Thursday, July 31, 2008

Because I'm the mom, that's why!

I love my dad very much. We have a great relationship, and he is a great grandpa. But when he starts to criticise how I'm raising Michaela I can't help but turn into a very angry, very defensive Mama Bear. Last night my dad and Judy stopped by to visit and in the midst of our talking, he decided to ask whether or not Michaela is sleeping through the night.

Let me back up a second here and tell those of you who don't already know that this is the ultimate end-all question here in Mommy Land. This is usually one of the first questions that anybody who encounters a new mom asks. The answer to this simple question tells the person asking everything that they need to know about the mom's parenting capabilities. If the baby is sleeping through the night, that means that all is well, no more questions will be asked, and the parents will be clapped on the back and told what a great a job they are doing.

If the baby is not sleeping through the night, however, that means that something is terribly wrong. In this case, Michaela is not sleeping through the night and it is all because I am a terrible mom. According to my dad (and others I've encountered), these are the problems:

I'm letting Michaela sleep in my bed, which spoils her and makes her too attached to me.
I pick Michaela up when she cries, which spoils her and makes her too attached to me.
I haven't started Michaela on solids yet, which would make her sleep longer.
I'm spoling Michaela and letting her become too attached to me.

OK, I get that grandparents think that it is their duty to tell you what to do with your kids. I can't count the number of times Philip's mom told me something and I had to smile and thank her for the advice, even when I was totally against it. I shouldn't let this bother me, but for some reason it does.

It might be because it seems like the general consensus is that sleeping with my baby is something abnormal and not quite right. Even Philip is not 100% behind the Family Bed idea. Why is it so weird?!? Michaela is still small, she weighs less at 5 months than many newborns. She still needs to eat and recharge in the middle of the night. She still needs to physically feel me close to her when she sleeps. When my baby cries, I am there for her. I don't consider it spoiling her, I consider it being attuned to her needs.

The bottom line is, every child is different and every mom parents in a different way. There is no "right" way to raise a child, every mom knows what works best for her own. So please, don't criticize or second guess how good of a job I am doing with Michaela. Why? Because I'm her mom, that's why!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Family Moment Monday

Motherhood for Dummies hosts Family Moment Mondays, check her out to get more ideas on how to spend time together as a family!

As an avid bibliophile, reading has always held as special place in my life. Now with a little one, I want to make sure that she inherits this same love of reading. Now that Philip, who is a teacher, is getting ready to go back to work, he looks at reading as a special way of connecting with Michaela when he gets home from work. Michaela and I find a time during the day to pick out a special book, and when Philip comes home from work, Michaela and her daddy read the book together (while I get dinner ready!). Although technically we are not all spending time together at the same time, it is nice that Michaela is able to share a part of this special time with both her parents. As she gets older (and the books get longer) I look forward to sharing this reading time together each night.

Home again...

Road trip over, most disasters averted. We are home from our week-long trip to grandma's, and our experimental, first long road trip with baby. The road itself was not to bad. Michaela slept most of the way, and when she was hungry we would pull over at a rest stop or picnic area to feed her. On the way over, we stopped in Pecos overnight. Unfortunately, our room (one of the best I could find) was dirty, mildewy and not anywhere I would want my precious baby to lay her tired head. What could we do? We made the best of the situation and decided that next time we would stop in Fort Stockton. Oh well. The second day of driving was not too bad, although by the time we reached San Antonio, Michaela was definitely ready to get out of the evil carseat. Highlights of the trip:

*We got to eat lots of yummy vietnamese food, thanks to Philip's mama.

*Michaela got to meet her Uncle Paul and cousin Breanna (unfortunaly all the other cousins were sickos, so she'll have to wait until next time to meet them), and Great Aunt and second cousins.

*Michaela had her "coming out party" for all of Philip's mom's friends. She was charming all the women, and flirting with all the men as she giggled and cooed her way through the dinner. I take solace in the fact that she has about 10 various pairs of Grandma's and Granpa's whenever we visit San Antonio.

*Michaela got to take studio pictures for Grandma. Even though was in a bad mood and didn't smile for any of the pictures, they still came out beautiful. Gosh that girl is going to be a heartbreaker when she grows up.

The trip back was pretty uneventful, other than the fact that Michaela, who already hated her car seat, probably hates it much more now that she has had to endure almost 4 full days stuck in it in the past week. I love San Antonio, but I am always so glad to come home. There is no place like Albuquerque for me. When I catch a glimpse of the Sandias, oh, I can't even describe it. Until next time...

Thursday, July 17, 2008

I'm not taking my sneakers off.....

I'm starting to get a little bit nervous about our impending roadtrip. On Sunday, we'll be leaving to visit Philip's mom in San Antonio for a week. That's a 12 hour drive from here without children, so we are splitting it up into two days to make it a little easier on Michaela. Even then, two long days worth of driving is probably not her idea of fun. I'm just hoping that she sleeps through most of the trip! Oh well, worrying is as pointless as trying to get Sneakers O'Toole to take his sneakers off.

We're still working on packing up the house. After I painstakingly chose which books to leave on display in the bookcase, I called it a done deal and moved on to the kitchen. This is probably the hardest part because we have no idea how long it will take to sell our house and move into the next one. It could take a week or it could take several months, so I have to decide what food/appliances/cookware/etc. to leave and what to pack. Moving is stressful already and we've only just begun! (Sorry quel, couldn't find the Happy Gilmore version)!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Would baby prefer Permanent Press or Gentle?.....

We had another rough night last night. I don't know what exactly has happened, but all of a sudden in the past week Michaela has decided that waking up and playing for a couple of hours in the middle of the night is fun. I'm afraid that if I don't get a good nights sleep soon, I'm going to accidentally stuff her in the washing machine! So, to play devil's advocate to yesterday's warm fuzzy post, here are the bottom 5 things in mommy land.

*Waking up to the feel of Michaela's little fists beating against me, and opening my eyes to her huge 2am.

*The yucky baby smell that lasts for hours after Michaela has spit up on my outfit (which I refuse to change because I know it will just happen again as soon as I do).

*The way I feel when she is upset and no matter how hard I try to fix it, there's nothing I can do.

*Not having the confidence that the way that I am raising her is "right."

*The sound of her sobs.

On a happier side note, I found the best ice cream in the world yesterday. It's called Blueberry Pomegranate Dark Chocolate Chunk, and it is definitely not helping me lose the baby weight!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Top 10 Things in Mommy Land

In no particular order:

*Waking up to the feel of Michaela's little fists beating against me, and opening my eyes to her huge smile.

*The fresh baby smell that lasts for hours after she takes bath.

*Watching Philip and Michaela play together.

*Having a "conversation" with Michaela as she coos and gurgles.

*The way I feel when I can calm her down or make her smile by just holding her and kissing her.

*The sound of her giggle.

*Having the confidence that Philip will do whatever it takes to keep Michaela safe and happy (other than changing her poopy diapers!)

*Nursing her and feeling the love and warmth that we share at those moments.

*Sleeping with her little sleeping body wrapped in my arms.

*Looking at Michaela and being able to recognize both Philip's and my features in this beatiful little creature.

As a side note: I found a new favorite website today with really hilarious articles. Check it out!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Missed a first....

My goodness today has been a busy day! We met with my sister's neighbor/Realtor/friend to crunch some numbers and see what our house is worth. After she left we decided that we're going to go ahead and put our house on the market and look for a better house for ourselves. For right now that means packing up our excess stuff (and trust me, with a baby we have alot of excess stuff) so that our house does not look cluttered to a potential buyer. Let me tell you, I have already packed up two boxes of books, and my bookshelf does not look any less cluttered!

Also, Michaela rolled over for the first time today! And of course, aspiring Domestic Diva that I am, I had the video camera already focused on her and recording as I encouraged her from the sidelines to finally get over that arm of hers and roll over. NOT!!!! I had of course plopped her down on her playmat so that I could get some chores done, went into the office to grab a pen, and when I came out little Michaela was on her tummy, whereas seconds ago she had been on her back. I missed my first baby's first roll over! Alas. Hopefully I'll be there the first time she rolls from her tummy to her back.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

No Opium For Baby....

Last night as the evening wound to a close, everything in Mommy Land seemed to be ok. Michaela took her usual evening nap and we took a short little walk around the neighborhood to wind down the day. We got ready for bed as usual, but when I laid down to nurse her to sleep, it was quite apparent that all was not right. My little one decided that she was wide awake and not the least bit interested in sleep.

Playing with her did not appease her, nor did it expend her energy. Daddy and I both tried to walk her to sleep and while Philip managed to get her to sleep, the minute he put her down, she was wide awake again. I even tried o feed her again, now almost two hours later. It was already 11 o'clock, and as those of you who know that I do not function after 9pm can imagine, I was at my wits end!

OK, time to pull out the big guns. I grabbed the bottle of gripe water, an herbal supplement that I used when Michaela was reallly colicky, and gave her some in the hopes it woul put her to sleep. It worked! Twenty minutes later I carefully climbed into bed with her, taking care not to wake her again. While I'm glad it worked and I know it was just herbs that have no harmful effect on baby, I couldn't help but feel a little guilty, like one of those 18th century moms that gave their babies laudanum to get them to sleep. C'est la vie, until next time......

My Brain Is Slowly Eroding......

I recently read an article that said that stay at home mothers have one of the highest risks of getting alzheimers out of dozens of popular career choices. Apparently speaking Parentese all day isn't conducive to maintaining strong brain cells in adults. Thusly, I have decided to start writing a blog to keep my brain functioning somewhat properly. (This is also a good excuse to play puzzle-like video and computer games because I can justify them as brain-sharpening-tools). Plus, writing this blog will be a good keepsake later on when I have ten children and can look back on my documented mistakes and reminisce about what a silly young mother I was. :)Ok, hasta la pasta!