Sunday, June 26, 2011

5 Alive

Time for the Sharkbaby's monthly letter:

My Dear Baby Boy,
Oh, my goodness, 5 whole months! You are growing into such a big, handsome, and sweet boy. You are so happy and smiley. You love to be where Mom and Dad are, doing whatever it is that we're doing. You hate being strapped down, whether in a car seat, stroller, or anything else. You want to be able to move and wiggle and see what's going on all around you.
You love to suck on your feet and hands, and lately have been sucking on your thumb quite a bit. Your favorite toys are your monsters, they go pretty much everywhere with you. You also really love your Lovey that Momma made for you. You pretty much need it to go to sleep.
Speaking of sleep, you really like to sleep. We can put you down wide awake and, almost always, you'll put yourself to sleep within 15 minutes.
You got to go on your first camping trip this month. You handled the whole thing fairly well. It threw off your eating and sleeping schedule a bit, but nothing too major. You liked being on the boat, sitting by the campfire, and hanging out with all of your family.
You also started eating cereal this month and you LOVE it! You get so excited to eat, and want to play in it, too. We had to switch your tubby time from the morning to the night, after your daily cereal, because you were always such a mess by the time we were done. Everyone loves to watch you eat because you're like a little baby bird. You get so excited and start to dance around with your mouth wide open waiting for the next bite.
Well, Bubbaloo, keep up the good growing work. Your mommy and daddy love you very much!
Hugs and Kisses.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Ahoy Matey!

Every Father's Day, my family goes camping and fishing at a little lake in Southern Utah. The fishing is awesome, the company is great, and the time away from real life is the best part.

This was Sharkleton's first family vacation. He was such a good boy! Much like Billy the Kid with time travel, he dealt with the oddity of camping with the greatest of ease (sorry, couldn't help myself...). He stuck with his schedule, for the most part, and only had a little bit of trouble going to sleep at bedtime.

His parents, however, had some struggles. First, there was the fact that our trailer didn't have a microwave. We knew this going in, but I figures we'd just use the bottle warmer to heat up his food in the middle of the night. Considering that our trailer only ran frigidly cold water, this was going to be sort of important. Anyway, we discovered the hard way that the bottle warmer (which runs off electricity) wouldn't function unless the trailer was plugged into the generator. Oh wait, you can't run the generator after 10 pm. Hmmm... problem. So, my dad has a brilliant idea: we'll just fill a water bottle with boiling hot water, wrap it in a blanket, and it should still be at least lukewarm by the time he wants to eat. Uh, not so. So, on the first night I spent 20 minutes sitting on the floor of the trailer holding the cold bottle in front of the heater trying to warm it up.

And then there was the night that the heater went out completely. Friday and Saturday were both beautiful, with sunny skies and warm temperatures. And then there was Sunday... rain, snow, and storms all day. So, around midnight, I wake up to feed the baby and our trailer is FREEZING! We all laid there shivering for a few minutes before I made an executive decision. So, in the middle of the night, we packed a small bag, loaded the Sharkbaby into his car seat, and headed to Brian Head. Luckily, my uncle was staying in the condo there and heard my insistent knocking on the door.

On Saturday afternoon we, bravely, decided to take the boy out on a boat for a few hours. We bundled him into a coat, a life jacket, a hat, and a heavy layer of sunscreen, and jumped onto the boat. He handled it like a champ! He was happy, smiley, and kept making faces at this wind.

So, all in all, it was a great trip. We had a few late nights, a few more early mornings, some mishaps, and some great times. I hope that the Sharkbaby grows up loving that place as much as his mama does.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

A Little Bit Rosie

I love this particular picture of Rosie the Riveter. It sums up so nicely the concept of a "working mom".

I realize that the term "Working Mother" is redundant. Being a mother is a lot of work, but some of us aren't able to have just the job of motherhood (not that it's an easy one, by any means!).

I've done a lot of study on this subject, a lot of soul-searching, and I've lent it a lot of thought. As members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, we have have been encouraged to have the mother in the home when at all possible. We have also been encouraged to stay out of debt. In our home, the choice came down to this:

~I go to work and we stay out of debt.

~I stay home with the Sharkbaby and we end up over our heads.

We have opted to stay out of debt. I have a college education that I'm putting to good use. I've chosen a career path that will allow me to spend the maximum amount of time at home, while still putting in full time hours.

Yes, there are sacrifices involved. I lose some sleep. I lose some time with Curious George. Once a week the Sharkbaby spends a night with his Nana and Pops. Are we any worse for the wear, in the long run? I don't think so.

I also work for my own personal sanity. After the boy was born I took a full 12 week maternity leave. I thought I would love having so much time at home with my baby. I'd get so much done, my house would be clean, etc. I missed work. As I mentioned in my last post, I suffered pretty severely with PPD. I felt like I had lost my sense of self. I regained a lot of that when I returned to work. Now, for 36 hours a week, I get to be the old me. Yes, there are still people relying on me for care, that's just the nature of my work. But, I'm not emotionally tied to them in the way I am to Curious George and the Sharkbaby. To borrow and idea from Alice in Wonderland, I had lost my Muchness. I'm much more muchier when I'm at work. My career choice is more than just that, it is a part of who I am as a person.

Now, don't get me wrong, we're not living an extravagant lifestyle. We live in a modest (but nice) home. We drive average cars. We wear average clothing. I may have a slight addiction to online shopping, but it's actually saving me money on the essentials (thank you amazonmom!). We aren't spending money willy-nilly, but we don't struggle to pay the bills, either.

This was not, however, a decision that we reached lightly. Yes, it was a "we" decision. I struggled for a long time with the idea of being a "working mom". When I discussed the subject with Curious George, he told me that he would like for me to be at home as well, when possible. We talked about it for a long time. We prayed about it, together and seperately, even longer. We counseled with our bishop. What it came down to is this: together, with the Lord, we decided that our best option was for me to go to work.

And guess what? It works for us.

(Disclaimer on the tough subject matter found here.)


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The One About Depression

When my baby was born I grieved.

I'm one of those sick people that actually enjoyed being pregnant... that is after I stopped throwing up. I loved feeling that little dude kick and move inside of me. I felt beautiful, glowy, and special. I even liked it when I started to waddle. When I was pregnant I felt GOOD.

Then I delivered my baby in a way that was not according to my plan, and that made me a little bit sad. I don't do well when things don't go according to plan.

Another part of the plan was that I would bond with my baby. Everyone always tell you the good stuff. For example:
~You'll love your baby immediately.
~Being a mother is an incredible feeling.
~You should be able to breastfeed with no problems, babies naturally know how to do it.
~Motherhood just changes you.

The only one that held true for me was the last. Motherhood did change me, but not in the way I thought it would.

Motherhood made me sad. I felt hollow, empty, like my heart had been scooped out with a spoon. I looked at that hairy, squirmy, healthy, 9 pound baby boy and felt nothing. I didn't want to hold him. I didn't want to see him. When he cried, I cried.

And that was just in the hospital.

Things started to spiral out of control once I went home. I felt as though I couldn't stop crying. I still didn't feel any sort of attachment. I asked my mom to stay with us because I couldn't stand being alone with my baby. I felt like I was working on the world's longest babysitting job. I kept waiting for this baby's real mom to come pick him up. This was not what I signed up for.

I began to grieve in earnest. I mourned the loss of my easy life pre-baby. I mourned the loss of my pregnant self. I was grieving in a way that I'd never grieved for anything before.

And then came the medication. Curious George urged me to get help. He knew that this wasn't a normal thing for me. He didn't like seeing me so sad all the time. So, we went to see the midwives. They told me it was more than the Baby Blues. They told me I had postpartum depression. My heart sank. That wasn't supposed to happen to me.

And then a few weeks later, my baby started to eat. My medications kicked in. And my world started to look a little bit better.

Postpartum depression is a real thing. And I have it.

*(Explanation and disclaimer found here.)


Thursday, June 16, 2011

Left Alone With Big Fat Fanny

So, I'd like to begin this little gab-fest by reminding you all of a post I wrote just over a year ago. You can read it here: Fat Bottom Girl. No, it's not a post about Queen (although I do love them). It's a post about me. And my fat bottom. Because I am a girl.

I was just getting started on Weight Watchers last year when I found out I was pregnant with the Sharkbaby. I was told that I could continue with the program throughout my pregnancy as long as I was staying in a healthy weight range.

That all went completely out the window with my first trimester.

I wasn't able to keep any food down except Kraft Mac'n'Cheese, hot dogs, and lemon drop candies. Yikes. So, at that point I decided that crappy nutrition was better than none at all. And I kept that mentality through the rest of my pregnancy. I ate what I wanted, when I wanted it. Still, I only gained about 30 lbs, all told. Not too shabby, considering that my diet consisted of bacon-cheeseburgers and tater tots.

Anyway, I digress. After I gave birth I still ate whatever wanted, whenever I wanted it. Then I decided that I would go back on Weight Watchers when I came back to work. I've stuck fairly close to it and set up on an exercise regimen. (Thanks, Amanda, for walking with me!)

And guess what... It's working! When I weighed in this week I'm at the lowest weight I've been since, well, probably high school. So, with the success, I plan on sticking with the plan.

So, when it's all said and done, I'll probably always be a little bit of a fat-bottom-girl, but at least it will be in the good way, right?

*For the disclaimer on this post please go here.


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Art of Oversharing

So, I realize I haven't been fantastic at blogging lately. I apologize for anyone that might still be around in blog-reading land. But there are a few things that have been weighing rather heavily on my mind lately. They are things that can be difficult to discuss face-to-face with another human being, so I'm going to do a series of blog posts about some tough issues for me.

I've never been one to shy away from a difficult topic, but a lot of what I'd like to put out there affects me (or someone I love) in a very real way. I'd just like to forewarn anyone that these posts might touch on some nerves, they might let you in on more of my life than you'd like to know, or it might make you think less of me.

So, consider yourselves warned. Now, let the games begin!



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