Postpartum Thoughts: The Musical

Okay, this isn’t really a musical. But I find that musicals tend to take unsavory topics and make them more palatable for the masses, such as the French Revolution (Les Miseralles) or orphans (Oliver!)

Two months ago, I feel like I just returned from this life-changing journey, and life isn’t the same, but no one else gets it but me. And I’m told to just keep on with business as usual, but everything is so much harder and just not the same. I have no idea where my time goes, but there’s never enough of it. Sadie is a wonderful sleeper and I’m getting a good 7-8 hours a night, but I’m exhausted all the time anyway. My place is always a mess, the project at work I was a part of since I started with my company is going live and I’m missing it since I can’t travel to Pittsburgh, and it feels like everyone in my family keeps reminding me that I’m not giving them enough attention. Oh, and the scale is still hanging around the same weight as I left the hospital at, but I can barely make it to the gym more than once a week and I have one pair of pants that fit me that aren’t sweat pants. And they’re the pair I bought when I got home and realized I couldn’t fit into any of the pants I already own, and they’re two sizes bigger than what I wore before.

While being overwhelmed by all this, I feel constantly judged by everyone. Since I am the only one out of all my friends to have had a kid, let alone two, I feel like the odd man out most of the time. No one I talk to can really relate to me. I can never make it on time to appointments since I have to wrangle two kids on my way out the door. I mean, how hard is it to get ready to go just a few minutes early to ensure I can keep my commitments? Seriously! And all I seem to talk about is poop and spit up and stupid stories about kids doing mundane stuff for the first time. “He put his shirt on all by himself! Big woop!” “She smiled at me. Then she grunted and filled her diaper.” Real people don’t care about that crap. So when I hang out with friends, I can never find anything to really talk about and usually end up excusing myself to “go check on the baby,” but really to get out of the awkward small talk that’s going nowhere.

And then if I do get a rare opportunity to talk to another mom, suddenly I get this overwhelming competitive urge to “out-mom” her. It’s like I need to take out some reassurance that I’m normal and doing a good job, so I need to make sure that whatever subject or story she shares with me, I’ve got one about how I’ve experienced or done it different or better. And I know EVERYTHING, and I’ve always been there already. It totally takes all the fun out of the conversation, but I can’t help it. It’s horrible.

Overwhelmingly, the worst is the shame. The shame that I’m not enough, I’m not doing enough, I’m not figuring it all out quickly enough, I’m not giving enough, but I’m not taking enough either. Making sure I take care of everything, but make sure you take care of yourself, too! What the hell does that even mean? Okay, so I take some time for “me.” Now I come back and everything is in even more shambles because I was “out” for half an hour, usually doing something really soul-replenishing like making a Target run alone. It’s like fearing to take vacation because you’ll just come back to twice as much work as before. And when you’re already drowning in work, that just doesn’t seem worth it. My family and friends love me dearly and try so hard to help out. They pitch in on chores, take one or both of the kids for a couple hours, remind me to go to bed or go to the gym when I start spinning in circles with being overwhelmed. I have so much support and help, but at the end of the day when everyone else has retreated back to their normal lives, I’m back to watching the clock run out on mine, still wondering what just happened, feeling like everything is one step forward, two steps back.

So I tell myself that this is all normal, that I need to give myself time and patience. Then I feel the panic of all this time, my life slipping away while I sit here and do nothing. I put together lists and goals and to-dos. Then all I feel like doing is holding Sadie in the rocking chair, cuddling her and enjoying all of her baby cuteness, because I know that all too soon she’ll be as old as Squish is now, and I’ll be wondering where did my baby go. Because this really is all temporary, and tomorrow is something different. We’ll lose but we’ll gain, too.

Screw all the haters, including the ones in my own head, who don’t like the fact that I’m just sitting here in my rocking chair holding a sleeping baby in my baggy mom jeans with dirty dishes surrounding me and my work inbox piling up while watching my three year old going on about four hours watching Netflix on the iPad because it’s easier than actually parenting him. This is all I need to be right now. There will come a time where I can train for half marathons again, where I can focus on eating healthy and kicking ass at work. But I know that would be a life void of baby smiles and coos, with no more Squish asking for another bedtime story or for me to hold his hand when we go outside. I’ll be able to go out for drinks with friends on a Saturday night when I don’t have a small little girl at home waiting for me to rock her to sleep, or a little boy who wants me to play with the yellow train because he likes the red train best. Hell, laundry will get done when there are no more clean underpants in the house, the way it should be, the way the good lord intended I suspect. The haters can hate. I’m going to see the awesomeness in the life I have now.

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About Coffee

One thing I am foolishly taking advantage of postpartum is coffee. All the coffee.

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So much coffee.

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(The new Keurig machine at work!)

Especially since I’m averaging about five hours of sleep with going back to work.

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I tried to keep my caffeination under two cups a day while pregnant. Now the floodgates have opened, and I am probably averaging around four. Two in the morning at home while getting ready for work, one at work, and one in the afternoon or even evening when I get home to make it to bedtime. I have no problem falling asleep like a rock despite knowing I’ll be up in a couple of hours for the little miss’s midnight munchies anyway. We are operating on a “survival” mentality over optimal these days.

One of my most favorite places for coffee is Flying Goat Coffee, or as we affectionately call it, “the Goat.” I consider it also a verb, as in “to Goat it.” I shall ask, “Would you like to Goat it today?” If I wanted to invite you to join me in a delectable cup of coffee. Anyway, I was able to visit the Goat in Healdsburg this week since I was up there for a dentist appointment. I used to work in this quaint wine country town a few years ago, and it is always nice to step back into the nostalgia of a past life.

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The Goat now offers a single-cup pour over, which to me is always superior to the standard drip

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Hulk and I were taking pictures of the pour over station like a couple of idiots, but the barista was nonplussed about it.

And now a squishy baby picture.

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I’m still trying to capture her “can’t even” face. She has the most naturally panicked-about-life look I’ve ever seen on a baby. Maybe it’s the coffee?

Happy Friday to you. Make it a great day!

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Cars and Coffee, Trains and Trollys

Hello, and happy new year! I hope your new year has been going as magical as anticipated so far. For New Year’s Eve we hosted our usual rooftop party. Now with two kids, it’s a million times easier to host our own party rather than fuss with babysitters and stuff. And you can’t really beat our view.

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The other weekend I took the kids on a mommy-and-me-and-me-too date. I found out there was a car show nearby, and thought Squish would have a good time looking at the cars and trying to find “the red one.”

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It was a good crash course in me wrangling both kids by myself. We took the Muni Metro (the SF subway/light rail) to the Embarcadero, since the pier that was hosting the event was a bit far for little legs to hike to. Always fun to bring an infant and an overexcited preschooler on public transit, let me tell you. But Squish was pumped that I threw in a “train ride” to our outing, so it was all good.

Since I like pretending that I can easily cart two kids around the city, we also recently hit up two train museums in the city, the San Francisco Railway Museum and the Randall House which hosts the San Francisco model train organization. Despite getting about 1,000,000 wooden train track sets for Christmas and his birthday, Squish was all over the wooden model train set at the Randall House.

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He also thought the life-size model trolly car at the Railway Museum was cool too. Fortunately he didn’t ask why we don’t have one of those at home.

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This is the pose I get when I ask him for a picture. Fabulousness is not lost in this family.

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But some beg to differ.

I’m slowly digging myself out of the depths of postpartum. My “baby blues” seemed to take a turn toward more than just feeling a little weepy, so at my six week checkup my doctor indicated that I may have postpartum depression. I’m not really sure what that means or how much I want to talk about it yet, but now I totally get that episode of “Scrubs” where Carla went all MIA after her baby was born and was found at the mall with a Gap employment application. Only in my world, it would be Starbucks. Anyway, I thought that some pictures of cute kids having fun would be a good palate cleanser before I start going into all the post-baby stuff. It kind of goes hand in hand.

Until next time, make it a great day.

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Happy Birthday, Squish!

My little man turned three years old last weekend.

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We had a bunch of family in town for the holidays, and Squish shares a birthday with his grandpa. So we had a joint birthday family party with the usual accouterments.

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It’s hard to believe my baby boy is already a “big kid.” At least, compared to his sister.

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(Word to the wise: don’t pass out at our place. We practice baby-shaming, and you will wake up with an infant in your arms.)

Happiest of birthdays to my main Squishy-man!

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Happy Jingle Elf Holiday Randoms

Anyone else super obsessed with the holiday teas from Celestial Seasoning?

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I think my favorite is the Cranberry Vanilla Wonderland. Festive and sweet, but not too sweet.

Also, I really want to get Hulk this coffee mug for Christmas. I found it on Pinterest that took me to a broken Amazon link, so I’m not sure where to get it.

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Hoping for an Amazon Christmas miracle over here.

I just bought a Baby K’Tan for wearing around the house. Actually, I got two: both a Small and a Medium size since I have no idea what my size really is these days. All I know is that my pre-pregnancy “fat” jeans will not button. So right now the Medium fits, but I’m not sure if I will shrink out of it or not. Do I keep the small just in case? Oh, these first world decisions are killing me.

At least we still have the car seat attachment for the BOB stroller.

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I’m able to take my infant pack mule around for all of my merry jingle elf errands. One more shopping week until Christmas, and I’m starting to remember all of the little things I need to get, like stocking stuffers. There is a lot more to remember for Christmas now that I have kids than before, where I just needed to show up at a predetermined family Christmas dinner in an ugly sweater bearing a white elephant gift.

Anyone doing a white elephant exchange? Those are the best.

Make it a great day!

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Local Road Trip (a.k.a. We Left the House!)

Over the weekend we decided to go on a mini road trip.

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That’s right, we got out of the house! Everyone was feeling a bit stir-crazy, so we decided to visit my bro-in-law up in Santa Rosa. On the way we stopped at Cavallo Point lodge for brunch. I had an open-faced pastrami, which everyone agreed that was so good I won at “brunch.”

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The restaurant faced some beautiful views of the Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco.

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Then we headed up to Sonoma County to pay a baby-fueled visit to my bro- and sis-in-law. He just got a new car, so the boys took turns seeing how much they could burn rubber and fishtail it while the girls drank tea and gossiped. I wanted to take the car for a spin, but it’s a manual transmission and since it’s been a couple years since I’ve driven a stick, coupled with the fact that it was nighttime and rainy, I decided to take rain check in trying out the new motorized baby.

Whatever, we had steak for dinner, so, winning.

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Amazing steak. I had a piece each of the ribeye and the filet.

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And everyone slept on the drive home except for Hulk because he had to drive. The end.

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Rainy Day Stuff

The other day I broke out a holiday classic for lunch.

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Yes, that would be a Marie Calendar’s frozen turkey dinner.

It really wasn’t that bad. Buddah butter approved!

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Yesterday I finally made it out of the house on a walk. We’ve had quite the storm over here, but when it had regressed to a light rain I saddled up the kid, grabbed my rain boots, and enjoyed some city-style puddle stomping.

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Babywearing + Starbucks. Like a boss.
It was still pretty gray and dreary out.

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When I got home, it totally felt like grilled cheese and tomato soup was the way to go for lunch. Perfect rainy day food.

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Plus a snack. I haven’t had a Larabar in so long, and coconut cream pie is one of my favorites.

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What’s your favorite way to spend a rainy day?

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Pancakes and The New Normal

I’ve had so much to talk about lately, I don’t even know where to start.

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“Please, Mommy, indulge us with a soliloquy.”

Sometimes when life gives you a big change, it’s best to throw all of your expectations it the door and focus on what you are actually able to do. I had big thoughts and plans to blog through the newborn days. Which of course didn’t happen. Partially because I forgot how time-consuming a newborn is, and completely because I had no idea how additionally time-consuming having an almost-three year old with a newborn actually is.

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Good thing they’re so cute. I heard the other day, “one is two and two is ten.” It feels like they were right.

I figure that the best way to get out of this trial-and-error period and into the “new normal” is to start building the life I want with what I have, rather than trying to build the life I want with things that aren’t available. I do not have a solid hour a day to do my blog work. But I do have several 10-minute chunks of time in between feedings and napping (both for her and for me) that I can try to assemble something coherent.

The big benefit to not having to be anywhere in the morning is I can make food. I’m getting fairly good at one-arm cooking. This morning it was French toast and eggs, with some clementine.

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One of the legacies my mom left when she was out here helping with the new baby is instilling and obsession for pancakes in Squish. Every morning when we wake up (read: he bounces out of bed and declares, “mommy, wake up now!”) he insists on pancakes for breakfast. We are out of the pancake mix my mom used, so he has been boycotting my breakfasts of oatmeal or bacon ‘n’ eggs this week. Fortunately he was fooled enough with the French toast to call them pancakes, and I was able to get him to eat something this morning. Score one mommy win for the week. Every point matters in this stage of the game.

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“I could eat my corn dogs. Or I could pretend that they are cars and drive them all over my plate. Yes, that is a much better use for corn dogs.”

While one child seems to have lost interest in eating, the other hasn’t stopped snacking at any and every opportunity.

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“Is that a boob?”

Little M was born at 6 lbs 15 oz, and at her one-week checkup she was already at 7 lbs 9 oz. So she’s gaining roughly an ounce a day,
which is impressive. Her newborn clothes were pretty baggy when we brought her home, but as we are approaching her three week birthday anniversary, they are starting to get a bit snuggy. I’m changing her onesies at any opportunity to maximize the wear on all the cute newborn clothes she has. I hate it when they wear an outfit once or twice before they’ve outgrown it.

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Like her party dress from Thanksgiving! Yes, she has an infant-sized tutu.

Okay, this turned into a marathon post. And I’ve reused pictures; I’ve been pretty lousy at remembering to take pictures during the day. Of course I kind of have my mind on other things, but I also do not have a lot of pajama pants with pockets. I went to Target to get some pocketed pajama pants, only to find that they don’t make pockets in women’s pajama pants. Yeah, because women apparently don’t need pockets. But men’s pajama pants have pockets. Like, legit side pockets and not that dinky little panel of fabric on the butt excuse for a pocket. So I am now wearing men’s pajama pants so I have a place to stick my phone. So if you are looking for holiday gift ideas for me, I could use more men’s pajama pants with pockets. Oh, and the fleece ones at Target are on sale for $10 right now and are sooo cozy warm, if you have a dude (or lady) in your life that appreciates a good pair of fuzzy warm pants with pockets.

Okay, I am done now. Make it a great day!

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The Blackest of Fridays

Wow, that post title sounds depressing. And all I’m trying to do is stimulate the economy like a good little consumer. Does anyone else think we should just retire “Black Friday” to “Black Weekend” or even “Black Week”?

Anyway, this has kind of been my world lately, as you may have guessed:

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Sweet little smooshy face.

Mercedes has been doing fantastic. This is definitely easier the second time around! She is a great eater, and only lost about 5% of her body weight at her 3-day checkup, with no sign of jaundice which is fantastic. Infants normally lose about 8% of their birth weight the first few days, due to water loss and all of the digestive systems firing up, and sometimes develop jaundice since they’re not eating enough to flush it all out. I know Squish dropped to 10% loss and we really had to watch him, so his little sis is well ahead of the weight gain curve. Makes momma proud.

She’s also doing a great job of sleeping at night. Last night she was up at 1:00, 4:00, and then I woke her at 8:00 for a feeding. This will all change in a couple weeks I’m sure, but for now I’m loving what we call the “coma baby” stage!

Squish is adjusting to his new role as big brother. It helps that my mom is here to help out and give him a distraction.

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Proud Gramma! Bribery with toy trains works, too.

Anyway, it’s time to stuff our faces and nap, as soon as we’re done staring down this bunny. Eat and sleep: it’s not just for Thanksgiving thing anymore!

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Make it a great day!

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Hello!

Just popping in to wish you a happy Thanksgiving. I know I have so much to be thankful for this year.

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Enjoy your time spent with family, friends, and anything else that reminds you of how good you really have it.

Make it a great (turkey) day!

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