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Top Ten Things in My Life That Are Giving Me Anxiety

17 Mar

1. The unfinished photo project in my hallway.

2. The unfinished baby clothing organization project.

3. The unfinished plant potting project on my doorstep (do you notice a trend here?).

4. This mysterious worm I found in my bathroom last night. I also found one in Emma’s room. We’ve had enough worms thankyouverymuch.

5. This pile of unread mail (aka: unopened bills).

6. This pile of laundry. At least it’s clean?

7. This pile of things I need to sell on Craigslist (notice another trend here?).

8. Voicemails, emails, my google reader, Facebook, Twitter, etc, etc, etc…

9. Emma’s impending summer vacation (aka: both kids at home with me 24/7).

10. That little “radioactive plume” that’s floating around in the atmosphere right now. Oh, and the thousands and thousands of people who were affected by the tsunami, and the nuclear power plants that are (possibly) melting down. Just stuff like that.

Tell me: What’s giving you anxiety these days?

Did you catch my announcement about Dr. Mom Mondays? Don’t forget to email your Dr. Mom question to morgan(at)thelittlehenhouse(dot)com.

The Requisite First Birthday Birth Story Post

2 Mar

It’s official: Annie is a year old. Her birthday was on Saturday and we celebrated by having a few friends over for tacos and cupcakes. It was about 95% less work than Emma’s insane first birthday bash and I think I had a better time. NOTE TO ALL YOU NEW PARENTS: Do not spend a lot of time, money, or energy on your child’s first birthday. All you really need to do is take pictures of them eating cake and you will still get an A+ in the birthday portion of the life test known as “Motherhood”.

The entire day of Annie’s first birthday I was trying to recall the events surrounding her birth. Can I be honest here? I don’t remember that much of it. She was just over three weeks early, I had been in and out of the hospital a few times with early labor, and it’s hard to distinguish the hospital visits from each other. I thought I best write down what I know about that day now for future reference.

I know not everyone is as fascinated by my child’s birth as I am, so don’t feel bad if you don’t feel like reading this one. It’s not really for you guys anyway. It’s something I hope to read to Annie one day. *tear*

The Day Anne Margaret was Born: February 26, 2010

Here you are inside my belly four days before you were born:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crazy, right?

The day you were born Emma and I went to the zoo. I remember someone asking me when you were coming and I replied, “Any day now!” Boy, was I right! That afternoon I started to feel some contractions. I had been having them almost the entire time I was pregnant with you, but the doctors were able to stop them. I was actually kind of annoyed that the contractions were starting up again because going to the hospital is kind of a pain. Instead of waiting it out, and risking the potential of going to the emergency room in the middle of the night, I decided to go to the hospital to get things checked out while it was still early in the day. Your dad was home from work early (it was Friday) and he watched Emma while I ran down there.

The doctors tried and tried to get the contractions to stop, but they just wouldn’t let up. They finally decided that your birthday had arrived. Your dad dropped Emma off at Mimi and Papa’s and he came down to the hospital to be with me. While we were waiting for the doctor to come, your heart rate suddenly dropped. The machines they had me hooked up to started beeping like crazy and the nurses were rushing around all over the place. A bunch of them rolled my bed right out of Triage and took me right up to labor and delivery. When we got up there, your heart rate went back to normal, which was such a relief. We were really freaked out though!

The doctor came about an hour later and the nurses prepared me for my c-section. You see, Emma was a c-section (she was a breech 9 lb baby) so that meant you were also going to be delivered via c-section. It all happened really fast. I actually don’t remember much of that part. But here you are being born:

Here you are again:

I love this picture so much.

As soon as you came out Daddy started shouting, “She looks just like Emma! Oh my gosh- she looks just like Emma!” That later proved to not be true, but you did look like her- for about five minutes.

This is me on drugs. I know I look happy here, but that’s because I love you- NOT because of the drugs. DRUGS ARE BAD.

Here you are being measured and weighed. You were 7 lbs 2 oz, which is a really good size for a 36 weeker. Considering your sister was 9 lbs, this wasn’t really a huge surprise.

Look at your little chicken legs!

This is how I remember you looking the day you were born:

The nurses and the NICU team started working on you because you weren’t breathing that well. You were early and your lungs weren’t fully functioning. They decided that you needed some extra help, so they took you down to the NICU. You got intubated, which I thankfully never had to see, while I was in the recovery room resting up. When I had recovered from the anesthesia, they wheeled me down to you and I got a chance to nurse you for the first time. You were pretty sleepy and not super interested in eating. That changed quickly though.

Both of us were in the hospital for the next three days. You stayed in the NICU and I was upstairs. I came down every three hours to feed you. You were a really great nurser. You ended up getting a septic infection while you were down there and they couldn’t figure out what was wrong. They gave you two spinal taps and a round of antibiotics. Here you are in the NICU. How cute are you:

You recovered quickly and they let us go home together. Seeing all the tiny and sick babies in the NICU gave me a new appreciation for you. I am so lucky that you got better so fast and that I was able to take you home with me.

Here you are the day we went home:

And here you are meeting your sister for the first time. Seriously? This one makes me cry every time I look at it:

And now look at you:

My darling baby girl: you are one of the brightest lights in my life. What would life be like without you? Thank you for making my days full of laughter, snuggles, kisses, games, hugs, and giggles. Happy birthday!

Top Ten Things My Baby Wants for Her First Birthday

24 Feb

Annie turns a year old on Saturday. I’m sure you are all asking yourselves, “What do I get the girl who has everyhing?” Well, you are so sweet to ask. To make it a little easier for you, I’ve compiled a list:

  1. A ledge upon which she can throw her body off of, which would result in her 87th near death experience, thus giving me yet another mild heart attack.
  2. My purse. But only if it’s filled with small coins, sticks of gum, and electronic devices.
  3. Handfulls of human hair. Preferably not attached to Emma’s head.
  4. Teeny tiny Barbie shoes and Polly Pocket accessories.
  5. An experimental surgery that would return her back to her original residence (aka: my womb).
  6. A pair of magical legs that help her keep up with the big kids at the park. Sort of like Forrest Gump’s, only way cooler and more stylish. Bonus points if they come in pink or purple.
  7. A drawer full of tupperware, hairbrushes, credit cards, cell phones, sunglasses (designer only please), old shoes, and magazines.
  8. A basket full of freshly folded laundry that she can tear apart.
  9. An apparatus that would permanently affix her to my right hip.
  10. A time machine that would allow me to relish in the very last moments of her babyhood before she turns into a full-blown walking and talking toddler. *tear*

What uncommon gifts would you purchase for a one year old?

This post can also be seen here at Rated by Mom.

Wordless Wednesday: Can She Just Be Three and a Half Forever?

23 Feb

Wordless Wednesday: Why I Don’t Shower Alone

16 Feb

The La Leche League- Revisited

9 Feb


Yesterday I linked to a post I had written about my experience at a La Leche League meeting. Later that day, I had an interaction with a reader, during which she expressed that my La Leche post had disappointed her. She was actually very respectful, and I loved that she wanted to have an open discussion about the issue. Considering that she is a breastfeeding advocate, and aspiring La Leche League Leader, I totally understand where she is coming from. The thing is: I consider myself a breastfeeding advocate too.

My original La Leche League post was intended to be a humorous account of an unexpected experience. At the time, I wasn’t quite ready to express the details of my opinions about the La Leche League and its philosophies. I’ve had some time to digest my thoughts and I feel like I can now articulate why I was so disappointed in my experience with the La Leche League.

During my interaction with the La Leche League Leaders (and there have been a few now) I found them to be extremely dogmatic in their views on breastfeeding. I breastfed Emma for an entire year until she weaned herself the week she turned one. I had always considered myself a breastfeeding success- until I went to a La Leche League meeting. To be treated like a breastfeeding failure because I only breastfed for a year, and to be told that a child self-weaning before the age of two is “unnatural” was disheartening, to say the least. As soon as those words were uttered out of the Leader’s mouth, I understood exactly why the La Leche League has earned its militant reputation.

I am a few weeks away from Annie’s first birthday, and she is still breastfeeding. In fact, every ounce of milk she has ever consumed has come from my body. She never took to a bottle, and she has nursed every two hours of her waking life. I have never been able to leave her for more than a few hours at a time, and I am exhausted. I am ready to be done with breastfeeding. Instead of looking back at this time with a sense of pride and accomplishment, there will be part of me that feels like a failure. The words that were spoken to me at the La Leche League meeting have stayed with me. I am deeply saddened by thoughts of the countless women who have looked to the La Leche League for breastfeeding support, only to walk away feeling judged and discouraged.

I was equally disappointed in the advice that I saw some of the Leaders giving mothers who were there looking for breastfeeding support. To see a mother on the verge of tears, and with desperation in her voice, describe how her two year old wakes every hour at night to nurse, only to be told that this behavior is “normal” and the child will outgrow it when they are ready, was shocking. To suggest that a mother put her own basic human needs (like sleep) aside, otherwise her child may suffer emotional damage, seems extreme at best. This kind of advice does not come across as supportive. In fact, it seems more like emotional manipulation.

I suppose it boils down to what breastfeeding support really is. In my opinion, breastfeeding support means helping a breastfeeding mother meet her goals. Because ultimately, who are we to decide what breastfeeding success should mean to another person? Maybe it means exclusively nursing for two years, as the World Health Organization recommends, or maybe it means breastfeeding for certain feedings and supplementing with formula in between, or sometimes it even means not breastfeeding at all. I certainly have my own strong opinions about the importance of breastfeeding, but I also understand that it is a personal choice.

Not only was I shocked at the dogmatic views of the La Leche League Leaders, I felt as though many of those women viewed breastfeeding as a competitive sport. It was almost as if whomever breastfed the longest, and sacrificed the most of themselves to motherhood “won”. And what the prize is, I’m not exactly sure. I truly believe that a happy mommy = a happy baby, and if a mother is engaging in behavior that makes her overly-tired, resentful, and unhappy, then that will ultimately do more damage to a family than a bottle of formula ever will.

Finally, it also seemed as though many of the members and Leaders had a hidden agenda. I believe the lines between breastfeeding support and Attachment Parenting support are getting blurred. It is one thing to provide education and guidance to a breastfeeding mother, but enforcing the philosophies of Attachment Parenting, a style of child rearing that does not work for every family, seems unfair. I felt as though some of the mothers at the La Leche League meeting were shamed into making certain decisions, and were riddled with guilt over their breastfeeding and parenting “failures”. At times it seemed that Attachement Parenting philosophies, instead of those of the La Leche League, were being echoed. If the La Leche League or its Leaders want to advocate Attachment Parenting, then they need to be transparent about it.

If we, as a society, want to support women’s rights such as equality in the workplace, access to birth control, and even the right to choose to have an abortion, then we also need to support a women’s right to decide whether or not to breastfeed. The most important thing we can do is support a mother in her decisions, as we are all just simply trying to do what is best for ourselves and our families.

Today

25 Jan

Today I was going to write a post titled, “There’s a Hole in My Bucket.” I’m sure you are all familiar with the children’s song in which Dear Liza and Dear Henry try tirelessly to fix the hole in Henry’s bucket, only to realize that the solution lies within the broken bucket that cannot be repaired. You see my friends, if my life is a bucket, then there’s a hole in it. Maybe even a few holes.

Today I was checking emails and I came across this post from Amy at Transplanted Thoughts , which was forwarded to me from Studio Thirty Plus. Yesterday, Amy lost her second baby to a genetic liver disease. Her second baby. He was eight months old. There are no words.

Today I am grateful for my bucket, and all it’s holes.

Today we can help repair some of the holes in Amy’s bucket. There are some holes in the bucket of life that can never be fixed, and I can only imagine that suffering the loss of a child is one of them.

Today you can donate to The Ronald McDonald House, a charity that has housed Amy so she could spend her son’s last months with him in the hospital. You can also donate to her personal Paypal account (transplanted@live.com), as this has undoubtedly put a huge financial strain on her family.

Today all I can do is think of Amy and her bucket and her darling baby boy and cry.

Musical Beds

6 Jan

I wrote earlier this week about Annie’s mobility and the growing pains associated with developmental milestones. Well, we’re having another issue right now and it’s a doozy.

Sleep.

The baby first slept through the night when she was three weeks old. Don’t hate me though. It took almost a year for Emma to sleep more than six hours straight, so I totally deserve it.

The problem? She stopped sleeping through the night four months ago. Last week things went from bad to worse and she started waking up every half hour to hour. Something had to be done. It was time to give the baby her eviction notice.

My mission: To get the baby sleeping through the night and the two girls sharing a bedroom (the baby has been sleeping in a pack and play in my room).

Let the games begin!

Cue music.

Emma: sleeping in her room. Me: sleeping in master bedroom. Annie: sleeping in master bedroom. Husband: sleeping in guest room (that’s another story altogether).

Stop music.

My sister moves in. Remove one available bed.

Cue music.

My sister: sleeping in guest room. Annie, husband, and I: sleeping in master bedroom. Emma: sleeping in her own room.

Stop music.

Annie gets moved to Emma’s room. Emma gets moved to master bedroom.

Cue music.

Annie: sleeping in Emma’s room. Emma, husband, and I: sleeping in master bedroom. My sister: sleeping in guest room.

Stop the music!!!!

Who’s the loser in this game? Me.

I’m still not getting any sleep (you can read more of my issues with co-sleeping here).

My plan of attack: once the baby starts sleeping through the night (hopefully by this weekend) I will then move Emma back into her room, and the baby and Emma will be able to share a room and sleep peacefully together.

Now I need your help.

Am I on the right track? How do you get a three year old and a (almost) one year old to share a room? I need your mommy words of wisdom right now.

Last Call

10 Dec

Today is the last day to enter my charity giveaway! All the proceeds go to Casa Hogar de Maria Inmaculada, an orphanage in Tijuana. I know everyone is on a tight budget right now. Even $5 makes a difference. Please donate if you can.

Many of you have already donated and I can’t thank you enough for your generosity.

The giveaway ends tonight at 8pm (pst). Here is the link for more information. The winner will be announced on Monday.

Wax On, Wax Off: My DIY Disaster

9 Dec

I’d like to think I have pretty mad grooming skills. It’s not common knowledge, but I do all my own waxing. This includes my eyebrows, facial areas, and even my arms.

The one service I leave to the professionals is my bikini area. I learned this the hard way.

After years of paying up the wazoo for bikini waxing, I decided to take matters into my own hands. I’d watched my talented Iranian waxer have her way with my cooter for years and I really thought I had figured out her secret.

I heated up my waxing pot and got all my supplies together: baby powder, baby oil, muslin strips, and sticks. After giving myself a good pep talk, I took a deep breath, and went at it. The first few strips were a breeze. “See! I knew you could do this!” I told myself.

That’s when things got dicey. I had moved from the flat planes of my inner thigh to the more “delicate” regions of my most private of areas. I stuck the strips of muslin on the hot wax and gave them a tug. They wouldn’t budge. I tired again. The muslin came part way off, but left all the sticky wax behind. I pulled again. “Holy mother of god I think I injured myself,” my voice screamed in my head.

The wax and the muslin were totally fused to my leg. Each time I tried to pull at the fabric, my skin was being pulled off along with it. To say it hurt is a massive understatement. I would rather have another cesarean section that go through that pain again.

I started frantically squirting baby oil all over my bikini line while scraping away at the wax. Nothing was happening.

What did I do then? I busted out the peanut butter. I had a vague memory of my mother using peanut butter to get gum out of my hair once. Sure- this wasn’t gum and this time the hair wasn’t on my head, but it made sense at the time.

Finally, with the aid of baby oil, peanut butter, and a razor I was able to methodically scrape the wax from my girly bits.

And what  was the end result? I looked like I had been sucker punched in the crotch. There was bruising, swelling, and it was red all over. Not exactly the look I was going for.

Life Lesson #4,336- Leave the art of putting hot wax on your vagina to the professionals.

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