Friday, March 29, 2013

Suspended

I've already posted once about facebook this week.  That was this week, right?  Either way, it's not going to be my habit to talk about FB on here, but I read something on there this morning, and it touched my heart.  I just had to share it with you.



Two words: Suspended Coffee.

There's an article on it here, which is different from what I read on facebook, but it explains the premise.  In case you don't like clicking on links, I'll also explain the premise.  You go to your coffee shop.  You say "I'd like 3 coffees.  One for me, two suspended."  You pay for 3.  You get 1.  You leave.  You've not been ripped off.  You've donated two coffees, so that if someone comes by later who is cold, or tired, or worn down, and they would like a coffee but cannot pay, they can still have one.  

It doesn't have to be coffee, y'all.  Think about where this could go.  Suspended sandwiches.  Suspended pancakes.  Suspended Prius.  Okay, maybe I'm getting ahead of myself.  But I love this.  Some would call it "paying it forward".  I call it love.  Loving those around you, even though you don't know who they are.  

Another bonus?  The person who gets the suspended __(whatever)__ doesn't have to ask for a handout.  They don't have to say "can I have some free food because I'm poor and needy."  They just ask "Do you have any suspended __(whatevers)__?"  It might not be much different, but its different enough.  And, for the skeptics/concerned citizens/my husband, you know that your money has gone towards what you meant for it to go towards, and not booze or baseball tickets.

Wanna know what else?  I thought to myself, "I shouldn't write about this today.  It has nothing to do with Easter.  I should write about something Easter-y."  REALLY SELF?  Really?  Someone else, paying for me before they even met me, taking the cost upon themselves so that I may have a gift?  That has nothing to do with Easter?  Really????"  Apparently, I need my theology checked.  Because thinking about it now, I'm 100% sure that suspended coffee has everything to do with Easter.  

Easter is about Jesus.  (Sorry, Bunny.)  It's about how Jesus, the Son of God, came to this earth, lived a blameless life, and yet was willing to allow Himself to be crucified for our sake, and then beat the pants off of death by rising again.  It's as though He said to God, "I'll take everyone ever's hope for eternity.  Suspended."  and then He paid for them.  So that later, when I realized I was wretched and in need, I could go to God and say "Do you have any suspended eternities?" God could say, "Why yes, yes I do.  Here, have eternal life and a side of Peace now, on Jesus."

Happy Easter, all.  Remember that someone else has already paid for you.  Be aware of ways you can "suspend" things for others.  Much love.
<3 M.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

A Tired Desperation :: Sleep Training RG

**Dear Sleep-deprived Mama who found this while googling at 2AM.  Scroll down to the underlined part.  That's the crux of the matter, as far as you're concerned.  I love you.  Good luck.**

Let me tell you about my friend. Her name is 2AM-Google (yes, hyphenated). She had taught me so much these past 6 weeks. Things about breastfeeding and cloth diapers, napping habits (or lack of habits) of newborns, when to introduce a pacifier (once bf-ing is established, as early as 3 weeks if all is going well) and how to get my pre-pregnancy belly back (hint- not happening any time soon).  She's kept me informed regarding foods I may want to avoid (pineapple and chocolate) and foods I should eat the heck out of (oatmeal, ginger, and spinach).

I'm sure my search history would be humorous.
I'm also sure glad no one will ever see it, save for those people at google analytics.
You're welcome, google geeks.

Sometimes, though, 2AM-G (as her friends call her) didn't have all the answers. Sometimes, the answer was "that depends on your baby".  That made things difficult as RG & I had only known each other a short time.  I hated that answer, although it did remind me to pay more attention to my primary source (RG) than any secondary sources (everything else).

Things came to a head when I began trying to figure out when to start teaching RG her first big skill, soothing herself to sleep. One source recommends starting at one week old while another suggests to wait until month 4. What?! So now, not only was 2AM-G telling me that it depended on my baby, she was also giving me conflicting advice.  That was a problem.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Cat Person

I'm not generally a cat person.  Kittens are cute, but cats... that's a non-starter.

I hope we can still be friends.  I'm willing to overlook it if you are.

But I've found myself becoming a huge fan of the angry cat.  Not sure what his name is, but there's all these memes out there (related - I don't know how to pronounce "memes" but I'm pretty sure it means "pictures with captions") featuring a really ticked-off looking cat who says horrible things.  Things like:

via
There's a whole bunch of these, in case your Tuesday needs a serious pick-me-up.  But my personal favorite is not the official GrumpyCat.  Nope.  I love this one:


Gets me every time.  So I may be becoming a meme-cat person, if that's a thing.  Luckily for Handsome, he's not allergic to pictures of cats, so we can all breath easy (see what I did there?  Allergies?  Breath easy?  ha!).

Whats your favorite?  Are you a meme-cat person?
<3 M.

Monday, March 25, 2013

An Unreasonably Expectant Mother

I'm not expecting, not like that. Sillies. We're not even at the 6-week mark yet. But all the same, I've been the other type of expecting mother- one with expectations.

It's kind of impressive to me how far off I was in my expectations. I'm not even sure where I got my ideas of how out should go, "it" being anything to do with my baby girl and her daily goings ons. I didn't even realize how much I expected or of both her and I until I emerged from my hormone-induced fog and could pinpoint what was upsetting me. And I didn't start to feel better until I released some most all of those (unreasonable) expectations.

The Woombie.
AKA - Baby straight jacket.
We love it!

If I expected to get sleep and didn't, I was a wreck. This was probably the hardest one to let go of. Because letting go of an expectation means no longer expecting that thing that you previously expected.  In simple terms, I had to not expect to sleep.  Which is kind of like expecting to not sleep.  Which was terrifying for a little while there.  But if I laid RG down, and instead of hoping & wishing for her to sleep, if I said "This probably won't work, but it's worth a try." and she didn't sleep, I was fine.  Because that was what I expected.  And if she did sleep, when I did't expect her to?  Bonus!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

My Freezer Is Running

So I'd better go catch it... har har har...

I tried to find a picture of a freezer.
One with legs.
Running.
They don't exist.
So I figured Tiny Dancer was a good substitute.
You're welcome.

But no, really.  Our chest freezer.  The one that sat in our carport for months, before moving to our kitchen for more months, before finally being removed to the laundry room where it rightfully belongs.  It's finally running.  We were given this freezer many many moons ago, but never had cause to use it.

Until last week.

What happened last week, you ask?  A moment of temporary insanity, I believe.  Or perhaps it was a moment that payed homage to American ingenuity and the almighty sales pitch.  Either way.  We bought meat from a guy who drove up to our house with a chest freezer in the back of his pickup and a mouthful of promises.  "Best meat [we'll] ever eat" and "This should last you 9-12 months" and "If you don't like it, I'll come back and get it from you".  

I'm not telling you how much we bought, because I reserve the right to hide my shame from the public.  But let's just say it was enough to fire up the freezer in the basement.  I've tried some of the chicken, and it really is quite good...  But alas, the jury is still out on this one until we (a) see how long it lasts us and (b) try the fillets.  Because you never really know until you try the fillet.  That's what I'm telling myself.  

What about you?  What's the strangest thing you've bought while standing on your front stoop?  Or is this just me?
<3 M.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Facebook Is Not A Monster

I'll admit, there are times that I'm so over facebook.  People get all drama-y on there sometimes.  People overshare sometimes.  People post pictures of things, sometimes, that I wish I could un-see.  It's not wine and roses over there, I freely admit it.

She's supposed to be sleeping at this moment.
She's not sleeping.
She's yelling at me.
But this picture tells me she was once happy.
I have hope that she will be happy again.
I've even thought of *gasp* closing my account.

Can I just say, in this new stage of life, with crazy baby hours (the hours are crazy, not the baby!), I'm super thankful for facebook?  First of all, I get to put sweet pictures of RG up there, for the world to see.  And I'm not so concerned about the world's ability to see them, but rather family far away (as all of our family is).  Moms, Grandmas, Uncles, they all get to peek in and keep up with RG's newest fat roll.  I know they love it.

And the messages.  Like, the private messages you send to people?  It's almost like getting a letter in the mail.  Except its instant.  And you're more likely to receive a message from someone you don't know all that well, but who, hypothetically, knows your mom and heard you were having trouble with sleeping and would like you to, hypothetically, know that she's praying for you and if you have any questions, she's successfully raised 2 girls past the infant stage and would be happy to lend an ear.  Hypothetically.

Or maybe you get a message from an old friend.  Not that the friend has to be old, but the friendship itself.  Maybe you hypothetically get a message from an old-friendship-kind-of-friend.  And you message back.  And then you repeat.  And turns out you're not just old friends, you're still friends.  And you support each other and share in each other's struggles and excitement.  Like, hypothetically, the expecting of a new bambino (not me, the friend.  hypothetically).  

So I'm learning that facebook can be used for good, and doesn't have to be used for evil.  And by evil, I mean oversharing and "like this page to win a free iPad" and drama and "You have 5 requests for CandyTown".  It's giving me a chance to reach out a little more, to expand my circle.  And I'm really liking that!

What good have you used facebook for recently?
<3 M.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

I'm a Social Introvert

I've never taken one of those personality tests.  They're way  too confusing for me.  I find myself either wanting to choose more than one answer or completely unable to choose any.  I just... I don't fit.  I wrote something similar to this a looong time ago.  So long ago that I'm feeling unequal to the task of digging through the archives to link to it here, like a good blogger would do.

I do post fabulous pictures, like a good blogger would do.
So perhaps I'm a half-way good blogger.
I wonder if she'll be an innie or an exie...

Anyhow, personality test or no, I've figured it out.  I'm a social introvert.  I don't know if that's a thing that was a thing before I wrote it, but it is what I am.  Social, because I do like people.  I don't hate being around  people, I like to meet new ones, and friendly strangers pretty much make my day.  Seriously, there are few things that make my day quicker.


BUT.  But.  I need alone time.  I don't need friendly strangers, much as I enjoy them.  I don't need parties or groups or titillating conversation.  I didn't even fully realize how much I crave alone-ness before today, how much I need it.  Thanks to my fantastic husband, it happened today.  I. Was. Alone.  And my soul rejoiced.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

On Saturday

On Saturday...

I woke up after 5, count 'em, FIVE straight hours.  FIVE.  One, two three, four... Fi-ive!  It was amazing.  I sort-of kind-of woke up earlier than RG, but only enough to think to my subconscious self, "Gee, I'm sleeping for a long time".  Fab.  The Fab Five.  That's what I'm calling it.  The Fab Five hours.

We love sleeping for 5 hours!
I used a shovel.  In my garden.  Nothing was planted, nothing was really accomplished.  But I used a shovel and moved dirt around.  It was lovely.  Hopefully sometime in the next week or so I'll get a few things planted and going with growing.  I really hope so.  I love growing things.

How excited am I to put potatoes in here?
SO excited.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Still Here :: 1 Month

Hey friends.

How you doing?  

We're doing pretty well, I'm pretty sure.  RG is working on her fitness.  And by "fitness", I mean ever-expanding waistline.  And cheek volume.  And number of rolls.  2 pounds in 3 weeks?  Don't mind if we do!

She can open her eyes, but it's hard work.
I'm pretty sure her eyelids alone weigh 1/2 pound.
This past week has been big goings on in and out of our household.  I've discovered that baby girl is portable.  Who knew?!  And so we've been going and doing.  We've also recently acquired (thanks to my midnight/2am/4am-googling) some sweet gear that makes taking baby around with us even easier.  I'll share more about that later.  But we've traveled and seen and visited.  It's been good.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Do What Makes You Happy

Please note that the title is not "Follow your heart", which is, in my opinion, one of the worst pieces of advice of all time.  If I had followed my heart, I'd be married to my 7th grade crush (who turned out to be not a very nice guy), I'd be a kindergarten teacher, I'd be eating cheesecake for breakfast each & every day... in short, I'd be making a lot of not-so-smart decisions.

Putting my little Helga in her Viking hat?
That makes me happy.
Shamelessly putting unrelated pictures of my uber-cute daughter on my posts?
Makes me happy as well.

When I asked my darling husband what I was even supposed to be doing with my days (You hear me, mommas?  You asked this question too, didn't you?) he gave me some practical ideas, like housework and dissertation work and going for walks.  Then he added that I need to make time to do something that makes me happy, too.

It took me a minute to figure out what that even would be.  I've been spending my days totally wrapped up in feeding and clothing and rocking and swaddling, with some napping and chores thrown into the in-betweens. I've been fortunate enough to be able to shower pretty much every day, but that's about the extent of what I do "for me".  And I'm pretty sure that's normal.  

Monday, March 4, 2013

My Fears

This whole having a baby thing its hard, yo. Like, way hard. Harder than I imagined it would be, for sure.  I love it, but there are definitely moments when I wish I could go back to bring pregnant, when I still felt bonded to this baby, but it was So. Much. Easier.  And when I didn't have to worry about a food baby after eating. Oh, the simple life.

"The Good Ole Days"
Also, where did my butt go?
Did someone take it?

One of the hardest things has been dealing with my crazy self.  I didn't suffer too much in the way of pregnancy hormones and mood swings. At least, not so much that anyone bothered to tell me.  But these post-partum hormones, they're like pregnancy hormones' ugly older bully of a cousin. Rough.

Most days, I take my crazy to my council, the group of women who have done this before me, who understand. My mom, my MIL, friends close and far. I've even got a bonus friend, she's a doctor AND a mom of 3 girls.  Did someone say "Yahtzee"?

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Snug as a Bug :: Swaddling

Bless this child of mine.  We don't always have great days (*cough*yesterday*cough*), but she's doing A-O-kay on her nights.  In amongst the 2- & 3-hour stretches I have been getting, I slept for a solid 3 1/2 hours last night, and it was bliss.  Funny how your perceptions of a good night's sleep change.

How do we manage such a feat at 3 weeks old, you ask?  First, you have to birth a toddler, like mine.  Okay, maybe not really, but I'm just going with what I know.  Baby girl has pushed her way past the double digits and is still gaining.  I'm not sure if her size has anything to do with it, but like I said, it's what I know.  So you birth a toddler (or not).  Then what?  One word: SWADDLE.

Honey 'chile has been swaddled to sleep from pretty much her first hour.  I've tried putting her down with arms & legs free to flail twice, but it's not a good scenario for her.  She wakes herself up fairly quickly, and has to be soothed back to sleep, only to wake again... you get the picture.  Handsome does love when she falls asleep with her arms all up over her head, and I must agree, she looks perfectly delectable like that.  But cuteness does not a well-rested baby (or momma) make, and so for this baby girl, swaddles are a must.  It keeps her from startling herself awake during REM sleep, and also helps her calm down and feel secure. 



In the hospital, we used the receiving blankets and the Aden + Anais swaddles I mentioned before.  And while swaddling with blankets might make you feel a kinship with the generations who have had babies before, let me tell you - it's tricky.  The last thing you want is swaddle that has come loose, because that will result in a baby who is angry.  And you won't like it when baby is angry.  There are some good videos available to help you learn to swaddle with blankets, but still, it's tricky.

Friday, March 1, 2013

What I Sing

All babies need lullabies.  Here's one I sing to my girl, that I thought you might enjoy.  Except I switch out "Charles Bronson" with "John Goodman".  Girl's got the chin, there's no denying it.

 

<3 M.
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