Wednesday, August 29, 2007

"Earning" the break

As a working mom with a stay at home husband, I try to do my best to support him. I am surrounded by my friends who are stay at home moms and who sometimes complain about how they don't get breaks, are exhausted, always doing housework, and never get support from thier spouse. So I like to think I do my best to support my dear, tired, husband. I do my own share of housework, do bath everynight and clean up the home every evening. I try to overcompensate for being a working mom.

The thing is? He doesn't like to take breaks. We have this on going tension/joke that I'm always trying to get him to take some time 'off' from housework, home renovations, our daughter. He needs it! It isn't going to get better if we don't rest every now and again, right?

But truth be told, sometimes I want him to relax so *I* can then feel better/justified in relaxing at some other time. The guilt! Why do I feel like I have to 'earn' my relaxing time? A perfect example of this: for my 30th birthday (in Jan), I asked for a full body massage for my birthday. My mother in law, Linda, was happy to bestow this awesome gift on me! Have I used it? Nope. Do I want to? Absolutely yes!! The reason WHY I haven't used it? Because, according to me, I haven't quite 'earned' it yet.

This is ridiculous! Of course I have earned it. I realized this last night and made an appointment today for the 7th. I know I am not alone in this feeling of neglecting oneself or postponing taking care of oneself. I need to work on this.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Fun weekend

Weekends like this past weekend make Monday mornings even harder. Uncle John visited from Colorado this weekend! He had a great time watching Seren just be Seren. She makes us laugh daily- buckets on her head, noises, faces she makes, the way she mimics. I was glad to see that he could enjoy her.

Saturday we went out to lunch for my mom's 61st birthday. Dinning out just isn't what it used to be. On Friday, Seren learned to scream. She even screams when you say the word scream. She isn't crying- she is just being LOUD. So, off we go to lunch. I am wearing a dress. We are all dressed up. Seren is in her high chair and Sam and I are doing our best to try to pay attention to the conversation but mostly, we are panicked that Seren is going to just LET loose during the lunch. I barely tasted my meal. She did well. She threw a spoon or two on the floor and emptied her bowl of corn but other than that, she didn't get too worked up. Just HARD to go out to dinner/lunch and relax. I need to drink more wine.

We also played in the hose on Saturday. As I have mentioend, Seren HATES when I clean her hair in the bath/shower. But the water and the hose? No problem. She just eats it up! She actually signed 'more' every time I turned the hose off. It took us two days, but when she signs more outside of the dinning room, it means 'more fun! more horsey rides!" We actually thought she was hungry so we kept giving her more snacks!

On Wednesday, we heard she weighed 22.6 lbs (50%) and is 32 inches long (90%). A long, tall, skinny one! I was so glad and grateful that she is doing well healthwise.

Thanks Uncle John for visiting and for giving us the occasion to see you, have dinner with Mom and Dad and have a celebration party in your honor! Come again soon!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Vacation Rocks

Learning to let go

I think everyone at some point in their lives has to learn to let go. Of an old fling, of a dream, of a loved one, of a perception of themselves, the world. And all of us struggle with it.

I struggle with letting go of a lot of things. But mostly, I struggle with letting go of old friends. It is challenging because you remember the good times, the times of reconnecting, exploring, laughing. But people change. And you change. And the old doesn't always mesh with the new. I am a fircely loyal friend- most would say that about me. I remember birthdays, offer prayers, offer to help out. At least that is how I like to think of myself. I have high expectations of myself as a friend. So saying goodbye is really hard for me to do. My mother always tells me that people change. "Yeah, I know...but...."

And so I am struggling to say a final goodbye to a friend who I've known of for a long time but really only was good, deep friends with for a short amount of time. Since then my attempts to reach out, connect, write, call have all been ignored. The message has been sent. She doesn't need me/want me in her life. It is just that rejection that hurts. It also hurts because I know she is CAPABLE of more...capable of returning my phone calls, etc.

They say when you are ready for a final goodbye, you don't feel blame or hurt or want the other person to understand why you are hurt. You just have to be able to walk away.

I am trying to walk away. And say goodbye....

Did I mention I'm bad at letting friendships go?

Monday, August 20, 2007


I don't like change. I have never liked change. As a young girl, I used to cry when my parents wanted me to get a new pillow. I liked the old pillow. Why change it? So to be pregnant, leave grad school, have preterm labor, have a baby in the NICU, move to an apartment, start a new job, move to a new house...all has involved change. It has been challenging and rewarding. And exhausting.

For the first time in over a year (maybe two?) I feel settled. And I like that. I like that I know what my job will be like. I like that some of the big questions are no longer questions anymore. We are good parents! We are blessed with a happy baby. So it is time to do something we haven't done in a long time: plan. And that feels very good to me. No, we haven't figured out child care or what daddy will do for work but we have each other and we are sitting still. I like that. I feel like we can put down roots and think about the future. I am beginning to enjoy the simple things again.

My family makes me so happy: all of them. I am truly blessed with family and friends that value me and remind me to keep going when I need that push. Call me boring! But too many life changes put me over the edge. I am back. I am here to stay (for a little while). I just don't like to much change.

Thursday, August 16, 2007


In naming my blog, I thought about my goal which is to find more balance in my life. Today is one of those days where I know I am failing. The issue today? Friends. Friends for me. Friends for Seren. Friends for Sam. The issue is that since we have moved to PA, we can't seem to make any! Most of it seems to coincide with finding other parents of young children. It is just one of the major life adjustments that I don't think I was truly ready for. I like to think of myself as someone who makes friends easily. And I do. I am outgoing and funny which goes a long way. But finding folk in our community who are open minded, educated and also enjoy children (if they don't have any themselves) has proven challenging. Where are the working moms out there? Where are the other stay at home dads?

I worry because I want Seren to grow up with a lot of people in her life. I want her to play with kids! She already is blessed with many 'aunts' 'uncles' and of course her grandparents and real aunts and uncles. But none of those people live in Levittown! None of those people can come play after work, join us for dinner, stop by to borrow an egg! I have tried and tried to find community on the internet. Sam and I have 'churched shopped' for nearly a year. But we just can't find that 'home' that we (ok, *I*) really, really long for. And that is frustrating me today. In time, it will come together. It really does take a while. I guess I'm just impatient. Not having a community makes me feel really off balance. I know I am not alone in this. And I am really blessed with long time friends and family are live sorta close by. I just miss my 'peeps'.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Baths are scary too

Seren, like most 15 month olds, seems to be in the midst of huge seperation anxiety. It is very charming for the first few days. I had a shadow, knee high, who hugged my knees constantly. Now, it is becoming challenging. She really wants to be held, to be at conversation level. I try to honor this as much as possible but sometimes you just need your own two hands (not the addition of two other, less 'helpful' hands).

THe past two nights have been hell in relationship to the bath. Naps aren't going well either. She has been good since about June at taking two naps. ONe at 8:30 or 9, the other at 2 or 2:30. Today's naps were at 9:45 and the other at 3:45. Poor Daddy! But she IS napping. Bath to bath hell...

It occured to me that as I was lowering her into water, I was doing two things to make her angry- letting go of her AND putting her in water. She LOVES water but not this week. That was so last week.

I showered with her again. Hmm. I don't really think I need two showers a day. I don't get THAT dirty at my desk job.

Why I love my husband

Seren has been struggling to wash her hair in the bath. She LOVES water and loves the bubbles in her bath but HATES having her hair wash. The upshot of the whole thing is that she basically leaps, soaking wet and sudsy into my lap when I wash her hair or wet her hair.

Sam had this great idea that we would show Seren how to take a bath. She LOVES to mimic our actions. So, Sam got in a swimsuit and took a bath while Seren watched closely from her vantage point on my lap. Sam splashed and splashed. He smiled, giggled, danced. Seren did too. What fun Daddy was having! We also bought this special cup which is to keep the water out of a child's eyes. We got it last Thursday and call it the special hair cup. We made a BIG deal of it during the Daddy bath.

Watching my husband get soaking wet in order for his daughter to 'learn' to take a big bath made me fall in love with him all over again.

We also played with it dry before getting in. Seren had a good bath as usual. But when I put soap on her arm- not her hair- she freaked out, screamed, cried and leaped into my lap. We even get to try the special hair cup! She was so scared. So, plan B was for Mommy to shower with Seren. This went better because she was being held (Seren happy) AND she was getting clean (Mommy happy).

So, before the night was over. All three of us were soaking wet. :)

Wish us luck tonight!

Manuel needed

When Seren turned one, the thought occured to me that I am out of reading material on babies. All of my books discussed the first year. They were a comfort to me as I read through the months. But since then, I feel like we are flying solo! And we need some help and information soon. I just have this fear that we only get to 'do' parenting once or else we will hardwire her one way and screw up! She has become her own person in so many ways. She has her own sense of humor, her own frustrations and her own language. We love playing with her but it is work too. And such responsiblity! Dinner time has become a challenge as Seren loves to see what happens when food flies. This started about 10 days ago. We have tried taking it away. we have tried explaining that we need spoons to eat (the spoon also gets thrown on the floor). But we don't know what message we are sending to her. It is just so hard sometimes- on all of us.

But Seren and I went hiking together on Sunday and we both had a blast! It was so much fun to hang out!

Thursday, August 9, 2007

We are back!

We have returned from a wonderful week in Cape Cod. We were expecting lots of rain but we didn't get any! The weather was amazing and it was such a great week to spend time focusing on our family. No worries about cars that will break down, bills that need to be paid, home projects...just us. Our friends joined us which was fabulous. It was fun to vacation with other families. That was a first for all of us! I am already excited for next summer when we get to do that again! My parents treated us like royalty. We really had a good time.

Seren did very well with the traveling. She rode up to CT and spent 5 waking hours in a car seat. She was a trooper! The next day we finished off the trip with 3 hours in the car. We were already to get out by the time we arrived. Seren loves to pull her Dolly's pants off. I think I had placed Dolly in her pants about 100001 times by the time we reached Cape Cod.

I realized while I was there that I am usually so busy planning the next activity, cleaning, worrying about bills and Seren that I rarely make time to just ENJOY Seren. I spent the whole week focused on her and found it to be really refreshing. She brings such joy into our lives. Every day I am grateful for her but just to spend that much TIME with her was awesome.

I've missed her at work. She has had a somewhat boring week compared to last week with her friends! But we are scheduled for more one on one time while Sam is in NYC this weekend. Should be a good time for him! And having time with my peanut will be awesome as well.

We are signing up for a music class this fall! I can't wait!