Monday, December 30, 2013

5 Things that make me irrationally crabby

I'm in a good mood today. Honestly. 

1. JalapeƱo Cornbread
Cornbread is delicious. WHY would I want my mouth to burn while enjoying said deliciousness? Do people think it's fancier? It's not. It's gross. 



2. Wearing Glasses
They make my nose greasy. And my face feel hot. And the lenses are always dirty. And they give me headaches from pinching the sides of my head. And when I look down and they slide off I get RAGEY FIREY MAD. I'm not above throwing them. Maybe I have sensory issues. 

3. Stinky Sponges
That smell that gets stuck on your hands when you use an old sponge? THE WORST! If I remember, throwing said sponge in the dishwasher can help. Mostly though, I do an awkward claw-pinch and toss that foul thing in the trash. 

4. Grocery Shopping
Mention grocery shopping to me on a Sunday afternoon, and watch my mood immediately turn to crap. I would rather live on scraps of food for weeks on end than go to a grocery store. 

5. Being Right
As in, "we really need to leave now because Baby Fix-It needs his nap".  Oh what's that? I said that 45 minutes ago and now he's screaming in the back seat? Uh huh. 

What drives you crazy?






Failed

I've alluded to the fact that we underwent fertility treatments to conceive our son. At the time it felt like a big undertaking. Huge. But it went unbelievably smoothly and we got pregnant easily. "Awesome! My body loves making babies" I thought.

To prepare for that fertility cycle I went crunchy. Like big-ole-hippy-granola mama. I eliminated caffeine. I went to acupuncture. I amped up the yoga. I meditated. I ate tons of green vegetables. I meticulously organized my supplements. Booze? Gone. My mindset was: no regrets. If I was asking a lot of my body I was going to be kind in return. 

Now it's today. Today I got the call that breaks your heart into tiny pieces. "Your HCG test came back negative". 

Over a month ago I toasted the start of a new fertility cycle. 


I'll just say it: I was a little smug. 

Getting pregnant? Easy. It wasn't a problem last time we did this. All that yoga? Pffffft. Chill out, self. Just live life and let this happen. So I told myself. 

But then it didn't go so well. I had an allergic reaction to a medication. My estrogen was unusually low. I started to feel, well, crazy hormonal. Poor Mr. Fix-It. I really did get cray cray. None of the process was smooth or easy. 

So here we are. Failed. Not exactly how I hoped to start the New Year, but time for a fresh start nonetheless. 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Be Merry!

{2013}

I love receiving Christmas Cards! I'm so glad it's that time of year. Merry Christmas from our little blog to YOU! And just for fun, here's a little trip down memory lane. 2013 marks our 5th Christmas Card as a couple/family!


{2012: Family of 3!}


{2011: Married, Baby on the way soon}


{2010: Just Married}

{2009: Engaged}

Friday, December 6, 2013

Timing

I feel like there are two camps of people when it comes to life and timing: the "there's no perfect time for anything, you have to let life happen" and the "I'm way too much of a planner for that". Most of us live somewhere in the middle. I think.

I'd say one of my greatest challenges is not imposing my timeline on things that happen in due time. I'd like to use that as my excuse as to why a wedding venue was booked before I had a ring on my finger. But September 25 is the PERFECT fall-in-New-England wedding date! Turns out, it wasn't. It was 86 degrees and painfully hot in the chapel. You'd think I'd learn by now.

Other times, though, I've nailed timing. Not so long ago a perfectly timed pregnancy coincided with my licensing exam which coincided with a maternity leave which led to the ability to launch a private practice while still at home. I was then able to live the life I've dreamed and worked toward for the last 10 years: being home to raise my children while scheduling my own work hours.

Up until now, it has felt like the ideal timeline was obvious. Now? I don't have a damn clue. When is the perfect time to have a second child? When should we move? What's the best time to list our condo? Where should we move?

I guess it's time for trying out that whole let life happen thing.


Monday, November 25, 2013

Running in Circles

A few days ago I discovered that Baby Fix-It completely cracks up when I run around in circles. Good thing, because that's about all it feels like we've been doing lately. Metaphorically, that is.


I hope our life always feels full and busy. I look forward to days of a house full of kids: running between sports practices, play dates, school, friends, family, the whole shebang. Right now, though, full and busy seems a little different. Mondays Mr. Fix-It has class (Master's Degree), I see clients Tuesday and Wednesday nights, and by Thursday we finally sit down to a meal as a family and just crash on the sofa. Lately, our suitcases are barely unpacked before we're off to somewhere else. Once weekly swim class seems to pop up again before last week's towels are even dry (maybe I'm just behind on my laundry...)

This morning I had an appointment. Mr. Fix-It had a conference call. He was going to bring me, get some paperwork signed, take Baby Fix-It home, I'd take a cab back to our place, and we'd run out the door to swim class. Then we shuffle home, pack for Thanksgiving, Mr. Fix-It runs to class until 9:30pm, I'll get the house in order, and we set our alarms for 3:30am to hop on a plane in the morning.

Running in circles.

I love it, but life sure feels crazy.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Baby's Favorite Toys 0-6 Months

If you're expecting, or need to buy a little one a holiday gift, this is a list of our favorite toys from ages 0-6 months. (I'm also working on compiling a list for 6-12 months!) When it came to babies and the registry process, I felt completely prepared with gear. But actual toys? I just wasn't sure. These are mostly things we stumbled upon that our little guy played with day after day after day.



1. Sunny Stroll Arch: BUY THIS. For serious. The arch clips on a car seat, bouncy chair, bumbo, stroller, you name it. Our baby loved this thing. Loooooooved it.

2. Sophie the Giraffe "So Pure" Teether: Most kids love the classic Sophie. This is a harder, smaller version. Baby Fix-It wound up preferring to gnaw on this one. So, if your kid doesn't seem especially into the original Sophie there is still hope. Bonus that it's small, doesn't squeak, and can be clipped on to things with a baby link.

3. Sassy Mirror: Great for tummy time. Tummy time = minutes of misery at our house. The mirror made it remotely more tolerable. Now, at age 12+ months the mirror still gets use during playtime.

4. Stack N' Nest Cups: There are a bunch of versions of these out there. This particular set seems especially easy to manipulate with baby hands. These are also a timeless toy and still get played with in our house often.

5. Melissa and Doug Crab: It's just one crab, the photo shows both sides (I know you were wondering). My Mom picked up this crab for Baby Fix-It. He wound up being a bit of a crabby baby in the early days, so this provided a lot of entertainment for me. I'd flip the sides back and forth, and often get a giggle. Or perhaps it was my "sad crab", "happy crab" faces that were entertaining. Regardless, this toy clipped on his stroller, carseat, play mat, and was delicious for chewing.

6. SkipHop Treetop Friends Activity Gym: This was a toy we were able to use from day 1. It was so amazing to watch as our baby went from noticing the toys, to reaching for them, to actively playing. By the time Baby Fix-It was sitting up (5-6 mos) this toy was packed away. Definitely worth it though, it got tons of use.

7. Wedgits: We received these in a gift bag from a baby event. Baby Fix-It LOVES these and still plays with them now. They're these soft plastic stacking style toy. We take these to keep busy during baby yoga (while I'm in downward dog) and all the other kids go nuts for them, too. Actually, I almost had a melt down when one of our pieces went missing last week. The box says for ages 2+; they work for any age in our experience.


And, because I only remembered after making the lovely collage above, I must add this guy to the list:


Ears to chew, jingle noises, crinkly feet, intriguing textures - what's not to love? Mortimer might actually rank #1 on the list. And to think HE WAS ALMOST FORGOTTEN. What were some of your baby's favorites?

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Our Little Monkey Turned ONE!

When thinking about Baby Fix-It's birthday, a theme was the easiest part to choose! Our little guy loves anything animal-related but seems to just LOVE monkeys. And so, a Monkey Jungle First Birthday Party it was!


We went back and forth on the menu and venue a lot, and finally settled on hosting the party at our condo. It was tight, but we made it work.







On the menu:
STARTERS
Tiger's Tzatziki (Tzatziki and Pita Chips)
Babboon Butter (Chocolate Chip Banana Peanut Butter spread and Graham Crackers)
Hippo's Hummus (with fresh Pepper)

MAIN
Pulled Pork on slider Pretzel Buns
Homemade Mac and Cheese
Salad

DESSERT
Birthday Cake
Italian Cookies

It was all quite delicious!


We filled our condo to the brim with loved ones: friends, family, and even Nana, Poppi, Auntie Julia and Aunt Brenda made the trek from Rhode Island!








And of course there was cake.







Wearing Daddy's Birthday Hat that Grandma Justine made when he was a little guy!
 

And there were presents too.






It was truly the perfect way to celebrate a year with our wonderful little boy!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

You Get No Say

We try to control things. It keeps us sane. But I can't tell you how many times I've said to a client, "What if you had to accept that you couldn't control this?" This usually elicits a predictable reaction.

The biggest things in life seem to come with their own time tables. Finding love, having babies; the things we yearn for the most deeply are beyond our authority.

Right now I find myself amidst another waiting game. When I step back I can see that our life is pretty wonderful, but oh those other pieces, I just can't wait. 






Thursday, October 3, 2013

Daily Coffee


Every day, literally every day, Baby Fix-It and I go out for morning coffee. We live next door to a Starbucks so it's very hard to resist swinging by whenever the desire strikes. One part of this ritual is about starting my day with some delicious java. The other part is a bit bigger.

The baristas at our Starbucks saw me just about every day of my pregnancy, noticed when my order changed (to reduce caffeine consumption), and then met baby Fix-It when we rolled in at 4 days old. They know us by name, they know our order, and they have literally watched my baby boy grow up this past year.

We have also made friends with other moms and kids who have a similar routine. There's a big patio outside and I joke that baby Fix-It thinks it's our yard and the customers have come to visit him.

For me, it's a start to the day. We get dressed. We breathe some fresh air. We are greeted by friendly faces. We fill our tummies. It's like a daily cup of mental health.


Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Recovery


The other night it was chilly. I walked out of our bathroom, towards the bed, and contemplated curling up under the sheets. I thought to myself, "I'm cold. I'll just leave my yoga pants on." And then I had a flashback. Do you ever have those? It's not just your mind that remembers, it's your whole body. I got a terrible feeling in the pit of my stomach.

In that moment, I was transported back in time. It was suddenly late October. I was cold, sleepy, and crawling into bed still wearing my yoga pants. It was one of those early days with Baby Fix-It. Sleep deprived, physically recovering from delivery, and anxious. Wrought with crippling anxiety. I'd lay in bed, clinging to Mr. Fix-It like a life raft, just hoping that I could rest. Hoping I could feel peace.

I hid how I was feeling.

I wasn't overwhelmed by our baby, and I loved him more than I could imagine. So that's what I told everyone. Feeding, rocking, changing diapers. That was all easy. But my body. It felt like my wiring was all wrong. My heart was constantly racing. My palms were sweaty. And my hands shook. I pushed through. Baby Fix-It was born on a Monday, by Friday we were an hour from home introducing our baby to family running from house to house in the suburbs. That Sunday we hosted a "meet and greet" at our condo. Current self would like to tell former self that she was batshit crazy.

People would visit and I would sneak off to nurse the baby in a different room. I would bawl my eyes out. I would shake my hands and wrists. Hard. I would beg my body to "STOP. PLEASE STOP." but all I could do was shake. The jitters. The creepy-crawly bugs all over your body feeling. I finally understood the expression crawling out of your skin. And it got worse in the evening. By 4pm I was a complete wreck.

By two weeks postpartum I reached out to a friend who I knew took anxiety medication while breastfeeding. Her words were precisely what I needed to hear. She asked why, even for a minute, I would want to suffer like this. It took about 2 minutes after that for me to pick up the phone and call my doctor.

That's when everything changed. Those first days and weeks with a newborn are HARD. But I knew I was feeling something different. I had such an easy pregnancy. It was difficult for me to understand why my body could handle one part of the process so flawlessly and then completely short-out on another. The part that matters is that it got treated. I felt almost-immediate symptom relief. I felt like myself again.

I've asked myself why I'm sharing this. And then I think about nursing my teeny tiny baby at 3am. Feeling so alone, so isolated, searching the internet for a story. A story like my own to make me feel less alone and isolated, and to tell me that:
"Yes. It is post-partum anxiety. Yes, you need treatment. You can try to wait it out, but you'll likely suffer. Take care of yourself. Take care of yourself NOW. This is not weakness. You haven't done anything wrong. Don't miss out on the joy. On the happiness. On this time that you've waited for."




Monday, September 30, 2013

Birthday Wishlist: For a One Year Old

Last night I said to Mr. Fix-It, "Thank goodness someone has a birthday coming up. I am getting SO BORED of his toys!" He, of course, laughed at me and reminded me that the toys are for the baby. True. But he also knew what I meant.

In many ways, I feel like we have city living down to a science. We have found ways to expertly store baby gear, and I've worked hard on self-restraint when it comes to spending. Most of baby Fix-Its toys are small and portable. We rotate the toys we bring along in the stroller, car, on trips, and in the living room and nursery. So why are there three obviously large items on this list? It's a wishlist. Let's have fun.

1. Little Blue Truck. Two of my best friends who have little boys simply could not believe that we don't have a copy of this book. Supposedly it's adorable and has a good moral.

2. Baby Einstein Count and Discover Treasure Chest. Baby Fix-It has just entered the stage of "put it in, dump it out". He is completely fascinated by the cause and effect. He played with this at a friend's house and was mesmerized.

3. Land of Nod A Teepee to Call Your Own: Baby Fix-It is just a tiny bit too young to appreciate this tent. But it is so darn adorable. As a kid I know I would have found this totally magical to have in my bedroom.

4. App Store Gift Card. I'm pretty conscious of "screen time", but I can't deny my kid's interest in the iPhone/iPad. I'm the daughter of a computer scientist, grew up with more access to technology than most kids, and feel that I've turned into a normal and balanced person. I guess what I'm saying is that I believe in having a kid who is technology literate but not obsessive. So, the fact that my 11 month old can unlock an iDevice, find "his" page of apps, launch them, and appropriately utilize them is a win in my book. But I keep an eye on it.

5. Play Tunnel. Our little guy was slow to crawl. He seemed like a kid who would be an early walker and skip crawling all together. He had finally did figure out crawling and a play tunnel would help him to continue to develop this skill.

6. Pottery Barn Anywhere Chair. I adore these chairs. They are so cute and very Montessori-ish. You know, your kid can access and utilize it independently. Our little bookworm would surely enjoy sitting in this chair and reading his books.

What are some other one year old must haves?

Friday, August 16, 2013

Little Boy Shoes

Kids are weird. They just are. Ideally, hilariously weird.

Have I told you this story before? I'm pretty sure I haven't. So, I've always loved shoes. When I was a kid there was a children's shoe store on Hope Street in Providence called Lad and Lassie. When my Mom would take me there for new shoes you'd think it was Christmas. Be still my heart. Art was our usual salesman. Ah, memories.

I'd try on a number of shoes, excitedly walking about the store. When it came time to buy the shoes I was always given a choice: I could either wear the shoes out of the store or I could save them for later. What did saving them mean? It meant they were still squeaky clean so I was allowed to WEAR THEM TO BED. Guess which option I chose? That's right, the best part of getting new shoes was sniffing that new sneaker smell while in dreamland. I think I did this until I was at least 8.

So, it should be no surprise that I got pretty jazzed about buying our little boy some shoes. Here's a roundup of my favorites:







1 Bobux // 2 SeeKaiRun // 3 Converse // 4 Tevas // 5 TOMS // 6 Adidas

Do you remember your favorite childhood shoes? No, just me? Mine were these:


Pink Gemstone Moccasins. One day, at preschool one of the gemstones fell out. I spent the remainder of recess searching and searching for it. I was devastated. It was gone. They were ruined. I eventually found a similar gemstone that I begged my Dad to superglue in place. But they were never the same. I convinced my Mom that the shoes had to be replaced. THANK GOD. Then I had my "bad" shoes that I wasn't afraid to wear at the playground, and my "good" ones for special occasions. I know. I know. Hilariously weird.



Thursday, August 8, 2013

NINE