Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Mommy Brain

Since having Aubrey (well, since getting pregnant), my brain has gotten fuzzier and fuzzier. I have become very forgetful. Anyone who knows me well is probably thinking, "But how can YOU be forgetful? You write EVERYTHING down!" I used to be the queen of lists, but when I had Aubrey, I foolishly stopped making lists because making lists became another thing I had to do. Get what I mean? Well, I did not realize how much I needed those lists! Without writing things down the SECOND I think of them, it's very unlikely that I will remember to do that task. My lists are making a slow comeback. I'm not as anal with them as I used to be, but I am writing down more things to help keep me on track. So, I’m pretty sure I can get this problem under control.

However, it's not just the tasks and errands that I need help remembering. My biggest brain flop is when I am checking out at a store. Let’s take Target for example. I never remember my bags. NEVER.

This is how the scene plays out every time:

"Hi, how are you?" the checkout girl says half-heartedly.
"I'm good, thanks,” I say as I am fumbling through my oversized diaper bag for my wallet.
"Would you like to save 10% by opening a Target credit card today?"
"No, that's alright, I don't need any more credit cards."
Aubrey squeals from her stroller.
The 16 year old checkout girl acts like she's interested in the baby and says something like, "Aw, hi little baby," with a forced smile.
I swipe my debit card.
"Do you want cash back?"
She hands me my receipt, "Have a good day.”
"You too."
And then Aubrey and I stroll off. As I approach the doors to leave, I stop in my tracks. CRAP! I forgot my bags, AGAIN!
Now I go back over to the checkout girl, she pulls my bags out from under the counter, and I say, "I do this EVERY time and EVERY time I say that I won't do it again and I'll learn my lesson, and I never do!"
People either stare at me funny or laugh, depending on the crowd that day, and Aubrey and I go to the car with our bags.

I'm not kidding you. This happens every time that I go to a store now. The only exception is if Justin is with me or if I have a cart. If I'm using a cart instead of the stroller, then I don't forget the bags because they're thrown in there. But if I'm using the stroller, forget about it! I even think to myself while I'm in line, "Don't forget the bags, don't forget the bags..." But it doesn't work. I get too distracted by the stimulating conversation I have with the check out girl.

Oh well. I guess it's better that I forget the bags and not the baby...

Monday, June 28, 2010

Target...Part 2

I've written about this before, and I'm writing about it again. Target will be the death of me. Well, the death of my bank account. I forgot just exactly how dangerous the combination of me being home and Target was.

Take today for instance. I needed to buy paper towels and two pairs of work out shorts for when Justin and I start our morning walking routine tomorrow. Yes, I do already have shorts, but they are hoochie mama work out shorts that don't look appropriate outside of the house (or even in the house for that matter...) So, Aubrey and I packed ourselves up and rode over to Target. Everything was going according to plan. Well, the mocha frappuccino was an impulse buy, but perusing Target just isn't the same without a refreshing drink of caffeine in hand.

So I purchased my frappuccino and went over to the work out gear and found the shorts...only 7.99 each! At this point, I had what I needed and I could have left. But, we were only at Target for about ten minutes, and I was not ready to go home just yet.

This is when I knew things could take a dangerous turn. First, it was a stop to the kitchen department. I spotted a tiny, baby colander. "Oh!" I thought to myself, "This would have been great last night when I was draining pineapple and onions!" I had it in my hand to buy, and then thought better of it. No, I will wait until I actually need it again and again and again before I buy it. While in the kitchen section, I also almost bought other items such as new knives and an As Seen on TV chopper. I used all of my restraint and I left the kitchen aisle safely.

This type of scene reenacted itself over and over again in other sections of the store--the home goods section, the handbag section, the grocery section, and the home office section (no, I don't even have a home office). However, when I got to the baby toy section, things took a turn for the worse. I love showing Aubrey all of the cool toys and gadgets and her smiley, happy reactions are priceless. She usually laughs at the toy and when I put it back, she forgets all about it. Well today, I showed her a baby laptop. Being a 21st century baby, she HAD TO HAVE IT. When I took it away, she screamed and reached for it like her bottle at 6 in the morning. I put the laptop on her lap and she happily played with it for the rest of our trip. In addition to the laptop, I also picked up a bucket of blocks for her--which she ended up more interested in at home than the laptop.

As I was leaving Target with a 50 dollar bill (for like the 3rd time in the last week), I was thinking that more serious measures need to be taken to keep me away from there. Like, I need to be caught stealing a tv or causing a huge raucous so that they have big posters of my face hanging around the store saying, "KEEP THIS GIRL OUT!"

I can’t believe that I spent over thirty dollars in MORE toys for Aubrey. Just last night I put myself on a tight budget since after all, I don't have a job anymore. Apparently, I’m not as good at sticking to my budgets as I used to be. Well, starting tomorrow I really am going to stick to my budget. Time to start brainstorming things to do that don't involve pricey temptations at every turn. Looks like we'll be spending a lot of time on the living room floor! Who am I kidding, we'll be back at Target by Wednesday.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Beyond Squirmy!

Ok, it can't just be me. Is anyone else's baby becoming incredibly SQUIRMY?! As in I may have to stop changing her on the changing table?

During the last few weeks, it has been nearly impossible for one person to change Aubrey's diaper on the changing table. She is waaay too interested in what's behind her, above her, and next to her to stay still. She flips over in about two seconds, and when I finally get her on her back again to take off or put on a diaper, she does a quick flip flop back to her belly. This is especially dangerous when she has the "stinky" diapers. What a mess! I would be lying if I said she has never kicked her feet in her own poop. Geez la weez.

I guess I always thought she would lie nice and content when I changed her diaper. This is certainly not the case. I have tried to distract her with toys or funny faces...she's too smart for that. She gives me a look like, "Nice try!" and flips herself over. Is it really possible that a 6 month old can give a sly grin and "Gotcha!" eyes this early on? Yes, it is possible.

And it's not just on the changing table. When I hold her, she literally climbs up me and kicks me in the face. When I put her in her car seat, I have to practically pin her down to get her straps on because she is too busy trying to climb out. It's no wonder her absolute happiest place to be is in her jumperoo...she's free to jump around like a wild woman all she wants!

Anytime someone outside of me or Justin hangs with Aubrey, they all say the same thing, "Good luck...she's gonna keep you on your toes!" The doctor even said this moments after she was born, because unlike most newborns, she was WIDE AWAKE and extremely nosy. I even think I caught her giving one of the nurse's a dirty look. She deserved it though, she wasn't the nicest of nurses...

On the bright side, she is definitely a "happy" active...always laughing and very curious. I'm hoping she will stay this way and live her life with the same enthusiasm and curiosity she has at 6 months-it will certainly keep us young!

Thankful Thursday

1. Spending a gorgeous Friday night at the Phillies game (that they finally won!) with Justin.
2. My husband beaming on his first Father's Day (see below!).
3. No more work! Stress level has immediately declined by 100%!
4. Extremely kind words from my coworkers that touched my heart and brought tears to my eyes. Sometimes people don't realize how much their kindness can affect a person :)
5. The opportunity to teach a great bunch of kids for two years. They really helped me to grow as a person over the last two years and I'll never forget them.

Justin's First Father's Day

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


My summer vacation begins in 24 hours and I can't wait! Here are the Top 10 things I can't wait to do this summer...

1. If I need a nap, I can take one!
2. Taking morning walks with Aubrey.
3. Cooking creative dinners.
4. Small outings with Aubrey to all of those cool places I see listed in my community newspaper.
5. Being able to space out all of my chores/errands during the week so I don't get hammered with things to do on the weekend...SO happy about this!
6. Finally repainting the bathroom. This project started with good intentions when I was still pregnant. It is currently partially white, and mostly bright, hideous yellow. Very much looking forward to a new, more "calm" color scheme in there!
7. Wearing tank tops, jean shorts, flip flops every day.
8. Taking our first family vaca down the shore :)
9. My husband's over night birthday celebration in Wildwood and AC...flashback to pre-baby days!
10. Staying up late (if I can make it) and knowing that I don't need to wake up early and move at 100mph the next day at work.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

I'll Never Be Alone In My Mind Again

"I'll never be alone in my mind again." This is what I said to my husband last night when we were at a Phillies game together. The Phillies had just hit a homerun and my husband and I jumped up and slapped each other five. He looked at me smiling as he said, "This is just like old times; it's just like last year before we had the baby." "Well, not quite," I replied, "Last year I could sit back and enjoy the game with no worries...I just can't stop thinking about how Aubrey is doing!"

My husband has no problem leaving Aubrey with a babysitter. He fully trusts that she will be fine and all will be well. And he is right, it will be fine. But for some reason, I always have her little face in my mind, wondering if she's okay. While I knew that our baby was safe at my Dad's house, I kept thinking of all the things that may happen. I even called my younger 20something brother (who has no kids) to go and hang out with them. I should mention that my brother has been dubbed as "The Baby Whisperer". He is a natural with babies and kids of all ages. Probably because he is still a big kid himself! When Aubrey was born, he used to tell ME tips on how to take care of a newborn. So, I had my brother go over there and check on help my Dad. Sure enough, my bro texted me saying how Aubrey wouldn't go to sleep because she was too busy laughing and being happy.

On the car ride home, I was telling Justin how this is just the beginning. I will probably worry when she first goes off to school, when she attends her first sleepover, when she takes a trip with her friends in high school, and Lord knows I won't sleep a wink when she goes off to college. Would it be wrong to encourage community college as an option...

A big part of becoming a parent is that you are never again alone in your thoughts. Every single thing you do revolves around the thought, "Is this good for my baby/or family?" It will never again be about what's best for you. And honestly, when you have children, it really should be about their needs and priorities over your own. I am not an advocate for throwing away who you are when you have a baby, but you just can't stop the natural instinct to put aside your own wants for your child's needs. Being a mom is 24/7...physically, emotionally, and mentally. This must be why it is so draining and seems to age women twice as quickly as their childless counterparts!

The Center of My World!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

One Week Left of Work!

Finally, my last day of work is so close I can smell it. Literally. It's getting really smelly in my classroom. 12 year olds and hot, humid weather do not mix!

Everyone told me the two months at work would fly by, but when I think about it, they really didn't go any faster than any other two months of my life. Time is so funny like that. We think to ourselves, "Wow! The last two months flew by!" But in the day to day life, each day and week seems to drag. Time is such a contradiction of itself. The day to day always moves so slowly, but in the big picture, it seems to speed right past us.

So I have one week left of work, and I couldn't be happier. At this point in my life, I know that being at home with Aubrey is where I want and need to be. I am so excited to pick up where we left off when I finished my maternity leave--trips to the mall, taking walks, having plenty of "play time", no rushing around, and a LOT less stress! Now that she's getting older (relatively speaking), I am excited to do more things with her like visiting farms, zoos, baby gyms, the beach, discovery museums, the library and more. For the first time in my life, I am actually reading the town newspaper and looking in the "Community Events" section. Who knew there were so many free events going on daily!

Like I've said before, I'm glad I had to go back to work for two months, because now I know what the other side is like. If I hadn't gone back to work, I never would have really known if being a working mom would have worked for me. At this point in my life, it doesn't work for me. I'm not saying I will never go back to work-financially it may just not be possible for me to always stay home. But I do know that with the time I am home with Aubrey, I will be brainstorming ideas on how I can make money but still be the kind of mom I want to be.

Hopefully this last week of work will fly by, but I know the day to day will draaaag! Time, it's a funny thing.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Teething...Painful for All Involved!

The date was Saturday, June 5th. This was the glorious day that Aubrey started teething. Justin and I were out on a date, and when we came home, my dad told us about his evening with the baby. He and his girlfriend informed us about how Aubrey cried for almost the whole time and couldn't stop drooling and "chewing" on everything. This was not typical for Aubrey, she rarely ever cries unless she is tired. Sure enough, when you touched her gums, you could feel two sharp points. We THOUGHT that within a couple of days, the teeth would cut through and all would be fine. I figured we'd just have to tough it out the next two or three days. Not the case!

Apparently, Aubrey is one of the babies who does not have a pain free teething experience. And she is also one of the babies that takes a loooong time for the tooth to come through the gum. She had almost every symptom of teething besides a fever--irritable, fussy, waking up screaming in the middle of the night (Justin and I also exhibited this sympton), very runny nose, and a lot of pain. I had read online that using Ibuprofen or Orajel was controversial. Well, guess what? When I eventually caved in and used the medicine, my baby was happy again. No more controversy for me!

It has been NINE DAYS since the teeth started to come, and they still haven't completely bust through yet. However, yesterday my old baby was back-she was happy, smiling, and NOT FUSSY AND CRYING! Last night she only woke up twice and soothed herself back to sleep. This morning she woke up happy as can be, so I can only hope that the worst of the evil teething phase is over...for now. I heard it does come back again for a second round in a few months. God be with us!

Friday, June 11, 2010

The 24/7 Baby Doctor

I recently was asked to read and review the book The 24/7 Baby Doctor: A Harvard Pediatrician Answers All Your Questions from Birth to One Year.

The book is written by Victoria Rogers McEvoy, MD.

After reading through the book, I can conclude that this book is a WONDERFUL resource for all parents! It's set up in question/answer format-much like the easy to access information on the internet. However, the difference is that the information you get in this book is accurate. No more weeding through responses you get on a Google search. Specific questions range from "Must I wash my baby's clothes separately?" to "What should I do if my baby spits up medicine?" Furthermore, the answers to your questions in this book are not long, winded responses. They are quick, practical, "get right to the point" solutions. It really is like having a pediatrician on call 24/7!

Here is some more info about the book:

THE 24/7 BABY DOCTOR mines …

•The facts (and fictions) about immunizations
•Understanding and navigating illness: is the baby sick? When to call the doctor
•How new parents can work together as a team
•How to make sense of growth and development: what is normal?
•Injuries and accidents: when to call a medic
•Coming to terms with work and career choices
... and a lot more.

If you're looking for a great comprehensive guide for the first year of parenting, this book is a must-have!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Date Night

I spent a majority of my prep period last Friday (I'm a teacher) venting with another mom in the office. We talked about the normal stuff new moms talk about--how much a baby changes everything. We specifically talked about how quality time with your spouse goes from 24/7 to about 1/7. Feeling inspired by our chat in the office, I called my dad on the way home from work to see if he would watch the baby for us last Saturday night. Of course, he was thrilled and said yes.

Our plans were just a casual dinner and a movie, but I was so excited to go out with Justin, just the two of us. The one of advantage of not getting to go out with your husband alone anymore is that when you do go out, it feels like you're dating again. As soon as my husband convinced me that my dad wouldn't accidentally drop the baby or forget to feed her, I was able to relax and feel like it was 'ol times again.

Although, the baby wasn't COMPLETELY out of my mind. During dinner, we had to remind each other that we didn't have to stuff our food down our throats as if we were in the Nathan's hot dog eating contest--there was no crying baby preventing us from taking our time (I have become a VERY fast eater since Aubrey joined our crew!). I was completely stuffed after dinner, but I forced down dessert just because I COULD! I was on no time restriction, and I was damn well gonna enjoy it. When we stopped at WaWa to buy our candy for the movie (I'm on a budget folks, no $4.00 box of Skittles for me!), I started telling Justin what I wanted before he got out of the car. He looked at me like I was nuts and said, " can come in too-there's no baby in the car."

We did a good job of not talking about the baby all night. We had fun laughing inappropriately in the movie and keeping things light. It felt like it was 2009 again! Haha :) Justin and I realized how important it was to get that time together to just be a COUPLE...not parents. The feel good feeling we had that night has lasted throughout the week. We've already scheduled our next date night for next weekend, and I can't wait.

I know it won't always be possible to find an available (and willing) sitter, but I hope our dates night can stay routine. I didn't quite believe people when they would tell me what a difference going out on a "date" with your husband would make, but now I realize why it's so important. Those nights remind you of why you fell in love with each other so that in those moments when you both get so stressed that you want to kill each other, you can more easily remember WHY you're a couple in the first place!

If you haven't had a date night with your husband in awhile, try to make one happen soon. You may be surprised at just how much HASN'T changed :)

Monday, June 7, 2010

Please excuse the chipped nails, I have a 6 month old.

I have done a pretty good job of keeping up with my normal beauty routine since the baby was born. I still dry my hair every day, put on my makeup, pluck my eyebrows, iron my clothes, and apply all of my lotions and potions. However, there is one part of my beauty routine that has taken a nose dive. Painting my nails.

Painting your nails with an infant at home is near impossible. I don't need to explain why I can't paint them while she is awake. I think we all know that is just a physically impossible task to accomplish. But even when she is napping, it is quite difficult. Painting your nails is a fairly quick process, but it takes a good 45 minutes for them to fully dry so you don't get any goopy smudges on them (or on a baby). Even the "Quick Dry" polishes need at least a half hour to dry. I don't care if it says "60 seconds" on the bottle, that is a lie and false advertising. If I believed that it took only 60 seconds for my polish to dry, I'd have evidence of hot pink polish on almost everything in my house.

Anyway, I can't paint my nails while she's napping because of two reasons:

1. I have 80 other things that I need to squeeze into that hour and a half napping break.
2. I can't take the risk that she will wake up mid-painting session and end up with a nail polish covered baby.

I usually find time on the weekend or a Friday night to paint my nails when my husband is home. But by Tuesday, they start to look shabby. And by Thursday, I look a 14 year old who has picked off half the nail polish on her nails during math class. So if you run into me mid-week, please excuse the chipped nails, I have a 6 month old.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

20 Bags and A Baby

My husband called me on the way home from work Friday night and asked what I would like to eat for dinner from Boston Market. I was very happy about this because 1.) I LOVE Boston Market and 2.) I HATE cooking and cleaning up dinner on a Friday night. I told him I would like chicken, mac & cheese, spinach, and a fountain Coke. When he walked in the door carrying our bag of food, I noticed the fountain Coke I requested was missing.

I asked him why my fountain soda didn't make the cut, and he replied, "That's too much to carry." TOO MUCH TO CARRY? TOO MUCH TO CARRY?! All he had in his hand was one dinky little Boston Market bag! I told him that is not an acceptable excuse. On any given work day, I am carrying way more than the equivalent of a Boston Market bag and a fountain soda. As I make the walk from my car to the house every day, one arm is carrying a baby and usually a Target bag. The other arm has my work bag, my purse, my lunch bag, the baby's diaper bag, and my car keys. If I made a stop for a soda on the way home, one of the arms is somehow holding down a 32 ounce cup. And this is all done in high heels. So while I was way appreciative of having Boston Market for dinner and not having to go through the hassle of cooking and cleaning on a Friday night, I told my husband that next time, he better not wave the "It's too much to carry" card in my face.

I (as well as many moms out there) am the queen of "I'm carrying so much right now, I hope if something drops it's the soda and not the baby...” My arms are more sculpted now than they've ever been. Which I guess makes sense, considering my old weights were 5 pounders and my new, squirmier "weight" is probably 20+ pounds now. I don't think I'll have to do another bicep curl for the duration of Aubrey's infancy/toddler years.

The art of carrying multiple bags and a baby is yet another skill I have acquired as a new mom. I used to think having to carry my lunch bag, work bag, and purse each day was such a pain. But now? Now I literally have a physical pain in my right bicep every day from all my holding and carrying!

On the bright side, my arms are totally ready for summer tank tops and dresses!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Thankful Thursday Resumes!

Okay, I may be busy, but I can certainly take a few minutes to express some gratitude.

5 Awesome Things I am Thankful For...

1. Our first family trip to the boardwalk. Boardwalk pizza, fudge, soft serve ice cream, a sunny day, my baby and my husband--it couldn't get any better!
2. Air Conditioning! Otherwise, my hair would look way scary on these hot and humid days.
3. Another delicious diner breakfast. I don't think many meals taste better than a cheese omelet, crispy bacon, hash browns, and toast on a Sunday morning :)
4. My husband running out to get me a desperately needed Coke after he got home from work. Aww.
5. My new iced tea maker. Spending over 2 dollars a day on a Dunkin Donuts iced tea was getting a bit frivolous. Hopefully I can save a few bucks now!
6. And a little extra gratitude...Aubrey did sooo well at all of our festivities over the long weekend. Made my life SO much easier!

Our family at the boardwalk

Me and my Aubrey

Aubrey and her Daddy

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Where I've Been (It's not that interesting)

Just a note to say I'm still here, just taking a little breather! Working full-time and being a full-time mom has proved to be very time consuming and exhausting, so something had to go. I already nixed the exercise 7 weeks ago, so blogging was next on the list! After school winds down at the end of June, I hope to go back to blogging a few days a week. For the next few weeks I probably won't be writing much, but who knows, I may throw in a blog here and there if I have some "spare" time :)