I just posted a post that is password protected. I talk about the suicide of a friend. If you would like to read it, please contact me for the password. – Mindy
- He knocks anything and everything off any surface he can reach. Holding him on my hip while passing by the kitchen counter is guaranteed to result in a broken dish, food scattered across my floor, or the immediate need for a mop.
- He likes to sleep in the sun. His favorite napping spots have been warmed by the sun through the window.
- He destroys blinds. Enough said.
- Did I mention he “cat naps”? There are no really long naps like most babies. No. He prefers the 15-minute approach.
- He’s obsessed with strings. If there is a string hanging off of anything, he is immediately entranced and determined to grab it and rip it off.
- The movement of shadows across a surface spurs him to immediate action to “get” the shadow.
- He follows the beam of a flashlight with pinpoint accuracy. He wants to attack it as well.
- Some moments he can’t get enough snuggles and pats. The next, he wants nothing to do with those around him and would prefer we all stay outside of his personal space bubble.
- He would really prefer to be most active at night. His mommy won’t let him, though.
- He treats long hair and necklaces the same as string. Beware!
- If his water isn’t cool and fresh, he isn’t interested.
Now, if I could just teach him to use a litter box…
I have a moment, and I felt the urge to share.
My baby is almost six months old. That seems so crazy to me. Seriously, crazy. If I thought my husband could handle another one, we would already be on our way to another few years of trying and maybe a baby eventually. But, we’re not.
So, we are taking a middle road approach to feeding solids. We have been giving him purees and solid chunks of food off and on over the last month and a half when he has seemed very interested. This week, he has been consistently interested every evening at dinner. The plan is to go the baby led weaning route, which if you haven’t heard of it before really isn’t about weaning.
Baby led weaning is all about letting baby feed himself real food. It helps with hand-eye-coordination and he gets a wider variety of flavors, textures, and healthy eats. My husband wasn’t sold on this approach because he was convinced our baby would choke. I explained to him that kids don’t chew with teeth until they’re around two because they don’t have molars until then. He still wasn’t convinced, until he saw it in action.
Tonight, he had his first real table food (I know, it sounds like I’m talking about the family dog, but I don’t know how else to say it) other than a piece of fruit or veggie. He had some chicken, and he LOVED it. His big sister loved watching him enthusiastically eat it as well. Morgan, my baby, hasn’t figured out how to get the food from his tray into his mouth yet except by happy accident.
Here is a photo of him eating the other day because I can’t resist:
As for his sister, she is still so in love with her brother. He is so happy to see her every day after school, and I can see how much it means to her every time he smiles at her when he fusses at everyone else. Or when she is the only one who can get him to laugh.
Eva loves to collect trash. By trash, I mean things like cardboard boxes and junk mail and random bits of things I don’t want to find in my house. The other day, I found this on one of her boxes:
It’s reassuring. I can’t be doing too terrible of a job if I’m “the best”.
I know it sounds like things have been all rainbows and butterflies, but we have had our rough patches. She had a rough summer because she didn’t get to see her father. It’s a long story, and it’s really her story, so I won’t be sharing it. But, I almost sent her to counseling (again). We got through it, and she is powering her way through second grade like a boss.
Money is still an issue, but I’m a lot more zen about it all. My business is picking up every month, and really even if it wasn’t then that’s life. I know I’m supposed to be here with Morgan and available for Eva. Everything else will work out.
I have a nanny/sitter that comes for a few hours a week and watches (well, holds nonstop) Morgan while I get some work done. He likes her and it’s obvious she adores him and I get to keep an eye on them both and still be productive.
That sums it up for now. Here are a couple more pictures because I can’t resist.
I’m blogging. Truly, I am. I’m just not blogging here. I am a ghost these days, blogging for others.
I am going to be shutting this blog down. It makes me sad, but I no longer have the time to write here. All of my creative muscles are being flexed for someone else now that I am writing consistently for my business.
I feel like I am losing some friends by shutting down this blog. I can’t let this sit here taking up server space somewhere in the world, being completely neglected, though, either.
If any of you would like to continue to keep in touch with me, please leave me a comment and I will send you an email.
If not, then this is goodbye. I wish all of you the very best!
I have been pretty silent for the last couple of months. I am working on figuring out this whole baby, work, life balance. It will get easier once 7-year-old Eva is in school again in a couple of weeks.
I have also arranged for a babysitter to come to me for a couple of hours, a couple of days a week once school is in session. I plan to use this opportunity to build my business. I can always complete my work in the evening or on the weekends, but that doesn’t leave time for much else. So, having someone come to me to watch my son while I work is going to be a big deal for me, my business, and my family.
It’s time to get back to work. I leave you with a photo of absolute adorable-ness; my son on his 4 month birthversary.
Warning you now, this is completely free-flow of thought. Zero editing. Read at your own risk. It will not be grammatically perfect. Ha!
Conceiving my son was the work of God. He is a miracle, through and through. If you would like to know more about my struggle with secondary infertility, take a look.
Pregnancy sucks. Period. I don’t care who you are. It’s this crazy roller coaster ride of emotions and experiences that vary from terrifying to intensely emotional and awe-inspiring. It is physically and emotionally exhausting. It is terrifying. It is all about managing expectations and a bunch of other not fun stuff combined with extreme physical discomfort and this need to feel extremely secure in circumstance and and relationship and…well, I needed my whole house to be clean, RIGHT. THIS. SECOND. from 32 weeks on. Did I mention it is terrifying? Especially after infertility because you already don’t trust your body.
So, the first time around, pregnancy sucked so bad that my blood pressure was worrisome high by 38 weeks, and induce-me-now high by 39 weeks. Second time around–my blood pressure was great so long as the nurse didn’t take it while I was having a contraction. Don’t get me started on the sacrifices I made once I found out I had gestational diabetes. Food and I didn’t get along.
First time around, my postpartum c-section recovery was grueling and ridiculous and FULL. OF. TEARS. Second time around, I was shopping at Costco six days postpartum. I think the several days of labor the second time around made a difference, but still…
Caring for that newborn that won’t sleep the first time around had me beyond frazzled. I was crying for my mommy in no time (I also didn’t get any support from her father, but that is a different post). Second time around, I got this. Yes, I might have been holding him and crying simultaneously from exhaustion, but don’t take him from my arms. I can do it. I take joy in the tears and the exhaustion. Because I never thought he would exist.
Sure, there were some intense tears on the never-ending sleepless nights–like every time he latched because it was so incredibly painful–but it was different this time. I knew there would eventually be an end to the sleepless nights, which would unfortunately signal the end of babyhood for my little miracle (we still get up twice a night, minimum, so we’re good). I am taking them in stride. I will sleep eventually. Or, on the weekends. When I make my husband get up with him. I am so thankful that I’m okay with giving my baby formula sometimes. Or else I would never get any sleep. Ha!
The first time around, I was desperate for sleep because I was working 60+ hours a week to pay the bills and still falling short. I thought the sleepless nights would never end. I wished her babyhood away. This time around, well, we aren’t exactly paying all of the bills, but we are paying the ones that keep us housed and fed. Forget the rest for now. I may never get this opportunity to love my little one like this ever again.
Babies only let you hold them for so many months before they are too independent for such sentimentality. Unless there is a boo-boo. Then all bets are off. I digress.
The first time around, I lamented the fact that her father and grandfather trained her to only fall asleep while being held because this made bed time such an awful and long process. There were so many tears shed. I worked 3-11 and then came home to try to put her to bed almost every night. Sometimes it was 1 am before she would sleep.
This time, I’m here. I’m home. I would hold him to put him to sleep, but I don’t have to because we have developed healthy habits. He falls asleep in his crib.
The biggest truth for me:
It isn’t always sunshine and butterflies taking care of my little miracle. Sometimes, I just really, really need him to quit crying and take a nap. I need a minute to be an adult. But, I would still let everything else burn to sit and console him while he cries. I didn’t feel that way the first time around. I needed her to be a toddler, ASAP.
I took Eva (the seven year old) to Six Flags the other day. This meant leaving my little miracle in the care of my mother for about 8 hours.
Don’t misunderstand me–I loved every moment I got to spend one-on-one with my daughter. But eight hours away from my little guy was the longest I have ever spent away from him. It was hard.
Now, I’m going to go off on a little tangent. You’ve been warned.
I have the greatest, most supportive pediatrician ever. She encouraged, not blatantly but in small ways, me to be mom. She wanted to know what my gut said. She wanted to know my intuition. She wanted me to hear it. I hope every mama gets there. I hope every mama gets to know what her gut and heart might be saying at any given moment about her little one. It makes such a huge difference. Some places, like at my pediatrician’s office, I don’t have to be the pushy-advocate to receive great care. But, pretty much everywhere else, I have to be that pushy advocate to make sure my babies get what they need. If my pediatrician hadn’t encouraged me to follow my gut early on, I don’t know that I would have developed the confidence to be that advocate.
The bottom line to all of this rambling way past my bedtime…
I love my babies. One may be seven and one may be approaching 16 weeks, but I still love them equally. I am caring for them in much different ways, though.
I. AM. PRESENT.
I’m not wishing away all the babyhood. I’m not wishing for a day that he will sleep, and quit vomiting, and eat solid food, and…you get the picture. I’m savoring every moment.
When I started this post, I was gonna tell you all about how I think babies are frustrating and a lot of work and blah blah. Instead, you see what happened.
Yes, there are days when I hold him, bouncing on the exercise ball with tears in my eyes and down my face because I can’t make him happy…but I wouldn’t trade a moment of that for anything else in the world.
Many days, this chain of events happens in my house:
I say a prayer thanking God for the chance to work from home. About 30 seconds later, I dream of babysitters and working surrounded by adults.
I have learned, the hard way, many things that may help others working from home with a newborn. Here’s the lowdown:
First of all, everything I am about to say is based on my time working from home while Eva was still in school or spending time with grandma. Once summer break began, things changed significantly. Anyone interested in knowing how we do it with a seven year old and a newborn, let me know in the comments.
The most important thing to remember is what I am about to say, so listen up.
Pretty much everything is a craps shoot until your baby is about six weeks old. Adjust your expectations accordingly.
Now that we got that bit of disappointing news out of the way, let me explain and let’s cover some basics. Our pediatrician cited a study as she informed me that newborns on average cry for 50 percent of their awake time every day. EVERY. DAY. Babies do sleep on average 12-20 hours a day at least. But that leaves 6-2 hours of crying. For the first 4-8 weeks, realistically expect to manage to work about an hour a day. I know this sounds extreme, but this is a great time to A.) recover if you had the baby, and B.) SLEEP! Sleep as often as possible. There is an adjustment period; adjust in increments. It will help everyone if you cut yourself some slack, sleep as much as possible, and try to be Super Woman only 50 percent of the time. The rest of time, settle for a Princess Leia level of bad ass-ed-ness, or something like that. Try not to kiss your brother, though, because that’s just weird and wrong.
A newborn’s fussiness reaches its peak around six weeks old. For us, it was like someone flipped a switch at the six week mark and I suddenly had a much happier baby.
For my son, the morning is his happiest, most content time of the day. As soon as we wake up he eats, I eat, and then I shower. By shower, I mean a super fast 7 minute shower. I sit him in his bouncy seat by a mirror that’s on the bathroom door right inside the bathroom so I can look at him and talk to him randomly to keep us both happy. By the time we are done with these tasks and he has been changed, it’s time for a nap.
Well, I had an entire post planned. I was going to outline the drop in steel prices and oil prices from last year to this year. I was going to show you how interrelated the two appear. I was going to show how it has personally impacted me and my family.
Screw that. I can’t seem to find the level of rationality needed to calmly discuss such things.
We’re on track to make $19,000 less this year than last. Nineteen GRAND! That’s a LOT of money to us.
Let me break it down a bit. Last year we made $52,000 combined. We didn’t break any records or anything, but we can definitely live on that. So, 52 – 19 = 33.
We’re on track to make $33,000 this year. A family of four. Need I say more? I’m just praying my business picks up or oil prices sky rocket.
Excuse me while I go cry over in the corner.
In January, I outlined how lower gas prices were ruining my life. While this sounds a bit on the dramatic side, I’m only exaggerating with that title by not specifying that lower gas prices are ruining my financial life.
As I discussed before, my husband sells steel for a living. His best customers have always been the people involved in the petroleum industry. Until January of this year, that is. The writing was on the wall for the oil industry in December, 2014, but in January the writing was no longer written–it was chiseled in stone.
Brief history: The U.S. (and Canada, for that matter) had began to ramp up oil production a few years ago in an effort to become less dependent on foreign oil. It also created jobs and had pleasant side effects for people like my husband who was suddenly getting orders for materials needed for this increase. Fracking, although controversial, was also in full swing. Existing oil drilling sites had began expanding in the last couple of years as well. New businesses had opened up in the last few years as well, taking advantage of the favorable market for oil.
Fast forward to January, 2015: OPEC (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries) decided to increase oil production. This translated to cheaper oil by the barrel, which had consumers in amazement as gas at the pump prices dropped to just under $2.00/gallon.
Everyone was happy with the lower prices–except for anyone dependent on the oil industry for a steady income. At least the laid-off workers didn’t have to pay as much to fill their tanks I guess.
Fast forward to last Friday, June 5th:
OPEC had their semi-annual meeting in Vienna, as per the usual. The members of OPEC looked around at the various oil markets. What did they see?
U.S. production has halted because it doesn’t pay to operate at a loss. Many companies are either already bankrupt or teetering on the edge. Many other companies have laid off everyone except someone to answer the phones. Canada looks very similar.
Russia’s economy has taken a huge hit because it can’t sell the oil it depends on for more than it cost to produce the oil.
What was OPEC’s response? To keep oil production at its current levels.
There will be no relief for any of these nations.
I suppose the upside is the effect it will have on Iran’s oil production and economy. But my melancholy over the effect it is having on our pocketbook far outweighs any happy thoughts I may have about Iran not being able to finance its nuclear program. I seriously have to get more writing gigs, like now.
There is an article on CNN that says it all pretty well. Check it out if you are interested: