Posts Tagged ‘decisions’

Deep Rambling Thoughts

Monday, April 9th, 2012

I know I promised birthday pictures but for the first time ever I managed to actually enjoy a party without a camera glued to my face, so I have to wait until my super awesome BFF sends me the ones she took. I mean, I paid her absolutely nothing and ignored her the whole day and made her help prep all the food and didn’t let her drive home with her toddler until the middle of the night but GEEZE, how come she hasn’t uploaded the 1,000 pictures she took in the 12 hours she’s been home? Obviously I need a new best friend. Or maybe she needs a new best friend.

So until I can get all the dinosaurific details together, I thought I’d put up a quick post. Something light. Something fluffy. Like how I’ve been thinking a lot about how much I enjoy having 2 toddlers and no babies and maybe babies are kind of a lot of work and wouldn’t it be nice if I didn’t have to go through the tiny helpless infant stage anymore so maybe I don’t want any more babies?

Even saying that to myself seems kind of insane – I’ve ALWAYS wanted more than 2 kids. When I was little I imagined having a huge family. E and I have always planned to have at least 3, maybe 4, maybe more if we talking about it after a few glasses of wine. We already have names picked out – not a list, mind you, but actual names that are set for future kids.

But having 2 toddlers is fantastic. I am in love with these two kids at these two ages, both as individuals and as siblings. They love each other a heart-breaking amount. And they play together! Independent of me! I can get stuff done even when they are both awake! They eat food and sleep through the night (mostly) and can communicate their needs and help me with toddler-appropriate chores and sit still when I read them books. I like all those things. They’re getting to an age where we could go on a vacation as a family and it would actually feel like a vacation instead of a series of disasters interspersed with forced fun. And as clich√© as it sounds, having a boy and a girl somehow feels kind of…complete. It’s a matched set! (So so so kidding.)

Luckily, I’m allowed to feel like this for a little while before I have to decide if I REALLY feel like this or if I’m just drunk with sleep and freedom. When I think about what not having any more kids means – never being pregnant again, never nursing again, never having all those baby firsts again – I’m definitely not ready to be done. But maybe I’m done for now. The problem is defining “for now” – 6 months? 12 months? Until Caroline goes to preschool? Until Little Evan is old enough to babysit? That’s a big range of “for now”. Which is OK! I have time to think Deep Thoughts about babies and toddlers and family size and what my life would be like with 2 kids or 3 kids or 10 kids. It’s just been on my mind a lot lately because I’m coming up on one of those big life events where you waste a bunch of energy thinking about all the stuff you haven’t done yet in life and realize you never will be a ballerina or a professional furniture restorer or a chef or a supermodel or a writer for SNL or best friends with Britney Spears and maybe that’s making me a little sad.

Yep, tomorrow I turn 30.

School Daze

Wednesday, February 15th, 2012

First off, thank you all for being so kind on Monday (and in real life since then). I got not one single comment that was anything less than totally supportive and awesome – not even anonymously or in my spam filter. I was LOOKING for someone to tell me to go screw myself for being a lousy mom and a lousy human being – because that’s how I’ve been feeling about myself for months – but now I guess I’ll have to stop beating myself up and just enjoy feeling like a person again.

Ok, phew, back to our regularly scheduled posting.

On Tuesday I took the kids to visit the preschool a friend recommended. I’m SO OVER calling around and trying to find info about every single program we might even consider considering. I HATE making phone calls, especially because¬† for some reason these schools are harder to track down than Osama Bin Laden (is that still a joke? What else is hard to track down? Big Foot?) They aren’t listed anywhere, they don’t have direct phone numbers, NONE of them have websites, which is ridiculous. IT IS 2012. GET ONLINE. Anyways, I called for info on this particular school a few weeks ago and read through their packet and it seemed nice so we went in to look around.

I liked it. Evan seemed to like it. They have a toddler program Caroline can attend when she’s 2-ish. There weren’t any children chained up in the corners and I didn’t see anyone pushing meth behind the play equipment so I guess it’s…good? What are the standards for preschool? Am I supposed to judge whether their circle time is appropriately circular? Should I be worried that some of the butterfly craft projects were done in non-complementary colors? They had lots of blocks and puzzles and dinosaurs and OK fine, so it’s going to feel a bit like I’m just paying to let him play three days a week but is that really so bad? I like the idea of someone else arguing with encouraging him to pick up after himself and doing the same puzzle over and over and helping him wash his hands every time he thinks they have gotten even the tiniest bit sticky. I think that would be good for both of us.

Based on my completely non-scientific survey on Twitter the cost seems reasonable (although my husband is still having a minor heart attack) and within our price range. I suppose if it was REALLY REALLY important we could figure out a way to pay for a fancier school. And if I started buying our fruits and vegetables off the bruised cart and switched to generic toothpaste and don’t buy ANY new clothes for the next 5 years we might even be able to afford the fancy Montessori school for a semester or two. But do I really want to apply for tuition assistance for a 3-year-old? Am I somehow failing my kids if I don’t send them to the very best thing available? And who even knows if that WOULD be the very best thing? Maybe Evan would hate it. Maybe he’s going to hate any preschool. I’m pretty sure I got kicked out of at least one myself – also known as the Great Block Throwing Scandal of ’86 – so I wouldn’t be too shocked.

This decision really shouldn’t be this hard. I keep telling myself I should just be glad we don’t live somewhere that super competitive waiting list $10,000 a year preschools are our only option. I think it’s helping, a little at least.

 

3 Months To Go

Monday, January 9th, 2012

I AM GOING TO TALK ABOUT MY BOOBS A LOT NOW SO IF YOU ARE MY MALE SECOND COUSIN BY MARRIAGE MAYBE YOU SHOULD SKIP THIS POST TODAY. THANKS.

Yes, that actually was entirely necessary. Jimmy.

Breastfeeding Caroline has been cake. I learned so much the first time around that even when things were challenging I knew how to ask for what I needed (nipple cream) and how to do what worked for me (crying in the shower while hand expressing milk) and it took days rather than months for us to find our groove. I am so thrilled we made it a full year of exclusive breastfeeding, especially because I struggled so much after BlogHer I thought we might not. For me, breastfeeding is both a wonderful bonding experience and a wonderful chance to sit down several times a day. I am never going to look back on my baby’s babyhood and think “Damn, breastfeeding was such a mistake”.

That being said, I have decided to start weaning Caroline. Yes I know she is only a little more than a year old. Yes I know what the WHO recommends. Yes I know I don’t HAVE to. Yes I know there is no medical reason to wean. And I don’t need anyone to talk me out of trying – although I welcome your opinion – because my reasons are totally selfish and for once I am ALLOWING myself to be selfish. I am a selfish, selfish mama who wants her body to herself for a little while after three and a half years of pregnancy, breastfeeding or BOTH AT THE SAME TIME.

In March, I am going on an honest-to-goodness vacation with my husband to several tropical beaches by way of Princess Cruises. It is a Big Deal for us, our first vacation since having kids, and the only vacation longer than a weekend we’ve taken since our honeymoon. My folks are going to watch the kids and the dog and the house for us (cue panicked cleaning of closets and kitchen drawers because OMG my parents will be in my house without my supervision) and since they’re doing us such a huge favor I’d prefer to leave them with a baby who ISN’T expecting anyone to whip out a boob to help her get to sleep. Also, right now my body is still making enough milk for a baby who nurses 4 times a day (plus 2 or 3 times a night) and that would mean bringing a pump on vacation to keep my chest from exploding. Let me tell you, there is nothing sexier than whipping out my double electric Medela for a good milking before bed. Even just cutting back on the nursing would be better than nothing, although I’m hoping for a mostly weaned baby.

The problem is I have no idea how to go about it.

Weaning Evan was something I thought about constantly for months but when it happened it was sort of anticlimactic. He went from nursing all the time to giving it up completely in just a few weeks, but that was because of a pregnancy-related drop in my supply. I do NOT want to be pregnant on our vacation – it would put quite the damper on my goal of drinking my weight in pina coladas. But is there a natural way to decrease my supply? I suppose I could just do the OPPOSITE of all the things the experts suggest when you’re trying to increase your supply, but not drinking water, not sleeping, not eating extra calories and not taking care of myself seems like a poor choice. I have read sage can decrease milk supply and I happen to have a bunch of it lying around from our summer CSA but that sounds like an old wives tale. I know nursing moms are told not to take antihistamines because they can decrease supply, but do I really want to take a bunch of drugs while I’m still breastfeeding? (Short answer: no)

And then, despite what I said above about letting myself be selfish there’s the guilt I’m going to traumatize my baby if I stop. Caroline has always been a really independent little girl and she rarely nurses for comfort. She is affectionate and cuddly even when we’re not nursing so I’m not worried about losing all our mommy-daughter time. But she still has a midnight feeding (and sometimes a 2 am and a 4 am and a 5 am feeding) and those are HARD to drop. She still cries and tugs on my shirt if we go too long without nursing. Despite the fact that yesterday she had two mini waffles, a donut, an apple, blueberries, a Babybel cheese and half a yogurt for breakfast she still wanted to nurse for a minute before we left the house. Does she NEED it or does she just like the familiar? How can I possibly know? I’ve got 3 months to figure it out.

Truthfully, the period of time in a baby’s life where they are either breast or bottle fed is SO SMALL in the scheme of parenting (unless you are amongst the very most extreme extended breast feeders) that cutting her off a few months short of where she would have weaned naturally isn’t going to keep her from getting into Harvard some day. (I am going to repeat that to myself over and over and over for the next 3 months.) And when I come home from vacation if she wants to start nursing again I would be totally OK with that. I LIKE breastfeeding, as a thing. In general. When it’s not making me sick to my stomach with anxiety about leaving. Again. So right now I need all the weaning advice and anecdotes I can get.

Socialization: We haz it

Thursday, January 21st, 2010

I think the reason babies are born helpless and wordless and unable to sass back is to give new parents a chance to practice their patience before they’re required to actually PARENT. When you come home with an infant you quickly learn important baby-care skills such as how to get dressed while holding a baby in one arm, reading lips on tv because the baby is sleeping and you don’t want to risk turning up the volume, and taking 30 second showers. But Baby Bootcamp lasts only a few months and doesn’t include what to do when your child steals a toy from someone else’s child and then smacks them in the head with it. And then laughs. That requires discipline, something I am definitely still learning.

Yesterday at play group Baby Evan had a pushing incident with one of his friends. Shockingly, he was the victim instead of the aggressor but it’s only a matter of time before Babyzilla attacks become an international concern.

(Recreation of said incident:)

I’m very lucky that watching the moms I know with their kids is like taking a master class in patient parenting. They say stuff like “let’s make a good decision” and “what do you think will be the consequences of your actions?” and “put your eyes on my eyes while I’m talking to you”. I was secretly laughing at that kind of talk – does a 2 year old really understand consequences? – until the 2 year old understood the consequences. And another kid shared all her toys nicely. And no one screamed when Baby Evan stole their sippy cup (because my child is the worst behaved one) (mostly because he’s only 9 months old) (we’re working on it).

I’m hoping both the good parenting and the good behavior will start to rub off on us. Nobody wants to be the pariah of the playgroup or have a kid who doesn’t get invited to birthday parties. Because those kids grow up to be assholes. And then everybody blames their mothers.



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