Month: October 2010

This Is My Reality

It was a busy weekend.

It wasn’t busy in the sense where I was running around all over the place or there were a thousand things to do. My husband went away for the weekend with the guys (he even took the dog) and it was just me and my little man. It isn’t so much that it is hard to be alone with him for 2 days, it is just a different sort of busy. He’s 2. He’s demanding. He often requires to be entertained. He always needs a watchful eye. He needs 3 square meals + 2 snacks a day, diaper changes, potty training practice. Did I mention naps? He needs a nap.

There is one small thing I have prided myself on since bringing home my little bundle. I have very consistently kept him on schedule. This schedule matches closely with what he does at daycare Monday through Friday. This schedule keeps him happy and rested. This schedule keeps him steady and mommy and daddy sane. However, this schedule often interferes with the various parties and activities we are often invited to on the weekend. I often tell people that from about 12-3 we can’t always make it to places during that time or that we’ll be late. We understand that people need to move forward with their plans and we would never expect anyone to change things just for us and our “schedule”.

Today, we were told “Oh, yes, 3:00 will be just fine. Come whenever” We walk in the door, and everyone had already eaten. We were given some reheated pieces of leftover chicken fingers and dried out pasta salad. The excuse was that they hadn’t eaten all day and that the food was ready early and they didn’t want to let it sit. Again. I didn’t ask anyone to wait for us. All I ask for is a little common courtesy. If dinner was going to be served at 2:00, just tell me. Tell me because walking in late and having to eat second hand food was hurtful. Tell me because I have a 2 year old whose needs are more important than mine- one who isn’t going to eat rubbery, reheated leftover chicken finger pieces. Tell me so I don’t feel like an idiot walking in what I guess was, late. In this day and age of cell phone and e-mail, not a single person at this party thought it was the least bit important to pick up the phone and say they were going to go ahead and eat without us. It would’ve been okay. I wouldn’t have felt so rushed. We could’ve made it in time for cake and not look like jerks for being late.

I’m hurt. I don’t expect the world to revolve around me and my uber-scheduled child, but I do expect common courtesy from the people who are close to me.

Right now, a 2 year old that naps in the afternoon is my reality. I won’t apologize for it, especially to those who refuse to understand.

The Week In Rant

It is Friday! That means it is time for THE WEEK IN RANT.

1) The MN Twins
2) Randy Moss
3) The piss me off article of the week

1) Yeah… the MN Twins are going down in flames. I am a lifelong Twins fan who had the likes of Kent Hrbek plastered on my wall and the number 14 on my back all my years of playing softball. I love the MN Twins. Just because they are going to lose to the Yankees (again) doesn’t stop my love. I’m still a fan. I’m proud that they made it this far in the first place despite injuries to their top players and despite a bullpen that frankly, sucks. I’m proud that they have a fabulous new stadium to play in which truly feels like baseball, even just driving by along 394. I love my Twins and will continue to cheer them on even though I know this weekend will likely mark the end of their season. I’ll cheer them on in hopes that they can tell the Yankees to stick it for one more game.

2) I get the hype that comes with Randy Moss. When he’s good, he’s GOOD and we definitely need some GOOD receivers for the Favre to throw to. I haven’t forgotten what a total pain in the ass this guy is though. I really hope he is able to get over himself and get out there and play the game. I appreciate that he’s added some excitement back to Viking’s Football with the slow start this season. I’m very much looking forward to watching our good ol’ Randy Moss hit the field on Sunday!

3) I saved my biggest rant for last. This article, Why I Hate Infant Formula Companies, really pissed me off. I agree that formula marketing efforts are pretty stupid most of the time in their claims. But COME ON. I did not choose to formula feed my kid because of a commercial or a can that I saw on the shelf at Target. I had to formula feed so my baby could live!! My decision didn’t happen in the hospital or at my OB’s office, they left the decision to breastfeed or formula feed ENTIRELY up to me. There was no pressure either way and they gave me all of the information I needed/requested and answered my questions about both. I love both the hospital and my OB/GYN for letting me have a choice. I desperately wanted to make breastfeeding work, but after 5 days of my son not getting anything to eat except about a teaspoon of supplemental formula here and there we officially hit failure to thrive, his jaundice was worsening and I no longer had a choice.

This article also says that 4 out of 100 babies die in the US because they are not being breastfed. Really? That is the only reason? Were they preemies? Were there underlying conditions? People. Breastfeeding is not a magic potion. Breastfed babies can still get sick. If I place my non-breastfed son next to my manager’s breastfed daughter- she has been just as sick if not more sick than my kid. It did not stop her little baby from developing pneumonia, thrush, roseola and 5th disease in the first 9 months of her life. I’m not debating that breast milk doesn’t have wonderfully healthy nutrients in it (so long as the mother has a healthy diet and lifestyle as well). I’m simply saying that mothers deserve to have choices and should be given all of the information BIAS FREE to aid in making their decision.

Yes, I am angry that formula had to be recalled. I’m also angry that strollers, cribs, nappers, playpens, spinach, beef, etc., etc., ETC. have to be recalled. Cripes. I wish that everything was perfect and safe in this world, but that is just being naive. I won’t put my son in a bubble. I think my point is, that we can’t keep blaming the damn companies and their marketing- it is an insult to my intelligence. So please, PLEASE I beg of you, stop shoving breastfeeding down our throats. Give people the benefit of the doubt and let them make the decision that is right for them.

I apologize. I know I rant on this subject a lot. If there is one thing that has driven me nuts about being a new mom it is the insane amount of the unsolicited opinions and advice that I get on nearly a daily basis. I am able to mute a lot of it out, but this one angers me the most because formula was the one thing that saved my son’s life. I am not telling anyone not to breastfeed, nor am I some big formula nazi (nor do I work for a formula company! ha!). I am telling new moms out there to use their brains and make the best decision for their own situation.

Rant complete. Happy Friday!

When the Husband Is Away The Mice Will…

POTTY TRAIN! 

My husband is going up north this weekend for a “Guy’s Weekend”. He’s been encouraging me to take Jack out of the house and do something. Go to the zoo, the mall… just SOMEthing. It’s not that I don’t want to take him out or that I’m scared to take him out, but let’s face it, taking a 2 year old out anywhere is a lot of work for two people to manage let alone MY 2 year old who is going through an independent streak of “I do it.” which means running blindly through parking lots, malls and throwing mega tantrums when it is time to leave.

My husband used to travel extensively for work in my son’s early years and it was during those weeks that I would put on my tough mom hat and break bad habits. I recall an instance a year ago, and I remember this clearly as it was baseball’s postseason and I was cheering on the Twins to yet another Yankee defeat, that I chose the 4 days that he was away on business for some sleep training. Jack had just turned 1 and wouldn’t go to sleep unless he passed out on one of us first. I knew this couldn’t last forever so during these 4 days, I put him to bed ever so wide awake. He would cry and cry and it would break my heart, but I knew it had to be done. When my husband came home, he was amazed by our little man who would go to bed so quietly without any tears. I think he thought it was magic.

He would never admit it, but I definitely have more thick skin than my husband when it comes to breaking our son’s tough habits. We’ve discussed getting rid of the Nuk and have been working on setting the stage; however, I think with this kid, we’re just going to have to go cold turkey and be tough. It’ll mean a few sleepless nights but then it will be done. I haven’t decided if this weekend is the right time though. It is the right time to encourage potty training, which is why I will likely not take him out anywhere this weekend. Since I’ll be home and have no other plans, I feel like this is the perfect opportunity to put him on the toilet at regular intervals and encourage him to use it home as much as they encourage it at school. We’ve been lazy about it, so I’m really going to take the opportunity with him and start the habit this weekend.

Peeing on the potty may not be all that exciting to us as adults, but heck for a 2 year old? It’s pretty awesome.

How did you break your little one’s bad habits? What potty training methods did you use?

Wordless Wednesday

I love October. It is my favorite month of the year- the beauty of the colors, the crisp cool weather, the nostalgia of my wedding anniversary and of course the Apple Orchard.

Even though the trip to the Orchard itself was a toddler tantrum disaster, my amazingly talented husband took these gorgeous pictures of our day. If you have a chance, check out my husband’s body of work– he’s an amazingly talented photographer.

Baby Stuff: A Look Back

Friends of my husband and I are in the process of adopting a baby. From my own experience when I was considering adoption during my infertile days, I know that preparations during the adoption process are not all that different from 9 months of pregnancy (minus the 25 weeks of barfing). It is probably even harder- mountains of paperwork to prove you are worthy to be parents and cleaning every speck of dust out of your house to prepare for your homestudy. This couple recently started to read up about baby gear and stuff that they will need when baby arrives and it brought some memories… My greatest involved me standing in the baby section at Target like a deer in headlights. What the hell is all this stuff? What do I need it for? What is the best brand? Shouldn’t all my gear match? I. Had. No. Idea. My poor little registries at Target and BabiesRUs went through a lot of changes before baby made his sudden arrival. Nobody told me that I probably wouldn’t use half of the stuff I got or that you really have no idea what you truly need until you walk in the door with baby in your arms.

I did a post about a year ago titled The Baby Cage and Other Baby Must Haves. Tack on another year to that and there are even more items I forgot to mention. Today though, I’m going to go through the top 5 items I didn’t need:

1. The Baby Swing. I know other people use the crap out of these things but our little man for some reason spent very little time in his. The first time we put his little 6.5lb body in it, I thought for sure the thing was going to swallow him up not to mention even on the slowest of speeds that it seemed as if the thing would just toss him right out despite our best efforts to strap him in. As he got bigger he did a little napping in it, but not much. I truly just think it bored him. Not to say that this puppy doesn’t work like a charm for other babies- it really just didn’t do much for ours.

Not to mention… this thing is expensive! 

2. The Personal Refrigerator. This one is my personal favorite. For some reason, in my pre-baby head, I thought that it would be super awesome to keep a fridge full of bottles ready to go in the middle of the night. My new house, which was under construction while I was preggers, was big and the nursery light years away from the kitchen so this would make sense, right? I think I used this for all of the first 3 days where I kept his little supplement formula nursettes. 6 days postpartumm and still no breastfeeding to be had, we moved forward with all formula and no more nursettes, not to mention bottles that didn’t fit in this little fridge and a baby who liked his bottles warmed. We’ll just say this cute little mini-fridge got zero use- at least for what it was intended for.

3. The diaper stacker. We registered for this. I think. I know it was part of the nursery theme that we chose. I know that this little piece ended up folded up at the top of his closet until only a few weeks ago when I ran out of room in his changing table drawer and needed a place to put a few extra diapers. Basically for 2 years, this thing collected dust in his closet. If you can make it functional and work for you then go for it, but save yourself a few bucks and pass this one up. There are plenty of places to put diapers for fast access that don’t require spending any additional money.

4. The Baby Carrier. Again…many mommies swear by these things, but it just didn’t work for me. I might have different feelings about the need for a carrier if I am ever so blessed with a second baby. In my head, I thought I would use something like shopping and getting chores done around the house. It turned out to be yet another baby item that just never got used. The bouncer worked out great (not to mention totally entertaining to Jack) while I was getting other things done. Shopping-wise, I used his carseat at places like the grocery store and his stroller at the mall thus not ever having the need for this carrier! Not to mention, when he was a newborn, he was way too small for it- seemed like he got lost in it and I just never trusted its functionality.

5. Baby Hangers. I bought an absolute shit-load of these and for the life of me, I cannot figure out why. I have a friend who hung up all of her little boys clothes and I kept thinking, “How does she have the time for that?” I have not once hung up a single item of his clothing. A dresser seemed to work just fine for our needs in the clothing department and really… stuff he was going to spit up on, poop in and spill on are really not hanger-worthy in my opinion.

And there you have it! My top 5 baby items that never got used.

Moms: What baby items do you have lying around the house that never got used? 

The Lessons I Learned

I’ve been away for a bit. Not long, just a bit. The past week has been more than a touch of chaos. However, I have learned a few things:
1) We are not a 1 car family
2) Mistakes happen, but managers are ultimately the ones held responsible
3) My toddler’s medical stuff completely cured my week long headache

I won’t leave you hanging on the details.

1) My car was more than a little confused for the past couple weeks. The brake lights wouldn’t turn off as I was driving (my apologies for those who had to endure driving behind me… I really wasn’t riding my brakes all the way down Highway 169), but the funny part? They would turn OFF when I hit my brakes. Not good. The worst part? The car dealer had no idea what this was. Thanks to our good friend Google, we were able to troubleshoot; however, the dealer decided that they didn’t need to follow the appropriate steps to fix the problem. It took FOUR DAYS to get the issue resolved (and no courtesy car… another story altogether). Brake lights. I had to drive my husband’s beast of a Durango for an entire week and to a mid-size sedan driver, a Durango may as well be a semi. Because of only having one car meant I had to take care of dropping the little man off at school. I attempted to drop him off early one day. Bad idea. Disaster. Not only for him but for me. My commute tripled at that time of the morning. I think the worst part though is that it made my husband and I bicker. The good news? The car is back, it seems to be working. For now. The lesson: Our family will always need to have two cars.

2) Not only did being down to one car make the week chaotic, but it was insanity for me professionally. I had several projects that were ready to launch and a ton of work to make it happen. My first ever billboard (my designs) will be up starting tomorrow! Anyway, this isn’t what I learned this week. Another colleague made a mistake, a rather big one and it went to print and went out in the mail. While it was my colleague’s fault for writing it wrong in the first place, our stuff has to go through many layers of editing/approval- operations, accounting and management. So after going through all this layers and all the layers missing it, whose fault does it become? D- all of the above. It is important to get the facts from the moment you start writing, but it is also all those other layers’ faults for not catching the error. It isn’t an easy situation, but part of being the boss is accepting responsibility for the errors that your team makes. The lesson: I’m not yet the boss, but when I am, I intend to be able to take and claim responsibility for errors, even if it is uncomfortable because that’s how it works.

3. Did I mention I had a migraine for like a week and a half? Oh yeah. I had a headache. Like the worst, most debilitating knock-me-on-my-ass pain. I bashed my head trying to get into the before-mentioned Durango and that actually felt good. Yesterday, my husband suggested that I may have a sinus infection and to try Jack’s Little Noses Saline Spray. Best thing ever. My headache ceased within a half an hour. The lesson: Just because it says it is for little people doesn’t mean it can’t be beneficial for big people too. 

What lessons have you learned lately?