Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Why would I have another one right now?

When things are good/easy, I think ‘this is so good, why am I in a hurry to add another child’? Meg plays by herself beautifully (in fact, she gets annoyed if I try to play with her – they’re HER toys, mommy no touch). She eats real food (by herself) and drinks whole milk (it still amazes me I can just take it out of the fridge instead of pumping).

When things are bad/hard, I think ‘why would I want to add another child’? Meg had a really bad night Sunday and Monday was one of the worst days I’ve had in awhile at work. I could not stay awake. If I had another baby, I’d feel like that all the time!

When I get an unexpected perk of having only one kid, I think ‘why am I in a hurry to have another’? Last Thursday night, Meg was up most of the night (I HATE TEETH), but still got up at 6. By 7, she was exhausted and went back to sleep. So did I. It was amazing. If I had another baby, I couldn’t do that!

When I got sick this last week, I was excited to be able to take any medicine I wanted. Decongestants, cough suppressants, the good stuff. I didn’t have to weigh how much I needed it against how much of it would get into my breastmilk. I didn’t have to take less effective medicines because they were better for the baby. And I thought, ‘why would I sign up for another 9 months of pregnancy and 1 year of breastfeeding?’ I need to take a break and enjoy having my body to myself!

So, it seems in every situation I pretty much think ‘why would I want another baby right now?’ I love having an only child, I love sleep, and I really appreciate cough medicine. But here’s the thing: I love babies. And I want another one. And even though there are a ton of reasons to wait (and, actually, we probably will), I want one NOW! (Well, nine months from now, I mean)

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Caffeine, part 2

I wanted to clarify the question I asked yesterday.

When I’m well rested and have a normal amount of energy, taking caffeine turns me into the energizer bunny. I’m here – I’m there, I get so! much! done! Excellent if speed cleaning is needed before last-minute houseguests show up. I still have side effects – my hands shake and my eyes twitch. And since I’ve gone “caffeine free” (as I said – I still get a little caffeine from decaf beverages and chocolate), I don’t do this anymore. Even if my mother-in-law is on her way over and the house is a mess. But I can understand how people like the productivity.

But, if I’m tired and/or drained of energy, taking caffeine makes me feel sick. Its like something is trying to force me to get going, but my body just resists moving all the more. It feels like people are playing tug of war in my head. I described it yesterday, so I won’t really get into it again.

I only respond well to caffeine if I’m not tired at all. So, what I was trying to say yesterday (and I didn’t state it well), is that I think a lot of people drink caffeine when they’re tired to get some additional energy. How does that work? Am I the only one who gets awful side effects when they take caffeine while tired? I can understand how caffeine helps you get more done – if you’re well rested to begin with. But does it really help you when you’re tired to begin with? Do you feel sick? Or is it just me?

Monday, June 28, 2010


You know how some people say the “live on caffeine” or can’t survive without their caffeine fix? I just don’t get that. I mean, I understand how you need your caffeine fix every day or you’ll get a caffeine headache. I just don’t understand how people like living on caffeine.

I try to avoid caffeine as much as I can. I don’t drink any caffeinated beverages. The only caffeine I get comes from decaf coffee, decaf tea, and chocolate. I’m sure you all know this, but decaffeinated coffee/tea still has a little caffeine in it. Literally every time I tell someone I don’t drink caffeine, while drinking decaf coffee, they say, “you know there’s some caffeine in that, right?”. Yes. I know. According to Wikipedia, decaf generally means there is 3% or less of the original amount of caffeine left. And since I never drink full-caf beverages, that little bit of caffeine does affect me. If I’m tired and need a little pick-me-up, a cup of decaf tea has enough caffeine to do the job. So does one sip of caffeinated soda. Which is why I only drink caffeine free diet pepsi:)

Anyway, my one indulgence is Quaker True Delights Dark Chocolate Mocha Hazlenut cafĂ© squares (long name!). They’re divine. But they have a small amount of ground coffee beans in them, so they have a kick. I generally eat them slowly, savoring each bite, taking about ½ hour to eat one. Not only to make the treat last, but so I don’t get a big jolt of caffeine all at once. Well, today I’m in training at work, so I didn’t have time to dawdle over lunch. By the time I got to dessert, I was in a hurry to get back, so I ate it quickly. The caffeine hit me like a truck and I felt sick. Really sick.

I should mention, Meg had a hard night last night (new teeth and a possible ear infection), so we didn’t get much sleep. I am really tired. And once the caffeine kicked in, I felt like I was being tortured into staying awake. You know when you’re sitting in a lecture or something and you start to fall asleep and your head dips forward? I felt like my head was bobbing forward then being jerked back by my hair (this wasn’t actually happening - at least I’m pretty sure it wasn’t!) I also kind of felt like my eyes were being forced open. My left eye was twitching. I felt kind of like I was going to throw up. I barely made it through the next 2 hours, but by 3:00, all of this was gone. I was still tired, but I felt human again.

Am I the only one who reacts this way to caffeine? Its not always exactly like that, but I always get very jittery. My hands shake. My eye twitches. How do you guys live like this day-to-day? Do the side effects wear off as you get used to it? Do they not happen to you?

P.S. I come from a family of Diet Coke addicts. My mom, dad, sister, and husband all drink at least 2 cans a day.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Shoe envy

I've never been a shoe girl. I'd love to be - I think shoes can be so pretty. But I have plantar fasciitis and wide feet. Really wide, as in the only shoes I've ever found that fit really well are New Balance "D" widths and some Born wide's. Plus, with the plantar fasciitis, I am in pain whenever I don't wear my orthodics (shoe inserts). These generally only fit in tennis shoes. So whenever I see gorgeous shoes, I admire them as one would a pretty painting, but I know they're not for me. I have one really pretty pair of heels, but I rarely wear them since if I do, I'm in pain for days afterward. I know some people "live for fashion" and don't care about the pain, but I'm a wuss.

Earlier this week, I ordered Meg a pair of pediped's. They are SO PRETTY. I love them. I love to look at them. I can honestly say I've never been this excited about a new pair of shoes. I also ordered a pair the next size up. I'm trying to decide whether to order a pair of black shoes. The ones I bought are good enough for most occasions, so I'm not sure if she absolutely needs another pair. On the other hand, why would you only have one pair of shoes in each size? I sense I'm going to have to make an effort to stop myself from spending bucketloads of money on shoes for Meg. I love having a little girl!

P.S. I bought these. They're on sale and half of the purchase price goes to the Make-a-Wish Foundation! I want to add a picture of Meg wearing them, but I can't find the cord that connects the camera to the computer...

Sunday, June 20, 2010

The Living Room

My mom watches Meg every Monday and Wednesday. She comes to our house to pick her up. (I don't know how I got so lucky!) When I first went back to work, I attempted to make our house company-is-coming clean every time she came over. And if it wasn't quite up to that level (it usually wasn't), it was at least 'a little cluttered, but not too bad.' It was exhausting. Over the months, my standard slipped further and further to the point I now rarely even straighten up before she comes. She gets to see our full mess. Our house is usually very cluttered with papers, toys, and even dishes. The papers we "need" but don't know what to do with, the toys I consider not worth picking up since Meg will just haul them out again, and the dishes...well, we can get lazy sometimes (though the dirty dishes are always in the kitchen, not the living room).

About 6:00 tonight Meg, Thomas, and I were sitting in the living room. Thomas and I had been sitting slothlike on the couch attached to our iPod touch (him) and HTC Incredible (me) for a few hours. Meanwhile, Meg had been creating the maximum mess. She tore up today's paper. She brought in boatloads of toys from her room. She scattered puffs on the floor. Earlier in the day, she'd spilled coffee (mine), which Thomas had very nicely cleaned up (since I was in the middle of washing bottles). The floor was still wet and a little discolored. Our beloved long-hair cat leaves so much dang hair on the living room floor it looks like I've vaccuumed up a whole cat every time I clean.

In short, our living room was a major disaster. MAJOR. I did think, wow, I can't live like this, but that wasn't enough motivation to do anything about it. But the fact that my mom will be coming tomorrow morning to pick Meg up did motivate me to put down my phone and clean the whole room. It had reached a new low and I just didn't want my mom to see it. I do have some standards! Took an hour and a half. Our living room looks fantastic. I just feel so much better when mom comes over and our house actually looks decent.

Do all visitors to your house rate a company-is-coming cleaning session? Or are there any relatives or friends who are close enough that they're allowed to see it like it is?

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Decisions, decisions...

I get terrible morning sickness. I remember coming home from work and laying on the couch curled up in a ball for the rest of the evening, every day. I was completely miserable. For me, it lasted until I was about 18 weeks along. I was so relieved it went away and still feel blessed it only lasted 18 weeks. My mom was really sick the whole time with me and both my sisters. Nine months straight. I was terrified that’s what would happen to me (although I wouldn’t mind losing some weight!) So I consider myself incredibly blessed to not have nine-month-long morning sickness (at least I didn’t the first time). But, the possibility of being sick until I’m 18 weeks along with #2 is really screwing up the decision of when to have #2.

We’re going on a cruise in February. We're very excited. We have a big decision to make soon, though. When February rolls around, I really really would like to either NOT be pregnant, or be at least 18 weeks along. I do not want to finally go on a vacation after 3 years and be sick the whole time. The plane ride alone would be awful, since I get sick on planes even when I’m not pregnant.

To be at least 18 weeks along, I would have to get pregnant in the next few months - preferably 2 or 3 months from now. We’re not sure we’re ready for that. Well, Thomas isn’t. I go back and forth between “I really want another baby” and “I would be crazy to go through all that again already.” He just thinks its crazy.

So we’re leaning towards not trying before February. But then the decision becomes: do we start trying in February? That would mean a winter baby, which is fine, however, it was awesome having a spring baby. I loved it and want to do it again. But then we would have to wait until a year from now to start trying. Can I wait that long?

I realize it is a MAJOR luxury to be able to basically decide what time of year I have a baby. I read a lot of infertility blogs and those women would love to have a baby any time of year. Any time at all. They’d gladly go on a long-awaited vacation with horrible morning sickness, if it meant they got to finally have a baby. So I understand not many people have it as good as I do.

But since we got pregnant within days of starting to try last time, we know that could happen again. So we don’t want to start trying until we’re sure. Since we probably have the luxury of deciding approximately when to get pregnant, we have to actually decide. Soon.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Fake blogs

How much of your life do you reveal on your blog? Is anything embellished? Is there something about your real life your readers would be shocked to find out?

I’ve been reading the archives of Storked! on and today read this one and it shocked me. One of the comments was (as we’ve all heard), you can’t believe everything you read on the internet. Well, duh. But I never thought about something as extreme as this.

Some of the blogs I read may be made up. How would I know?? Everyone, even in real-life relationships, shows, and hides, different parts of themselves depending on who they’re with. Often they try to paint themselves as someone they’re not. But on a blog, its sooooo much easier to be a “fake” you. Or to try and put yourself in a better light. Or the opposite, to let the negative things about you come out, because there’s no way you’re letting them out around your real-life friends.

I don't have anything "shocking" to tell you about my blog. The only thing you might not know is my daughter’s name isn’t Meg. I wrote back when I was starting the blog that I was considering using fake names and when I started using the name Meg, I explained it wasn't her real name, but I suppose some people hadn't started reading the blog yet.

I actually got the idea of using fake names from Arwen’s blog. When she started blogging, she used her and her husband’s middle names, Elizabeth and Michael. When she decided to switch to using their real names, her readers were shocked she’d been using fake names. And some felt betrayed. I say, what’s the big deal? Privacy is important and it doesn’t really matter what someone’s name is.

And no, I’m not using my daughter’s middle name. “Meg” is nowhere in her real name. The same is true for the name I made up for my husband. However, my real name IS Jessica. Although I could be lying to you. But I’m not! Ask A’Dell – I sent her a check for the Blathering so she knows my full name!

So, how much of yourself do you reveal on your blog? If you can’t think of anything to write about, do you make something up? Has everything you’ve written about actually happened to you? Do you use fake names on your blog? Do you prefer blogs that use names that are obviously fake – like calling your child “munchkin” instead of using a name – or blogs that picked “real names” to use as fake names (like mine)?

I've never made anything up, but I probably embellish here and there. Can't think of any specific examples. But I'm mainly writing this so I can look back on it, and what would be the point if its all made up??

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Short and sweet - June 12th

Last night, Meg walked over to Thomas, who was fixing something under the sink, pointed at his back and said "Dada!" to me, as in "Mama, this guy under our sink? He's my dada!" We were both very excited, even though she's known dada for awhile. She's said dada when he's walked into a room and said dada when she wants him to pick her up. But it was beyond cute when she pointed at him and explained to me who he was.

P.S. I think I'm going to make "Short and sweet" a regular thing - a short post telling a sweet story about Meg.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Rose-coloured glasses

To start, I know us Americans don't spell "colored" with a "u," but I happen to like the British spelling:)

I've been thinking back on my maternity leave. I remember it fondly. Very fondly. I've fogotten the horrible, painful sleep deprivation, but remembered everything else. I get nostalgic, thinking how tiny she was. How simple our days were. Sometimes I wish I could go back.

I definitely don't want to go back to the first two weeks. That time is rather hazy in my mind, but I do remember it wasn't real good. I was exhausted, in pain, trying to figure out how to breastfeed, trying to figure out how to use the breastpump when my milk wouldn't come in, and pumping around the clock, all while a parade of well meaning, but annoying relatives trooped through my house trying to hold the baby when all she wanted to do was eat.

BUT, when all that drama was settled, things got a lot better. All Meg did was nurse and sleep. I walked around wearing yoga pants and a nursing bra. While nursing, I either watched TV or read. I started with magazines, since I had no attention span, then moved to books. It was summer, so I ate endless bowls of watermelon, canteloupe, strawberries, and grapes. I kept cheese slices in the fridge for middle of the night protein boosts. The baby weight melted off.

Mainly, I just want to go back to the unstructured days. All I had to do was breastfeed and change diapers. And I could do that while watching TV. Law & Order all day long! This is also when I got hooked on House, M.D. In the six months after she was born, I got through my two-year backlog of Newsweeks. I re-read my Marie Claires (there was no backlog). I checked out stack after stack of books from the library. And, best of all, I got a tiny baby all to myself. Life would have been perfect if I could have just gotten a little sleep.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

A (relatively) easy age

Meg is getting more independent every day. And most days I actually kind of like it. I feel like we’re in kind of a lull as far as heavy-duty parenting goes. Aside from the whining, nothing too hard is going on.

Diapering? We’re pros at that and we’re nowhere near potty training.

Feeding? Whole milk (you can buy it at the STORE and there’s no breastpump needed to feed your child!!), jarred food (she only has 2 teeth, so she just can’t manage yet to get enough calories through table food, or even toddler food), and eating off mama and dada’s plates. She eats (tiny bites of) everything we eat and loves it.

Talking? She says “mama,” “dada,” “kitty,” and “hi.” She doesn’t say “no.” She can’t argue or yell “I hate you!” or be generally snotty.

Walking? She’s a pro and I actually like it better than crawling. She enjoys being down more since she is a big girl who can follow me around.

Playing? She will play by herself while I clean the kitchen, make dinner, or (more likely) sit on the couch and read. I can’t watch TV, because we don’t let her watch TV and I can’t use the computer, because she loves computers and will bug me endlessly trying to reach the keyboard. BUT, I am getting so much reading done, its amazing. I love it. And its better for me than TV or the computer anyway. She only plays by herself for maybe a half an hour at a time, but if we break to read one of her books or just snuggle, after 5 or 10 minutes she wants to go play with her toys again.

Still, right now I’m kind of on the fence as to whether I like this age. Today was one of those fantastic days where I wish I could just quit my job and spend all my time with my cutie-pie. For all of the reasons above. But some days, all day long is one constant whine. On those days, I say I really don’t like one-year-olds (the age, not my daughter or any other child) and can’t wait for her to get older. But I don’t think the whining really gets better. In fact, I’m afraid it gets worse. A scary thought.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Do you have a bloggy crush?*

I totally do. I guess I could have also titled this: what’s your favorite blog? I love reading Erin Zammett Ruddy’s blog posts. She doesn’t even have a “personal blog” (that I know of), but she wrote for for awhile and now writes on I found her Life With Cancer blog (on Glamour) absolutely fascinating. So was her book, My So-Called Normal Life, about getting cancer at 23.

Her Parenting blog is freakishly often about exactly what I’m thinking. We must have very similar personalities. I nearly always agree with everything she says. Even when a situation doesn’t apply to me (yet), like dealing with a toddler and a baby, I completely “get” what she’s saying. Most weeks, after reading her post, I go write my own post about the same thing, because I have so many thoughts about it. Yesterday, her post was (partly) about how she and her husband are kind of homebodies and throughout reading it, I was thinking: I just wrote about how I’m like that too! Now, she’s probably not as anti-social as me, but its odd how we usually think the same way about things. Maybe its just that she's a good writer and writes about universal parenting topics. I mean, what parent doesn't identify with a post titled: Saturday nights, then and now? I just feel like I agree with her way more often than I agree with some of the other bloggers. Some blogs I enjoy, but don’t always “get.” I love reading a blog where I almost always “get it.”

So, whats YOUR favorite blog? I need suggestions! I’m spending so much time reading blogs on my new phone, I’ve run out!

*I feel like I may have stolen the term “bloggy crush” from somewhere. Maggie, perhaps? I don’t remember. Its been on my list of “things to write about” for at least a month.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

YIKES - My $2,000 credit card bill

Boring post ahead!! I find this interesting, but maybe that's just because its MY bill.

I got my credit card bill in the mail today. My balance was $1,960.85. For one month. Yikes. And I don't do the grocery shopping (my husband does). I do pay the mortgage, but not on my credit card. I knew we had a lot going on in the month of May. What I didn't think about at the time was that for each and every one of those occasions, I was whipping out my credit card and going crazy. These are the occasions that happened in May, in order:

1. I went on a business trip
2. Mothers Day
3. My husband's birthday
4. My sister's wedding
5. Our 3rd anniversary
6. My cousin's graduation (4 hours away)
and last, but not least,
7. The big first birthday party

So. I decided to figure out where $2,000 went.

1. Business trip. I spent $175.87 and was reimbursed for all of it.
2. Mother's Day. I spent $16.07 on cards for my mom, aunt, and grandma and $29.68 on a pedicure for my mom
3. Husband's birthday. I spent $274.99 on a Weber Smokey Mountain, $10.59 on The Blind Side (great sale at K-Mart!), and $22.01 on his favorite dinner - pizza and wings
4. Sister's wedding. $29.68 on pedicure for me. $151.58 on cut and color. $39.17 on spray tan (it was buy one get one free, so I can go get my free spray tan anytime). Wedding presents were purchased in a different month and new clothes for the rehearsal dinner were on my Younkers card.
5. Anniversary. We bought patio furniture. My portion was $189.74
6. Graduation. $32.92 on gas (my mom paid for the rest) and about $10 in food.
7. Party. Actually, the party was so late in the month, my credit card bill cut off and this isn't on it. Something to look forward to next month...

So all that totals $982.30.

Other things:
New phone (HTC Incredible) and accessories - $290.40 (there's a $100 mail-in rebate)
Day care - $304 (don't hate me. She only goes to daycare once a week - its awesome!)
Target - $81.05. You know how this goes... 2 cans formula, misc snacks for wedding and trip to graduation, and other things I didn't know I needed until I went to Target
Medical - office visits and medication for me and Meg - $68
Gas - $79.66 (doesn't include graduation)
Misc. eating out (includes breakfasts, lunches, and dinners) - $83.23 (ouch!)

That's $1,888.84. I'm going to call the remaining $72.01 "miscellaneous."

May was one expensive month. I hope I can do better next month!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Going out and having fun

At work today, one of the single girls was talking about going to a baseball game tonight. We have a Triple-A minor league baseball team in town. She was like, "I can't NOT go! Its $1.00 admission night!"

I started thinking: its a really good thing I'm already married. Because if I wasn't, I don't know how I'd ever meet a guy. I don't like to go out. The girl at work thinks: why sit at home alone if I can go out and have fun? I think: why go out when I can stay home, change into sweats, and watch the TiVo? I'd have to hope to meet someone at church, because that would probably be the only place I'd go other than work and family functions!

One summer in college, I had an internship in a tiny town. I rented an apartment over a beauty shop on main street. I worked 2 minutes away. There was a movie theater across the street, but not much else to do. I lived alone. It was the best summer of my life. I would come home every night, make myself whatever I wanted for dinner (I wasn't on a diet), and watch the two "ER"s that played on TNT that morning, then probably a Law & Order.

Now, part of the reason it was so great was that I did have a boyfriend (who is now my husband). I guess I probably wouldn't have been as happy if I hadn't had someone to go see periodically. But "periodically" is the key word. I'm a loner. I think it would be awesome to have next-door apartments with my husband or something. (In college, we lived one floor apart in the dorms for two years and it was awesome!!) Obviously, it doesn't work if you have kids. But having my own space would be nice!

Don't tell my husband. He thinks it means I don't love him as much as he loves me, but that's not true. I love him a LOT, but I also like being alone. Am I a freak?

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Blog Title

Does anyone have suggestions on a new blog title? The one I have right now is kind of random. Here's how it came about:

My email address is my full name. I felt kind of uncomfortable using it to post comments on blogs or subscribe to email updates. I just don't like using my full name. So I decided to get a new email address. I tried MamaBlogs at gmail dot com, since I was going to use the email address to comment on and subscribe to blogs written by mothers. I basically chose it so it would be self-explanatory in my inbox (I set it up so emails to that address would go into my regular inbox - I have 4 different email addresses merged in gmail). Unfortunately, it was taken. Feeling lazy, I just added an extra "m" and made it MammaBlogs and gmail dot com. It looked wrong to me, since I spell Mama with one "m," but I figured it wouldn't matter. I wasn't really going to use the address for correspondence, anyway.

So, several months later, I decide to finally start a blog of my own. I couldn't think of a title. I wanted something anonymous. Again, I decided to be lazy, so since I already had the email, I got the corresponding blogspot site (MammaBlogs), since, again, Mama Blogs was taken in Blogger. Frankly, I wasn't sure if anyone would ever see the site. I set a goal to post every day for the first month. I didn't know if I would follow through... I actually thought this would just be a plain, boring blog with a few posts that would end up abandoned. OR, I thought it might be my "practice blog," then I'd start "real blog."

Well, I have kept up with it for four months and I intend to keep going. But I hate the title. I think it looks stupid with two "m"s. And its boring. But I still can't think of anything else. Does anyone have any suggestions?

Saturday, June 5, 2010


When Meg was a few months old and would cry and cry and cry in the middle of the night and all I wanted to do was go to sleep, I remained perfectly calm. I may have despaired, felt like I'd never sleep again, that I'd die of exhaustion. But I didn't get angry. And I never yelled at her.

But whining kills me. I have no patience – I start yelling almost immediately. I scream “JUST STOP WHINING,” as if that will actually make a one-year-old stop whining. Of course, it makes her whine more, because mommy yelled at her. Which then makes me more insane. I feel like my head is going to explode. Luckily, someone already explained this far better than I can:

Her Bad Mother says:

I don’t have a temper. I’m as mild-mannered as they come. There are kittens who get angrier than I do. There are kittens on Xanax that get angrier than I do. But five minutes of my four year old whining about unwarm toast and missing socks and I’m pressing my fingernails into the beds of my palms and sucking in my cheeks and willing myself to just not yell oh god don’t be the mom who yells DO NOT YELL DO NOT YELL -


She said it all. That explains me perfectly. And I'm very happy to know I'm not the only one.

Friday, June 4, 2010


I think its totally crazy how, even as babies, your kids can have strong personalities and they can be so different than your own. I pretty much think of Meg as an extension of me. At least I used to. But it has become obvious that we have opposite personalities (and always have, but I’ve tried to ignore it).

My mom says when I was a baby, I was quiet. I would sit and read books or play quietly. Meg is loud and in constant motion. She gets into everything. I thought all babies did this, but apparently I didn’t (or at least I didn’t in my mother’s selective memory). I’m an introvert. I like being at home alone. I actually didn’t feel like I got enough alone time even before we had a baby. Meg is a total extrovert. The most consistent comment we’ve gotten at any public place or party is how happy and well-behaved she is. She’s a charmer. She LOVES hanging out. She had a blast at my sister’s rehearsal dinner and wedding, even though she was up past her bedtime. She handles staying up past her bedtime better than I do, as long as she’s at a party.

The best way I’ve heard introvert vs. extrovert explained is that its not just whether you like being with people, its how you recharge. Introverts may like being in groups, but its draining for them. They recharge with alone time. Extroverts recharge by hanging out with people.

I am having a hard time adjusting to having an extrovert baby. When we’re home alone (which I prefer, because I don’t really like getting us all packed up and going out), she gets cranky and whiny and wants mama to entertain her. And even when I do entertain her, she’s not as happy as she is when we’re out. Anywhere. She loves the grocery store. Wal-Mart. Day care. Big parties (like the wedding) are her absolute favorite. She lives for family gatherings, with everyone fawning over her. I personally would HATE to have everyone in my face.

Already, I try to force myself to go somewhere, even if its just Target, on my days off, to make my social little girl happy. The sacrifices we make for our children…

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

A disadvantage to reading blogs…

Often blogs are started by people who would like to write for a living or who already do so. If you write books or would like to: start a blog. Then people will get to know you and want to buy your book. If you have a popular blog: turn it into a book. Let me tell you, this works. I am going broke buying the books written by people who write my favorite blogs!! I’m not a book-buyer. I love reading and I’m a fast reader, so I stick to the library. Before Meg was born, I’d check out a stack of 10 books and have them returned by the time their 3-week checkout period was up. Now, I need the 2 renewal periods allowed, but I’ll still check out 10 books at a time. Unfortunately, the books written by bloggers I read are usually not in the library. So I buy them. Its getting really expensive. Generally, I wait until I’ve earned an gift certificate from one of the survey sites I use, but I still have to pay something. And I’m using the reward that might have been used for something else.

Today I bought Amy Wilson’s book: How Did I Get Like This? Her blog, Mother Load, was the first blog I found. I love it. I’m excited to read a whole book like it. But its $16!! I had a $5 gift card, but still paid $11. (I got a free trial of Amazon prime so my husbands birthday gift would arrive on time, so I have about a week left of not paying shipping:)

I guess it’s a good thing I have a job so I can pay for all the books.

P.S. If you are wondering where I get the time to read, see this post about how my house was so messy it took a week to clean 5 rooms. (I filled up the entire recycle bin.)

P.P.S. I am NOT a writer. You don't need to be worried about buying my book, because I will never write one!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The First Birthday Party

You know how people say the first birthday party is really a celebration for the parents? A big, “We did it! We made it through the first year!” party? Well, its not. At least not for me. I thought the idea was kind of bogus from the beginning anyway, but I was hoping this is how I’d feel at the party, because if you’re throwing a party, you’d like to think you’re getting something out of it. And I did – watching Meg enjoy it. I loved the party and am so glad we did it, but it was a bitch to plan and execute. And the fact I’ll have to do it again just makes me tired. So tired. To me, it felt like another one of those things you do for your kids, because you love them, NOT because you want to.

Part of the problem is that I’m terrible at keeping the house clean. I just don’t care. So to get the house party-clean, it took a week of cleaning. And by the end of the week, I was so exhausted, the last thing I wanted was 20 people coming over.

Also, its so expensive! We decided first birthdays deserve a special cake, so we ordered a cake shaped and decorated like her kitty. It was $50. Which I suppose isn’t outrageous for a specialty cake, but its much more expensive than a cake from a box (which is what she’ll get for all subsequent birthdays). We don’t have enough plates for 20 people (and I didn’t want to wash that many plates afterward anyway), so I decided to go to the party store for 1st Birthday plates…and napkins…and a banner…plus plastic forks and spoons and aluminum roasting pans for all the meat. I spent $30. Again, not outrageous, I guess, but not cheap.

Food: My husband smoked 3 pork butts (I think we only ate 2 of them, though). 25 pounds of meat. Plus charcoal. And a vegetable platter. And baked beans. Though, luckily, my mom brought fruit salad and my mother-in-law made potato salad. We probably only spent $50 on food. Which is pretty good for 20 people.

And the presents. We didn’t spend too much, but we kind of let that one get away from us. Originally, my thought was, we’re throwing a party! An expensive party. Isn’t that present enough? She’s 1, she won’t know the difference. So that was the plan. But then I decided to buy her a little Bible. And then my husband went to Wal-Mart and came home with this. Then I decided to buy this. And suddenly like half the presents at the party were from mommy and daddy.

All in all, it was a great day. For HER. And that’s the point. Meanwhile, all mommy wanted to do was take a nap and figure out where $300 had gone. And the worst part was that by the time the party was over, it looked like I hadn’t cleaned at all. Even with using paper plates, the kitchen was covered in dishes, like before. Except they were all serving dishes, so harder to wash. And the living room was covered in wrapping paper and cake plates. And there were new toys EVERYWHERE.

I am very happy with how the party went. I just wish I could have enjoyed it more. I spent the whole party rushing around: getting more food, more serving utensils, more cups, directing people outside to eat, inside for cake, downstairs for the video*, taking away new toys so she would agree to open more toys (because when you’ve just opened a new toy, isn’t it more fun to play with it than to tear wrapping paper off another gift?)

*My husband made a first-year video for her and it was ADORABLE. (I stole the idea from Maureen and Arwen and made my husband do it).

P.S. I am considering attempting to give birth to all future babies near a 3-day weekend. Having Monday off was AMAZING and definitely needed after the party. Plus, it was her actual birthday, so we got to spend the whole day with her.

P.P.S. I'll post pictures as soon as I get some. My dad has a $600 camera, so we just let him take pictures. I forgot to download them after the party, so I'll have to wait until I see him next. Which is kind of hit-or-miss, so I don't know when...