Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Happy Birthday to Me!

In about 7 minutes I turn 28. Ancient!

The larger part of the celebration will be this weekend. I share my birthday with my brother, who is three years younger. We will get together as a family to celebrate both birthdays on Sunday. There was some talk of my brother taking me off-roading, to complete a 30x30 and to celebrate, but I don't think I will have much fun if I am worried that Benjamin is crying all day, so I guess I will postpone that until we are out of this phase.

I put a "Mommy Rocks" onsie on Benjamin this morning and took some pictures. It is one of my favorite outfits, my mom bought it because of my love of Rock Band. It has rockstar pants as well, with a big star on the butt. I am glad I took the pictures right away because he spit up on it within 10 minutes of me putting it on him. Now he is in a cute lion outfit. And napping happily.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

In Contract!

We are now in contract to buy a home! As promised, more details. It is in a great location in the Lakeside neighborhood. It is two block from the local high school, two blocks from a really nice park with a playground, three blocks from the Lake Walk trail that runs through half of town (for biking, rollerblading, walking), four blocks from our new daycare. Impressive, right? It looks like this:

A view from the outside.

Nice, eh? It was built in 1912, looking good for 100 years old I would say! It is 1335 square feet, 3 bedroom, 1.5 bath. It is a corner lot, so most of the yard is on the side of the house nearest in this photo, between the house and the two car garage, so it looks like this:

Looking south off the porch at the yard and garage
The main thing that made this house more valuable than the others we had been looking at is that it already has all of its updates and has been redone. It has newer roof, siding, floors, updated kitchen etc, and is essentially turn key. When we started this project we figured we had time and could fix things up ourselves, but lets face it, we are not "project people". This house has a good foundation, updated interior, and it is oozing all the charm we could hope for!

The Dining Room

The Kitchen (note the corner of an eat-in table in the front right, and there is bit more counter to the left).
That is it for pictures for now. I do not feel like the rest of the pictures do it justice, so I will just discuss the rest of the house. It has a first floor laundry room of a good size that can double as an office or storage. If we need that space for something else in a few years we can easily move the washer and dryer back to the basement (all the hookups are still available down their as well), but for now I am extremely excited to be able to do laundry so easily. The half bath is about the size of a postage stamp. I am calling it our fight against obesity, because if you are fat you will have to walk up the stairs to use the full bath and therefore get a big more exercise! LOL. Upstairs the house has the three bedrooms, the full bath, and a ton of closet space. The master bedroom is very large, plenty large for our king size bed, dressers. as well as a sitting are or nursery area to keep Benjamin in our room (I am hoping to keep him in our room through 12 months). It has one "normal" size bedroom closet as well as a small walk-in closet, and access to a crawl space storage. The second bedroom is about 10x10 square with a large under-eve closet as well as a "normal" size bedroom closet. The third bedroom is a bit smaller and uniquely shaped with a "normal" size bedroom closet and access to a crawl space. It will accommodate a nursery or children's bed room quite well. The full bath is of decent size with a typical vanity and a built-in linen cupboard. The upstairs windows are all updated, while the downstairs windows are quite old and have that "wavy" appearance. The living room and dining room both have beamed ceilings and the dining room has a built in window seat. The stairway does get pretty short (so tall people could hit their head), but it is open enough that you will still be able to get large items up.

We are set to close on June 29th barring disaster. We do not expect any surprises during inspection as my BIL already gave it his seal of approval and he has a good eye for construction problems. Pretty much the only things I expect to do immediately when we move in is paint the nursery for Benjamin (I want to re-create the nursery I had spent all the time on in Columbus that he never got to use) and maybe paint the second guest room. We really like the finished look of the rest of the house, though it will take us quite a while to reconcile it with our current furniture. (i.e. the house is very light/cottage while much of our furniture is dark woods, Asian style lamps, etc). Our first major project on the house will be putting in a fence the rest of the way around the yard, which we would hope to complete before the ground freezes for the 2012-2013 winter (mainly to avoid those COLD dog walks).

Needless to say, we are very excited. Now just cross your fingers for us that everything goes smoothly (inspection, paperwork, financing, etc).

Friday, May 25, 2012

Falling in Place

I am very happy to report that things are falling into place. My stress, though intense, was relatively short lived.

On Tuesday morning I "snuck" out of the house early to try and get my drug test done before it interfered with any plans. My MIL is in town and I thought I could be back before people really got moving to do anything. I arrived at the lab at 8:30am and failed to be able to provide a big enough sample. I drank another liter and a half of water and just sat and waited... and waited.. and waited.

While I waited I received a call from a daycare center. I had emailed them before noticing in their webpage that they specialized in serving the needs of "parents with additional stresses". I figured that even if they had a spot open that as a married, middle class, educated family we would not qualify for it. However, the lady on the phone assured me that while they do offer services that would benefit "parents with additional stresses" that they did not limit their clientele to this, and that they did have a full time infant spot open. I told her I would come over around 10am, figuring I surely would have been able to give a sample by then.

It ended up being a rush! I do not know if it was due to breast feeding or what, but my body just absorbed the water it seemed, and it took forever for me to need to go. I finally did around 9:40 and then hopped into the car to head back across town to see the daycare. I was running late so I did not stop and change babies diaper or feed him even though I knew he needed both, he was happy and I figured I could do it after.

The tour of the center was great. Everyone I met was very nice and very professional. The infant room had 6 infants in it and three adults when I walked in. One of them was not technically an infant teacher, but she was helping out because her specific job (food coordinator) leaves her with lots of extra time. Also, because they share a building with a senior living center, they have a volunteer named "Grandma Mary" who comes and helps do projects, rock babies to sleep, etc. All the kids were engaged and playing on the rug, or down for naps in a nice nursery room. Also, the office staff (of two) was very engaged with the kids as well. It was just really great - caring adults with loving hands everywhere. And the the main infant teacher gave me a great vibe, she was very engaged and very concerned with understanding what Benjamin would need to be happy and what I would need to feel comfortable leaving him there.

 I was almost certain we wanted the spot, but I had to check with DH, so I went out to the car and talked to him on the cell, then headed back in to sign up and put down a deposit. Well, I handed DS to the office manager to fill out paperwork and he immediately began screaming. She asked if he could be wet or hungry and I had to admit he was both! I felt like an awful mother but they were so nice about it, changed his diaper and found somewhere for me to nurse. Once he was clean and dry I finished the paperwork while they took turns holding him. They did a decent job considering his normal tendency to scream when I am not around. I am still sure that the first few days will be rough, but I also feel like they will take really good care of him and not just let him cry or ignore him in favor of dealing with other kids.

We also have made some progress on the housing front. We are going to be making an offer on a house this weekend. I know this does not mean that everything will work out with it, but I really just feel like we are headed in the right direction mentally and with our actions. We have been given some advice during this house hunt and during the trouble we have had with it. People suggested that we be patient, consider raising our price range, and stop putting pressure on ourselves to make this the end all/be all (surely forever) house. I think we are taking all three pieces of advice. The house we are putting an offer on is a bit more expensive than we were looking, and it may not be our forever home, but if we successful purchase it we will live their a long time and very happily. More details on the house once we are in contract!

Finally, I received the call yesterday that all is in order for me to start work on June 18th. I passed the background check and drug test. I got a nice email from my supervisor welcoming me to the team.

So yes, things are falling into place. Its a bit unfortunate all these big things had to be going on while my MIL is here, because I feel like I have not had a chance to enjoy her company as much as I had hoped. I have been running around to labs and day cares etc. But I am very glad things are starting to get settled.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Ball O'Stress

Between the daycare search, paperwork etc for the new job, and the house hunt, I am feeling extremely stressed. This is the most stressed I have been since, I don't know... I was pretty stressed about the decisions involving delivery of Benjamin back in December, but I think this is worse. Before that... well my last job was not stressful at all so I would say since General Exams in graduate school.. yeah those might have been more stressful than this.

I spent the morning calling and emailing day cares. All the work resulted in one visit this evening, which did not go well.We both found the owner to be overbearing and odd, and the set up to be less than favorable. I am worried we won't find better. The problem with daycare search that non-parents don't seem to understand is that you don't just go pick a daycare, you have to find one that has an opening, and then there may be several people trying to get that opening. It sucks. My mom and her work friends are trying to help with leads, and I have four weeks, but its all I can think about practically. Except I cannot afford to only be thinking about that...

I also set up to go view more houses. After a small escapade with a house we thought we loved but realized after we had an offer in that we didn't, we are really trying to gather ourselves and identify what our goals are. I think we have our heads on straight now about that, but we will see how the next round of viewings go. The pressure is on if we want to close in June. Finding the right place is practically all I think about. Except I cannot afford to only be thinking about that....

I got another round of paperwork for my new employment, and I have to arrange to go take a drug test. Clearly I don't expect their to be any glitches, but making sure it all gets done still occupies a great deal of my attention, its practically all I think about. Except I cannot afford to only be thinking about that....

My car needs repairs too by the way.

Luckily there is some shining light in this.  Benjamin was a sweet little adorable angel for me today. He was cheerful and babbling and laughing while he was awake and went down for his naps easily. He looks SO CLOSE to crawling, but I don't think he quite has the torso strength for it yet. He will push his entire chest and stomach up in the air, and today he even was wiggling his back end under him, but he can't hold that torso straight. He is also very close to sitting unassisted. He was talking so much today it was amazing. At one point he would burst out laughing every time I said a letter. ("A" (he breaks out laughing) "B" (he breaks out laughing) etc. For a whole alphabet and a half!). He is so adorable. I cannot believe how big he is getting.

On one last note, fiction. I have a lot of fiction in my life when there is time for it. Mainly books and TV. I have been watching MASH while I nurse for the past 2-3 weeks and I am on the final season. I am reading a book, Little Bee, for book club tomorrow. I have realized that feeling as stressed as I have been, these are not appropriate forms of fiction. Both the book and the final season of MASH are depressing and I just can't take it. I feel like it is adding to my stress instead of relieving it! But in the case of the book, I need to get it done in the next 20 hrs! And for MASH, I only have two discs left so I want to just finish, but I really should postpone and put something cheerful/comforting on.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Big Mama's Boy

Benjamin had his 4 month appointment on Tuesday. He is a big growing boy! He weighed 16 lbs 4 oz (75th percentile), and is 26.5" long (90th percentile). It is weird how big he feels now. I think what really makes him feel bigger than even a week ago is that he is stretching out more. A week ago if I had him sleep on my chest he would be all curled up with his legs tucked under him in a fetal position, now he stretches out and lets his legs hang down and it makes him feel SO LONG.

He also had his vaccines on Tuesday and spent Tuesday night through Thursday morning with a fever and generally not himself. Luckily that cleared up in time for his Grandparent's (my ILs) to arrive Thursday afternoon. Unfortunately he was very fussy for them anyways because the way his sleep pattern had been and his growing stranger danger/separation anxiety. 

In short, Benjamin is a mama's boy, to a fault. The last few times I have needed to leave him with my mother as a babysitter he pretty much screamed the entire time. On Monday I needed to go to do some job application stuff and my mom watched him. I was gone for 90 minutes. He was OK for the first 15 minutes then screamed for the rest of the time. On Thursday my dad and mom both watched him while I went for a job interview and it went a little better, but it still involved quite a lot of "not the mama" stubborn crying. On Thursday afternoon, right after my ILs arrived I needed to go sign some documents, so I left him with a whole slew of baby sitters (both sets of grandparents, my brother, and both SILs), and he screamed the entire time I was gone (over an hour). He stopped crying about 2 seconds after they handed him back to me. Its extremely stressful for everyone involved. I feel trapped when I can't go somewhere without thinking he is at home screaming, which is pretty much accurate.

And things just got more complicated. All that job stuff? Well, I got a job; Eligibility and Enrollment representative for the medicaid/medicare portion of a large insurance company. I start June 18th. I need to find childcare. I have no idea how this is going to work. I imagine that unless something drastic changes in the next month that he will spend the first couple of days I go to work screaming his head off. The thought of it breaks my heart. I am glad and relieved to be employed, but not happy, if that makes any sense. In fact if I really stop and think about it, it makes me want to cry.


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Goal Update

I have a few goals floating out there - both my New Years Resolutions and my 30x30 list. I thought I would take a minute to review them.

New Years Resolutions: 
(1) Reading (10 minutes a day, 24 books in the year). -- I have not been reading everyday, but I certainly am still reading. I have read 4 books so far, not on pace to make the 24, but I am confident I will be able to!
(2) Blogging  (2 posts a week) - I have posted 44 times this year, which is more than twice a week, so I am doing quite well on this front!
(3) Record keeping - I have not done Benjamin's baby book, but have been keeping lots of records via blog, journal, and camera, so I feel like I am completing this one. Instead of doing the babybook I bought I hope to put together a first year book at the end of the year.
(4) Get a Job in Duluth -- I am doing my best!

I am sure you don't want a blow by blow account of how each of the 30 goals is going, I just want to discuss what I have done and what I hope to do next. I have been gathering information for the goals. For example, I have identified that the park for #22 is Great River Bluff State Park in the southeastern corner of Minnesota. I have also learned that the safest/best/most legal way to get to the bottom of Palisade (#19) is to kayak there, and have recruited my mom to help hook me up with someone she knows who kayaks.  I have also started to eat some mushroom (#4), and to learn to cook some of the recipes mentioned in #29. For #29, I do not want to make each  one once and call it done, I want to make them enough times that I feel confident that they are in my cooking repetoire. I have made pancakes once with my dad's recipe and I have made french toast once. French toast is really easy and I may already consider that one mastered. For the pancakes, I want to try some more traditional recipes and practice practice practice. We are actively looking for our forever home.

Some of the fitness related tasks will require a bit of effort on my part. (the weight loss, hiking, rollerblading, snowboarding, etc). When I got cleared to work out at 8 weeks I was motivated and did really well for a few weeks doing at home work outs, but I have fallen off the wagon. Two things recently have inspired me to get back on. (1) My older sister is training for a marathon. She completed a 20 mile run on Friday morning that ended at my parent's house. She walked up the drive looking like she was going for a stroll in the park. I would look worse after walking a mile! I am simultaneously embarrassed and inspired by how fit she is! (2) The Macerena at my brother's wedding! It had me gurgling my heart and my quads were cramping, pathetic! So its back onto the fitness wagon for me! Maybe even intensified a bit. Starting this week with watching my diet better. 

Other things I really need to get on - finding an organization to volunteer with, somewhere that had repeated opportunities that allowed me to take Benjamin along would be ideal. I also need to track down a good option for going out on Lake Superior, see if I know anyone with a boat! And I should start writing, won't get anything done if I don't write!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Our First Mother's Day

Today was my first Mother's Day as a mother, it was a long time coming! We got up at our normal time, DH told me he needed help finishing my mother's day present. So I come downstairs and it is a breakfast tray that says "Our First Mother's Day", with the date and Benjamin's name, and a picture frame, and a place to put Benjamin's hand print. So we painted his little hand blue and slapped in on there! I thought I took a picture, but apparently it did not make it to this computer yet. Then DH took care of baby and made breakfast while I showered. I gave my mom her gift, and we all ate pancakes and bacon.

After some more conversation and preparation we headed out for a day up the shore. My aunt and uncle were still in town from the wedding and they wanted to experience some North Woods beauty. (Also just for my records, we started using size 3 diapers today after a number of blowouts recently. I am putting this here because we stopped to buy a pack on the way up the shore).

We went to Gooseberry Falls State Park and then to one of our favorite little "secrets" along the north shore, Iona's Beach. Then we had lunch at Northern Lights, and I took a nice nap while DH drove us home. It was a really great day and I am very appreciative to have such a great husband, mother, and son, and family to spend it with!
Our Beautiful Little Family at Gooseberry State Park

My brother playing with Benjamin on Iona Beach

Me! Nice shot with Bry and DH in the background.

Grandma (my mom), me, baby, and DH on Iona Beach
Fitting that my new SIL found a heart shaped rock two days after her wedding!

DH holding Benjamin at Gooseberry

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Mr and Mrs Little Brother

My little brother got married last night to a great girl. She likes cars and ice racing, she collects stegosauruses, she is afraid of biscuit cans and baby seals, she calls herself a vampire because she is a phlebotomist that works nights. She is perfect for my brother and fits into our goofy family wonderfully.

The wedding was a lot of fun! I have to admit I was a bit nervous about having baby there, whether we would be able to stay the whole time etc, but it went very smoothly. The ceremony was short and sweet, with a basic "what is marriage" speech, a reading from "The Places You'll Go" by Dr Seuss, and vows. I think a lot of people teared up during that part. Baby fell asleep as we were waiting for the wedding to begin and slept through until we applauded at the end, perfect! Then it was up to cocktail hour that involved chocolate mustaches for everyone! Yummy, and useful for disguise. Back at dinner it was a pizza buffet and wings, and an amusing DJ. The dancing was great. They don't really like being the center of attention, so most of the dances (first dance, dance w/parents, etc) rapidly evolved into everyone grooving. I found out my brother does indeed have Shakira hips as it had been rumored. Benjamin did have a bit of a meltdown during the beginning of the dancing, so I spent about an hour rocking him and letting him sleep on me, then I put him in his car seat by the table and he slept the rest of the night. The DJ several fun activities up his sleeve, the most entertaining of which was a cross between a scavenger hunt and musical chairs starting with eight participants sitting on chairs on the dance floor. They were sent off on a number of ridiculous missions, like stealing someones belt, finding someone with a tattoo etc. The best moment of the game, and perhaps the night, was when the final two contestants were instructed they needed to tuck a business card into the groom's pocket. The foot race which ensued involved grown men in suits vaulting multiple chairs, and was hilarious. The other high point of the night for me personally was the macarena... Oh how I love that song and all the good memories it brings back! My friends and I always did the "athletic" version. I got the bride and groom to try it! Instead of just swiveling your hips on the last beats of the verse you go down on the floor and rock back to throw a hand up. I tried to find a video of it, but I am not sure how to even search without watching 100s of macarena videos.

So that is it, my little brother is married. I am extremely happy for him and his new bride, and welcome her to the family!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Worry Wart

Parenthood is full of worries, I knew this going in. When we finally got the confirmation we were pregnant and saw the heart beat at 6 weeks the doctor said "You will worry about this being from now until one of you dies, welcome to parenthood". I think its a great line (he has probably used it a million times), and I have repeated it to people I know who are struggling with parental worries.

So what exactly does the parent of a 4 month old worry about? There are the obvious things of course: health and safety, but then there are a plethora of things I never thought I would be thinking about. Here are some examples:
- Am I stimulating him enough for his intellectual development?
- Should I be doing more? Talking to him more? Singing More? Playing more?
- Should I be doing less? Am I coddling him?
- Is he getting enough tummy time? Back time? Am I slowing down his motor development by holding him too much?
- Should I be holding him more to keep him from getting and flat head?
- Do I have the right toys and enough toys or is he bored?
- Do I offer him too many toys, is he over stimulated?
(sensing a pattern yet?)
- Do I help him too much so he won't learn to grab?
- Do I not help him enough/is he overly frustrated?
- Am I creating bad habits by the way I give him a lot of attention as he goes to sleep?
- Am I missing out on valuable bonding by not giving him more attention as he goes to sleep?

These are all little day to day things that can also be described as "mommy guilt"... no matter what you are doing as a mother you always thing you could/should be doing something more/different. Before being a mother I knew what mommy guilt was academically but did not realize how pervasive it would be and how inescapable it is even for someone pretty laid back.

All of this worry, and yet I consider myself relatively rational and lucky compared to some mothers. Lucky because I don't have to worry about whether baby is eating enough and supply and all of that type stuff that some mothers have to worry about and Benjamin has been pretty healthy. Rational because I don't worry about a lot of little things the media tells me to worry about that are more alarmist than scientific (most of these involve exposure to certain foods or chemicals or medicines etc, or critiques of certain parenting methods) and I am in general not prone to panic. When I hear a news story with an alleged threat I read up on it and decide based on the data whether to pay attention, and if I do pay attention its just changing my behavior, not panicking about what has already been done.

Of course even I have some big quasi-irrational fears. Example? Being aware of SIDS and having some preventive measures is healthy... but really it is a tiny probability, especially since I have no risk factors, yet I am overly paranoid about it, follow every SIDS rule to a tee and prefer to have DS napping near enough to me that I can either know he is breathing the entire time or check on him every 5-10 minutes. I drive my husband batty when I won't let DS sleep on the bed with us, or in his boppy unless we are right there etc.

Then there is the horror story fears. It used to be when I heard a baby horror story I thought it sucked and moved on, now they have much more of an impact. The worst stories are stories where perfectly well intentioned loving parents make a mistake that is blatantly their fault that leads to the child's death. An example, a few days ago I read a story that a woman thought she had dropped her infant son off at day care, but actually forgot/went straight to work. She found the little boy's dead body in the car seat when she went to pick him up from daycare. It sends chills down my spines and I don't even know if it is true. It's not that I think it will happen or that we are at risk for it, its a deep down sympathy reaction where I realize as a mother just how horrifying it is and it disturbs me. I read this particular story right before I meant to to go sleep... needless to say I did not get to sleep easily, and I almost ended up waking up DH just for some comfort. I have heard many women say that they became more emotional or reactive to news when they became mothers, so I guess this is just a variant.

I don't know where I am going with this. What I am getting at is:
(1) Every mother worries.
(2) Every mother has some irrational fears or worries. 
(3) Mommy guilt is very real.
(4) The emotional changes of motherhood are very real.

And the take home points? Don't kick yourself for worrying... or worry that you are worrying, and don't judge other mother's for worrying, even irrationally, even if their worries are different from your own.

Oh. and don't read news stories late at night.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

4 Months Old!

Benjamin turned four days old yesterday on Cinco de Mayo, and Derby Day! He seems to grow everyday! Since my last post, he has discovered his toes. I am not sure that he knows they are his, but he certainly likes to hold onto them! He has been babbling a lot and really shrieking. He likes to watch us dance and sing and generally make fools of ourselves. He likes songs that have hand motions, like Itsy Bitsy Spider (which my husband had re-written to be the pretty big spider), Princess Pat, and Little Green Frog. DH does a rousing rendition of Old McDonald's farm that involves panda bears, worms, velociraptors, and my brother living on the farm. I have a version of "The Ants go Marching" that my mom claims is totally wrong. We also sing the alphabet song (A Alligators all around, B Bursting balloons, etc). I wrote a little song to sing to him that is pretty basic but he loves it and it always gets him laughing as I poke his various body parts. It goes as follows:
 You are a baby, You are a baby
Baby brows and baby eyes, baby calves and baby thighs
You are a baby. 
Baby nostrils and baby nose, baby feet and baby toes
You are a baby.
Baby hair and baby ears, baby smiles and baby tears
You are a baby.
Baby tummy and baby heart, baby butt with baby farts
You are a baby.
Baby skin and baby hips, baby gums and baby lips.
You are a baby
Baby cheeks and baby chin, baby knees and baby shins
You are a baby
Baby hands and baby wiggles, baby coos and baby giggles
You are a baby, you are my baby.

 Meanwhile, besides the normal age appropriate songs, we also sing some less appropriate songs. He loves it when you take his hands and do "Mmmm look at that body mmm look at that body mmmm look at that body mmm I work out" and "wiggle wiggle wiggle wiggle yeah" from the song Sexy and I Know It. I also mix it with parts of Party Rock Anthem. He likes being naked or as near naked as possible and he loves skin to skin contact. Sometimes when you are changing his outfit or diaper (usually both) he gets so giggly you don't want to finish and just want to stand there and make him laugh by saying ridiculous things like "what are you laughing at?"

I have not been as diligent at picture taking, largely because my camera stopped working. I grabbed my Dad's (SLR) camera yesterday and today however and took a few pictures, some of which I absolutely love. I was tempted to post about five more here than I am, mostly various pictures of him holding the "4 Months Old" card like above, including one where he is eating the card, but I figured this is enough pictures for now.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Splish Splash

Benjamin is sleeping on the table in his boppy about two feet away from me. Adorable. Thought I would post an update about how things with him are going - as much for my own benefit (record keeping) as for yours!

The big "cute" thing this week is that he learned to splash water during his bath. He has always likes his baths, which still take place in the baby bathtub that sits in the kitchen sink. On Monday I had him in there and he started splashing and smiling. Based on how wet I got, it may be time to move him to the tub! But the sink is much easier on our back of course! Actually today is bath day as well, once he wakes up!

For the past 7-10 days he has had what I would call a sleep regression. I mean, his sleep never got great, but it was getting better, then boom, he was up all the time, not just to eat, but with gas, or just for no reason, and for the first time since he was born I had trouble getting him back to sleep sometimes. It has been pretty tough, but there is a glimmer of hope. Last night he slept more like he was doing before the regression - from 9pm to 2:45am and 3am to 6am. What more could a mother want? LOL.

With the sleep regression there also was other changes - general fussiness, wanting to eat more often, wanting his pacifier more. We thought he might even be teething, though it was early, but I have no idea what to look for. He also has had some separation anxiety and has been difficult for my mother to babysit. Basically, I think he has been having a growth spurt with all the fun things that come with it. I am hoping last night means its over... for now.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Meet Up

I joined an internet group for Duluth mothers on Meet Up. I am hoping to make some new friends, ideally a couple who have kids around the same age as Benjamin. After backing out twice, I finally made it to an event yesterday - May Day coffee. It was sort of a drive but I figured it would be worth it if I met some interesting people. My conclusion? Meeting people is hard.

I arrived at the coffee shop about five minutes early and headed in. A woman was there with her baby. I introduced myself and we started chatting. Her son is 7 months old and a real cutie. I ordered a drink. A third woman, the organizer, came in with two boys (6 yrs, and 20 months). She had us move to a different part of the shop and we sat down. I felt all awkward and in the way with my infant seat and diaper bag. It was just us three for awhile and it was OK, I just felt like I was on a different wave length than the organizer was, but I was enjoying getting to know the other woman w/the 7 month old. We had some in common because we are both first time moms, both new to the meet up group, and she just bought a house. Then more woman began to come with kids of all ages. There were six women in total. While more women were coming in Benjamin started to get fussy so I got the bottle out to feed him, only to discover it had leaked all over my diaper bag, meaning I did not have food for him and I had a giant mess. I tried to give him the ounce that was left but the bottle kept leaking. We were both covered in milk. I knew I should just feed him. I am all for breast feeding in public in theory, but have NO experience really. When I am out and about I always just stop in the car to feed him, or in a nice nursing room at the mall. But I knew it was either feed him or leave, so I went ahead and did it very awkwardly. I must have looked ridiculous trying to juggle him etc, and the fact I had just tried to give him a bottle, and I hardly knew these women. (I was not the only one breastfeeding, but the other woman clearly was a pro). *sigh* totally ridiculous. When he was done eating, there were all these woman settled in and I had no idea who they were, and they all knew each other. They were all perfectly nice, but I certainly felt out of place. Then the one woman I was getting to know had to leave because her son was fussing (nap time). Then I really felt out of place and I don't think the woman on my other side liked me much. Or maybe I was just being paranoid. Then Benjamin got fussy (also needing a nap) so I headed out. I didn't have a bad time, but I came home in a really bad mood for some reason. I think its just the stress of it, and the worry that I won't make friends. Meeting new people is so dang hard.