On Moms

Do you ever remember what you used to think of moms, back before you were one?

I do.

I have vivid memories of being a judgy biatch. Being at a restaurant or a store and thinking, “God, keep an eye on your kids lady!”, or “Oh my god, that kid has no shoes on! What is wrong with that mom?”, or “Who screams in public like that!?”

I am so sorry.

When I was in my early 20’s, I babysat for a family that lived nearby. They had two boys, a 4-year-old, and an 8 month old. The mom was at home with the kids and the dad worked long hours as a lawyer. The mom was part of some sort of moms’ group that had meetings once a week at 5 or 6, and I would always come over to sit for them while she went to the meetings. A few times, I would show up around 4:30 or 5 and she would still be in her pajamas, and the kids would literally be owning her ass; one climbing the stairs unattended while the other raided the fridge. Her face when I showed up was always the same. She glowed.

In my head I was always thinking, “What a mess. Get it together lady!”

They had moved from D.C. months before I started sitting for them, and in the year I worked for them I never saw their house completely unpacked. I remember mentioning this to Andrew, and saying “Can you imagine? There are boxes everywhere!”

Total B.

I am so sorry.

Now, I understand why you couldn’t get out of your pajamas until 5 PM, and frankly I applaud you for not just sleeping in clothes that could pass for everyday clothes so that you don’t have to change at all.

So again, on behalf of all the twenty-something, Judgy McJudgersons who don’t get it yet. I am sorry.

Happy Mother’s Day Moms.

Reese: 20 months, 9 days

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I haven’t provided an update on the subject of this blog for a long time. Actually, I’ve been posting for about a year and it looks like I’ve only provided two updates. Ever. Maybe I should stop talking about myself so much. God.

Reese is progressing as predicted. Tipping the scales at 29 lbs (90th percentile), no one would believe that we struggle to get her to eat most foods. Maybe a girl can live on pean alone.

She is like her mom in the way that she lives for consuming large amounts of carbs; loves include grilled cheese (wooo), waffles, oatmeal, baked beans, and “appasaw!!!!” (applesauce) which she demands fiercely and randomly, even while playing in her pool or sitting on the potty.  She’s not like her parents, or like anyone we want to know, in the way that she refuses almost all meat (except for these awesome turkey meatballs that I can sometimes trick her into eating.)

Reese is a shorty (75 cm and in the 16th percentile) and still has a huge, lovely head (95th percentile for head circumference), only these days it is full of bumps and bruises from her crib, the coffee table, the china cabinet, the steps, the floor, mom’s head, etc.

Words are her strong point and she uses sentences often. The other night in her bath she was talking to her bath toys and said, “Sit next to me, frog.” Andrew and I just about died.

She is a good sleeper except for the fact that daytime naps are not consistent. Many days she doesn’t nap at all. So maybe that makes her a bad sleeper? Not sure.

We recently took away her “baba” (pacifier) because she kept biting through it and small pieces were coming off in her crib, which was freaking me out. This event coincided with the end of daytime naps. She sleeps well at night without the baba, finally, but it was rough in the beginning. I was a thumb sucker myself and I vividly remember the comfort it offered, so it was a little sad to watch her go through the transition.

Each day we get another glimpse of the person Reese is becoming and we have begun to see a bit of her parents laid back nature, some of her mom’s  timidness, her dad’s smarts and dance moves, the sweet nature of her grandparents and a toughness for which I am thankful.

What I hope for most is that she grows up to be kind. This is what I tell people. Secretly though, I also really hope that she is hilarious. I think she will be.

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Where We’ve Been

Here I am.

Summer has happily gotten in the way and I haven’t been able to write as much as I would like. Here is what we’ve been up to the past couple of months

Lots of pool time in the yard because it has been HOT

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Quick, post-work trips to the lake

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Our cousin turned 2 and we partied!

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Tried on dresses for my Auntie Kris’s wedding

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We went to the lake for a week. I swam, saw the sights, went to my first amusement park,  and ate my first ice cream cone, which was a mix of emotions.

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Now it’s August and we are savoring our evenings outside because we know we won’t have them for much longer. Bedtimes have been pushed back and baths are sometimes skipped. And we are loving it.

Mom Guilt is a B

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Another thing that motherhood has taught me: Catholic guilt has nothing on mom guilt.

I know I have said it before, but I feel guilty whenever I even think about leaving Reese for extended periods of time (other than to go to work or when I know she’s in bed for the night.) The fact that I only get to see her for one or two hours Monday-Thursday makes it very hard to justify ever leaving her on the weekends.

So a few weekends ago, when one of Andrew’s closest friends from high school got  married out of town, I tried to plan a way where we could both attend all the wedding events without leaving Reese for the whole weekend.

Lucky for us, my best friend Sarah and her husband Ryan live in the same town where the wedding was taking place, and agreed to watch Reese on Friday and Saturday nights while we were at the rehearsal dinner and the wedding.

I have yet to leave Reese overnight anywhere and I really didn’t want to if I didn’t have to. So despite the fact that we had two nights booked in a hotel, I was still planning on spending both nights with Reese, either at Sarah’s house or picking her up and bringing her back to the hotel with me. The wedding was taking place in the hotel, so logistically, my plan was not ideal and some (Andrew) may even say it was stupid.

Friday night we went to Sarah’s after the rehearsal dinner and all spent the night there. On Saturday, determined not to lose all the money we put down on the hotel, I picked Reese up after leaving the reception and brought her back to the hotel.

It was an evening wedding so even though I left the reception halfway through to pick Reese up, it was still pretty late by the time we both got back to the hotel. I got lots of judgments/looks as I walked through the hotel lobby at 1 AM carrying my groggy 15 month old. The valet, assuming I was the only one in the car, actually almost drove away with her in the back before I could get her out of her seat. I guess he didn’t know our baby hangs late night.

After two days of being out past 11 pm (!!) and up before 6 am, Sunday morning hit us like a punch to the mouth. Pre-Reese, wedding weekends involved late nights and late mornings. We would roll out of bed on Sunday morning and hopefully have time to take a shower before heading to the post wedding brunch. This weekend, 6 am found the three of us sitting in bed, Elmo playing on repeat and Andrew and I literally counting the minutes until the brunch began.

Four hours later, we were the first ones in line at the buffet.

The time it took for us to recover from the weekend was enough for me to rethink my reluctance to leave Reese for an overnight, and to consider letting go a little.

We have family members who have been clamoring for a sleep over with Reese for some time now, and I think I’m ready to take them up on that offer. I know we’ll miss our girl and I’ll still have a few guilt-ridden moments, but when I am gloriously sleeping in until whenever I feel like it, eating entire meals sitting on a chair at a table, and not finding applesauce in my hair at the end of the day, I will know that I made the right decision.

Oh My God, No One Told Us That!

Over the past 9 months Andrew and I have had many “Oh my god, no one told us that!” moments.  

For one, we realized the other day that we have never brushed Reese’s teeth. By “teeth” I mean her two and only bottom teeth. Do people brush teeth when there are only two? Who the hell knows.  But someone should tell us.

I thought I would begin documenting these moments ( for entertainment purposes only, not for educational purposes, since I am no authority on babies or teeth) in the hopes of finding out that we are not alone here; and that others share in these moments as well.

Late Weekend Nights and Monday Night Bluesies

Monday nights are rough ones for us.

Reese usually has a little bit of trouble getting back into her weekday routine after getting to spend all weekend with mom and dad. And I of course, miss her even more during the day after being with her Fri-Sun.

She was especially thrown off this weekend because Gammy and Grandpa babysat on Saturday evening while Andrew and I went to a Bruce Springsteen concert with my sister and brother-in-law. To say we had the best time is an understatement. Even the rain that fell during our tailgate and our nosebleed seats in Gillette stadium could not ruin our time. We were pumped to be out on a Saturday night and The Boss did not disappoint.

When we got home we tried to sneak up to bed but Reese woke up the minute we laid down and then continued to wake every 2 hours until 6 AM.  I can’t say I wasn’t a little excited that I didn’t have to wait until morning to see her; but Sunday was a brutal reminder of why we do not stay out past 10 PM anymore.

I was lucky enough to catch a nap while Reese slept on Sunday afternoon; but come Monday morning neither Andrew nor I felt totally caught up on our sleep. We are such oldies. Bruce was totally worth it though.

Hey Big Stander!

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Well, time has officially flown by.

Sunday morning as I was rinsing Reese’s diaper out in the bathroom, I walked back into the nursery and found her standing up holding onto the side of her crib. She has been standing up like that for a while but this was the first time she had actually pulled herself up from the sitting position all by herself.  Aside from making me a little nervous, I was proud of my girl. Go Reesie! I only wish I had been able to see how she did it.

Andrew then lowered her crib all the way down  to the lowest setting.  I guess it is only a matter of time before she is trying to hurl herself out of the crib (as I have heard some babies do, and as I had seen my little sister do.) Tear. She is so not a baby anymore!

“They grow up so fast” is no longer just one of those things all parents say. I totally get it now.

Travels with Baby Part 2

Well we made it to the Vineyard and back with no major catastrophes (not counting a VERY tired baby who refused to nap) and only minor back aches from the loads of crap we had to cart to and from the ferry.

We like to think we vacationed as the locals (or “islanders” as they are called in MV) would; lazy, rainy mornings in the living room, drinking coffee and eating dough boys, meandering walks through the cottages and shops in Oak Bluffs, pizza and cold coffees at the artisan fair in West Tisbury, and long, hot days at Long Point beach followed by cold beers, shish kabobs and s’mores in the backyard.  My cousin’s two little ones, Cole (6 years old) and Gus (almost 3) absolutely adored Reese and it was so sweet to see them cuddle and kiss her all day long. Seeing them together brought on a full-fledged case of baby fever and I’m so looking forward to the day when Andrew and I will sit on lawn chairs in our backyard on a hot August day, watching Reese and her siblings snoozing on a quilt, exhausted after a long day at the beach.

We were so sad when Sunday evening rolled around and we had to head back to life on the mainland. I was hoping Reese would catch a nap on the ferry ride home ( she had been on a nap strike the entire weekend) but no such luck.  I consider myself pretty laid back when it comes to Reese’s schedule,  but it made me a little anxious that she wasn’t sleeping at all during the days. I think there was just too much going on and she didn’t want to miss anything. I don’t blame her, we’re pretty fun people. Ever the happy baby, she never got cranky so I guess I shouldn’t have worried.

That is, until we got home Sunday night. That was a battle. She fought us until about 10:30 PM when Andrew finally cranked up the air conditioning, spread a blanket on the living room floor and laid next to her until they both fell asleep, exhausted from their weekend on the island.