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.