Tag Archives: mommy blog

What Would You Do with $100?

13 Mar

Have you guys seen those awesome ads by Dollar Shave Club before?

I mean, if you’re like me, you go to Target for absolutely almost everything your home needs, and when your husband’s been a little too scratchy to kiss (you know what I’m talking about, don’t lie), you think of buying him a new razor as a hint gift.

Anyway, as I peruse the aisles, I am immediately overwhelmed by options. I know what razors he likes, but damn they’re expensive, so isn’t there another one that’s less expensive that he might like just as much? And then I think “I guess I’ll just have to sacrifice my face if I want to kiss my husband this week.” Because really, spending $24.0o on razors seems dumb and the cheap-o brands at normal stores are going to cut his precious face so, oh well. I just won’t kiss him for a few days, or substitute my normal skin exfoliant with kisses.

Then Dollar Shave Club sends you an email and says “did you know that you can save $100 a YEAR on razors that have the same integrity and quality as the ones at Target?” and you say “Whuuuuuuuhhhh???” (Plus, living in Los Angeles, that’s one less thing you need to spend $.10 on a bag to carry out to your car, when your arms are already loaded with laundry detergent, toilet paper, and a toddler, because Dollar Shave Club razors are delivered directly to your door once a month. And yes, in LA, we have to pay for every single bag that we use at a any kind of store, because you are expected to bring your own from home, and lets be honest, toddler = memory loss = I pay for bags WAY too often.)

Well, we signed up a while back and have been happily smooching since… unless he’s just too tired to shave, and then the face is sacrificed anyway. Oh well.

So then you think about it… WHAT WOULD I DO WITH $100 TO SPEND ON ME?!?

MY LIST OF THINGS TO BUY:

1. New size 8 toddler shoes for Remy.

2. Really good steaks for dinner and a nice bottle of wine for husband.

3. New hoodies for Remy (spring weather appropriate)

4. New rug for Remy’s room at Costco. You know, one he and the dogs haven’t peed on yet. 

5. New socks and underwear for husband.

6. New Storage buckets for the baby’s room.

7. New blender for smoothies.

WHHHHYYY???

As a mom, you know that the hardest person to spend money on is yourself. So, nothing on my list works, because none of those things are actually for me, they’re for my family, and of course I enjoy the things that help make their lived better or most organized, just as much as things for myself, but still… the question was “What would I do with $100 to spend on me?”

Here’s the impossible task, fellow mamas: Think of your own wants. (just for 5 minutes!)

I would:

1.Go to the Korean Spa for a full day of rest and body treatments leaving me feeling more like a piece of kobe beef, than a human (minus the whole being turned into a hamburger afterwards part)

2. Buy several new books (real books with covers and pages that aren’t on an iPad) that I’ll never have time to read, but will help me feel like maybe I will at some point (there are several books I FEEL like I’ve read already, because of how long they’ve been sitting around, but still.)

3. Buy a good, new, hypo allernegic, goose down pillow for myself. A really squishy, yet somehow totally supportive one.

4. Get a babysitter and go on a date with my handsome husband (to somewhere cheap, cuz babysitters are like, the highest paid people in LA kind of expensive).

So, thanks Dollar Shave Club, for inspiring me to think about myself for a moment, for saving my family $100 over the course of the next year… and for making my husband smoochable all year long.

Now, if only I could figure out how to have time for myself…

And the Best Costume Goes Tooooo…

3 Nov
The best darn "elly" in all the land.

The best darn “elly” in all the land.

Remington Arnow!

aka “Memy Aahhhno”

As a mom, there are a few things that I look forward to being able to experience with Remy, that I never really had the opportunity to enjoy when I was a kid. Halloween is probably the biggest one.

I was raised in a VERY conservative home, with parents who chose to have “Glory to God parties” instead of celebrating halloween. Yes. We were the family who passed out bible tracts and popcorn (cuz you could do that in the 80’s) to all the neighborhood kids who were dressed up, celebrating “satan’s birthday”. Cool, right?

Regardless of my own personal beliefs, my parents did what they thought was right, and I can’t judge them for our differences of opinion, or practice. But, I can choose to do things however I please with my own kids.

The year I found out I was pregnant, I had JUST started working for Dailey. In October, I was just out of my first trimester and not too many people knew me, let alone knew I was pregnant then, so I dressed up as a bank robber. My belly was my bag o’ cash, and no one really “got it”. I thought I was hilarious.

YEAR ONE:

Belly Smuggling Bank Robber

Belly Smuggling Bank Robber

The next Halloween, Remy was just 8 months of bubbling baby chub and I put some thought into our costumes once again. I found an amazing monkey costume and decided to become a banana tree… He was still nursing A LOT, so I had bananas in the appropriate place. Again, hilarious… to myself. I don’t have any great photos of my costume, but COME ON. Look at that face. A funny thing about this costume, was that my sister and our friend brought Remy to meet me in the office. With a BRIGHT GREEN WIG on, my baby still knew exactly who I was, from across the room. Mama baby bonds are pretty incredible.

YEAR TWO

Baby Monkey in his Banana Tree

Baby Monkey in his Banana Tree

This year, I decided to look for costumes in line with Remy’s favorite animals and liked the elephant costume best. Originally, Grant and I were both going to be elephant trainers, and he would be a baby elephant, but on Sunday, I changed my mind. He would be the trainer and I, once again, would be a food item… maybe it’s time to wean.

Here we are as a baby elephant and a bucket of peanuts.

YEAR THREE:

Baby "Elly" and his big ol' bucket of peanuts.

Baby “Elly” and his big ol’ bucket of peanuts.

I plan to continue this habit of mine for as long as he can stand it, or stand me. Halloween is becoming one of my absolute favorite days of the year.

***Thank you, Don Lupo, for the great pictures! 

Fighting the Working Mom Blues

23 Sep
Of course, this picture is fuzzy because I didn't take it. Daycare took it and sent me my son's first real life encounter with his beloved "Turler".

Of course this picture is fuzzy, because I didn’t take it. Daycare took it and sent me my son’s first real life encounter with his beloved and most favorite animal, the “Turler”.

Some days are just blue. You think about what your kid is doing, while sitting at your desk miles away from them, then when you do see them, they have learned a new skill, or set of words, or trick, that you weren’t there to experience with them. Or, you get a fuzzy picture from the daycare’s owner, of his first time touching a turtle, and you weren’t there. BLUE, I tell ya. Just blue… or grey.

All of the “I’m being a good example to him by working to support our family” condolences are sweet, but some days, I just wish I could sit on the couch with him all day, with no outside responsibilities. Or, go to the park, or throw him in the stroller and go for a late morning walk (like all the moms I see on my route between daycare and the office), go to the beach when it’s not packed, go to a toddler gym class, music class or swim class at 11:00AM on a Tuesday (you get the idea), but that is just not the case. Four to five days a week, he’s in “school” from 9-5 while I work, giving us a mere 2-3 days a week to spend time together. That is a hard pill to swallow. I’m not one of those moms who just “can’t give up their career”, or “wouldn’t be happy being at home all day”… I work to keep our family fed.

I’m not delusional either. I don’t think that staying at home is easier, and somehow that makes spending time with my kid/at home more enticing. That’s exactly opposite of what I think. There’s nothing about mothering that’s easier than being in my office all day. When I’m at work, I’m able to drink what I want, eat what I want, sit down to lunch like a human and actually eat my food while carrying on an uninterrupted conversation, pee by myself… there are a lot of perks to having the ability to go to work, but not one of those perks can replace the joy of witnessing my son smile so big at something new he’s discovered, or attempt to say new words (we’re currently working on making sentences I can understand. Today he said “more jelly” and I about burst). And yet, it’s a necessity. A necessity that comes with enormous sacrifices, and sometimes, those sacrifices leave me blue.

I’ve often said the words “I hate that someone else is raising my child, while I’m at work” and continued down the big blue hole.

While researching some mom blogs about how to make dinner prep time easier when you get home late and still want to salvage those precious 2 hours between getting off of work and bedtime, I found the encouragement I needed to continue on as a working mom, reset my understanding of my position in life, and leave some of the blue behind me.

You see, until now, I’ve been a huge part of the perspective problem. I’ve convinced myself that I’m doing something wrong by being gone all day, and letting someone else “raise my baby”, but that’s just not true!

NO ONE ELSE IS RAISING MY KID FOR ME. I AM. 

Our daycare teachers are not raising Remy for us. Not even when we had an in-home nanny, was someone else “raising” my kid for me. My husband and I raise our child. Together. Everyone else is paid to care for him in our absence while we’re at work, but like hell is anyone else actually raising our son for us. Last I checked, it was me he nursed from (still, at 19 months old), me who wakes up with him every morning and holds him as he goes to sleep at night. It’s my husband and I who feed him and wake up with him in the middle of the night. It was my husband and my bodies that made him, and my body that carried him for 38 weeks. We are the ones planning and scheduling and loving and caring for and holding and everything… except for a few hours a day, when our bodies are further away, but our minds… our minds and hearts are never absent. We rely on our amazing daycare for daily help, but that’s it.

We are the ones who determine how he will be raised and the ones whose hands, arms, minds, and hearts do all the work to accomplish that.

So, here I am… I initially started this post as a sad post about missing my son all day, and though I still am sad about missing him, and not getting to spend the time with him that I wish I could, I’m NOT sad because I feel like someone else is “raising him”, and I am not.

Thank you Kerry and Kristina for your words of wisdom and understanding, while also helping to remove some of my massive mom guilt. Thank you for helping me understand that I’m the mom, and that the absence of being at work, doesn’t replace me or trump me as a parent. Thank you for going the road before me and for helping me through… Thank you for helping me see a positive and honest perspective on our situation. Thank you.

Weaning and Heartache

12 Sep

Long before my son had a relationship with me, he had a relationship with a part of me that he still is obsessed with and will seemingly never want to breakup with; my boobs. Before he could recognize me with his eyes, before he could ask for them by name, they were his first love, his first familiar place, his first connection point with life as an “outside baby”. His everything.

It’s not rare that in any public place, strangers can hear him say “Booh, booh?” or “Dis? Dis?” while simultaneously watching as he shoves a hand down (or up) my shirt in the hunt for his true best friends. He doesn’t like a blanky, or lovey, or anything else… just mama and her “nursies”.

This is going to make weaning him hard.

The other night, I was researching weaning and learned about this first relationship, in a more detailed way. I learned that this will be his first true loss… His first “breakup” and that the crying involved in the weaning process isn’t so much that he’ll be pissed off that I won’t be offering him to nurse anymore, it’s that he’ll be literally mourning the loss of this relationship; the nursing relationship, and all the type of intimate bonding that has/goes with it.

That broke my heart.

My boy is already a sensitive soul. He’s in tune with his mama and doesn’t much care for independence from me (yet). Am I really ready to throw that dependence for comfort away, in the name of weaning???

What are the benefits? What are the side effects? Someone please share their weaning stories with me. I need encouragement and to know that I can do this and he won’t be scarred as a result. I mean, I know one day he’ll likely vomit if he finds this post, but for now, nursing is both of our down time, bonding time and way to be attuned to each other. After a long day at work and daycare, nursing is where we share intimate reconnection time together, holding each other and staring at each other. I take my time with him seriously, so it’s not a “sit and pay attention to something else, while taking advantage of his quietness” time, but true bonding time.

He’s 18 months old, so I know that he’s not getting his food from my body anymore, and often times, there’s no way he’s actually getting any milk, but he won’t stop anyway. Even if it’s a drop, it seems to be enough for him, and if it’s less than a drop, he’s angry about it, sad, and will beg and beg, until I can produce just one more drop to make him happy again.

Unlike most of our friend’s babies, he only recently started sleeping through the night (most nights anyway), and still wakes up incredibly early (3:00-5:00AM) just to nurse and snuggle. I’m not sure if his sleep patterns are a result of really, truly, hating being alone in his crib, or if it is because we spend so much time apart during the day, that he needs to connect as often as possible at night? Like I said, he’s a sensitive child. Not a bruiser, or a bully. He wants to be near me, even if it’s just to fake nurse… and I don’t mind.

So, if I don’t mind… why wean? Is it a “must do” before baby #2, or is it a “if you want to” thing? It is something he will decide on his own, or are there kids who don’t decide that (i.e. the annoying little prince from GOT???)?

Please share stories! I’d love to know your thoughts on the issue.

New Mommy Must-Haves

11 Jun

When you’re about to have a baby, it seems that everyone has advise on what said baby needs to survive in the outside world. However, no one really talks about what the mommy will need to survive those first months of milky messes, dehydration, sleep depravation, and wardrobe malfunctions.

I managed to make it, as did so many of my friends before me, but as I watch my other friends who are becoming new moms struggle to perfect both their registries and homes in anticipation of their new arrival, I’ve decided to put a little list of mommy must-haves together. This is for you and your baby, because with the knowledge of these things in advance of having the baby, you will hopefully be a little more prepared, and you’ll be able to focus more on the importance of that new little lover. The list isn’t long, but I hope it’s helpful!

1. Water… all the time. WATER.

Keep Yourself Hydrated

Keep Yourself Hydrated

This was my number 1, most adored accessory (besides my new baby, of course). Brita’s individual water filtration system. I was/am a breastfeeder, which means that hydration is/was key for me to produce enough milk to nourish my baby. The biggest cause in my milk supply dips were typically related to how much water I was drinking. This thing saved me. You can fill it up anywhere and unlike a normal reusable water bottle, it doesn’t matter where the water comes from, it’s super easy to clean. It’s available at Target, or on Amazon. The replacement filters are available at either retailer as well. Super easy. No excuse to not be hydrated! I still use mine and love it.

2. Nursing Tanks

Keep 'em Comfy... and Available

Keep ’em Comfy… and Available

If you’re going to be a breastfeeding mama, you’re likely going to be living in a nursing bra of some sort for the next year or so. I wish I’d have been prepared for this. You will need to have access to your boobs ALL OF THE TIME, and sometimes at the worst time, plus your old sexy bras aren’t going to fit for a while. I found that the best and easiest way to be able to nurse in public (and even at home, in mixed company) was to wear a nursing tank under every other shirt I wore. Here’s the reason; when you have to nurse and you don’t want to be overly exposed on top, or show off your awesome new “tiger striped” (or flabby) belly on the bottom, the tank covers your tummy, and when worn underneath another shirt, you can lift the top layer up, and lower just the top part of the tank to feed your babe, allowing you to comfortable hide part of your breast with the top shirt, while totally accommodating your baby. I also found this extremely helpful when the weather was hot and the Hooter Hider was just too sweaty and clunky. I mean, don’t get me wrong. The hooter hider was awesome at first, but as soon as my baby decided that he didn’t like having fabric over his face, and could reach out and pull, there was no point. Buy nursing tanks. You will thank me.

Scoop Neck or Low Cut Tops/Comfy Bottoms

When we got home from the hospital, I struggled with not having a thing to wear, once the baby was out of my belly and in my arms. My very wrongfully dressed arms. I came home with a baby (and what looked like a 6 month pregnant, postpartum belly) and realized that it was too cold to wear tank tops middle of winter (in Los Angeles, but still). All of my long sleeve shirts were too high necked and I had a hard time feeding the baby without lifting my shirt and starting at my belly full of swollen tissue and bloat. I had to cut the necks off of long sleeved shirts, so that I had easy access to the “feeding station”, and so that the middle-of-the-night feedings weren’t a total cluster necessitating a clumsy, sleepy-eyed, wardrobe change. If you’re a winter birther, get some low necked tee’s or thermals, so you can stay warm. If you’re a summer mama, who cares. Live nekkid (or in cami’s). Additionally, your pre-preg pants will be too tight for a while, and you’ll be wearing your maternity jeans for longer than you probably expected as well. Make sure to be well stocked on comfy sweats (not tight pants right at first, or you’ll expose your fancy new under garments) or lounge/pajama pants. Shirts with a low neckline are also optimal for feeding baby when you’re home, or don’t care about exposure. Camisoles and V-neck T’s become a must.

“Granny” Panties

Comfy Matters

Comfy Matters

Because the kind you’re used to, just aren’t going to work for postpartum things. Thankfully, my older sister, Nadia (mother of 3), knew what I would need and made sure I had them on hand. She’s also supplied me with massage oils and other fun recovery items, and that was really great of her, but the big ol’ granny pants? Those saved me.

Nursing Pads/Mattress Pads/Washable Surface Pads

Most people know about nursing pads, but make sure you have a solid, waterproof (or milk proof) mattress pad on your bed as well. Some people (not mentioning names) can have REALLY high milk supplies in the early months and end up having to wash their sheets almost daily… Or just living in what feels like purgatory for a while, because you just can’t keep up with all that laundry, so you sleep in old milk. We co-slept and my babe would drool milk all night long, in addition to the spouts I found attached to my body, that had a mind of their own. I ended up cutting an old mattress pad up, sewing a sheet onto it, and creating my own “waterproof sheet”, which resembled a washable puppy pee pad. I put it on top of my regular bed sheets, and the baby and I just slept on that.   It’s much easier to toss in with other laundry, than it was to strip the bed everyday. I wish I’d have made it in advance, but then again, I probably wouldn’t have been so leaky if that were the case (Murphy’s Law loves me). Anyway, “water stains” automatically void your bed’s warrantee, so if that’s a thing for you and you want to have the ability to make a claim on your bed one day, should you develop a good “taco” in the middle from all the snuggling, KEEP IT SAFE.

A Flexible Mindset

Breastfeeding does not burn calories for everyone in the same way. Not everyone who breastfeeds (or exclusively pumps) will loose their baby weight by doing so. This is a fact. If you’re lucky enough to get back into your old clothes in the first few months of your baby’s life, god love ya. I’m still working on that 16 months later. Some of us just hold on to weight differently. I’m convinced that all of the crash dieting I did in my 20’s taught my body to hold on to every calorie it could, because it needed to feed someone else. It’s primal survival for your infant. Anyway, all of this to say, be flexible if things don’t go as you expect. It’s ok! Your baby needs your body to produce milk, not to lose weight. For me, every attempt at exercise or calorie cutting, negatively impacted my supply almost immediately. Not the case for everyone, but this was the case for me and that’s ok.

If you had something that was imperative to your early motherhood survival, leave it in the comments!

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