Category Archive : baby

I judge other parents – and so do you

Judge Judge Judge

We moms, we judge all the time. We judge others (even when we don’t mean to). We judge ourselves.

All of that judgment equates to a whole lot of guilt.

I will be the first to admit that I question and judge other’s parenting choices. Vaccinations and putting the car seat in the wrong place in a shopping cart at Target top my list of judginess.

Before this conversation strays into a vaccination debate or whether or not to breastfeed, I will say this, WE PARENTS ARE ALL GUILTY. If you have a stance on any of these subjects you are guilty. GUILTY GUILTY GUILTY. Of course, as I stand here on my soapbox, I will say that I keep these judgments mostly internal. So, I shall use my blog in the passive aggressive way that I always do. But this brings me to another point: go ahead and have your opinions. We all have them. We have the right to them. But can you just keep them to yourselves? It’s hard enough being a mom without someone shoving reports, studies and other bullshit in my face.

I read a post this morning on the Scary Mommy blog which is one of my favorite blogs on the entire planet. It was titled, “Why Developmental Milestones are Bullshit.” I was so happy that someone finally told me to stop worrying and start living.

I haven’t been the most verbal in publicly discussing my 15 month old daughter Mackenzie’s slow development. Those close friends, family and colleagues that I have spoken with about my worries all echo the sentiments of the above blog post. Stop worrying. Trust your pediatrician.

But you see, that is hard. I am one of many new mommies out of my 300+ Facebook friends who had babies over the last year or two not to mention the private Facebook Group I am a part of who all had December 2013 babies. I see them posting videos and pictures of their babies already walking and talking. I see them being toddlers. Suddenly, I am afraid to post things about my baby. Afraid to admit that my daughter doesn’t seem to be like the rest of them. Afraid that all of my mom friends will suddenly stand in judgment. Judging whether I did something wrong. It’s as if I can see in their faces with that look of pity or suddenly get a slew of PMs saying “You should really get that checked out.”

While I do agree that developmental milestones are a little bit of BS, I also do believe that they stand as markers for pediatricians to determine if there is a larger problem at play.

Mackenzie hasn’t “technically” missed any milestones. She is still well within the range of when her expected first steps should be (she has up to 18 months before they will considered her truly delayed). We have had a number of red flags with her though. She has a football shaped eye which is causing extreme nearsightedness in her left eye and she will wear glasses for the rest of her life (and yes, getting a 1 year old to wear glasses is as hard as you might imagine it to be). Around 6 months we discovered mass in her belly – it turned out to be a lipoma; however we are slowly learning it could be the result of a bigger problem. She had mild hip displaysia as an infant which thankfully resolved itself. She also has one leg longer than the other. We don’t know if any of these issues are contributing to her slow to develop major motor skills like pulling up and walking. We have now been referred to a neurologist and likely a geneticist. There have been million letter named syndromes that I can barely pronounce thrown at us – most with scary repercussions such as a heightened risk of cancer. All we really want to hear is “She is fine.” If it costs me thousands of dollars to hear those words, then so be it.

My husband thinks our little girl is just a little diva – that she is going to determine when she wants to do these things. Not when the “developmental milestone” markers are telling her to do them. Despite some of the bigger things, such as walking, she is a champion eater and sleeper. Her language is developing just fine and we’ve heard her verbalizing mama, dada and even Jack Jack (which is often confused with dada). She also uses her sign language to tell us “more”, “food” and “milk”. Her “delays” should definitely not be confused with stupidity.

All of this to worry about and I’m worried about what others will think? My daughter is flipping gorgeous and funny. She is an absolute joy to be around. I should be sharing all of her beauty with the world.

Those who stand in judgment can suck it.

Look at how beautiful she is!

She’s ridiculously happy most of the time

She falls asleep sitting up. 

She’s going to be a champion texter someday. Also… those CURLS! 

She adores her brother. 

Works on her computing skills daily. 

She is insanely curious about everything we are doing. 

The Great Formula Debate: ENOUGH ALREADY!

I’d be remiss if I missed on this opportunity to rant about the latest and greatest breastfeeding vs. the evil formula companies debate. 

Let me premise this by saying that I FED MY BABY FORMULA. GASP! SHUDDER!

I’m not going to tell my story again. It has been told. Again and again. I didn’t have a choice but to switch because desperately trying to breastfeed was putting my baby’s life at risk. If your baby’s life was at risk because he needed to fricking eat, wouldn’t you do the same?

I am completely neutral when it comes to breastfeeding. If you can do it, I applaud you. Actually, I ENVY you. So, yay for you. Yay that it worked. Yay Yay Yay. Now, will you please stop shoving it down everyone’s throats and let people make this extremely personal decision on their own without all the guilt and bias getting in the way?

Here’s the new big dumb controversy. Similac was paying Bloggers for their positive reviews of their Similac Baby Journal app. Okay. So that’s nothing new. Bloggers often get paid to promote a product in return for money or goods. What became debatable was there were bloggers who happened to be breastfeeding advocates that are getting paid to write about something that they didn’t necessarily agree with or believe in. THAT I can understandably argue with (pot calling the kettle black much? Stick to your guns on your opinions or you can kiss your blog credibility and your integrity goodbye). As much as I would like to rake in some dough with my blog (I make enough for a medium Caribou coffee about every four months) there is NO WAY I would write a review for a product that I didn’t believe in (click on my About tab and I explain this further). You will never see me flip flopping just to get compensated unless I had a life altering experience with the product which genuinely changed my opinion.

When I first brought Jackson home, I was a disaster. New house, new mom, breasts that refused to work, uterine infection, baby that refused my breasts, baby losing weight quickly, jaundice getting worse, people constantly on my ass telling me I HAD to breastfeed… It was awful and not exactly the dream I had about bringing a baby home. My entire pregnancy, I literally poured over information about breastfeeding. I feel like I was incredibly self-educated and informed on the subject. I barely looked at anything in regards to formula; yet, I kept all of those samples from my OB/Gyn “just in case.” When it got to the point where the choice was very obviously no longer mine, I suddenly had to play catch up and figure out what formula was all about. I wish I had educated myself on it IN THE FIRST PLACE.

I would like to think that I am a smart mom and a smart consumer who makes informed decisions. The pressure to breastfeed from the mom community was SO enormous that I didn’t think I had any other options and let me tell you, that is simply not true. When making the switch to formula, I did not ask Similac, Gerber or Enfamil the best way to do it, which kind would be best for my baby or how often to feed him. I ASKED HIS PEDIATRICIAN. So please do not insult my intelligence- I didn’t choose to formula feed or buy a specific formula product because Enfamil shoved some marketing campaign down my throat. You don’t think Madela has to do some marketing for their breastfeeding products? Hmmmm? Does that make them evil for trying to sell their product? Are they preying on idiot moms who supposedly don’t know any better or don’t have a single clue on what the hell they are doing? Just curious.

Even though the end product for Similac’s baby journal app fell a little short and completely pissed off the breastfeeding community at large, I have to give them a little bit of credit for at least trying. They are at least recognizing that breastfeeding is a big deal for many moms and made an attempt at creating that connection. I took a peek at the app and found the journaling to be easy and straightforward. While I didn’t need an app to tell me when my kid was hungry (yes, even as a formula feeder, I read his hunger cues appropriately), his pediatrician did require us to journal when and how much he was eating as well as his dirty diapers and sleep time for about the first two weeks (they needed this information specifically because he was jaundiced). So in that respect, the app is pretty good. Take the “call our feeding expert” option out of it and I think they may have been on the right track. I would like to think that smart moms are going to go to their lactation specialists and pediatricians for advice on feeding before they rely on their iPhone app. Or maybe that’s just me. I WISH I HAD THIS APP (hell, I wish I had an iPhone) when Jack was born. There are many baby journaling apps out there (type in “Baby Journal” in the search bar in the App Store… you’ll see what I mean), the only difference with this one is that it was made by Similac. A formula company. Gee. I guess it’s evil now.

Here are some snapshots of the app at least of the pieces that I would have found useful way back when Jack was an infant (I think the pee and poop visuals in the diaper change section are kind of hilarious):

Would I endorse this app? Yup. I would. Do I endorse breastfeeding? Yup. Of course. Do I endorse formula? YES. Do I endorse moms whose babies love them regardless of which way they are fed? Absolutely.

FYI: I was not paid a single penny for my opinion.

To Conceive Or Not to Conceive

We always thought we wanted 2 kids. The perfect little family.

The longer it takes to conceive #2 the more and more we are talking ourselves out of it.

Our friend’s beautiful baby boy.

We got the chance to visit our friends over the weekend and meet their adopted newborn baby. He is so adorable with big huge eyes and sweet heart-shaped nostrils. I got that familiar rush of baby fever. I loved listening to all of their stories and hearing all about their process. Most importantly, I loved the look on their faces: that sheer utter new parent bliss. In my head I was thinking… wow. I wonder what it would be like to have a newborn without the postpartum stuff. She can sit. Anywhere. She can bend over to pick baby up out of the crib without that shooting pain from the epidural spot. She’s not crying every two minutes over absolutely nothing. Sounds amazing. Can I do it that way next time? She even confessed that things were going great and that the transition was relatively easy- and it was likely because she’s not having to physically recover from childbirth. They are going to be such wonderful parents and I am so over the moon for them!

I was around 8 months preggo here.

I have this love/hate feeling over the whole pregnancy/childbirth experience. I loved when I was midway through my pregnancy and I had the perfect bump. Just big enough to say “Yes, I’m pregnant, stop staring at me,” and small enough not to feel as though I could topple over at any moment. I loved the feeling of the human person growing inside of me and feeling so incredibly protective over him. I loved that only my husband and I knew his name and talked to him as though he had already arrived. I LOVED feeling his kicks. I didn’t love the morning sickness (evening for me actually) which plagued me for 25, YES 25 @$##@$ weeks. I didn’t love that my weight creeped up 30lbs despite the fact that I was puking my brains out every night. I didn’t love the weird taste in my mouth that made everything taste funny. I didn’t love heartburn and reflux. I didn’t love the fact that my blood pressure was creeping up dangerously high and I was at risk for pre-eclampsia by week 30 and had to go in for checkups every week and in the last 3 weeks, I was going to the doctor twice a week (thank god for a great boss who took pity on me who was more concerned about my health and the health of the baby than what hours I was punching on the clock). I didn’t care for the fact that I could barely walk.

Funny thing is. I didn’t mind childbirth. Once I got the epidural, I was in wonderland. Meeting my son for the first time was the most amazing experience of my life. I didn’t care for the 6 weeks of postpartum recovery. As a matter of fact… that was worse than everything else. I do feel a little bad for even remotely complaining about any of this stuff seeing as I had to deal with several years of infertility as did many close friends of mine. Regardless, having a baby isn’t a cake walk and trying to convince yourself otherwise doesn’t make it all better.

Would I do it all again? Yup. In a heartbeat.

My Big Boy.

So why the indecision? The older and more independent Jack gets, the less we want to have a small baby in the house again. Part of me feels like it would be easier the 2nd time around- since I already had the experience, it wouldn’t be as challenging (ha!). The other part of me feels like we keep saying “When Jack gets older we will…” He’s getting older and we are now able to do a lot of the things we have longed to do with our child. I feel like he should have a sibling, yet I think he would do just fine as an only child. Childcare is expensive, we worry how we would pay for two kids in daycare. We worry how we would pay for two college educations. Yet… there is that little voice in the back of my mind that says to keep trying.

I’m not getting any younger. I turn 35 in a few months which is supposedly like the dreaded “deadline” age for childbearing (which is funny because I take 10 times better care of myself than I did 10 years ago…). For now, we are compromising. 2012 is our deadline. If we are not pregnant by then, we will be done and more than content with moving forward with just our beautiful boy.

How did you make the decision to have or not to have more children?

Hauser Thoughts

I’m sure like many have, I’ve been following the story of the 13 year old boy who is refusing treatment for cancer because of “religious” reasons. He’s refusing treatment because treatment sucks!! This family hasn’t even remotely been specific as to what kind of “natural” healing they will use to make Daniel better which tells me that the kid is being just that: a kid. The real tragedy here is the that parents are just feeding into it. How could ANY parent just sit there and say no? Gee, let’s see… 90-95% chance of survival with treatment or 95% chance of death without. KID you are getting treatment and that is that. This just in: he is being forced to resume chemo and latest tests show that his tumor is larger than ever. So how did that natural healing go for ya?

It isn’t quite cancer or anything, but Jack happens to be going through a pretty tough round of teething. Memorial Weekend was anything but a fun, family filled time. It was spent with a very upset, crabby child who had no ability to nap on his own and late nights filled with lots of tears. My poor little guy. It just breaks my heart to see him hurting like this. On top of teethers, Motrin, Tylenol… I’m kinda at a loss. Thankfully a Facebook post brought in a lot of pretty cool ideas that I will give a chance if we have another long night tonight. Now that the teeth are poking through, things should start to get better.

In other news… I am taking my first trip away from my baby this week and I have so many mixed emotions about it I’m not sure how to handle it! I’m excited to get away with one of my BFF’s- I haven’t seen her since Thanksgiving and even then it was a group outing and very little chance to catch up. She’s one of the most awesome and spontaneous people I have ever known and I’m so excited that she was willing to take a trip to Vegas with me on super short notice. I’m excited to take some time out for just me- to relax, de-stress, get a tan and most importantly- get some SLEEP. What I’m having an issue with is leaving my baby. I feel like a bad mommy for even remotely wanting to get away. I feel like I’m abandoning him and my husband. I already feel guilty for the lack of sleep my husband is about to endure. In the back of my mind, I know they both will be just fine and it’ll probably be good for my husband to have to “do it all” for once. One thing that can’t be fixed though is how much I will MISS my little baby. I haven’t been away from him for an extended period of time ever and it is going to gut me. He may cry and keep me up all night, but there is NOTHING like to feel of him falling asleep with me as we rock to the sounds of lullabies. My heart just swells with love every time I think of him, every time I see him.

My Rant on Kate Gosselin

First of all, let me preface this… I have maybe watched Jon & Kate + 8 all of once when my sister-in-law (bless her heart) tortured me through it while staying with us to watch Jack one weekend. Despite whether or not I watch the show, or whether or not I even liked it, I’m going to have to take Kate’s side here. I know her husband thinks of her as a total overbearing bitch (as does the rest of America it seems), but unless you are a Mom, you just don’t know. You just don’t get it. Putting aside the stupid tabloid rumors of infidelity and contracts stating that their marriage is technically over but are together for the cameras (good God), taking care of kids is tough work. I have one and it is hard work, but to have EIGHT? She has every right to be as big of a bitch as she wants. She fricken gave birth to eight kids. Why shouldn’t she want things her way? Why shouldn’t she be a little greedy? She’s got a lot of mouths to feed! As far as her appearance? Good for her getting stuff fixed! I’m envious! For real though. I am hard on my husband as well. While he definitely does his share of parenting, I do have the bulk of many of the responsibilities and when I leave things in his hands, there is always something missing. Granted, I’m a little more willing to let him make some mistakes and figure things out for himself, but sometimes I get in his face about how to care for our baby. It’ll certainly be interesting when I go on vacation next weekend.
Another rant of mine is of course dealing with the care of our babies from outsiders. They say that Kate fired more than 40 nurse nannies because they did not fit her standards. Well, I say GOOD FOR HER for being picky and choosy about who takes care of her kids! It is not easy to find a good match when it comes to childcare. As you all know, I have plenty of issues with mine. Anyway- those are my thoughts about Kate. Again, I say, if you don’t have children yourself, you have NO right to judge her. You have no idea what it is like to care for a baby and how much pressure it is to have the responsibility of raising your child right- whatever you might be your “right” to be.
In other news… another daycare FAIL. Jack got his first baby owie. Now, I know… this is bound to happen sooner or later, but it doesn’t mean it irritates me any less. Supposedly, Jack was reaching out of the infant treehouse on the playground and he toppled and they couldn’t catch him fast enough. I guess my question is- if you’re going to put an infant in this thing who has only recently learned how to crawl and doesn’t really have any sense of balance, WHERE were you? WHY wasn’t the teacher right there looking out for them? This isn’t social hour!!! He’s got a little goose egg above his eye that doesn’t seem to be phasing him much, but still. One of the reasons we chose this place is for the low child to teacher ratio and they seem to be having a poor time managing it.

More Sleep Discussion

I know sleep seems to be the only topic I have to talk about lately, but when it is EVERYTHING about your life, is there anything else to discuss?

DH and I have delved deep into the mystery that is baby sleep. I feel like I have combed the internet for hours researching and trying to find an answer to why we can’t get our 6 month old to sleep through the night. Have I found the answer yet? Not necessarily. However, I have found that what Jack is doing is actually more normal than we thought. Jack typically goes to sleep around 8-9pm depending on his level of playful, maniac-ness. He goes right to sleep without any struggle and we usually get a solid 2 hours before the night goes awry. We have found though that there is always a reason for his waking up and being upset: his Nuk fell out, his Nuk is in backwards, he rolled over and is uncomfortably wedged into the corner of the crib, he rolled onto his back (he hates his back) and the list goes on. These are all fairly easy fixes- we re-position him and give him his Nuk back. This takes all of 10 seconds with little interruption to my own REM sleep. Lately though, Jack has been starting to stir around 4am. This is seriously a no-go in our book. Too damn early. No way in hell is either of us starting our day at 4am. The more I read though, I’m finding that 8-9 hours of sleep, including these minor interruptions is normal. So. He goes down at 8- 4am is 8 hours. Not brain surgery to figure out what is going on here. He’s hungry. We’re not ready to get up. We struggle with getting him back to sleep. Now, if we were alert, awake and intelligent, we would simply give him the darn bottle and chances are, he would go back down until 6 and be ready to start the day at that time (normal for us as we are up getting ready to go to work anyway). Why do we fight this? I’m not sure. Probably because we are afraid that it will become habit and we will have to get up at 4am every morning for the next 18 years to feed him. Truth of the matter is, we probably just need to go with it. Until he is old enough and not in need of a bottle or baby foods, then this really is the reality and there is no use in fighting it. This is what we signed up for!

In other news… The discussion of baby #2 has definitely begun. Initially we’re thinking, dear God. Are we crazy? That would be hell to have 2 babies under 2. The other part of us is: let’s just get this shiz over with. I can’t imagine waiting a few years, having Jack sleeping peacefully through the night and then start all over with screaming baby every single night. We might as well just make a few years of sleep deprivation and the blissfully be done with it. I can’t even believe I’m going to say this, but, I’m excited to be pregnant again. As many times as I barfed and could barely walk when I was preggo with Jack, deep down I loved it. There is just something about having that life inside you. So miraculous. So wonderful. This is all a lot of talk right now though. I’m hoping to wait until this summer before we actually starty to really try.

One other thing that has really been on my mind is my loyalty (and addiction) to my mommy web forums. They are both wonderful and awful all at the same time. I go there to get advice, but then, I constantly sit there and compare Jack to all these other babies and think “Why isn’t Jack rolling?” or “Why doesn’t Jack have his teeth yet?”. I know a lot of mommies are just excited about reaching these little milestones, and normally I love that they share these things, but secretly? It annoys me a little. Not that a mama shouldn’t brag about her little ones, but sometimes I just have to roll my eyes. I feel like I’m constantly reminding myself that there is no manual for parenting and that my baby is an individual. He will meet these milestones at his pace. As long as the pedi says he is doing great then I am not going to sit and compare. I find it a little funny that suddenly there are a rash of posts about babies who previously STTN (slept through the night) who are now waking up in the middle of the night every hour (secretly I think to myself… HAHA). Now. Don’t you think this is a sign? All these babies. All around the same age. All of them are waking at night. IT IS DEVELOPMENTAL FOLKS!!! There is nothing you can do about it but let them figure out how to sleep on their own and that is the best thing you’ll be able to teach them. I love that DH praises me for keeping Jack on a rigid schedule both with feeding and sleeping and is convinced that is the reason we have such a mild mannered, less whiny baby. Whether or not that is true, I don’t know, but I’ll take the praise nonetheless!

P.S. Just want to say that I am jumping for joy that Tatiana didn’t make it through to the top 13 on American Idol!!!

Idol Predictions

Well I’m happy to report that last night wasn’t half the trainwreck as the past couple weeks. Still, there are no Chris Daughtry and Carrie Underwoods blowing me away yet.

Here are my predictions of the next three going through to the top 12:

1. Scott MacIntyre
2. Ju’Not Joyner (he was AWESOME)
3. Felicia Barton

That number 3 spot was my tricky one though- I think Felicia is a long shot, but I really liked her voice and her look. I think competing for that spot is Jorge Nunez and Lil Rounds.

Everyone else pretty much sucked! If Nathaniel makes it through I will pretty much stop watching. They really need to get a stylist to help him out. Dude can sing for sure but his look totally is killing it for me.

In other news…
Baby: Jackson is now on yet another developmental change. The past couple nights he was been feeling around his mattress at night (he sleeps on his tummy now) as if he is swimming. WTH is he looking for?? Of course he starts screaming in a fit of who knows what. I assume he is looking for his Nuk, but perhaps he is dreaming? Stay tuned… we’ll see how many nights of sleep DH and I lose over this.

Exercise: Waiting patiently for March to be over so I can add DH onto my LifeTime Fitness membership (waiting for his Snap membership to end). When I add him on, I am also going to upgrade us to a platinum membership so I can have access to more locations closer to my office (which I think is ABSOLUTELY STUPID). I am struggling to find the motivation to drive across town during my work day to get a short workout in when there is a gym just down the road from my office (within about 5 miles). I’m not certain why LifeTime decided to do this. I think it is extremely confusing for the consumer and to be honest, I don’t think some of these “platinum” and “onyx” gyms offer any better amenities than the gold or bronze (I currently have a gold membership). Confused yet? No shit, huh? Anyway- they claim that members will have more access to tennis. Here’s a tip: NOT EVERYONE PLAYS TENNIS so why should I have to pay more to have a membership to a tennis facility when all I want to do is use the equipment or perhaps take a Group Fitness class. So annoying.