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Archive for 2009|Yearly archive page

CASE STUDY: Teaching Baby to Sleep

In Uncategorized on November 2, 2009 at 10:17 pm

PROBLEM: So after my Paci Poll, I found that it is NOT normal that we have to wake up every 20-60min many nights to re-insert our DD’s precious paci. We have to tackle this or I will go nuts…nearly lost it last night. We have used this same method to solve other problems like to sleep on her own at 5days, in her own room at 7wk, and to fall asleep when put down awake at 15wk. (LO is now 16wk)

SOLUTION: At first we were going to start phasing it out when she’s awake, then naps, then nights, only using it to help her fall asleep. However, she is doing fine without it when awake, so we moved to not replacing it during her naps. Well, I now decided we are just going to go cold-turkey and only using it to fall asleep or if she’s sick or hurt or having a particularly bad day because she has already proven to be a really quick learner. (Thought it would be hard to move her from being rocked to sleep every time to falling asleep after being put down awake in bassinet and when she was ready, she did it on the first try and has ever since).

METHOD: After reading several baby sleep parenting books, we have kinda devised our own method…a mix of soothing by us, and CIO, and pick-up/put-down. We position her on her side to fall or get back to sleep so that her fingers are right in front of her face. When she cries for her paci, we go in and place a hand on her and shush her and jiggle her bassinet while she wails. If it gets out of control we pick her up, she immedietely stops crying and then put her down. Eventually she starts to quiet down in between wails and uses her fingers for soothing (we kinda guided them up there the first few times to show her). This continues until she falls asleep and every time she cries for her paci.So it’s kinda a CIO but we are right there with her to work through it so she doesn’t feel abandoned.

RESULTS: Going really well so far, but WOW so hard! She’s on her first nap with no paci…normally a 1.5-2.hr nap. She slept for 30min, then woke for paci. Took me 30min to get her back sleeping, she woke after about 15min, took about 20min to get her back down, woke after 15min and so one, now it only taked about 2-5min to get her back down. Nap is technically over, but trying to get her a lil more sleep since it’s been a traumatic nap haha! Dug out my womb-sounds bear from when she was first born because I got tired of shushing for 30min, but once the 45min cycle on that was done I just let it stay off (last thing I need is a womb-sound dependency lol). In just this 2hr nap, she’s gone from not understanding she should put and keep her fingers in her mouth to soothe…to putting them in right away once we come in and place a hand on her when she cries and falling asleep immedietely. So far, so good!

You are now a MILF.

In Uncategorized on October 22, 2009 at 7:20 pm

Ladies, huddle close. There is something I want you to be prepared for. Well you’re not going to be prepared for it regardless of what I tell you, just like nearly everything else having to do with motherhood, but let this serve as a hint at how drastic a change this new role can be. You’ve been home with your little one, getting settled in and zombie-ing your way through the exciting whirlwind of the first days with your new baby. You’re getting into it, you can do this mom thing – your baby is still alive, congratulations! You are taking a zillion pics with your camera AND camera phone and emailing them to friends and family, and uploading to Facebook as proof that you really are a mother now and really do have a baby. But still, I don’t think it really sinks in that you are a ‘mother’ and have a ‘child’ until you are out amongst the rest of society…just you and your babe…where you will, for the first time, truly feel the dramatic shift you have created for yourself with this new title.

For me, this moment I’m referring to crept up slowly, then hit me real hard…so hard there was a hormonal tear threatening to let loose from my left eye. I was at the Beverly Center in Beverly Hills about a week after the birth of my baby. We were strolling around the mall together. I spent most of the trip smiling at how adorable my daughter looked in her stroller in the new pink and purple t-shirt dress I got for her on sale from Gymboree, and those eyes…those cheeks…those lips…that HAIR. Honestly, I don’t even know what I would have been shopping for, maybe cheap cloths from Forever 21, but more likely just as an excuse to get out of the apt.

I was waiting for the elevator and out of the corner of my eye I noticed a tall, black, male who most people would consider good looking. He kinda sorta looked at me, but not really…like a half-glance that would be given to any random person. It certainly wasn’t the same kind of look that I usually got from this breed of man. Then it hit me. I’m not just some chick walking around the mall. I am now a mom walking around the mall. It wasn’t something I could hide, since I was pushing my baby in her (super cute) stroller, diaper bag and all. I was transparently and obviously a mom; a new mom to be specific and I wasn’t surprised that tall-man didn’t look twice.

It really hit me hard, this new identity. I realized how foreign I felt to myself. But at the same time, it felt so comfortable…comforting actually. However, I did feel rather unsexy pushing a baby and sporting a “fresh from the delivery table, not yet fully-deflated” mom-bod. But not to worry, in the past few months, I definitely got my sexy back. I’ve been cat-called at and hit-on by various men in the past few months, while pushing the baby and sporting the mom-bod. And you know what that means don’t you!? It means I’m a MILF…I’d always hoped I’d be a MILF!

No naptime routine?

In I'm a Baby Mama! on October 14, 2009 at 6:31 pm

Sure, we have a bedtime routine (baby yoga, bath, jammies, bottle, rocking chair, sleep), but it never occurred to me to have a naptime routine until I read The Baby Whisperer by Tracy Hogg. It was her Supernanny-like British voice that prompted me to begin one, and it is working like a charm.

Naptime Hippo

Naptime Hippo

Our Naptime Routine: We dim the lighting in the room (lights + shade), we swaddle, we rock and give a bottle if needed, we read a story for as long as she can stand it, then we have a visit from the Naptime Hippo who plays a lullaby when her tail is pulled, then we rock some more play the sleep-fighting game (you know, the one where she cries because she’s tired then eventually konks out), then she’s out! Consistency is absolutely the key here, as for any routine.

Well we’ve been doing this for a few weeks now, since our mini-me was 10weeks old, and the consistency is really starting to pay off…much to my relief. She knows it’s naptime when we begin the routine and is very calm and so much less fussy. Babygirl enjoys the books much more now as she gets older, and one the Naptime Hippo stops by, she is ready to sleep. We might get a tiny peep out of her to protest the nap, but with just a simple re-insertion of the paci, she’s out.

The Result

The Result

If you don’t have a naptime routine yet, I highly recommend starting one no matter your child’s age. I can see how helpful it will be when we have babysitters who can follow it, or if I need her to go down for a nap in a strange place…and it’s already paying off for the day-to-day naps. Good luck!The Result of our Naptime Routine

Washing the mom off.

In I'm a Baby Mama! on October 13, 2009 at 5:59 pm

It’s been another long day filled with milky, drooly burp cloths, pee-filled diapers so heavy you could break a window with them, and the never-ending cycle of picking-up, putting-away, and washing. You take a quick glance at the clock, and realize the day is almost over. Is that happiness that’s overcoming you? Well try not to be too excited; you’re supposed to be enjoying every moment of being a mommy especially since it “goes by so fast” as they always say. Still, if the day is almost over, that means your man is coming home soon, which is hopefully something still semi-exciting for you (it’s the little things!).

Because of all your hard work all day, your home is in good enough order and ::gasp::, your little one is napping! Now please take a moment to survey your situation and appreciate how rare moments like these are, where the stars have aligned in a way that would actually allow you to do something not baby or home related, something for that person you so frequently forget about…YOU! If you are fortunate enough to be in this predicament, a second shower for the day is the recommended course of action because admit it, you smell (damn hormones!). And don’t even think about hopping on the laptop for a minute, because this rare window of opportunity will vanish as fast as your little one can spit up.

Instead, what I want you to do, is move the baby-monitor to the bathroom if it’s not already there, and peel off your mom-uniform (you know…yoga pants and a tank-top and/or zip-up depending on the temperature). Toss them into a pile on the floor because you will not be putting those slightly sweaty, mom-funky cloths back on after what’s about to go down. Now, turn on the shower….nice and hot, that’s it. Let the bathroom steam up a bit, but not for too long! You know that baby could realize the paci has fallen out at any moment and begin grunting until you get there, which could turn into a full-on wail if you don’t get there in time, which could lead to a fully awake baby, thereby ruining the nap-time completely which will produce an over-tired, cranky baby and a half-bathed mom. So keep it moving, and get in the shower.

Grab your too-big-because-you-need-a-new-one body poof and squeeze the most creamy, moisturizing, sensual smelling body wash you have. If you just have one body wash, then you need to step your game up. I personally have three to choose from at the moment: A squeaky-clean lavender wash for when I feel contaminated or need to relax (which are often synonymous), a citrus scented get-up-and-go wash with scrubby beads which I often use after a workout or in the morning or when coffee isn’t working, and a luxurious, super sudsy wash that makes me smell like a Victoria’s Secret model looks. In this particular instance, I would choose that last one, but use whatever you have.

Now go ahead and rub and smoosh that body-poof all over your body, in every single nook and cranny, with the goal of producing an extreme amount of frothy bubbles. And don’t be afraid to scrub. You want to be scrubbing with the kind of rigor that will wash the mom off and get you feeling fresh and sexy. If you hear any peeps or squeaks on the baby-monitor, take an extra moment to indulge a bit in this scrub-down until you’re sure that you’re needed, at which point, immediately abort mission and sprint (safely) into the baby’s room to see how you can best salvage the nap.

If you’re lucky enough to not yet hear anything from your little one at this point, then bravo, well-timed and executed. Okay, now quickly rinse off, wash your face, shave anywhere that could be visible or touched before your next shower, and get the hell out of there. Dry yourself off at least 35% and immediately begin to lotion up. This is a very important step, so make sure it smells really good and enticing. Go check on the baby, put some cloths on (it’s okay to put on a new mom-uniform, but do add something MILF-y like diamond earrings and a touch of mascara).

You still have a few minutes before your man gets home, so go sit where you usually sit, or do what you usually do, relishing in how gloriously self-indulgent your 12 minutes of Me Time was. When your man comes in, just let him smell your freshness…perhaps he will even feel your soft cleanliness if he touches your arm during his “Hello” Smooch. In addition to your delicate Me Time, that’s what you did all this for, ladies. Not because you intended on getting laid later that night (would be a lovely side-effect though!). Instead, you did this to remind your man how sexy and tempting you can be (trust me, he noticed and might have even got a semi). And to show off your supreme mom-skills that are so acute that you can have the entire home sparkling, the baby calm, and be just chillin’ out being fresh and sexy when he comes home, unlike pretty much every other day when he comes home, but we won’t get into that right here and now.

But really, you did this for you. To wash the mom off of you and feel un-mommy for the entire 2-3min between the time you started scrubbing the mom off and the time you checked on the baby right after the lotion-up. That is, unless, you were beckoned on the baby-monitor before you even got all the mom off. If that’s the case, try again in a few weeks, when the stars might align this way again…believe me those 2-3min will be worth your effort!

So that didn't really go how I thought it would…

In I'm a Baby Mama! on July 24, 2009 at 3:04 pm

I can honestly say that my childbirth experience was traumatic for me. I had worked my entire pregnancy toward a pain-med free, intervention-free, natural childbirth. I would have loved to give birth to my daughter in a Birth Center with a Midwife…but due to my lack of funding for better insurance, I was stuck with an OB at a Hosptial. These are two drastically different types of care. Now these are sweeping generalizations, but you will find them to be mostly true in all cases. OB’s are diagnostic surgeons who look for and fix problems–and they consider pregnancy and birth to be a ‘problem’. Midwives provide care for mothers going through the natural process of childbirth and take on a very humanistic approach toward being part of the experience. Watch the eye-opening documentary, The Business of Being Born, if you want to be schooled on the realities of the birthing industry.

So nothing went as planned. I thought my water might have broke so into L+D we went. After a inconclusive test to ensure it was really my water, I spent hours groppling with the overworked nurses as to whether or not it was my water that I thought had broke. If it was, I needed to start antibiotics because I was GBS+ (a common bacteria that simply requires the mother to have IV antibiotics during labor). If it wasn’t my water, then I wanted to get back to my home and go through early labor there instead of in the confines and timetable of the hospital. But then I stood up and went to the bathroom and let’s just say at that point I was 100% sure my water had broke!

The events that followed included, (in sequential order), continued crabbiness from my nurses, botched attempts at sticking my IV in my forearm arm which resulted in a busted valve and gushing blood, my baby’s heartrate dropping, nurses urgently jamming the IV into my hand, oxygen mask on my face and breathing like my baby’s and my life depended on it, baby’s heart rate fine, contractions every 3min, 3cm dilated, baby’s heart rate drops again, oxygen mask on, my OB comes in…and off to OR I go for an emergency cesarean.

The actual operation took a whole 3 minutes and out came my crying, healthy, perfect, and beautiful baby girl. I was so happy to see her, although “happy” is the most unworthy word to use to describe how I felt. No words actually do the experience justice…just know it was other-worldy. If you are a parent, then you know!

I’m not sure if they gave me morphine or what, but the events directly following my daughter’s birth are quite groggy. If it wasn’t for photos and my fiance’s rundown (who by the way looked really hot in his OR scrubs!), I wouldn’t remember much. But what I do remember is the feeling of meeting the most amazing creature I’ve ever seen for the first time and being amazed that she is what I was carrying for 9 months…had I known SHE was what I was growing, I would never have complained about things like how hard it was to get out of bed to pee for the fifth time in one night.

EDITED TO ADD: The description above was written just weeks after the delivery and at that point my dreams of wanting 3 or 4 children had completely deflated. It was so hard to be a mom the first week or so because of how sore I was from the c-section, and it was just a really bad experience for me. I was saddened that I no longer wanted to go through pregnancy and delivery again for fear of the same thing happening, or worse. However, it is now over 3 months after my experience and I am pleased to say I will do it again…watching a child bloom is worth anything, it is truly a blessing and I can’t wait to add to our family (in a few years!).

So began my journey of motherhood, I had no idea what I was in for…

Truth in Kanye's Lyric…Life Lesson!

In Uncategorized on May 11, 2009 at 6:31 pm

The other day I was driving home from yet another beyond stressed, spazzed-out day at the office. At less than 2 months from my due-date, I’d just closed on a 53hr work-week and easily had 5hrs of working staring me in the face for Saturday. I was exhausted, upset, and annoyed at myself for creating whatever it was that I created to make it necessary for me to work so many hours, although the reality is–it’s the nature of the job and in truth it’s not changed much since I’d started.

Once I’d realized that, my upset shifted to being made at myself for working so many hours. I asked myself why I couldn’t just let the work go when it was time for me to leave? Why didn’t I admit to my bossses that there was too much on my plate? With everyone around me telling me to slow down and now is not the time to push myself, why was I insisting on doing so? I was furious with myself for not having more control over the situation and not putting myself, health, and baby, before my career.

Then suddenly my iPod playing on my car stereo shuffled to Kanye West’s “Everything I Am” (chorus goes:”Everything I’m Not Made Me Everything I Am”, check out the MP3). And I realized there was so much truth in that simple phrase that I’d never quite realized before.

“Everything I’m Not Made Me Everything I Am”.

  • Everything I Wasn’t: irresponsible, lazy, selfish, apathetic, unable to just leave a bunch of work for others….
  • Made Me Everything I Am: hard-working, responsible, loyal, dependable, having integrity and dedication, committed.

Once I noticing this, it really put into perspective for me that the things I was frustrated at myself over…were actually what defined my character in really positive ways. Yes I did need to learn to better assert myself and better communicate with my boss about priorities, but still–bottom line, my heart was in the right place and that made me really feel good and confident about who I am and what I offer an employer.

This mantra, “Everything I’m Not Made Me Everything I Am” can apply to so many situations. Think about something you are frustrated over and see if you can flip it around to really get what Kanye was rapping about.

Writing Fears.

In Uncategorized on February 22, 2009 at 8:24 pm

So it’s become really apparent to me that I need to write, right now…and probably forever.  Might even consider something larger with it, but for now it’s mostly about the personal need.

However, there is a reason why I do hold back in my writing. And by hold back I mean hold back as far as subject matter, content, truth, what they call “putting it out there”, as well as a general fear of revealing so much only to feel a reaction of so little. It scares the crap out of me really.

To pour my soul into something for so long and then not really have it make a splash. Or do I not even want to try to make a splash. And then what about all the people that I’ve then allowed into the depth of where my mind, heart, and soul have been. Do I even want that? Hm. So much to think about. Either way I’m just going to move forward with what I’m working on and continue to then work on additional projects. I plan to build a portfolio and return to some earlier work and see what’s there.  Pretty exciting, also really scary.

Just wanted to put that out there as a first step toward CONTINUING with what I’m starting. It’s not about discipline at this point, but instead it’s about belief that something needs to be said.

Pregnancy Survey!

In I'm a Baby Mama! on February 18, 2009 at 6:57 pm
  • Is this your first baby? Yes!

  • Were you trying to get pregnant? Nooo! lol

  • How far along were you when you found out? 5 weeks, I just knew…

  • What was your reaction? Burst into very tragic tears…”Holysh!t, how did this happen…how will my life change, how will I make this work so we’re still happy, what will my man think of this, how will it effect our relationship.”

  • Who was the first person you told? My bff Megan who calmed me down and pushed me to tell my bf immedietely, I was scared to tell my bf because I didn’t know how he’d react and felt like he might be upset and leave me. He didn’t and now we are engaged hehe, love that man!

  • How did you tell the father? “I took a pregnancy test because my period was late and it was positive” lol

  • What was his reaction? Very supportive, but as rattled as I was. We just stared at the ceiling a few nights in a row going over everything in our heads and talking. He was and is a total rock for me, first time in my life anyone other than mom has been that for me.

  • When is your due date? July 5th!

  • Did you have any morning sickness? Just nausea but it certainly did suck.

  • Did you want a boy or girl? I didn’t really have an opinion at first, and initially hoped for an “older brother” in the fam, but then I just knew it was a girl, so did DF, then I began to crave that it was a girl.

  • Do you know what you’re having? A girl!!!

  • Do you plan on a natural or medicated birth? Planning natural, studying Hypnobabies with my birth-Doula, and will be okay with meds if real complications arise.

  • Are you scared about labor? No, I plan to be prepared and am really in touch with my body so I’m looking forward to the challenge and hoping for the best!

  • Do you think you will cry when you see the baby for the first time? Not sure, if not right at that moment, probaby soon thereafter.

  • Who is going to be with you?: My DF, doula, Dr, and nurses…mom wants to be in delivery room but I don’t know about that…perhaps during labor but not the actual final pushing stage is where my head is at on that currently.

  • Are you going to video tape it?: Not that actual crowning and emergence of the baby haha…but I am sure DF may have his vid camera there taking clips throughout the process, I won’t mind that 🙂

  • Do you know what you will say to the baby when you first hold it?: Probably sing “happy birthday” like my mom did 🙂

  • Do you have a name picked out?: Regina Jade…calling her Jade although now Regina is growing on me too!

  • Is your baby going to be named after anyone?: Yes, her grandpa is Reginald(Reggie) Sr, her daddy is Reginald(Reggie) Jr, and she is Regina 🙂 It means Queen.

  • What do you think the baby will be a “daddy’s girl/boy” or a “mommy’s girl/boy”?: I think she will LOVE doing girly things with mama if she’s into that, but definitely a daddy’s-girl, which will be really great.
  • Going to friend's babyshower while pregnant myself…

    In I'm a Baby Mama!, me! me! me! on February 16, 2009 at 10:17 am

    I really college roomie’s baby shower on Sunday. I got to see the girls–the four of us were roommates, met in the dorms, good friends, worked together at Trader Joe’s, etc. And it was male and female so there was lots of drinks and very little games haha. I totally enjoyed myself!

    However, I must say–it was really bizzare to be there and be pregnant at someone else’s shower. The reasoning is this, let’s see if you can crawl up into my mind and dip down into my heart… One of the joys of pregnancy is sharing it with your friends! It’s a really joyous situation. I’m so used to seeing my dear friends and it’s always a mini celebration–one gets a certain amount of attention when pregnant, and I like it because it’s not really ME as the center of attention, but rather it’s my baby and she deserves it!

    So to be somewhere, seeing friends I’ve known for 10yrs yet haven’t seen in nearly a year, and feel the need to downplay my prenancy and excitement…is strange. I felt the need to do that because clearly it wasn’t my shower, the day will come when it is my shower, and also there wasn’t excitement being generated for my baby anyway. Most likely no one really knew I was pregnant and just thought my body is really shaped like this (how sad!) I felt a bit left out. Kinda second rate. I will definitely learn from this and keep it in mind if I ever have a pregnant friend at my shower, because it really is so special.

    You know what it’s like? (And I’ve been in this situation a million times also). Your bday is June 11th, your friends’ is June 9th. Her party is on June 10th, yet there is no shared celebration–it’s only really her part and no one else there really knows it’s your bday at midnight. That is why I am a big fan and proponant of the joint-bday celebration…or at least making a major announcement, giving them a sparkly hat too or something. Or perhaps I look after the feelings of others too much, or more than the average human.

    Note: The expecting parents, and party hostess did do a wonderful job of acknowledging my pregnancy. This post is more of what went on in MY (vulnerable, emotional, hormonal) head.

    "How are you feeling?"

    In Uncategorized on February 12, 2009 at 12:20 pm

    I’ve decided that this question, is one of the most beautiful things about pregnancy. Never in my entire life, have I been asked so frequently and caringly how I am feeling. Acquantinces, coworkers, friends, family, and my fiance–everyone deeply cares about how I am feeling. Am I excited? Exhuasted? Nauseous? Uncomfortable? Nervous? Joyous? Being asked this makes me feel special and loved, and deepens my connection with everyone around me.

    It really makes me think about how much this question has an impact on a person and on interactions and relationships. Think about how you would answer this question if the person asking it REALLY cared about your answer. Now think about the most common greeting, “How are you doing?”, “How’ve you been?”, “What’s up?”, “What’s new?”. When people ask this, the answer they receive is usually relatively short and protocal, impersonal. And the feeling of being asked this is so standard–like it’s obviously a standard greeting and it’s not that they really want to hear a long, personal answer.

    “How are you feeling?” It is music to my ears! Answering it can be honest, or complete bullshit, but when asked with care…the answer is usually one of honesty and appreciation. Thank you to everyone who has asked this and clearly cares, it’s just beautiful!