Monday, January 30, 2012

A Year Later

Today marks the 365th day that I've been back at work since my maternity leave ended.  In many ways it is hard to believe a full year has passed.  In others, it feels like yesterday that I cried my way to work that first day back.  If I had my shit together enough, I'd do a comparison of Lukas then versus Lukas now.  But the reality is, I haven't cracked open his baby book in months and he's changed in more ways than I could count.  So instead, lets talk about me.

Here are the things that I would never have thought would be true about myself a year ago, but are in fact true:

1.  I'm still breastfeeding Lukas.  I tend to not make this fact known and avoid the topic if it comes up, or just fail to mention it.  But I think I'm doing a disservice to other moms who are currently, or who are thinking about, nursing past the year mark.  I really thought a year would be it.  But then November 8th came and went, and nothing changed.  I still wanted to continue and Lukas showed no signs of disinterest, so we continued.  And to be honest, I don't have any plan about how long I'll keep nursing him.  I've read a lot of research on nursing toddlers, mainly in an effort to arm myself against people who think its wrong, and I could give you the information I've learned, but I've come to the realization that I don't need to defend my decision.  It's my decision.  He's my son and it's working for us.   And I'm not going to change what I'm doing based on other people's opinions.  And for any moms out there with questions, I'm happy to talk more about it and think maybe it would help remove the stigma if more moms talked about it.  From my own experience, I can say that I think the continued nursing has helped keep Lukas healthier - he's only had one "sick" visit to the pediatrician since he was born (almost 15 months now) and has somehow avoided almost all of the bugs that have hit his friends at daycare.   And if his social development has been delayed because of my nursing him this long, then I don't really want to know what his non-delayed social development would be.  He can be soothed in other ways than nursing, he can put himself to sleep without nursing, and he doesn't lift up my shirt in public demanding the boob.  He doesn't take a pacifier or drink from a bottle.  So far, I've seen zero negative effects from the "prolonged" nursing.  And, apparently I'm more passionate about this than I even realized.

2.  I like being a working mom.  I don't particularly like the days when I get home after 7pm and only have 10 minutes with my little man, such as tonight.  But most days are not like today.  He is learning so much at baby school and he has fun with his little friends.  Tonight, when Mr. Cob picked him up, Lukas saw Mr. Cob, smiled and then ran away from him and kept playing with his friends.  He's happy.  What more could I want?  And for me, well, I really like having my cup of coffee in quiet.  I enjoy the adult conversation I have on a daily basis with my co-workers.  I like the challenging work and client interaction.  I like getting dressed up in heels every day.  I like that I worked hard for my degrees and am using them.  (Lord knows I am still paying for them, so there's that too.)  Also, one thing I have learned about myself is that I am much more efficient and productive when I have a full plate.  And for me, I'm more present in whatever it is I'm doing, whether it be acting as "mom" or as "lawyer" or as "wife" or as "friend".  I think being a working mom has helped me prioritize my life and approach it differently.

3.  I don't envy stay at home moms -  When I was on maternity leave, I did.  I was jealous of moms who were able to stay home with their babies.  But now, I see how hard it is to be a SAHM.  You are expected to have a full time job (raising the children), while also keeping the house spotless, pack lunches, cook dinners, balance the checkbook, exercise, do all the laundry, etc. etc.  And the reality is, when I'm home on the weekends with Lukas, he requires ALL of my, or Mr. Cob's, attention.  There's little time to get anything else done unless he's napping.  And quite frankly, when he's napping I really just want to sit my tired butt on the couch and do nothing.  Since I'm not a SAHM, I feel like people are more forgiving about the house not always being clean, or the laundry not being folded.  But it seems that SAHMs are expected to do it all and are judged if they're not.  On the flip side, I do realize I miss out on some of those "moments" with the my little guy.  But for me, for now, I don't want to trade in my briefcase for the SAHM gig.

4.  The stretch marks don't bother me.  I have stretch marks from my massive weight gain while pregnant.  I didn't really notice them as they were happening (denial, perhaps?), but they're on my hips, legs and booty.  I consider myself a somewhat vain person, but honestly, they don't both me at all.  When I see them I smile because they make me remember being pregnant with Lukas.  It's amazing what the female body can do and so what if I have a few reminders from growing a new person.  I wasn't a model before the baby and I'm not a model now.  A few stretch marks aren't anything to cry about, or obsess over.  Now, I'm pretty sure I'll cry when my boobs deflate post-nursing, so I'm not totally over the vain-thing.

5.  I have found my passion.  I was meant to be a mother.  I didn't know this until I had Lukas.  In fact, before he was born I worried I would be a horrible mother.  I didn't think I'd know how.  I'd made enough dumb choices on my own over the years and was convinced I'd screw him up immediately, if not sooner.  I also had a lot of inward discontentment because I felt as though I hadn't yet found that "thing" in life that I was meant to do.  (No, no, lawyering never gave me that feeling.)  But since having Lukas, I've realized that I am passionate about being a mother.  There is nothing in my life that I have felt so comfortable doing or felt so happy doing.  And since becoming a mother, all the other areas of my life have improved, and I have grown as a person.  I am happy with the woman I have become.  And I truly do feel joy every day.  I attribute most of that to becoming a mom.  It's the best thing in the world.  At least for me.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Sunday Waffles

We decided to try something new for breakfast this morning...they were a hit...

Monday, January 23, 2012

Hungry, Yes. But Hopping?

It's been raining a lot in the ATL lately.  A. Lot.  And rain means one thing when you have a toddler at home.  No outdoor playground time resulting in a rowdy kiddo who can't run around and burn off all their pent up energy. 

But I recently found an indoor playground called Hippo Hop.  I didn't realize hippos hopped.  I mean, they're quite large and I imagine it'd be difficult to get that much mass off the ground at one time to jump.  But, I'll buy it.  Sure.  Anyway, where was I?  Oh yes, Hippo Hop.  It's essentially a big building with six or seven inflatable bounce/jump houses and a random assortment of surely germ-infested toys.  You just kind of have to ignore the whole germ thing.  As Mr. Cob says, it builds their immunities. 

So, before we went to hop like hippos, I assumed that Lukas was too young to really enjoy the bounce houses.  But I was wrong.  He. Loved. It.  He even loved when I accidentally double bounced him and he fell flat on his face after flying high into the air.  I was waiting for the tears and he just rolled over and started laughing loudly.  He's a dare devil, this one.  The best part is that there is one bounce house dedicated to the little tyke crowd (3 and under).  I had to play bad cop mom and kick a bunch of 5+ year olds out, but hey, I don't call him my "little" man for nothing - the kid could get trampled by a beefy 4 year old, never mind a wild 8 year old.  Momma's gotta watch our for her little buddy.

If you have a wee one at home and haven't checked out one of these places, it's worth it. (And FYI, for you Atlanta mommas, I've been told that Monkey Joes in Roswell and Leaping Lizards in Decatur, are similar indoor bounce/playgrounds).  Hippo Hop is only $5 ($3.75 if you buy a $30 prepaid card) a visit/kid (adults free!) with no time limit.  I think that's pretty cheap for a rainy afternoon.  Especially considering all the jumping wiped Lukas out and he took a good, long nap afterward.  And what mom wouldn't pay a few bucks to ensure a few hours of quiet later in the day?!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

10 on 10

A day in the life? Sure, why not.

I ran across a blog yesterday that does something I think is kind of cool.  It asks fellow bloggers to document thier day in pictures on the 10th of every month.  It's simple:

 One Photo. Every Hour. For 10 Hours. On the 10th.
So I thought it'd be fun to play along. 
My January 10 on 10:

1:00 pm ish - lawyering
2:00 pm ish - tea time

3:00 pm ish - downtown ATL
4:00 pm ish - still working
5:00 pm ish - picking up L from baby school

6:00 pm - home with my boys before dinner

7:00 pm ish - bath time for the little one

8:00 pm ish - the pup gets some love

9:00 pm ish - board game & dessert with the husband
10 pm - My companion while reading in bed

Join the fun:

ten on ten button

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

2012 Intentions

You thought that since it was over a week since the new year and I hadn't yet written anything about resolutions then clearly I hadn't made any this year.  Nope, not the case.  I always make resolutions at the beginning of a new year.  Some years they're more ambitious than others.  And, usually I fall off the wagon around week 2 or 3.  But I always make them.  For one reason.

I. Love. Starting. A. New. Year.

I get really excited when January 1 rolls around each year.  Magically, at the stroke of midnight on December 31/January 1, everything is wiped clean and you're given a fresh start.  I know, I know, there's nothing "magical" or special about January 1 and if I really wanted to change things in my life, I could start on any random day of the year.  The third Tuesday in May could be the first day of the rest of my life.  But for me, I get all giddy about the first of January.  And this year was no different.

I sat on the beach in Florida the morning of January 1st and wrote down my intentions for the year.  I'm calling my resolutions "intentions" so that I don't feel like I've failed if I don't stick with them.  This way, even if I veer off course, I can look back at my list and remember what I had set out to concentrate on this year and get back on the right path.  With resolutions, when your resolve fades away, you can feel like you already failed so there's no sense in continuing with the resolutions.  (Or is this just me?)  I realize this might be silly, but here's to hoping I can keep my 2012 intentions at the forefront of my mind this year.

The reason I've delayed in writing this post is because I keep going back and forth on whether or not I feel like sharing my list with the few family members who read this blog world.  But I figure why not.

So here is my list:

1. Eat more fruits and vegetables each day.
2. Make my marriage a priority (this sounds more complicated than the intention is. I promise, it's not - just take my word on this one...)
3. Detach from my cell phone/computer/facebook - be fully present in interactions with my family and friends
4. Make exercise a regular part of life - dance with Lukas, walk Wrigley, do a yoga DVD, run, etc.  And don't feel defeated if I exercise for only a short period of time. 
5. Live more frugally - cook meals, bring lunch to work, etc. (this coincides within intention #1 and has been a huge success so far thanks to the January meal plan Mr. Cob and I created, and have stuck to for 10 days!)
6. See love in everyone and express love in all actions - don't judge, don't assume
7. Stop searching for outward validation.  I am amazing.

So there is the list.  I could (and might) write a post about each intention and the background behind it.  But for now, that's my list.

Here's to a fabulous 2012 filled with good intentions.

Thursday, January 5, 2012


The little man has me wrapped around his finger.  He's teething right now, and he's using it against me.  (He cut three of the four molars in the past two weeks and number 4 is about to bust through the surface any day now.  So in his defense, he probably is in some pain.) 

It all started about two weeks ago.  He'd been biting friends at school (another post for another time), and I could feel the teeth under the gums, so I knew we were in for some new teeth.  He started waking up in the middle of the night crying and instead of letting him crying himself back to sleep I told myself "Oh, he must have woken up because his teeth hurt. You simply cannot let him just cry in his crib. He needs his momma. He needs some TLC." And then, having convinced myself that he needs me, I go in his room and what do you know? He stops crying. (I told you he needed his momma. I'm deluded, yes.)

Things only got worse last week on vacation.  We went to Florida with another couple and their 17 month old daughter to ring in the new year.  I was afraid Lukas would wake up the other baby with his sobs in the middle of the night, so I'd immediately pick him up when he started to cry at night.  He would eventually calm down after some cuddles, Advil and milk were administered.  Oh, yea, and after he was allowed to fall asleep in the bed with us.  Do you see the trend of bad habits I let form?  This may or may not have happened four nights in a row.  I won't admit to anything.

Well, the realization that he's just messing with me to get some cuddles and sleep in the big bed came to light this week.  And it's my mom's friend Jaye's fault, really.  You see, Jaye gave Lukas this soft, plush talking/quacking duck last Easter and it's been sitting on Lukas' bookshelf since then.  Occasionally we'll get it down and play with it, but for a long time Lukas was terrified of the duck.  But some time in the last few weeks he learned how to say DUCK and to quack and now he says duck all the time.  And he now apparently loves the Jaye duck.

The reason I know he loves the duck?  Because I am a fool.  Tuesday night I woke up around 1:45am to Lukas' crying, screaming and jumping up and down in his crib.  Having gone through the above-mentioned convincing myself that his teeth hurt, I went in his room to soothe my poor baby.  I opened the door to his room and what was he doing?  Pointing at the duck and saying "duck duck duck" over and over again.  He kept crying and yelling "duck" until we went over to the duck and I picked the duck up for him to hold.  And then all was right in his world.  He just wanted to hold the duck.  At 1:45 in the morning.  Right.

This wouldn't be that bad, and you could call it a fluke, except that it happened again last night.  Or I should say, I let it happen again.  I was being tough at first and was going to wait him out.  I let him cry a full 15 minutes.  He would cry and then lay down for a second,  get back up and cry some more.  I figured that after 15 minutes of his cries (which increased in volume as the time wore on) he must really need something, so I went in there.  He stopped crying and just smiled at me.  And then, as if to say "gotcha" he just started yelling "DUCK, DUCK, DUCK" with this huge grin on his face. 

And I did the only thing you can do at 2am when your 14 month old is quacking like a duck.  I laughed and gave him a hug.

My new plan is to put the duck in his crib with him tonight, so that way he can just cuddle with the damn duck without waking momma up.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Mommas & Sons

If you have a son, you should read this article posted on Team Studer (a random blog I ran across on facebook).  I love the whole article and had tears welling up as I read.  But I love the last "rule" the most.  It made me full-on cry.

25. Be home base

You are home to him. When he learns to walk, he will wobble a few feet away from you and then come back, then wobble away a little farther and then come back. When he tries something new, he will look for your proud smile. When he learns to read, he will repeat the same book to you twenty times in a row, because you're the only one who will listen that many times. When he plays his sport, he will search for your face in the stands. When he is sick, he will call you. When he really messes up, he will call you. When he is grown and strong and tough and big and he feels like crying, he will come to you; because a man can cry in front of his mother without feeling self-conscious. Even when he grows up and has a new woman in his life and gets a new home, you are still his mother; home base, the ever constant, like the sun. Know that in your heart and everything else will fall into place.
This reminds me of the song I sing to Lukas every night before bed (the "Night Mantra") that says, I will be your home, I will be your guide, I will be your friend, always on your side.
I love being a mom to a little boy.  I'm sure I'd love being a mom of a girl too.  But Lord knows, I love this little guy more than words can express.  This article just spoke to me and I felt like sharing.

Oh, and Happy 2012.  It's going to be a great year.  I just know it.