Loud Noises!

Every Sunday my baby becomes an orphan — an NFL orphan. The hubby and I are admitted football fanatics so when the clock strikes 10 on Sunday morning (during football season), our sweet baby girl is left to fend for herself. Not really! We’re not that horrible. But I’ll admit we pull out every single toy, fan them out on the floor, and let her have at it while we soak up every single touchdown on the Red Zone channel. At least we don’t handcuff her to the crib with a bottle and a book. Now that would be neglect.

I didn’t used to be the type of woman who liked football. I hated being an NFL widow. It was so annoying when the hubby watched countless hours every Sunday while I was left in the lurch. But if you can’t beat ’em…

Now I find myself yelling at the TV, cussing up a storm, all but grabbing my crotch and spitting on the ground. I used to think the sport was barbaric and now I’m the barbarian. My poor child has to witness her mother going ape when one of her players scores a 88-yard rushing TD or when her quarterback gets sacked and fumbles causing her to lose points.

I wonder what goes through my daughter’s head when she sees her mother and father jumping around like a couple of idiots, screaming at the weird picture box anchored to the wall. It must be quite a strange sight and will probably scar her for life. Maybe I should lock her up in her crib with a pair of noise-canceling headphones. Whatever it takes to keep her as close to normal as possible, because with parents as crazy as the two of us, she doesn’t stand a chance.

Addicted to Sleep Sheep

Insomniac sounds like maniac for a reason.

When I’m sleep-deprived (which is often these days) I turn into a delirious lunatic, putting the milk in the pantry and spewing mean insults at my hubby in the middle of the night, with no recollection of what I called him in the morning. What’s even more upsetting is that when I finally get to rest my weary bones, I’m wide awake as if I had just taken 5 shots of caffeine. You’d think I’d collapse right into sleep as soon as my head hits the pillow, but no. I toss and turn like a madwoman. Then I start thinking of the baby waking up and how I’m wasting precious sleep time, which only delays slumber even longer. It’s beyond frustrating!

It’s probably my own fault because I haven’t really tried to fix the problem. No warm milk, counting sheep, or reading a book. I just lay there, willing the Sandman to visit.

I’ve never been a sound sleeper. I thought if there was any time in my life when I wouldn’t have trouble falling asleep, it’d be as a new mom. What’s worse is that my hubby closes his eyes and is asleep in 2 seconds, leaving me listening to the whistle of his breathing that sometimes sounds like our daughter crying, which in turn causes my stomach to seize as if on a rollercoaster. Oi vey!

I’d give anything to fall asleep whenever, wherever. However, pitch black and complete silence are required. I hope my daughter doesn’t have the same problem. They say not to be quiet when she’s asleep, yet it’s instinctual to whisper whenever she’s napping. And if the dogs bark — forgetaboutit —  in their crate they go. I doubt she’ll end up like me because she doesn’t even need the white noise machine I stole from her to use as my own. So pathetic, I know. And now I’m addicted.

Some sweet souls try to tell me that sleep is overrated. But when it’s 3 am and you’re the one dragging your butt from a comfy bed to soothe a screaming mimi only to lay back down and be wide awake, then you can tell me that I’ll sleep when I’m dead. Because functioning on less than six hours of sleep sure makes you feel like you’re already there!

Fashion de Bebe

Have kids and babies always been so fashionable? Or is it a new trend that I’ve only started to notice since joining the mummy club? When I look at baby pictures of myself — I wasn’t dolled up in leopard print or pink, frilly tutus with the words “Princess” and “Glamour Girl” printed on them in big, glittery letters. My mom dressed me in floral rompers and white Little House on the Prairie bonnets. (See below.) Now does this call into play my own mother’s sense of style? Or was that all she had to pick from? (My mom claims to have good fashion sense, but I’ve seen pictures that have made me question her taste level…but maybe the 80’s were to blame for those fashion misses.)

Today’s baby clothes are anything but boring. There’s cargo pants for little boys. What for? To hold their Swiss army knife? There’s even high-heeled shoes for little girls who can’t walk yet! Whaaa? Then there’s the countless onesies with silly slogans turning your kid  into a walking, er, sitting billboard. It seems like we’re rushing them into being grown ups. (I don’t want to delve into that whole ugly mess about what’s age appropriate, but it has opened up my eyes as a new mom.)

Babies couldn’t care less if they’re wearing the newest designer threads. All they care about is if it’s clean and dry. It makes me laugh how obsessed we are to have mini-me’s running around. Guitars & skulls for boys and animal print & rhinestones for girls. I’m going to sound like the biggest hypocrite because I can’t help myself when it comes to leopard print…but everything in moderation.

For wanting to keep her a baby as long as possible, I didn’t start off that way. In the beginning, I admit that I didn’t even want her room to look like a nursery. My vision was of a bright and modern kid’s room with an eclectic mix of colors and accents. Her room is just what I wanted. But whenever I see the quintessential nursery with soft pastel colors and perfectly swathed cradle, it makes me want to redecorate. So, will I look back at her photos years from now and wish I hadn’t dressed her in zebra leggings with a hot pink shirt instead of opting for a more classic look of a white dress with tiny rosebuds on it? Who knows! But what I do know is that she looks too adorable for words in whatever she’s wearing, so I’m sure I won’t have any regrets.

My Second Baby

I gave birth to an iPhone and didn’t even know it! This is a true statement in the fact that I treat my phone like it’s my second baby: coddling it, cradling it, all but wrapping it in a soft, fluffy blanket and rocking it to sleep while singing You Are My Sunshine. It’s shameful how much I’m on my phone and I’m even more embarrassed to admit this. I want the world to think that I’m a good mom who couldn’t be bothered with Words with Friends, Facebook, or What to Expect. Yet, I’m practically addicted to these apps.

The hubby and I upgraded to smart phones a few weeks after we had our daughter. I was attracted to a phone that could take clear pictures and video since I was all about documenting every second with our little girl. I could care less about the apps…until I realized how easy it was to keep current on everything without bothering with my laptop. Soon, we were just like all our other friends with smart phones —  constantly padding the screens with our fingertips and looking up random things that we just had to know the answers to right away — important things — like who that one guy from that one movie was. Critical stuff!

A week ago, I let my daughter play with my phone because there’s a baby piano app that she enjoys. (I’m so conflicted about letting her play with it anyway. It goes against everything I thought I stood for…but it makes her happy. Which scares me just the same because it leaves me wondering if I’m going to be one of those parents who lets their kid do whatever he wants just as long as he’s happy and quiet. “Now Timmy, be careful playing with that grenade…”) Anyway, there she was composing her next sonata when I didn’t even notice she went from playing to chewing and drooling all over it instead. Long story short, she drooled into the speakers, shorting them. I was distraught, worried that she ruined my phone for good. But three hours later, it dried and was fine. I felt so foolish for getting upset about my stupid phone. It is, after all, only a phone and not my second baby, or even a baby at all!

Where Is the Snooze Button on This Baby?

“5 more minutes, mom.” I’m not pleading with my mom though, I’m pleading with my baby! Wouldn’t it be so nice if she did have a snooze button. She doesn’t —  I’ve looked all over. To be able to push on her head like Small Wonder and sleep for at least ten more minutes would be glorious. But you know I’d start to abuse it, snoozing for at least an hour. Why do we do that to ourselves? I remember going through a phase when I was younger that I would purposely set my alarm clock for a half hour earlier and hit the snooze until I really had to get up. Is that why it’s so hard to tear myself from the covers now? Or is it because it’s not on my terms?

A baby dictates the schedule from day one. If she’s crying, you’re up trying to soothe her. When she’s awake for the day (even if she’s just babbling to herself in her crib) that means you’re awake too. When she’s taken a massive dump in her pants and you can smell it down the hallway, you don’t get to change her diaper when it’s convenient for you. You change that dirty diaper even if your eyes are still full of sleep. When she’s screaming because she’s starving even though she just ate two hours earlier, then it’s boobie time. Forget that you were in the middle of a dream where you were kissing James Franco. My favorite is when she’s up earlier than normal — happy and smiling at the crack-o-dawn. I bring her in my bed to show her it’s still sleepy time, but she’s bright-eyed and ready to play. She slaps me on the face and tries out her newest, loudest vocalizations. Only when I fully give up on trying to sleep and surrender to the day, does she decide that she’s tired again and needs her morning nap. She’s got a cruel sense of humor. (But at least she has one.)

Babies don’t have snooze buttons, but what a wonderful world if they did.

Guillotine of Fun

Our baby is barely 6 months old and it’s already established that Daddy is “The Jester” and Mummy is “The Guillotine of Fun.” Daddy swoops in and is all about laughs and getting smiles while Mummy is all about cutting fun in half and making sure baby’s needs are met. It’s just not fair. I knew before the baby even joined us that Daddy would be the favorite. I was a Daddy’s girl too, so on one hand it makes me happy that she’ll have a close bond with her father (and extra pleased that she won’t end up a stripper with daddy issues) but on the other hand I don’t want to be the bad cop all the time, unless doughnuts are involved.

Case in point: there we were, a happy family of 3 sitting down to dinner. Baby was next to me in her highchair: bib on and ready to chow down. I had my plate and her bowl of mush. One bite for her, half of one for me. It wasn’t quite working for her. I was too slow. So Daddy shoveled his food in and took over. Next thing I knew he was making airplanes noises and her face was covered in said mush. She was smiling and loving every minute of it. “Boring ol’ Mummy just sits there and spoons it in, but this guy is grrreat.” I could hear her thinking. But he had barely given her any food and it was almost bath time. After a couple more minutes, I took the bowl back and got the job done before his antics threw off our entire schedule.

I guess if I have to let Daddy win one then it should be this. I’m lucky enough to get to stay home with our daughter all day making her squeal with delight whenever I please. He gets a couple hours a day tops, so letting him be “The Jester” is fine by me. He still makes me chuckle–not an easy thing to do– so I know he’s qualified for the job.

Virgin Territory

So I’m new to blogging, hence the virgin reference (cause we all know I ain’t one since I have a 6 month old!) Part of me can’t believe I just wrote that–the virgin thing not the baby thing. But the other part of me is not surprised because I don’t really know who I am anymore since having my daughter. Well that’s precisely the reason why I’m starting this thing…to meet the new me now that I’m a mom. I’ve already learned that there aren’t many things in this world that will flip your life upside-down quite like becoming a parent. In all the best and most unexpected ways, of course!

It’s not a “Brooke Shields postpartum depression kinda thing” going on that has prompted this sudden need to define myself, though I’m certainly aware that postpartum D is no joke. It’s more of a “One minute it was just me, the hubby, the animals and an expanding baby bump and the next thing we knew there was a screaming, pooping, beautiful little girl who demanded every second of our day and night” kind of thing. With sleep deprivation you tend to lose sight and clarity of a lot of things and in my case my identity went out the window along with my sleep. Oh, my glorious sleep how I miss thee…

Before our gorgeous girl came along, I was not so young, but still relatively carefree. Carefree in the sense that I was able to follow my dream of becoming a writer (novels pending), I could stay up late and sleep till whenever, have a girls’ night out drinking glass after glass of wine, watch a movie uninterrupted, and leave the house with just a sweater and a lip gloss in my pocket! Those days are long gone!! In other words life went from simple to anything but. That’s okay though because I’ve waited so long to become a mother and it’s one of the best things ever!

I was elated to have a daughter (even though I would have been excited to have a son as well) but I was secretly hoping for a girl the whole time I was pregnant. There’s just something about the mother/daughter bond that is inexpressible. I hope this outlet prepares me for the inevitable “talks” that are way, way in my future…at least let’s hope they’re not happening anytime soon because I’m clueless how to approach them/her. She isn’t speaking yet, so I think I’m okay for awhile. Anyway, I want to be able to teach her and share with her all without being ashamed or embarrassed of my own history/hang-ups and to embrace whatever path she wants to take. I think it’s impossible to not screw her up just a little but maybe because I’m aware of this going in, then the scarring will be very minimal. But aren’t scars a badge of honor? I guess I’ll have to brainwash, er, I mean teach her that.

So tune in to read all about my efforts to avoid “mom” jeans and the eventual “Decline” as my hubby likes to call a mom who lives in faded, stained sweat pants and ripped T-shirts, not that there’s anything wrong with moms who choose to wear those things but I hope I don’t succumb and end up on an ambush makeover show in 10 years. I’m not saying I want to be a MILF either, there’s something very wrong about that term, but there’s got to be a normal medium somewhere in the middle. Maybe becoming a mom is like aging…you don’t feel it happening but one day you look in the mirror and realize you’re changed.