Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving

I'm thankful for a lot of things this year. I try to be thankful for these things every day and not just on the designated holiday but it's nice to have a day with a built-in reminder and extra space to be thankful for all the amazing things in my life.

I'm thankful for my thoughtful, loving husband who loves me even though I act crazy sometimes.
I'm thankful for my beautiful, cheerful baby girl who reminds me to find joy in the smallest things every day.
I'm thankful for my big, loud, happy family that is always there no matter the ups or downs or distance.
I'm thankful that I have an caring, supportive, accepting extended family.
I'm thankful my cat is still living (with my parents) in his old age and hasn't lost his voice.
I'm thankful my dog still loves us even though we had a baby.
I'm thankful for my friends (near and far) who inspire me daily and still love me even if it takes me a really (really) long time to return emails and/or phone calls.
I'm thankful I get to go on dates with my husband.
I'm thankful my daughter got to meet her great, great grandmother.
I'm thankful everyone I love is in relatively good health.
I'm thankful I get to stay at home with my daughter.
I'm thankful my husband never forgets my birthday or our anniversary.
I'm thankful I got to see my daughter take her first step forward (and her first step backward...she's been walking backward in circles lately and is very proud of herself).
I'm thankful we have a place to call home.
I'm thankful I have an oven for baking bread so the house smells cozy and warm.
I'm thankful we have a yard with a tree for a swing.
I'm thankful I know lots of people who love lemons.
I'm thankful we have a dog that loves to run.
I'm thankful I can run. and jump. and play.
I'm thankful it's sunny outside and I got to wear flip-flops today (in November!)
I'm thankful I believe in a higher power and for the lessons I learn every day.
I'm thankful for every chance I get to make myself a better person, a better partner, a better mother, a better sister, a better daughter, a better friend.

That's my list for now. I'll keep adding to it until next year.

What are you thankful for today (and every day)?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

I am Boob (or a human teething toy)

Yes, we call them boobs at our house. Or boobies. Either is perfectly acceptable. When my daughter wants to nurse I ask, "do you want some boob?" If she's crying my husband will tell her, "go have some boob. Do you need some boobie?" L. is learning the sign for milk and I'm pretty sure she thinks it means boobie. They are one and the same--completely interchangeable.

Over the last twenty-four hours, L. has nursed constantly and I feel like one giant boob. One giant, exhausted, dehydrated boob. Me, myself, and my boobs are all one--completely interchangeable. I'm not L.'s mom, I'm her favorite boob.

L. is fussy and slightly feverish and the only cure is boob. She's in pain and the only comfort is boob. She can't sleep and the only solution is boob. When it comes down to it, I'm glad I have boobs. I'm trying to relish the time and the closeness, the sweet cuddling, her sweet baby smell.

On the other hand I have a headache and I wish my husband was a big boob too. That way I could get some sleep (not that he's sleeping much either with L. and I thrashing around to make sure each boob get equal use).

As a giant boob, I've realized that teething is serious business. L. got her two bottom front teeth during the last week of June. She was fussy for a day and then the teeth were through and she was back to normal. She wears an amber teething necklace and we've never really done much more for teething. She has a few things she likes to chew on but it hasn't really been a big deal. I figured this whole teething business would be a piece of cake.

I was so wrong. About a month ago, I lost her amber teething necklace and we spent one week on the border between insanity and hell. L. was fussy, clinging, and whining...not at all herself and not much fun. I felt horrible because I could not make her happy. We bought a new necklace and she improved quickly. I felt like a good mom. I made her feel better. Yay me!

Last week she started acting fussy. I could not figure out what was wrong. She was well rested, she had a clean diaper, she wasn't hungry, she had toys to play with, we went outside, and did all her favorite things. Nothing worked.

It took me a really long time to figure out that four of her top teeth are coming in all at once (it was actually embarrassing how long it took me).

We've been cycling through solutions: tylenol, homeopathic teething pills, frozen chew things, cold wash rags, ice water. You name it, we've probably tried it (note: feel free to post suggestions). Things eased up for a few days but now we're back at it. Her two incisors appear to be through the gums and her two front teeth are almost there.

Last night and this morning she's just been crying. She'll be perfectly fine, playing and smiling, and then she'll start screaming for no apparent reason. Sometimes I can do something that helps, sometimes I can't, and sometimes she just screams.

I feel like a good mom, I feel like a bad mom, I feel like a giant boob. I'm convinced they are empty. Can there really be anything left in there after the last twenty-four hours?

I've realized it doesn't really matter. At this point in the teething game I think I (really my boobs) are more of a comfort than a food source.

Thank goodness we learned early on how to nurse lying down in bed. Now I just need to learn how to drink water lying down in bed. That way even when I feel like a boob, I won't be a dehydrated, exhausted boob.

If I'm going to be a giant boob, I'd prefer to be a well hydrated, perky boob.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Catching up (or not)

The last week and a half has been super, super busy. I found myself composing blog posts in my head but never finding the time to sit down in front of the computer and write. I found myself thinking, "I'll have to go back and write about this, and that, and the other."

But I'm not going to. If it comes up again I'll write about it. If it doesn't, that's okay too. I write because I like to write. I don't need anything else added to my list-of-things-I-haven't-managed-to-get-to-yet. The world won't collapse if I fail to write down every thought that enters my brain.

With that, I'll move on.

I showered almost every day last week. I'm feeling very proud of myself (and slightly worried that people will think I'm a bit odd because showering is such a big accomplishment for me). Today, I would like to shave my legs.

So far no luck. L. is teething and slightly feverish. Teething and slightly feverish means she wants mom--all the time. I don't mind so much. I've decided to relax and have a lazy day. The cleaning can wait until L. is feeling better. She's lying in bed next to me, napping as I write this, and she's just the most beautiful thing in the world.

It's hard to believe that a year ago today I was very, very pregnant and L. was still in her little watery bubble. I feel like I've known her forever. My memory of life before she arrived is a little fuzzy. It's almost like I can't remember life without her or that nothing really mattered until she entered my life. The miracle of life, and birth, and motherhood will never cease to amaze me.

Just last night, J. and I were watching her sleep (yes, we're creepy people who enjoy watching our baby sleep. It's the only time she slows down enough to get a good look at her.) and still, almost a year later, we can hardly believe that she's grown from a spec the size of a poppy seed into an amazing little human being.

P.S. It's several hours later and I actually shaved my legs today. I took a bath after dinner thanks to my fabulous husband. Success!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Self Care Starts Now

I mentioned in one of my first posts that I was going to try to do something nice for myself every day. So far I haven't done a very good job. The first day I took a shower. The second day I ran 5 minutes on the treadmill. The third day...I have no idea.

Last Friday I baked and cleaned the house. Neither of these things seem like self care but they were. Baking makes me feel like a good mom and having a clean (if only superficially clean--still need to clean the kitchen floor and dust) house makes me feel less anxious. However, the problem with using cleaning as self care is that the good feeling goes away when it gets messy again (and it will get messy again).

I'm going to start fresh. I'm feeling down today and don't want to add anything else to my "should have been done yesterday" list. My self care starts now. No looking back.

For future reference, here is a list of things I can do for myself:

Drink a cup of tea
Eat a real lunch (a handful of trail mix and/or a cookie do not count)
Take a shower (or bath)
Run (outside or on treadmill--5 minutes or 30--doesn't matter)
Read a book for fun
Brush my hair (yes, I tend to put it in a ponytail with brushing first. It's faster)

I can't really think of anything more than that right now. That's a good start for now. Today is going to get better. I'm going to make myself a cup of tea and listen to Harry Potter on CD while L. naps.

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