Monday, February 22, 2010

33 on the clock.

Today I'm 33. Not a "big" birthday, but it really sounds like a grown-up age, doesn't it? Closer to 40 than I am to 20. Which is not a bad thing, whenever I'm around 20-year-olds I definitely feel the age gap and realize I'm more comfortable with "my generation." People like me, who actually owned record albums and remember when Madonna looked like a person and know what movie is being referenced when someone yells out "Wolverines!!" and actually feel old when we realize while watching Two and a Half Men that we still think of Jon Cryer as Ducky and that all of the Molly Ringwald movies came out like twenty-five years ago. You know, grown-ups.

I didn't make any real "resolutions" at New Year's this year, so instead I have a few goals between now and my next birthday. By the time I'm 34:
  • I would like to run at least 2 more 5K's and start thinking about a half marathon. Of course this would mean I have to start running again. I've been walking and lifting weights, and I plan to start running again once Jr. is 6 months old (I'm just so paranoid about doing anything that will diminish my milk supply).
  • In conjunction with my first goal, I'd really like to lose this last bit of pregnancy weight. For once in my life I'm not overly worried about it, though. Since losing weight with Weight Watchers last year I feel like I have a good handle on the "right" way to lose weight. I started W.W. again a couple of weeks ago and already I'm back in good habits and shedding pounds.
  • I really, really, really want to get away for a weekend without my husband and kids. Bless their hearts, I love them but it's been awhile since I had some "me" time. Can I do this without guilt? Probably not but I'm still going to do it.
  • I need to decide once and for all if I'm going to try to go back and do a residency. Now that I'm 6 years out of vet school, I've been coming across classmates of mine (some younger than me) who pursued the specialist route and now they're all board-certified and published and all accomplished and stuff. This year I really need to figure out if I can feel ok with my own accomplishments (i.e. kids) and lay to rest the desire to be a specialist, or if it's time for me to say what the heck and look into another 3-4 years of schooling. (The very thought makes me shudder so I'm thinking I already know how I feel about this one).
  • Debt free, except for student loans, mortgage, and car payment. We're close now. I think this is totally attainable within the next few months.

And finally...I'm going to eat a pomegranate. When I was writing about making baby food and how J is a picky eater, TH said, "Well, you're a picky eater." And he's kind of right. I do have a fairly long list of foods I don't like, mostly fruits. I don't know why. I love a good vegetable, but other than plain old bananas/apples/oranges/grapes I just can't get into fruits. Strawberries? No, I've never liked the flavor. Plums? Weird texture. Mango? Too slimy. Kiwi? God, no. Gag. Peaches, raspberries, and pineapple? Only in yogurt or baked in a dessert. But the worst offender is the pomegranate, with all those little seeds!! Gah, my stomach clenches thinking about them, they skeeve me out that much. So this year...I'm doing it. Maybe.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

The Wall

I think 4.5 months, for me, is the Wall Phase of infant development. As in, there's only so much sleep deprivation you can take, and then you hit a wall. That was me this past week. Jr. has been going through the so-called "4 month sleep regression" something terrible for the last 3-4 weeks, and it finally started catching up with me. A few days ago I began having that familiar feeling that I remember from when J was little, that I'm-going-to-start-climbing-the-walls-motherhood-is-kind-of-suffocating-me-right-now feeling. You know, the knot in your stomach and heart-racing instant stress you feel when the baby wakes up for the third time in 3 hours. And it's only 2am. The feeling that you want to go downstairs and run out the front door instead of getting up and trudging down the hall to the baby's room. Followed by the old resentment that only moms have boobs and therefore 90% of the middle of the night BS falls on you while hubby lifts his head for a few seconds to inanely tell you "I think the baby's up again" before falling back asleep. Then when you get to the baby's room and said baby starts kicking you in the stomach and pinching your breast and basically jacking around, waking up more instead of getting sleepier, for a few moments you think "Maybe this time you'll just have to cry, buddy" and consider not soothing him back to sleep even though you know he's still a little too young for that.

Of course this is all topped off by the immediate Mom Guilt that you even have such terrible, selfish thoughts. I sometimes wonder if dads have all of this internal turmoil, and something tells me...probably not. Between J and Jr. and work and pumping and what feels like a perpetually messy house and paying bills and stupidly re-starting Weight Watchers in the midst of all this stress, I definitely ran full speed into my Wall. Stick a fork in me, I'm a bit overdone. It's the usual Mommy song-and-dance: I feel like I'm taking care of everyone else, but no one is really taking care of me (including me). This morning I was looking in the mirror examining the horrid bags under my eyes and Oscar the Grouch-like unplucked eyebrows I've been sporting...when I spotted two new long gray hairs right at my hairline. Instead of being upset, I thought, "Yeah, that seems about right." Just in time for my birthday next week, too!

I know, I know, things could be worse. As someone reminded me this week, my kids are healthy and happy and in the grand scheme of things all of this is more annoying than anything else. I'm not going to die from being tired (although there's usually a freakout around 3am where I think that may be exactly what will happen). And Jr. is pretty cute, full-on laughing and "talking" and holding toys and making a valiant effort to roll over every day. I had to remind myself that all of these sleep "problems" are due to his little brain developing, a process I feel so blessed to witness again even though it's exhausting on my end of it.

So I plucked my eyebrows today, straightened my hair for the first time in weeks (and tried to ignore the alarming amount of hair in the drain and hairbrush, kind of forgot about that little postpartum gift, the hair loss), put some makeup on...and then fell asleep on my bed. Yeah, that seems about right.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Almost Wordless Wednesday - Photo Fun at the Park (or, It Took Like 80 Shots to Get ONE of the Baby Smiling)

"Come on, Jr. smile for Mommy!"

"Smile for Mommy! Look happy! Smile for me...?"

"Quick, quick! Snap the picture! He's smiling!"

We're getting closer...

And as the batteries on the camera start to die...
BAM! Money shot.

Monday, February 1, 2010

It turns out I'm a little crunchier than I thought with this one.

First it was the strange urge to have a "natural" childbirth. Then it was the cosleeping, although that's sort of ended (Jr. still spends every night from about 4am on in our bed. I can only walk up and down the hall so many times during this "4-month sleep regression" before I go crazy.) And now...I think I want to try making my own baby food.

J is a horribly picky eater, something that has been a huge struggle for a long time and is only just now starting to improve. The list of things he doesn't like is ridiculously long and includes lots of things that average preschoolers love - spaghetti, french fries, mashed potatoes, beans, any kind of wrap or quesadilla or tortilla, grilled cheese sandwiches, noodle soup, "real" hot dogs (he only likes the Jennie O Turkey Store kind), bread, and up until maybe 2 weeks ago he wouldn't eat pizza... Although in his defense he does like alot of good foods that most toddlers ignore like broccoli and rice (white or fried) and green beans and salad. The kid will eat a spring mix of lettuce with vinaigrette every day if we let him. I know that being a picky eater is partly the kid, partly the parents, partly the age, but it gets old having a super-skinny kid who won't eat anything regularly except for pancakes.

So awhile back I was having a conversation with someone who wondered aloud if jarred baby food was part of the culprit with really picky eaters. Yes, it's convenient, and affordable, and easy...but it's so bland and even gross depending on the flavor. If kids start out with Gerber green bean puree instead of real green beans that have been pureed, are they more likely to be adverse to anything with real flavor? It's an interesting theory, maybe a little quacky, but it intrigues me anyway. Not to mention the lack of real organic and preservative-free choices in the baby food you buy at the store.

Sooooo.....the Big Experiment for the next couple of months is going to be Making My Own Baby Food. I've never even attempted it before, but it can't be THAT hard, right? I would think that over time it will save me money and probably will be more convenient than buying baby food at the store. I have a coffee grinder, and a steamer, and a food processor already. Has anyone else made baby food before? What do I need besides those items and something to store the food? I've checked out a few websites that have good tips and tricks, and a couple of books on the subject. Jr. just turned 4 months, so we'll probably be starting "solids" in the next 4-6 weeks (I'd like to wait until he's about 5 months unless he seems ready before then). Wish me luck...