I miss working

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I miss working

I miss working.  I admit that, I do. Adult interaction, the ability to apply hard-won knowledge, skills, and abilities, formalized feedback, extra money, recognition, opportunities for learning, advancement, and further achievement are all things I have recently left behind.

I miss (some of) my coworkers. I miss going out to lunch uninterrupted, running out for cupcakes or coffee, after-work happy hours, spending money on cute work clothes.

But so far, as much as I do miss it, I wouldn’t go back, at least not at this point.

True,  my new job involves messes, tantrums, nap-time battles, and endless cleaning and laundry. Coupon-clipping and penny pinching. Buy /Sell/Trade groups and consignment sales.

But it also has warm sunny days for stroller rides and park outings.  New discoveries and learning, new firsts.  The ability to see first-hand growth and development of a pretty cute little guy. Kisses, hugs, and “I love mama”.   New friends and playdates.  Freedom to  venture out and explore at our own pace or stay in on a snowy day.

How will I feel about all of this in several years when I have been potentially left behind on the career scene and have to rebuild?  It is hard to say for sure.

When I think about when I am old and gray and look back on things, I think it will be alright.

Time flies.  My heart aches a bit to pack away the onesies and take down the crib. Memories of nursing a baby or having a little toddler hold my hand are things I will always hold on to.  I am happy to be here for all of the moments now and I am sad about the things I missed when I was working.

Leaving work behind doesn’t make my heartache.  I think it might for others that are more passionate about their profession, but not for me.  I will return at some point, but missing out right now doesn’t make me wistful or bring tears to my eyes.  My ego and my bank account might hurt a little, but right now it is a sacrifice that is worth it for me.

Following my heart is the best I can do.

 


More cloth diapering adventures

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cloth diapers

So we have been continuing along our journey with cloth diapering.

I had been continuing part time with the diapers, trying to use mostly the cloth ones.  We went on an outing for the afternoon and I did not want to risk any leaks out and about.  So, I put X back in disposables.  Well, that didn’t work out so well because right after that, his same rash returned again around his legs and waist.  Ugh.  Luckily, we had plenty of our $68 prescription left over and another couple doses knocked it right out.

So, somewhat reluctantly, I decided to go all in with cloth diapering, and ordered some more to try out.  While leaks are annoying, it was better than dealing with the rash which made X so upset.

I am trying out some new diapers with more luck this time.  I ordered a BumGenius elemental, some Nicki’s bamboo all-in-ones, and a goodnight Kawaii diaper from Nicki’s diapers.  So far things are going much better.  All of these seem be good quality and functional.  I haven’t been peed on yet so that is a good sign.  We even had our first successful cloth diapering outing, with wet bag and extra dipes in tow.  It worked out so far.  Admittedly, I would have probably left X in a disposable a little longer and skipped a change until we got back home, but we took a few minutes to change there and it was no big deal.

Now I have to decide on purchasing a few more unless I want to wash everyday.  Washing everyday is ok for now, but I don’t think it is long term solution.  I don’t want to be tied to the washing machine if I need to run errands or take a night off.  It is hard when I hope X might potty train soon, but that doesn’t look like it will happen THAT soon.  The positives are that we could reuse for another baby or they surprisingly have a decent resale value.  And, I am sure less expensive than the Dr. visits and prescriptions we were having.

The great thing is that there are a lot of resources for cloth diapering.  There are many forums and blogs out there, and people are very helpful with questions.  It all seems a little crazy at first, because these things are all about diapering, but strangely it is almost fun.  So, a big shout out to those people out there helping others to cloth diaper!

 

 


Cloth Diapering Failure

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6 diapers

I am trying to convert to cloth diapers for X, but so far, all I am is a cloth diapering failure.

This all started with a nasty rash.  We tried a different brand of disposable diapers, which left X with a bout of what we think was allergic contact dermatitis on his legs.   An angry, red bumpy rash that started along his legs where the diaper rubbed. The rash flared up and bumps spread down his leg and also appeared on his tummy area at the top of where the diaper rubs against the skin there.

A switch back to his regular brand didn’t do the trick.  The rash was still there, angry.  We tried some eczema lotion and hydrocortisone 1% with no luck.  Two weeks in, we headed to the pedi for help. A prescription cream later and we were still having issues.  This is when I thought it might be good to try cloth diapers to see if it would help the issue.  It seemed as if his skin was still being irritated in even his previous brand of disposable diaper.

At the beginning, I had wanted to cloth diaper.  The cost savings seems to be the greatest advantage. While the environmental effects have been debated,  I think the soap, electricity,water cost/waste seemed a lesser evil than 500 years in the landfill.  Additionally, I wasn’t crazy about the idea of all those chemicals on baby.

But with returning to work, daycare didn’t really do cloth diapers.  I wasn’t able to really see much savings or benefit to doing it part-time, so the traditional disposable route we went.

But then, the disposable rash came 18 months later.  So, off to the cloth diaper store we went.  I settled on some Bumkins All-In-Ones for daytime changes and a wool/cotton fitted with a cover to battle the potential all night wetness.

Failure #1: The Bumkins were falling apart already and had small holes after 3-4 washes.  Turns out the ones I purchased had a faulty design and the company is sending me replacements.  But they were still workable for now, so I have been still using them until the new ones come.

So yesterday, we had our first all day in cloth. With an extra insert on naps and an outing, it all seemed to work.

Last night, we wrapped X in the layers of soaker pad, fitted diaper, and cover.

Failure #2:  We woke up with a small leak, which wasn’t a huge deal, but we also had a HUGE stink.  I am trying to wash it out at the moment.

I continued on with cloth for the day.  At lunch time, after putting the diaper on only an hour earlier, but then…..

Failure #3.  X was sitting on my lap at lunch and drenched me with pee.  Major diaper leakage after a minimal wear time.

Ugh, so maybe the ones I picked out are over-all  just defective, but this does not seem to be working.

He’s back in disposables, but I am nervous to see if it flares his rash again.  But I am nervous to continue with cloth because really, I just don’t have tolerance for leaks if I am changing frequently, and I would have to shell out more money to have enough stash to really do it full time.

So after spending about $130 for a one-day stash, I am feeling defeated, a little grossed-out, and a little poor.

So we shall see what these replacement ones are like, I am hoping for better luck.

Any ideas to turn this into a success??

 

 


Things I have learned since becoming a SAHM

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So some things I have learned since I have transitions from working full time to staying at home with my son:

David is the name of Elmo’s baby doll.

9am is the best time of day to do things with a toddler.

Cloth diaper lingo  - fitteds, prefolds, all-in-one, etc.

How to get my son to nap without driving in the car.

Nap time is awesome.  Ok, I knew this before, but nap-time is even more awesome now.

The library and community center rock.

Things have been going pretty good. It is a tough transition at first, as I was used to more adult interaction and a different pace of life.  Sometimes it is lonely.  Also, winter is driving me absolutely crazy.  It is tough to be stuck in the house all day, especially since my little guy loves the outside.

Good things are that we have a community center nearby that offers open gym time for toddlers for $1.  The library also is great and they have a toddler music class on Fridays.  X has really done better being at home.  He is eating more, napping more consistently, and has been much healthier.  No more daycare syndrome.  He seems so much better when he is not constantly fighting a cold, fever, or some other mysterious but miserable viral illness.

So,  I will keep learning new things. These things are different than the working world. I am no longer trying to conquer the corporate world or learn the latest process-improvement fad.  I am not trying to run metrics or research best practices.

Elmo or diaper lingo may seem trivial in comparison, but there is a comfort in having a little more simplicity in life.

 

 


Nursery furniture must-have – The $75 Mattress

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We have this extra mattress in X’s room that has saved me from many frustrations.

It was the cheap, bare-bones, no pillow top mattress that we found from the furniture store.  I sent my husband out to purchase it during sort of a sleep deprived madness.

X was 6 months old.  We were attempting to transition him to his own room instead of his crib in our room. But, it wasn’t working.  He was getting up literally every 45 minutes. His new room was cold at night, he was still nursing, and he didn’t like to be alone.

We had set up his nursery with a cute rocking chair.  It was wooden with blue padding. I had thought that it was an essential piece of furniture for his room.  One of the nursery furniture must-haves.

Not so much.  It was terribly uncomfortable to sit there after about 12 minutes. When you are up nursing for the 5th time that night, you don’t want to sit up, you need to lay down. Also, X didn’t really like to be rocked in it for some reason.  He strongly preferred that you rock him while standing up, of course.

The 6th month room transition was a dramatic failure and he ended up with his crib back in our room for some time after that.

But his guest bed in his room has proved to be very useful.  It was great in assisting him to transition to sleeping in his own room.  It is a place to lay while helping him fall asleep at night. It is much welcome on nights of teething and illness.  It keeps us from bringing him into our bed.

I think that when you transition baby to his own room and for high-needs nights, it is a must-have item.  It helped me tremendously.

Knowing what I know now I would have actually spend some more money for a nicer one that could be used for when X transitions to a twin bed.

It has been our unknown, must-have item.

 

 


Milestones people don’t brag about

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We have all heard about the first steps and first words.

Motherhood also brings some other first moments that maybe aren’t quite as magical, but all part of the experience.

Last night we had the first time that your son hands you poop.

It was post bath time and I was managing on my own while hubby was out to a movie with a friend. I had just gotten X out of the bath.  X had been learning about the potty, so I had him sitting there.  He stands up quickly and steps across the bathroom.  Then he pees.  Then before I can grab him, he starts splashing.  Fantastic.

I swoop him up and grab a couple towels. Soap and water on one and plain warm water on the other. I carry him off to his room and begin a quick clean up so we can get into pajamas.

Upon hitting the floor, X rolls away and darts back out into the hallway. He runs to the door by our room and starts making a suspicious grunting noise with that look on his face.  Do you need to use the potty?  No, he says quickly.  Umm, hmmm, I know better.  So I take him back into the bathroom again.

He sits. Nothing happens. He says he is all done.  We sit some more. Nothing happens.

He is particularly energetic this evening, and as he gets up, he runs again, naked into the hallway.  I go the other way and into his room.  He comes running back to me, not even a minute later, and gleefully reaches out to me with something in his hand.

That something was poop.

I was truly amazed by his goofiness and just the thought that not so long ago, he was my sweet little baby, and now here is the crazy toddler, and he is handing me his poop.

Welcome to potty training I think to myself.

So, it wasn’t one of those typical milestones, but a memorable moment all the same.

Like the first diaper blowout.  The first tantrum.

There are a large number of firsts that no one talks about. But this other side of parenting is just as important as those magical moments everyone brags about.  This is real life. How you handle the not so easy shapes your experience as a parent. Also the not so easy is what we all need to hear to relate to other parents.  It isn’t easy, and painting a perfect picture of the highlights doesn’t really communicate the reality of this experience.

 


I miss eggs

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Oh, how I miss eggs.

Scrambled eggs, egg McMuffins, cake, cupcakes, banana breads, pies, and other desserts. I used to eat eggs nearly everyday.

That was before my son was diagnosed with egg allergy.

We made the decision not to have eggs in the house.  It honestly is just easier that way, so we don’t have to think so much about it and label safe/ unsafe food.  Also with a toddler, he likes to grab things you are eating.  I don’t feel right about eating things that he couldn’t have in front of him.  Also, it helps to to worry about cross-contamination of food allergens in the house.  This isn’t easy, but it makes the most sense for us.

But, I do miss eggs. We having been managing the food allergy for 6 months now, so we have gotten the hang of avoiding egg.  We label read at the grocery store, and check allergen information at restaurants, on the rare occasion we do go to one with X.  This and carrying around our epi pens and Benedryl has become a way of life for our family.

What I haven’t figured out is how to replace eggs or really make good baked goods without them.  At the time of X’s first birthday, we had just suspected the allergy, but I had baked an egg free cake using a recipe I found online.  It was a disaster.  The cake tasted like stale cornbread.  Egg-free baking fail.

There isn’t much of those types of things pre-made that do not have the eggs.  With working full time, I did not have the time to experiment with further recipes. With more time now, I hope to find some egg free goodies that I can make easily and that actually taste good.

The good news is there is a possibility of outgrowing this allergy, but only time will tell.

Eggs, I still miss you.

 

 


Toddler Transitions

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Nothing in parenting is static.

It is all moving, evolving, and changing constantly.  New skills are constantly learned.  New stages of development take place in feeding, sleeping, activities, cognitive, speech and motor skills.

It is a lot to keep up with.  The thing that worked yesterday for sleep doesn’t work today.  The favorite food of last week is thrown on the floor this week.  Just when you get one thing figured out, then you must move on to the next.

It does make every day exciting, and there is a lot of great moments of new developments.  It is also very challenging to try to dig deep for patience, come up with new strategies, and hope that you are still working toward the end result that you wanted.

This stage with small children is just that, a stage.  A all too brief period of time in which these moments will pass by both too quickly and too slowly all at once.  It is tough, and I suppose it should be, as raising children is no small task.

X is making a lot of transitions lately.  He is in a development leap, especially with talking.  He is starting to form sentences.  It is really cute as most of his sentences are needs.  His need of today was “I need to throw a ball.”  Cute and / or demanding.  Obviously there will be a need for a period of learning of wants vs. needs.

We moved X to a toddler bed this weekend.  It is on the early side, but he has been a problematic sleeper.  He has always disliked the crib, and one of his new fears is “being stuck”.  He didn’t like it when the teddy bear was “stuck” in the crib, so I don’t think he was too fond of being in there either.

This change seems to be working for him so far.  Although I do think he fell out of bed last night as we found him on the floor.  But once he gets a little more adjusted to the diameters of the bed, I hope that it will work out better for all of us then the crib days.

It is in some ways hard to let go of those baby days, those baby things.  At 18 months, he is most definately now a toddler.  We have the tantrums and the picky eating to prove it.  Despite these things, it is also an endearing stage, and watching him learn about the world and his thinking and talking unfold is wonderful.

Now if I can just hold on to some of these moments before things change again.


There are twelve days of Christmas

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There are 12 days of Christmas

I have always hated how it seems like everyone is totally done with Christmas after Christmas day proper.

The valentines day store stuff is out, everything else is on clearance.  The TV networks have stopped airing the Christmas movies and specials.  People turn off their lights and put away the decorations.

There are twelve days of Christmas, and Christmas is just the first day! It’s not over yet and I’m still celebrating. Really, Christmas is just getting started!

Bring on the Christmas movies, music, and lights.  I will be eating leftover Christmas ham, port wine cheese, desserts, and wine.  I will be doing these things for 10 more days.

This is the part of the season where it can be the most peaceful.  The shopping and preparation are over, the presents are unwrapped, but there is a time where we can relax and enjoy the new gifts and some leftovers.

We did have a great time at the Holidays his year, and X has a bunch of new toys he is really excited about.  Go go smart wheels have been the big hit, and he loves his new cars and tracks.  The Little People castle set and a new activity cube are also going over very well.

So, dig in, and keep enjoying, and celebrating the season.  Take a few days to relax and find peace.

Don’t rush off just yet into your workout gear and organizing totes.  There will be many more days for those things soon.

 


Not going to see Santa

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Not going to see Santa

X is not going to see Santa this year.

He is turning 18 months on Monday.  He has a pretty good fear of strangers right now, and I know that trying to sit in Santa’s lap would just upset him.  Also, trying to stand in a line for 40 minutes and then pay $40 for photos of him crying does not sound appealing to me either.

If we went, it would just be for us.  It would be one of those traditions, one of the things for us to cross of the list of Holiday To-Dos.

I feel like going to see Santa should be something that the child wants to do.  X is just a little too young this year to really understand Santa.  I don’t feel right taking him just for my own gratification and the pictures.

Every other photo of children his age I see on Facebook, the kid is crying and upset.  Then, people laugh at it and a lot of parents post that they think this is just super hilarious and cute.

I just don’t see how putting him through that stress is  really that funny.  I don’t fault parents for wanting to do it as an annual tradition, but I don’t think I would add the I think it is so funny commentary.   Maybe I need to lighten up a bit.

So, we won’t see Santa this year, even though we visited him last year.  Instead we are going to take some picture of X in the front yard with his pretty, pretty bear.  (The pretty pretty bear is a white and silver light up decoration).  Simple, no stress, no money and just easier for us this year.  We will save Santa for next year, if he wants to go.

So, how will Santa know what X wants for Christmas?  Well, Santa is magic.  He has insight into the hearts and minds of children and with so much experience gift giving, he knows just what to get this year.

Traditions are what you make them.  You don’t have to do them if they don’t work for your family or the stage your family is in.  There is no obligatory must-do-list.  Sure, my Santa pictures and Elf-On-The-Shelf are missing from my social media feeds, but there will be more time for those things later on.