Sunday, June 16, 2013

Real Life

This is a recent picture of our dining room table.  I took a picture of it because it accurately shows what our house usually looks like-- disorganized, things out of place, evidence of Baby having done some experiments (in this case, she was on top of the table dumping out salt from the salt shaker).  Every once in a while I still look at the old blogs I used to look at, even though I've previously sworn them off-- blogs by people with babies where everything in their house is totally immaculate (ie bed made, beautiful table and centerpiece, living room worthy of being shown in a magazine).  So, this is what living with a baby actually looks like!  There are crayon markings on our walls, baby toys everywhere, pieces of food half-eaten.  Recently the upstairs phone was awol for about two weeks; Husband found it this morning.

We joined a new mommy/child group this past week-- sort of socializing time for babies-- they get to play and have snack together-- and the moms get to support one another. It's great!  I got a bunch of book recommendations from one of the moms in it and ordered them this morning: "Parenting From the Inside Out", "Raising Your Spirited Child", "How to Talk so Kids Will Listen and Listen so Kids Will Talk", "Becoming the Parent You Want to Be".  I also want to read "Siblings Without Rivalry" if and when it's appropriate for us (that is, when Baby has a sibling).  Also signing up for the newsletter from Aha! Parenting.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Becoming a Mother

Quiet morning here.  Baby and I went to a new mom/baby group-- sort of a support group for moms and playtime for the children.  We know about it from a mom I know in La Leche League.  It was really nice to go and talk (well, mostly listen) about the challenges of being a mom.  It's kind of a cliche but it's true that it's hard but fun and rewarding to be a mom.  Some days are harder than others, but never ever would I give it up for anything.  Baby is just too cute.  I think reading a lot of parenting magazines and-- depending on the playgroup-- being in playgroups or especially reading blogs about moms and babies, the hard side of parenting gets glossed over.  I think I'm quite patient and most of the time when there's yogurt everywhere or Baby pulls down the stack of towels I just folded, or does some other exercise that strengthens and fulfills her curiosity but means more work and organizing for me, I do find it quite funny and end up laughing.  But sometimes I don't and I feel exasperated.  Usually it helps me to see things from her point of view rather than mine-- yes, maybe if I want our floor to be clean, I need to clean up the cereal (or better yet, just let Pug eat them), but Baby is enjoying doing whatever she's doing with them.  Babies experiment.  At the Portland Children's Museum, I remember reading there that babies do experiments all the time naturally.  They make hypotheses and check to see what happens.  This is so true in life.  So usually when she's making a mess, as long as it isn't hurting her or making things too tough for me, I let her experiment and make her conclusions.  Maybe she's a budding scientist.

Only a few people know, but before I got pregnant with Baby, I had a very early miscarriage/ possibly chemical pregnancy.  It happened very very early on (which is why I always suspected chemical pregnancy). Husband and I were in Maui on vacation, and I remember getting a very faint positive.  I took the test at sunrise.  I was so happy.  I bought a little wood necklace that I wanted to give to that baby someday.  A day or two later, everything changed.  I felt okay, if a little shocked, while we were in Hawaii, but as soon as we got home, I started feeling really depressed.  It was December.  I spent most of that month at home.  One day I went to Bed Bath and Beyond and from my car, saw a mom and baby in the parking lot.  I cried and went home.  Those were hard days.  I wondered if I would ever have a baby.  

I read somewhere that fertility is often very high following a miscarriage and that if there's no health reason not to (there wasn't for me), to try again for a baby soon after.  So we did and I think it was the cycle after the miscarriage that I became pregnant with Baby.  It was the very end of January.  Getting pregnant with Baby is what made me feel all better.  I have never felt bad about the miscarriage since then.  All the gloom and depression disappeared.  

I also went to acupuncture for fertility treatments, and to boost up my energy/immune system.  

And when I got pregnant with Baby, I started to bond with her right away.  This was a very conscious decision on my part.  Unfortunately, I think it's become this sort of normal phenomenon for moms not to bond with their babies during the first 12 weeks-- I'm sure out of fear of losing the baby and then having to deal with the loss.  But my feeling is that it will only help if mom and baby bond from the very beginning.  I wish western medical doctors encouraged this.  I do think it's healthy and very beneficial to the mom and growing baby to experience the love and bonding from the get-go.  In the sad event that a loss does occur, mothers can have some comfort in the bond they shared with their babies, even if for a short time.  Denying the excitement of pregnancy and bonding could, in the case of a loss, contribute to a mother's sadness, grief and guilt.  Many many women have miscarriages.  I wish, in hindsight, I had told more people about it.  I think it would have helped me.  

Monday, June 10, 2013

June 10th

We had Gymboree class this morning, followed by a little trip to the outdoor shopping center next to it.  I attempted to stop in Anthropologie to check out some cherry-printed pants my mom saw, but Baby was not happy in there so we left.  Went to the Gymboree store after that... usually I feel ho-hum about their clothes and feel their prints look too cartoonish, but I did find a few things that were pretty cute today.  Next stop was a burger for lunch and I found a shaded kid-sized picnic table where Baby sat and ate.  She loves tomatoes (one came on the burger).  We went to a few more stores and I popped into Mrs. Fields and bought a few tiny cookies for us for the ride home.  Baby fell asleep in the car and it did melt my heart when I got her out of the seat at home and she had chocolate around her mouth and apple juice from her juice box on her shirt. I love lifting her (fairly heavy) little body, all soft and warm and limp, out of the car, up the stairs, plopping her in bed, and then relaxing in the rocking chair.

This is maybe a fairly boring topic and only of use to nursing moms out there, but since we still nurse (Baby is really a toddler now) and I've tried lots of nursing tanks and nursing clothes, I've been wanting to write a little review of my favorites and not-so-favorites:

Target's Gilligan & O'Malley nursing tanks win hands down for me in terms of comfort, price, and ease of use (some nursing tanks have the worst little clasps that take an acrobat to undo).  Color selection is a bit boring but practical (can't go wrong with white or black).

Glamourmom Nursing Bra Long Tank  I really like these tanks but they're a bit pricey ($49).  They fit really well, have nice clasps, wash well and come in good colors.  Immediately after I'd had Baby and still had extra weight on me, I found them quite tight and had to cut little v's in the elastic around my rib cage.  Now that I'm back to my normal size, they fit fine.

Bravado's Essential Nursing Tank At 49 bucks a pop, with a strange fit and the fact that it isn't entirely cotton (or at least doesn't feel that way), it's my least favorite.

I got two new nursing tanks from Destination Maternity today (Pea in the Pod brand) and I'll update after I've tried those.  One's cotton and one's some new-fangled material.

I don't wear a ton of nursing clothes anymore but I did for about the first year after having Baby.  I feel pretty frumpy in them now so they're mostly relegated to being clothes I wear around the house, but there was a time when I enjoyed wearing them in public.  I've tried lots of nursing clothes, and my favorite is from Japanese Weekend.  It can be a little pricey but it's made in the USA (last I checked).  The best style is the cross front .  I have one or two D&A (from Japanese Weekend) nursing dresses and they shrank-- mostly they're nursing tunics now.  Gap has good but basic nursing tops.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Sunday musings

We're having a nice, quiet Sunday.  I like having at least a few days each week with nothing scheduled.  This morning, after breakfast and after I folded the 3 or 4 loads of laundry that have been hanging out on top of the dresser all week, and after I put away the 20 or so books that Baby had taken off the book shelf, we set off on a stroller ride.  First we went to Starbucks for a chai latte and bagel with cream cheese, then to the park by our house.  Baby went in the swing, then played on the playground (it's geared to older kids but there are a few things she can safely do), and then when it was really starting to heat up, I pushed the button to turn the fountain area on! She loves water play.  I put on her swim diaper, swim bloomers and a uv 50 hoodie (and quickly smeared some baby sunscreen on) and let her go at it.  I love sitting in the sun and watching her giggle as she runs around and plays in the water.

Now we're home and she's napping and I was looking online at some blogs and found  this blog post about kids and sports.  Good food for thought.  Obviously baby is not ready for sports yet, but this article sort of confirms some of my hesitations and concerns about organized sports for kids of all ages.  Mainly, the whole culture of adults yelling and screaming at kids and making winning seem so important really rubs me the wrong way.  Of course, I didn't care for sports much myself as a kid (and as an adult).  So we'll see what Baby is interested in, but even if she does like soccer and softball, why not just play with her friends?  Why must everything be so serious for kids? Why the need to schedule so much? Truth be told, I already sometimes feel like I have too much scheduled for her, or close to too much.  Once a week we go to tumbling, once a week we have music, and soon we'll be starting a once a week mommy/baby group.

Unrelated to the above things, I've been reading a really nice book.  I bought it on a whim at a store.  The title, "Things Good Mothers Know" doesn't feel like the right title to me.  Sort of smug or something.  And I haven't really read anything in it that is only for mothers.  I think a better title, just off the top of my head, would be "Nice Things To Read Before Going to Sleep."  Which is how I read it.  I have a few minor quibbles with the book, like that the author gives good advice ("simplify your life") but many of her examples show she doesn't take it herself (like the paragraphs she spends talking about finding some place to store her husband's illustrious leather-bound law journals).  That aside, it's a great little book and makes me feel better about life.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

June 8th

Warm weather is here! We've been getting out a lot, going to the zoo (pictured above on the zoo train), going to parks, going to the farmers' market, spending time in our yard with the sprinkler on.  In fact we just got back from the farmers' market.  Favorite, favorite, favorite thing there: hot maple donuts from Lowhill Village Bakery.  Long lines, but I would wait forever for one.  Baby fell asleep on the way home.

Links I wanted to include:

This article on one of my favorite sites,, entitled "7 Principles for Peaceful Parenting".

This commencement speech by Nipun Mehta.  Just love it.

"Helping, Fixing, Serving" nice article on

All I can think of for now.