Friday, September 23, 2011

Life's Lessons: The Excuses Edition

Life With Baby Donut

1. So Baby Girl turned one last week.

2. Apparently that's a big deal.

3. Which is why I haven't written since then.

4. Or really read and commented on any blogs.

5. At least that's the excuse I'm going with.

6. In related news, we spent last weekend traveling again.

7. People? Traveling with a baby is exhausting. Exhausting.

8. You know what else is exhausting? Not sleeping. Which we've also been doing this week.

9. And then there's laundry. Mountains of laundry. I'm thinking of giving up laundry.

10. If there's one thing I've learned, it's that when you make excuses, you should stick with one or no one would believe me.

11. So, the simple answer to why I haven't been writing? My head hasn't been in it. But it's coming back. It's coming back.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

How We Met

I'm guest posting for my dear, dear friend Rach at Life with Baby Donut today, telling the almost completely true story of how DH and I met. All I can say is, Harry and Sally ain't got nothing on us.

Hop over and say hi!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


One year ago, I was in a hospital, holding this tiny, precious little person in my arms.

One year ago, she could only see far enough to see my face.

One year ago, I could only see far enough to get through the day. Through the hour.

And now here we are.

She cruises around the room holding onto the furniture. Prattles "Dadadaddatata,gah!" with such fervor. Eats frozen waffles like they're going out of style (but they're not). Hands me toys to play with. Climbs into my lap and wraps her arms around my neck.

I'm not sure how we got here.

I am sad. I miss the tiny bundle of cuddles that could sleep in my arms for days. I miss the tiny fingers closing around mine, then the little toothless smile. I miss her babyness.

But I love this little miss I have now. I love the way she plays with me, the way she emphatically makes her desires known. I love the hugs and kisses and the way I know she is doing it on purpose. I love the look on her face when she discovers something new, when she sees something in the world for the first time.

I've never been very good at change. I want to say I'm not ready.

But it's not really about me.

And on this day, nothing is changing. She isn't growing up, I'm not letting go. Today, we are celebrating the first year of Baby Girl's life, the first year of my life as a mom. Today we are looking back with love at every one of those precious moments and looking forward to all the wonderful things we'll be able to do together for years to come.

One year ago, Baby Girl, you and I had no idea what we had in store. Today, I think maybe we do.

Happy birthday, sweet child. But I'm still going to call you my baby. Always.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Because she's mine

My last three years teaching full time were spent in a small private school where I taught 9th and 10th graders. As in, all the 9th and 10th graders. Because it was such a small school, we didn't track.

Except we so did.

My second year, one of my co-workers (yes, that means she was a teacher too) had a son in the 9th grade. During our inservice, she came into my room and asked to see my class lists. I innocently (naively) said yes.

"Wait, why is he in this class? This looks like the bad class."

I didn't know what to say. "Oh, you know it's not like that." Except we both knew it was.

Now, I love her kid (and not just in that "Oh, Mrs. Story, you love everyone" kind of way. okay, not entirely). He's funny, sweet, and a great skateboarder. But if there was going to be a slower English class? He probably needed to be in it.

She pouted. Stormed down to the office. Pitched a fit to get him switched.

Then for the next two years I had to hear all about how he was misunderstood, how he was lazy. He wasn't and he wasn't. He was struggling.

I have an SAT student now who is struggling. He probably shouldn't go to a four year college, at least not right away, but I can't say that. When his parents tell me what their goals are, I have to do a double-take. Are they talking about their child? He fights to bring his scores up, but he just doesn't understand. It breaks me heart. He isn't the first.

I come home and look at my baby girl, my little love. She was a late crawler, a late sitter. She doesn't say "mama" yet, not even when she's babbling. I'm not really sure she's signing.

And I worry. My husband and I are smart people. Academically smart. And everyone tells us how smart Baby Girl is sure to be.

And I hate it. Because what if she's not?

I want to help her. I want her to have every opportunity in the world. But if she isn't gifted, if she isn't college bound, if she struggles, I want her to know that's okay.

I want her to know that I see her, and that I love the child I have, not the child I wish she was. Because she's my baby. And she always will be.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Talk to me about food. Please.

When Baby Girl was 4 months old, our pediatrician told us that the reason she wasn’t sleeping through the night was that she was hungry and ready to start cereal. She was in the 96th percentile for weight. She nursed every 2 hours.
Hungry? I wasn’t buying it. And really, if she was, 40 calories worth of cereal wasn’t going to fix it.

But DH wanted to try it, so we did. It was a disaster. We put away the spoons and the cereal boxes and waited.

When she was 5 months old, suddenly everyone I knew started freaking out. My mother in law told my husband that if we didn’t start feeding her soon, it would be too late. (What does this mean? I don’t know.) I suddenly felt an inordinate amount of pressure to give her food. I still didn’t want to. I wanted to wait the whole 6 months, but I was overcome with self-doubt and gave in. I started giving her one meal of cereal most days. And you know? It was okay. Maybe not necessary, but okay.

Little did I know, that was the beginning of the longest and biggest battle of my life. With food.

People? I love food. I mean, LOVE food. Baby Girl? Not so much.

At her 6 month visit, we saw a different doctor. He asked if we were still just doing cereal and told me to try new foods. I asked what, when, and how much. He told me I was overthinking it and just to try foods. Thanks.

The very next day was the first day I got carrot in my hair. But not the last.

Baby Girl is 11 months old now, and I still haven’t figured this stuff out. She eats yogurt, cheese, bread. Bananas. Applesauce. Sometimes sweet potatoes. Occasionally some baby food chicken gets by her. Once I saw her eat peas (I’m sure I did). Way too many Gerber graduates snacks. And that’s about it.

At our last Dr’s visit, the nurse practitioner said I should have her on 100% table food by a year. What? How? She only has 4 teeth. Do DH and I just eat mushy food for the next few months? Do I cook her her own meals?

I know, I know that “until 1, food is for fun.” I know that as long as I’m breastfeeding, she’s getting perfect nutrition. But, she’ll be 1 in a week. Then what? Does the switch just flip, like “Aaaaand. . . now her nutrition is coming from her food.” And what the heck do I do then? Babies cannot live on puffs alone.

So please, dear readers, someone tell me. What can this child eat?

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

I am a champion at sitting

Lately, I've had an inexplicable amount of nervous energy, so today during naptime, I decided to play Wii Fit.

Win #1: I turned it on.

I had to put batteries in the fit board. It had been over a year since I'd played. My mii looked all slouchy and tired and sad. Hey, nobody likes a judgy mii. But then, just when I thought I was about to get scolded...

Win #2: It asked me where my husband had been lately. Score.

I did my "fitness test." My center of gravity was very far to the left. That's the baby carrying hip, people. Duh. But my weight was lower than the last time I played. (Yes, pre-baby. Yes. That could be a win. But we all know it's just Baby Girl's insistent habit of eating, so I'm not taking credit.)

I ran. I tried to hit imaginary soccer balls with my head (not very successfully). I made it about two yards on the imaginary tight rope. I almost sprained something pretending to hula hoop. And then, my ultimate win.

Win #3. Grand Champion. I got the high score on the Zen Meditation game. (Yes, competitive Zen Meditiation. Quiet, you.)

If you aren't familiar with the game, it is a balance game, the entire goal of which is to sit completely still on the balance board and focus on a picture of a flame. The game tries to distract you with some noises, movement, and a moth flickering by (and very disturbingly catching fire). If you move at all, the balance board detects it and the flame goes out, immediately ending the game.

People? I have never been able to sit for more than 30 seconds.

Today I stared at that flame for 150 seconds. Without moving. I sat still and focused on one thing for two and a half minutes. Without flinching or moving or jumping up to check twitter.

That? Makes me proud.

I'm linking up with the Be Enough Me Monday link up. Late again. But that's okay because I'm awesome at sitting. You should link up too. It's awesome.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Sleep and I have gone visiting

Hope you all are having a lovely long weekend and getting to sleep in a little bit. I am guest posting today over at James and Jax about every mother's favorite topic. Please come join me over there and leave us all some love.

You do know about James and Jax, right? Jamie is a great toddler mom and an incredible source of wisdom and comfort about breastfeeding, parenting, and anxiety as well as an all around fun person and great blogging friend. You should absolutely be reading her blog and following her on twitter as James and Jax. I'll even forgive her for not inviting me to the beach.