Ready for round number 2…

Hey everyone!  I know I’ve been gone for quite awhile, and I’m sure everyone has missed my updates on Baby Groot.  Well, I’m here to say that Groot is doing GREAT!  He’s toddling now, loves to dance, talk (in his own language of course), eat, and sleep…and he’s going to be a big brother!  That’s right, J and I are expecting Baby #2 (whom we are affectionately calling “Drogon”) in February.  Honestly, I was hoping for a Drogon due date in January to ensure that I would be able to play volleyball this spring, but what can you do.

Before I get into any specifics on how round #2 is going, let me fill you in a little more on Baby Groot’s adventures.  Here are some pics:

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Here is Baby Groot when he was learning how to army crawl.  He could only really go backwards at the time.  I left him in the living room while I went to the kitchen for a second, and when I got back, he was crying because he had almost completely scooted under the couch.  I did my parental duty and took a picture before I rescued him, of course.

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This is us at Awesome-Con back in May with Captain Jack Harkness (John Barrowman)!  Baby Groot is the TARDIS.  Very proud nerd-mom moment.

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Family vacation to Cape Cod, here we are on Nantucket in front of a windmill.

Needless to say, I love that kid more than I could have ever imagined loving another human being!  (Even if he runs away from me when I pick him up from daycare or tries to hold onto daddy a little longer when daddy is trying to give him to me 😦 )The older he gets, the more personality he gets, and the cooler he gets.  But the older he gets, the more I want to smack him a little sometimes.  I mean, really?  If you didn’t want the sippy cup or the food, you could simply leave it on the tray and not eat instead of throw it everywhere.  Or, instead of screaming as loud as you can at the restaurant to show your excitement for food, maybe clap and smile or something.  (I actually love when he screams in excitement, but it can get a little embarrassing depending on where we are out in public.)

He’s in a throwing phase right now, which me and J are trying to figure out a way to hone in this skill to something cool, like maybe “Baby that can throw a spiral 50 yards.” (Stay tuned for a viral video.)

He currently loves Gilmore Girls and Law and Order: SVU.  Well, he loves the beginning credits.  Anytime either of those beginning credits and song comes on the TV, he’ll stop whatever it is he’s doing and just stare until it’s over.  It’s kind of amazing really because neither of us taught him to love those songs or anything.

He seems to be doing well in daycare still (he started a new one in June) and we’re just in awe of how much the little guy is growing.

So, now a little about Baby Drogon.  He/she is about 18 weeks along.  So far so good.  I had a prophylactic cerclage (you remember, the structural cervical support I needed done with Baby Groot…funny name though, right??) put in a couple weeks ago.  Nothing was wrong this time, it was a JIC thing.  Actually, when we first talked to the specialist this time, I had decided to wait and see and not just get the thing put in.  I mean, why do something that involves a GIANT needle in your spine if you don’t NEED to??  But then we talked to the OB and she was all “weeellllllll, I’m not telling you what to do, buuuuuut, there’s a chance if you do the ‘wait and see’ approach, if something does happen, it might be too late to do the rescue cerclage” as in, the baby might already be trying to drop out and you can’t just push that sucker back in.  So, I decided to suck it up and just do it.

It’s weird, I knew exactly what to expect this time, which I’m not sure if that made it better or worse.  I cried like a baby again both times they tried to put the IV in my arm (my blood vessels were basically like “no.” the first time), and of course again when they did the spinal block.  God bless the sweet nurses that were trying to calm me down, but when they kept asking me about my dog and talked about their’s while the anesthesiologist was cleaning my back and getting ready to stab me, all I could think was “please stop talking and let me suffer in silence.”

I asked if I could take headphones in this time and they said I could, or they could play music over speakers in  the OR.  So, I asked them to play the Ben Folds Pandora station.  I’m glad they did that because I think it calmed me a little.  Also, it was pretty freaking awesome when it played Still from supersunnyspeedgraphic and at the end of the song, we got over a minute of Ben just singing “’cause bitches can’t hang with the streets.”

So, everything went well and since my cervix was OK this time and not about to disappear, they said I’m allowed to lift things and run and whatever other fun things active people like to do.  Awesome because I don’t have to worry about carrying Baby Groot or bags of dog food, but now I can’t use it as an excuse to make J do everything 🙂

Our next appointment is next week for our 20 week scan, the “big deal” scan from what I understand.  We’ll make sure he’s got all his limbs and organs and things.  And I think we’re going to find out the gender this time, which is exciting.  I LOVED not knowing Baby Groot’s gender, but for preparedness this time, I think we’re going to find out.

Stay tuned…

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2 Full time working parents, a commuter marriage, and a sick kid

I know it’s been a long while since I last posted.  Baby Groot is growing like a weed…or tree root (ha ha, see what I did there??)  At his 4 month check up, he was measuring in the 2nd percentile weight.  He had only gained like a pound since his 2 month check up.  Woops.  Doc said “maybe feed him more.”  So I did.  And he gained weight!  It’s hard when you’re breastfeeding, you just have no idea how much little guy is actually getting, and you hope it’s enough.  So, I supplemented with formula, and now we’re healthy as can be.

I stopped breastfeeding around the new year.  I just stopped producing like I was earlier, and it was just getting a little ridiculous to breastfeed, then offer a bottle, every single time, and also pump at work (which wasn’t horrible, thankfully we have an empty office to use, but it’s just so awkward).  I sort of felt like I had something to prove to myself, like, I can breastfeed as long as anyone else, so it was a little hard to quit.  Honestly, it was more of a competition thing (and free food) in my mind than the added nutrition.  And the convenience of not having to make a bottle in the middle of the night.  Yes, breast is best, whatever.  But my baby weighs a normal weight now, so there’s that.

So there’s my quick update on the little guy.  Cutest thing you’ve ever seen too.  Although, I often wonder if I’m just being biased and people are just being nice when they say he’s cute.

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Anyway…on to my first woes as a working parent.  First off, let me preface this by saying I enjoy being a working parent.  Baby, Bastion, and I have our little routine down during the week when daddy isn’t here.  I like that he gets all the care and activity and socializing at daycare while I still get to enjoy my career.  And then in the evenings, it’s all cuddles while still doing all the stuff I have to do, like clean, make and eat dinner, laundry, and preparing everything for the next day.  It’s just a really great feeling of accomplishment at the end of the day.

OK, back to the dilemma.  Daycare called me yesterday saying that Baby had a temperature and that I needed to come get him.  Actually, they told me he had a temperature and I asked if I had to come get him.  I always feel like I sound like a horrible mother when I ask that, like I don’t care or something, but seriously, will he be OK for a few hours??  I assumed he had a temperature because he’s teething, but he felt super warm when I picked him up, so I decided to take him to the doctor to be on the safe side.  Poor guy had a temp of 102.7 and ear infections in both ears.  No flu though, thank goodness.  So now, Baby can’t go back to daycare until he’s been fever free for 24 hours.  Sooo, what does a working mom with a husband that lives 2 hours away do???

Thankfully, the husband agreed to come and watch the poor thing today while I went into work.  But who knows what’s going to happen after this.  Baby still has a fever, so he’s not going back to daycare anytime soon.  We both still have to work, but luckily we both work for pretty understanding companies.  Turns out it’s hard to work full time, have a baby, no family close by, and your husband lives 2 hours away.  Actually, it hasn’t been terrible and we’ve made it work.  This is just the first time a wrench was thrown into our system!

Update:  At home on a Thursday afternoon and this is what my living room currently looks like…

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How I’ve changed since becoming a mom….

Only 4 months into this whole mom business and I can already see a significant difference between me now and me this time last year.  There are things I knew would change, like, I knew I wouldn’t be able to meet up with friends at the bar at the drop of a hat or it would be awhile before I got more than 4 consecutive hours of sleep or no more spending money all willy nilly.  These are more changes that have taken me by surprise.

  • The biggest and most amazing change has got to be my production level and cleanliness.  This time last year I was still stepping over junk mail I hadn’t thrown away yet and finally loading the dish washer because I was running out of counter space to make dinner for the night.  But only after watching 3 episodes of Doctor Who, or some other hour long TV show on Netflix.  And that’s basically how life has been since I graduated college.  These days, the second I get home, I rinse any dishes I may have had from lunch and promptly put it in the dishwasher, then fill the sink with water so I can throw bottles in pump parts in to soak.  Then, I hang out with Jack a little (this is where my TV time comes in) eat dinner that I had made the Sunday before, wash, dry, and fill bottles, put Jack to bed, play on my phone a little, then I go to bed.  Junk mail is already in the trash and minimal messes are made.  It also helps that my house is on the market right now, so I make sure my messes are small enough that I can clean up real quick in case we have a showing.
  • I realize now that I hate moms.  I’ve mentioned this a few times in previous posts.  But seriously, Moms. Are. The. Worst.  So many Judgy McJudgersons.  “My way is best because…”  “You’re parenting wrong if…”  “If you don’t do ___, you’re kid is going to end up stupid/needy/entitled/dead.”  I mean, c’mon.
  • I realize I actually do care about politics.  This may not have much to do with having a baby, it may just be me getting older, but there are hot button topics people like to argue about these days and I actually have a side I agree or disagree with!  This is very new to me.  I used to not care much about issues or feel like most didn’t really affect me.  But for whatever reason I care now.  And unfortunately with caring comes realizing that I hate people in general and that humanity may be doomed.  And that makes me sad.
  • Writing this post I just realized I’m becoming bitter.  This must change.
  • Instead of going to get my bangs cut because they’re in my face, I’m OK with just pinning them back.  Small change, but still.
  • When packing to go to J’s for the weekend, I simply throw in a pair of jeans, a couple shirts (long and short sleeved), and my Tom’s.  Every weekend.  Sometimes I don’t use all the shirts or underwear I pack, so the next week I just replace the shirts and underwear that I did wear.  This is very different from the me picking out every outfit for every occasion that might occur (are we going to go out?  lounge around at home?  meet his friends?) and shoes to match.
  • I realize having your own, for real, bona fide baby that you get to take home and name and be responsible for is way different from loving and wanting to cuddle with your friend’s or brother’s or sister’s baby.  And it’s not a difference of overwhelming love for my own child over theirs.  It’s the difference in spending time with a baby 24/7 vs spending the evening or even a couple days with a baby.  I thought you could never ever get enough baby cuddles.  Turns out you can get enough baby cuddles.  Don’t get me wrong, I love the little guy more than I could ever explain, and I appreciate the cuddles more now that I’m back at work, but mom and baby spend A LOT of time together in those first two months, especially with dad away half the week.  So, I guess the change here is that I look at babies a little differently now.
  • (I thought of one more)  I really enjoy Starbucks now, or any specialty coffee really.  Actually, my favorite coffee is Hazelnut coffee with vanilla creamer from Wawa.  I always drank coffee before, but unless I was really tired, I never really went out of my way to get some.  And I never drank coffee everyday at work.  Now, it’s a cup every morning at work, and whenever we’re out, or I’m traveling back home from J’s, I make a point to get me a Starbucks treat.  It’s tasty.

I’m sure there’s others, but these are the ones that come to mind.  And I’m not saying any of this is good or bad.  Just different.  I’m growing up!

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A major moment for this nerd mom!

So, last week was Halloween.  Ever since I found out I was pregnant, I had been dreaming about this moment.  Baby’s first Halloween is obviously not for baby.  Can baby eat candy?  No.  Will baby remember any of this??  No.  Does baby even enjoy being toted around in a head-to-toe felt costume???  Most likely not his favorite thing.  But you know what?  I make sure this baby stays alive every second we’re together.  I wake up in the middle of the night to feed him (let’s see J get up in the middle of the night to make me a sandwich after I’d been crying for several minutes.)  I change diapers and I cuddle when he wants (OK, the cuddling part is for me too.)  I do all these things and I think I should get a little something in return.  And that little something comes in the form of a Halloween costume for this nerd mom.

Even before I became pregnant, I dreamed of the perfect family costume.  It would likely be something nerdy of course, but it had to be perfect.  I was jealous of great creative baby costumes I had already seen, like this fantastic Aliens costume:

The big blockbuster hit last year was Guardians of the Galaxy.  If you haven’t seen it yet, go watch it.  Like, right now.  Probably my favorite comic book movie yet.  It was fun, funny, and, ummm, Chris Pratt.  There is a character, Groot, that is basically a walking, talking tree (although all he can say is “I am Groot” which with the correct inflections, can really say a lot!).  At a point in the movie, there is a baby Groot in a flower pot.  Oh!  Surely if you’ve been reading my blog, you know all about Baby Groot because that was my unborn son’s nickname!  Anyway, baby was Baby Groot, mom was Rocket Racoon, and dad was Star-Lord.  And I like to think the costume came out pretty damn good (not quite as impressive as the Aliens costume though.)

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Credit to the actual Baby Groot costume goes to my mom, and the flower pot goes to J.

So we wouldn’t look weird carrying a baby door to door that can’t even eat candy yet, we tagged along with some friends that have kids that are appropriate trick-or-treating age.  We got a lot of compliments, but we also got a lot of “Awwww, he’s so cute!  What is he??”  Ugh.  C’mon people.  One girl asked what we were and I asked if she had seen Guardians to which she proudly responded “twice!”  So, I mentioned that baby was Baby Groot and she goes “Oh!  are you Zoe Saldana’s character?”  Ummm, I’ve got furry ears, whiskers, and I’m not green.  No, I’m not Zoe Saldana’s character.  Also, in the movie, the bond is really between Rocket and Groot, so the costume worked out well.

Now, if only there was a comic con coming up that we wanted to go to, we’d fit right in!

Let dads parent, but stop praising him for doing it!

I posted the following blog post on Facebook not too long ago:

Why Are We Always Thanking Dads Just For Being Parents

In case you don’t want to read the whole thing, it was commentary on the fact that dad’s are viewed as superheroes for doing things like feeding their own kid or changing their diapers, where no one really bats an eye when they see mom doing it.  It was met by a few likes from some mommy friends, but one father found the author to be “salty” and thought that she should “get over herself.”  I imagine this is because she mentions in the first few paragraphs how she continuously thanks her husband for doing things like feeding and changing the baby, but he has few thanks to give back.  When I read this, I don’t see this as a complaint, but as an observation.  She even says that the reason he doesn’t thank her is “partly because on some deep level, he believes that I am simply fulfilling my role as a mother.”

Let me preface this essay by saying that I am writing this through the eyes of a married working mom.  I don’t know what it’s like to be a stay-at-home mom.  I know maternity leave was hard on me because I hated being home all the time doing nothing but parenting things.  I couldn’t be a SAHM simply for that reason.  And there are a whole bunch of other issues to address when talking about separated and single parents that I have no place addressing since I haven’t experienced it.  So, if you are one, I’d love to hear your input.

There was a time in this country when the norm for most families was that dad was the bread winner and mom stayed home to tend to the house and care for the kids.  Today, most families are a two income family, and I believe that a lot of the times, those incomes are similar (i.e. one parent isn’t making much more than the other parent.)  Even though our society has, for the most part, accepted this family dynamic as the norm, our expectations for mom and for dad haven’t seemed to change all that much.  It still seems that the expectation is the babies and kids are mom’s job, not dad’s.

Tell me you haven’t been to Target or the grocery store, have seen a man toting around his little one(s) and thought “Awww, that’s sweet.  What a good dad.”  (I’m guilty of seeing and thinking it this past weekend.)  Now, back in Target or the grocery store, you see a woman toting around the same kid(s).  Did you really think “Awww, that’s sweet.  What a good mom.”?  Chances are, you didn’t.  It’s ingrained in our head that when a dad parents, it’s commendable, but when a mom parents, nobody thinks twice.  Which is what the author of my original post was trying to convey.

Keep in mind, this is not coming from the view of an unappreciated mother.  I know I’m appreciated.  My husband doesn’t need to tell me so (although he does, especially when he can’t be around to help).  My baby doesn’t need to give me a thumbs up.  I do what I do because I have to.  It’s my job.  It’s also my husband’s job when he’s home and I appreciate him for everything he does.  He’s awesome.  In fact, he helped bathe baby last night, changed and dressed baby this morning, took him to daycare, and will pick him up this evening.  He’s not doing me a favor though.  He’s being a dad.  I tell him “thank you” when he does his part, much like I say “thank you” when he lets me eat some of his food when we go out to eat.  It’s not praise because I’m surprised he’s letting me try his food, he knows it’s his job to let me try his food, because I always want to try everything.  (I always offer for him to try my food, but he never takes because he basically only eats meat, cheese, sauce, and bread, which really should be the subject of another post.)  Point is, nobody is going above and beyond here and we’re treating men like they are.  There’s a difference between appreciation and praise.

Even dudes think it’s wrong.  From The Atlantic article “Dad’s Caring For Their Kids: It’s Parenting, Not Babysitting” one man states:

“‘I get undue adulation all of the time for simply being out with my kid,” said Adam Mansbach, author of the bestselling book Go the F**k to Sleep. “Just because my kid isn’t freezing to death, I’m a great father.” During the height of the book’s success, he was treated like an exemplary primary caretaker. In reality, he only experienced the frustratingly long bedtimes he wrote about 25 percent of the time. When he pointed this out, it was generally ignored.”

In a different blog article (“Involved Dads Don’t Deserve Any More Recognition Than Involved Moms“), Lyla Ciero talks about her husband’s observations when being fawned over by other females:

“A few weeks ago, with no prompting, Seth said something to me that meant more than I could have imagined. “It must feel really invalidating to you when people make such a fuss over me doing basic parenting that you do regularly without any positive feedback.”

“Yes!” I exclaimed, “Exactly!”

Of course, we also talked about how offensive the comments people make are to him. The idea that he’s “another mother” suggests he is behaving completely outside of a male role. It suggests that fathers are, by definition, lesser parents, “helper-parents,” or “junior parents,” and that doing what a mother does necessarily rules out being a man. “

(I thought both articles were spot on and suggest reading both in their entirety.  Go ahead.  I’ll wait…)

While some may think praising and thanking dad is a harmless gesture that might “make a guy feel good,” it really just does an overall injustice to men.  Let’s give men more credit!  We’re not giving them any when we act surprised when they’re a good parent.  If we keep praising them for doing the same jobs as mom, we’re only further condoning the view that dads are lesser parents.

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I think I’d feel weird and wonder what my boss thought I did all day if he thanked and praised me every time I did some mundane task like checked a calc or drew something in CADD.  “Wow, Melissa!  I can’t believe you drew and labeled that detail, and it’s done correctly!  Thank you!”  “Ummm, it’s my job.  And I’ve been doing it for years.”

The comment “We should praise the good dads because there aren’t many of them” has been thrown out as an argument.  Firstly, this commentary is really mostly for the already involved dads.  However, my thoughts are that if we raise the expectations of dads as the societal norm, then dads will simply step up.  As a new mom, I’ve discovered that I kind of hate “moms”.  (Please notice the quotes.)  Maybe it’s always been like this, but I guess I never realized parenting is a “thing.”  Through social media and through moms I actually know, I’ve discovered that moms love to judge and mom-shame.

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Yeah, it’s a thing.  And a horrible thing.  Formula vs. breastmilk.  Screen time vs. none.  Organic vs. fast food.  Working moms vs. stay at home moms.  It’s all a battle and everyone has a side.  But the thing is, only moms get judged, not normally the dad.  Dad’s feeding the kid??  Who cares what he’s feeding her, he’s feeding her!!  People don’t tend to judge dads, which is good and bad.  Good because nobody that’s raising a child in the best interest of that family should be judged or shamed.  Bad though because it simply implies that dads don’t normally parent, and when they do, who cares what they do (see Adam Mansbach’s quote above).  And because this notion exists, men will fit themselves into that notion.  And it’s evident when we have phrases like “dad’s ‘babysitting’ the kids” or “he’s a ‘hand-on’ dad.”

However, to change these views, not only should we stop praising dads for simply being parents, moms have to let dads parent.  I think one of the reasons dads are seen as the “lesser parent” are because moms make them so.  A lot of times dad might not do things the way mom wants them done, so she doesn’t let him do it.  I believe this needs to stop too.  Aside from breastfeeding, there isn’t anything mom can do that dad can’t.  TODAY conducted a survey in 2012 (http://www.today.com/parents/dad-survey-fathers-just-want-little-r-e-s-p-826007) and it seems that dads want recognition simply because mom’s expectations can be too high.

Of course, dads may have resentment of their own, especially when their child-care efforts are rebuffed because they don’t do things “right” – i.e., mom’s way. Griffin said mothers should focus on fathers’ good-faith effort – even, or especially, when dads do things differently.

“Show appreciation for your spouse, look for the positives,” Griffin said. “Moms and dads do things differently, and kids need both sides. As long as the kid isn’t actually in danger, give him the space to do it his way.”

And just because it’s done differently, doesn’t make it special.

I think moms sometimes feel entitled because they are mom.  Because they carried a fetus for 9 months and eventually birthed it.  Because of this underlying notion that they alone run the household, working away from home or not.  Because people celebrate mom for being mom.  And it’s funny how our words and thoughts often don’t match.

“While politicians publicly applaud the “most important job in the world” during elections, a working mother tending to restless children while attempting to shop for groceries at the same time is unlikely to garner a second glance.” (“Dad’s Caring For Their Kids: It’s Parenting, Not Babysitting”)

Now, don’t get me wrong.  Mom’s need all the support in those first few months after having a baby.  It’s a new responsibility for both parents, but mom also has to deal with having her body ripped apart and hormones and breastfeeding, if she chooses to breastfeed.  Add in possible PPD and of course mom needs support.  But when it comes to parenting, all parents need support I think.  Stay-at-home and work-at home moms AND dads.  Working parents.  Parents and care takers of babies, toddlers, tweens, and teens.  It’s hard work for everyone and I don’t think any one parent should get singled out.  The more diversity in a group effort, the better the outcome, amiright??

I’m also not against mom groups.  The same dad who thought the woman was being “salty” also brought up a website I had never heard of called www.everydaymom.com.  He used it as an example of how moms get more recognition than dad just for being mom.  I looked through it briefly, and while it seems to be geared more towards general parenting things (parenting tips, coupons, recipes, etc.), I’m not opposed to groups or blogs just for mom.  Or groups just for dad for that matter.  In fact, I did a quick search and found some dad support groups and forums, as well as dad meet up groups all over the country (http://www.fathersforum.com/ , http://dads.meetup.com/).  Parenting blogs/sites/groups are good, but so are ones specified for mom or dad.  I enjoy the general sci-fi nerdery of the Facebook page “Being a Geek” but sometimes I just want to see Doctor Who stuff, so I also follow “Doctor Who and the T.A.R.D.I.S.”  Moms and dads are still mom and dad and have different wants and needs and may need help with different things and that’s OK.  If “Everydaymom” offends you, make an Everydaydad website!  Problem solved!

All the good parents do deserve some credit though.  How do you do that without a negative impact?  I think Ms. Ciero said it well:

“How do we give men who are full, involved parents positive validation without making them feel like they’re doing something extra special, instead of normal? Here are some suggestions: “You’re everything a dad should be! You’re doing great! You exemplify what fatherhood is all about!”

And while we’re at it, let’s give those moms out there as much positive validation. How many of us moms would love to have a stranger come up and say “Looks like you’re on duty today,” with the implication that we, too, deserve a break.”

Home with baby

Turns out caring for a baby is hard.  And not for the reasons you probably think I’m going to say.  Yes, there are a lot of diapers, crying, sleepless nights.  Yes, caring for another human being is a huge responsibility.  Yes, it might have been especially hard for me because after the second week, my husband wasn’t there half the week.  He didn’t just leave for work early and come home late.  Since he works 2 hours away, he had to leave us Tuesday morning to Thursday night (and he hated it just as much as we did).  I expected all these things though.  I already knew babies were hard work.  And I already anticipated my husband not being able to be with us every night.  What I did not anticipate was the emotional toll this baby would have on me. It’s really hard to have something depend on you 100%.  Taking care of my baby made me feel like I was losing a little bit of myself.  Losing my identity.  I was no longer wife, daughter, engineer.  I was only “mom” and I didn’t know how to handle it.  I was also nursing and that was horrible.  Sometimes little guy would need to be nursed for up to 2 hours, which gets tough when they’re supposed to eat every 2-3 hours.  And I’m pretty sure he wasn’t getting enough to eat a lot of the times.  Breastfeeding is especially hard for a numbers person like me I think.  I want to know exactly how much baby is eating and there’s just no way to know that when you’re breastfeeding.  Unless you exclusively pump, which I thought about, but stubbornly decided to nurse and only pump when I needed to.  The nursing, being alone for 3 days a week straight, it all started to take its toll.

I loved when friends came to visit, but would also be very anxious about his feeding schedule at the same time.  Is baby going to want to eat when my friend gets here?  And how long is he going to want to eat if he does?  Will my friend care if I feed my baby while they’re here??  Adult interaction was key to survival during my maternity leave.  That, and just being able to get out of the house.  I would strap baby to me in his carrier and go for a walk around the neighborhood with the dog.  I think all three of us appreciated it.

My other escape was TV.  Television has always been an escape for me.  Maybe why I love it so much.  In one hour I can travel to far away planets with The Doctor, pretend I’m high society with the gang from Gossip Girl, fight demons with Sam and Dean, help take care of the Gallagher kids and yell at Fiona’s bad decisions on Shameless.  I did all those things while on maternity leave and I think it kept me sane.  Not trying to brag or anything, but I made it through 5 seasons of Shameless, all 121 episodes of Gossip Girl, 3 seasons of Suits, and 2 seasons of Supernatural in 8 weeks.

When baby was a week old, the family ventured to Costco.  When baby was 2 weeks old, I decided it was time for him to meet my coworkers, so I took him into my office to meet some people.  When baby was a month old, we traveled 12 hours to New Hampshire for a family reunion.  Nothing was keeping mama and baby from leaving the house.  Like I mentioned above, it was needed for survival.  Dad had a conference in Las Vegas to go to when we got back from New Hampshire.  He was gone for 6 days straight.  6 days!!!  It was a little tough, all that time alone with baby.  Before I met J, I had considered having a baby on my own, just because being a mom was something I wanted so bad. I wouldn’t have been anytime soon, but it was something I was seriously starting to consider because I was almost 30 without even a boyfriend.  Thank the good Lord J came around!  I can’t even imagine doing this all by myself.

Baby is almost 3 months now.  Feedings are so much quicker.  I’ve been back at work for almost a month and feeling more normal because of it.  The first 3 weeks of work, my Manang (see my Mother’s Day post) stayed with me and helped.  She was a Godsend, to say the least.  Not only did she care for baby, she deep cleaned the house from top to bottom!  And I didn’t even ask her to!  It was weird coming home and the t-shirt I slept in that I just threw on the floor that morning was no longer on the floor!  Then I started to stress out, the thought of taking care of a crying baby, AND getting lunches and dinners together, as well as cleaning and sterilizing pump parts and bottles, all by my lonesome, made me cry some nights.  Manang was so good at tending to baby while I took care of everything else.  But, the first week without Manang is now passed and we survived.  An unintended side effect to parenting alone is that I somehow became productive and organized.  And I now eat dinner before 9pm and sleep before midnight.  Weird!

Baby seems to like daycare, and let’s be honest, he’s doing way more in daycare than he would be if he was home with me.  We would probably just watch TV all day.  And now that he doesn’t watch any during the day anymore, I don’t feel so bad plopping him in front of it at night for a little bit.  It’s our bonding time 🙂  Call me a bad mom, but I know it’s just the lights he’s interested in.  The first daycare drop-off wasn’t the traumatic experience I’ve heard many talk about (traumatic for mom, not baby.)  I felt a little guilty for a second, like I was supposed to have some sort of break down, but I realized that just because I didn’t cry doesn’t mean I love him any less.  I love my little guy.  I mean, how can I not – he’s the cutest baby in the history of babies.

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I’m pretty sure he’s like the smartest and strongest also.

Happy Mother’s Day!

While I’ve gotten several “Happy Mother’s Day”s today, I’m not a mother yet.  I don’t think I deserve the honor of such a day yet.  Sure, I’ve been carrying Baby Groot for 8ish months now, but all I’ve done for it is cut out sugar and cut back on carbs, got my cervix sewn shut, stopped going to the gym, and stayed away from raw meats and fish and unpasteurized cheese.  I haven’t given birth to Baby Groot, I haven’t held him/her yet, rocked him/her to sleep, changed a diaper, told him/her “no,” gave him/her a hug, drove it to school or practice, gave it money…  All the moms that have done any of that and more, those are the moms we should be celebrating today.

My own mom is pretty amazing.  Grew up in the Philippines with not much at all (I’ve got a do a post, or several, on some of the stories my mom and dad have told about growing up!), went to med school and moved to the states in 1970.  She was the the family doctor of a majority of our town growing up and all I’ve heard was how great a doctor she was and how people miss her.  That’s pretty cool I think.  And even though she was so busy being a doctor and all, she still managed to come to my softball games and tennis matches, and help out at school when needed.  She supported anything me and my sisters wanted to study in school and supported anywhere we wanted to study.  There were some rough times and there are still some things I look back on parenting-wise that I disagree with, but mom was and is a pretty great mom.

And then there’s Manang.  “Manang” is a filipino term for “older,” so, like, I would be “Manang Melissa” to someone a bit younger than me, like my little sister or younger cousins.  But our Manang just went by Manang, which is basically like saying she’s HMIC (head Manang in charge).  Manang came to the states with my parents to help take care of my older sisters while my parents were doing doctor things.  She learned english from watching daytime TV and took such good care of me and my sisters.  She didn’t give birth to us or anything, but she’s no less our mom than our actual mom.

I look forward to becoming a mom and celebrating my for real first mother’s day next year.  For now, Happy Mother’s day to all those amazingly awesome moms out there, the stay-at-homes, the working moms,  the breast feeders and the formula feeders, the “free range parents” and the helicopter moms – I hope you had a very happy mother’s day, whether I agree with your parenting philosophies or not 😛