I knew when Alice and I came home from the hospital that my life would be different now that I am a mom. Someone would be depending on me for everything. I now have to provide food, shelter, love and entertainment for another human being. The first two weeks my mom was here and life was pretty cushy. I did baby stuff and she did everything else. The next week the husband stayed home for his paternity leave. Again, life is very manageable when both mom and dad are home to baby wrangle and do household stuff. Last week, Alice and I became a two woman act. Anthony went back to work last Monday and I started my new job as mother of one and household engineer. Lets just say getting things done became much more challenging. That leads me to my new found abilities as a multitasker. Sure, I thought I knew what multitasking was. At work I would have a few things going at once. But I had no idea of my powers of 'getting it done.' When you become a mother, you find this whole untapped well of love in your heart that you did not know existed. However, being a mother also brought forth abilities as a multitasker that I never used because life was just easier when there was not a 7 pound person attached to me for 8-12 hours a day. I now understand why my mom was always the busiest person i knew. She always had 35 things going on at any given moment, and it used to drive me crazy that she would not relax and enjoy being lazy. I have a new found respect for her now that I understand the juggling act we call Mommyhood. When there is a 20 minute window of calm, when the little one is sleeping or happy on her playmat, the opportunity must be seized. I know that within approximately 15 to 30 minutes I have to change her, feed her, and then keep her sitting up for 20 minutes to avoid spit-up. Not to mention find 10 minutes to pump, probably change her clothes, and bounce on the yoga ball to relieve gas induced screaming (Alice, not me). So that 20 minutes becomes much more important that any other 20 minute window in the history of the world. I have discovered how much can really get done in 20 minutes, or even in 5 or 10 minutes. I have become a multitasking force to be reckoned with. A typical flow of events would be: Wash bottles and feeding accoutrement and put on speically designed bottle drying rack. Start washer, walk to bathroom to get clothes to put in washer, use the bathroom, put hair up, clean toothpaste out of sink, gather up clothes, walk back to washer and dump clothes in. Walk outside to let dog out with full diaper genie bag for trash can and wait while she does her business (she insists we must be present for potty breaks to happen, otherwise she sits at the gate and stares inside). Back inside, remember I did not put soap in washer so do that, then go into kitchen where I trip over the dog who is waiting patiently for her treat since answering the call of nature is certainly something that should be rewarded each and every time. Dispense treat, then realize I am hungry. Grab Little Debbie and fix water. Set on counter to have right after I get baby clothes out of drier that have been finsihed since yesterday, and throw on bed to fold at later time. Peek at baby who is starting to get squirmy but still has eyes shut. Decide to get bottle ready to be prepared to silence screaming which will surely start promptly upon the Lady of the House waking. When open refrigerator to get out milk, realize nothing in there will remotely pass for dinner, so open freezer and get out something prepared by one of our mothers to thaw. Pray that 3 hours is enough defrost time for said dinner otherwise, PB&J (again). Fix bottle, then get distracted by my waiting snack. Open Swiss Cake Roll, only to then remember the bottle needs to go in the warmer to be effective baby plug. Do that, then back to my snack. 1 gulp of water and 2 bites and I remember I did not collect the bevy of cloth diapers that litter our home now that we live with a mini-volcano, so run around the house and grab them all and stuff into washer. At this point realize i have to pee again, so back to the bathroom. Right before I sit down, baby screams like someone threw cold water on her to rouse her from a coma. Pee faster than when I am at a concert and realize as I go into the stall that they just started playing my favorite song, the one they never play live that I must see. Go in and release baby from her swaddle prison and the 20 minute window firmly slams shut. Sit down on couch with baby and bottle and the only burp cloth that didn't make it into wash because it was wrapped in baby's swaddle by accident, and feel quite pleased at all that was accomplished.
It amazes me that I can do most anything now while holding Miss Baby. Feed the dog, check my email and type one-handed to answer them, fix dinner, load and unlaod dishwasher. The other day i even dusted and vacuumed. Guess those two broken arms (not at same time) in my childhood were just training to prepare me to only have use of one arm once I became a mother. There really is no other choice other than to be a multitasker. Otherwise, nothing would get done and I would still be in my pajamas with breakfast sitting in front of me on the coffee table when the husband gets home for lunch, maybe even still at 5 pm. And I am sure there will be days like that, but hopefully not too many. I wish that someone was here to see how very productive I can be and to tell my that I am amazing--no mother has ever done so well. Maybe even give me a pat on the back or a little reward. Then, I look down and see my reward, who has spitup running out of her nose, a poop stain on the back of her onesie where her diaper has slid down, and hair that sticks up like she recently visited a mad scientist for a little shock therapy. She rolls her eyes at me and stares at the ceiling and i realize that she is my prize and how lucky i am to have such a great reason to multitask sitting in my lap.
Friday, January 29, 2010
Today my lint is happy. I have decided it is all about the little things when you have a new baby.
Yesterday I swear Baby smiled at me (remember--she is extremely advanced).
She took good naps that allowed me to get some stuff done. I actually did several loads of laundry, put on mascara, and tried on 4 different cocktail dresses (we have an event this weekend).
We took a walk in the beautiful weather and the stroller and the dog did not conspire to kill me, which was my concern. Initially there were issues. I used the fancy Bob stroller, which Anthony had not shown me in detail how to work, so i had to figure it out by myself. I made the mistake of putting her in the car seat and the car seat in the stroller while still in the corner of the dining room. Trying to get around the table and then through the kitchen and out of the house was like the scene in Austin Powers when he is trying to turn the golf cart around in the hall. So note to self, put baby in seat inside, then attach car seat to stroller outside. Getting out the door was a small victory. The walk was lovely, especially after I remembered that the front wheel needed to be released so it could pivot and take the bumps. While it sounds like I was a hot mess on the walk, once we got it straight the three of us toodled happily around the neighborhood. Ripley taking the lead to protect her baby, Alice snoozing and occasionally doing her patented wink/eye roll that she has perfected, and me bringing up the rear, panting only slightly while navigating the cracks and curbs of Lindley Park. We only strolled for 30 minutes, but that was enough for us considering I was sweating and Ripley was tired of getting bumped in the hind end by the stroller (it sticks out a lot farther in the front than one would think).
I am also amazed and thankful by the outpouring of love, support and gifts that have been showered on us since Miss Alice arrived. We have received cards and gifts in the mail. People have visited and oohed and ahhed over her beauty. But the best, or I should say most helpful part, has been the food. I am not much of a cook and I often daydream about having one of those services that delivers your food everyday. (Not Meals on Wheels, but a fancy one like the rich and famous use in LA). People don't realize how much a meal can mean to a frazzled mommy who can't cook on a good day, much less when she has spent 8 hours dodging squirting poop, changing an angry newborn's outfit 3-4 times, and trying to email the same message for 6 of those hours. So that food is a godsend. If you are ever on the fence about what to take new parents, take them food. Even if it is just a bag of bagels, some cream cheese, and a bag of coffee. It is not about getting a perfect full cooked meal (though that is awesome and always welcome, even once she has turned 18 and gone to college!). It is getting something to help make your life easier because then breakfast, or lunch, or whatever, is one less thing to think about. Also appreciated--things that can go in the freezer. Then you just whip them out to defrost and you have at least one meal, if not leftovers as well.
And this very minute, I am most thankful that her highness let me get a decent night's sleep last night. I will not pretend that we are over the sleep issues, but this is a step in the right direction. It felt luxurious to sleep until 6:45! And for those of you who are familiar with my sleep habits (they are akin to a bear's during hibernation season) I never thought i would say that 5 hours felt amazing and wonderful. So thank you Alice, for making me a happy and refreshed mommy! And thank goodness I am rested, because today your are making up for it and refuse to lay down in your crib. So thank you even more for keeping me on my toes.
Last, I am pleased to have discovered the wonders of the yoga ball. Baby girl loves it when I bounce on it while she is screaming (it stops said screaming) while at the same time strengthening my core. Double thankfulness for double duty.
Thursday, January 28, 2010
I would like to use my new forum to discuss an issue that has recently presented itself to me. Since becoming a person who stays up all hours of the night skulking about my house in the dark and trying to stay awake so as not to endanger the life of my child, I have discovered the sad state of late night TV.
I now thank god I am not an insomniac and I will only have to deal with this awfulness until my child can sleep through the night (next week i am sure...she is very advanced). There is really nothing on unless you are interested in a workout program that can be purchased in 15 easy installments or a cleaning apparatus that comes with a second of the EXACT SAME THING for free. Obviously, I am not in a place where I am aggressively working out (am i ever? simply stated, "no.") However, I am a complete sucker for all the work out programs because those people that have lost 172 lbs doing the ab swinger or the stripper work-out are inspiring. However, my husband would never let me order one. I know this because a few years ago I passionately wanted Yoga Booty Ballet and that was quashed with one eye roll and firm head shake. So I try not to watch the workout infomercials because at the end of the day they just make me feel bad. There is always a 735 lb girl who was a size 53 and is now a 4 who stands in her skimpy workout bra and biker short set and says "If I can do this with the ab-core flexorama, anyone can." And of course she is either a) holding up her big girls pants or b) in front of a huge picture of herself in a bathing suit at a water park as her former large self. So this leads me to to think to myself that I should really do a few sit ups at the next commercial. Unfortunately by then I have forgotten and use the commercial to refill my coke and get another cookie. So obviously, I avoid the workout infomercials at all costs.
So that leads us to the other genre of infomercial that runs constantly--the "as seen on TV" cleaning supplies/small kitchen appliances. I find the hosts' dedication to their products amazing and the fact that they whip their audience into a frenzy over something that no one really needs is beyond admirable showmanship. I think these hosts are previous cult leaders who can hypnotize with their eyes. I always wonder if the people in the studio audience are paid or do they spend their days hoping from set to set to cheer for shammy cloths and mini blenders. This however does nothing to deter me from my love for "as seen on TV" items. Like the audience I get hypnotized and start to believe my life is not complete until I get a Shark Steamer. And as of this Christmas I know that my life was not complete until I got my Shark Steamer. But that is neither here nor there, because really these infomercials are just praying on those of us who are just sleep deprived enough to think that a combo french-fry/salsa maker is something that not only will make my family and guests awe-inspired by my cunning in the kitchen, but will also make me happier in all aspects of my life. Those with insomnia and new mommies everywhere are probably getting their mail and occasionally there is a mystery package of something they have ordered while sitting in front of their TV's with their eyes glazed over and their fingers dialing 1-800-whatever with their brain completely unawares. So I move to save these people from themselves and cut out the infomercials. The networks have a captive audience with us night owls, so why can't they take advantage by showing us quality programming? It is not like we have anything else to do. I can only Facebook so much, and i need two hands to play Bejeweled Blitz so that is not possible with a crying infant. Give us what we want and keep using regular commercials to pay your bills you money hungry TV people. I would love some old school sitcoms, and I don't mean 5 straight hours of Frasier (sorry Mom). I would like some Golden Girls and Friends and 90210. Now maybe these things are out there and I just have not come across them yet. All I am finding are Proactive commercials and the the skinny freaky guy with the headset selling knives and car wash equipment. So because of this quandary of what to watch to stay awake so i don't drop the bottle and anger Alice, I look to my lovely DVR. I have become a hunter during the day, looking for things to tape so that i can stay occupied late night. And it works, but it would be more satisfactory to just be able to turn on the TV and have a bounty of quality programming to choose from. So if anyone knows someone in programming at a network please pass this plea on to them. We night people are a crazy bunch and need your help to maintain what little sanity we have left. Give us a break and play a little Cosby Show or some Facts of Life. I would even take some Perfect Strangers. Thanks.
ps> i would really love the Magic Bullet for my birthday. Available at fine retail stores everywhere.
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Let me start by saying this blog is not my idea. It is my dear sweet Aunt Holly's idea. She is either a) crazy, or b) thinks for some reason people may want to read what i write! We shall see.
I am calling it The Lint Trap. By definition it means this--
Yup, you guessed it--the name came to me while I was doing laundry this morning. On a similar note, if anyone can tell me how to keep my child from peeing as soon as her diaper comes off, please send me an email. So as I was saying, the trap is my brain, and the lint is all the weird stuff that gets clogged up in there, preventing me from doing things that are productive. Welcome to my dumping ground of threads of thoughts, yarns from my daily life, and occasionally sewer gas that is trapped in there and stinking the place up.
So basically i will talk about the lint that gets stuck in my proverbial trap. I say talk instead of write, because i feel like blogs are people talking about things, ideas, etc. and I try to write like I talk. Sadly, when i talk for real there is no delete button and i can't use grammar check. I like reading blogs, though the ones i read are crafty ones. Mostly to get ideas that i will more than likely never actually try and to say things like "i could totally make that" even though i probably won't. So this blog is a little bit of an adventure for me because i don't read other people's blogs about general stuff like how they are feeling or what they want for lunch or how they think about what happened last night on Lost. And since i got pregnant and had a baby, I don't even read the craft ones. Though I can't blame that on the child because our computer got stolen and all the ones i had saved in favorites are now being read by a robber. I hope he is in his crappy apartment learning the secret ingredients to amazing banana bread and how to make gloves out of old sweaters. Jerk. So obviously I am too lazy to go search those blogs back out and I can't seem to figure out favorites on our new Mac anyway. So no blogs for me. Ummm, wait a minute. I just realized I do occasionally read Go Fug Yourself. Those girls are hilarious and I thoroughly enjoy an occasional dose of snarkyness, especially when directed at the beautifulness of those who are famous (hey, if you don't like it, don't put yourself out there in a see-through lace dress with a feathered headpiece and UGGs).
I am also hoping this blog will be an outlet of sorts for me, because I am no longer out there in the workforce, being social and chatting. Because lets face it, that is what I devoted quite a bit of time to (though in a purely professional manner, I promise). Though I do have Alice to talk to and she is a very good listener. In her defense she does not have much choice because she has yet to figure out how to get up from a prone position and walk away. She just sits/lays there (depending on where i have propped her up) and stares at me. Quite a case of stare-itis for this little one, much like her mommy. But she pretends to be interested in how I feel about the ridiculousness of Martha Stewart and her "good things" and she feigns excitement (eye rolling and tooting) over the fact that Sonny just shot the illegitimate son he didn't know he had on General Hospital. Together we laugh that the Baby Whisperer book says she should stay awake for 45 minutes after eating. And she loves it when i sing to her. Or maybe she stops crying as a silent protest to the pain I am causing her emotionally and physically with my warbling. The jury is still out on that one.
So welcome to The Lint Trap that is my brain. I will try to keep it more "yarns and threads" and less "sewer gas" but some days will be better than others.
Posted by Thea at Wednesday, January 27, 2010