Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Beware, sappiness ahead!

I really should be sleeping, as tomorrow is a work day, but I decided to steal a few minutes to chronicle the latest in the world of M.

He is so active and mobile lately that it's a little frightening. Yesterday J was sitting on the couch and M was sitting perpendicular to him. M reached over, grabbed J's shirt and pulled himself up to standing.

Tonight he was sitting on my lap facing me when he spotted my glass on the windowsill. He leaned forward and grabbed onto me to pull himself up. Then he literally started climbing up me toward the glass.

Last week he started doing a new thing in his exersaucer. Previously, when he was excited he'd bounce with both feet. As of last week, he started doing this bouncy running in place, where he alternates his feet. C calls it the "Forrest Baryshnikov" due to the delicate running on his tippy toes.

He's at a very tactile stage, where he wants to touch and grab everything within reach. If he is successful, it immediately goes into his mouth. He especially likes to grab cell phones, remotes, and glasses from people's faces.

On Sunday we went to C's birthday party. (Happy Birthday Mama! I love you more than words can say!) Being the adorable monkey that he is, M was the star of the day. Everyone remarked on how cute and good natured he was.

I realized today that I took for granted that he'd be well behaved. He just has such a sweet disposition that I didn't even consider that he might be fussy.

Every day I get to see him grow and learn a little more. At the same time, he's still the same baby I held in my arms for the first time. He's sweet and observant, social and engaged.

I feel so blessed to be his mother. I love him with a depth and fierceness I couldn't have imagined.

He's also made me love J in a new way. I always new J would be an amazing dad, but seeing is is better than I thought it would be. It's like M has unlocked this part of him that was there all the time, just waiting to shine. When I see my guys together, laughing, my heart expands to a point where I think I could burst.

M is the piece that was always there between us, just waiting for the right time to come into our lives. I carry his heart with me; I carry it in my heart.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Smit List #3

Submitted for the approval of the Midnight Society...Smit List #3!

So, a little bit of background before we get to the juicy meaty center of this blog sandwich...I am not an overly social person. I'm certainly not anti-social; I've just always been the type of person who has a smaller tight knit group of friends. This used to work well for me. (Did you pick up on the keyword in that sentence?)

Now, I have a few good friends at work that I don't see in a social capacity. I have a few good friends outside of work that I see sometimes, depending on the demands of life.

That being the case, when an opportunity to meet like minded individuals presents itself, I jump. The newest entry to the Smit List is the brand spankin' new Dooce Community.

Heather and Jon, the witty wizards behind blurbodoocery, have created a new community site for Heather's readers to get to know each other better. The questions and conversations happening over there are funny, thought provoking, and genuinely interesting.

It's just a hair less addictive than crack. Allegedly.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

A Simple Thank You...

My dad came to visit this weekend and met M for the first time. He has joined the ranks of the smitten grandparents, wrapped around M's finger. My brother Trex also made it up for part of the weekend. Like C said in her last blog, having family together in the same room is priceless.

My dad spent 20 years in service to his country before retiring. Growing up an Army brat had its challenges; I started kindergarten in New Jersey, spent the middle of the school year in Connecticut, and finished the year out in Georgia. When you also factor in an AM kindergarten, a PM kindergarten, and an all day kindergarten it's no wonder I came out of it shy and slightly confused.

At the same time, I have had opportunities that many people haven't. For example, how many people get to have the childhood trauma of seeing an overweight and stark nude German couple relaxing in a sauna? Ok, so maybe that's not the best example. But I have been to Mozart's birthplace and, dork that I am, that's pretty awesome.

People come to lives of service for many different reasons. We probably don't think about why very often. On Veteran's Day I'd like to say to all those who have served and are currently serving: Thank you, whatever your reason.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Time and Distance

Until about 50 years ago, families primarily lived within close proximity to each other. Typically, children grew up in a town and either stayed there or returned after college or time in the service. While this is still the case for some families, for many more they are separated based on job opportunities or retirement or the desire to break out and see something outside of what they have known. This has lead to a vast gulf of time and distance.

Thankfully, the Internet and mobile phone use has made communication and connection easier than it once was. We can pick up the phone, use IM, Tweet, Facebook, share photos or videos in real time. All of these technological advancements are fantastic and connect us in ways we could not have thought of in 20 years ago, but they still cannot take the place of face time. Talking, touching, hugging, and laughing together in the same room, the same place.

I try and speak to my grandson, M., on a daily basis. It is great and I look forward to it, but it does not take the place of holding him, watching his face react as I say something or just kissing him on the corner of his mouth to see him react with a smile. Still, I am grateful that he knows his grandmother's voice and appears eager to speak to me as he grabs the phone, or maybe he just wants a convenient item that he can gum.

Social media has opened dialogue, closed gaps, allowed us to converse with people that we might never meet otherwise, but it cannot take the place of time spent in a relationship with people with love. It is a tool, but not the solution. So get in the car, the train, the plane and go. The year is closing out, the holidays are coming and there is no greater gift you can give to your family and yourself. It is how I am spending my birthday and Thanksgiving and there is not a better way to celebrate those occasions. Expect to see pictures of D., M. and I spending time together in a few weeks. Send us yours! Celebrate those you love!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Smit List, the Second

Ok, I know I haven't updated in a while. I've been working 50+ hours a week lately, and I've spent the free time I have with M. I know, it's selfish of me. I should be writing about M for you all. Forgive me interwebs?

I have been thinking about this blog for some time, and wanting to update for this very reason.

The second item on my Smit List is Maurice Sendak.

I recently read an article on CNN.com where Mr. Sendak was interviewed about the movie version of "Where The Wild Things Are". When asked what he would say to the parents who felt the movie was too scary, Mr. Sendak replied, "I'd tell them to go to hell."

My gut reaction was total endearment. I suppose that's the artist in me, loving the defense of the arts. He rationalized that life IS scary, and we're not doing our children any favors by shielding them from it.

I think what I appreciated most about this was putting the responsibility back on the parents. The movie is rated PG. Perhaps that should have been a clue that it may not be appropriate for your 4 year old. M is only 5 months old, but when the time comes for him to watch television shows or movies, you can be sure that I'll be screening them first. I'm his mother. That's my JOB.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Busy making other plans...

The picture you see here is the current state of my fingernails. Or, to be more accurate, it is the current state of my LACK of fingernails. The past few days have been among the most nerve wracking days I have ever experienced.

Last Thursday, we brought M to the pediatrician for his 4 months check up. This was a new pediatrician, and we were hopeful that we would like this office and doctor more than the previous one we'd used. The appointment was going wonderfully and we, M included, really liked the CRNP that was treating him. We were almost done with the appointment when she did the requisite check of his head and soft spots.

Somehow we went from a great visit to being written an Rx for a CT scan of M's head in 2 seconds flat.

It seems that when she was feeling his head, she couldn't feel the soft spot at the front of his head open. As I later learned, this is called the anterior fontanel and it doesn't usually start closing until about 9 months. We were reassured that if it had closed, it wasn't a major health issue. Of course, it would still require a referral to a pediatric neurosurgeon.

Let me tell you, the words, "PEDIATRIC NEUROSURGEON" were flashing before my eyes like they were on a Vegas marquee.

We were sent on our merry (scary) way, with reassurances that the imaging office would contact us to set up an appointment that afternoon. I dropped J and M off at home and went back to work. I'm not quite sure how I managed to be productive, as I was staring at my phone every 45 seconds willing it to ring.

In my rational mind, I knew there was nothing more that I could do that day. But the inner Mama was screaming, "What are my next steps?! Let's get a plan of action! I need to DO something."

We were able to schedule the CT scan for the next afternoon. I have done some difficult things in my lifetime. I have had a baby cut out of my body! I have been there as people and animals I love have died. Looking back on it now, I don't think that anything I have done was as difficult as seeing the terror in M's eyes as he was strapped into the CT machine, hearing his cries, and having to walk out of the room. Thankfully we were using new technology, and the flash CT only took 45 seconds to complete the scans.

On Monday and Tuesday, I tried to wait patiently for the results. I managed to only call the pediatrician's office once each day. On Tuesday afternoon the nurse called me back and let me know that she spoke to the imaging office and would have the report the next morning. C tells me that I have more patience than most people she knows. I didn't feel it.

Wednesday morning, I woke up to the most beautiful voice mail I have ever received. M's anterior fontanel was not prematurely fused at all. He's just thick headed, like his daddy. And, to be fair, his mama too.

Life has been extremely stressful these past few months. J has been laid off twice this year when the companies he worked for went under. And in between those, he thought it would be cute to get appendicitis at the same time I had crippling edema from my pregnancy. Which, of course, was 2 weeks before we were moving into our current house. And those are just some of the highlights.

After the last week, it's all gravy. My boy is healthy and happy. God is good, and I am blessed.

Friday, October 23, 2009

For your convenience...

C and I have heard from a few people that we need a way to differentiate who is blogging, prior to the signature line.

Never let it be said that we cannot accept feedback and apply it. Here's how it's going to work:

I, D. will write in purple. She, C. will write in green. Hopefully this makes for a less confusing reading experience for you all!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Blog Action Day - Climate Change

While we all need to be personally conscientious regarding our carbon footprint , we should also encourage the businesses we work for and with to do the same. I was pleased to see the Fortune 500 company I work for doing their part via recycling, including a strong alliance with the RBRC's Call2Recycle efforts. The RBRC provides a way for you to recycle your rechargeable batteries and cell phones easily. Please see the link, if you want more information.

For years, companies and individuals continued to carelessly pollute the air, water, and soil primarily out of ignorance. As a result of the uneducated indifference by most of the residents of the U.S. and world, we are now living with the results of ours and previous generations behaviors and actions. We cannot go back in time and undo what was done then, but we can each make a contribution now.

This is one area in which we cannot pass the responsibility to others. We must all play a role in doing what we can to minimize the negative impact on our planet and encourage and educate others around us to do the same. It has been a tradition belief among Americans to make it just a bit better for the next generation. What can you do to make a difference?

As my favorite children's singer, Raffi, points out in his lyrics from "Evergreen, Everblue,"
Evergreen, everblue
At this point in time,
It's up to me, it's up to you

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Blog Action Day 2009

Today is Blog Action Day 2009, and The Mommy Gap is participating!

If you'd like to know more about Blog Action Day, check out the link in the title.

So, why is a mommy blog participating in a discussion about climate change? For this very simple reason: I don't want my son to grow up thinking that polar bears only live in zoos.

Red state, blue state, or quite possibly purple state, wherever you may live and whatever your personal political beliefs may be this is something that will impact us all. In fact, it has already started to impact us. Granted, I don't live in a northern state, but when it's 92 degrees in the middle of October something is wrong!

Even the smallest actions can positively impact your carbon footprint. Here are some of the things we do at Casa de Crazy to help:
  1. We use cloth diapers.

  2. We breastfeed. (No need to make formula or the can you put it in for my kid, thanks!)

  3. I am a HAWK about use of electricity. To the point of nagging, my husband might say.

  4. When we chose our home, the natural shading by trees in the front and backyard were part of our decision making process. More shading means less need for air conditioning.

  5. We use cloth and reusable bags at the grocery store.

  6. We recycle everything we can.

  7. We are a one car household.

Everything helps, and you can make small changes if you're not ready to make big ones. One of my friends lobbied my employer until they finally put recycling bins in our office. But, until they did that, we had volunteers throughout the building who would take recycling home. Something as simple as that can make a positive change.

Besides, if we don't do SOMETHING, Noah Wyle is going to keep making commercials that make me cry at 3:00 a.m. I need my sleep, interwebs. Take a small step toward a big change.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Smit, hmm?

Well, if we are calling out things we are smitten with, or smit, as you dubbed it, this is mine. The kid, the boy, the monkey, the big M.
Why? Maybe because I was privileged enough to see him enter the world and take his first breath. Because he is the payback for the mothering, because he will likely never say " I hate you, Grandma." He will think I am all that because I get to be the fun one, finally. And because, there is nothing like seeing the next generation arrive, surprising you with the genetics that just won't gracefully disappear.

You're on my Smit List!

When I love something, I like to say that I am smitten; sometimes I go so far as to say I am in deep smit.

With that being said, submitted for the approval of the Midnight Society, I am starting the Smit List. This is where I am going to talk about things that I am smitten with.

Smit List: Flip Video Camcorder

I first heard about the Flip at Rosie O'Donnell's blog. I was intrigued, and was ecstatic when I got one for Christmas 2007.

Why I Love the Flip
  1. It is the perfect size to hold in your hand without being clunky.

  2. It has great video and sound quality.

  3. It's perfect for short video clips, which is all I have time for.

  4. It comes loaded with software to allow you to screenshot, edit, and share your video.

  5. It is the reason that I was able to capture M triumphantly getting his foot into his mouth for the first time.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Law of Physics? Perhaps.

I think it really comes down to "for every action, there is a reaction." Let's take this back one more generation to my grandmother, A. Ah, now she was a treasure trove for psychologists to weigh in on. I didn't understand what made her tick, nor did her daughter, my mother. The difference between her impact on us, was that I was fairly immune to her overbearing, judgmental personality. She wasn't my mother after all, but she was the catalyst that impacted my mother.

A. was a school teacher and having sat in her classroom, I would rather have been her student than her child. She was no nonsense, but also reserved her kindness for her pupils. I cringed as my mother relayed to me that when it was bedtime, my grandmother would turn her cheek up to be kissed. That was the extent of her motherly warmth. A. actually turned to me one time when she was visiting and in the midst of one of her diatribes declared that if I had something to say I should "raise my hand." The woman could talk like no one I have ever known. In our family, when traces of this arise in others it is called "A. disease" and trust me, all of us have some elements of it. This is also the same woman who showed up for an unannounced visit, from New York to Maryland, and turned on her heels and drove back home because she disapproved off the outfit her daughter was wearing as she cleaned the house. Oh scandal - yes stretch pants and a sheer chiffon blouse (in her own home). Horrors!

So bringing it back to physics, my mother, S., vowed never to be this kind of mother. Instead she was warm, affectionate, read to me in bed every night when I was young and empowered me to believe in myself. She herself in later years, post my teenage indignation against authority, admitted she had perhaps gone a bit overboard. S. was determined to not raise someone who might lose themselves in the effort to please others. Job well done, Mom, it has taken me years to temper my tongue and actions. I am in no way blaming my mother, she was simply reacting to what she had known.

Then I come along, growing up watching my mother knock herself down and constantly questioning her worth. My love for my mother made this difficult and frustrating. I saw how wonderful she was, why couldn't she? My father's strong personality exacerbated the situation and I believe she truly had to get to the point of feeling like she was in quicksand before she was able to pull herself up and leave. My father many years later commented that he sensed the hidden inner strength within her and tried to keep it from surfacing because it was threatening. And in the end, it did surface with a force even I could not imagine when she found herself battling cancer. Not once, even through months of difficulty speaking and not being able to eat, did she engage in a pity party. If anything, the feisty side of her took control - I knew she had it in her.

So, D. references my mother's last days and death as a catalyst to cause change in us both. I believe it is true. I did not focus on how it might produce this result in D., but there was a moment in the freezing cold parking lot outside the Saranac Lake hospital, that I confronted that need to take on some of my mother's gentleness. I did not see it while it was happening, but now know that it did. That is not to say my journey is done.

Oh yes, I have experienced the same frustration and envy over my mother's and daughter's ability towards calm acceptance over the years, but I have also seen my mother move towards the middle refusing to always give in to others and know that my daughter will do so as well. Extremes always make life difficult. Think about those pendulums with the line of silver balls hitting against each other, those on the outside start the action, but all react. Sometimes we need to be the catalyst and sometimes, it is better to be the buffer. Balance, I have learned it is all about balance.

Flaws, D., don't even get me started. In the end, in spite of your best mothering efforts, M. will have them. It's okay. In the end the generations weave together as threads creating a tapestry, one thread influences the path of the next, pulling from the strengths of the others and covering up the flaws.

And that is the journey of motherhood; watching our children develop does not end with their entry into adulthood because they are still in the process of becoming who they will be. Our blessing is watching it all unfold.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

My Mother, Myself?

My grandmother, C's mom, was a dynamic woman. She was kind, loving and funny. She was an amazing cook; she could knit like no one's business. She loved dogs, reading, the outdoors. I think it would be fair to say that her biggest fault was that she was too concerned with other people. She knew this and as a result, she raised a daughter who would always stand up for herself.

C will tell you herself that she lived most of her life refusing to be passive. She is fiery and independent, sometimes to a fault. It's oddly ironic that her daughter, me, was much more like her mother in temperament.

When my grandmother passed away in February of 2007, it was a catalyst for C and me. We both resolved to change things about our personalities; I wanted to stand up for myself more and C wanted to learn when to hold her tongue.

C and I were talking about this the other night, and discussing the changes we've seen in each other in the past few years. C has definitely learned the value in waiting to address issues until she's calmed down and discussion will have the maximum positive impact. In turn, I've learned to speak up for myself and not worry so much about keeping the peace at any cost.

All of this got me thinking about how we, as mothers, handle the flaws we see in our children. In my short time as a mother, I've already learned one of the basic truths. We want to be able to fix everything for our children; we want them to have it better than we've had ourselves.

When it comes to flaws, is it better to let our children learn for themselves? Surely, we'd hope, they would listen to the wisdom we've gained from making so many mistakes ourselves. Experience tells me, this isn't always the case. True, I haven't really had to impart much wisdom to M as of yet. Unless you consider, "No one wants to hang out with boys who have poopy pants," motherly wisdom. I do, however, have two younger brothers. Of course there have been times where they've actually listened to what I had to say and applied it. But more often, they have to go through things in their own time and their own way to really understand what I was trying to tell them in the first place.

Why do flaws in our children bother us? I know that I've always heard that the way you know you've found your soul mate is that they love you, flaws and all. If that's the case, why do we want to fix them in our children? Could it be that what we're trying to fix is the reflection of our own flaws we see in them?

I find myself wondering what M's flaws will be. Will he be a champion procrastinator? Or, maybe not a champion since he kept putting off completing the application to the Procrastination Olympics. Will he have issues with organization? Will he be a nail biter? A chronic air drummer? A collector of all things ridiculous, especially dogs?

What I hope is that whatever these flaws may be, I'll be able to keep two things in mind when dealing with them. First, we are all flawed. Second, often it's our flaws that end up teaching us the greatest life lessons.

That is, of course, unless his flaws turn out to be his current interests in shrieking as loudly as he can and drooling. If that's the case, we're going to have some issues...and some interesting teenage years.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

In Any Given Moment...

A year ago yesterday, my entire world changed in an instant. On 9/30/08, I found out that there was a second heart beating within me.

In the days leading up to the 30th, I went through a spectrum of emotions. It was unusual for me to be late, and I started to wonder if I could be pregnant. At the same time, I didn't want to believe I could be. I was worried that I'd be too disappointed if I let myself hope. I was also nervous about the possibility of a positive test. Though my husband and I had been together for almost 5 years, we'd just recently gotten married. We weren't planning to start a family for at least a year, if ever. I didn't know how my husband would react if I was pregnant.

Finally, after almost a week I worked up the nerve to buy a test. I wanted no room for questions, and bought the digital read out test. The instructions said to wait for 3 minutes for a result. I didn't even have to wait for one minute. There it was, no doubt at all. I was pregnant.

I walked out of the bathroom with the test in my hand. My husband was still in bed, playing with one of our dogs. He looked up and met my eyes with his own. I'm sure he knew then, but I had to vocalize it. "There's someone in there," I said.

Saying it out loud made it real, and I was totally overwhelmed with emotion. I fell onto the bed crying. Looking back, I think this may have freaked J out a bit. I wasn't crying because I was unhappy. I was equal parts thrilled and terrified. I was so excited about the possibility of a person that was equal parts J and I. At the same time, I was afraid to get too excited knowing that the first trimester is the most dangerous time for a pregnancy. I was also worried that I wouldn't be a good mother.

To his credit, J remained completely calm. He held me and soothed me. He reassured me that everything would be fine. He told me how much he loved me, and what a good mother he knew I would be. I am so lucky to have a husband like him.

Looking at my beautiful boy yesterday, I couldn't believe a year had gone by so quickly. A year ago I found out he was there. I didn't know anything else about him, but I already loved him so much my heart ached.

Here we are, a year later. M turned 4 months old today. This week he has figured out how to get his foot in his mouth. He met his birthday buddy, my co-worker's son born just a few hours before him. He tried rice cereal for the first time and loved it. Then he tried rice cereal with pureed blueberries, and liked that even more.

It makes me think about something my mom and I have talked about recently. You may be going through strife and struggles, but you have no idea where you'll be in a year's time. The only constant in life is change. Everything is only for now.

Looking to the future, I realize that a year from now I'll have a 16 month old boy. He'll be so different from the baby I nursed to sleep tonight. I'm sure I'll look back and wonder how he grew and changed so quickly. But in the meantime, I look forward to all the adventures, laughs, hugs, and kisses we'll have from here to there.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Actively Being Mama

Yes, D., I am woefully late in posting. I could offer up any number of excuses, but the reality is that I spent last weekend with my sons (your brothers) being mama.
The economy necessitating a move out of state in early 2008, left me with limited opportunities to spend time with J. The youngest, S., is attending college nearby, so we are able to see each other more frequently.
J's 24th birthday was last weekend and finally he was coming to visit! S. made the trip from school leaving D. jealously wishing she was part of the mix.
Okay, now I need to explain the photo... Of course no birthday is complete without a cake, right? So, when asked what kind of cake he would like, J. quickly responded "a castle cake." Keep in mind, he was turning 24! Here's where the equalling out between siblings comes into play. D. had a castle cake for her 2nd, 9th, and 18th birthdays. Coveting the castle cake? Who would have known? Take a close look at this picture, isn't is apparent that I am not a pastry chef? But I made it for J. with the addition of dinosaurs, since they are right up there with pirates as a few of his favorite things. I couldn't find any small pirate figures or the cake would have featured pirates vs. dinosaurs.
Now remember I referred to the fact that you never retire as a mother? It doesn't matter how old your children are, sometimes they just need to come home escaping the pressures of adulthood, and be your little boy or girl again. This is the responsibility we take on as mothers when we bring our child into the world. Just as we provide the security and confidence for our children to take their first steps, start school, heal from a teenage broken heart, and finally leave home, mothers provide the support for their adult children to continue their journey. And I wouldn't trade that for anything. Thanks for those times when you remind me that you still need your mama once in awhile.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Woefully late!

I talked to C tonight for a bit, and she mentioned how she really meant to update today. Now, normally I would cut her no slack on her...slacking. However, it was 9:30 p.m. and she was just wrapping up work for the day. So, I suppose that's excusable. She promises an update tomorrow.

To tide us over, I am presenting to you all documentation of a dreadful plight that I am sure impacts many infants. This is of course, what happens when your child yacks all over and it dribbles down their leg.

You can try to clean it up, but the hard cold truth remains. Your precious infant is suffering from yacne.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Your Baby Can...Make Internet Millions

The most frequent advice I received before M was born was this: Sleep when the baby sleeps.

Dooce recently commented on this in a blog, saying it was the worst advice to give someone with a newborn. I think this may be one of those things about motherhood that is different for everyone.

In life before M, I was definitely a night owl. It would not be uncommon for me to greet the sunrise on a Saturday morning, simply because I had not gone to sleep from the night before.

I was also not much of a napper. My husband J can nap anytime. I used to be envious of this. In our pre-baby life, we'd wake up on Saturdays around noon and have lunch together. If the night before had been a particularly crazy one, J would go back to bed for a nap. There I'd sit, just as tired, but totally unable to nap.

My how things change! I've gone from a, "sleep is for the weak," mentality to, "I could sleep for a week!"

M has always been a good sleeper. From the time we brought him home from the hospital, he was sleeping 4-5 hours a night. He has also consistently been a fan of taking a long morning nap. So for me, sleeping when he sleeps was a life saver.

The first few weeks, I felt guilty for napping so much. It felt like such an indulgence to be napping away my day, baby snuggled on my chest. J would come home from work, and I'd invariably feel guilty for not having done more around the house. The floors needed to be swept, the dogs needed haircuts, the dishes were sitting in the sink, and I'd totally ignored it all. Of course, being the smart man that he is, J never commented on any of this. He actually encouraged me to sleep whenever I could.

As I started to get more in a routine with M, I was able to sneak in a few chores here and there. The most important thing that I learned was simple; get enough sleep first and worry about the house second. If I was feeling wiped out in the morning, I would join M in his long morning nap. Then in the afternoon, I actually had the energy to do the things that needed to be done.

Now my challenges have changed as I've gone back to work. Though the need might still be there, I don't have the opportunity for a long morning nap. This has led to me coming home from work, feeding M, and falling asleep with him on the couch. It's not ideal.

Last night, I came home from work with a to-do list running through my head. I was going to update my resume, take a shower, pump another bottle for M, and write this blog. I had a game plan, and I was going to get it done. That is, until I fell asleep after nursing M, and didn't wake up until 10 pm.

At that point, the game plan was shot, and I was just trying to get as much done as I could. The resume got updated and the shower was an absolute necessity. And the kicker was that the nap left me so rested, I didn't fall asleep until 3:30 a.m.

I still haven't quite figured out how to juggle working and being a mom. M, like his parents, is a night owl. He is not interested in going to sleep for the night until around 1:30 a.m. This has led to a very tired mama, who drags herself into work for 9 a.m. and stares at her inbox for about an hour until she can focus.

I guess, like all things motherhood related, this is a learning process with no simple answer. Unlike all those informercials I've become so fond of, I can't make 3 easy payments and have a good night's sleep delivered in 3-6 weeks.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

4 to the flush and he's all in!

Lesson #134: A sense of humor is imperative in raising a child!

Thanks Aunt Mandy for teaching M about poker!

Monday, September 7, 2009

What a surprise, D! I know we talked about doing this, but it appeared that procrastination would win out over putting it into action.

Ah the temptation to create a whole new persona! I might be tall, a former professional dancer, champion of human rights, motivational speaker, and totally devoid of stretch marks (thanks kids). Unfortunately, I am a terrible liar and would never be able to remember who I am supposed to be, so I think I better stick to what I know. Due to my love for marriage, M. is blessed with 3 grandfathers instead of just 1 - what a fortunate baby. Seriously, I think I might have finally figured out how to make a marriage work. However, I did benefit by having 3 interesting and bright children out of this, who have and continue to teach me a lot. For the record, all of my children share the same father, who is the only grandfather yet to met M., but that is a totally separate blog subject.

D. is the oldest and only daughter and luckily for me, one of my best friends ever. I was blessed with a fabulous mother who became one of my closest friends and showed me how important that bond can be. I give her all the credit for everything that I have done right as a mother and am still trying to decide who to blame for the screw ups. For if there is one thing I have learned over the years, there is no such thing as perfect parenting. We're human, we make mistakes, and all we can do is apologize and try to fix it. Becoming a grandparent is our second chance to impart our wisdom on a new generation or really to enjoy the fact that this time around we don't have to deal with temper tantrums.

Beyond being a mother, grandmother and wife, I work in the Internet landscape and love my work. My household is rounded out with 4 dogs, yes I said 4. I know that is totally ridiculous, but for some reason I don't know enough to stop at 1. Remember the marriage deal?

Oh, another enlightened tidbit - mothering is for the rest of your life. It doesn't matter how old they get, you do not get to retire. The role may change, but they don't go away - unless your screw-ups totally outweigh what you did right.


Let's start at the very beginning...

I suppose the proper way to pop my blogging cherry would be an introduction to the cast of characters that will probably be frequent topics of discussion.

Well, there's me...D. 29, married, slightly dorky in a subtly cool way. There is my husband, J. He's quite a complex character. Business oriented, musician, and self proclaimed King of Dorks. Then there is our son, M. Born 6/1/09, he is a constant adventure and source of laughter.

Another key player in this blog will be my mom, C. I think I'll let her write her own introduction and decide exactly what she wants to share.

My mom and I were talking one day about how the advice given to new parents has changed so much in the 29 years since she brought me home from the hospital, and we thought it might be interesting to start a blog that talks about motherhood from both of our perspectives.

Obviously my mom has got a little bit of a headstart on me in this whole motherhood game. At the same time, raising kids now is definitely different than it was in the 80s.

I'm not quite sure what expectations we have for the blog, or even what direction it will take. I think, like being a mother, it's a work in progress. I expect some comparison of techniques, some funny stories, possibly some ranting from time to time...

That being said, I look forward to the conversations that will ensue. Things tend to get a little wacky when my mom and I get talking. This blog will best be enjoyed with a sense of humor and an appreciation for the slightly offbeat.