The Great Escape

As a SAHM, I take any opportunity to do anything without my child, very, very seriously.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I love my baby, nothing has brought me more enjoy & purpose to life. But things are a lot easier to deal with when I don’t have him in tow. Errands are actually ran. A cup of coffee can be enjoyed. Chores will become accomplished.

Today I had the surprise of leaving the kid with Daddy, who was staying home from class (he didn’t need to go in today). I planned my escape with anticipation.

Walmart isn’t the most glamorous location to run away to in any case, but I will take what I can get nowadays. You take regular activities for granted before you have kids. Children teach you to enjoy the little things.

Like being able to quickly select a shopping cart, throw your purse in the seat, and go! No struggling with diaper bag, no screaming baby, or stares from other consumers.

What a joy it is to just toss your crap anywhere in the car without having to worry if it will topple over and crush your kid. You have (seemingly) unlimited space, and the sky is your limit!

And after you’ve bought your essentials (me: borax, calgon & washing soda for cloth diaper laundry) you are free to speed through the self-check out aisle, which is much faster than the regular cashier’s lane, and even faster than usual now because you are free to ring everything up yourself. No baby to keep an eye on, stop from grabbing everything within eye level, or keep from trying to climb out the seat.

Next stop-the drive thru coffee shop! I would have went inside, but I myself have grown accustomed to drive thru. It’s nearly your only option if you don’t want to lug a child through the establishment. But today-no fussy baby wanting to go home. I don’t have to worry about the wait. It’s worth the ten minutes it takes in line and I get that one, simple but satisfying, carnal pleasure that is a mocha frappachino (Elliano’s version anyway).20160220_142759-1

There’s nothing like sipping on frozen coffee while standing in line at the post office. Correction: nothing like doing this without carrying your baby under one arm. Secretly wishing the line were longer, I took my time writing out the address, telling the post office clerk, “take your time” as she refilled the receipt paper before giving me the tracking number for the package I was sending. Almost time to go home.

Taking the long road back, I reflect on the amount of time I’ve actually been away from the house. Not long, really. But oddly enough, as much as I needed alone time, I can’t wait to get back to my baby. He doesn’t notice I’ve been gone all this time, still playing with Daddy and the stuffed Chewbacca he got for Christmas. Sometimes all we need is a short break to recharge.  And even though some things are way easier without him, it’s so much better to finally be done with it so I can get back to him.

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We were lucky

We consider ourselves lucky to have a healthy baby

At the time of this post,  my son had just completed his 9 month well visit.
I had an incredible delivery and he had no issues whatsoever at birth.  A healthy 8lbs even, 22inches long. I remember that even then he looked exactly like his father-so much even my doctor questioned whether or not I actually “had anything to do with making this baby? “
Oh, nah….I was just impregnated by John Carpenter’s The Thing, that decided to assimilate to my husband’s form in utero,  only to reward my horrific bouts of morning sickness & the gruelling process of growing a human being, by looking everything like him & nothing like me.
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He did turn out cute though 😉
We have been very fortunate that he has remained healthy,  has been hitting developmental milestones on time, if not early (usually the case), and had even stayed as cute as he was at birth, if not more.

Children are a gamble

We were lucky. We continue to be lucky. I’m sure a lot of other factors have something to do with it-I never smoked cigarettes while pregnant. Never drank. Cut out deli meat and sushi,  kept active during my pregnancy with walking for exercise (which strengthens your legs for pushing during labor),  steered clear of nail salons, and even kept negative people away from my growing child so their bad energy wasn’t shed off onto it.
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Our baby was born healthy. And sometimes,  despite ones efforts during pregnancy,  some aren’t. Bruce was one of the more healthier kids born in our hospital at the time of his birth. Its very emotional to hear about some of the other parents I know,  struggling with the different circumstances of their babies.

Counting our blessings

It’s one thing to read about them online,  or even watch it on tv…. but when you know the family personally going through it,  the empathy can kill you.
I know kids with debilitating conditions, making their way of life very difficult.  I know babies with conditions that makes everyday life a challenge.  I know moms who did everything right, who stayed with their babies in the NICU for a very, very long time while I took mine home after a couple days routine hospital visit. I know some moms that didn’t make it home with theirs.
And it’s unfair. No one should go through having a sick child. No one should go through the death of their child. No parent should go through the agony of not knowing what they could have done different,  to change the circumstances of existence.
Life is a cruel, unfair bitch….
That’s why I snuggle my son longer,  cherish everything a little bit more,  and keep counting lucky stars. Because things beyond your control can happen, and that’s scary enough. We could have had a very bad deal. There could have just been some slight difficulties. But we could have also faced devastation. But in the end, we had a perfectly healthy baby boy, who has stayed that way so far.
We were lucky. And for that we are forever grateful.

5 Tips on Learning To Deal With Realities of Your Expectations

The way you handle expectations vs realities,  drastically changes once you have kids.

Before becoming a parent, when it came to events or projects,  I built up my expectation very high.  I wanted “this” to happen a certain way. With a particular outcome. Scenarios were very elaborate with every possibility, and I planned things as much as possible down to the last detail,  to achieve the outcome I wanted.

Granted,  the reality wasn’t always as expected. But usually pretty close.  I could at least deal with the fact that I tried, as hard as I could,  and if I didn’t get the expected results,  then oh well. Always next time & know I have a better understanding of what to expect.
Then I had a baby.

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Sleepless Nights & Baby Snuggles

Some babies are able to sleep all through the night. Some even 12+ hours.  Not mine.
He is exclusively breast fed, and at the time of this blog post,  going through a growth spurt.  His routine is a simple one:from the time he is laid down for sleep,  I have anywhere between 1-4 hours max before I am awakened by a wet,  hungry baby.
Even after we started solid food,  his appetite had only grown and he requires Mommy’s Milk to get him back to sleep.  Even if it’s only for a few minutes. (I think he mostly needs the snuggles)
So often times,  this mama is getting up at least twice,  if not four times (the absolute worst) between the hours of midnight to six am.  We use cloth diapers, and even the most fool proof “overnight heavy wetter” brands, aren’t able to trick my son.  He can be dry as a bone to the skin… but he knows he peed. “Nuh-uh, change me.”
 
The first few weeks of life,  this is to be expected if a newborn. And considering how often they eat, and need to eat,  very natural.  But after four months,  five months,  six months, everyone else’s baby was sleeping all the way through the night.  Not mine.  We were still up watching Adult Swim cartoons while mama struggled through the next day on four hours of sleep.
My pediatricians only had one thing to say: you can train him. Really?  Not only is my son a night owl,  but since birth is notorious for not being a big fan of naps. We are lucky to get two, one hour naps a day. He’s never seemed sleep deprived – He just didn’t nap much and wakes to eat and change.
“At six months old you can train him to sleep for 16hours.”
Lady,  if you only knew….
I never got any helpful advice on how to accomplish this-all her suggestions on using light/darkness during active/rest times were interpreted as a game,  baths were already regularly scheduled and had no effect,  and the “cry it out” method just created a very mad baby who learned that if he were to just become quiet, I’d peek in to see the furrowed brow of a 8month old who busted me for hiding around the corner.
I eventually decided my Dr wouldn’t last a weekend with my son.
Once I began speaking with other parents, I realized that there are a lot of kids who just don’t sleep through the night. Their normal is to get up at least once. Sometimes for years. They just need a little nursing time,  some snuggles,  reassurance, and then they *do* go back to sleep. Maybe sometimes it takes 10 minutes. Sometimes longer. Sometimes not.
Our babies are only babies for so long. We only get X amount of snuggles and special nursing time together, as mother and child, for so long.
I’m a fortunate SAHM, so I get to spend 24/7 with my baby. I also need my sleep,  but for nine months,  I’ve adjusted everything about my body’s needs to my baby.
Until I can figure out a way he still gets what he needs and I finally get what I need,  I’ll continue to get up every few hours,  drink massive amounts of coffee during the day,  and join him in hour long naps that don’t last nearly as long as I’d like.  If it helps my baby sleep as WELL as he possibly can, I’ll do it.
If you are also like me and find yourself up all hours of the night-you aren’t alone.  When I find a solution,  I’ll be shouting from the rooftops.
If you find it before me,  send it over. With Starbucks.

A child is not a competition

Since when did everyone have to have a better child than the next person? Why have our children become a competition?

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