Friday, July 30, 2010

15/30 Living.

After Malone was first born and for a very long time after he was born, I felt like I was just surviving- barely keeping my head above water. Call it postpartum depression, call it a rough adjustment to motherhood, call it whatever you want. But that was what was true for me. And it was my truth for a really long time.

I didn't start seeing a therapist, instead started going to a MotherWoman group where mother's gather in a space to talk real about motherhood. The space is safe, confidential, and you can speak without being interrupted. The best part of all, no one gives you any advice.

I realized I wasn't alone. I realized that other mothers felt the same way that I did.

This morning, Mike and Malone are out for a run. I am alone and have a quiet house all to myself for a moment. A precious gift.

Now that it's quiet here (and I don't have to worry about when a baby might wake up from a nap), it occurred to me that I'm no longer surviving. I am living. AGAIN.

I am taking every moment I can to enjoy life. And boy, is there a lot to enjoy! I don't know when the shift happened, or how long it took me to realize it.

I guess I don't really know what the point of this blog today is. And I'm not sure that many of you will even understand where I'm coming from. I think it's one of those things where if you haven't suffered from PPD then it may be hard to understand. I guess maybe today's post is to give a shout out to you mother's out there who aren't really enjoying things. I've been there. Not enjoying life is not the same as not loving our babies. Just keep on keeping on. I hope someday you can also get to the place again where I am today. It's magical. And it's special and extraordinary, especially since it wasn't like this for a long time.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

14/30 The thing about summer.

I can slowly feel summer winding down.
Summer winding down means change.
Change I want but am not ready for yet.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

11, 12, 13/30 Wicked smaht.

Because the work at home job as picked up again, a short 3-in-1 for you tonight.

This morning I changed Malone's diaper (full of blueberry poo... ew!), and put him into the pack in play so I could check my work email before we started the day. When I turned around a few minutes later, I found him naked and smiling. I found his diaper full of more blueberry poo.

Thats right boys and girls, my kid poo'ed in his diaper and then removed it himself. Not only that, he did not feel the need to play in it and there was really just the mess of me cleaning him up like usual to take care of.

My kid may not sleep, but he's wicked smaht (smart for all of you non Boston accent people).

Saturday, July 24, 2010

10/30 Semi Fail.

Malone made it clear to us last night that he is not ready to begin night weaning. I had a sneaking suspicion, and I was right. I should have listened to my mommy instinct instead of pushing forward because today I am beyond tired.

I nursed Malone around 10:15 and he went back to sleep just fine. He was up again around midnight. I tapped Mike to let him know (he is so used to sleeping through the monitor). Malone did not scream his brains out, but Mike could not get him back to sleep. He tried all of his tricks, singing, rocking, patting, etc. After about 25 minutes, I came in and rescued them both.

Here is where the night went down hill for me. Because Mike wasn't able to get Malone to sleep, Malone was WIDE AWAKE and ready to party. So, we were all three wide awake in the middle of the night instead of just Malone and I being semi awake for 5 minutes before falling back asleep.

I could not get him settled and it literally took me three hours to get Malone to sleep "for the night" again. The following was repeated three times, nursing until drowsy but awake, putting Malone in the crib and patting his back, heading back to bed, staring at the ceiling worrying about stupid stuff (like the merits of aqua vs teal in polo shirts for little boys), and nodding off only to not make it to full sleep because Malone woke up again.

I finally ended up bringing him into bed with us around 3:30. He slept (and nursed) until almost seven.

I'm tired today for sure, but hanging in there. We would have been better off just sticking with our usual routine last night.

This morning I was poking around in his mouth and discovered that either his top molars or eye teeth are coming in. That certainly explains why last night was not successful. However, I hesitate to call last night a complete fail. There were times when I was able to get Malone back to sleep without nursing and that is new for us.

Mike and I talked about it today and have decided to try again in a few weeks. It's difficult because Malone is a higher needs guy. He does not cry it out well. We tried a few times before and he does not really seem able to calm/self soothe himself down. This is typical of high needs kids. Also, he doesn't/will not take a pacifier or suck his fingers. Nor has he attached to a lovey.

In other words, he still needs us/me. And it is our job as parents to be flexible and patient with him as we nurture his independence and meet his needs.

Friday, July 23, 2010

9/30 Conflicted.

Night Weaning Day 1

At Malone's 12 month (almost a full month late due to scheduling conflicts) appointment, the doctor suggested that he may be ready to night wean. She also said he may not be ready, but it was certainly okay to try. In other words, he should have the capacity to go a seven or eight hour stretch without nursing.

On a good night, our nursing schedule is 6:30 (bed time), 10:30, 2:30, and 4:00 (at which point he comes into bed with us). Tonight, I will take the first 10:30 (give or take) feeding and Mike will take over from there. Our hope is that Malone will be able to be soothed to sleep by Daddy or take a drink of water if he's thirsty but not need me.

Since they day he was born, I have been the primary nighttime parent because Mike works. Tonight, the tables turn. It's a strange feeling, to want your baby not to need you. I have to admit that I don't really dig it.

But on the other hand.... Sleep! Oh glorious sleep! To think that I could potentially get 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep- I'm giddy just thinking about the idea. It's been almost 13 months since I didn't have to get up in the night. And, if you count the zillion times I had to go to the bathroom my last few months of pregnancy, it's probably been close to 16.

I know we've got a challenge ahead of us tonight and in the next coming days. I plan to blog about how it's going, so stay tuned for that. The pediatrician said to give it a full week and see how it goes.

If it doesn't go well, I'm not sure I'll be able to last that long.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

8/30 Insert some funny story here.

Go ahead and insert a funny story right here. Seriously, tonight I don't have much to give. I've got a baby who is cutting molars and napped 20 minutes total today. Bed time took an hour and a half. It's been "one of those days."

I hear the ice cream man. Gotta run!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

7/30 Almost Famous.

There is a little place in town that Mike and I adore, especially because they serve awesome breakfast. This place focuses on using local ingredients as much as possible. Close your eyes and picture it with me, farm fresh eggs, potatoes so fresh they still taste a little sweet, and veggies that did not travel via airplane to be part of your omelet.

This place has self serve coffee and you can choose your favorite mug off of their mug tree. A great deal of the our story has taken place here. We became regulars of sorts, waking up early on Sunday mornings to beat the breakfast crowd. While we didn't always know the names of the people who worked there, we knew their faces and they knew ours.

Early in my pregnancy with Malone, I had a craving that could only be curbed by this place. At least twice and sometimes three times a week, I drove 20 minutes out of my way to go there on my way to work. If you know anything about pregnancy cravings, you know that when you have one you will go at great lengths to satisfy them.

I began ordering my own concoction, aka the most sinful breakfast sandwich on the face of the earth- a grilled (with butter) everything bagel with cream cheese, cheddar cheese, and bacon. This affectionately became known as "the pregnant lady special" and there were days they had one ready for me before I even arrived.

After Malone was born, we attempted and failed at our usual Sunday breakfast routine (thanks mid-morning nap) and we hadn't been back to our little place until today.

As soon as we walked through the door, one of the servers recognized me.

"Hey, I was just thinking about you!" she said excitedly. "

"How are you? Look! There's your baby... boy he's cute."

"My partner and I were playing the what if game and I asked her if she was on death row what would be her last meal. She said hands down it would be the pregnant lady special! She thinks it's the best breakfast sandwich ever. She even thinks we should put it on the menu!"

So there you have it, my heart attack on a bagel sandwich invention and I are almost famous.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

6/30 It's Not Me- Midweek Edtion.

This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week

It's Not Me- Midweek edition.

I do not ordinarily think the man who drives the ice cream truck around our neighborhood each summer night must be some kind of creep with no life. I have not thought this about him since the first time I heard his jingle bells ring to let all of the kids know that he was making his rounds.

He does not drive a tricked out revived from the junk yard ice cream truck. And, I do not secretly judge parents who give their kids money to have a face to face encounter with the ice cream man.

I do not listen to the ice cream jingle every night at 7:00 pm and make horrifically awful assumptions about a person I have never met.

Tonight, when I heard the familiar tune come rolling down the street I did not sprint into the bedroom and ask my husband if he wanted something.

He did not say "A Choco Taco please."

I did not scramble through the house, searching for loose change and dollar bills.

I was not so excited to see that I hadn't missed the ice cream man that I jumped up and down on our sidewalk and waved like some sort high school cheerleader.

When the ice cream man pulled over, I was not overcome with indecision about which ice cream bar to choose.

The ice cream man did not smile patiently at me while I searched and looked at each ice cream illustration, comparing and contrasting the Bomb Pop vs the one with the candy crunch center.

When I got back into the house, I did not realize I had no bra on.

I do not think the ice cream man is still creepy.

Monday, July 19, 2010

5/30 I want.

Malone had 4 first birthday parties due to the fact that we have family and friends spread from here Cape Cod to IL. He had 1 party in IL, 1 party with friends and family here in the valley, 1 big group party with all of his little friends who are also turning 1 this summer, and 1 party on the Cape with our Cape family.

We started a tradition of having guests sign a children's book. The book we choose for this year was Dr. Suess's Happy Birthday To You.

Below is part of my birthday letter to Malone.

You have taught me so much this pat year. You have grown from a 7 pound 11 ounce newborn into a 23 pound tike. I've grown into the person I have always wanted to be, a mom. Your mom. I want you to know that I have done my very best to savor our first year together.

We have spent a lot of time together looking face to face as you nursed. We have witnessed one of God's greatest gifts- the sunrise. There were nights you had to be held and rocked because you were sick. I held you close, listening to your every breath and just felt so thankful and happy that you are mine (and Daddy's).

The love I feel for you makes my heart tingle- it is stronger than the rays of the sun and deeper than the deepest part of the ocean. I never knew this love existed until I had you. (I love your Daddy very much, but it is a different kind of love).

There are so many things I want for you, poodle pie and at times I get overwhelmed just thinking about it. As your mom there is so much on my shoulders to make sure you get everything you need.

I want for you to grow up respecting others and seeing the opportunity you have to learn from those who are different.

I want for you to value education and to care about the world.

I want for you to know what it feels like to truly be part of a community and to be a good community member.

I want for you to know how to make good financial decisions and to own your own home.

I want for you to savor life and to see the beauty in simplicity.

I want you to know that you'll be okay when/if the love of your life breaks your heart.

I want for you to know that Dad and I will always be here for you and I want you to feel safe talking to us.

I want you to remember your roots and spend time learning your family history from your elders.

I want you to know how to be a good friend.

I want you to know the satisfaction of a job well done.

I want you to travel and experience as much of the world as you can.

I want you to be open to trying new things.

I want you to find a meaningful way to give back- remember that saving the world starts in your own back yard.

I want you to taste the goodness that is local produce and a perfectly grilled steak.

I want you to love, to love deeply, and to love with your whole heart.

As your Mommy, I will do my best to help you discover and grow. I promise to teach you all that I know. I will give you as many experiences and opportunities as I can to help you grow into the man I want you to be. I will try my hardest to nurture your interests and foster your talents. In the words of Abe Lincoln, "Whatever you are, be a good one."

I love you my little snuggle puppy.
Happy First Birthday.


Sunday, July 18, 2010

4/30 Cheating.

I'm tired, hot, and just home from vacation. This weekend Steven, Carrie, and my nephew Andrew joined us on Cape Cod. Below are my favorite pictures from our trip to the beach.

At the beach where they spent almost summer day of the childhood playing at, two brothers and their sons walk towards the water during low tide.

Auntie Carrie and Malone share a melty coconut ice pop.

A cute one of our little family of three.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

3/30 4 in Blue.

Last night, 4 Marines came to my hometown in their Dress Blues. They found the mother of the fallen soldier at work. Today, my small town of 2500 mourns the loss of a young soldier who was killed in Afghanistan. The kid was a year younger than I was.

Now that I have a son, the thought of another mother losing her son makes my heart weep.

Friday, July 16, 2010

2/30 And then it was for us.

I'm not an overtly religious person. I know what I believe and why I believe it and if you don't care to believe the same thing as me, I'm okay with that.

Whenever I am driving and meet an ambulance or fire truck, I always say a quick little prayer for whomever the EMTs or firemen are going to rescue. I've done this for the better part of 18 years. The prayer isn't fancy. I don't always say it out loud, but I always say a quick little something. If it's an ambulance, I pray for a speedy recovery and wisdom for the EMTs, nurses, and doctors the person hurt might encounter. If it's a fire truck, I pray for the safety of the firemen, the safety of the family and animals who may be in the fire, and that the family's most prized photographs and life mementos would be spared.

I've been lucky and blessed to never have really been on the other side of these prayers, save for the time I had to call 911 because I burnt my tater tots. I had a pretty good streak going. Until Sunday when Malone pulled down Meme's towel rack and sliced his index finger open.

To say that I were scared is an understatement. I was paralyzed with fear, but had to continue to care for and comfort Malone.

There was a LOT of blood and we couldn't see how deep the wound was. I was sure we were headed for the ER for a few stitches. The EMT's were able to get the bleeding to stop after about 30 minutes and it wasn't long before Malone was his usual self again.

After the EMT's left, I realized how much those 18 years of prayers really meant someone in crisis. And I hoped that someone out there prayed for us as they pulled over to let the ambulance go by.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Challenge 1/30. Should I stay or should I go?

I've been at home with Malone now for almost exactly 12.5 months. If you count the amount of time I was on bedrest, I've been home with Malone for closer to 14 months. In any case, I've been out of the office world for awhile. That doesn't mean that I haven't been working, I have a wonderful part time work at home gig. I work for a company that I am completely over the moon about in terms of the product they put out and the way they handle their business. The job I do is flexible- it doesn't have to be done during a set time of day. I receive assignments with deadlines and as long as I can meet the deadline it doesn't matter what time of the day I chose to work.

It sounds like a mother's dream- a flexible (and legitimate) work at home job that pays well with flexible hours. And for most other moms it probably is.

The challenge I've found with this position is that there are just not enough hours in the day for me to get everything done. I am with Malone all day and on most days start working as soon as supper is over and he is in bed, finishing just in time for me to go to bed. Rinse, lather, repeat. Somewhere in there, I've got to fit all of the things that come long with being a real grown up- the bills, the laundry, cleaning the house, and finding a little time for me.

On the other side of the coin, this position has given me the chance to be my son's primary care giver for every single day of his young life. And we've had a blast together. We've taken day trips to Children's museums, had lunch with daddy and other friends, gone to the movies, gone to farmers markets, gone to story time at the library- the list goes on and on. All of this has been done during the 9-5 work day.

But, at the very end of the day I feel like going back to work is the right thing for me. Especially (and only) if I can get a position in the office of my work at home job. I think that any other position at any other company would not be worth it.

If I get a job in the office, Malone would have to go to daycare. I truly believe that he would have a blast. He is social and outgoing, curious and full of adventure. He's ripe and eager to learn. And I'm oddly okay with it.

After two weeks of going back and forth, trying to work up the nerve to call my old coworker (I used to actually work in this office two years ago), I finally did. Only to hear that right now there are no openings in the office.

I was bummed to say the least. But the thing about the industry is that its really growing. I'm going to check back in with her mid August but until then, I wonder if the grass just seems greener on the other side?


It seems to be that the thing about blogging is that I'm not as faithful to making time for it as I want to be. I desire to write everyday but can't seem to carve out the time to make sure it gets done. I have big hopes and dreams for this blog and I can't achieve them if I don't get in the habit of writing everyday. I'm challenging myself to blog everyday for the next 30 days.

Sunday, May 30, 2010


Dear Malone,

I'm sitting here in Meme's living room. I've got the house all to myself. You're off on a walk with Meme and Daddy has gone for a run. I'm enjoying a small break from the responsibilty that is caring for you. It's like pushing the reset button as I sip on fancy coffee from Starbucks, feel the breeze come in through the window, and enjoy the birds singing.

This morning our little family of three went to the market to pick up a few things for Meme. As we entered through the market's doors, we were greeted with the music of steel drums.

If you were to ask Daddy, he would tell you that I hate dancing. Its true. The thing about me and dancing is that I feel like I'll make a fool out of myself- I haven't got much rhythm and so I always feel so silly.

But while you and I were standing in line waiting to order coffee, I felt the music. Together (I was wearing you via the BabyHawk), you and I started to sway and dance. I couldn't stop my feet from moving and you couldn't stop your hands from waving. I didn't care about feeling silly. We were in our own little world for a few moments- lost to the beat and sound of the drums. Daddy watched from the strawberry section and he agreed, the moment was truly magical.

Forever with love,

Saturday, May 29, 2010


Dear Malone,

Today was the first time Daddy and I took you to the beach. We went to the bay by Meme's house- to the same beach that Daddy and I have gone to every summer since we've met. We didn't know what to except or how you'd feel about the sand and water.

As soon as we put you down on the sand, you were interested. You had a great time running your hands and fingers through it discovering it's texture.

At first, you weren't so sure about the waves and water. The water was coming in since it was high tide and it created a nice little shallow area for you to sit. The waves came in and at first you were scared. One came in a little fast and when it got to us, you cried. But eventually you started to show your adventurous side and crawled in deeper. You wanted to have a nurse so we went back in and sat with Meme. After you were finished she filled a bucket with some sand and water. You really liked that! You sat forever splashing your hands in the water and then sucking the salty sleeve of your rash guard.

Later, just you and I went and sat at the water. As the waves came in you hollered and chatted to them, smiling and laughing the whole time. After a bit, daddy came in too.

We had a great day at the beach. When we got back to Meme's house, you and I took a glorious three hour nap. I really needed it- you've been keeping me up a lot lately.

With love,

Thursday, May 6, 2010


In internet message board land, DH is a term that refers to one's husband. It's short for darling (or darn) husband.

My DH and I do not have a perfect marriage. I say that because I don't think anyone has a perfect marriage. It's just not possible. However, we both work really hard to have a good marriage. We've learned each others Love Language and worked really hard to be good communicators. We very seldom fight as we can usually get things worked out before it escalates. We bear one another's burdens and work cooperatively to make sure all of the "stuff/chores" of life get done.

Currently, we work opposite schedules. I stay home with the baby during the day while he goes to work. After he comes home and we've had dinner as a family, I work. This schedule isn't ideal, but it allows me to be Malone's primary caregiver (and save on daycare costs). It doesn't leave a lot of room in our day to spend time together sans baby.

Yet, I still feel as connected to him and in love with him as the day we got married. I've been working hard to facilitate this connection, one that could so very easily been lost. We've gone to the park on lunch time dates, enjoying a few stolen moments of conversation while the baby sleeps in his car seat. We've taken a few seconds to snuggle before getting up out of bed to get Malone in the morning.

DH, you still make me feel ooey-goey inside. I love you more than shoes.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Girls Night.

Tonight, I took some time for a little self care. I spent 3 glorious hours away from the baby and husband and went out for dinner with friends. What is amazing about these friends is that some are people I probably would have never become friends with on my own. However, we are linked because we all had babies with in 3 months of each other and met when our babies were quite small through a program at the local hospital.

These mamas are amazing and really more than just friends. It's deeper- sister like almost. But sister isn't the right word either. These girls are my tribe. They know my kid, and I know theirs. They've got my back, they've been there every step of my parenthood way walking right along side with me.

The level of mutual respect is out of this world. While our parenting styles and choices may look different from the other's, we all acknowledge that as Mamas we're just trying to to the best we can for ourselves and families.

Tonight we had conversations that were so silly we cried. We discussed teething, weaning, trying to conceive more babies, and everything else in between.

People search their entire life for friends like these.

I am so blessed.

Friday, April 23, 2010


Today was one of those days that challenged me to my very core.

Today, I do not love 3 days post banana consuming poo explosion.
Today, I do not love the fact that my kid must play with his penis at every diaper change including the above poo explosion.
Today, I do not love this headache I have now had for 2 days.

Today, I had to work extra hard to be the mother I want to be- to be loving, sympathetic, nurturing, kind, and positive.
Today, for a little while I longed for the days when Mike and I were D.I.N.K.S. (DUAL INCOME NO KIDS).

Today, a baby boy looked at me. And it was like a little mini mirror staring back at me.
Today, a baby boy made faces at me and laughed while Daddy told bedtime stories.
Today, a baby boy crawled from across the room and reached up for me.

Today, I am so thankful to be a mom.

Thursday, April 22, 2010


Growing up I have very specific memories of my Grandma and Grandpa (my dad's parents) and my Nana and Papa (my mom's parents) and the way they ran their household. There are things they did on a regular basis that were good for the environment before "being green" was trendy and cool. If I had to guess, they did these things because doing so saved a little money or helped someone in need.

My Grandma and Grandpa always saved food scraps in a cardboard milk container. They kept it in the freezer and when the containers got full they gave them to my Aunt Linda to feed to her dog. Aluminum cans were crushed using a hand crusher, saved, and then taken to the recycling center in exchange for a few dollars.

In the summer time there was an abundance of fruit and veggies from their garden. I remember their patio table being full of some of the biggest, juiciest tomatoes I had ever seen and tasted. Tomato juice was made and put in the cellar for winter, along with spaghetti sauce. There were enough tomatoes to share with neighbors and friends. I also remember helping to put up pickles and making jam out of strawberries from the garden. If there wasn't enough strawberries, we would go to a strawberry patch a few miles out of town.

Back then, I think they did it because that is what you did. You kept a garden so you could help feed your family. I was just home this past weekend and when I went to visit my 78 year old Grandmother in the afternoon, I found her in her garden harvesting the asparagus. Her garden is about 1/2 of the size it was when I was growing up. But it is still there, and she is still growing things with the help of my uncle who lives with her. I find myself moved by this. For some reason, it matters to me. Perhaps because it such a part of who I am and I cannot have a garden of my own because we rent and do not have any yard space. But someday, we will. And I hope my grandchildren will grow up with the same fond memories of my garden that I have of my Grandparents.

My Nana and Papa did not keep a garden, but were/are "green" in other ways. For as long as I can remember, we've have always used cloth napkins at their house. My Nana and Papa love to shop at tags sales and consignment stores for items they need before purchasing new. In most cases they do not purchase new items unless they have not been able to find them used elsewhere first.

In fact, my Papa lives for salvaging items that people have thrown out for the garbage man. My Papa is a great woodworker and carpenter and often picks up dressers or other pieces of furniture, refurbishes them, and then donates them to local charities as items to be sold in silent auctions. He has quite a name for himself doing this and his pieces often sell for several hundred dollars. When my high school ripped out their old wooden bleachers from the gym, he got the wood, and has used it to make everything from bookcases to shadow boxes to benches.

Both my Grandmother and my Nana used cloth diapers on their kids, as did my mom with me. Malone is also in cloth diapers. He gets one disposable diaper that is used overnight. My Grandmother and Nana didn't have a choice, but my mother and I did. I don't know what my mom's motivation was to use cloth on me. I like to think that she knew the environmental impact but if I had to venture to guess, I would say that it probably had more to do with finances. Either way, I'll take it.

I spent a little bit of time today reflecting on the things my family is doing to keep the Earth a happy place.

Today, as with all days, when it came time to run our errands I planned out our route so that it was the one that required the least amount of gas. When we went to the market, we used reusable grocery bags and several of the items that were purchased were grown/manufactured within a 100 mile radius of where we live. And, while I was tempted to purchase a bottle of water in the check out line, I opted instead to drink water out of my reusable water bottle. This afternoon, Mike came home from work for lunch. When it was time to go back to work, we carpooled into town since Malone and I were heading in for a meeting. At dinner tonight we used our cloth napkins which is a habit we need to get into instead of using paper. I have a whole stack of recyclables that need to be rinsed so they can go into their bins. Finally, as with everyday Malone wore cloth diapers instead of disposable ones.

Could we be doing more? Certainly. I would love to compost and have a garden, but as a renter I don't see that happening until we buy a house of our own. I would also love to be able to hang our laundry out on the line, but that will also have to wait. But for now, we'll keep on doing what we do. Every little bit counts towards a brighter future for my children's grandchildren.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Time Flies.

Wow. Another month lost (or gained depending on how you look at it).

In this past month I've let life get too busy and I've gotten myself in too deep. I've neglected this blog which is part of my self care plan. I know that when I write, I feel better. Yet, somehow it is so easy not to make the time to do it.

In terms of getting in too deep, I had a good wake up call this past week while Malone and I spent some time with my family living the country life. I reminded that simplicity is good and there is much that can be gained from moving at a slower pace.

Malone and I had the opportunity to spend a bit of the afternoon with a classmate of mine and her daughter who is about 6 months older than Malone. Its funny how life works out sometimes, this person and I did not get a long AT ALL in high school and I felt like at times could barely function together in the same space despite having common interests. What a difference 10 years make.

In the last month my little boy has decided to grow up a little. He's a full on crawler, pulling up, can climb up stairs, and babbles in conversation form, using tone and inflection in his voice. Listening to him lecture someone is just about the cutest thing I've ever seen. He's working on "SO BIG" which is a Midwestern baby trick and has stood with no hands for a few seconds before loosing his balance.

During Malone's littlest days, I went to a new mother's program at my hospital (birth to four months). My friend Kate and I always next to each other, nursing our little tiny boys (who were less than six weeks old). Often, we'd look at the 3 or 4 month old babies and say "our boys are never going to be this big." Today on the plane back to MA, my almost 10 month Malone and I sat in front of a woman who was flying with her 4 month old baby girl. She looked so tiny compared to my big guy.

Is it cliche to start wailing "where has the time gone" already?

Friday, March 26, 2010


I meant to post this yesterday, but life is SO busy right now. In fact dear readers, please accept my apologies for not keeping up on this blog. Blogging is in my self care plan and right now life is triple booked and a hot (but fun) mess.

Yesterday was a big day in our house. I celebrated as Malone turned 39 weeks and 1 day old. He has now been an outside person for as long as carried him. I thought it would be emotional, that the day would be full of tears and reflection but it wasn't.

Instead it was a day full of chasing Malone around as he crawled, pulled up on things, and general got into mischief. We took a lovely 2 hour nap together in the morning and then went to Costco where he sat in the cart, happily shopping along. He smiled at the old ladies and had to investigate every item I put into the cart- he even sampled a little spinach dip. At dinner time he ate fist fulls of rotisserie chicken and a few strawberries in the mesh feeder. At bedtime he happily sang along in his own baby language to Twinkle Twinkle. He went down around 6:30 woke to nurse at 11:00 and then slept again until almost 4:00 am. The second stretch is by far the longest one we've had to date. At 4:00 he came into bed with us and babbled himself back to sleep.

It seems like these days he's hitting milestone after milestone. It's amazing to think that he has grown from a little tiny spec smaller than a pin drop to this little boy that we have today. During pregnancy I remember counting the weeks go by, reading the emails about his development in utero and wondering who he was going to look like. Right now, in this very moment, he looks just like my Uncle Jeff but often, I see my mom in him.

After he was born, I found myself still reading the weekly developmental emails, worrying if he was on target or not. I don't know when I stopped reading those emails, but I know I haven't for awhile. I simply do not have the time anymore! I compare Malone to all of his little other baby friends and for the most part he seems on target with his peers. The funny thing about babies is that they all are so different.

I'm not sure what the next 39 weeks and 1 day will have in store. But I look forward to it. Having Malone has changed my life in ways I didn't even know were possible.

Monday, March 15, 2010

It's Not Me Monday.

This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

On Saturday night after Malone woke up, nursed, and fell back asleep on my shoulder, I did not smell something foul in his diaper. I did not lay him on my bed, open up his jammie bottoms, and stick my hand into the world of the unknown that was diaper to investigate. I did not do this in the pitch black of night. I did not pray there was no stinky poo poo inside. I did not use my best Care Bear stare concentration, I did not hope he would stay sleeping. I was not giddy and relieved to find there was no stinky poo poo in the diaper. Don't worry, I washed my hands after!

On Sunday, I did not neglect to offer Malone fruit and veggies and instead feed him pancakes, cheese, and chicken. Does a few sips of orange juice count as a fruit? Probably not.

After I proof read this post, I am not going to sit down with a nice hot cup of tea and a bowl of Cheeze-Its. Because Cheeze-Its are not the breakfast of champions.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

A big one.

From the moment Malone was born, I knew this day was going to come.

When we first brought him home from the hospital, we wanted Malone to sleep in our room. But, as new parents every little sound he made caused us to freak out, jump out of bed, and make sure he was still breathing. So, Malone slept in our office in the same bassinet I slept in as a baby, handcrafted by my woodworking father. The bassinet isn't esthetically perfect, in fact part of it's charm is the fact that the spindles are not 100% the same, but it was a perfect place to put our newborn in to sleep.

I wandered out to the office every few hours, nursing this same being who was just weeks before rolling and doing flips in my stomach. We watched many a sunrise together and learned which neighbors like to jog or walk their dogs early in the morning.

After our little Houdini became too proficient at sticking his limbs out of an area that would not meet today's safety standards, we moved Malone out of the bassinet and he slept in his swing.

When I got sick of walking the 75 paces every 2 hours to nurse him, we moved my nursing chair into our bedroom and set up the pack n play's bassinet feature where he slept until he outgrew the height recommendations.

Right around this time, the dreaded 4 month wakeful/sleep regression hit along with an unexpected growth spurt. I was a zombie.

We started bedsharing. It was wonderful. Malone would snuggle in close between my husband and I and the three of us slept through the night, with Malone nursing as he needed to. It was great until it wasn't great anymore.

So we booted him out for the beginning part of the night.

The first nights were hard, I missed having him close by all night long and he looked so TINY in the giant (aka normal sized) crib we set up in our room. Soon, he got the hang of putting himself to sleep in the crib which meant that Mike and I had several hours to ourselves at night.

Since moving Malone into our room, not a single night has gone by where I haven't woken up in the middle of the night to listen for his heavy dream filled baby sign- a breath that puts my mind at ease.

Until tonight.

Recently we've decided that sharing a room with Malone no longer works for our family. We loved sharing it, don't get me wrong but we are tired of not being able to utilize our living space (and the second tv!).

So we kicked him out.

This afternoon Michael and I carved out a spot in the nursery (aka storage room) for Malone's crib and hung his shelves. We spent the day moving things around, hooking up the video monitor (best invention EVER!), and daydreaming about all of the things we can now do in our bedroom again (which for me is putting away laundry and for Mike, well..... he's a guy, draw your own conclusions).

So far, it has been a relatively smooth transition.

While we were hanging shelves, we let Malone play in the crib in his room. There, right before our eyes, that very same baby whom we used to think was too little to ever sleep in such a big crib pulled up to a stand for the very first time.

The first nap went really well.

Bedtime was also pretty smooth. He needed a few extra snuggles, but still happily sleeping as I write.

A big day for a little big boy.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Dinner- a shift.

I grew up in Northern Illinois where lunch is called dinner and dinner is called supper. Dinner was eaten as close to noon as humanely possible and supper was served at 5:00 pm on the dot.

Then I moved to out east where dinner became lunch or brunch and I found myself eating it as late as 2:00 pm. Supper became dinner and in my early married days we found ourselves starting to cook it somewhere between 7:30 and 8:00 pm. When we had plans to go out with friends, we'd often meet at their home for appetizers/snacks around 8:30 pm and then go to eat somewhere after 9:00 pm. This was lovely, it worked for us. My Nana who lives in the midwest could not wrap her head around this. "Don't you get hungry? How can you go to sleep on such a full tummy?" she'd say.

Then we had a baby.

And said baby aged into this little being who is interested in food.

Now we eat dinner as a family at 5:00 pm.

On the dot.

Game Plan.

On Tuesday I had my appointment with the midwife.

Ironically, it was in the "Melone" room. This is the room where we sat with the midwife and she confirmed our pregnancy. This is the room where we sat with the midwife and she confirmed that I was indeed in labor. This is the room where we talked about how hard motherhood can really be and PPD.

After speaking with me for about 45 minutes, she was hesitant to diagnose postpartum depression. She didn't rule it out however.

She gave me the names of two therapists who very well educated in PPD to call, recommended that I exercise as I am able to (but not to pressure myself), and prescribed that I take more time everyday just for ME.

She told me that if this therapy/exercise/ME time plan doesn't help to call her and then we could speak about medication.

I came away from the appointment already feeling better.

I'm already having a hard time fitting the ME time in. It's just so hard to sit down and relax/ take time for myself when there is laundry to be done, a baby to be played with, and a house that never seems like it's clean enough.

But last night I did. I sat with my husband and watched the Marriage Ref that we had recorded on DVR.

It's amazing what an hour of laughter can do.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Here is what I know.

Disclaimer again. This is a cross post with Motherwoman- my apologies.

Malone has spent most of the morning in front of PBS.

I've spent most of this morning working on getting started.

I reached out to two friends that I know have walked down this road before who pointed me in a great direction. I've gotten the names of a few good therapists.

"Let me know how I can help, I can even watch Malone for you while you go."

I spent 30 minutes on the phone with my insurance provider who had so much love and support in her voice it was unreal.

I said it. "I have postpartum depression."

We navigated the insurance company's website together. She made sure that I knew what was covered, what wasn't, was wasn't covered but was discounted, and what "rules" I needed to follow. She made sure I knew which of the seven different options was the one that matched up with my coverage.

She ended the call this way "I hope you get the help you're looking for. And congratulations on the baby."

Amazing customer service.

I spent a 20 minute cycle of gathering up the courage, chickening out, and hanging up on my OB/GYN practice. I pray they don't have caller ID. It was like I was in high school again, calling and hanging up on the cutest boy in class.

And then I didn't hang up.

I said it again.

"I'd like to make an appointment with the midwife. I think I have postpartum depression."

"Okay, great." Um.. what?!?

I'll chalk this one up to a reactionary response. I am sure that the receptionist didn't even know what she said. I've heard her say it when I made appointments with her before.

"How would tomorrow at 2:30 be?"

"Great. Thanks. See you then."

So, I've set the plan in motion. And already, I feel a little better about things. Writing has helped, getting the ball rolling has helped, and reaching out has helped.

This afternoon the baby mama's and I are going on a walk. It's so nice out, how could you not?

Thank God it isn't winter anymore. I can only imagine how much harder this would be in wintertime, when it's already so easy to stay in and disconnect.

In looking back on yesterday's post, I am so proud of myself.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Saying it out loud.


This is going to be a cross post between this blog and a submission for Motherwoman.

Thank you.

Saying it out loud.

After Malone was born, I experienced the baby blues. I spent a few hours each day for about a week crying through my hormones privately on my bed while someone else tended to my baby. I wasn't sure what exactly I was crying about, I just knew that I needed to cry. So I did. And then I felt better about things and my "new" normal began.

My new normal included nursing a baby every few hours, taking whatever sleep I could get, socializing with other mamas and their babies, and savoring growing into motherhood.

I started attending a Motherwoman group when Malone was about six weeks old because I needed a space where I could speak my truths about how challenging growing into motherhood was for me, not because I needed support in navigating postpartum anxiety or depression. I didn't expect to find my niche there, but I did. Bonus.

But this post isn't about that.

More on that another day, promise.

During almost everyday these past few weeks, I have experienced a mix of emotions that I never felt before. I have gone from extreme highs to extreme lows. Days that are spectacular and excellent and days where the smallest things upset me.

I am irrational at times- like this morning when I was crying my eyes out in the lap of my husband because Malone was going down for a nap.

Then it occurred to me.

This is postpartum depression.

I am experiencing postpartum depression.

Through the tears, I said it out loud to my husband.

More tears came.

I fought the tears back as I said it again to a group of mom friends this afternoon at a play date.

I have postpartum depression.

I need help.

I need a least a piece of my old me back. The piece that had days that were steady and strong. I don't want the extremes.

I am scared and nervous because I'm not sure the best way to seek help and treat this.

I'm currently riding a wave of anxiety as I try to figure out my next move.

Thoughts that are swirling...

Will a diet and exercise change help?
Is that enough?
Who do I talk to professionally about this?
Do I call my OB?
Do I call my doctor?
Do I need a therapist?
Will any of them understand?
Do I need medication?

I don't know the answers to any of these questions.

I get plenty of socialization and have tons of people I happily confide in so I'm pretty sure this isn't something I can just talk out.

I am going to reach out to some women I know who have experienced PPD and ask them to help me navigate through this.

So there.

I said it out loud again.

And I promise to report back to you when I figure something out.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Pinch me.

I admit my standards days for decent days low. But, give me a break. I'm a new(ish) mom. HA! If I can survive a day without wearing any form of my son's bodily fluids I call it a good day.

Today was one of those story book days. I'm sure you all know the one's I'm talking about- where it seems as if the cosmos opened up the heavens just to give you an awesome day.

Maybe it's because I've found my tribe- my tribe of baby mamas that I affectionately call the "baby brigade". Today the brigade took descended upon a place in town for a "come as your nap allows" rolling brunch. It was great. 10-12 baby mamas (and a papa!), the babies, a big brother, and servers who went above and beyond normal customer service.

Maybe it's because every I see this big brother, I get a glimpse into what my baby is going to be like at three. He's so curious and interested in everything.

Maybe it's because every time I see big brother's mother she gives me hope. She manages two so well, it's inspiring. She makes me think that someday I could have another and not just make it work, but enjoy it.

Maybe it's because I participated in a little retail therapy and treated myself to a fancy tea from the new place in the mall. The spring clothing is out and makes me really happy. Malone scored some new duds including an awesome rainbow sweater.

Maybe it's because Malone is finally on a predictable schedule of 3 naps and an early bed time.

Maybe it's because a dear family friend had their second baby girl today. Unexpected. A little (two weeks) early. And every one is perfect.

Maybe it's because I got an email from a new friend that filled my love tank in an unexpected way.

Maybe it's because I deserve this.

Monday, March 1, 2010

It's Not Me Monday.

This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

On Saturday, my family did not go to Costco. We did not hope that the food pedaling Costco Grandmas would be out pimping their delicious wares. When we got there and they were not quite ready yet, we did not make several loops around the store in efforts to give them time to get set up. We were not too starving to become irrationally upset that we mistimed the samples. We did not elect to instead enjoy a breakfast of a churro and diet lemonaid from the Costco snack shack instead.

When we got home, I did not take a nap to recharge my batteries. I did not enjoy the first two and half hours of the nap with my baby did not nurse almost the whole time we slept. My husband did not join us for this family nap. And I did not bribe my husband with promise of a white chocolate Easter bunny to take the baby when he woke up so I could not sleep longer. And when he not do so happily, I did not sleep for another two and a half hours!

Upon waking from this nap, I did not run to the grocery store in grubby sweats. And I did not come home with $25.00 worth of Easter candy all of which will not be consumed before the actual holiday.

I did not eat this candy instead of a meal for supper.

On Sunday, we did not attempt take another family nap. When the baby (who's crib is in our room) was restless in bed with us, we did not put him in his crib and then we did not hide under the covers so he wouldn't see us. My husband did not fashion his portion of the blankets in such a way that he could see the baby, but the baby couldn't see him.

When the baby woke up after 25 minutes, my husband did not pull him into bed with us. The baby did not enjoy a free buffet of milk while we all slept.

We did not all sleep for three hours waking up just in time to watch the USA vs CAN hockey game.

We did not have a lazy weekend where the only "chores" that got done were a trip to Costco and and vacuuming the living room rug.

And we did not enjoy it.

Sunday, February 28, 2010


Three years ago tomorrow, I got a call in the middle of the night from a family member in Illinois. My mother had died.

I made a hysterical phone call to my dad to let him know. Screaming at him "You have to be a good dad now, you're all I have left." And you know what, he has really stepped up to the plate. I think that in the years he wasn't really there for me it wasn't because he didn't want to be, it was just that he didn't know how to be.

So much of my life has happened since hers stopped.

I got the courage to quit a job that wasn't the right fit for me.

I got married.

I got a new job.

I got a promotion/new position with in the company.

I had a baby.

These are big things. And for a long time I thought she missed them.

But then, the other day I was looking through photographs I had taken of Malone in January.

And I came across this one.

If you look right by Malone's hand, you can see an orb. Believe what you will, but I believe this is my mom. If you look at Malone, he's interacting directly.

3/1/10 has snuck up on me. But oddly I feel okay about it. Last year I was a hot mess. This year, I feel at peace.

Besides, I've got a little guy who keeps me busy being his mom.

Saturday, February 27, 2010


I am part of an organization called Motherwoman. Since Malone was seven weeks old I have been sitting in a circle with other woman sharing my experiences as a mother and listening to other mamas share theirs.

This organization has changed my life.

And I am honored and excited that they have asked me to blog for them.

Click here to go to my first post as a Motherwoman Blogger!

The (wo)man in the mirror.

I'm still here. Life has been beyond busy.

Malone was born the day before Michael Jackson died. I spent my recovery in the hospital with 24/7 news coverage on ALL four television channels.

I like MJ as much as the next person, but the pain of the coverage was almost as intense as the pushing stage of labor.

But I've been thinking about him a lot lately.

I'm making small changes to my lifestyle. I don't want to, but the changes are in the best interest of Malone. I tried once before (see Baby Steps post) but didn't get very far.

However, I've been making a concentrated effort to enable Malone to sleep better. I've been living and dying by his nap schedule which means we've had to miss out on some things I like to attend with Malone (story time at the library, play group with babies our age, going to the play center, etc).

At this age, these events are still really more about the socialization I get from meeting with other moms but I know that he has been happier because he's sleeping more.

I've learned that Malone has better days when he can wake up between 6:15-6:30 am. So, I've started setting an alarm to make sure that we're both up. Otherwise, if he wakes up past 7:00 am our whole day is funky.

Finally, I'm on day two of no coffee/caffeine. It is such a double edge sword. I've been drinking several cups to get me through the earlier wake up time but I'm realizing the extra caffeine is effecting his ability to get quality sleep. Yesterday was rough. Today is better. I'm drinking water like it's going out of style.

The song Man in the Mirror by Michael Jackson has been replaying over and over again in my head.

I'm Starting With The Man In

The Mirror

I'm Asking Him To Change

His Ways

And No Message Could Have

Been Any Clearer

If You Wanna Make The World

A Better Place

Take A Look At Yourself, And

Then Make A Change

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


My little guy is no longer a little tiny baby. It seem like overnight he has morphed into an opinionated little person who is into everything. He's not crawling yet, but if there is someplace he wants to get to he finds away. This morning I was sitting on the floor playing with him and eating a muffin. Within seconds Malone made his way over to me, grabbed a handful of muffin, and shoved it in his mouth.

My little baby moments are fleeting.

I'm trying to soak them all in.

I hope I always remember his sweet milky breath and the rise and fall of his chest as he settles in on my chest for a nap.

I hope I always remember what it was like to change a diaper with ease. These days he's a floppy fish on the changing table.

I hope I always remember his tug on my breast as he latches on to nurse.

I hope I always remember the beauty of sunrise during our early morning nursing sessions.

I hope I always remember how I had to buy preemie pants because while he was 7 lbs 11 oz he was so skinny none of his newborn pants fit.

I hope I always remember his little hand clasping my finger as he falls asleep while I wear him.

I hope I always remember. I want to remember it all.

From My Other Blog

I've decided to switch from Wordpress to Blogger because I think Blogger is more user friendly. I've taken the time to carry over all of my other posts (all 19 of them!) so that everything I have written so far will all be in one spot.

Originally Posted on Wordpress
Feb 15, 2010
A Funny One.

This blog carnival was created byMckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

Last week (or maybe it was the week before I can't remember) I did not call 911 because my smoke detector was going off. The hotties from the fire department which included three ladder trucks and the chief did not come rushing to my aid, storm up the stairs with their axes in hand and their oxygen masks on.

My land lady's mother who lives several states away did not hear the call while listening to the fire/police internet scanner my town has and she did not call my land lady at work in a hysterical panic. The land lady did not call me leaving a frantic voice mail and when she couldn't reach me she did not call my husband at work.

The hotties of the fire department and the chief did not arrive to no fire or smoke alarm going off.

The neighbors did not come out to gawk.

The firemen did not tell me that the smoke detector probably went nuts "from cooking your tater tots a little too long."

I was not secretly a little annoyed that they did not wipe their boots before coming in (axes in hand and oxygen masks on remind you) to save my house from the non emergency that I thought was an emergency enough to dial 911.

I was not mortified by the whole event.

I did not post about it on facebook so all of my friends could laugh at me.

And finally, I was not a little relieved to know that from the time I called 911 to the time the fire department got to my house was less than 3 minutes.

In my defense, the smoke alarm was going nutso. There is no fan above our stove and often times the slightest thing sets it off. Usually, I can get it to stop by waving a towel but this time it wouldn't shut up. We live in an owner occupied Victorian house with electrical wiring so old that I am sure Ben Franklin wired it himself. I really thought that there was something going on with the first floor space.

Better safe than sorry right?

Originally Published on Wordpress Feb 15, 2010

My Favorites.

As previously mentioned in last week's It's Not Me Monday post, I had a few professional pictures of Malone taken in his "I could be Rainbow Brite's husband" outfit.

If you like the work, the photographer was Paul of Paul Specht Photography and you can become a fan of his work on Facebook. He's also one of my closest friends and one of Malone's many Uncles.

The photos turned out amazing and there are quite a few that I simply ADORE. So, here they are.

Originally Posted on Wordpress Feb 8, 2010
It's Not Me Monday- TMI/Gross Edition

This blog carnival was created byMckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

It's only fair to let you all know that this is a TMI/Gross edition of It's Not Me.

I have not stooped to a new low.

In the middle of the night, when my sweet baby boy who was sleeping on my chest woke up, coughed and then proceeded to either spit up or throw up (not sure because it was dark) all over my shirt and down my nursing bra, I did NOT wipe it up as best I could with a burp rag, then lay said burp rag over the baby spew and encourage my kid to go back to sleep so I could sleep.

I would never do that because I'm SUPERMOM. You know her right? The one who gets up in the middle of the night, gives baby spewed kids baths, changes sheets, throws them in the wash, gets the baby back to sleep, and then comes back to bed looking like she just stepped off of a Covergirl commercial.

I also did not go to the grocery store this morning in my baby spewed pajamas and a crusty hoodie to purchase lady parts products after my best friend, Aunt Flo, returned from her almost 18 month vacation.

Finally, I did not buy a custom made Valentine's Day outfit for Malone. This outfit does not make him look like he could be Rainbow Brite's husband. I am not headed out the door to have professional photo's of Malone taken in this outfit, because it is not one of my most favorite outfits of his EVER.

Originally Published on Wordpress
Feb 8, 2010

During the first weeks and months after my mom passed away, I existed on very little food. When I was hungry the only thing I wanted to eat was either Digiorono Cheese Stufffed Crust pizza or baked goods.

This seriously went on for a really long time.

And then I got so fat I joined weight watchers.

Today, while grocery shopping I picked up one of those cheese stuffed crust pizzas. They are a luxury item in our house now at close to nine dollars a piece. For that price, I might as well just get a pizza from the place by my house.

I had such grand hopes for this pizza. Michael and I were going to eat it during the big game.

Ah.. that gooey cheesey stuffed crust. I salivate just thinking about it.

But tonight my dear friends there is no pizza.

Well, my loyal (all three of you) readers this day seems to be worthy of two posts.

Do you want to know what's more awesome than cooking your fancy frozen pizza with the cardboard bottom piece still on?

Discovering that in the hour and a half your son has been sleeping he's thrown up and rested his sweet little head in it.

Malone woke up about 20 minutes ago and before I saw it, I could smell it. We nursed. He wanted to go back to sleep.

A shower, a fresh pair of pj's and a clean crib sheet later I've got a kid who thinks maybe he might go back to sleep. Or, maybe not.

I had grand plans of going to bed early tonight- stealing an extra hour of the bed all to myself. In fact, when Malone woke up I had already brushed my teeth and filled my water bottle.

How does that saying go? - "The best laid plans."

Originally Published On Wordpress
Feb 8, 2010
Project MOM 3/52

My mommy brain is FRIED (see the cry it out post below if you're looking for a reason) and I put the pizza on the pan with the cardboard still on.

There were parts that could have been salvageable.

But I was my mother's daughter. Instead of cool-ly figuring out a way to scrape the cooked on pizza from the cardboard and rebake the salvaged pieces.

I had a mini temper tantrum and the whole thing was very dramatically thrown in the garbage.

And I will probably pout about it all night.

Originally Published On Wordpress
Feb 7, 2010
Cry It Out.

I consider myself to be a member of the attachment parenting camp. During my pregnancy I hoped and prayed that I would be able to successfully breastfed. I am happy to report that Malone and I enjoy a wonderful nursing relationship. And nursing for me has been so convenient.

But, I didn't set out to be an attachment parent- very early on in Malone's life he let us know that the AP style was what was going to work for him. There was a stretch of about seven weeks during his earliest days where the only way he could be soothed was if my husband or I wore him in a wrap and bounced on an exercise ball.

At 4 months we started bedsharing because I was tired of getting up 3-7 times a night to feed Malone. I wasn't in crisis, but I knew that was where I was heading if I couldn't find a way to get quality sleep and get it fast.

At first, Malone fell asleep in his crib and then came into bed with us at some point during the night. Then, he got to the point where he after he nursed before bed, he would not go to sleep in his crib. He screamed frantically in the crib. We started snuggling and laying with him while he slept. This meant that whomever was sleep duty that night was then stuck in bed with him otherwise he'd wake up and scream.

I felt trapped.

I was resentful.

I was living with a seven month old sleep terrorist.

So we made him cry it out.

We're now a week into CIO and things are looking up. The first nights were hard. He cried for upwards of 60 minutes (we went in to soothe when we needed to). Now we're down to somewhere between 8-10 minutes.

He's still coming into our bed at some point in the night. But we're getting at least 4 hours of sleep without him there.

We will be working on naps and the middle of the night wakings soon.

I can't believe we survived this.

Originally Published on Wordpress Feb 2, 2010
5 Minutes

* I am setting my stopwatch for 5 minutes to allow myself time to write. Please note that it will not be reviewing, editing, or spell checking this. I simply do not have time. AND GO!

Since my last post, life has literally gotten on top of me. Often, in my Motherwoman circle the facilitators use the phrase "there is a reason why when the plane is crashing you are instructed to put on your oxygen mask first."

In the last however long it has been since I wrote, the following things have happend. Not in this order.

1. Malone got super sick.

2. I got food poisoining that lasted for 4 days. As a bonus jonas, I lost close to 10 lbs.

3. A can of soda exploded in my car leaving specks everywhere.

4. My family and I took a trip to the Statehouse to show our support on a post partum depression bill that is coming up.

5. My part time work at home transcription job has picked up in FULL speed. During the last pay period I worked 29 hours in two weeks. That would be at night and during the weekend folks, as during the day I am a full time stay at home mama who refuses to work while my kid is up. After all, that's no the point of being a stay at home mom. In the last TWO DAYS my time card shows 10.50 hours worked.

6. We have started Cry it out with Malone. I am living with a sleep terrorist. I need help. I hate it but he needs to learn that world does not revolve around him. He is a member of a family unit and we will all function better with him sleeping.

Man. That was a fast 5 minutes- but I have to go now.

In summery, we're busy. I don't have much spare time. And my to do list includes simple self care tasks like flossing and putting on deodorant. Oh, and my socks don't match but at least my feet are warm.

Originally Published On Wordpress
Jan 15, 2010
Introduction Project MOM, 1/52 & 2/52

For those of you who don't know, I am a motherless daughter mother. In 2007, approximately five months before my wedding, my mother passed away. She was an alcoholic who died from alcohol poisoning.

Tomorrow would have been her 50th birthday.

I've known for quite sometime that I wanted to do something to mark this occasion. If she were living I'm sure I would have done my best to give her a large party or maybe she would have rather celebrated by doing something crazy like skydiving (something she always wanted to do) or taking a road trip where there is no destination (a favorite- to just get in the car and drive to see where the road took you).

I thought about throwing her a party anyway. Flying back to my hometown and rounding up friends and family. But then I decided that was kind of creepy and not something that would have honored the legacy of her spirit (aka the person she was before she was an alcoholic).

Then, right around the holidays it came to me. **I am going to spend this year doing the things she loved to do, the things I think she would want me to do, or things that honor the legacy of her spirit. I hope to accomplish one a week.

To be honest, it's a bit harder than I thought it would be. My entire adult life I spent living in a different state than here. I'm not saying that we weren't close- at times we were thick as thieves. However, her alcoholism started after I had moved away and at times it was easier for me to not call or be as in touch as I should have been, than was it was to do so. Therefore, at least for right now I'm not feeling like a have a lot to draw from with regard to her. I also feel as though my childhood memories are fleeting.

** I'm going to add blogging memories to this list as well.

This project is going to be called Project MOM.


Project MOM 1/52

(mom = before alcoholism mom)

One thing my mom loved to do was to spend time with her nephews. I don't think there was any part of them that she did not enjoy. In my eyes, mom was just about as great as an Aunt one could be.

Often, she would go visit her nephews (my Nana babysat them during the day) and cause all sorts of fantastic trouble. Once, she even let them cut her hair (they were maybe four and five at the time).

On December 23, 2009 a life long dream of mine came true. I became an Auntie. Michael's brother (Steven) and his wife (Carrie) gave birth to a handsome baby boy named Andrew Windsor.

We went to Philadelphia to visit them on New Years Day. I spent the greater part of the weekend loving on my nephew just as my mother would have.

And, by the same token- Malone's Auntie Carrie spent a great deal of time loving on him.

Project MOM 2/52
Rinse. Lather. Repeat

This past weekend was not a great one in my house. Malone was sicker than I've ever seen him.

Hot, cold, fever, no fever, but always whiney.

Friday night was the absolute worst night (so far) in my mommy life. Malone could not settle because he didn't feel well. He was congested and could not breathe.

I knew that Michael and the cats were going to be banished to the futon while Malone and I hunkered down for a long sleepless night together. (Typically, Michael, Malone, myself, and at least one of the cats all sleep together in our bed.)

This is what our Friday (1/8/10) night looked like. Vomit, clean up, attempt to nurse, scream, sleep. Rinse. Lather. Repeat.

Malone went through 5 pj tops.

From 4:00 am - 5:00 am Malone screamed and cried inconsolably non stop.

At 6:00 we moved from the bedroom into the glider in the living room. We both slept until about 8:30.

As a kid, my mom often told me a story of how she fell asleep standing next to my crib one night when I was having a rough night as a baby. Growing up, I never dreamt exhaustion on such a level that it would even be possible.

I get it now mom, I get it. And thanks.

Originally Published on Wordpress
Jan 13, 2010
Ready, Set, Go!

Today was Malone's 6 month well baby visit. He's a champ- 18 lbs 3 oz, 28.5 inches long, and has a slightly larger than normal head. The doctor was pleased with his growth. I've been blessed with a healthy guy who actually wears the size of clothing that is current with his age (6-12 months).

He's been given the green light to start solid foods. My personal philosophy is that food is "fun until one". I want Malone to taste and explore a variety of things both with our aid and on his own as best he's capable.

I hope to make most of his food- but in preparation for the green light I knew I would be given today, I purchased a few jars of organic baby food and organic whole grain baby oatmeal.

He had two meals of carrots and oatmeal today. He liked it for the most part.

Me, on the other hand had a pretty hard time with it.

I've been struggling with this for awhile.

For 16.5 months now, I've been growing him all by myself (save for an emergency bottle of formula). I've grown him from a tiny spec that was smaller than the size of a pin drop to the 18.2 lb bruiser he currently is.

And now food gets to help grow him too? It hardly seems fair.

We will continue to nurse through his first birthday and beyond (I hope and pray) but I didn't think I would be as sad as what I am/have been about the introduction of solids into my little guy's life.

Tears have been shed.

But, now Daddy gets a chance to finally be a main part of the feeding of Malone. That's exciting. He's been waiting patiently.

We get to introduce Malone to a whole new world and witness as he enjoys it.

I can't wait to see his first strawberry stained face- his first taste of tapenade, the list goes on and on.

I am sure this is the first of many things I will mourn as my baby grows up.

I must remember- don't blink.

Originally Published on Wordpress
Dec 14, 2009
It's Not Me Monday

This blog carnival was created byMckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

Ahh. Monday again.

I have not been stalking the Mountain Lodge collection at Gymboree like my life depended on it for the last few weeks waiting to strike at the perfect ON SALE moment. The clothes ARE cute, but my baby is still growing way too fast. And I most certainly did NOT make a pilgrimage to a mall over an hour away from my house to lust over said collection in person. And when I got to the store I did not look just with my eyes and not come home with piece of it. And I do not currently have 3 more pieces of it in my cart on their online store.

Okay, okay I confess. I did do all of those things. But you know what, it's really hard to dress a baby boy in clothing that is not cutesy or babyish. And most items were purchased one size larger than what he currently is so he can grow into them.

Seriously, I'm in love with the line. Finally, a line that is wintery but doesn't scream Christmas/Holiday. Malone will wear the pieces all winter this year and if the growth fates allow, next winter also.

In other It's Not Me News- the nursing chair in our bedroom does NOT have a pile of clothing waiting to be put away from 3 laundry cycles ago because I dutifully fold and put away my laundry as soon as it's done.

The thing that gets me about this is that it's not actually really hard. All of the items are folded and ready to be put away. But for some reason I just can't bring myself to get to it.

I suppose it's still there because I feel like something in my life needs to be able to be a little neglected. And I'm okay with that for right now.

Originally Published on Wordpress
Dec 13, 2009
What I Should Be Doing.

There are approximately 1001 things I should be doing. We are leaving in FIVE (yay!) days to spend time with my family in Illinois.

I won't bore you with the whole list but they include laundry, wrapping gifts, finishing ordering gifts, addressing Christmas cards, putting away clothes, and cleaning in general (because I HATE coming home from a trip to a messy space).

Instead, I am sitting here with a giant mug of coffee, listening to the hum of Malone's swing as he sleeps in the background.

That swing has been such a life saver for us. For the first 2.5 months of Malone's life he slept in it almost exclusively. Now that he's almost six months it's still used on a daily basis for naps while we're home. I thought by now he'd be out of it, but I am not about to mess with something that's not broken.

We didn't originally register for a swing, but in the early days of Malone's life he made it clear that he was a baby who loved movement.

My Nana (who was out here from IL to help us after Malone was born) stayed home with the baby while Michael and I set off for Babies R Us to purchase it. We were exhausted and overwhelmed. We needed a few a few quiet moments alone to reconnect. Wisely, my Nana sensed it and quietly suggested we go look for one.

I remember walking hand in hand with my husband into BRU. There was about 10 different swings to choose from. Our first choice was awesome looking, but out of stock. We liked that one best because an iPod could be plugged into it and it seemed cozy. However, it was designed more for newborns.

Our second choice was the Fisher Price Papasan Cradle Lamb Swing. It seemed cozy. Looking back, it is probably one of the wisest baby gear decisions we made. There is not one feature of the swing that Malone does not enjoy. The only I would change about it would be to have an electrical outlet option. We go through about 4 D batteries every two weeks.

It is so hard to guess what babies will like. I promise I'll write about the best baby gear decision we ever made a different day.

Originally Published on
Wordpress Dec 10, 2009
Gratitude Tuesday (on Thursday)

The last few days have been quite busy in my Team's house. We've returned from Cape Cod and been welcomed with the first snow storm of the year. Yesterday, my husband worked from home. While he worked, Malone and I enjoyed a lazy day in.

I am grateful for much but this week I want to focus on one thing. This week I am grateful Motherwoman. This week, one of their facilitators helped me realize why I was so sad about missing Malone's first snow (see post below).

I can't tell this story without a little bit of background info. This might get a little long so if you haven't got time you might want to come back when you do.

I am a motherless daughter mother. My mother (I promise I will blog more about her another day) was an alcoholic who died from alcohol poisoning in March of 2007, approximately five months before our wedding. When I was cleaning out her apartment, there were two things I hoped to find and never did.

The first was our Family Bible. This Bible wasn't often used for study or reading purposes, but rather as a history holder. My mother used this Bible as a place to store birth announcements from family and friends, wedding programs, obituaries from newspapers, and programs from funerals. I don't know where it got off to, I'm hoping that when I go through things at my dad's place over Christmas break I'll find it there. They got divorced when I was five or six and when I left for college a great deal of my things were stashed in his care.

But more than that, I have no idea where my baby book is. I didn't find it when I cleaned out her things. I know that she dutifully kept it, recording my firsts, my statistics, and photographs.

Before this week's circle, I had never put two and two together. The reason I am such a mission to capture all of Malone's firsts is because I a. no longer have my baby book and b. no longer have my mother to ask.

Which lead me to: this is my first Christmas season as a mother and my mom isn't here to share in that.

I realized that I am again grieving the loss of my mother. I know it is okay that I am sad, in fact I have the right.

Today I am beyond grateful for Motherwoman's existence and their facilitators. Motherwoman is not group therapy, but rather a place where I can be heard in a judgment and advice free zone. When I am there in their circle, I know I am safe to express whatever is on my mind.

Originally Published on Wordpress Dec 7, 2009
It's Not Me Monday- Christmas Edition

This blog carnival was created byMckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

I most certainly did not forget to call the oil man when our tank was almost empty. Our oil did not run out leaving us with 1/2 day and night with(out) heat. It was not a balmy 51 degrees in the bedroom when we woke up this morning.

I did not enjoy the extra snuggling I had to do last night with my baby to make sure that he was warm enough all night.

Now, please don't beat me up about this mistake. I've already beaten myself up enough about it. I will assure you that we were all warm enough yesterday and last night. Our family bed was extra snuggly last night as the cats joined us.

In fact, Iggy was especially helpful. Last night, his instinct was to snuggle Malone for most of the night. Throughout the night, I switch Malone from my left side to the middle so he can nurse off of both breasts. Last night, whenever I switched, Iggy moved too. It was really cute to observe Iggy protect Malone in this way.

Now, before you get on my case about how I shouldn't let my cat sleep so close to the baby for fear of suffocation or some other judgmental thing you're probably thinking, please be assured that Malone sleeps on his side facing me all night and Iggy was snuggling his back.

The oil man has been called and will be here by noon today. We have to pay a fee to light the pilot (sucky) but have heat this afternoon. Until then, Malone and are both wearing multiple (read three plus) layers, have hats on, and I am drinking the biggest mug of hot tea you've ever seen.

Now onto part two of It's Not Me Monday.


I did not go a bit overboard with my excitement of Malone's first Christmas celebration (1 of 4). I did not feel like a kid again as my husband and I opened Malone's gifts. And I most certainly did not spend the better part of the afternoon playing with his Wooden Nativity Set . And I'm not going to call my wood working Papa to see if he can make some additional animals for said Nativity. Nope, not me.

I did not surround my child with all of the presents and snap to get him to look in my direction while I took a million pictures. Nope, not me.

*And I did not spend any money on the adorable outfit he's wearing that says "baby's first Christmas" because that would be well, financially wasteful since Malone can only wear it a handful of times.

Well, the as the saying goes, the proof is in the pictures.

** Actually, I think I'll be able to get a lot of wear out of the Christmas outfit. You can't see it, but the top of the overalls have a pocket that say "baby's first Christmas." If I put a shirt over the overalls, I'll be able to get away with it. And, I think he'll be able to use the onsie on it's own too.

And finally, I did not smile a little on the inside when my baby boy choose my fabulous silky pink scarf from France as his lovey. (More to come on this another day).

Originally Published on Wordpress
Dec 5, 2009
Missing It.

According to the radar, the very first snow in the Happy Valley is here. White huge flakes are falling, the market is full of worried people who have ran out to stock up on non perishables, neighbors are busy moaning about having to shovel, the city workers are gearing up their plows.

Or, so I imagine.

We're missing it. Malone's first snow and we're missing it. I know that it's not his real first snow since he's not there to see it, but a part of me feels a little sad. But it's our Valley's first snow. It's snowing at the house we brought our baby home to and we're not there to make that memory.

Sure, there will be another snow fall on another day. It will be Malone's first snow. That day will be wonderful, we'll take him outside in his cute little snow suit with the bear hoodie ears and take his picture. I'll email it to his Grandparents, take my mental memory, and then write about it on here. He will never know that he missed the first snow. But I will.

We are missing it for a good reason. Right now our little family of three is enjoying a weekend at Meme's house on the Cape. We've come down to spend the weekend with her and celebrate Christmas with her and our extended family who lives on the Cape.

We had our family over for Christmas this afternoon. It was lovely. We were making a memory for him - his first Christmas. We put him a cute little First Christmas Outfit. We piled his presents all around him and took his picture. We laughed and marveled with our family about what a little wonder he is. He entertained, he smiled on command. It was wonderful. We made a memory.

Still, a part of me longs to be home tonight. I just received a text from Uncle Tom (who is not Malone's uncle by blood, but is Malone's uncle by love) that he and Uncle Mike # 1 (again not by blood but by love- also Malone has an Uncle Mike # 2 in addition to a by blood Uncle Mike and a dad named Mike... can you keep all the Mike's straight because I can't) got their tree this afternoon and are have decided to host the rest of our friend family for their annual tree trimming dinner tonight.

We've attended this event for a few years and it is one of my favorite holiday events. Uncle Mike #1 is the most amazing cook and dinner at his house is always fantastic. Christmas carols play in the background as we sit by the fire drinking wine/good scotch. Dogs run about trying to steal bread from babies. Babies who were little babies last year toddle about feeding their bread to dogs. Their house is always filled with love, but on tree trimming night the love always seems to overflow.

I'm sad to be missing this event tonight, but again note that the memories we've made on the Cape this weekend are equally if not more important. Our friend family sees Malone on a weekly basis. Our Cape family does not.

There will be another tree trimming party next year. And perhaps I will be wise enough to not schedule our Cape Christmas on the first weekend of December so we can enjoy both events and maybe even be home to catch the Happy Valley's first snow and not feel so conflicted about it all.

Originally Published on Wordpress
Dec 2, 2009
Gratitude Tuesday

Last week, in my Motherwoman circle we talked about gratitude. We all wrote down three things that we were thankful/grateful for. A high school English teacher who was in circle does this with her students, but challenges them to think beyond the conventional "easy" things to be grateful for. Those things are important, but she challenged me to dig deeper.

I hope to someday start a gratitude journal, but for now hopefully weekly post will have to do. One of my main goals is to write everyday and I do not want to overwhelm myself. Instead, I want to set manageable goals and go from there. Look for an upcoming post about goals in the next few days.

This is going to sound really weird, but I am grateful for a specific tree in a neighboring town. This tree is some sort of pine tree and stands about seven feet tall. Every year, for the holidays the owners of this tree have decorated it in the exact same way for the holidays using purple and blue lights with a gold star on top. Their yard isn't full of inflatable Santas, reindeer, or any other Christmas decorations. There is just this tree. And I find such beauty in the simplicity of it.

Michael and I spent our first years together living in the town where this tree is located. This is the town where Michael and I announced our engagement. This is the town where Michael and I started out our first newlywed days. This is the town where we lived when we found out we were having a baby. All of these memories and more came back to me when I saw this tree for the first time of the season this weekend. And for that, I am grateful.

Originally Published On Wordpress
Dec 1, 2009
An Essay About Sleep

A few weeks ago I enrolled in a six week Mother's Writing Workshop hosted by my favorite space for families, Cradle. I only made it through three of the six sessions before I had to stop going because Malone decided he needed me to be home for his bedtime routine (which now includes nursing to sleep). The leader was gracious and understanding about my new predicament and agreed to keep me in the loop by providing me with writing prompts. One of the assignments was to write about a ritual and ironically was the only assignment outside of the sessions I found time to complete- life got too busy. Below is my ritual essay.

Phhhhhhhhht. Phhhhhhhhht. Phhhhhhhhht.

My eyes pop open. I pray that there is no substance behind the sounds of three of the juiciest most vile sounding farts I have ever heard. I look at the clock, but I already know that it is 6:45 am. I steal a glance at you- your eyes are still closed. I take a deep (but quiet) breath and close my eyes for a few more minutes. You roll to your side and nuzzle in close. You want "nursies" and I sleepily oblige, lifting the upper portion of my nursing tank.

You latch on politely, still in your sleep. I am in sleep limbo. Not awake, not asleep. I listen to your rhythmic breathing and marvel in your perfectness. Your latch tugs gently on my breast. I listen as you swallow. You start quietly, but begin to gulp as you wake up. You pop off and roll from your side to your back. I steal another glance. Your eyes are open. I pretend I am still sleeping, hoping I can trick you in to a few more minutes before we start our day.

My trick doesn't work. I open my eyes and meet your gaze. You smile good morning to me and chatter a bit in your baby language.

Now that you've woken me up, you move on to the task of waking Daddy up. Your small hands scratch at his back, discovering the texture of his pajamas. You roll into him and give him a gentle kick or two. Your voice is getting louder. You shriek with delight. Daddy rolls over and faces you.

Daddy and I steal a few good morning glances, but you are the star of our show. I reach onto my nightstand grabbing a toy that was specifically stashed there last night in anticipation of this moment. You reach out for it, grasping and exploring.

Iggy the cat jumps onto the bed. He heard the commotion from his bed in the living room and needs to know what is going on. He circles for a moment before settling down by Daddy's feet.

Daddy gets out of bed and heads to the shower. You and I stay and play. Your little legs kick with excitement. Your face is full of big gummy smiles. I sing a few songs in my off key voice. I don't know the words, so I make them up.

Iggy the cat walks by. You reach out to touch his fur. He is annoyed by your grasp, but does nothing.

Daddy comes back in and gets dressed.

I leave you with Daddy to play for a few minutes while I brush my teeth and go to the bathroom.

I come back and pick you up out of our family bed. I give you kisses and you smile.

It's time for a fresh diaper, coffee, and Morning Edition.

It's time to start our day.

Originally Published on Wordpress Nov 30, 2009
It's Not Me Monday

This blog carnival was created byMckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

Well, considering that my mother in law (whom I adore) was here spoiling my son for the last five days, there isn't much I didn't do this week.

I most certainly did not encourage her to go on a movie date with her son (aka My Husband) so I could have a few hours where I didn't have to share the baby. And it wasn't me who was secretly screaming on the inside when she kept the baby up later than normal, encouraged my five month old to watch tv by jumping up and down, pointing, and shrieking "oohh Maloney look it's SPIDERMAN!!! Granted, that was during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and the Spiderman Balloon was pretty great looking.

And I most certainly did not do a secret happy dance when said mother in law looked at the over flowing laundry basket and volunteered to wash, dry, and fold it. She would have even put it away if she knew where it went. After all, doesn't society deem all that all stay at home moms must be laundry queens?

All in all, it was a great visit. She a fantastic woman who genuinely loves and adores us with her whole heart. She braved crazy MA traffic to spend the holiday with us, spoiling us with Black Friday Shopping, and cheerfully cleaned up after us the way moms do when they are around their kids.