got the results from the bazillion (not an exaggeration) tests they did. Slightly unsurprisingly, I’m super healthy. Except. I have high cholesterol.

At first, I couldn’t believe it. I mean, if you know me or have been reading ye olde bloge for any amount of time, you know I’m pretty healthy. I run (sometimes), I do yoga, I weight train (less often than I should these days), I’m a  vegetarian, I don’t eat processed foods (very much). I’m generally speaking pretty super healthy. In fact, I think this is the first time, I’ve ever had a slightly abnormal test result. So what did I do? That’s right. I turned to the interwebz.

Here’s what I found: Having high cholesterol when you’re breastfeeding is pretty normal and common. Which is weird, but makes me feel a little bit better and talked me off the OH-MY-GOD-I’M-GOING-TO-DIE-A-PREMATURE-HEART-DISEASE-RELATED-DEATH cliff I had been on. I mean, if the results don’t change after Stella weans I’m sure I’ll be back on the cliff, but for now I’m good. Has anyone else had this experience?

Life these days

Wow. It’s been awhile since I blogged anything here. I bet you guys thought I forgot all about you, didn’t you? 

To be honest, I did for a bit. Life has been crazy lately. We moved a couple of months ago and are still not completely unpacked, Stella is growing and developing like crazy, I’ve been working crazy hours at work, and Stella started a new daycare. Basically all this adds up to basically zero free time and zero blogging time. Things are finally starting to calm down, so there may be more updates coming soon as well as the long awaited birth story (I know you’ve all been holding your breath). For now, here’s a cute picture of Stella!

IMG_20130923_151150

Who interrupts my slumber?

Confession time: when Stella was born I never really had a period of sleep deprivation. I mean, for the first three weeks of her life the days and nights ran together with really no separation at all, but I slept whenever she did. So, while I may not have known whether it was 5pm or 5am, I wasn’t actually that sleepy, just confused.

20130731-090722.jpg

Once she got her days and nights sorted out, it was smooth sailing. Sure, she woke up at night, but she went back to sleep quickly and I just napped with her during the day to make up for lost sleep. Then, miraculously, when she was about 6 weeks old, she started sleeping through the night. There have been a few hiccups since then. She doesn’t like sleeping unswaddled and now prefers sleeping with us to sleeping alone. Generally, though, Stella loves sleeping as much as we do.

20130731-090811.jpg

Fast forward to today. Stella is six months old and I think I’m finally getting a taste of that infamous newborn sleep deprivation. Today is morning two of me waking up after only getting three hours of sleep a night. I know, I know it’s only two nights. But, seriously. This sucks.

20130731-090834.jpg

I’m too tired to think of a clever ending or even just a conclusory sentence, so I’ll just end with a question. Anyone have any idea why my formerly sleep loving baby has suddenly decided sleep is the devil and can only happen in hour long increments during the night?

20130731-090918.jpg

Five Months

Guys. It’s been five months (and a little more) since Stella was born.

DSCN0226Stella’s first time in her high chair 

Being a parent is awesome and overwhelming and hard and easy and wonderful and terrible and… all that and more all at once. Most of the time I’m in awe that I made a person and that that person is not a tiny baby any more. I mean, she is a tiny baby (even now at 5 months she only weighs a little more than 12 pounds) but she’s learning things and developing her own personality. It’s hard to accept and amazing to realize that she’s not just an extension of me. That she is actually an individual.

So what does this little individual like to do? She likes to grab things. She likes to put everything in her mouth all the time. She likes sitting up and rolling over and “petting” the dog.  She likes to make noise and she loves going for walks.

DSCN0233

Most of all, though, she likes me. Don’t misunderstand. She likes Sean too, but I don’t think there’s any dispute that I’m her favorite.

DSCN0239

Oh. And she love love loves her foot. Loves. It.

I’m simultaneously shocked that Stella is already 5 months old and shocked that she’s only five months old. She’s changed so much in these five months. She’s gone from a sleepy little new born to a wide awake active infant. Sigh. Excuse me while I go play with my infant and mourn the newborn she used to be.

 

Mornings with Martha

This is something that I never thought I’d say, but I love mornings! I hinted at the reason in my last post and here it is: I don’t work full-time anymore.

I never thought at any point in my life that having a baby would make me reevaluate my life so much. But it did. Shortly after returning from maternity leave, I realized I couldn’t continue to work full time and be the person I wanted to be. So, after lots of soul searching and discussions with my husband, I talked to my boss, who is very supportive of flexible work schedules. After more discussions, I started working an 80% schedule. What that means, practically speaking, is that I work from 10-4 everyday.

I’ve been working that schedule for about 6 weeks now and it.is. AWESOME. I’m much less stressed, I have more time with the family, more time for me, and, maybe not so surprisingly, I’m getting more done at work.

But this is the best part. This is how I spend my morning. With a cup of tea and sleeping baby.

20130620-083902.jpg

I’m so grateful to have such an amazing and understanding employer.

The best laid plans and all that

Before my daughter was born, I had decided how our sleeping would happen. She would sleep in a co-sleeper by my bed for a couple of months, take naps in her crib, and would be sleeping in her own room by the time I went back to work. Great and completly reasonable plan, right?

Yeah.

Sleeping was my first lesson in “nothing goes as planned in parenthood.”

For the first three weeks after she was born, Stella slept every single night on my chest. During the day she would sleep anywhere anytime, but in the dark she wouldn’t sleep anywhere except my chest. At 3 weeks old, I started getting nervous about that (mainly about crushing her unintentionally) so I started swaddling her and putting her in the co-sleeper.

Perfect!

By the time she was 6 or 7 weeks old, she was sleeping for about a 7-8 hour stretch every night! Then, when she was about 3 months old, she got a cold. She couldn’t breathe very well and slept best on an incline. So, back on my chest she went.

Fast forward a few weeks and for various reasons (mainly a growth spurt, vacation, and my fear that she’ll roll over while swaddled and smother herself), this is how she sleeps the majority of the time.

20130604-080913.jpg

Ignore me in this picture. That’s my “I just woke up after a night of nursing every two hours” face. Also ignore that she’s sleeping on her side. At night she sleeps on her back like she’s supposed to. Right beside me.

So for now, I’m one of those people whose kid sleeps with them. And, you know what? I love love love it.

Catching up

It’s been a little over two months since I last blogged here. If you’re a long time reader, you know this happens sometimes. From time to time, my life life gets in the way of my writing about my life. But I always come back with promises that “it won’t happen again” and” I can change.” Basically you and I are in a virtual abusive relationship and I’m the abuser.

This isn’t a side of me that I like. So, I really am changing. For once I’m going to be honest.

It probably will happen again. In fact, lets just go ahead and say its definitely going to happen again. This blog is all about me trying to find balance in my life and, I think, a big part of that is admitting that sometimes I have zero balance. Sometimes, my life is a whirlwind of work, baby, house hunting, eating, sleeping, playing, walking, reading, feeding… you get the point. And, sometimes, writing for myself (and for you) is, sadly, not part of the whirlwind.

Now that that’s out of the way, let’s do a bit of catching up, shall we?

Here’s a quick rundown of what’s been going on with me in the last two months.

1. Maternity leave ended and I’m a sad panda.

2. I don’t love daycare, but I don’t hate it either.

3. Going back to work doesn’t really work out. More about that later.

4. We start house hunting because a two bedroom townhouse actually is too small for two adults, a baby, and two large dogs. (Yes, Mom, you can say “I told you so.”) I’m super excited and then really really frustrated.

5. After looking at every.single.house in Lexington, we finally made an offer that was accepted. Yay! BUT THEN the inspection goes horribly. Sigh.

6. Stella makes her first trip out of state. To Memphis. Where I’m attend an intense two day long CLE.

7. I learn that an 8 hour drive with a baby is actually a two day long drive.

8. As a result of the the most intense humidity in the history of weather, I find out I have curly hair.

9. I discover I’m kind of a hippie when it comes to parenting.

10. I have my first Mother’s Day! And it’s awesome.

That’s the short story. In the coming days and weeks, I’ll post a bit more about some if this. Or more truthfully, I’ll try to post more. Baby steps.

DSCN0146

 

Two Month Update!

Time flies! I can’t believe it’s already been (almost) two months since Baby S was born. Really. I legitimately can’t believe she’s that old already.

I know I didn’t do a  one month update (turns out having a newborn is time consuming. Who knew?), but she has changed so much since she was one m0nth old. She smiles all the time now, makes silly faces and coos, she tries to mimic whatever facial expressions we make, kicks her feet, reaches for things with her hands… the list goes on and on, but the point is this: she’s so much more active than she was a month ago. IMG_1429

Yesterday was her two month checkup at the pediatrician. She’s almost 22 inches tall now, meaning she’s grown three inches since she was born. To me that sounds like a lot, but it only puts her in the 10th percentile, so maybe not. She finally weighs 8lbs, meaning she finally gained a pound since birth. I’m a little worried that she so tiny, but the pediatrician isn’t. I guess she’s just going to be petite. She also got a couple of vaccines, which were terrible. For me, I mean. She seemed to forget about them quickly, even though she just wanted to be in her baby carrier for the rest of the day. Of course, I’m fine with her being in her carrier all day since I have a bit of separation anxiety about going back to work on Monday.

IMG_1431

On a more fun and less anxiety inducing note, when I looked at the picture of her all mad and waving her arms around I realized that I had put rattles on her arms. Rattles that make rattling squeaky noises. In a house with two large dogs, I’ve made my child sound like a dog toy. Parenting fail.