Sunday, October 23, 2011

Day in the Life (DITL): 10/22/11

DITL of a weekend at home with my 17 mo. toddler--on a day my doctor husband actually had off from working at the hospital!


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Mama book club

One of the best things I've done for my sanity since becoming a mom 17 months ago was start a mommy book club. I had started a local book club after I moved to my current home five years ago--and found it was a great way to meet people and make new friends. However, after becoming a new mom, I felt a specific need for mama friends: to find women who were going through the same things as me. None of my old friends had yet crossed over that threshold into parenthood, so I needed to look elsewhere for that support. Since I am also a working, pseudo-single mom (ie. doctor's wife), I knew I'd have to put some effort into creating a new peer network. So, that's how I landed upon my solution: book club experience + need for mama friends = mama book club!

I recruited most of the women in the book club through my mama-baby yoga class and regular yoga classes, so we're all a bit 'crunchy granola.' There's about 10 women on the email list, and maybe five will show up at each gathering. We've been meeting every month for the past year, and it's been a great outlet. The book list I put together ended up being a good mix, but reading (or finishing) the books was always optional.

As a whole, the mama gatherings have been a great time to get out of the house; to vent; to gripe about parenthood and marriage; libido blahs; postpartum bodies; baby behavior advice; solids and diapers and sleep; miscarriages; second pregnancies; and being moms! Our discussions can be both light and deep, or friendly and therapeutic. It all depends on the book and/or the group of women who gather. After a year, I can say that I have a group of women I can call on for advice and sympathy. Ideally, if we can keep this group going, I'd like to see us being able to do some babysitting swaps and more playdates. On a personal front, I like to see more working mamas in the group as well. I love my SAHM friends in the group, but working parenthood (and my pseudo-single parenthood on top of that) adds its own challenges.

Anyway, I wanted to share the 2010-11 Mama Booklist we used this past year. I tried to make a mix of parenting genres: advice; anthropology; emotional development; cognitive development; memoirs; and anthologies. With one book to go in the year, my favorites were Momma Zen; The Mask of Motherhood; and A Slant of Sun.

See the list behind the cut.

Monday, June 27, 2011

beach, petting zoo, and general updates

Mommy Montage

I went on a work trip to Atlantic Beach this past weekend, Friday through Saturday. My work colleague urged me to bring Sprout, so I did. It probably will be the last time I can do something like that since A) I have to travel by myself and babies always have three times their weight in gear (I tipped a bellhop for helping me carry and arrange everything in my car); and B) Miss Sprout is alllmost walking so will soon not be content to stay (manageably) confined in a sling while her mama "works" a conference display table. However, it was a nice getaway, and much more relaxing than my trip to Leesburg (my actual vacation, eh). I had fun taking Sprout out to her first little (< 30 minutes) beach visit, where she tasted sand and was not freaked out by the ocean or wet sand :). A success, heh.

This next video shows my hubby holding on to Sprout as she walks, although she can walk just holding onto our fingers now too. She's still a bit off-balance when I try to just support one of her hands. However, she's getting there! I think there's just going to be a light switch moment soon, where she all of a sudden--boom--walks on her own. She already has started to 'trust leap': turning around and letting go of a window sill to fall/lurch into my arms.

Crazy how quickly they become little people. Yesterday, she surprised me by all of a sudden blowing a raspberry on my tummy when we were snuggling in bed (high toddler humor!), and by trying to stick her foot in various shoes (her own, my humongous flip flop). She also has the cutest "hi" and "he-roh" (hello). I could also see her mind go into adorable overdrive when she was trying to figure out how to carry her two shoes and a snack cup (where to put the third object?). Love :).

Little girl is the joy in my life right now. She's such a little character, as the videos I just posted show.

We did manage to get away for a mini-vacation last week, despite our ongoing termite disaster. We still have one whole side of our house boarded over and the flooring removed from a corner of our home while we wait for a new window to arrive--but I try to put it out of my mind, especially since we don't know what the total cost will be yet. When we do know the cost, I know it will be up to me (harrumph, story of my life) to figure out A) how we might afford the bill; B) whether the current termite treatment contract covers this damage; and C) whether we can get home insurance help.

However, back to the happier topic of our mini-vacation, last Thursday to Sunday. On one hand, we were able to get away for a few days and it was the most economical of vacations ever: staying with my gracious Aunt and her boyfriend at their beautiful home in Leesburg, VA; seeing my Dad and grandparents and other family; relaxing and lounging as my aunt helped prep all food (grilled salmon, salads, fresh fruit, shrimp, and scruptious desserts like the tuxedo cake pictured here); walking in the neighborhood; and going on a daytrip to the nearby petting zoo. That petting zoo was pretty awesome too: llamas, donkeys, chickens, turkey...but also monkeys and wild cats and a giant tortoise. Here's a few pics and videos under the cut:

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Wife, M.D.

Good advice from a woman who posted to the Lives of Doctors' Wives Facebook page. I can relate to all the points, as we near the end of the hubby's intern year of Family Medicine residency:
We've been out of Residency now for 4 years. We met in college and on our journey we had 3 kids, 1 or 2 nervous breakdowns and several moves around the US. I feel your pain and so I would like to share some of my humble advise....
  1. Keep looking towards the future. You are investing in your family's security and success. IT IS WORTH IT!!
  3. Embrace the chaos, stop expecting normal! You're setting yourself for unhappiness. This is a process. It will not last forever.
  4. Reach out and surround yourself with good positive friendships, and fill your life with your own passions and interests.
  5. Remember he needs you. You are his lover, his sounding board, his psychologist and even sometimes his priest/rabbi... This is an endeavor that is difficult and challenging and filled with unexpected surprises. You have to develop good coping skills and be resilient so you can be strong for this journey.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Mama Montage: parenting resource links, videos, and poems

NPR, Tina Fey, and TED Talk videos--awesome stuff, right?

NPR: Dos And Don'ts For Talking To Kids About Money (28 min 45 sec)
A poll conducted by a financial education non-profit found 70% of teens said their parents were the most important influence on their spending habits. But fewer than half thought their parents were telling them enough. Tell us: How do you teach your kids about money?

Sarah Kay: If I should have a daughter ...

Let's talk parenting taboos: Rufus Griscom + Alisa Volkman

Tina Fey's Prayer For Her Daughter

-An excerpt from Tina Fey's new book -Bossypants, 2011
First, Lord: No tattoos. May neither Chinese symbol for truth nor Winnie-the-Pooh holding the FSU logo stain her tender haunches.

May she be Beautiful but not Damaged, for it’s the Damage that draws the creepy soccer coach’s eye, not the Beauty.

When the Crystal Meth is offered, May she remember the parents who cut her grapes in half And stick with Beer.

Guide her, protect her
When crossing the street, stepping onto boats, swimming in the ocean, swimming in pools, walking near pools, standing on the subway platform, crossing 86th Street, stepping off of boats, using mall restrooms, getting on and off escalators, driving on country roads while arguing, leaning on large windows, walking in parking lots, riding Ferris wheels, roller-coasters, log flumes, or anything called “Hell Drop,” “Tower of Torture,” or “The Death Spiral Rock ‘N Zero G Roll featuring Aerosmith,” and standing on any kind of balcony ever, anywhere, at any age.

Lead her away from Acting but not all the way to Finance. Something where she can make her own hours but still feel intellectually fulfilled and get outside sometimes And not have to wear high heels.

What would that be, Lord? Architecture? Midwifery? Golf course design? I’m asking You, because if I knew, I’d be doing it, Youdammit.

May she play the Drums to the fiery rhythm of her Own Heart with the sinewy strength of her Own Arms, so she need Not Lie With Drummers.

Grant her a Rough Patch from twelve to seventeen. Let her draw horses and be interested in Barbies for much too long, For childhood is short - a Tiger Flower blooming Magenta for one day - And adulthood is long and dry-humping in cars will wait.

O Lord, break the Internet forever, That she may be spared the misspelled invective of her peers And the online marketing campaign for Rape Hostel V: Girls Just Wanna Get Stabbed.

And when she one day turns on me and calls me a Bitch in front of Hollister, Give me the strength, Lord, to yank her directly into a cab in front of her friends, For I will not have that Shit. I will not have it.

And should she choose to be a Mother one day, be my eyes, Lord, that I may see her, lying on a blanket on the floor at 4:50 A.M., all-at-once exhausted, bored, and in love with the little creature whose poop is leaking up its back.

“My mother did this for me once,” she will realize as she cleans feces off her baby’s neck. “My mother did this for me.” And the delayed gratitude will wash over her as it does each generation and she will make a Mental Note to call me. And she will forget. But I’ll know, because I peeped it with Your God eyes.


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Mama Montage: news crews, super moons, and sick babies

I think I'm still recovering from the weekend, because I'm tired this morning. Of course it doesn't help that Sprout is suffering through her first fever, third day running. Poor little bleary babe. She's been sleeping OK, but I think my mommy brain makes my sleep more restless--even though I'm shielded from the full force of mommy-sick-baby worry with a doctor hubby (and awesome medically savvy childcare help, even). One of Sprout's yoga playmates recently had roseola, so it could be that--although I haven't seen any rashes on Sprout yet. We've just been dosing her with baby tylenol, monitoring her temp, and keeping her hydrated.

The weekend was busy, though! With my 10-hour work days, Friday is now a part of my weekends (yay flex time!), so the busy weekend started on Friday with my mama-baby yoga class being featured on the local news (click on the link to see the embedded news videos, up on my yoga website). The news crew filmed during most of our babies' nap times, so all us mamas were a bit tired from baby wrangling by the end of the 1 hour shot (for ~3 min of footage, heh).

Then, after that, I went in for what was supposed to be a quick oil change and that turned into 3.5 hours trapped at the car place. They found I needed new tires, and since I transport baby around, I wasn't going to scrimp or question when it came to car safety. However, I was stuck waiting with a very patient baby front-slung onto me that whole time. The hubby was still at the hospital, so couldn't rescue me. Thank heavens for cheerios and breastfeeding (in the cold bathroom); Sprout was a trooper through that waiting ordeal, but it exhausted me. When I got home, I handed the baby to the hubby and crashed face first onto the bed. I didn't end up having dinner until around 8PM, after I had briefly nursed the baby to sleep.

Saturdays are now yoga days, so I taught my regular morning class followed by co-teaching the mama-baby class. I don't remember what I did Saturday afternoon/night, except I made sure to go out and view the super moon (large, pretty, golden-colored).

Sunday was a total lounge day for me. I was alone again with baby (working hubby) and just spent it doing domestic stuff: watching Bones while nursing; taking a walk in the neighborhood; making crockpot lentils; doing laundry and dishes; watching the dogs run around in the fenced yard; and letting Sprout pick at dandylions on our lawn.