Saturday, January 30, 2010


Surely other moms...

Slip under the covers at night and find a defrosted teething ring and wet rag between the sheets?

Have said the sentence: "Grace, please quit pulling mommy's panties off the racks. Now I have to pick them up!"

Forget to label their child's diapers for PDO, even though the teacher pulls out a sharpie and begins labeling them while the mother is in plain sight... sigh.

Let their child dump out the entire box of monthly accessories under the sink if it keeps them occupied while they take a shower because they slept too late to take a shower while their child was still asleep.

Catch themselves asking, "where did the time go?" every other day.

Worry about cell phone radiation poisoning but let their child chew on an old cell phone just for funsies?

Have a love/hate relationship with Sesame Street.

Feel so full of love and pride when they look at their child that they think their heart may actually burst? (These feelings usually follow a good night's sleep and/or a positive nap experience on the part of the child, or trips to the grocery store when the child acts like a halo has sprouted from the top of their head).

Contemplate whether or not they weaned too early and secretly miss it at night when they put their baby to bed (but then posts it on a blog, making it entirely not a secret)

Stop two blocks from their house and get out of the car to check and make sure they buckled their child in the carseat. Because maybe one time, they might have forgotten.

Open drawers in their kitchen and find a dirty sock, a baby Einstein book, four spoons, a scentsy candle package, five goldfish crackers, two teddy grahams, and a partridge in a pear tree.

Hum the theme song to "Elmo's World" while they pick up toys. Six times a day.

Have spent more on their child's shoe collection than they have their own in the last year.

Think to themselves, "Oh heavens, I have officially become my mother," but then smile, because maybe that's not such a bad thing.

Think their child is the cutest thing walking.

Monday, January 25, 2010

100th post- the year in review

In honor of my 100th post, I have decided to post my top 100 photos of Grace. I jest, I jest. Instead, I posted a review of the year. How quickly time does fly. I can't wait for the next 100 posts of your life, sweet girl.

January: 2 months old
You started sleeping from 11-6, which did my heart and mental stability good, started cooing and giggling, and I finally captured you smiling at your daddy on camera. I started back to work begrudgingly.

February: 3 months
Still hated tummy time, but fell in love with mirrors and Mr. Octopus, loved bouncing in the baby bjorn, and you began a six month teething process with pools of drool on your mouth at all times.

March: 4 months
You started grinning from ear to ear with the sweetest, drooliest smile I have ever seen, we all three survived pacifier bootcamp since you went on sleeping haitus from weeks 15-18, and you weighed 15 lbs, 15 oz. at your checkup.

April: 5 months
You fell in love with your stroller and would laugh and giggle every time we put you in it, you were dedicated at church on Easter Sunday, spent your first Sunday in the nursery, and you finally rolled over right before you turned five months. We started rice cereal for a week or so, but I was in denial that you were old enough to try solids so I took you back to solely nursing until your six month check-up.

May: 6 months
You had carrots and green beans for the first time, said "da-da", weighed 17.6 pounds and were 27 inches long at your checkup, started sucking on your toes and learning how to give "kisses", started sitting up on your own two weeks before you turned six months, and I had my first Mother's Day with you.

June: 7 months
We went swimming for the first time, daddy had his first Father's day, you took your first plane ride with me to Dallas and did beautifully, fell off the bed onto the hard floor and my heart nearly collapsed from the guilt, and started sitting in your high chair.

July: 8 months
You started leaning over the rail of your crib and daddy had to lower it, started crawling and pulling up on everything, went through a "hold-me-hold-me-don't-put-me-down-or-walk-out-of-the-room-or-I'll-start-screaming" phase that was a bit stressful, and I bought you a little pool that you absolutely loved.

August: 9 months
You weighed 18.2 pounds and were 30 inches at your nine month well check, started cruising along the furniture, you were a flower girl in Auntie Am's wedding, and your first tooth broke through.

September: 10 months
You got sick for the first time with a virus, finally said "mama", took your first long plane ride and met your cousins in Cleveland, started your first day of PDO, cut your second tooth, started clapping when we said "good girl!" and began feeding yourself.

October: 11 months
You started standing up on your own, found your rhythm and learned how to dance, fell in love with drinking from a straw, started sleeping 12 hours at night, and began developing quite a sassy personality.

November: one year!
You had your one year birthday on November 11th, enjoyed a fabulous party and first trip to the Science Spectrum, started walking, cut your third tooth, started speaking French, and weighed 18.14 and were 30.5 inches at your year check-up.

December: 13 months
You gave up on bottles completely, cut three more teeth, developed a love relationship with anything in the house you could open and close, started saying "uh-oh", "baby" and "dye-dye", enjoyed your second Christmas with presents o'plenty, and fell in love with Sesame Street and Elmo.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Fourteen Months

Sweet girl, already 14 months old. Already two months since your one year birthday. I am continually shocked and amazed by how quickly you are changing and growing. Everyday seems to hold something new and I love all that you are doing right now.

You have added "ball" and "doos" (shoes) to your vocabulary. Sometimes I think you are saying "duck" but it's hard to tell. You also say "mo" for Elmo. You continually babble and you have a funny new tongue thing you do that your daddy thinks is hilarious.

A few weeks ago you found your nose and now you can point to your nose when we ask. You have a pretty good average, only pointing to your mouth or eyes about 25% of the time. When we say "Grace, can you..." you immediately point to your nose.

You still love to dance. Even when there's no music on and I sing to you, you start dancing. Lately, I can say "Get it girl!" and you really start grooving.

You are a bit cautious when it comes to other kids and trying new things. We went to the Science Spectrum last week and you were pretty timid at first about climbing and crawling everywhere. It takes you a minute to warm up and then you are off like a rocket. This is your last week in the baby room at church before you move into the toddler room. I am excited to see how you will do with big toys and big(ger) kids around you.

You are still into opening and closing everything, as well as taking things out and putting them back in their place. You especially love to help me "unpack" your diaper bag, open and close the entertainment center doors, put things in the VCR (I will explain to you one day what that old relic is), and play with the coffee table drawers. I find random things in funny places nearly everyday.

You are still sleeping 11-12 hours at night and your new funny thing is to play quietly in your crib and talk to yourself. If I listen close I can hear you whispering in the morning on the monitor for about 30 minutes before you start crying for me. It's almost like you know we're listening and don't want us to come and get you out so you whisper. So cute.

Your favorite things: Sesame Street, being "chased" around the house, your daddy coming home, your little piano and microphone toy, taking all of the diapers out of your basket on the changing table, graham crackers (and thanks to Brasher, saltines!), sitting in your daddy's lap, your hot pink squeaker shoes, books (especially your Elmo book), sleeping with your rabbit, puppy, and stuffed frogs.

Things you love to eat: crackers, grilled cheese and tomato sandwiches, quesadillas, vegetable soup, gerber meals, pancakes with bananas in them, yogurt, daddy's cereal, and my weight watchers meals.

We have officially weaned this month, and we both did pretty well. Only a few tears one night from me. She, however, cried quite a bit and stayed mad at me for about four days. She wanted nothing to do with me other than to claw at my chest and cry. Dan had to put her to bed for about a week, but she seems to have moved on quite nicely. When I took her from four to two feedings a day around 13 months, I just quit producing and she was only nursing 3-5 minutes each time. When she started biting me, I knew it was time. I wasn't quite ready, but was ready enough that I'm not too sad. Yay for normal brassieres without fold down clasps on them!

I say it every month, but your flair for the dramatic and sass seem to grow day by day. You sort of ooze personality and I am curious to see what will come out of your month when you really start talking. Yowza.

You also do this every night in your high chair when we feed you dinner. Not sure what to make of it, but it is funny!

Happy 14 months, baby girl.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

There's sass...

and then there's sassafras.

Lucky for us, we get both on a daily basis.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

"full-time" mom

I had a frustrating conversation with a fellow mother/customer recently and figured this blog is as good a platform as any to stand up on my soapbox.
This particular mom and I met when I was pregnant with Grace and we spent nearly an hour talking about how exciting/difficult/scary/fun/wonderful life was about to be. She quit her job as a teacher to stay at home full time with her two girls and at the time, I planned on doing almost the same thing- working as little as possible to be at home with Grace.
I ran into her again and we started talking about motherhood, extended breastfeeding, weaning, cloth diapers; you know, typical lingerie store conversation. She then proceeded to get on my nerves and dance all over them when she started making a fake sad face and telling me how sorry she was that I had to work and couldn't be a "full-time" mom. What I was missing out on, and how she could never do it, but she thought all of us working moms were just so brave. The Lord graciously stopped me before I said "Oh gag me with a wooden spoon," and our conversation ended shortly after that with me feeling the need to defend my 20 hour work weeks and all the quality time I spend with Grace.
Following that story this is going to be difficult to admit, but it's confession time: I used to be quite judgemental about moms who worked full time and took their kids to daycare. Lest ye judge my former judgemental attitude and throw me in the same boat with crazy mom from the second paragraph, I would like a moment to explain myself.
One of the reasons we waited so long to have a baby was because of my store. I was too busy building it up, working long hours for no paycheck, and couldn't imagine adding a baby on top of an already too busy work schedule. And I would not, under any circumstances, allow someone else to raise my child. So we waited until the store was at a point that I could step away for a bit and not live there.
For the first two months of her life, I seriously considered closing the store. Financially, 2008 was a rough year, but even more than that, all I wanted to do was sit and stare at my baby girl. We would figure out how to live on just Dan's salary; I would clip coupons, sell pant-aloons on ebay, learn how to bargain shop... anything to stay with her and be a full time mom. I remember thinking, "This is what I was meant to do. I was meant to stay at home all day staring at this beautiful creature."
As time would soon tell, being a mom was every bit the full time job I thought it would be. But dare I say it... I wasn't completely fulfilled as a woman/human/contributing member of society staying at home all day every day with Grace. My views quickly began to change as I realized that I needed to work, needed something else to do with my time, and needed a break from my sweet girl. I remember last February when I started working more and feeling guilty that I actually enjoyed it. Surely a super mom would spend her days away from her baby lamenting her job and the fact that she was at work and not at home working on tummy time and making home made organic baby food.
I have so many wonderful friends who have a wide range of part-time and full-time jobs, outside of being a full-time mom and they have all contributed to my new (non-judgemental) outlook on working moms.
My friend Kristen is an awesome counselor. She loves nearly everything about her job, her boss, the kids, her fellow teachers. I have never met someone so incredibly passionate about being a light to everyone who steps in her path. Her kids stay with her mom some days, go to daycare others, and spend Fridays with Dad. I remember her telling me one time that it bothered her when her stay at home mom friends pittied her that she "had to go to work." She chooses to work. And she also chooses to be one of the most amazing mothers I know. She is the definition of balance. She spends all day every day of her summer breaks with those two beautiful kiddos and soaks in every moment she has with them.
I have another friend who stays at home with her two boys and admitted to me just this week that she wishes she could put them in PDO even one day a week. She used to think it was selfish for stay at home moms to put their kids in PDO because they needed a "break." She has since changed her mind and is realizing she is no less a mom if she doesn't L-O-V-E every second of staying home with her boys.
My friend Kayci texted me tonight about how she feels like a failure and my heart just broke. She has to work to help support her family and twin boys and feels guilty for putting them in PDO and daycare next year.
Why do we do this to ourselves? Being a mom is a difficult enough job by itself, without all of the guilt trips we seem to pick up daily and pile on top.
The truth is, we can't have it all as moms, and in a years time, I have come to realize that the grass only seems greener on the other side. While that may not ease our guilt ridden minds and we may continue to wish for greener pastures (or fences? my metaphors are all confused...) I think we would do well to give ourselves a break from the guilt and comparisons.
What works for you may not work for me. What works for me certainly may not work for you. So let's drop the facade that as moms we have to have our, ahem, stuff together all the time. Let's support each other in whatever decision we have made that we think is best for our family (and quite possibly, our sanity). Let's take the time we do have with our children, be it all day, or a few hours a day, and squeeze every ounce of love and good parenting we can out of every moment. That, to me, is what being a "full-time" mom is all about.