January 31, 2012

Release Expectations

There is lots of really great practical advice out there for new moms; some is annoying and some is true but no matter what as soon as that strip turns pink you'll be bombarded with it.

If there is one piece of advice I could give to anyone who is expecting or expecting to expect, it would be to let go of your expectations.

When Chris and I decided to "see what would happen" we surveyed several of our friends who either had kids or were pregnant. The consensus was that it would take approximately three to five months to conceive.

For those of you who didn't pay attention in Biology class here is a lesson. Sperm + egg = baby. We expected to have that time to prepare for being pregnant. Imagine our shock (and excitement of course) when four weeks later we were staring at two pink lines and two EPTs displaying pregnant.

No matter what though, let go of what you expect to happen from that moment on. If you are a first time mom or a fifth time mom this little person is just that, a person. Your baby is a person with likes, dislikes and quirks from the moment he or she is born, and actually if count food aversions and cravings, well before that. This baby will change, forever, the dynamic of your family in a way that you cannot know or predict until he or she arrives.

I was supposed to vaginally birth a baby that my OB assured me would be tiny. She was supposed to latch immediately and I would breastfeed as long as we wanted. She would be laid back and snuggly. Snort. A c section, visit to NICU and a loss of my milk later I had a chubby little newborn, who didn't really want to snuggle and was uptight and persnickity, just like her momma. She wasn't what I expected but she is the most amazing beautiful ten month old I know.

No matter if Mrs. Jones down the street had a baby that was born after an easy four hour labor, slept through the night at two weeks and breastfed so well that she could have been the neighborhood milk cow, your baby might not do that. You might end up with an emergency c section, your baby might not sleep through the night until six months or later and breastfeeding might prove challenging or even impossible.


Educate yourself and hope for the best, but realize it's not entirely up to you; it is up to the tiny person inside your body.

The one thing you should expect is that you will love this tiny little human beyond all reason and that no matter your journey being a mother is the best feeling ever.

I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I no doubt ended up where I intended to be. ~ Douglas Adams

Come link up with MamaG for Toddle Along Tuesday and share your advice for Mommas to be!




January 30, 2012

One Day, and the Other

I never cried the first day that I dropped Evie off at daycare. I had some overwhelming moments of anxiety, but mostly I was glad to be going back to work. It was a place where I knew my job, I did well and I didn't have to question what the heck I was doing. It honestly felt a little relieving. I hated leaving Evie in someone else's care, but I had the luxury of completely trusting her daycare so that was a big burden off my back.

Last Friday when I picked Evie up, I took her from Ms. Bertha and Evie reached back for her and started crying. Then she did it again. You want to talk about breaking a momma's heart. Crack. Crack. SHATTER. It took a bunch of really deep breaths to not break down crying, call my boss and simply say, I quit.

Nobody tells you how much it will hurt to be a working momma. It stings every day to kiss Evie's duck down hair and tell her, "I love you, baby girl. I'll see you tonight." then turn and go. Sometimes though, it downright hurts. Those days when she prefers Ms. Bertha over me and the mornings when I stand in my garage holding her, weeping, literally willing myself to put her in the car seat and go. The longer the distance between us gets as I drive the harder it gets, the deeper the barbs in my heart grow, until they finally retract when I feel her chubby arms wrap around my neck at the end of the day. Except last Friday when she didn't want me. I had to laugh so I wouldn't cry.

I spent all weekend making sure to spend as much time with her as possible. We snuggled, we played, we read books, she helped me make dinner and Sunday afternoon we sat on the couch and laughed like loons at each other. She kept trying to eat my nose and I kept stealing kisses. Apparently this was hilarious and so she laughed at me while I laughed at her. I kept tyrying to get a picture but every time she saw my phone, she would stop and stare in apparent amazement.




Then came the "other" day. I didn't cry the first time I dropped her off at day care, but I did today. I cried the ugly cry halfway to work, until I had to stop and send my boss a text telling him I would be late for work because of "traffic". He probably knows the real reason since I rushed in and past him to try to repair the damage to my face. A few hours later I asked him if I could take tomorrow off. It's my birthday. My husband had no choice but to be out of town for business, so since he can't be with us, there is no other person in the whole world I would rather spend my birthday with. I think we will get up and go to the park, come home for nap and then go get some birthday ice cream. Evie discovered this weekend that she loves ice cream. Maybe, we will go get some dinner, just the two of us. What better a birthday gift to myself than an entire day spent with my beautiful baby girl? I can't think of one.

January 27, 2012

The Date Night That Was(n't)

So last week I wrote about how excited I was to go to the Eric Church Concert! I snuck out of work a few minutes early, snagged my kid from daycare and headed home. I took a shower, put on my skinny jeans, fixed my hair, and put on a sparkly gold top. I even added a touch of red lipstick. After hubby came home and we got the Bug all squared away with her Grampie we headed out! We both agreed we were hungry but looking forward to some arena food and a cold beer. We drove to Southaven. As we arrived at the Desoto Civic Center, we both noticed that there sure weren't a lot of cars there. We walked into the arena and thought it was awfully bright for a concert. The gift shop for the Memphis River Kings (ice hockey) was open, and the lady behind us in line said to her son, "Hurry! The game has already started!". We both shrugged it off as she must have been trying to get her kid through the door. The ticket lady scanned our tickets and a funny sound came out of her little machine and big red X appeared on the tickets. She squinted at the sheets of paper, and said to Chris, "Sir, that's not tonight. It's tomorrow night!"

We looked at each other in disbelief and walked out of the DCC! I immediately called my parents who agreed to watch Evie for us on Saturday night so we could actually go to the concert! We couldn't stop laughing at the situation; as soon as one of us would stop the other would start giggling again. Then because we were starving we went to a little Italian place I have been dying to try for a year or two now!

We ended up having the best date night! We couldn't stop laughing over the mix up on the date and admiring the random decor of the restaurant (it was covered in old records), plus the food at Lonnie's was amazing! It was seriously some amazing pizza and garlic knots! It was so good that we went back for pizza again the next night before the concert! We really just sat down and enjoyed each other's company for a little bit.

{The Random Record Decor. It was like 50's Diner Meets Italian Joint!}

{One of My Favorite Movies and Actresses}

{Pizza and Ranch - Best. Combo. Ever.*}

*If you've never had pizza and ranch dressing before you are missing out. Consider yourself enlightened and try this combo quickfastimmediately!!! Seriously, ranch + pizza > chocolate + peanut butter. Say what you want. It's the truth.

Come link up your funnies!


Photobucket

January 26, 2012

Weight Loss Resolution Update!

Well I am happy to announce that since starting Weight Watchers the hubby and I have lost nine pounds each! :) Woo hoo! As Chris likes to say, we've almost lost a whole Evie Bug between the two of us.

I have really noticed that the new points plus system works great for me! I don't know if it is because I have "more" points at 26 (still the minimum number) or what, but I have never had this much sucess on any program this quickly! One more pound I will be 1/3 of my way to losing 30 lbs and being back at my wedding weight! Ideally I would like to weigh about 115 lbs but that is like my "shoot for the moon" goal because I would be quite happy at 125!

Challenges
  • I sprained my ankle. Suck. Right now we are giving it the mandatory 6-8 weeks waiting period before my doctor refers me to an orthopedic surgeon for an MRI to search for bone fragments or completely torn ligaments/tendons. Great.
  • I can't eat whole weat pasta or even Barilla Plus pasta. For some reason it is a major trigger for my Acid Reflux. Like a land me in the hospital in excruciating abdominal pain trigger. Like I'd take those 35 hours of unmedicated labor over that kind of pain, trigger. Since I crave warm comforting carbs it has been hard to stay away from the pastas. :(
  • I have a hard time saying no when I have random cravings! Like Pizza! And Pasta! And Fried Chicken!
Positives
  • I feel like this is really a overall change in lifestyle. I am not doing this because I have a wedding over my head or something else. I am not doing it becauce I want a different body or because I hate the way I look (although I sometimes want a different body -- what 5'0" tall girl doens't dream about having legs us to her ears). I am doing it because I don't want my daughter to grow up with over wieght parents. I have to set an example of what a healthy woman looks like! Notice i said healthy -- not super skinny or gross! Just healthy!
  • Seeing the numbers drop in the scale and feeling like I am getting my waistline back! I have a lot more energy now that I am eating healthily and drinking more water! :)
Progress So Far:



January 25, 2012

Dinner a la "The Help"

So I finally got on the bandwagon and read The Help. It was really really good. I read it in just under five hours and then I had to watch the movie version. I was really pleased with how well the movie stuck with the plot of the book. However, the combined effect of both reading the book AND watching the movie in the same week meant one thing: I really wanted some fried chicken. So at about four in the afternoon on Sunday I looked at Chris and said, "Are you hungry?" and when he said yes, it was was decided. Off to the store I went for the fixins for fried chicken. We ended up with quite the feast Sunday night. Fried chicken, green beans, buttermilk mashed potatoes and peach cobbler with vanilla ice cream.

Did I mention it was all weight watchers friendly too? ::insert sarcasm font here::

So in the spirit of the kind of hospitality and cooking you can only find below the Mason-Dixon line, I wanted to share the recipes I used to create our The Help inspired dinner.

"Minny Don't Burn No Chicken" Fried Chicken
*This is not a recipe so much as a method. I've never used one particular recipe for chicken and this is a compliation of several different ones that I have seen and read in the twelve years I have been reading cookbooks. I approached this much like Hermione does the first time she tries a memory modification charm. She's never done it, but she knows the theory.

  • 1 fryer chicken, or as many pieces as you like, skin on. I used two thighs, one large breast and two drumsticks. In short the store only had whole fryer chicken not one already butchered and Sarah don't butcher no chickens, thankyouverymuchmsceliafoote, so I bought mine separately and froze the rest for later.
  • 4 cups of buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon of salt
  • garlic powder
  • hot sauce (Louisiana Hot, Tabasco etc)
  • black pepper (freshed cracked preferably)
  • cayenne pepper
  • 2-3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp paprika
Method

Place chicken in a large dish in a single layer. Combine buttermilk, salt and as much of the seasonings as desired. I put probably 2 TBS of hot sauce because we like it spicy. Whisk together and pour over chicken pieces. Turn the chicken pieces at once to make sure the entire surface is coated. Let the chicken sit in the buttermilk brine mixture for at least one hour. It'd be ok to leave it in overnight.



While the chicken brines, put the flour, paprika in either a large ziplock freezer bag or a paper grocery sack. Add other seasonings listed to your taste. We like a lot of cayenne pepper. Shake to combine.

Once the chicken is done brining, let excess buttermilk drip off, place it in the sack with the flour and shake it all around for about 30 seconds to a minute until the pieces are all coated with seasoned flour. Remove the pieces one by one and set on a piece of saran wrap on the counter. It's best to get over it and use your fingers to do this so tongs don't scrape the breading off. Allow the chicken to sit for about 10 minutes so the breading can stick.

Meanwhile as the breading is sticking...

Fill a large skillet with high sides about 1/2 full with oil. Not too full now, remember we are frying chicken here, not deep frying.

Once the oil is very hot (about 300F) CAREFULLY place the chicken in one piece at a time. I used my fingers for this I think it is easier and the breading stays on better. Don't stick your thumb in the frying oil like I did. Fry for about 16 minutes turning once. If the chicken starts to get too dark lower the heat slightly. Once the chicken reaches an internal temperature of at least 165F it is done. I used a meat thermometer to determine this since I couldn't get a good feel on the flesh because of the breading.

Once chicken is cooked remove to a paper towel lined plate to drain. If you need to fry in batches, keep chicken in a warm oven. I got three pieces in my frying pan and then did the other two.

Enjoy your fried chicken! :)



Mae Mobley's Favorite Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes
  • 4 medium potatoes
  • 1/2 stick of butter, divided into four pieces
  • 2/3 cup buttermilk
  • salt
  • pepper


Method

Peel potatoes and cut into 2 inch pieces.

Places cut potatoes into a large pot and fill with water until potatoes are about 1 inch covered. Boil potatoes over medium high heat until they are fork tender.



Drain potatoes and return to the pot and leave the cover half off. Let sit for five minutes. This allows the excess water to evaporate off and keeps the potatoes hot.

Remove potatoes to a large bowl. Add in buttermilk and butter and season to your taste with salt and pepper. Using a hand masher, mash potatoes to the desired consitency. Depending on the type of potatoes you might need to add a little more or less buttermilk. We like ours a little lumpy with lots of pepper.



 
Out of Season Peach Dump Cobbler
*Disclaimer, this is totally NOT my recipe. However I have no one to give credit to because if you haven't heard of it you must be living under a culinary rock. Google "Dump Cobbler" and I promise you, you will find about 10,000 recipes for this. I don't even remember the first place I found this recipe. I do remember that it was August and I made it for my little brother's birthday party. It's so easy I've never had to look it up again. So to all the authors of this recipe, thanks! :)
  • 1 stick of butter (Butter folks, butter. Not margarine.)
  • 1 cup of self-rising flour
  • 1 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 1 can peach pie filling (any flavor will do here)
Method

Preheat oven to 350F

In a deep baking dish place one stick of butter and place in the oven to melt.

While the butter melts mix flour, sugar and milk together.

Once the butter is melted remove the dish, pour the batter in the center of the butter. DO NOT STIR!!!

Next spoon the pie filling in the middle of the batter. DO NOT STIR!

Place dish back into the oven and bake for 40 minutes, until the top is golden and browning. Let stand in oven about 10-15 more minutes with the heat turned off.

Serve with vanilla icecream.



The Finished Product
(I was too tired to take a picture of the plated cobbler...)



The recipe I used for the Green Beans can be found {HERE}. I'll admit it I have a thing for canned grean beans...


January 23, 2012

Evie's Essentials

If Evie was to pack "just her essentials" for a weekend getaway it would look something like this. These are the items that she loves most after her dog Rocky Top and Mommy and Daddy.

1) This super annoying awesome Fisher Price Laugh & Learn Puppy. This was a gift from Nana and Grampa for Christmas. Oh. Boy. As far as high entertainment goes, this baby takes the cake. It's also possesed. Late at night long after Evie is asleep in her crib, we can hear it say, "I LOOOOVE You" "Can I have a hug?" Cre-epy. However, it makes Evie super happy. This would totally be in Evie's suitcase.


2) Diego... Oh Lord how I rue the day Evie first watched Diego. I don't know how we discovered it, but Evie doesn't care much for television, but put on Go Diego Go and it is like a trance. She LOVES it. Crucify me for being a bad mom for letting my kid watch 20 minutes of TV sometimes five days a week, but those 20 minutes also keep her in clean clothes and bottles. A copy of Diego's latest and greatest would surely be in her carry on.


3) NUK paci. Nuf said. Don't leave home without it. Trust me. You'll regret it.


5) Bear. Of course, bear. Always bear.




6) Aveeno calming lotion. Great for an after bathtime rub down from mom. It's just like a baby spa day. It smells so good and it is totally relaxing! This would definitely be in her bathroom bag!


7) BumGenius 4.0s, because, honestly, no one wants a leaky diaper overnight.


Come Link Up with Mama G!






January 20, 2012

Y3W: Eric Church Concert!

A few weeks ago hubby surprised me with tickets to the Eric Church concert complete with child care (MIL/FIL -- not like a nursery at the concert). I am super excited! The entire summer after we got engaged we spent every weekend on the pontoon boan, soaking up the sun, swimming in the lake and listening to Eric Church. The last time he came I was pregnant and didn't feel like going! I am super excited! :)



I would also like to point out that that I just do not find this man attractive at all. In fact his face kind of gives me the willies. Anyone else? At least his music is good.



January 19, 2012

Guest Blogger: 5 Parenting Lessons I Learned From My Dogs

Today I am super excited to be guest blogging about parenting lessons I've learned from my dogs with Emily from Nap Time is My Time.

Be sure to check out her blog, twitter and facebook!
______________________________________________________________

Now, before you go off calling me the worlds worst mom for getting my parenting tips from a pack of unruly canines, hear me out.

I've had a dog in my life for as long as I can remember. In fact, for the most part, I much prefer the company of my dogs to that of other humans. I mean not in a creepy I was raised in a wolf pack type of way, but being with my dogs is so comforting they are content to listen to me or just sit in comfortable silence. Anyway, when I was twenty years old my parents gave me a miniature schnauzer puppy of my very own for Christmas. She would travel back to Colorado with me and live with me while I was in college. I was so excited to bring my Maggie Mae home on December 28th, 2003.

I soon learned these lessons in parenting from my eight week old puppy and the three dogs and two cats who have since become mine in these eight years.

1) It's Not All About Me Anymore
I remember that first morning with my Maggie. She woke me up at the ungodly hour of 6:30 (I was Junior in college so 6:30 is ungodly) and needed to go outside. I remember dragging my rear end out of bed and down the stairs to take her outside. After we came back in I remember moaning to my mother that I was never going to get any sleep ever again. She told me I would sleep again, I would get used to it and that when you had a small helpless creature dependent entirely on you, you just have to do what needs to be done and you make room because that creature is yours. Eventually, I got used to getting up for early morning walks, rushing home between classes to check on her and even started ducking out of weekend soirees to go home to my baby. This lesson was invaluable the first few months as a new mom. Pretty soon though my mom's words rang true again. I got used to the late night feedings, the lack of sleep and I made room in my life for this tiny helpless baby because she was mine and I loved her more than anything. Now, just as when Maggie was a puppy, I can't remember what life was like before my sweet Evie.

2) Consistency Is Key
I believe dogs inherently crave routine. They enjoy a certain predictability in their days. Even before Evie we got up at a certain time to let the dogs out and they eat at the same time each day. I've come to learn that children are the same way. Evie loves consistency. She thrives because her days are predictable. Like dogs, this routine gives her a sense of comfort and reassurance.

3) Extra Snuggles Can Cure a Multitude of Ills
This is true for mommy, baby and puppy. There are times when Maggie is scared, hurt or sick she just needs to be close to me, her pack leader, which translates to Mommy. As for me, sometimes when I am down for any number of reasons I just need some puppy love. I quickly learned that she same is true for Evie. She might be sick, hurt, tired or possibly just feeling insecure. Either way she just needs her momma. When I have a rough day at work or I am sick just seeing Evie's smile brightens my day and eases my burdens. Sometimes we both just need some extra snuggles.

4) Poop Happens
You know what babies and dogs really have in common? They all drool, pee, poop and throw-up, a lot. Yes, it's gross, but you just clean it up and move on. I've never relished getting Evie's poop on me but trust me, when you've seen the stuff that I have come out of a dog, baby poop is a walk in the park.

5) Learn to Dance in the Mess
My life has never been calm. There is no way a life with four dogs and two cats ever could be less than chaotic. There is always a scuffle to break up, a dog to comfort, a cat to shoo off a counter or hungry mouth to feed. I quickly learned that given the chance my dogs would drag every single toy they owned out of their toy box and leave them sitting about the house. When this happened I had two choices, scold them and sigh as I picked their never ending plethora of toys back up or laugh at them playing tug of war or in Reily's case hoarding about ten babies under her paws on her bed. I missed out on a lot of the joy of pet ownership wasting time sighing heavily at them for the messes they were making. They taught me patience and that dancing in the mess is a lot more fun than a tidy perfect house. Evie makes messes faster than I thought possible. If she's not throwing every pacifier she owns out of her crib, she's gleefully tossing toys out of her pack-n-play, licking a dog or cat or smearing food in her ears. I can scold and sigh or I can laugh and enjoy every second of Evie's oh-so-fleeting baby hood. After all the mess will be there tomorrow and the day after, but pretty soon my chubby cheeked little angel will turn into a little girl and I don't want to miss these moments.

{Maggie Meeting Newborn Evie for the First Time}

January 17, 2012

We've Got a Stage Five Clinger

Sigh.

I guess it was about time for this. I honestly thought though that we had gotten a pass on this one. SEPARATION ANXIETY.

In the past week (it was worse while Chris was in Vegas for CES) I haven't been able to leave my daughter's sight without her losing her ever lovin' mind. She is too big for me to carry around all the time and sometimes when I hold her I can feel my back spasming. With my history of back problems that render me unable to move I was also scared to carry her for that long. So, last week I took to putting her in her high chair and dragging it around the house with me.

The highchair came with us the washing machine and dryer. Then we would head off to the kitchen and eventually journey back to the living room. Finally our travels would land us in the bathtub, which would lead to the glider, crib and (Thank You, Jesus!) bedtime.

Sometime after that I got a minute to pee without Evie watching from her high chair.

On Sunday night I went in to check on her before I went to bed (I check to make sure she is breathing every night before I go to sleep and a few times during the night when/if I wake up). She normally sleeps right through any pats on her bottom, or rearanging of blankets I might do but Sunday night she woke up and before I could scurry out of her room she saw me. I tried to shut the door, but she saw me go out and started wailing at the top of her lungs. She was not fussing and she wasn't crying. She was wailing like somebody done broke her heart, killed her favorite dog (Rocky) and stole her bears. Of course I immediately went back in her room. She was standing up gripping the top of the crib with big ole crocodile tears running down her face.

It was so pitiful to see those big tears so I (of course) went in an scooped her up. We tocked for a minute and I laid her back down. However, she once again saw me leave the room and shut the door. Cue the wails. And the tears. And the mommy coming to the rescue. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

Sigh.

Anyone else out there go through this? Any tips? I hate to walk away from her crying but I also feel like I should be allowed forty seconds to go to the bathroom ALONE.

January 13, 2012

Noms

As part of our New Years Resolutions Chris and I started back on Weight Watchers. We have both done this before and have both had great success losing weight, and more importantly making better nutritional choices. I wanted to share two of our favorite recipes that we created together! I used the recipe builder online to generate the points values! Enjoy!

Vegetarian Stuffed Shells (2 Weight Watchers PointsPLUS points per shell)


{Worst picture EVER!}

INGREDIENTS
  • 12 Jumbo Pasta Shells
  • Olive Oil flavored cooking spray
  • 2 TBS minced garlic
  • 1 (8 oz) can of sliced mushrooms, drained
  • 1 cup of frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 1 cup of fat free cottage cheese
  • 1/2 tsp dried sweet basil leaves
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
  • 1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
  • 2 TBS of tomato paste with italian seasoning.
METHOD
  1. In a small bowl mix the tomato sauce and tomato paste together. Add a little water as needed to thin it out. Add more Italian seasoning if desired. Set aside.
  2. Pre-heat oven to 400 F
  3. Prepare pasta according to the package directions, shortening the cooking time by about two minutes.
  4. While the noodles cook prepare the filling.
  5. Spray a small skillet with oilive oil cooking spray about three times. Add mushrooms and minced garlic to the pan. Cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool to the touch.
  6. Once the mushroom mixture is cool, add the remaining ingredients and spices omitting the mozarella cheese and sauce made in step 1. Stir to combine.
  7. Fill shells with mushroom mixture and place in and 8x8 cooking dish lightly coated with cooking spray.
  8. Spoon sauce over shells.
  9. Bake covered with foil for 20-25 minutes. Remove foil, sprinkle with cheese and bake uncovered an additional 5-10 mintues until cheese is browning and bubbly.
  10. ENJOY!
Bruschetta (1 Weight Watchers PointsPLUS point per slice)



INGREDIENTS

  • 1 baguette (about 12 inches long, we use a whole wheat baguette I make at home)
  • Olive Oil flavored cooking spray
  • 3 Roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped (add more or less 'maters depending on what you like)
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup fat-free balsamic vinegarette
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 2 TBS shredded parmesan cheese (not the stuff in the green can)
  • sea salt, to taste
  • fresh ground black pepper, to taste
METHOD
  1. Combine garlic and vinegarette in a bowl, whisk together. Add tomotaoes and gently toss until coated. Let stand at room temp 20-30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile preheat your oven to 450F.
  3. Slice the baguette into 12 equal portions, which should be about 1" thick slices.
  4. Place bread on a cookie sheet and put in the oven to toast for 5-10 minutes.
  5. While the bread toasts tear the basil into small pieces.
  6. Remove bread from the oven and top with the tomato mixture, dividing it equally among the slices.
  7. Top with salt and pepper to taste, then top with basil and a sprinkle of cheese.
  8. Enjoy as is or pop under the broiler for a minute to lightly toast cheese!




January 11, 2012

Kicking "The Mommy Wars" Where the Sun Don't Shine

And then, the mommy wars exploded. Again.
A few days ago Jill from Baby Rabies wrote this post on letting her one year old daughter CIO.
Go ahead and read it, I’ll wait. Oh and read the comments section too.
Now, if you really want to get the flavor of how the shiz went down, check out her Facebook Page scroll down and read the comments.
I’ll have one a few glasses of wine while I wait. It’s gonna take a minute.
Predictably, a few know it all attachment parenting die hards jumped in to tell her that she was grossly neglecting her child who would, inevitably grow up to become a serial killer. Equally as predictably, CIO die hards jumped in to defend Jill (which I support 100% because some of these women were like, WOAH! Somebody-get-the-giant butterfly-nets psy-cho!) and tell the APers that sleep is necessary for brain development and that co-sleeping and the like is stunting their children’s future independence and DANGEROUS, yada yada yada. Ad nauseum; et infinitum.
We (I say we, meaning the mommies, because I just rolled my eyes at these women going nut bars) all started calling each other stupid bitches who are either going to a) kill our kids because we co-sleep or bed share or b)breed a new generation of sociopaths by letting our kids cry for more than thirty seconds. It was a mother freaking blood bath.
Just for the record, I think saying that anyone should be adhering to a rigid CIO method (it ALWAYS works) or a rigid AP method (it ALWAYS works) is the biggest load of donkey crap this side of the border. Yes we follow Babywise, but we never left Evie to cry for more than 10 minutes without checking on her. Yes I believe it is important for tiny humans to develop healthy sleep habits and I also firmly believe that parents have to encourage them. HOWEVER, (ding ding ding) how you do that with your own child is up to Y-O-U, as long as it isn’t harming the child. And for the love of all that is good and holy, please, don’t bother telling me that letting your child cry is harmful, because done PROPERLY, no it isn’t, and most studies – yes I have read them-- are based more on opinion and anecdotal evidence than actual science or are based on children who suffered gross neglect at the hands of their parents. Letting your child cry for ten minutes isn’t gross neglect folks. Furthermore, while it’s not the method we choose to employ in our house, when properly utilized bed sharing and co-sleeping aren’t akin to either putting your baby in bed with a butcher knife or guaranteeing SIDS.  Also, aren’t we the generation of telling our children that they are special and different? So why can’t we remember this ourselves and understand the very simple concept that just as no child is exactly the same, no parenting method is exactly the same. We all mold to what fits our kids.
I am deeply disappointed in and ashamed of these women who jumped in and started viciously name calling and tearing each other down. I realize some people are so passionate about something that they leave all common decency behind and start accusing a mother struggling through PPA of being a horrible mother and neglect and ignorance. I get that in a moment of protective anger other women might leap on the defensive and use words crafted to hurt and sting. I understand that as women we are bred and socialized to compete with each other over every little freaking thing and in a situation like this our first instinct is spit, hiss, claw and spew vitriolic hate in an effort to emerge the victor.
Here’s the rub with all that though: no wonder there is still a freaking glass ceiling, no wonder women’s wages are still only 77% of what men earn {source}. We are so preoccupied with tearing each other down that we can’t make any progress anywhere. We are obviously too busy perpetuating the gender stereotype that women are bat shit crazy to realize if we supported each other and lent a helping hand (instead of one intended to slap down) we might be able to actually build a better future for our daughters and sons.
While we are all so busy beating each other bloody over choices that aren’t ours to make for other people (formula feeding, breast feeding, organic food, non-organic food, baby wearing, stroller mommying, pureed first foods, baby led weaning, swaddling, not swaddling, sleep training, not sleep training, cloth diapering, disposable diapering, vaccinating, delayed vaccinating) our children are standing by, watching this blood bath and learning. Our children are learning, through our example, that the only way to further your cause, to build something you believe is better, is by tearing someone else down.
I pray to God every single day I am alive that this is not the type of example I set for my daughter. She will learn far more from my actions than my words and I want her to learn that you can’t build alone, and that building with people who are just like you is boring, and that by being tolerant and listening you might build something even more fabulous than you thought before. I want her to learn that a kind word or deed speaks far louder than words shrieked in hatred. She needs to know that in order to see the heart of a person you have to look past the oh-so-apparent outer differences. I hope, oh how I hope, she learns these things from my example. I want her to be a part of a brighter generation of women and mothers who can lay down their weapons, unclench the fists of anger, discard their words of discouragement and build something instead of constantly destroying.
A Little Perspective
If you are truly interested in helping children who are suffering I suggest you visit St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and consider a donation. If you would like to help babies who are really neglected go visit my friend and sorority sister Nish, click on her World Vision tab and consider putting food in the belly of a child who knows nothing but hunger. Your energy is better spent this way.
If you are sick of the mommy bullying that happens all too often join me in taking The Pledge and commit to ending cyber bullying.
There is enough hatred and meanness, do something kind; put something positive out into the universe.

Wordless Wednesday: Bathtime Follies



{Rocky walked in right as I was taking this and she just had to see what it was. So nosy. Just like her Momma. I make that same face when I am looking to see something!}


January 10, 2012

White Hot

Fury. White Hot Fury.

After Thursday's puke-a-thon I decided to take Evie to the doctor because the last time she was really sick the docs were worried about dehydration and she had an ear infection whose symptoms matched those that she experienced before she tossed her cookies.

Evie's pediatrician (who is amazing and wonderful) doesn't work on Fridays so we agreed to see a Dr. Jim Bob*.

Well aside from the fact that he had horrible jokes, one of which included referring to Evie as a "perfect Aryan baby" he ignored me when I told him I was pretty sure she had an ear infection and I had a very uneasy sense about him. I just wasn't comfortable. I should've trusted my gut and asked if anyone else was available, but I thought we were already there so we might as well give him a shot.

Once he admitted I was right about the ear infection, he asked me if amoxicillian was ok for her to take. I told him that our pediatrician said that she couldn't have Pennicillian until she was two because both my mother and I are deathly allergic (think anaphylaxis allergic) and that amoxi made her tummy hurt last time. He said he was going to give it to her anyway and if it made her sick to knock the dose back to 2.5 mLs. He was going to call it into our pharmacy. I told him we had a new one since Walgreens and our prescription drug insurance provider, ExpressScripts, decided not to play nice with each other and could he please call it in there. I requested that he also give me a paper copy just in case, which he did.

That prescription never got called in. Thank goodness I had a paper copy.

Needless to say the amoxi made Evie super sick (puking and diarrhea) even on the lower dose (stupid doctor, LISTEN to me; I am her MOTHER) and so yesterday I called and asked the nurse to switch it. She called back and said she would. I verified that I wanted it called into a different pharmacy than the one that was previously listed on my account and gave her the phone number. She assured me all would be well.

Imagine my shock when I reached the pharmacy counter last night to find that no prescription had been called in. To say I was pissed would be a huge huge understatement. I was livid. Furious. I literally couldn't speak a word to the pharmacy tech at Kroger I was so mad. It wasn't her fault but the momma bear in me was ROARING and I was about to unleash on someone (which would have been unfair to her), so I had to walk away with a very terse "I know it's not your fault."

I called the Walgreens that used to be our default pharmacy to see if it was accidentally called in there thinking I would just pay full price for it if I had to. The EXTREMELY rude tech, told me nothing had been called in.

At that point I had to call my mom to vent because I was about to start crying from frustration!

Due the incompetency of these people who are supposed to help care for my child, she was going to be sick one more day without anti-biotics, and the whole time they are not getting things right her ear is getting worse. I could tell it was really bothering her last night before bed because she kept pulling at her ears.

Today I called the nurses line and asked for our pediatrician's nurse to call me back (which she did and she fixed the whole problem because she is awesome) and that a note be placed in our file that we do not want to see Dr. Jim Bob ever again.

I understand it's a simple mistake; I can already hear people sighing at me #firstworldproblems, and I know an ear infection isn't life threatening. People will tell me, "things like this will happen". Here's the catch though. No. Not when my child is affected they don't. I have a long memory and I will do everything in my power to make sure that she gets whats she needs.

I am her advocate right now. She can't stand up and fight for herself, make her own decisions or switch doctors when one clearly ignores her requests; I have to do it for her. So the next time someone makes me uneasy, I am going to listen to my instincts and walk away.

*Name changed. Obvi.
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Vomitous

Thursday I wondered about the correct age to stop using the baby monitor and if I was crazy for wanting to hang onto it for a little bit longer. The consensus was overwhelmingly, "keep the monitor longer -- you never know when you might need it." It was good to hear all the validation that I wasn't being too clingy or anxious for no reason for not turning that little switch to the "off" position.

Then I received this comment from a reader: 
We still use one for our 3.5 year old. Granted, it is mostly because her room is up, and ours is down, but still. She sttn great for the longest, then around age 3 started to get scared of the dark, bad wolves, bad guys, monsters, etc, etc, etc. So she started waking up at all hours. You just never know when or why they could wake up in the middle of the night. What if they throw up? Super high fever? Fall out of bed (when they are a little older, obviously!). I don't think it is about sttn, it is just about being able to hear them easily. If the child's room is in close earshot, then a monitor isn't really necessary. All of this is just my opinion!

It made me feel a lot better about still using a monitor and the fact that I really didn't want to turn it off until she was about, oh ummm...16.

I kid you not, less than two hours after I got that comment it happened. Chris and I let the dogs out one last time, came in to the kitchen for a glass of water and there it was: loud sobs from Evie's nursery only an hour after we had put her to sleep. She didn't really want her bedtime bottle. We figured she was hungry so I went to make her some food while Chris went to comfort her. As I walked down the hall I heard, "Sarah! Get in here! Turn on the light!" I fumbled to the lamp on the side table and as light filled the room, we were greeted by the sight of our sweet baby covered in vomit, laying in vomit, desperately trying to get away from vomit. She was so upset she was sobbing. It couldn't have been more than one minute from the time we heard her cry until we got into her room but I was horrified by the idea that my baby had to spend even one second covered in throw up.

Chris immediately picked her up and stripped her jammies off while I ran a warm bath. During her bath, she was rigid and sat with her hands fisted in her lap. She was shivering like crazy so we turned the heat up in the house. I cleaned vomit out of her hair, her ears and off her face. Once we got her dry and cozy in new jammies, I went to rock her. No sooner had I sat down than she threw up again, all over me this time. Once she finished I went and changed clothes quickly, while Chris read to her to calm her down.

After we changed her (she mainly got it on me and only a little on her jammies the second time) we sat on the floor and cuddled. My poor baby would throw up (we had figured out at this point to hold her forward and catch it in a burp rag) and then turn back to me and wrap her arms around my neck and lay her head on my shoulder. She threw up a few more times. Eventually she fell asleep on the floor, covered in a blankie and head on a clean burp cloth.

We gently lifted her into her crib and she slept deeply.

I set the monitor on high volume, and when I woke up twice that night to pee I sneaked into her nursery to check on her. She was fine both times and the next morning she acted like nothing had happened.

It was a twelve hour stomach bug.

All of that is a really long way of saying it gave me validation for all the what if-she-needs-mes floating around in my head about turning off the monitor and so I will leave it on as long as I want.

That's my story and I am sticking to it.

Oh and PS two days later both my ILs and I ended up with the same virus and it was TERRIBLE!


January 5, 2012

Baby Monitor Blues

Let me start this off by saying I don't have a video monitor for Evie. Some people think I am insane, but I never wanted one. I knew I would spend all night staring at the screen, so we elected to get a Sony BabyCall monitor. We love this monitor; it's been great.

Now, I am wondering when do we ditch the monitor? Evie has been sleeping through the night since she was eleven weeks old (hooray Babywise) and is completely happy to play quietly in her crib if she wakes up before her "waketime" which is between 7:45 and 8:00 in the morning depending on if it is a weekday or a weekend. Yes go ahead and hate me now, my child has, for the most part, figured out the whole sleeping later on the weekends thing. She never cries in the middle of the night.

All of this makes me feel like we could ditch the baby monitor. I know Evie sleeps through the night. I know if she wakes up she is capable of putting herself right back to sleep. I know at nine months and twenty-three lbs she is capable of going twelve hours without eating. Still, one thought plagues me, I mean it literally haunts me, "What if she wakes up in the middle of the night and needs me? I'm her mommy, and I promised her I would always be there if she needed me.". It is the big fat what if that keeps me from turning off our trusty monitor and packing it away. All of this makes me feel like I am leaving it on more for my benefit, which is fine, but at some point I'll have to ditch the security blanket of the monitor.

I've looked it up on the interwebz, and I have heard anything from six months to three years. I know I have friends who still use one for their two year old, but I also have friends who stopped using it when their son was about seven months old. I know every situation and comfort level is different, I am just wondering at what point it is time for me to suck it up and turn it off. OR is nine months too early to even be thinking about this? 

It's a conundrum y'all.



{Any thoughts on what the appropriate age is for letting the monitor go?}




January 4, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: New Car

Well, we bought a new car folks. Chris' Jeep was about to bite the dust and we were either going to spend a few thousand putting a transmission in or get a new car. So Saturday we went out looking and came home with a brand new 2012 Hyundai Sonata SE. We have named her Stella. Chris really seems to love her!

{Well, hello there beautiful!}

{Evie driving Daddy's new car!}