Time flies

Dear Little One,

You are  11 months old today. I can hardly believe that in a month you will have been mine for a year. The time has flown by and there hasn’t been enough time spent with you. I know that for your first 6 months I was with you every day but the last 5 months while I’ve been working have been so hard on me. I feel like I miss so much. There is so much to be done and life that has to be lived when I wish I could just slow down time in order to get more time with you. You are such a big boy now with places to go and toys to play with; I miss the days where you would just be content to sit with me and sleep on me for hours at a time. I know you have to grow and to learn, but each day you become more independent and need me less. I’m not ready for that.

Last night you had a hard time going to bed (which is not unusual these days). So I held you and sung to you and cuddled you as you laid on my shoulder. And my heart was breaking knowing that this time with you is so precious but so limited. And I can’t get enough of it. Working takes me away from your precious face and your sweet cuddles and kisses and I feel those slipping away from me every day I’m away from you. I’m jealous of your Auntie who gets to spend her days with you. I worry sometimes you prefer her because she is with you more. This isn’t what I envisioned growing up when I imagined myself as a mommy. Even through college I always said I wanted to be a stay-at-home mom. I want to raise you. I want to be the one to kiss your boo-boos and see your milestones first.

I pray one day I will be able to stay home with you more. I’m so blessed I was able to spend so much time with you when you came home from the hospital. I missed out so much that being able to be with you then was a dream.

So, little one, try to not do so much growing and changing while I’m away. Save those first words and events for when I’m with you. Save your kisses and snuggles for me. Look for me and continue to be excited for me when I get home. Prefer me over everyone else sometimes (and not just when it comes to milks). And as you get older, remember I love you with all my heart and mommies need their babies for much longer than babies need their mommies.

I love you my sweet one. I will never stop loving you. I just wish you didn’t have to grow so fast.

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Why does it matter?

Now that Baby G is approaching a year old, the question of when I’m going to stop nursing him is becoming more and more prevalent. Sometimes it’s casually inserted into conversation like the answer is no big deal and other times it’s pointed and almost bordering on concern.

There are multiple “camps” concerning breastfeeding. There are the moms who have zero intention of breastfeeding at all ever (and some can’t fathom why anyone would want to), there are moms who feel guilted into it so they attempt it and then make excuses why it didn’t work, there are moms who plan to do the obligatory 6 weeks and then quit, others who put a date, age, or milestone expiration date on it, the actually small group of women who cannot physically breastfeed due to medical or physiological issues (and if you research nursing at all this percentage is actually very small) and then there are others (like myself) who actually enjoy BFing and plan to let our child wean when they are good and ready. Obviously there are variations within any group so don’t get your panties in a twist if you didn’t see your particular situation. This is about me anyway, not you.

Then you have the observers. Those who don’t have children or weren’t breastfed or are men or who are part of some of the alternate camps of breastfeeding thought. A lot of who think they can determine when and where and for how long it’s “okay” to breastfeed.

When did it become “weird” to nurse a toddler? Who decided that once a kid can say milk or boob or whatever then the child is too old? When did babies stop being babies at one year of age? When I think of a toddler I think 2. Not 12 months. And why does it matter if you’re nursing a toddler? Basically, what’s it to ya?

Why are people so obsessed with this subject. I can think of a LOT of things parents do that are WAY more distressing and detrimental to a child than nursing them when they are 3. Or even 4. Recently the Time Magazine cover with the toddler standing on a chair nursing freaked everyone out. The Pro-camp thought it groundbreaking and affirming and the Anti-camp called it vulgar and freaked out about it. Personally I thought the cover itself was intentionally inflammatory and a little distastful. But it caused a lot of strong feelings both ways. And honestly, the best reaction to it I’ve read so far is this one. Well said. Read some of his other stuff too. He’s pretty funny.

So back to my situation. I love breastfeeding. It’s not sexual, it’s not selfish, it’s just a wonderful time I get to spend with my son. It’s nutrition and comfort. It’s time spent just with momma and during that time everything is alright in the world. Plus I’m providing him the BEST nutrition out there. Believe what you will but even formula companies recommend breastfeeding first. I’m not saying if you give your kid formula he or she will grow up stunted, undernourished, and socially inept. Quit reading into things! I have strong opinions about breastfeeding and this is my blog, dang it!

Ok, sorry. This subject makes *people* get a little heated. I choose to breastfeed Baby G because I believe that is what is best for the both of us. It fits our lifestyle and his needs. And I will breastfeed him as long as he chooses. And if he’s 3 when he weans completely, well, so be it. But that’s my business. No one else’s.

House Beautiful

Have I told you I’m practically Martha Stewart? Except younger and without the criminal record? I mean, my house always looks like it’s straight out of a magazine. It’s amazing. You should be jealous.

BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Hoo! That was a good one! Whew, I think I just laughed until I peed. Ok, I didn’t actually pee. That really doesn’t happen too often to me. One of the silver linings of having a baby at 7 months (by C) is you have slightly more bladder control as someone who went all the way. I mean, when you miss out on so much you have to find some silver linings.

Anyway, back to my house. My house is a disaster area. It was clean and shiny and pretty for approximately 47 seconds at some point near Christmas and then it immediately went back to looking like a hobo camp. A hobo camp with wood floors and a pretty Christmas tree. The point is, I have never (and will never) be one of those people with the shiny spic-and-span house. I can get it cleaned up if someone is coming over but it never manages to stay that way. Now, having a baby, I at least feel slightly more justified in having a crazy house. Also, because my house does not look like it could belong on an episode of hoarders. Win for me.

What prompted this was the fact that Baby G got to play in my big bathtub the other night. Which he thought was super awesome by the way. But anyway, the next morning I walked through my (cluttered) bathroom and smiled at the bath toys hanging out on the edge of my tub. Don’t get me wrong, I love to look at magazines and wish my house looked like they do. I drool and dream and sigh over the beautiful tile bathrooms, the exquisitely decorated living rooms, and the fabulous master bedrooms. But while my house may not be perfectly vacuumed or have un-scuffed paint or have floor space to walk without stepping on a baby toy or cheerio… my house is home to a wonderful and perfect little person. He lives here. And it’s ok for my house to show that. Right now I’d rather sit on the couch with him and snuggle or play in the (crazy huge) play area we’ve set up for him in the living room than dust. He’s growing so fast and I work full time. So when I am home all I want to do is be with him. Sure I’m also a procrastinator and I hate cleaning. Those are totally valid reasons as well. But no matter what I do, I can’t, and I wouldn’t, erase the things that show he is here. And there are a lot of those things. Like the plastic butterfly I just pulled out of the couch. And the bowl of pump parts that sit on the counter waiting to be washed. We won’t mention the acre of toys scattered through the living room. Or the random socks that Baby G managed to shuck off (and then suck on). Then there are the aforementioned cheerios scattered throughout the house just waiting for Baby G to come find them before we do.

Maybe one day I’ll have a nice house that I can show off to people. Baby G will have a playroom or a toy box that he can put all his toys in each night. Or maybe my house will only be sparkly and clean at holidays and when company is coming over. And that’s fine. Because I’ll tell you what, I wouldn’t trade that precious little boy for anyone’s perfectly decorated and spotless house.

It’s midnight yet again

My little one refuses to go to bed at night. No, that’s not totally true. My little one refuses to go to bed at night in his bed. He’ll sleep just fine if we’re holding him. He’ll be calm and collected and perfectly reasonable. But as soon as you put him anywhere near his crib he turns into a flailing, rolling, crazed maniac. It’s currently 11:30pm and we’ve been trying to get him to sleep since about 10. I know that sounds late to put a baby to bed but we sleep in late. And generally I’m up late. With my erratic schedule at work (this week for example: off, 10-7, off, 12-9, 10-7, 8-5, 8-5) if we were to put him to bed early (say 8 o’clock), I’d miss most nights with him. So later works better for us.

Why is his bed lava, you ask? Well, dear friend, if you can find the answer to THAT question we will all be millionaires and get to sleep at night. Ok maybe not on the millionaire part but we might actually get to go to sleep at a reasonable hour if we chose. I’ve never been one of those who is on a specific side of the fence when it comes to “Cry It Out” tactics, but I have a hard time with both sides. I HATE letting Baby G lay in bed and cry. I hate it. It hurts my heart and makes me feel like a terrible mother. I feel like I’m abandoning my sweet child who is lying in his bed miserable and alone and terribly upset at being bereft of my presence. I feel like when I finally do go to pick him up he clings to me like I’m a life preserver and I’m saving him from a terrible fate. But at the same time… I also don’t sleep very well sitting upright in a chair. I don’t have a recliner and for whatever reason Baby G doesn’t want to sleep on my chest if I’m laying down. So sometimes, like tonight, I let him cry. I sit downstairs and listen to him crying piteously through the monitor and I feel like my heart is going to leap out of my chest. Some nights we can bounce him or pat him to sleep and that works. Some nights if you put him anywhere near his room, much less his bed, he breaks out into hysterics. I don’t know what makes the difference but I wish I knew what the right thing was.

Sometimes I just feel selfish. Maybe that little tiny boy is scared or doesn’t feel good or is lonely and he just wants to be cuddled. I don’t know. Maybe he’s just being a toad and doesn’t want to go to bed. So what do I do? Do I hold him and let him sleep on me? Do I give up my sleep so he doesn’t cry? It took 10 minutes tonight. 10 minutes of him crying after I had been upstairs for almost 40 minutes rocking him, holding him, and trying to get him to lay down. That 10 minutes felt like 30. We are 10 1/2 months in and I still don’t know what the right thing is. There are lots of people who use the CIO method and swear by it. There are lots of others who deem it a method of torture from the devil which will result in your child becoming a homicidal maniac who will eventually kill you in your sleep. I’m not going to throw stones at either camp. I think both tactics have valid points and have different times when they are effective  My biggest concern is what is right for Baby G?

Tonight, anyway, was a combination of cuddling and soothing with a little crying at the end. It makes me want to go upstairs and hug him and give him kisses but I guess that would defeat the fact that he finally fell asleep. So I’ll take myself to bed now and hope he sleeps through the night, and plan to snuggle him in the morning when he wakes up to eat. You know how I love those morning nursings.

Happy (Crappy) New Year

Happy New Year! Did you have a great New Year’s Eve? Did you get dressed up and sparkly and spend the night on the town drinking champagne ? Me too! Except I spent the day in my pajamas, didn’t put on any makeup, stayed home, and drank sparkling grape juice. But close, right? I did stay up to watch the ball drop, but as Baby G and I had spent several hours early that morning not sleeping (plus I had to get up for work – waaah!) I was in bed soon after. But I spent a lovely day snuggling a grouchy and clingy Baby G and doing very little else. It was the perfect end to my vacation.

Which means… I started my New Year’s off working! Hooray for… well, not me. After 10 days off spent with my family and getting that much time with Baby G, going back to work wasn’t top on my “Things I’m looking forward to” list. Also not on that list are: getting a pelvic exam, having teeth pulled, and anything having to do with spiders.

The day wasn’t necessarily good or bad until about 2 hours before it was time for me to go and I got my review. My wicked step-mother gave it to me and, needless to say, it wasn’t very nice. So now her opinion of me as a screw-up is on paper. Husband asked if I was going to go talk to anyone about it but there’s really no one to talk to. The store manager really doesn’t get involved in much of anything and prefers to let his minions run the show. And since she has higher-ups in her pockets there aren’t many places to go. So once again I’m left feeling like I can’t do anything right, that I’m being watched, and I need to find some place else to work.

But where? Where do I go? A cabinet shop? A design studio? Change is scary. Especially when you’ve been somewhere 10 years. 10 years! I’ve spent the bulk of my adult life working for a company that doesn’t care a thing about me and I have very little to show for it except 3 weeks vacation. Sad, right? Know what I’d like to do? I’d like to take pictures. Or plan parties. Or take pictures of the parties I plan. But I don’t know where to start. Or how to. I’m not a professional photographer by any means. I have a LOT of learning to do. But I enjoy it. And the party planning thing I think I’d be pretty good at. I’m creative and enjoy that kind of thing.

But those things aren’t things that will pay the bills right off the bat. It could take quite awhile to get that sort of thing going, if it even makes it off the ground. And I’m not a great risk taker. I might despise my place of work but at least it’s a steady paycheck (until they decide to fire me for not selling enough counter tops or something) and I do have 10 years of my life and time there. So I’m stuck in a rut. Of a circular pattern. It’s a rut that goes around in circles. And gets deeper and harder to get out of. I know I should pray, but I don’t know what to pray for anymore. The last time I prayed about a change at work the change was worse as far as I’m concerned. It definitely wasn’t for the better. So I don’t know what to ask for. My ultimate goal would be to stay home with Baby G. But be financially stable in doing so. And shy of winning the lottery or something drastic happening, I don’t know how that would be accomplished. And I’m not really interested in anything drastic (unless it’s loads of money being left to me by a generous benefactor that doesn’t require anything bad happening. Like death. Or an accident) and we don’t often play the lottery (because we most certainly do not have the type of luck to win it).

So I’m back to where I’ve been so many other times. I’d love to like my job. And my actual physical job, when I get to do it, is fun. These days, though, it all feels like a chore. I’m not even asking to be excited about showing up. I’d just like to not dread it like the bubonic plague.

Oh! I did find an interesting job on Craigslist for anyone who is looking for this sort of thing:

“Hiring white girls of all ages/shapes/sizes to sexy cleaners or sexy massage girls.
Looking for girls who would be comfortable cleaning or massaging in lingerie or less. 
Flirty and outgoing girls are best for this job.
Paying 17-63hr based on level of clothing and job. Part time, day and evening hours.
We are NOT an escort service and we do NOT offer anything sexual to our clients.

Send name ,age ,height ,weight ,cup, what you would be ok wearing, face pic, front body pic, back body pic.”

And no, I could not make this stuff up if I wanted to.