Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Hair cut!

Here we are... I decided to get a few side-swept bangs, and he cut off a TON of broken ends. Lovely, honestly it feels like I lost 5 pounds, as strange as that sounds. However, I think maybe I inadvertently got a mom cut. Definitely borderline. Oh well, it was somewhat inevitable right?

Sorry about the b*t$h face. I should have smiled for the picture, it's not like I was having a bad day! Gus was in the middle of a glorious 2 hour nap, and I was all dressed in my very best beach-wear and ready to go meet my mother and sister-in-law and the kids at the pool. And I had time to do my hair, which was a bit of a miracle.

Also, please pretend you don't see the piles of laundry on the bed and the baby boy fingerprints all over the mirror. Okay? Our house is not what you would call tidy these days. Or ever. ;)

Thursday, July 15, 2010


It’s amazing what a good night of sleep and a whole hour to myself in the morning can do for me. I feel like I’m walking on air today. I am confident, energetic, and ready to take on the world. A total 180 from last week when I last posted. I felt frazzled and ho-hum. Today I feel beautiful and fresh, and just… happy.

Gus slept like an angel between us last night. He woke up just before midnight and I brought him into bed with us. I nursed him, snuggled him, and fell asleep breathing in his wonderful scent. And instead of tossing and turning, crying out in his sleep every thirty minutes, frantically rooting for me to nurse all throughout the night, he just slept. I’m sure he woke up a number of times to nurse, but it was peaceful, we were in our own little rhythm, and we were both able to get a good night’s sleep. And when I woke up at a quarter to six this morning to this little cherub still peacefully sleeping beside me, I thanked both him and God for what a gift it was to have a good night’s sleep. I’ve been racking my brain all morning trying to figure out what was different about last night, or yesterday, that he would have slept so well, but there’s nothing. So I’m not going to overanalyze, I’m just going to be thankful. (And hopeful… that those four top teeth he’s been working on for what feels like forever are finally completely through and done causing my baby so much pain... and that we have many more nights like the last ahead of us.)

The other reason why today is awesome? It’s Thursday, which means Dan leaves to bring Gus to my mother-in-law’s around 6:15, so I have the house, shower, bathroom ALL TO MYSELF. This morning was wonderful. There was no child fussing in the pack-n-play while I tried to shower and wash my hair as quickly as is humanly possible. Gus wasn’t tugging on my robe, climbing on my legs, or reaching into the toilet as I tried to apply makeup and style my hair. (I’m not sure you can call brushing and scrunching up my wet hair, which is what I tend to have time for when Gus is around, a “style” but we’ll pretend.) Anyway, this morning was lovely. I blow-dried and straightened my hair, used eyeliner, AND picked out a cute outfit.

Seriously, isn’t this outfit adorable? (Sorry, forgot to take off my ID badge for the pic...)

Tomorrow I am getting my hair cut. Woot! I have decided on some side-swept bangs, and will definitely try to post a picture if I think of it.

Also, the exercise thing is going pretty well, I went for a long walk on Monday morning with Gus, and I did a 3 mile run on the treadmill Tuesday night. If I can get in another run tonight, I’ll be meeting the goal I set last week.

And now the mommy guilt has set in, and I feel really vain and superficial having written about all this. Because compared to the other stuff going on in our life, like the fact that Gus has started to stand on his own and his first steps seem imminent, or that my Tuesday day-care lady is moving to Wisconsin and can no longer watch Gus as of August 3rd, talking about my hair and outfit, and exercise, seems just so… trivial.

Stupid mommy guilt. ;)

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Fessing up

I feel like it’s time for me to own up to something. I have not been taking care of myself. Gus is ten months old, and for the past, oh, ten months or so, I have really just put myself on the back-burner. Everything has been for him. I shop for Gus. I take pictures of Gus. I read parenting magazines and baby blogs, books about vaccines and infant sleep, articles about baby wearing and attachment parenting. I seek out new healthy foods to feed him. I look for new places around the cities to bring him to. It’s just all about my baby, all the time.

When I’m out with friends or having a conversation with a coworker, I find myself going on and on about baby-related stuff. I have a hard time coming up with topics to talk about that don’t have to do with Gus or baby stuff. And while that’s ok some of the time, even most of the time, it’s not ok ALL of the time. I mean to say, I am a mom, and that is pretty much the most important, most defining aspect of my life right now. I’m cool with that. But it can’t be at the expense of everything else that used to define me. I’m still the wife of a husband who makes her laugh every single day. I still love vintage-inspired fashion, funky accessories, movies, television, red wine, ethnic food, talk radio, CNN, travelling. I love exercising. I love reading good books that aren’t written by parenting “experts”. There’s room in my life for the mom stuff and the “me” stuff. I just need to make room for it.

I need to do a better job about taking care of “me”. I’ve been neglectful, and I think it’s the reason why I’m feeling so frazzled. It sounds a little superficial, but how I look on the outside and feeling good about myself really does affect my daily outlook, my mental health. I haven’t had my hair cut or colored since Gus was maybe four months old. My hair is dry and cracked at the ends, I have little fuzzy two-inch long sprouts sticking up everywhere as a result of that whole post-partum hair loss thing. I have no idea what to do with my hair and how to deal with the re-growth. Simply put, it’s a mess, and it doesn’t help that I don’t have a lot of time to style it anymore. Half of the time I come into work or leave the house with scrunched up wavy wet hair. And it’s in a messy bun or a braid by noon. Gross. And it’s this hideous dishwater shade of blonde. My hair is just gross.

So yeah, instead of feeling sorry for myself, I need to see a stylist. I need to get the color freshened up with some highlights… or something. I don’t even know. I need to get a cut that is an actual hair-style, instead of just this grown out mess of a mop I’ve got. I’m considering long side-swept bangs again, but worry about the maintenance. I’m considering a short bob, but flash back to the near instant regret I have felt every time I’ve cut my hair short.

It’s not just the hair, I’ve pretty much let myself go in every aspect of my physical well-being. I have just become lazy about all of it, I’ve let everyday life sort of wear me down. I’ve got these haphazard caterpillar eyebrows that just drive me crazy every time I look in the mirror. It’s almost too overwhelming to consider tweezing at this point… I need a brow wax. I need to start working out again, my pants are feeling uncomfortable these days. I figure if I can continue to go for walks in the morning a few times a week with Gus, and can add just 30 minutes on the treadmill after he’s gone to bed a couple nights a week, I’d feel so much better. But I’ve been telling myself that for months. Last night was the first night I got on the treadmill since Gus was about 6 weeks old and I decided to start running again and it lasted about one week. Anyway, I need to make a commitment to exercise.

I also REALLY need to start eating better. What started out with a breastfeeding mentality that allowed “splurging” on desserts and junk food a little more often and being a little more generous with my portions has snowballed into overindulging every day and snacking constantly. I can’t keep using breastfeeding as an excuse to eat like crap. Gus is starting to nurse a lot less throughout the day, and I think that’s why I’m starting to feel uncomfortable in my clothes. I’m still eating like I’m burning 600 calories a day, and I’m pretty positive that is not the case. The last time I weighed myself I was down about 7 lbs from my pre-pregnancy weight, and that was all due to breastfeeding. I’m pretty sure I’m no longer at that same weight.

Finally, getting dressed everyday has become a chore because my dresser and closet are so unorganized. There are so many articles of clothing that I never wear, and probably won’t ever wear, but I don’t get rid of them. And then on the other hand I’m still finding random clothing that I completely forgot about because I was pregnant last summer. The biggest problem is that I have been living out of laundry baskets for literally months now. I finally put away my laundry last week as I was trying to pack for the cabin, and it took me nearly an hour. I let the stacks of folded laundry just pile up in the basement, and the idea of putting it away became so overwhelming, I was either wearing the same stuff every other day or pulling out things that I hated from my closet because I couldn’t find anything amongst the piles of wrinkly laundry.

So this is me making myself accountable. I’m making a list. A doable list. A short list. Here’s the list. ;)

1. Make a hair/brow wax appointment. Before leaving said appointment, make another appointment for two months later.
2. Put laundry away after each load. This will take 5 minutes. Putting it off makes the task seem insurmountable. Do it NOW!
3. Hit the treadmill at least twice a week. Don’t get overwhelmed, this should only require a few hours, each week. You can find a few hours, don’t make excuses. If you have time for time-suckage television like House Hunters or Real Housewives of NJ, you have time to work out.
4. Stop buying so many unhealthy snacks, get them out of the house. Grocery shop once a week and make sure there is fresh fruit for snacking and fresh produce for healthy meals in the refrigerator.

Thursday, July 01, 2010


I love the workdays leading up to a holiday. My office is a ghost town. Those of my coworkers that are here are in fantastic moods, planning for the upcoming long weekend, taking long lunches, lingering a little bit longer in the halls to visit and laugh. I don’t know why I like it so much. Maybe it reminds me of the last day of school before Christmas break, or a Thursday during finals week in college. The stress of everyday life has dissipated a little bit, and as colleagues or classmates or whatever you are, you’re all sort of banded together in your feelings of relief and anticipation. A collective “Phew!” if you will.

These past few weeks have been busy. To say the least. I suppose nothing even out of the ordinary has been taking up our time, it’s really been just the regular hustle and bustle of summer. Softball games, baby showers, parades, birthdays, barbeques, graduation parties. Good stuff really. Just busy.

Gus is enjoying the heck out of his first summer outside the belly. We spend as much time outside as possible, and even when he’s at “daycare” he’s having the full summer experience. Last week he played with the kids outside at Annie’s in the slip ‘n’ slide and sprinkler. Yesterday he had a blast splashing and kicking at the neighborhood kiddies’ pool with his grandma. (And wouldn’t you know, his other grandma showed up as well with a bunch of his aunts and uncles. And then so did Annie with her two kids… such a blessing living in a part of the city where it feels so much like a small town!) Monday he went to the park and had a little picnic with his future buddy Lincoln.

We go for long walks before his morning nap every day that I have off work. On Mondays and Fridays it’s just the two of us, but on weekends Daddy gets to come along. Gus is so fun, he watches intently when busses or garbage trucks go by, charms the elderly gentlemen who are regulars at the local McDonalds where I stop for iced coffee, kicks his chunky legs and grabs his little toes as we zip around the neighborhood and try to keep his big doggy sister Bella under control. On those walks, motherhood feels just exactly like how I always imagined it.

People spend so much time talking about the horrors of parenthood, they talk about how difficult it is, how you’re a sleep-deprived zombie for much of the first year, how a simple trip to Target and the grocery store can take so much planning and orchestrating. They talk about being frustrated with your body even ten months after giving birth. They say teething SUCKS, and mealtime involves you shoveling food into your mouth as quickly as possible, likely while standing at the kitchen counter. And yeah, that stuff is all SO TRUE. Somedays you find yourself saying to yourself, "Seriously? This is my life?" But gosh, all that stuff you dreamt about when you were big and pregnant, you know… rocking your baby to sleep in a moonlit nursery, reading a storybook together and pausing for the little guy to turn the pages with his fat little sausage fingers, eliciting squeals of pure joy as you push him on the swing at the park, and yeah… going for long walks together on beautiful, peaceful Minnesota summer mornings. All of that stuff is real too. And it’s so darn wonderful.

So yes, we’re enjoying our summer around here. We’re heading off to the cabin tomorrow for the 4th, and I’m excited for life to slow down a bit once we’re up there. Of course getting there, the packing, the shopping, the organizing, the laundry, that’s all definitely exhausting and stressful. But once we get there….

Yes, I can’t wait to get there and just… be. I’m so excited.