Friday, August 31, 2012


My little Munchkin has his first molar! I'm so happy and sad for him. Last night, as he was wailing in wait for his medicine, I saw the bony, gummy bumps on his top left side, quite near the front. The edges are broken through, but the center is still working on it.

This may be my answer for why he was writhing so terribly on Tuesday night. I can't imagine how painful this is for him. I froze some washcloths to give him tonight. I feel so bad for the little man!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

5 Good Things About This Last Week

In lieu of my weekend wrapup, since I'm 4 days out from it, and because it's been so stressful with a sick kid at home, I give you 5 Good Things:

1) Hot Dog. Not the food, but the song. Munch is totally into Mickey Mouse Clubhouse now. He loves the Hot Dog Song, and we watch it on YouTube when it's not on TV. He dances and smiles, and it's so cute. (However, I've had it in my head for the past 10 hours, and it's driving me a little mad.)

2) Hugs and hair rubs. Munch is way into my hair right now. He'll wrap his arms around my neck and take clumps of it gently in his hands, like he's making a ponytail. It feels so sweet. He also will rub his face in it and smile.

3) Spending more time than usual with Munch. Although he's been sick, he has thankfully not been TERRIBLY sick. It's been nice cuddling and being with him much more than during a usual week.

4) Last night's sleep. He was in the crib from 9:30-2:30, then back in the crib from 3-8. Unprecedented these past few months.

5) A quiet weekend with just us (again). We had another no-plans weekend, and it was glorious until the fever struck. We went to our normal Panera Sunday, and Munch was happy throughout the meal, looking at his new Halloween books. It rained on Saturday and I opened the curtains to a rainbow. Oh, and we bought a freaking iMac!

Back From M.I.A.

It has been a week. Not only was I too busy/stressed/preoccupied to followup on last week's goals, but I didn't even set official goals for this week OR do a weekend wrapup post.

Long and short: Munch's temp started to elevate on Sunday night and by Monday morning, it was a full-blown 102 fever. :-( He was so hot. I took him to the doctor, ignoring the "wait 5 days rule" because we are supposed to go away on Friday, and because he's been coughing and sniffling for a freaking month.

It appears he has a sinus infection like he did in April. It's like the cold lingers long enough to morph into something more. His fever was gone yesterday, but boy was it rough for a while. I was off work until about 1:30 on Monday, and when I left him with my MIL so I could get a little work done, he cried so hard and clung to my neck so desperately, that I sobbed my way out the door and cried all the way home. It was one of the worst times I've ever left him. It was heart-wrenching and devestating because I knew so clearly that all he wanted was ME to comfort him and I felt like I was abandoning him. It was terrible. I felt the dualing roles of mother and worker acutely.

Tuesday was better, still feverish, but playing, so he wasn't just wanting me to hold him. Tuesday night, however, was awful. For one thing, he took a nap later in the day than usual and so he wasn't tired until later. We tried at 9:30 and it was clearly not happening, so we gave it until 11 (before which he just played). He fell asleep, but within 5 minutes coughed himself awake and from then on it was screaming/writhing/crying/wanting to play/but wanting to sleep/horror until 1:30, when he finally fell fitfully to sleep after I sang "What Child Is This?" for 40 straight minutes.

We kept him home one more day yesterday, and he was tired and cranky, but by evening seemed to be turning the corner. I haven't heard anything from day care today, so I assume that means he's done well today. He hardly ate anything all week, but he did keep drinking lots of milk and water, so that's good.

Now we just have 7 more freaking days of the antibiotic, which entails a wrestling match, projectile spitting, coughing and choking, and much crying all around. I'll let you puzzle out who does what.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Distinctive Voice, Powerful Story

I'm a slow reader, but I love books. Therefore, I have shelves and shelves of unread books, all the best intentions, and an ever-growing list of "to-read" while my "read" (past-tense) list grows slowly but steadily.

I also have about an hour in the car each day. And not a lot of disposable income. So, I went to my trusted local library and checked out an audiobook by Joshilyn Jackson, whose blog I find hilarious. I own Between, Georgia, and it's squarely on my "to-read" list.

A Grown-up Kind of Pretty is Jackson's most recent novel, and I'm so glad it was my introduction to her. Not only was the narration amazing--read by the author--but the story, characters, and message all spoke to me. I couldn't wait to get into the car for my commute, sometimes wishing for a traffic jam!

This is a story of mothers and daughters, of what it means to call someone "mine" and what it means to be claimed by someone in love. (I mean that in the best sense of the word, claimed. To be welcomed and accepted and fought for by someone.)

It is a story of loss, redemption, growing up, and being accepted for who you are. It is a story of grace for those who are different and for those who have made mistakes.

I didn't want the story to end. I can't recommend it highly enough.

Timing Is Everything

Ugh and blah and bleck. I am regretting basically every food choice I've made today. I'm so ticked and so frustrated with myself and disappointed. I can't get the food I've already eaten back. I have dinner ahead to go. It's halfway through the week and I haven't been great. And the weekend looms.

A big problem was not having a solid plan for lunch. So, I went to Whole Foods, which I love, but where I always overeat. Then, when I was feeling less than satisfied with the salad and chicken I got, I found tantalizing leftover pizza in my office breakroom, which I promptly ate.

Then, after I decided to estimate Points on everything and write it all down, discovering I had about 7 Points left for the rest of the day, I got an email that THE ICE CREAM CAKE IS MELTING for an office birthday celebration. Off to the 8th floor I went, and boy it was good. Now I'm definitely OVER Points for the day, before dinner.

Last night, I let myself go down a pizza-toast rabbit hole after dinner.

And I keep hearing in my mind, what is WRONG with me? I have specific goals that I WANT to achieve, and yet there goes my whatever-the-hell, will power, motivation, desire, WHATEVER at the mere suggestion of an ice cream cake.

(Really, the ice cream cake was good and could be termed "worth it." The pizza was also quite tasty; it's the chicken that I truly regret--greasy and rather tasteless, and yet, I ate it.)

In my weakest moments, I encountered pizza and ice cream today. And I gave in.

I know I need to "turn the corner" and show myself what I can do today to at least help (take a walk with Munch, not have dessert after dinner). But right now I feel WALLOW-Y. Whiny. All those nice W-y words: Weakly. Wimpy. God-forbid, weepy.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

5 Songs I Sing to Munch

In honor of Munch's 17-month birthday, here are 5 songs I sing to him:

1) "One of Us" by Joan Osbourne, "Glee" edition. One day when Munch was about 2 months old, he was fussy fussy and I couldn't get him to sleep. I turned on my Glee playlist and "One of Us" came on. I swayed him in front of our patio door, singing along, and he went out like a light. This is still one of my favorites.

2) "What Child Is This?" Christmas carol. Yes, I realize it's bizarre to sing a Christmas song in the middle of a humid summer. But this sort of just happened one night, when Munch was fighting sleep. I've always liked this song, and now I feel it's one of my favorites. The key is low enough that I don't feel completely idiotic singing it without musical accompaniment.

Being a mother has also given me a new appreciation for the song's story. As I sway my own baby in the dark, his head on my shoulder, my nose in his hair, I feel a connection to this mother in the stable, who is singing to a little baby who is primarily that to her--her beloved baby. I never fail to choke up as I reach the line, "Raise, raise the song on high, the Virgin sings her lullaby." It holds such a base-level innocence, the primal love of a mother for her son, before this baby embarks on such a journey as lies in store for him.

3) "Poor the Baby," my own made-up song. Speaking of bizarre, I'm known for making up weird songs and tunes with repetitive lyrics. Some of my past "greatest hits" include, "The Only Other Place I Know" (about an ice cream parlor near an old apartment of ours), "Let's Get in the Shower" and "This Doesn't Hurt at All" (sung in Maui to my red-headed husband after he got horribly sunburned sitting out by the pool under a thatch umbrella), and "I Put It Over There (But Now I Don't Know Where It Is)" both normal version and slow jazz.

(Weirded out yet?)

Anyway, so I made up a song on the fly to sing to Munch using words that just come into my head. It might go like: "Poor the baby, poor the little one, poor the everything and the all things and the one thing and the baby." Repeat. It's weird. I know. It gets weirder. I just string syllables together: "You're my munchkin, and my lumpkin, and my bumpkin, and the baby."

4) Veggie Tales Lullabyes. My mom gave us a CD of Veggie Tales lullabyes, and this was a go-to playlist for getting Munch to sleep when he was quite little. Usually, it only took the first 5 songs, which I got to know very well--Itsy Bitsy Spider, This Little Light of Mine, He's Got the Whole World in His Hands, etc. We still listen to that in particularly desperate moments, and sometimes I'll leave my iPhone in his room with the playlist on repeat.

5) "The Wheels on the Bus." This isn't a night-time song. This is an every-minute song. Munch will just turn his hands sometimes and that'll be his signal to sing. He loves it.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Home Sweet Home

This weekend was a blissfully unplanned, open weekend that we spent mostly at our house. Poor Hubs had to work quite a bit, ensconsed upstairs on the bed. It was a Mommy-and-Me Saturday, with more family time on Sunday.

The Highlight:
The Good:
  • Complete lack of obligations and plans. We haven't had a weekend like this in a long time, and it was much needed.
  • Friday night at the chicken place, with Munch playing with toys at B&N.
  • Frank and straightforward conversations.
  • Munch in a fabulous mood almost the entire weekend. Just happy and playful.
  • 45 minutes at the gym, complete with treadmill and hand weights.
  • Munch mimicking some funny stuff--my "surprise face," sucking in air and making his mouth a little O, then laughing. Wagging a finger no-no, serious faced, at Daddy. Babbling into his "phone" held to his ear and I know I heard a 'lo?
  • Munch playing with his new V-Tech vacuum and books with sound.
  • Panera breakfast, Munch even behaved the whole time.
  • Fro-yo.
  • Friday Night Lights, Season 1.
The What???
  • Munch ate almost nothing on Saturday--Goldfish all the way.
  • He fought going to sleep last night, but it wasn't too bad.
  • Cat puke. Ugh.

Splash Zone With my Water Baby

I've been meaning to take Munch to this little water park near our house all summer. For one reason or another, it never happened. But, Saturday, I accomplished this goal, and it was everything I knew it would be.

From the second I pulled him out of the car and he could hear the water splashing, he smiled. He couldn't wait to get his tee-shirt off and took off toward the fountains, running and squealing (his high-pitched, I-can't-believe-I-get-to-do-something-so-amazing squeal).

Of course, the play area offered plenty of toddler-friendly activities--a frog that spit; tiny dancing fountains tossing arcs of water back and forth; a short slide; a rock formation with a delicate waterfall; mushrooms dripping water.

Munch made directly for the loudest, most powerful ring of fountains at the center. With about a 30-foot diameter at the widest point, these concentric circles of plowing water made me squish my eyes shut and shake my head. So I can't imagine what it did to my water baby, who kept running into the stream and staggering around after, only to go right back for more.

Munch got cold pretty quickly; he shook after about 20 minutes, and he cried going to the parking lot. That child would play in the water until he turned into a tiny iceberg.

I brought him back for another 20 minutes that afternoon, and this time he wanted to stand underneath the big buckets of water that filled and dumped 15 feet down every few minutes. I curled my body over Munch as he stood and waited and that water hurt. If it would have hit Munch full-on, he would have been knocked to the ground.

And, I'm sure, stood up squealing in delight for the next drenching.

Weekly Goals #5: Let's Get Real

Okay, so things haven't gone exactly as I'd hoped food-wise. Time for some major refocusing! And some major "getting real":

Weeks to Disney Departure: 7
Current Weight: 186.6
Goal: Lose 15 pounds by Saturday, October 6 (Goal Weight: 171.6)

Now that we're so close to Disney (where did those 4 weeks go??), I have to be realistic in my weigh-loss goals. I'm not going to lose 30 pounds in 7 weeks, nor should I. So I have to do what I can do and be proud of my efforts. I have not been pleased with my efforts over the past 4 weeks--I've munched and eaten bad for no good reason. Laziness and compulsion, mostly.

Now for the week's goals:

  • Write everything down. DO IT!
  • Weigh myself on Monday morning.
  • Do something 3 days this week. If I can make the gym at least once, that'll be golden.
  • Write a letter to my grandma by Wednesday.
  • Clean the kitchen.
  • Finish putting away all my clothes and Munch's.
Disney 2006

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Seeing Stars

Munch's newest obsession: Stars. As in, the shape.

One day last week, he was on the couch pointing and making his "do you see this?" little grunt noise (Uunh?) and it took me a second to realize he was pointing to a star on the border of the Red Wings afghan. This he has repeated several times a day.

He also found a star on a Macy's bag. (Uunh?)

So, I started singing Twinkle Twinkle instead of Wheels on the Bus, and he seemed to enjoy it. Twinkle is not nearly so varied as Wheels, so it gets a little boring for the singer, but what can you do? Munch seems to prefer it right now, as he made his "Wheels please" hand motion and then did a little frustrated wiggle when I started singing Wheels until I sang Twinkle instead.


When Munch was going through his bookshelf, he pointed to a board book he wanted to look at. I mistakenly took out two others and he remained focused on Olivia. He kept flipping the pages, then looking back at the spine. Why? Because of two black stars on the side. Heart, commence melting.

And I've remembered that this isn't his first fascination with stars. At Carlisle, my sister had hung a blue metal star on the wall, and various people held Munch up to touch it, and it made a little clanging sound against the plaster. Tina also had a clock that chimed every 15 minutes. Somehow, Munch associated with clock chiming with the star, and every it went, Munch pointed up to the star and went, Uunh?

Monday, August 13, 2012

Weekly Goals #4

I will be at Disney in 2 months' time. Get crackin, self!


-- Do it right for 1 week. That's it, just 1 week. Write it all down, don't go over Points. See what happens.
-- Weigh myself next Monday morning.


-- For goodness sake, do something. Take a walk with Munch 3 times this week.


-- Clean out my sock drawer and put away all of my and Munch's clothes. (I bet this conjures lovely images of my home! They are close to accurate, I assure you.)

Fair Game

This weekend was a varied activity stay-at-home weekend, and it was largely great.

The Highlight:
  • Hard to choose between my all-time favorite outdoor event of the year, the Montgomery County Fair, and Saturday evening at the Gettysburg outlets and dinner. So, we'll go with both!
    • Highlight 1: Meeting my mom and sister in Gettysburg was wonderful. Munch loved running around the gazebo and testing all the wooden rockers, and my family got some much-needed quiet time with him while Hubs and I did some much-needed shopping. Munch and Hubs got new shoes that they very much needed and I got new purple sandals that Hubs wanted me to get as well as a cool heart necklace.

      Dinner at Gettysburg Eddie's was terrific, complete with frozen mango margurita. Munch behaved pretty well until, as we were waiting for the check, our waitress was facing away from us, bent over to take another table's order, and there goes Munch's pointer finger toward that heiny. Hubs said, No no, very sternly. Munch paused, let the pac fall from his mouth, and then crumpled his face up in a devestated how-could-he-say-that-to-me cry. Then, after a cuddle from mommy and pac back in. The pointer finger moved ever so slightly the same way. Repeat. Repeat. This little game was so funny!
    • Highlight 2: The fair. The weather was lovely, though hot in the sun, not humid. We ate the usual, corn dogs, ice cream, cinnamon almonds, yum. Munch enjoyed looking at the animals (my favorite, the baby piglets nursing), and he pointed at every balloon we saw. He only lasted about 2 hours, though, as he got very hot, wanted to squish his balloon to his chest, and play with his stroller when he got out.
The Good:
  • Just being home in the mornings and having Munch take his nap at home. These quiet spaces, when Munch is in such a good mood and just playing, and then sleeping restfully, are the best parts of my week.
  • Panera bagels on Sunday morning.
  • Watching Sherlock Holmes 2 with Hubs on Friday night. Or was it Saturday? Who knows.
  • Finishing Gone Girl. Wild! (Ah yes, so the movie must have been Friday. Who cares??)
  • Seeing Lara and Laura for our 8 of 8 see-you-at-least-once-a-month 2012 plan.
  • Getting some cleaning done.
The What???
  • Munch is back to being very sniffly and coughing. I know it's post-nasal drip coughing, but these are the moments I feel the most helpless as a mother. I want to help him, and there's very little I can do.
  • Consequently, Munch napped very fitfully and shortly on Sunday and coughed himself awake at 5am this morning. He was in the sweetest mood, just lying around with us from 5-7am, but boy does that start the week out roughly.
  • Munch is boundary-pushing, big time, and I am the boundary setter, and a poor one. Okay, not poor yet, I won't judge myself quite yet, but boundaries are tough for me in general. Welcome to parenthood of a toddler. I feel like I have confused him, now that he wants to move from playing with the answering machine (an activity he and I both enjoy) to messing with lamps and the mug tree. Now, this whole thing has to stop, and last night he cried so hard because I wouldn't let him do his normal fiddling. He's strong-willed, my boy, and it'll take some time for him to get over this. He is not easily diverted or distracted. What's that saying, Your greatest strength is also your greatest weakness. And when I'm exhausted, that doesn't help.
  • Gettysburg Eddie's did not have a changing table. What?? Luckily, Munch just had a major pee that we changed lying out in the grass by the parking lot, but what if he'd had a blow-out, as he is wont to do in restaurants?

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Gone Girl: Amazing Writing, Creeptastic Villain

If yout haven't read this book, I recommend you not read this review or any others, actually. Part of the fun is not having any idea what's going to happen. You will be [[SPOILED]] if you keep reading.

My MIL recommended this book to me, and I am so glad she did. I loved Gillian Flynn's writing. I haven't read a book written with really high-quality writing in a while, and this book was delicious just for its use of language alone. I also thought she mastered the unreliable narrator device in Part 1. I didn't feel like it was contrived, and I felt like with mere clauses, Ms. Flynn cast doubt on Nick's motives and with each revelation, I felt a "wow" moment.

The character of Amy Elliott Dunne is one of the creepiest villains in modern literature. She is a real psychopath. It was amazing how I did a complete 360 within pages of starting Part 2. The depth of her psychosis is terrifying.

For the quality of writing and the plot, which kept me turning pages right to the end, I give this book 4.5 stars. For the story itself, closer to 4 stars, and the ending, as far as my sense of personal satisfaction, about 2.5 stars.

The problem with making Nick seem so suspicious in Part 1: We never get to understand WHY he was acting cold and distant, not worried, and in fact why he kept saying "This is how the worried husband is supposed to act now." I believe it is because Nick was so consumed with making people like him, with acting "right," that he was unable to act genuinely at all. I feel sorry for him, especially by the end, because I think he really has no identity. He is who Amy makes him/wants him to be.

I was quite disappointed in the ending. I wanted Amy to "get hers" so badly. I wanted to see her taken down as meticulously as she took down those she felt wronged her. I wish Flynn could have orchestrated Amy's take-down as masterfully as she created such a demented character. I believe this likely was the ending Flynn wanted, though. The villain wins. NIck lives in terror and fear. And God help the child!

Part of me wonders if we'll see Nick and Amy again. I feel like this ending lends itself perfectly to a sequel!

Friday, August 10, 2012

5 Things To Remember About my First Weight Loss

I'm in a place where I feel alternating states of hope and commitment and complete disillusion and depression over my apparent lack of getting my eating under control. I want to lose weight, I truly do. I just feel like it's a tall, impossible task that takes more energy than I have for it.

So, here are 5 things I need to remember from the time when I lost 100 (100!) pounds, starting at a much (MUCH!) higher weight.

1) Weight Watchers works. It does. When you follow the plan, you lose weight.

2) It took a whole, dedicated year to lose 100 pounds. It took 6 months to lose 70 pounds and another 6 months to lose the remaining 30. The remaining 30 is what I have to go, essentially, and those pounds will come off more slowly than my early weight.

3) I didn't work out at all until I was down to about 140. At all! And I lost weight. Not working out/being as active as I was before I got pregnant is not an excuse as to why my weight is not coming down. I know that it's healthy for me to be active, but that activity CAN come in the form of a nice walk with Munch.

4) I didn't eat chocolate for 3 months when I started Weight Watchers. Not a nibble! I understood my triggers then. Well, more than understood them, I avoided my triggers then. Now, I think I can manage them, and I don't think that is entirely accurate.

5) I wanted it more than anything back then. I made different choices--only eating out at Subway, going to meetings. I started Weight Watchers the first time before I ever kissed a boy or before I could ever shop in "normal" stores. Now, it's like I had it and I am impatient to get it back, but I'm not committed in the same way.

And now, a bonus 5 Things I need to accept in order to lose weight this time:

1) I must keep a food journal. Must. Especially if I don't go to meetings.

2) I will have to turn down things like a baguette or bagel from Panera or dessert or a dinner drink.

3) I am overweight. I am at risk for diabetes and heart disease, and I don't want these things to happen to me because I am a mother now.

4) I am Munch's greatest role model in all things, including food. If I want him to avoid the heartbreak of obesity, I must show him that it's good to eat healthfully.

5) It's not enough to want something. I have to take actions that will help me get it.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Baptism Birthday

My sister, Munchkin's godmother, reminded me that today is the 1-year anniversary of Munch's baptism. The story:

He was baptized in our Lutheran church on the first Sunday of August 2011. It was HOT, humid (funny, just like now), and we had a large picnic planned at a nearby state park pavillion. Many people came. Lots of family at the service as well: Us, my parents, Patty, Jennifer (godmother), Tina, Lisa, Ben, MIL, SFIL, Nate (godfather), Remy, and my grandparents. Ben filmed the baptism, but I don't think he got much of it, and we've never watched the video.

Our regular pastor was unfortunately on vacation, but a former bishop did the honors. Munch fell asleep for the service before the ceremony and didn't cry during the water portion. Funnily, the church was set up for vacation Bible school, and so all of our pictures have huge pandas in the background.

Munch wore the cutest little white suit with shorts, a vest, tie, and a hat like a train conductor. He was almost 5 months old.

At the picnic, we had lovely salads, burgers and hotdogs that my dad and Ben grilled, and cupcakes from Lily McGilly's that had ugly fondant block letter Fs on them. I had pictured something pretty and festive, but they still tasted good.

Lots of friends and family came to the picnic despite the heat: Lara, Laura, (with Margaret in tow) Linda, D, Rob, Elizabeth, Ruby, Adam, Jamie, Ed, and Justin. They brought gifts though we said not to. Many of them made me cry with their "little boys are" sentiments!

Munch was shuttled around so everyone got a little cuddle, then I nursed him in the air conditioned car and he fell asleep, flat on his back in his stroller for the second half of the party.

We got cleaned up just as the rain came pouring down! All in all, a successful day.

Weekend Wrapup: Visiting and Moving

We spent last weekend in Pittsburgh, visiting Hub's brother and my sister.

The Highlight:
  • After a few hours of unloading the moving truck at Tina's, Hub's jumped in the shower. Munch also was a sweaty mess from running around the backyard (trying to get puppy Scully while I held the two of them apart). So he took his first shower! Daddy held him and Munch laughed as the water pelted him. He loved it! We do have a water baby.
The Good:
  • Munch's overall mood. He was just a happy guy the whole time. He sat on my lap most of Friday night, just hanging out while the adults conversed
  • Munch eating Honey Smacks (what I knew as Sugar Smacks in my youth). He sat on my lap while Grandma T fed them to him. This meant a great deal to her, as her mom always gave them to us.
  • Munch being so enthralled with Zachary. He played with Grandma T and a video game car at dinner, with Zach next to him, and he kept looking at him and clearly wanting to mimic him.
  • Munch doing this little laugh now when he sees something he wants or that excites him.
  • Munch in the car. We timed both rides at his nap time and he slept for hours. If not for some traffic difficulties on the way back, he would have slept the entire way. This seems the way to go.
  • Nate's place. Gorgeous inside, very welcoming, and a wonderful place to stay. King-sized bed and all.
  • Ah, food. Domino's Cheesy Bread. It lives up to the commercial. And Key Lime Pancakes for breakfast. The wings at Primanti Bros--carmelized and crunchy.
  • Watching Nate play Minecraft--such a silly game, hilarious how into it he is.
  • Munch's ease of going to sleep for naps and bedtime. It was a welcome change!
  • So much time reading, as my Hubs drove the entire way back.
  • Rain! It rained Sunday, and I wanted it to.
The What???
  • By now you can guess: The heat and humidity. Ugh.
  • Houses with faulty A/C. Nate's downstairs was wonderfully cool, but in the bedrooms, it was pretty hot. We had fans (which fascinated Munch), but it just didn't cut it.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Weekly Goals #3

Okay, seriously, we're about 2 months from Disney. Time to get in the game.


-- Make two healthy dinners to last for the entire week.
-- Do not eat after dinner 5 days this week.


-- Do some activity 3 times this week.


-- Organize the kitchen by next week.

Weekly Goals #2: Lessons Learned

Food was not good and activity was nonexistent.

Challenge: When do working moms work out? While still getting to see their children and sleep?

While I didn't write down one thing I ate all week (not one thing), I didn't eat after dinner 5 days, which was a goal met.

I need to remember how much more settled I felt when I was writing things down. I didn't feel out of control or frantic over food.

Well-being: I felt very free not worrying about conversations I have no reason to know about. This was a nice little exercise for giving up some control--control of information. By not inviting every conversation into my life, I also didn't allow opinions that may not match my own to have power over my state of mind. I will keep this up. It was nice knowing that I just don't have to care about some things.

Friday, August 3, 2012

I Want My Mommy: Why?

Poll: When you were growing up and you didn’t feel good, which parent did you run to? Which parent did you want most to cuddle you? I would wager than the vast majority of people would say: Mom.
As a mom, this tickles me.
As a wife, this troubles me.
When I imagine how my husband must feel when my son reaches desperately to transfer from him to me, I feel heartbreak. Even worse—Hubbaland has told me it makes him feel bad. And there’s nothing I can do about it.
One of the beautiful things about childhood is complete abandon to one’s feelings. The Munch feels no shame in moving from one toy to another, one activity to another, one person to another. He does what he feels, and his desires change from moment to moment. At some point, he will realize other people have feelings. And he will pause, think, consider. But now—he just feels and acts without guilt or obligation.
The Bond
My older sister once commented, as she watched Munch snuggled against my chest, “The mother-child bond. I don’t know how it happens, but it does.” And it’s true. Our mothers are of paramount importance to our lives, our whole lives. If they were kind, loving, and supportive, you grow up feeling secure in the notion that at least one person in this world will always have your back.
If they were distant, cold, and harsh, you grow up (I imagine) feeling a small hole in your being—like you know something was supposed to go there, but you were denied it and the emptiness will always be with you. We mothers—we hold tremendous power over these tiny beings grown in our bellies, and it saddens me that so many mothers are such broken people that they intentionally or inadvertently damage such vulnerable things as their children.
I worried about “the bond” before Munch was born. What would I feel? Would I feel anything? What if I felt nothing? Even after experiencing the bond, it’s nearly impossible to describe.
Munch was only 2 days, old when I realized full-on that the bond had already clasped me like a vise, irrevocably and eternally, around this fragile and perfect person I’d only just met. I was in the hospital still, and Munch was in the little clear-sided bassinet, swaddled and sleeping, under his pink and blue knit cap. I felt a gushing well-spring of love in my chest, my whole self, and it brought with it a certain amount of panic to me, who fears loss above all else, who keeps many people at arm’s length, that I loved this child with a fierceness that was unparalleled by anything in my life. If anything happened to him, I knew on this second day of motherhood, I would be broken in ways that it’s best not to imagine, ways that would make the years stretch on in an endless, joyless beat, and I wouldn’t ever quite know color again.
What caused the bond? Was it hormones, evolved over the millennia to just the right mix to ensure that we new lionesses didn’t abandon our cubs? Or was it something more miraculous, something that we women are blessed to feel, after our trials of labor? “Here now, this is yours to treasure.”
And, as demonstrated by Munch’s desperate calls for me when I leave a room even now, the bond stretches both ways. In the early days, newborns, with their mushed-up E.T. faces and mewling cries, rely purely on instinct to get by. The bond they feel for their mothers is an instinct. Research shows newborns can recognize their mothers by scent. After spending 10 months literally attached to one another, mothers and babies are primed for a relationship. Mothers scoop up their babies with the sense of, ah, here you are, this bundle that has kicked me and laid against my bladder for so many months. Welcome home.
The bond is a gift, and I cherish it, even as it still terrifies me with its power.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Drive By

Whenever I drive past day care and see Munch outside playing, I feel like I've been stabbed in the heart. I should just not look, but that seems somehow worse.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Personal Victory & 5 Things I'm Proud Of

Welcome to August. I have now officially blogged regularly for an entire month! That is more than ever before in my previous blogging attempts. Pride!

In honor of the milestone, I give you 5 Things I'm Proud Of

1) Munch. Is this too cliche for a mother to say? I don't care. I'm sure there are some mothers who aren't proud of or about their children. My pride for Munch is complex. I'm proud each time he crosses a developmental milestone. I'm proud when he drinks from his sippy. I'm proud when he doesn't cry when I drop him off at day care.

2) My mother-self. But I'm also proud of the mother I am. I didn't know how I would be at this mothering thing. Generally, I'm a pretty lazy person; I have to force myself to work out. I like to watch TV. I like to have quiet time. I like to sleep. These are all things that do not necessarily mesh with motherhood. But I was pleasantly surprised to find how every second I spend with Munch feels precious and full. I may not have a lot of "street smarts," math skills, or even common sense. But I am overflowing with love, and if nothing else, Munch will grow up knowing his mother loves him deeply and completely.

3) My marriage. (Hm, these things are all starting with M.) I haven't had the best models for marriage, in fact, marriage scared me for a long time. I could not love Hubs more 10 years into being with him. I feel we talk openly, respect each other, and still know how to laugh together. I hope this more than anything will help Munch to feel secure and like the world holds possibilities for wonder.

4) My evolving mindset. I'm working hard to stop feeling so anxious, guilty over things I have no control over, crazy for control, and judgmental of people who act differently from me. It's a process, and some days I do better than others. But I want this, badly, and I won't stop.

5) My work. Do I want to work outside the home full-time? No. Do I have to? Yes. Am I good at it? Yes. If I'm being honest, I find fulfillment in editing. I just wish I could find that fulfillment for 20 hours a week.

Here's to more personal growth and taking pride in every accomplishment, big, small, round, or tall.