Tuesday, December 15, 2015
I've read countless Pinterest lists of Essential Newborn Items. They range from basic to excessive, crunchy to mainstream, and more often than not, flat out ridiculous. How did I survive without 25 pairs of newborn socks or the $1500 stroller?! I'll never know. Zulily had a New Baby Essentials shopping category recently that included items such as facial masks for guests to wear to contain their germs. Friends don't let friends share air with their baby.
The simple truth is that what is essential to me probably isn't essential to you. What was essential for my daughter was very different than what was essential for my son. At five months old, my dear boy has spent zero minutes in a stroller, sleeping in a crib, or bathing in a baby tub.
So what do you really need for that new bundle of joy? Here's my honest list.
5. Stain fighting super powers
Even if you embrace stains as works of art, kids have a knack for staining the one shirt that is actually semi-flattering that allows you to easily breastfeed in public. Or vomiting on those pants you tried on for thirty seconds just to make sure they'll work for the Christmas party. Or pooping all over the sofa during a midnight diaper change. OxiClean, Shout, or your all homemade mixture of peroxide, Dawn, and unicorn tears is your friend even when your baby isn't.
4. Strong Coffee
It still amazes me that anyone can function, let along parent, without this nectar from God himself. There's no shame in copious coffee consumption when you haven't slept in weeks, months, or years.
3. Fresh Air
Even if it's walking in circles around your back yard, fresh air can help you and baby recharge. It's my first line of defense against a grumpy baby or grumpy self. You might even get a few minutes of exercise while you're at it.
2. Sense of Humor
When the baby poos mid diaper change, causing both you and baby to need to bathe and change your clothes for the third time today, and it's not even 10am. And it's the only day this week you've actually showered or been dressed by 10am. Or when you wake your husband in the middle of the night and tell him to stop crying, not realizing that three week old infant is the one crying. Or when your toddler is out back butt naked while you obliviously snuggle your sleeping baby on the sofa. Or when the toddler wants you to sing "Let it Go" after an hour long tantrum. Or when you're so tired you walk the dog and don't realize you come back home without the dog. Or when you're at the grocery store to fulfill your donut craving and the stranger in front of you, upon hearing you still have 3 months of pregnancy to go, loudly exclaims, "Well, I guess when you're that short, baby has nowhere to go but straight out!" Or when your toddler completely photobombs your pictures of the baby even though she refused to join when you wanted her to. Or when you spend your Saturday night in the store checking out baby equimpent after the swing breaks. Or when your toddler, who is the most outgoing kid you know and an expert at cheesing it up for the camera, hasn't smiled for a professional photographer in the last two years. Or when the toddler, who is the reason you cosleep because she's never slept a wink in a crib, insists on sleeping in the crib when you set it up for the next baby. Or that week she spent every night on the new dog bed rather than her brand new pink ruffly big girl bed. Or when you're 37 weeks pregnant and your husband decides we need to scrap our list of baby names and start over. Or when you go into labor at 39 weeks and baby is born before you've come up with another name. Or when the baby empties an entire bottle of oregano on the dog. Or that day that was so long that you didn't realize you put the baby to bed without a diaper. Or when your husband graciously agrees to clean the bathtub when your baby is a few days old, and he ends up with a chemical burn from your organic all natural cleaner requiring two different steroids, an antibiotic, and an anti-inflammatory drug. Need I go on? You're going to need to be able to laugh at yourself. You may very well cry first, but being able to laugh will help.
1. Mom Friends
Everyone needs a friend who will come over immediately the first time the baby falls off the sofa, who will come pick up your naked screaming baby so that you can take a nap, or heaven forbid, shower in peace for just a few minutes, who will laugh at you when necessary. Friends who show up with coffee and ignore your mountain of laundry, who treat your kids as their own, and who support your family even when they parent completely opposite of you. Friends who will laugh at you, cry with you, and help you survive your tiny tyrants.
Monday, October 26, 2015
Mommy: We run. We let the policemen get the bad guys. Do you want to be a policewoman?
E: Why not doctors? Why don't they get the bad guys?
Mommy: Do you want to be a doctor that fights bad guys?
E: Why aren't we eating pancakes?
E: Here, take this to the birthday party for me. Then, if I get birthday party on my face, you can wipe it off.
Mommy: Oh what a tiny baby you have!
E: I know! She's so tiny! She's 300 pounds. She just came out of my belly. She's five years old but she'll be one at her birthday!
Mommy, look, there are cars! It's dark in here. Why can't I see? Can we turn a light on? Why did you stop? Why is the light red? Do you like my sparkly shoes? Where is Xander? Is he home with Daddy? Why didn't he come? How far away are we? You can go now! I think you should go that way. Why didn't you go that way? Why don't we ever go that way? Well, yesterday, at the beach, we had ice cream. Can we have ice cream? There's still a bug on the car. Is he inside or outside? Why didn't you get the bug? Can I squash the bug? Let's wash the car. It's dirty. Is Xander awake yet? Is Daddy at work? I'm going to save this last piece for Daddy. Never mind, I ate it. Why did you stop? Why aren't you going? Let's go that way!
E: Thank you so much! That's so kind of you!
Daddy: I said no.
E: Um, I don't think so.
Tuesday, August 25, 2015
Daddy loves you
He loves you
Most beautiful girl
In the whole wide world
My sneer could curdle dairy
And violence-wise my hands are not the cleanest
But despite my evil look
And my temper and my hook
I've always yearned to be a concert pianist...
Me: Wonderful! Thank you!
(30 seconds later)
E: He's crying!
Me: What happened?
E: I opened his eyes for him. I think he wants to be awake.
I think we can conclude based on a research sample of one, that a three year seven month age gap is truly ideal... at least for the three year old.
Thursday, July 23, 2015
We've had the pleasure of knowing you on this side of the womb for a whole month already! You are a dream baby, perfectly content and very easy going. When you sleep you are floppy and when you're awake you are happy. From birth you have audibly laughed in your sleep and you already smile at your mama both in your sleep and when you're awake. I'm really hoping to catch your little sleep chuckle on video one of these days. In your first week of life you slept through the night twice and you've continued to sleep well.
You have rolled tummy to back more times than I can remember. The Dr says it's just a random movement and not a purposeful roll, but don't worry, Mommy and Daddy are well aware that you're simply advanced.
You still struggle with the whole nursing thing, slurping and gulping and choking until milk pours out your nose. You don't seem to mind, though, and you're already growing bigger. Tear.
You are still in Premie/Newborn diapers and are just starting to outgrow newborn clothes. Please stay small just a little while longer!
You have been everywhere in you ring sling or woven wrap, because we're just so excited to finally leave the house! You've been to market every week, church, walks downtown, parks, and birthday parties. You're happy on the go and like a good poolside nap. But really, who doesn't?
We love you and are so glad you're here!
Thursday, July 2, 2015
Sunday, December 28, 2014
Chou has run to every store in the county in search of one food I can eat, he's missed work to sit with me in the hospital, and takes over parenting full time the minute he gets home from a long day of work. He's given up many foods and cooking in attempt to keep me out of the hospital. He's scheduled doctor's appointments, pharmacy refills, and childcare while I've laid helpless on the sofa. Chou is amazing!
Friends & Family
Because of my friends and family, E left the house at least twice a week during the two months I didn't. They picked her up, dropped her off, and loved her in between. They bought us a Christmas tree, decorated our house, and checked in on me regularly. They listened to me talk nonstop, like they were the first person I saw in a month... because they were. They fed Chou when he wasn't allowed to eat at home. My mom made dinner and cake for Chou and E's birthdays and all I had to do was show up. E still talks about her cake a month later. We truly would not have survived without our friends and family this time around.
While most medicines I've been on only last a few days or a few weeks, they do offer relief. When they fail, I'm able to get fluids and drugs via IV in the hospital. I hate to think where I'd be without modern medicine!
Weekends have been a time for Chou to take care of me and give me some extra rest. They help us start Monday with a little more strength and nutrition, and give us the best possible start for the new week.
We don't know what we have til it's gone. Having hg has made me so thankful for my health. It sucks, it's miserable, but it has an expiration date. Not everyone who is sick has the comfort of knowing when it will end like I do.