Phew! What a week this has been. Imagine the back drop of a heat wave that has lasted for 6 days and has brought us temperatures of 102-106*. Without air conditioning and an older home, the box elder bugs have come out in full force. Like, jungle bug status. Totally gross! Porter has caught a head cold, throw in a wildfire or two, and we decided to move into a hotel for 3 days.
It’s one of those situations that makes me grateful for the life we have that includes plenty to eat, cold water and shelter when things get bad. On the other hand, Porter repeated the F-word today after hearing me mutter it under my breath. Yes, I swore.
What has come out of this overwhelming week is that I now believe I can do anything if I live in a home with A/C. I’ve also come to wonder what the heck humans were thinking when we settled in the deserts of the west. Seriously.What.Were.We.Thinking? I’ve also decided that I want to move our little family to a foreign country for awhile, to spice things up and have an adventure. We’ll see how that one goes over.
One of my requirements of our stay-cation location was that it have a pool. We opted for the Marriot Residence Inn, which has met all of our needs entirely. Not only do they have a pool, but a hot tub too. Because what feels so good in the midst of a heat wave and after a jump in the pool? A nice soak in the hot tub! I kid you not.
I was sitting in the hot tub this evening in a rare moment of solitude AND relaxation and I had a thought. (I do still occasionally have them, but only briefly.) Maybe it was the all the heat getting to me, but I think there’s a kernel of truth in this. It goes like this:
What if the person I was, and the person I thought I was going to be (as a parent), is entirely different than who I actually am?
After going through such a metamorphosis as growing and birthing a person and ending a full time career, how I could presume to be the same person I was before? I do believe that’s the opposite of a metamorphosis. Maybe I’m no caterpillar? But a lovely butterfly now?
Silly me. I thought that birthing a child was all that I required to be a mom. I believe, now, that it takes more time, personal reflection and open mindedness than I had originally assumed. Remembering that I’m a person outside of being a mother is important too. And definitely learning to lose or give up control. LOTS of that.
On the health note, this week I did an awesome workout with my friend Sarah. I was sore for days and in places I haven’t felt in years.
The internet is a vast and interesting place. During the week I spend lots of time perusing websites and blogs in search of interesting information, recipes and entertainment. Here are the links that I really liked, or at least found interesting, from my trip through the inter-webs. What were your favorite links from around the web this week? Share them in the comments below.
Know Your Ingredients
Having given up refined white sugar I’ve been using honey as my substitute sweetener in any recipes calling for a little sweetness. This, very researched, post from Mark’s Daily Apple answers the exact question: Is honey good for you?
After a sweaty dance class I usually turn to my home-brewed, fruit infused, kombucha to replenish electrolytes and restore fluids. This alternative to sports drinks seems like another great solution to the chemical and sugar filled beverages that are often marketed as “healthy”.
I’ve linked to this graham cracker recipe in other posts, but I love it so much that it deserves its own spot on the link love page. I’ve made them so many times that I have committed the recipe to memory (there aren’t very many ingredients). Since the flour it calls for can be hard to come by I often sub it out for sprouted organic spelt flour, leave off the sugar sprinkle and add the cinnamon to the batter. If I wasn’t on a diet I could easily eat these daily and never tire of them.
Totally made ’em and totally love ’em. Will make these again!
As a parent you become frighteningly comfortable talking about your child’s potty habits, and that can be a good thing. Kids BMs can tell you a lot about what’s going on in their tiny guts and this post gets down and dirty with the stuff you want to know.
We’ve been in the “toddler” phase for a while now and reading about what’s normal always makes me feel better when things get a little hairy.
It’s cold where I live, and we’re coming out of one of the coldest months I can remember. These ideas for staying warm work.
So no one actually said being a parent is a walk in the park. In fact, most people have told me it’s the hardest job in the world. But nothing can prepare you for having a child. Nothing. I recently got an email from an old friend (thank you very much Facebook) who had a baby less than two months ago. She wrote to ask me advice and I thought I’d share her letter. Names have been changed.
Although I am loving being a mom it’s a lot more different than I thought. I thought I’d throw baby over my shoulder and hit the roads…b-boping around town. Boy, was I wrong! I am lucky if I can brush my teeth, eat and shower by 3pm. I don’t know if its me not being efficient or if the baby is really eating all my time. Baby is 7 weeks now and has been a good baby until about 2 weeks ago where baby now cries/screams uncontrollably. I guess this is colic. It’s bad and stressful for myself, husband and baby. Do you have any insight on this? Is it baby is in pain, or just a crying baby for no reason?
Sigh…new motherhood. Let me say, first, that I’m actually really glad that I’ll never be first time mom again. At least to a newborn. I remember waking up at every mew and sound Porter made, just to check his breathing. I’m still attached to the freakin’ baby monitor when he sleeps, and he’ll be two next week. While I’m not a doctor or therapist, I wanted to answer my friend’s questions openly as another parent and to offer my own suggestions. Surely, if you’re a parent too, you might have some helpful ideas for my friend. Please feel free leave them in the comments below.
In terms of time management. With a newborn, I think you’re doing great if you get teeth, shower AND food in by 3pm. It’s not a proud moment for me to admit, but there were days when I wasn’t sure when I had last washed my hair. And for the first two months I LIVED on the lactation cookies that my friend Chelsea baked me. Luke even took up baking in those early days. Newborns are definitely pro’s at making the most simple task infinitely harder. This passes in time as your baby gets older and more manageable. Eventually they can even be helpful. But for now, do your best and don’t feel bad if it takes awhile before there’s any b-bopping going on. Other than the b-bopping to put baby to sleep that is.
To address the colic. I obviously can’t say if your baby has colic or not, but I can say that it was perfectly normal for my baby to go through attitude changes (he still does). For a small baby, less than 4 months I would highly recommend The Happiest Baby On The Block, book or DVD. It is geared mostly for sleeping and worked like a charm for us. When Porter was awake, and didn’t want to be on his tummy or on the blanket (which looked a lot like crying and screaming uncontrollably) I would put him in a carrier. I preferred a sling or the Moby wrap (see image above). Sometimes he would hang in there for a long time, and other times he only wanted to be cuddled briefly. If that didn’t work then I tried feeding him. I breastfed him so it was really easy to whip out the food. I don’t know how it is with formula and overfeeding (ask your nurse/doctor, don’t be afraid to call and ask for help, it’s why they exist), but in my worst case scenario there was spit up. Then again, spit up was also my best case scenario.
There are two more pieces of advice that I have for new parents. The first was a serious lifesaver for me. First, find a Baby and Me group in your area. I did a post on it here that you can read about. They are often offered through hospitals and birth centers and are specifically for brand new parents. There’s always La Leche League too. Don’t be embarrassed. At the group I attended the only requirement was that you show up before it was over. It’s okay to be late, wearing pajamas, without makeup and in tears. Find a group and just make it there, it will sooth your tired soul.
The second bit is advice that I got from going to Baby and Me, and that is for the first 3-4 months all you have to do is survive. There were days where I watched a lot of television while holding Porter in my arms, trying to get to a relaxed place. Then I would think about the first week we were home alone with him and realize that in a month we’ve already come so far. Just make it through this time and I promise life will become easier. Baby will start to hold their head up, smiling and laughing become regular, night-time sleeping starts lasting longer, the newness of it all wears off. Just do what you have to do to make it through. Rely on your partner (and family/friends if they’re around) in this time. Hopefully you made some sort of commitment to get through the hard times together, and for most, a new baby constitutes a hard time. If you can just make it through I promise you will be moving onto new milestones and parental worries. Just survive, and try to laugh a little too.
Eventually, quite quickly actually, they grow far beyond the newborn stage and turn into toddlers, with minds of their own. Or at least so they think. My toddler and I had a lovely day playing outside in the absolutely freezing temperatures and then took a trip to the library. He did say “No” to every suggestion I made, but eventually enjoyed all of it. It was then a big fat “No” when it was time to end said activities. I was told tonight by some close friends with an older child that this is indeed the hardest part and it will pass. So I guess the moral of this story is that eventually it will all pass, and then you’re left with the memories. So the best we can do as any parents is to try and make those memories good.