Our baby turned 1 yesterday. I has serious mixed feelings about it, but I'm mostly happy. I miss having a tiny baby, but I love watching him grow. For his birthday, we took him to his first Astros baseball game. It was an amazing game. A no-hitter! The first for that pitcher, and the 11th no-hitter (ever) for the 'Stros!
Today! Today we had a huge party for him with so many of our friends and family. I was frantic and stressed all week, desperately trying to get everything "ready", and ultimately failing. It was a good party, though. So many people showed up to make him feel loved and special. Hubby grilled tons of food; Connor smeared cupcake all over his face; it was the best first birthday party we've ever thrown. ;-)
Overall, I think it was a fantastic day, and we will definitely never do it like this again. Way too much stress and anxiety to make things "perfect" and "ready" (because I'm a bit OCD and want everything to be "just so"). Next year, we're having the party elsewhere. It will still be awesome, but I'm not dealing with the pre-party clean up, the after-party clean up, or the crazy amounts of food. Next time, we order pizza and have the party anywhere else.
Thank you to everyone that was able to come out and make this day so special for us. And thank you to those who weren't able to make it, but sent their love. A very special thank you to our families who helped make this day possible: supplying snacks, drinks, helping clean, finish the fort, organize, cook, and especially to my little sister who iced and decorated the cupcakes for me. We seriously couldn't have done this without y'all. Thank you and we love you all.
Sometimes, I think the universe (or God, if you prefer) looks at our plans and just laughs. They see our biggest fears and think "yeah, that looks like fun. Let's go!"
1 year ago today, I was sitting at an in-service training, having Braxton Hicks contractions (and freaking out my guy team members), thinking "one more day, and I'll have my son!" I have no idea what the training about. I didn't care, I wasn't paying attention.
I was terrified of giving birth. My biggest fear was that something would go wrong and I'd have to have an emergency c-section or risk the baby. I had a panic attack the night before we went to the hospital, and that was a big chunk of the reason.
Can you guess what happened 6 hours into my labor? Yep! Doc says the baby is in distress, his heart rate drops with every contraction, we need to do a c-section. Fml. Ok! Let's do this shit!!
Turns out the scariest thing was absolutely terrifying, but 100% worth it. Connor was born healthy and perfect. I have a nifty scar on my lower belly, and a fancy story to go along with it.
I have mostly stopped trying to make hard plans for the future. Now, I still make general, long term plans, but they're more like goals than actual plans. The universe has its own plans and it couldn't care less about mine.
Because I swear I watch at least 12 hours of this show a week...I'm getting creative.
Take 3 shots when they're "super big problem" actually is a very simple issue. It's gonna be a long 25 minutes.
Take 1 shot every time Princess Pea pulls some random crap out of nowhere because "a princess is always prepared".
Take 1 shot every time you see Super Letters!
Take a shot when Red loooves rhyming. She's a rhyming skank.
Go ahead and take 3 or 4 shots when they completely massacre a classic fairy tale. It will help you cope with the loss of a childhood memory.
Take another 3 shots when the Super Story Answer doesn't actually "solve" their problem. You just wasted 25 minutes of your life.
This is just a clever little way to make kid shows less miserable. Have fun!
Over the last 5 years of marriage (8 years together) I have discovered a few helpful tips to keep a happy relationship. I don't agree with the "Happy wife, Happy Life" adage. I think that just makes women sound like crazy, controlling, demons. I have yet to meet a woman who fits that description. I believe marriage is a partnership, in which both partners needs to recognize and validate the other's contribution. Here are a few little helpful tips to keep a happy marriage.
1. Pay attention. When she talks, actually listen. No one enjoys repeating themselves over and over. We have to do it all day with the kids, don't make us do it with you too.
2. Prioritize her and your relationship. I can't tell you how many times we've put off date night because the baby was sick, or we didn't feel like we had the money, or some other lame, bullshit excuse. Don't do it. Pick a regular night (every other Tuesday; the first Friday of every month; etc) and say "ok, this is date night. I don't care what's going on, on this day, we will hang out as just a couple for a few hours. Spend time as 'us'." It will make you both happier.
3. The little things make a huge difference. You might not think it's a big deal to leave your dirty laundry in the living room, but it drives her up the wall and adds work to her already hectic day chasing a toddler around. Offer to cook/pick up dinner, or make a quick run to the grocery store for her. Complete (wash, dry and put away) a load of laundry. Load and/or unload the dishwasher. Simple things that will make her day a little easier and make her smile that you put in the effort to help her out.
4. Forehead kisses are obscenely underrated. I don't think this needs explanation.
5. Remind her that you care. Send a random text during the day to let her know you're thinking about her. Tell her you love her, often and really mean it. Don't just say it like "oh, hi, how are you?" Let her know your life wouldn't be nearly as awesome without her.
I think this about covers it. There's probably other things that are specific to your lady, but you'll have to figure those out on your own. These are just basic, simple things that could seriously improve your day-to-day life. Especially if you are currently incapable of getting your dirty laundry into the appropriate room.
You're welcome. :)
Maybe it's just me. Maybe I'm a weirdo, freak, anti-feminist, 1950s wife-wannabe. Maybe. That's ok. I love the feeling of being safe and protected by a man. It feels real and secure and I don't think there's any comparable substitution.
I have lived alone. Like 100% alone. Well, I had a dog. Then 2 dogs. I was super broke and lived in an arguably sketchy (although I still disagree and think it was a really cute) area. I didn't have a man to protect me, and I survived just fine. I am in no way saying I need a man in my life. Hubby and I actually had this conversation last week. I don't need him, I choose to have him in my life, and I think that's far better.
I love that feeling of being hugged and held so tightly that you think you're going to melt into that person and become one weird, 2 headed, 4 armed, 4 legged double human creature. That makes me feel safe, secure, protected. Like I know he'll kill anything that tried to hurt me. Ok, maybe "kill" is a bit harsh, but definitely maim. Even just a hand, resting on the back of my neck, with a bit of pressure applied, works as a reminder of the safety and security he provides. I've never found a feeling quite like that anywhere else.
I have woken up in the middle of the night, mid-panic attack, and felt him wrap his arms around me and it has calmed me down in record time. Sure, I can handle the panic attacks on my own. I have in the past and I'm sure I will again in the future, but when he's there, I can settle them much faster.
Feeling him around me, protecting me (both literally and figuratively) from anything that might wish me harm...I can't really describe it. It's just the best thing to me. Like coming home after being gone for far too long. I try and instill that same feeling in my son. I think most parents do.
I realize that sometimes this sense of safety and security is a fallacy. When I lost our first baby, he held me for days. It didn't change anything, but it still felt so much better than when I was alone. Last October, on the first anniversary of the day we found out we were pregnant with the soon-to-be-lost baby, it was also the day I found out my uncle had passed away. He held me for hours. Again, there was nothing he could do to protect me from these things, but he did his best to keep me feeling safe. When I lost my job, he made a point to spend a little extra time just sitting with me and trying to solidify the feeling that I was still wanted and important (despite my former boss' ability to just toss me aside) and that he was there for me, to protect me from the world as best he can.
If you read this and think "oh, here's another chick that has been indoctrinated by the media and forced gender roles. She thinks she needs a man in her life to protect her." then you've completely missed the point. I'm not saying that at all. I'm saying I choose to have strong men in my life. I choose a husband that makes me feel safe even when my body is telling me I'm falling apart. I choose this. It isn't forced on me, and I don't require it. I want it. I can live without it; I have in the past. I choose to live with it. You don't have to.
As I used to tell my students all the time: Life is about choices. (Make good ones)
We hear it all the time. Breast milk the best option for your baby. It's the healthiest. It will keep your baby healthy. It will help him/her grow big and strong. It's great bond to have with your baby. Nothing can replace that feeling of soothing and comforting your child while nourishing him/her with your body.
Yeah, that's all well and good until you have to go back to work and you can't take a 30+ minute break every couple hours to pump. Then you get to slowly watch your body fail you and make you feel miserable for failing your baby as your boobs dry up.
When he was born, I swore we'd never use formula, because I had boobs and this was their sole purpose in life, right? 3 days later, his doc tells us to start supplementing because my milk hadn't come in yet and he was seriously jaundiced. Well, f*ck. Ok. Fine, we supplement, but breastmilk is always first, then formula if needed.
Then, when he was 3 months old, I went back to work. Let me just tell you right now: pumping in a darken classroom, hearing students in the hallway, hoping that no one knocks or needs to come in for any reason is incredibly awkward. Indescribably so. I managed to pump for about a week. Then Thanksgiving break from school. By Christmas, he was exclusively formula.
I tried to convince myself it was ok, that it didn't bother me that my supply dried up and I couldn't feed my baby anymore, like I was supposed to.
In all honestly, I felt like a big fat failure. Hubby and I had several conversations about it. He was very supportive. Researched ways to increase my supply, then later, found research stated that our son would be just as healthy as breastfed babies when I was panicking and blaming myself for his first cold at 6 months. I kept saying that if I were still breastfeeding, he wouldn't be sick. Hubby comforted me as best he could, but I was sure it was my fault and I had failed our son.
"Breast is best." That is great, except if you can't breastfeed. Then it's just a guilt trip.
For the record, our son is now 11 months old. He'll be 1 on the 21st. He's very healthy, walking like a drunken person and eating more than me most nights. Breastmilk is great. Formula is great too.
You do what is best for your baby. I plan to breastfeed our next child for as long as I can as well. Now, whether that's 3 months or a year, that all depends on my body. Formula is a lot easier, though; expensive, but considerably less awkward with company and not nearly as painful for my body.
Yesterday was my birthday. I'm officially 28. Yay.. Meh, I haven't really cared about my birthday since I turned 21. Maybe I'll care at 30.
It was a good day, though. First Friday Hubby's been off since his vacation back in June. I got a really relaxing (head and neck massage included) haircut. Hung out with our friends, one of whom made me a fruit cake, because she knows I'm trying to avoid sweets. Watermelon, cut into a cylinder, with honeydew, cantaloupe, and strawberries all along the sides, and topped with pineapple and blueberries. Yummy! So very yummy and healthy. Thank you, Ashley!! Even got homemade whipped cream from her boyfriend, and our good friend, Paul. Overall, but birthday dessert, possibly ever.
The absolute best part of the day, though, was when our son took his first steps. It was amazing. He was just standing there, and *BAM* step, step, step, plop! Easily one of the top five best moments of my life. Since then, he's been working on walking every chance I get. I'm hoping he'll be a pro by his birthday in 3 weeks!! I guess we'll see.
Get your daily Nerdy fix by following us on Instagram
Writer and Contributor for the Motherhood Community