Friday, August 27, 2010

Mission: Discovery

Fingers, lots and lots of sloppy-wet slimy fingers! Sucking on her fingers is my daughters newest favorite thing to do.. Teething toys, chewing blankets, soft-squishy books a-plenty, and yet fingers, both mine and hers are the best things she can find to put into her mouth. The day Isabel discovered her fingers is apparently just the beginning of things she would find and figure out in the next few weeks. She has been learning in leaps and bounds and watching her discover how to roll from her back to her belly, hold her toes, how to hug and also begin to entertain herself makes me think about all the things I am learning by just being around her. Who knew that being a mommy would be this whole new world of learning and revelation.

When I used to work at my VERY busy full-time job, multi-tasking was my middle name... I could help a patient check-in, answer the phone, get films, make an appointment and talk to a doctor, all while smiling like it was second nature. It never phased me that I was doing so much at the same time, because I had been trained to do these things over the course of 7 years.

I really wish there was the same kind of training for mommy-hood, because this is a whole new breed of multi-tasking and from what I am learning it only gets more involved the older she gets.

In my journey so far I have discovered the art of breastfeeding and reading/eating/typing/answering the phone.. I have also figured out how to bathe myself and the baby at the same time, and I have all but mastered the fine art of napping/nodding off while she feeds at 1am while cradling her in my arms and keeping the glider going just enough to keep her in a semi-sleepy state.

I have also discovered that despite popular belief, I can go a day without a shower.. Granted this was NOT my idea, and if I had it my way I would never go a day un-showered or my legs unshaven, however out of necessity I have realized that (much to my chagrin) sometimes the days just doesn't work out the way I had planned and I just never got a chance to jump into the shower.. I have also discovered Febreeze, body sprays, tinted moisturizer, leave-in conditioner and downy wrinkle release-- All due to the fact that I have discovered that I no longer have time the way I used to, or the way I INSISTED I still would once I gave birth.

I have also discovered a new found sense of patience and calm at times when I need it.. Like when the baby is crying for no good reason, when she inevitably poops right through all of her clothes and up her back the second I leave the house and I am on any sort of time constraint, or when I come home from a long day of taking care of and entertaining the baby, carting her to my parents to be watched while I fight traffic to get to work for five hours, count down the minutes until I can go home to see her again, and walk into my house to a sink full of dishes, a full clean dishwasher, and a husband playing x-box...

I have also discovered how amazing it is to watch someone discover things for the first time. How her eyes widened when she figured out that each time she hits the brightly colored round things on her excersaucer it will greet her with a 'moo', a 'meow' a 'quack' or a 'roar'.. How she realized that if she slams her hands into the tub water it will make a silly slapping noise and make the water splash into mommy's face. How she's learned that if she snuggles just right, mommy will hate to put her down and she will get cuddle time just a little longer.

I have realized that there is so much in my life that I am thankful for that I am no longer spending time on or getting hung up on things that don't enrich my life and make it better.

I have realized that there is so much more discovery in my future. I discover more each day that I love her a little more than I did yesterday. I have seen the unearthing of what fatherhood can do to a guy who kept most of his big emotions under wraps, and I can recall why I married him and discover that I love him more as a father than I ever thought I could .

I love the fact that my husband and I get to go on an adventure everyday... Hand in hand, I will walk alongside my family discovering this new world-- Watching my daughter as her senses are heightened by new smells, tastes, sights and sounds. Watching my husbands chest swell with pride with each of her accomplishments...and me, loving each moment that I get to share with them as a mother, a wife and part of this beautiful family.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Hips don't lie..

Time is not being kind to me, my friends. When people tell you that your body will never be the same after a baby, do yourself a HUGE favor and don't poo-poo it under the assumption that you're young and bounce back easily, because before you know it 30 creeps up really fast and the inevitable aging only feels/looks worse with bags under your eyes and under-maintained (see- frizzy and unmanageable) tresses.

Listen loud and clear anyone who happens to be reading this.. YOU WILL NEVER BE THE SAME AGAIN.. Even if you think you look the same, or perhaps even fit into your size 4 jeans a few weeks postpartum, you will never be the same again.

After having a baby, you'll hear many people say 'aren't you glad to have your body back to yourself again?'.. This my friends is a lie, because even if you are not at the beck and call of a hungry baby lookin' for a quick boobie fix (i.e. you are breastfeeding, which I HIGHLY recommend by the way), I am pretty sure at no point in your adulthood did having control of your own body include vomiting, slobbering or peeing or pooping on yourself at an point, but having a baby makes all of those things happen, often and without a second thought.

So, yes while there is no longer a little person high-jacking your uterus, kicking you in the ribs, and making it hard to stomach just about anything, suddenly you have a little person who is pretty much a cute ball of mush just full of bodily fluids that they cannot wait to share with you, get onto your clothes, down your shirt or in your hair.

Ok, picture this..Not only am I overtired for lack of any sleep at all and weepy from all the fabulous hormones surging about my overworked body, I have my first big event coming up today..Meaning me, Isabel and my husband are going out for one of the first times that's not to the pediatricians office.. I think to myself, 'dammit come hell or high water you I will look like the mommy whose got it together', just like the ones on TV that pushed a baby out with no drugs, three pushes and a few little squeaks of discomfort and then strolled gallantly out of the hospital with baby in arms, at a glorious size 2, perfect makeup and glowing postpartum skin.. So, off to my closet I go with my hopes and head held high, I fling open the doors and gaze at all of the clothes I haven't so much as glanced at, not to mention attempted to even put on in over 4 months..

'Hello, friends' I mutter as I pull out my most comfy pair of jeans, the ones that were a little baggier on my pre-baby figure but because the scale hasn't come all the way back down again, I'm pretty sure I am not ready for my skinny jeans just yet. Along with my super non-maternity jeans (yay), I grabbed my first post-baby non maternity, non-baby doll, non-tie backed shirt to put on and I victoriously tore my clothes off and began my adventure as hip-stylish new mommy!

Wait, what?! I can't.. I mean, I can, but I can't clothes them all the way.. hop hop hoping around my bedroom, I think "I am getting these freakin' jeans on my body if it's the last things I..'

CRASH, BANG, BOOM! My husband runs hurriedly to the bedroom door to find me on the floor with the jeans stuck around my ankles, the shirt shoved over and barely covering my extremely large new breasts and my faced covered in tears, lots and lots of tears.. He calmly explains to me that he thinks it's gonna take a little longer for me to get back to my pre-baby clothes, and to give myself a break, but also nicely reminds me that we need to hit the road asap in order to be remotely on time, and we still have to dress the baby and get her in her car seat which is an ordeal in and of itself.
Defeated, I reach backed into my closet and not even half-heartedly and grab what I thought was a cute maternity skirt and a t-shirt out, I layer it over my nude-colored maternity bra (good for quick boob access for nursing, although not in the least bit attractive) and granny panties (the kind that do not dig into my new and oh-so pretty c-section incision scar), and slip a pair of flip-flops onto my un-pedicured toes. I glance at myself in the mirror and sigh, 'this is not what I had envisioned, but it'll have to do'. I smooth my hair, run gloss over my lips and make my way to the babies room to get her dressed.

Upon entering her room, I am once again amazed at the amount of clothing this kid has.. A montage of pink, flowers and frilly polka-dotted dresses, leggings and onesies... My eyes widen with just a mere glance at all of the bows, barrettes and headbands. And right then I glance over to my husband, who now has my little girl in just a diaper lying on her changing table arms flailing and making silly-gurgle noises, and my heart skipped a beat.

I am suddenly reminded why I look the way I do. My breasts are swollen to nourish and feed my daughter. My hips have widened to accommodate her safe exit (although that path remains untraveled) and my belly increased in size in order to keep her safe while her little body was developing into the most beautiful and precious gift that I could have ever asked for.

So, now four months later I am feeling better about myself, although not completely back to the old me. In a way I am glad for this. In these passed few months I have learned that pregnancy and motherhood are pretty amazing, and something I would never want taken away from me.

With each passing day I tell myself that no, these hips do not lie-- I had a baby. But I no longer scrutinize each flaw or criticize myself for not fitting into all my pre-baby duds. I look to the scar from my c-section, the stretch marks and the spit-up as badges of honor, and the outcome is a beautiful and happy baby girl.

And while I never pictured myself as a cargo-pant, tank-top kinda mom, I am pretty sure she doesn't mind.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The ties that bind..

Family. Love 'em, or leave 'em. Everyone has some sort of love/hate relationship with their family, whether they want to admit it or not. My family is a wide variety mix of personalities, quirks, tempers, and idiosyncrasies and attitudes.

This past weekend, my family proved to me that despite all the garbage and nonsense that goes on within a family, the strongest bond between anyone is that of family. Whether by blood or by marriage, by birth or by introduction, the strongest relationship most people ever know is that of their family. And I am not just speaking of the mother-father-sister-brother kind of family. I am talking also about the friends who will calm you down and remind you to look at the big picture instead of ruining something awesome over something essentially silly.. The person who will come to your rescue in the middle of the night because you made a bad judgment call by leaving the bar with that guy. The people who lend you money and don't expect it back.. The people who love you unconditionally no matter what color your hair is, how many tattoos you have, or what music you choose to listen to.. The people who will watch your baby on a moments notice, or help out your husband with gift ideas when he thinks a vacuum will do for a birthday gift for you.

I have at one point or another fought with each member of my family. I have bitched and complained about something they did, didn't do, or were supposed to do.. I have cried with each member of my family, and leaned on each one of them. I have yelled at or expressed my opposition to each member of my family, and expressed joy for each of their accomplishments.

This past weekend, as my family joined my husband and I in officially welcoming my baby to the world and to our family, I was reminded of how important family is.. Without them, our party would have never have been so special. Without them, our little family would never be complete. With each passing day, my family helps me out whether it being a piece of advice, a moment to listen to my fears about mommy-hood, or a pair of hands to watch the baby when I need to go to work.

Through all the ins and outs and ups and downs, come hell or high water my family is always there. I promise through the good and the bad, I will always be there for them too. Many families have problems and disputes. Many families have fights and claim to hate each other from time to time..

Personally, I like to view my family like a Monet painting.. If you stand real close and scrutinize each aspect, it just looks like a big mess.. A sloppy mix of colors and dots.. But when you take a moment to step back and look at the big picture you see smiling faces, happiness and memories being created with each passing moment.. And to me, that's a true work of art.

Thank you to all who made this past weekend possible. On behalf of Isabel, Andre and myself, we love you all.. xoxoxoxoxoxo