Thursday, July 31, 2014

Thursday's Thoughts

Who me?! I'm an angel.
I had an experience this week that I felt that I needed to share. I strive to keep it real, and I think that keeping parenting real is actually really hard. I know that I want to present the most beautiful pictures of N. with the prettiest outfits and sweetest smiles, but sometimes that ain't what it looks like...okay a lot of the time that isn't what it looks like round these parts, and this particular occurrence was too good not to mention. As I've said, N. is really quite a good, happy baby, and being with her is pretty joyful most of the time, but the lack of sleep over the past five + months is starting to take its toll on me. Tuesday was one of those days when I wondered how it would be humanly possible to go on without a good night's sleep. I didn't sleep well when I was pregnant, so I think I went into motherhood with a bit of a deficit. Then there is the labor. Then there is the first night after the labor when you are beyond tired but your husband is sick so he can't get up with the baby. And then there are all the nights after that when your baby doesn't really want to sleep and appears to be ravenous and eager to sidle up to the all night milk bar that is your body. (I know she doesn't need to eat three times a night to survive. I know I could sleep train...I know. But I haven't done these things--although I think the time might be coming for a change.) You get it, right? I'm tired.

This brings us to Tuesday afternoon. My sister and I took my grandma out to lunch with baby N. On the way home my grandma wanted to pick up some groceries. I opted to stay in the car because the baby needed to nurse (again). So, I'm in the parking lot of the store happily nursing away and enjoying a quiet moment (yes, these can happen while nursing in the car in a store parking lot), and suddenly I feel something warm on my legs. I happened to be wearing all white. This was probably an error in judgement. I am sure you can see where this is going. There was poop. Everywhere. I tried to lift her up, but the poop just kept flowing. She was wearing shorts (also white), so there was nothing to hold the poop in, and it runneth over, and out, and all across the car seats. My shorts, legs, and (let's be honest) underwear were drenched in poop. The car seat was a puddle of poop, and the baby had poop up to her hair line. I got up and carried her to the trunk of the car where I put her down (it is an SUV, so the trunk is raised and very open, in my defense) while I tried to sop up the poo on the car seats. I called my sister who was in the store and who came running out with a hand full of paper towels...I'm not even sure where she got them...because she sensed from my voice that there was bodily fluid of some sort involved in my horror.

Long story short, I ended up dropping trou in the parking lot, wiping myself with her baby wipes, and styling a swaddling blanket as a skirt, before bursting into tears from being so damn tired. It was not my most glamorous moment.

The other day, sweetly and with no malintent, someone without children asked me, "What do you do all day?" At the time, I made something up to sound "legitimately" engaged in worldly affairs. But, to be honest, some days you just deal with the (literal) shit that comes your way, and it takes every bit of energy you have, and that's about it.

P.S. I love my daughter more than anything. During poop-gate she just smiled and cooed. (Even when she was covered in an exfoliating combination of poo and sand from being put in the trunk that hadn't been vacuumed after our beach trip). What a champ.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Fabulous Friday: July Loves

I thought I'd share a few things that have been among my favorite odds and ends this summer. This is a varied grouping of goodies, but I'm loving all of them.

J.CREW ENSEMBLE: J.Crew is KILLING IT with their new fall pieces, and I am totally enamored of this outfit and this shirt in particular. Must. Have. It. Stat.

CUTE AS A BUTTON: This is my favorite pedicure color in the summer. It is a beautiful coral shade and goes with lots of things. In the eternal battle of red v. pink nails, Cute as a Button is the best compromise. (Yeah, I know you are all familiar with that battle...).

CIMENT THERMIQUE: Recently my hair has been breaking like crazy. I find little pieces of it everywhere. I am not sure if this is the result of a post pregnancy thing or whether the fact that my baby pulls my hair every chance she gets has resulted in this particular problem, but my hairdresser recommended this product specifically for hair prone to breakage. It is triggered by heat...which I definitely use a lot of to to get my mane to cooperate. I am hoping it helps!

INITIAL PENDANT NECKLACE: My sweet, sweet husband did buy me the beautiful Maya Brenner "N" necklace after our baby was born. I adore it and wear it every day, but when I saw this  little pendant at the Nordstrom Anniversary sale, I had to snag it. On the back it says "One In A Million." How true.

BANGLE: If you read regularly, you know I love Margaret Elizabeth jewelry, and this new bracelet that she just started selling is at the top of my wish list! Meg, the designer, also just had a baby. Congrats to her!

EAU MOHELI: This is my new favorite fragrance. I love Diptique. My mom and I visted the store in Paris, and I love the sophistication and subtlty of their scents.

HARMONY THE MERMAID: Blabla Kids honestly has the sweetest little dolls, and my mom bought this one for N. as a reminder of her summer in Cape Cod.

CHEWBEADS: Okay, these necklaces are genius. Chewbeads makes adorable silicon necklaces that are meant to be gnawed on by little baby mouths! So, you can actually wear cute, colorful jewelry and let you baby put it in her mouth. Win win.

BARE SKIN: I know that I've written about loads of beauty products, but this Bare Skin by BareMinerals is amazing. I can't believe how glowly and lovely it makes my skin look. And, while I don't generally think you need a particular brush for this sort of thing, this brush helps the product go on evenly. As far as foundation goes, Bare Skin is reasonably priced, and if it were twice as expensive, I'd still want to buy it.

WUBBANUB: I bought one of these little guys a few months ago, but it wasn't until recently that N. started loving her. Now we cannot go anywhere without lamby. And, because she is rolling like a champ, she can't be swaddled any more and being about to hold her little lamby while she sleeps helps keep her hands off her face.

STYLO YEUX EYELINER: My sister was wearing blue eyeliner a lot, and I tried it out a few days ago, and I love it. I have blue-ish eyes, and this color liner makes them pop a bit more than usual. I think I might be a convert.

Feels good to get back in the groove!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Life Lately: The Update

Here I am again! Boy, I have not been true to my word, but the blissful summer days of playing with the babe are starting to dwindle, and I am thinking of what life will be like when I return to work in the fall (albeit part time). She will be in day care (for at least part of the day), and with that comes some uninterrupted work time. I was so ambitious, and I truly thought that I would get back to blogging in about two weeks after her birth. No problem, I thought. What else am I going to be doing? Boy, was I wrong. I would say mine is a relatively easy and good-natured baby, but babies are a lot of work, and there is no way around that. Now I have a much better sense of what I actually have time for and what I want to prioritize in my "free" moments. I think that the fall will bring with it some time to get back to the things that I've (rightfully and happily) neglected during the last five months. I have been talking to my good friend about what I might want to do with the blog, and our wheels are turning. This is to say that perhaps instead of less...maybe what's coming down the pike is actually much better! Stay tuned as I figure out just where we are going with this little bloggie baby. And, to those of you who have checked in on my sporadic posting and sent your comments, I am so appreciative. To the others of you who keep asking me what's happened and where I am, I'm here, and I'm not going away just yet!

This is what's been happening lately. I have been in Cape Cod for almost two weeks again, and it is just truly my happy place, and, beautifully, it is also baby's happy place (seemingly). When we walked through the door this last time, she was gleeful, and she learned to roll over here, and went swimming in the Atlantic here, and had a little non-christening christening here last weekend. I wanted to share about that. I knew I wanted to have something to celebrate her birth, but I am not religious at this point in my life. The ritual of a baptism seemed like a nice thing, but more for the opportunity to have family come together, to officially name her godparents, and to celebrate her entrance into our family. So, we planned a small ceremony on the beach with only our immediate family. I asked a friend who is a minister and chaplain to perform the ceremony, and we all gathered at the Cape to welcome N. The day was absolutely beautiful, she behaved like a total champ, and she looked like a million bucks in her totally Cape-ified Lily Pulitzer ensemble with her flower crown. One of the best things we did was ask each family member present to write N. a note with a promise or hope for her future. Many of the sentiments brought me to tears, and I can't wait for her to open them someday and know how deeply she has always been loved. That weekend was a really beautiful moment in my life, and I will look back on that day with great fondess for many years to come.

This past weekend, we spent with friends who have a baby two months younger than N. What a wonderful time we had with another couple who is in the same boat we are! No need to apologize for screaming, explosive pooping, spit up stained clothes, or the fact that it sometimes takes two hours to leave the house. It was totally relaxing, and we plan to make it a tradition!

This week brings us back to CT and my parents' house. This summer has been a tricky one because of J's work and having the new baby, and being with my family has been a total joy. While I know that San Francisco is beckoning me back soon, I am planning to soak up the love (and HELP) in CT for a little while longer.

Oh, and requisite blogger question...who has hit up the Nordstrom sale? Love this time of year!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Monday Musings: Currently...

I thought that a "currently" post (even though I used to do them on Thursdays) was in order to catch you up on what's been happening in baby town my life. 

THANKFUL FOR: I am so thankful that I have summers off. This one was an extended summer as my maternity leave bled into the summer months with the exception of two weeks during which time I was back at work at the end of May. Having five and a half months to bond, figure out how to be a mom, get my bearings, enjoy my growing girl, and spend time with my family is absolutely priceless. This time away from so many things in my life has been precious beyond measure, and I am endlessly thankful that I have the luxury of having this time. I know many people don't.

FEELING: This is a total cliche, but I am feeling I did not give birth to a good sleeper. She is getting better, and she has good nights, but, no, we are not sleeping through the night. I actually hate when people ask me how she sleeps because it is as though she should be sleeping through the night at this point. Honestly, I think lots of babies don't sleep through the night at four months, but when people ask, I start to wonder if there is something more I should be doing. I never could have imagined that five uninterruprted hours would feel like a luxury, or that a human being could survive on so little rest. (Note to pregnant mamas out there: invest in a good under eye concealer. It will become your saving grace.) The worst thing that has happened recently is that I've developed some intermittent insomnia. There is nothing more tormenting than knowing my beautiful babe is sleeping soundly while I lie there staring at the ceiling. Has this ever happened to any of you?

THINKING ABOUT: I am starting to think about what it will be like to go back to work. I'm only returning part time for the next year, and I think that this is a great compromise that will allow me to still keep a foot in my career and to spend lots of time with the baby during this incredibly formative time. I do want to go back to work, but I wonder what it will be like to leave my baby with someone else. She is going to go to a daycare in our neighborhood, and I have no idea what that adventure will be like. I don't know how it will feel to know that someone else will get to cuddle her and perhaps even see her have certain "firsts" while I'm not  there. On the other hand, I do truly believe that for me, personally, I will be a better mother to her if I continue to work; I am not sure that I could stay at home full-time. In this set up, I feel like I can truly capitalize on the wonderful time I will have with her while maintaining a little grown up sanity!

EATING: There is nothing like a swirl of chocolate and vanilla soft serve with rainbow sprinkles to say "summer." I've probably had one too many of these, but damn are they good. Mmmm mmm mmm.

WATCHING: This summer my go to shows have been The Real Housewives of the OC and New York. (And The Bachelorette, of course...STOP. (Inside joke for those of you watching...)) This is shameful, and if I must watch TV, I should be watching something more high brow, I know, but I do love this trash. I have also been watching the new season of Orange is the New Black. The great thing is that watching trash means I can just sort of pay attention and not actually miss anything, which definitely works for me.

READING: Oh my lord, it took me about four months to finish one book! Unbelievable! I read Bringing up Bebe, which is about the wisdom of French parenting. Again, it did not tax the intellect any, but it helped during those nights of insomnia in the last few weeks! I have finally started Wild, which I meant to read a long time ago and never did. I can honestly say that at this point in the book, I am not seeing the allure of hiking the Pacific Coast Trail. Perhaps I will figure it out as I get further along...

LOVING: One of the most fun experiences I've had this summer was taking Baby N. to the beach. She absolutely loved the water. Over the weekend, we went in my aunt and uncle's pool, and again, she was thrilled to splash around and recline while I pulled her around on a float. I am so excited that she is a water baby, and I love watching her laugh and giggle. I can't is so darn cute.

BUMMED OUT ABOUT: I am really bummed out that I don't live in a commune. Weird, I know. But, this summer has shown me that raising a child with lots of other adults around is so much better, easier, and more fun than doing it alone. This summer, my sister has been with me almost every day, and that has been an absolute game changer. She couldn't love N. more if she were her own, and the thoughtfulness, care, enthusiasm, and energy she brings to Auntie-hood have blown me away. Also, when I am in my parents' house and my siblings are around like they were this past weekend, it is such a joy to watch everyone play with the baby, and I don't feel harried, stressed, and at the end of my rope. Aside from the fact that we don't sleep at night, each day feels filled with fun and amusement. San Francisco is a relatively isolating place for me to live with no real help around. While it has been hard to be away from my home there for the summer because you are never quite as settled when you aren't in your own space, I know it would have been exceptionally hard to be at home, alone with the baby all day without any family or many friends around to break up the time. I am bummed that I can't do this great communal living all the time! I know I've mentioned this in the past, but I am definitely pushing my bros and sis to think about the family compound for our future!! (Only half kidding...)

LOOKING FORWARD TO: The crazy thing about having a little one is that you never really know what tomorrow will bring. She might master something new that she's never done before. She might laugh at something she suddenly finds funny. She might make a sound that turns a room full of heads. And that is really unbelieveavle. Every day, you learn a little more about this person who is a part of you, but is becoming more and more herself each moment. I am looking forward to all the tomorrows during which I get to know my sweet girl and watch her learn about each and every thing in this wide world.

Sheesh-I know this was a lot of baby, but I warned you! Is there still fashion to be had? Decors to make one swoon? I'll have to look into that... Hope you had a great July 4th weekend!