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Sleepless No More

OH MY GOD YOU GUYS.  My baby is SLEEPING.  Like, consistently.  I put her into her crib around 7:30 every night and she whines a bit and then GOES TO SLEEP ON HER OWN and then sleeps until the morning.  The first time I am getting out of bed is between 4:30 and 5:30 and she will continue to sleep after that too.  This is literally how I feel on the inside:

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OH BABY BABY!  My prayers have been answered!  I KNOW it won’t be like this forever, but everyone around me had sleeping babies and now I HAVE A SLEEPING BABY, so I need to celebrate my victory.  So if you see me dancing in the streets, this is exactly why.

So you had some cheese?

I thought I was safe.  I enjoyed a few pieces of cheese here and there and saw no reaction in Charlotte.  So I had some baked goods.  And a little more cheese.  And a dollop of fresh whipped cream.  I was ready to go out and get a slice of pizza.  My life was going back to the cheesy heaven it once was.

And then it was over faster than you can say vomit in your mouth.

I was laying in bed with the little miss yesterday afternoon and playing like we usually do when I get home from work.  I pulled her onto my belly and started to kiss her neck to make her laugh and then she coughed twice, so I pulled my head back to look at her and we were face to face.  Then she burped.  I knew what was coming but there was literally no time to do anything except close my mouth really tight.

My daughter threw up on me.  And not like spit up like she used to do when she was younger.  This was full on heaving vomit.  It landed right on my face, into my hair, onto my lips, down my chin, into my shirt, all the way down my chest into my pants.  I’m not even exaggerating and I have a photo to prove it and it is highly disturbing and disgusting but I’ll totally send it to you to prove it.  I’ve sent it to a few people and was debating posting it here, but I don’t think it’s nice to scar those that have yet to have children to see what their future holds.  She was totally fine after her stomach contents ejected onto my face.  It’s like she was saying to me, “I’m glad you had your fun with dairy, I hope you enjoy it the second time around, in the form of my VOMIT.”  I guess I should just be thankful I closed my mouth in time.

Goodbye again, mozzarella.  I miss you so.

Life with Charlotte: 7 Months

Oh man are these months flying by.  Little miss Charlie girl is a whopping 7 months old.  She’s going to be one in five months!  The personality on this kid kills me.  She does a fake cry and a fake cough to get attention.  We’ve turned a corner with sleeping at night the past few days where she will lay in her crib and stare at the door waiting for someone to come in to rescue her, cry for 5 minutes and then pretend she’s asleep before she cries out again.  All of this crying is fake, so I refuse to go get her, and she is falling asleep and staying asleep for 6+ hours!  When she wakes up at 3 in the morning because she’s hungry, she looks up at me from the crib like I’m rescuing her from Alcatraz.  She is the funniest little girl.  Eric and I realized that the time to lower her crib mattress is fast approaching, so we tried to do that this weekend and then realized we have absolutely no idea how to do it and should have paid attention to the man who put the crib together back in January.  Anyone want to volunteer to help us?  We are clueless.

She smiles SO MUCH.  All the time at pretty much everyone.  She loves to be out and about and she is nosy and always wants to see what is going on.  My mom took her to the mall on Friday and my mom had to hold her and push an empty stroller so that she could look around and smile at strangers.  I love that she is so happy basically all of the time.

She sits up really well now.  I can leave her sitting with her toys around her and she moves to grab them and shove all of the things in her mouth but she stays sitting.  When she is on her back she also attempts to sit up on her own, but ends up looking like a flopping fish who is straining her neck.  It makes me laugh.  Because she is sitting up I no longer have to use the infant tub when I give her a bath and she can sit in the regular bath tub.  I cried when I put the 4moms infant tub away in our storage closet, because I am a loser.  But I am really enjoying not having to lug that fucking thing out and put it in the bath tub every night.  She still screams at me to eat naked every night after a bath and I’m afraid that’s never going to change.  She’ll probably be 6 years old running naked through the house screaming for after bath snacks.  Speaking of eating, she’s become a pro at eating regular foods.  She has breakfast, lunch & dinner now in addition to nursing.  She still prefers the boob over anything else, but the girl is not passing up her bananas or carrots anymore!

Eric and I are taking our first family getaway with her in October.  We’re going to Mystic, CT for 3 days!  We wanted to go somewhere close enough that we could drive, but not have to drive too far because the beast still hates the car.  We’ve been to Philly & DC in the past few years so we figured Mystic would be a great place since I haven’t been there in 20 years and Eric never has.  We’re going to go to the aquarium and the steam trains and Foxwoods Casino, because that’s what you do with a 7 month old.  This trip is obviously not for her, she’s just coming along for the ride.  I’m really looking forward to it very much!

It makes me sad that she is 7 months old, because time is moving so fast, but seeing how much she changes each month and is learning and growing, makes me so excited to see everything else that is in store.  She is so much fun that I genuinely enjoy hanging out with her!  I love this baby girl of mine.

Snap & Go?

Who designs baby clothes?  I want to talk to them.  Specifically the sweet individuals who design the long sleeve pajamas with the feet and use snaps.  Honestly who thinks the snaps are a good idea?  Anyone?  Anyone? Bueller?  Because getting these pajamas with the snaps on an almost 7 month old baby is starting to become fucking impossible.  Maybe the people who design these clothes have like really well behaved babies who lay there perfectly still when you are trying to snap them into the pajamas.  But me?  I have a baby who hates getting dressed to begin with, so when you add in the fact that she now rolls all over and basically tries to do a back handspring as I try to dress her for bed, the snaps are no good.  We have a few zipper onesie pajamas that are my favorite, but the bastards who design those make sure that your baby outgrows them after 2 wears.  And the snaps are just everywhere you look, at every baby store.  I can’t snap her in fast enough and by the time I snap one leg shes kicking me with the other and when I try to snap in that leg she’s trying to flip over and THEN I realize in my haste I snapped it wrong so I have to do it all over again and by the time I unsnap her she has both of her legs out and she’s on her belly trying to eat her bookcase furniture and I am sweating profusely.  This is every night.  EVERY NIGHT.  So to the makers of baby clothes, I hate you and your snaps.  Your snaps suck.  They don’t even snap quickly, you have to really give it some effort to get them closed and that’s just impossible with Kung Fu baby moves.  I can’t be the only person who has trouble with this shit.  Fucking snaps.

Charlotte Shea’s Baptism

My baby girl got baptized yesterday!  It was really one of the most favorite days of my life.  I didn’t realize how emotional I would be during the service, and when I held her to officially be baptized my heart was so full of joy and love that I could have burst.  She looked so beautiful.  Exhibit A:

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She took a nap before the service began and she just looked like such an angel.  My mom bought her dress, but she wore the hat that I wore at my baptism, and then her hat and shoes were adorned with beads that came from my mother’s wedding gown and veil.  She wore my grandpa’s angel pin on her dress as well, and it was a special way of him being there with us.  It was our first family event without him and I could really feel the loss.  I know he was watching us and was with us all day, but we missed him, plain and simple.

My brother is Charlotte’s godfather and he loves her so much!  My cousin Brianne is her godmother.  She was my matron of honor at my wedding and is my very best friend.  Her son is 4 months old and he was there while we got Charlotte dressed.  Jack was just hanging out on the bed minding his own business while Charlotte did this:

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In her defense this was really the only time she cried like this the entire day, but it’s so funny that she never fails to scream whenever we are doing something nice.  SHE HATES ALL OF THE NICE THINGS.

We had a small luncheon afterwards with family and friends and it was just such a good day.  Charlotte has so many people that love her.  She is one lucky little girl.  Thank you to everyone who came to celebrate with our little munchkin and for all of you who offered congratulations.  It was a big day for all of us and we appreciate it!  I love this child so much that sometimes I honestly think I could explode.

Getting Sh*t Done

Multitasking and doing things quickl with a baby can be nearly impossible. The other day I was holding Charlotte as I ate a meatball out of a dish like a dog while I tried to clean one of her bottles. This is an actual thing that occurred. I know that it isn’t necessary to have everything done this very second, but I’m just not that type of girl. If I want every bottle cleaned the second I get home, I can’t relax until I clean every bottle. It’s ridiculous and I can’t change it or relax myself in this way, but because of this I’ve learned some really great ways to multitask. I’m able to wear Charlotte in my baby wrap while I clean the kitchen and put away groceries or quickly clean the bathroom, I eat like I’m trying to win some sort of competitive eating contest and I can get dressed in seconds flat.  I’m even able to check work emails and make some phone calls while I change her or get her ready for bed.   I’m looking forward to when Charlotte starts crawling so I can attach swiffer cleaner clothes to her body so she can help me multitask. Oh man this kid is going to be in for it when it’s time to do chores. You want to watch Mickey Mouse? Well you better fold laundry while you do. I’m only kidding. Maybe. 

Anyway, I’m doing the best kind of multitasking right now.  I’m writing this blog post while holding my sleeping child who desperately needed a nap while getting a pedicure.  I am getting shit done. 

The Leaky Cauldron

Here is an actual real live thing that happened today.  Actually, it happened within the last half hour.

I was waiting outside of a salon for my friend to come out to walk back to work, and it is located right next to a fancy schmancy pre-school.  Seriously, every stroller lined up outside was the exact same million dollar elaborate stroller that all the rich people have.  They would probably vomit on the street if they saw my Graco click connect.  OH WELL.  Anyway, all the parents and children (and the nanny brigade.  Seriously, they all had nannies.) were going to the front of the school to take photos with the cute little sign that was posted outside that said “My First Day of Pre-School!” (because that isn’t overplayed yet) and I was just watching this all go down because I had nothing else to do while I waited.  Then a little girl in an adorable blue dress and red patent leather shoes comes with her parents (and her nanny) and stands in front of the sign, and I guess the little girl realized that shit was about to go down, and it was shit she did not like.  So she started to cry.  She cried when she took a picture with her mom, she cried when she took a picture with her dad, she cried when her nanny handed her Elmo.  No photos for the nanny I guess.  Shame.  Anyway, the little girl was really letting it loose, and just as she hit her crescendo I felt an all too familiar feeling that is not welcome in public.  My milk let down.  I guess my body decided it was time to feed the screaming toddler and the milk began to flow.  Thank GOD I had tissues on me and was able to stuff them into my bra and run back to work before my dress got two nipple size wet stains.  Hashtag breastfeeding problems.

Support System

If there is one thing I have learned in the 6+ months of being a mom, it’s that a support system is invaluable.  I don’t know how anyone out there could do this parenting thing alone, especially as a mom.  I’m not talking about just having your husband there to help you with the baby, I’m talking about having people behind you that know what you’re going through.  You need people to vent to, to cry to, to laugh with.  You need women.  I have so many women in my life that mean so much to me because I can go to them with anything and they understand immediately.  I can send a text message that says SOS HELP ME BEFORE I JUMP OFF A BRIDGE WHILE ON FIRE AND DIE A FIERY DEATH (not an actual text message, maybe…) and they are there to lend an ear in an instant.  This help is so necessary that if I didn’t have it, I’m not sure I’d be a functioning human being in society.  I became a mom when so many of my cousins and friends became moms that we really are all in this together.  Charlotte’s godmother has a 4 month old, one cousin has a little boy who is 5 months, my other cousin has a 2 year old and an 8 month old, and yet another other cousin has a 2 year old and another on the way.  One of my best friends has a 16 month old, my other friend had a baby 3 days after I had Charlotte, my neighbor has a son 3 weeks younger than Charlotte, my aunt has my 7 year old godson and my 3 year old cousin, and my sister in law has my 4 year old nephew and her new little guy that is 3 months old.  Do you see what I mean?  LOOK AT ALL THE BABIES UP IN HERE.  There are working moms, stay at home moms, nursing moms, formula moms.  We are all different and yet going through the same things.  We have babies who sleep and babies who don’t sleep (cough cough Charlotte), husbands to complain about (sorry) and pictures to share.  We are deep in the trenches of motherhood and getting through it together.  To all of you ladies, you know who you are, thank you from the bottom of my heart.  You are my women.  I know I can come to any of you, with anything, and you are there for me in an instant and for that I am eternally grateful.  You have helped me with the baby blues, nursing problems, stretch marks, family drama, bringing me food, giving me love, giving me advice, just checking in to make sure I’m still alive and haven’t jumped off a bridge, telling me that Charlotte will sleep one day (liars), and just generally being AMAZING.  I love you all so, so much.  Women really should rule the world.

We Will Never Forget

It has been 14 years since that day.  Think of everything that has happened in your life in these past 14 years. Since that day, I graduated high school, graduated college, got married, had a baby. I’ve lived a life since that day. And yet every September 11 I am still that high school freshman. I’m still that girl who was trying to make friends, thinking I was more adult than I really was. I can’t remember what I had for breakfast last week, but almost every minute of that day is etched forever in my mind. My high school was on a hill that overlooked Manhattan, it was impossible not to see. But then again, the Towers were so grand it would be hard not to see them burning from almost anywhere. I remember the frantic phone calls in a life before iPhone, the crying girls, the confusion. There was no Twitter or Facebook to let us know what was happening in 160 characters or less.  We had land lines and desktop computers that still used dial up connections.  All we had was each other. 

September 11 was one of the worst days in American history, but it is easily the worst day for New Yorkers. I remember in the years that followed any conversations with people not from New York about 9/11 made it painfully clear that nobody could really understand it if you weren’t in New York City when it happened.  It’s hard to explain to someone exactly how you felt as a 13 year old girl trying to get home with a cloud of ash behind you and debris floating in your swimming pool when you arrived.  It’s a day my father doesn’t talk about. But then again, I have a father who came home when so many people don’t. It is the highest level of tragedy to know of so many people that died that day. 

Now that I have Charlotte, I’ve realized that one day she will learn about 9/11. She will ask me and her father about it, and we will both tell her where we were and what we remember.  How do you explain something like that to someone you want to protect?  I know I have years before it happens, but it makes me think of all the children in my life that didn’t have to live through it but will learn about it. I think of my little cousins, my nephews, my friends children. It is up to us to tell them the stories, to make sure the day is never forgotten, as if it ever could be. But when we tell our children our own personal history with that terrible day, we must share the good with the bad. Tell them about the strangers who went to help at ground zero. Tell them about the American flags that flew from every house. Tell them about the patriotism.  Tell them about the search dogs and their handlers.  Tell them about the firefighters and police officers who ran in when everyone else was running out.  Tell them those heroes especially should never be forgotten, those who gave their life to help others. On that day, ALL lives mattered and let us NEVER forget that. Tell them that in a world so filled with hate, Americans came together with so much love. 

“Remember the hours after September 11th when we came together as one to answer the attack against our homeland. We drew strength when our firefighters ran upstairs and risked their lives so that others might live; when rescuers rushed into smoke and fire at the Pentagon; when the men and women of Flight 93 sacrificed themselves to save our nation’s Capitol; when flags were hanging from front porches all across America, and strangers became friends. It was the worst day we have ever seen, but it brought out the best in all of us.”

– Senator John Kerry

The New Normal

I’ve been back at work for over two months now.  Say whaaaaat?  When I think back to that first week of July and how absolutely awful I felt, I never actually thought I’d make it to where I am now and be doing okay.  But the really weird thing is is that I am doing more than okay.  Working and being a mother is my new normal, and I really don’t hate it at all.  I’ve read so many things online about women who keep apologizing for having to work, women who cry every single day because they are away from their babies and some women who just give up entirely and back in July I thought for sure that this was going to be me.  I was going to be a weepy mess who couldn’t handle being away from Charlotte, who couldn’t handle the demands of a job and pumping and mothering.  But would you actually believe that I am thriving in this new life?  And I’m not feeling guilty, AT ALL?  It really helps that I have a job I enjoy, a somewhat flexible schedule and the help of a village behind me, that’s for sure.  But it’s so nice to have two aspects of my life that I love and enjoy.  Thank goodness it turned out this way, because I think back to the girl I was that first week of July and I just want to hug her and tell her it will be okay!

In other news, Charlotte seems to just be getting all of her teeth all at once and it’s Operation Orajel every damn day.  There is so much drooling and biting and crying that I wouldn’t mind if every tooth came in at once and she looked weird because of it just to get this shit over with.  Teething is rough and lasts forfuckingever.

On the food front she has tried the following: oatmeal, peas, carrots, string beans, sweet potato, squash & applesauce.  Today was her first time with the applesauce and she gave 0 fucks about it, which is surprising because I thought kids went ape shit over sweet things?  She’s a fan of sweet potatoes and peas the most, but honestly the kid just wants her bottle or my boob.  Feeding her is annoying.  I wish I could just give her the spoon and say HAVE AT IT KIDDO.  I’m a really great mom.

Mama is having a NIGHT OUT TONIGHT.  Charlie girl is spending the entire day/night with my dad while I’m at work and then go out for a work function (cocktails and dinner).  I’m sure I will pay for this night out when she decides to party all night when I get home, but she’s my dad’s problem right now!  God speed my father, god speed.