Tuesday, June 29, 2010

I Believe My Baby Can Fly

How do you travel by plane with an 8 month old baby? How can you possibly contain this excited little person who just discovered she can move?

This Friday Melissa will take her 2nd plane trip in her short life. Or more specifically, second set of plane trips. The first was when she was just 2 months old, to visit daddy's family for Christmas. And now we're visiting my side of the family for the 4th of July. I'm looking forward to it, except for the ride there, and the ride coming back. Melissa won't even let me change her diapers without a wrestling battle, so I can't imagine her content for 5 minutes in a boring plane.

I wish planes were more child friendly. It's funny, after you become a mom, you wish everything was more child friendly. Like public restrooms with loud dryers, causing all babies to scream histerically. Now I have to change her in the car always. Thank you, cheap fast food places who can't even buy paper towels for your costumers.

I have to say though, as much as Melissa's new found awareness drives me crazy, it is fun to watch her experience the world for the first time. But I just don't think there will be anything to experience in a tight economy class plane seat. Has anybody traveled with a baby this young? What did you do? Did you die? If so, please tell me!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Motherhood Myths

<- Melissa was born with Angelina Jolie lips :)

A couple of childless friends of mine have asked, "please give me the dirt. I don't want to hear motherhood is all flowers and rainbows. Tell me the horrible and gory things, so I can decide if I really want this/prepare myself psychologically."

So here it goes. Don't say I didn't warn you if I burst your bubble of perfect motherhood dream forever. It will all work out in the end, I promise.

Myth #1- Motherhood Instincs Come Instantly. The first couple of days after Melissa was born I was such a mess that I had no idea how to hold her, much less why she was crying. And she would cry A LOT (though my mom says she was an easy baby, so I don't know what I'll do when I have a normal one :). I couldn't believe they would give me, a bleeding, recovering person a small human and expect me to know what to do with her. But I am happy to report that it did get better everyday.

Myth #2- You'll Be Either Depressed or Overjoyed. You'll find quickly in motherhood that there isn't 8 or 80. There isn't the perfectly behaved baby, neither the impossible to care for. And just as much, if you don't get post partum depression, don't expect to be jumping out of joy either. First because you'll barely be able to sit, let alone jump. And second because this is a transition - and every transition takes time for adjustment, even if it's an awesome one.

Myth #3- Delivery is The Worst Part. You probably already read all the terrorizing pregnancy books about how having a baby will be the end of you. Of course they don't say it on those terms, but that's what you read. So I won't go into the gory details (I know, I said I would, but I don't have the heart). I just mean to say that pushing a baby out will not be the worst thing that will happen to you. This is to give you hope, not terror - meaning it all sounds much worse than it actually is.

Myth #4- The World Will Stop For You To Have a Baby. Like on our wedding day (for the married ones), you expect the birds will sing, stars will align and everyone will love each other when you become a mom. But life goes on as it usually does, so don't get offended or disappointed if the guy from the drive-thru isn't even nice to you, completely ignoring the fact that you just had a baby and food is the only thing that gives you comfort.

Myth #5- You'll Turn Into Mary Poppins (Or You'd Better). I'm sorry to say that giving birth does not improve your organization skills. Neither does it make you gifted with children or a homemaker extraordinaire. But don't worry - your child won't know any better. And he/she will want you, not some preconceived notion of what a mother should be.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


Is it any wonder that, despite our age difference, Melissa and I are already becoming best friends? No, it isn't, considering I wipe her butt often. That can make you close very quickly.

I'm in awe of how much I feel like I "know" her, though she can't really "talk" to me yet. I can honestly say I understand her squeals and noises. Don't ask me to translate it in english, because I only know it in my heart (how cheesy - and true - is that :). With her eyes, she smiles/whines/asks a question, and I understand her. The best I can right now of course, but I do feel like we get each other.

Melissa gets it when I tell her I love her, because she smiles really big. She gets the word "no", because she always stops what she's doing and looks at me as if saying, "what, mom?" She gets her own name, because she always turns to me when I call her. Sometimes I think she even gets my jokes, because when I tell hubby one she laughs with us as if she understands. She also gets it when I'm extra frustrated, because she looks at me questionly and tries to make herself clearer (looking deep into my eyes and saying "mama" - it means "feed me" for her too, not just my name :).

I like to tell my husband that, before I married him, I could never spend that much time with another human. One of the reasons I knew he was the one was that I never needed a break from him, as I need from the rest of the world. Don't get me wrong, I still need "me-time", but what I mean is that it doesn't feel like an effort to be around him. And until Melissa, I couldn't imagine being this comfortable with another person, but I'm SO happy I was wrong.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Motherhood is Going to Kill Me

My back hurts. My entire body hurts. I'm constantly sleepy but can't sleep because I hurt too much. Yet my baby gets heavier and heavier everyday, racking my back more and more everyday.

Last night I tried to be disciplined and went to bed at 9 - a miracle, since I'm a night owl. So I slept till about 12:30 and then only fell asleep again after 4:30!! 4:30!! Had to nurse Melissa at 7:30ish, of course. My entire plan of recharging my batteries went down the drain. I don't know what to do. I'm trying to strech myself more so I'll relax my muscles, and it has helped a bit. But I still feel like I'm broken.

So this post doesn't have any tips or anecdotes. It's just simply me letting you know my pain and why I might disappear from the blog for the time being.

ps: Melissa's still adorable. This is all her fault - she distracts me with her adorableness while I break myself.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Sleep Deprivation 101

Every new mother is a sleep deprived person struggling to look vivacious while showing off your baby. Not all of us succeed though, and end up looking like the expressionless baby holder on all the pictures. So this is a list (yup, another list) of what I think future mommies should know before their saga:

Chocolate can cure anything. If used wisely. The trick for me is making sure I had protein not long before, 'cause if I don't, then it makes me crash even more. Not good for when you have to hold a new baby or chase a new crawler (my case right now). Also, eating more than the portion size that the package says causes the same effect. BUT, if you follow these guidelines, it can be HEAVEN (as in, keep you awake until daddy comes home).

DON'T clean the house. You may think, "you just say that because you're messy". Well, no. Not entirely, at least. What I mean is that when you're desperately sleep deprived, don't go dust everything everytime the baby sleeps. It will make you a crankier mom. The key is, do what you have to (like dishes or laundry), keeping in mind that NOTHING can be more important than sleeping or checking your email.

Stop thinking. Seriously, when your baby sleeps, go back to bed and stop your overactive mommy brain. I'm so guilty of this. But I even read that if you think too much in bed, your mind will associate it with a "thinking" place and not a relaxing one. Now stop thinking that you're thinking too much, and go to sleep.

Have fun too. Being fun deprived is almost as bad as being sleep deprived. Have you seen moms that don't have fun? They don't even look like themselves anymore. There's no light in their eyes, and when you talk to them you can see they're thinking of their kids' poop and not even listening to what you're saying. Please don't be like that. Check your email. Blog. Or do whatever used to make you laugh before you became someone's mom. Your baby AND your husband will thank you for it.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

I'm a Mother, Hear Me Roar

I had a small epiphany last night watching The City (that MTV show that's kinda like The Hills, but with less drama - which still is a lot of drama). Who says a reality show can't speak to the depths of your soul? Anyway, it wasn't the content of the show that gave me the epiphany - it was how my reaction to it has changed since I became a mom.

You see, I used to envy the way those girls carry themselves. Not the way they behave - I did not envy the drama. But I did admire their confidence. How they handled all those high-pressure business situation with much more security than I would have, even though they're younger than me.

I think I was born with an awkward nature. Sometimes I see Melissa making the same shy expressions I used to when I was little, and I fear for her. At the same time, I'm happy I can understand her and will be able to show her the light at the end of the tunnel.

But now back to my epiphany. It surprised me last night that I didn't envy those girls anymore. Not their confidence, and not even their glamourous lives (much). I realized I'd found another kind of confidence, in my own very complex line of work: motherhood.

Let me explain better: when I imagine myself facing the intimidating situations they face, I think I'd survive, simply because I'm a MOM. If I can give birth, calm a screaming baby and still find time for some writing, I feel like I can do anything. Like more writing. And (in the future) more babies :).

Monday, June 14, 2010

Fun Melissa Facts

<- Daddy letting her drool all over his water :)

**WARNING** - Serious baby gushing ahead. If you are easily bored, please jump to the other posts that are more mom-related.

Every mom likes to brag about their child. We don't always find a patient audience, but the urge is always there. So this is me satisfying my urge:

- she calls me "mama". I finally know she means it! We've been trying to get her to say "dada" for David's sake, but no luck. She's in love with him though; after I nurse her in the morning, she reaches to him and desperately smiles at him until he wakes up.

- she's giggly. She laughs when I tickle her, when I laugh, when I talk on the phone, when I wash her armpits or when I do any surprising thing that rocks her world (like snapping my fingers in front of her face :).

- she likes to dance. More specifically, she loves to watch mommy/daddy dance, and tries to imitate us. It's the cutest thing to see her bobble and shake her hands in her exersaucer.

- she crawls. She officialy crawls now! That reminds me, I need to vaccum.

- she loves to watch me put make up on. I like to think I'm sowing the good seed in her heart :). Usually David holds her, but I have done this with her on my left arm! It's one of those super powers that automatically comes with becoming a mom.

- she hugs me tight. I didn't know a 7 and a half month-old baby could hold you so tight already, but she does. And if I'm lucky, I'll get some slobber on my hair too. You have to be a mom to realize the beauty of this :).

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Getting My Mojo Back

I don't know the exact definition of mojo, so don't sue me if I use incorrectly. All I know is that I'm feeling more and more like myself again. Not like my old self, but like my new self is becoming normal. The preggies reading this must be freaking out, thinking, "It took you 7 MONTHS to feel like yourself again??" But don't dispair. It's a long and gradual process, but it flies by.

The reason why I feel I'm getting my mojo back is that I'm accepting myself again. From the pregnancy on, everytime you look in the mirror you see someone different, and that can be scary. Then after the baby, you know for sure things will never be the same. It's amazing how much your body changes after a person is extracted from you. It's like going through puberty again - there's the insecurity phase, then you learn to accept and accessorize the new you.

Maybe what pushed me to the accessorizing stage was finding a shirt that was sparkly AND didn't make me look like a Christmas Tree. Miracle of miracles. It's funny how the perfect shirt can completely change a woman's perspective of life.

Also taking a break from blogging was a great idea, though it lasted for just a day and a half. It felt like forever. But I needed to regroup my thoughts, and from now on I might not blog every single day, so I won't burn out anymore. I'll probably do it every other day or so, like I used to do before I became addicted and unable to speak.

But I'm still doing my best to take a mind break this weekend, and it's working wonders. Mommies of all the world, I know it's hard to take physical breaks, but maybe even more important than that (or at least just as much) is to take a mind break. So stop running that huge list in your head. Stop. Right now. Don't you feel better?

Thursday, June 10, 2010


Maybe I've been a wee bit obsessed with this blog. The other day I met with a friend and found the sound of my voice so weird. It was hard for me to figure out what to say, but I definitely knew how I'd write it.

That's probably a sign that I need to take a little break. But if you happen to follow this blog, PLEASE don't abandon me - this probably won't last for more than a day or two. It's been so much fun writing on a regular basis that I think I got addicted. But I just need a mind break.

Speaking of that, join me and take a mind break also. Weekend is coming, grab a novel and/or do something very unproductive. Not that posting on this blog was exactly productive, but you know what I'm sayin'.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

How Not to Shop After a Baby

I'm trying to go back to my pre-baby self, but it's impossible. Shopping difficulties are just the tip of the iceberg; Melissa changed my life forever, and I'm not complaining. It's a happy change, but I just wish I could fit on either the pregnant or the non-pregnant category. Right now I'm in the "not pregnant but lactating and flabby" stage. I hope it's just a stage.

I used to have shopping down to a science. I'd spot something on a rack and know exactly how it would look on me, or pretty much. But I'd never been surprised so often as lately. So, since I've come to the conclusion that I don't know what I'm doing, at least I've noticed what doesn't work:

- Big Prints
Motherhood has filled up my heart, as well as other parts of me that I'd rather have unfilled (or not that much). So any large detail on clothes makes me look even larger. The result is that now my wardrobe is all plain, solid colors. Like I got it all from a mass production sale at Walmart/Target, which is often true.

- Sparkle
Oh, this used to be my signature. Not an all sparkly outfit, but a sparkly detail on a shirt made me look dressier in jeans. But now, it has to be VERY understated, or else I look like a Christmas Tree.

- A-Line Skirts/Dresses
My hips do not need to look bigger, thank you.

- Anything Impossible to Nurse In
Unless I want to undress myself everytime Melissa's hungry, it's not a good idea. I've ruined a couple of dresses trying to make them nurse-friendly, and instead I just deepened the cleavage.

Please note that I do not generalize this list to all new mothers - I'm sure there are some of you who already fit in a tight shiny dress. But for the rest of us mortals (or at least me), these are the things to donate to the Salvation Army. I had 2 trash bags full, and I still think I have stuff hidden somewhere.

Anyway, as you can see, there isn't much I can buy. Not all is lost though; if something is kinda flowy, but not enough to be called maternity wear, I almost feel like my old self. It's just hard to find those, and that's the drama of my shopping life.

Monday, June 7, 2010

This Little Mommy Stayed Home

I'm totally stealing this title from Samantha Wilde's novel (check it out on Amazon, if you're curious), but this post is not about that. I've got to stop writing reviews about books I'd never read more than the first couple of pages - what if the rest is horrible and I'm advertising it?? So I invoke my right to remain silent, though it does seem like a pretty funny book.

Anyway, this post is about stay at home moms. I never thought I'd be one - as many of my generation, I was raised to be a business woman. When I tell my friends from Brazil on the internet that I'm a homemaker, they act like I've given up on life. Ahem, I'm bringing up a life. And this turned out to be so much more fulfilling than I ever expected. [pause for Hallmark background music]

Not that working moms are any less awesome. Nowadays, women are expected to do it all, and some actually do. But one thing none of us can scape is (or we're all tempted with) mommy guilt. The fear that we're not doing enough, or that we're doing too much.

Because of that, I created a list of the pros about being a stay at home mom. I won't do cons, because I don't want to get depressed. And I can't speak for the working moms, because I'm not one of them. It's so crazy because I'd never dreamed of or searched for this life; it just happened to me. I'd never even been very good with kids. When I got pregnant, I think I went through "post conception depression", because I thought I was in way over my head. But now I love it. It was hard for me to imagine it, but now I'm the happiest I've ever been. [cue for Hallmark music again]

So on to the list. Here are the perks of my current occupation:

- cute boss. This is the only job that you hope your boss will take advantage of you. Oh, that sounded so wrong :). But seriously, there's a lot of weird and mean people out there that you could be working for. And they wouldn't care about you a tenth of how much your baby adores you.

- casual attire. Everyday is casual day. I've worn the worst pieces of clothing of my life since she was born, and it's kinda nice to take the focus off of myself. But I do try to put myself together right before David comes home, so he'll think I'd been like that all day.

- silliness is required. In a lot of business enviroments, if you try to be a little silly, they'll wonder what's your problem. But as a mom, everything I do is hilarious. She always thinks it's funny when I talk on the phone. Maybe that's the only time she hears my normal voice, not baby-ish.

- nap times. Who says I don't get a break? When do you think I blog? When my wonderful daughter beautifully falls asleep. I've gotten more writing done than I'd ever been able to do in a regular job. And more reality show watching too.

- countless others that don't fit on this list. I really can't summarize the joys of watching my daughter grow into a list. Imagine all the cheesiest commercials and Hallmark movies about motherhood. They're ALL true.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

The Importance of a Happy Mommy

<- Magnet from my refrigrator that reminds me to have a sense of humor :)

I'm generally a happy mommy, but I've always wondered if my dispair moments were ever noticed by Melissa. So today I got the answer, and it was a huge YES.

Here's what happened: my husband went to have a haircut, and in the meantime, Melissa woke up from her nap. When he was back, she stared at him not knowing what to make of this short haired guy that looked like daddy. She always smiles when she sees him, so it was clear she was startled. But I hadn't noticed it yet, and started talking about how she woke up, imitating her crying (it was more like a wail). She instantly started bawling, tears running down her face. David tried holding her to calm her down, but she seemed terrified of his hair. When he came home, I think she was still making up her mind about it, and then must have thought it had made me cry.

I was amazed of how much my reaction (or what she thought was my reaction) influenced her. I'd always heard that babies pick up on stress from the mother, that happy babies need happy mommies, but I'd never seen it so clearly. Melissa looks at me to decide how she should react to the world, and if I want her to become a happy and upbeat person, then that's what I should strive to be.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

My Next Babies Might Be Green

I got this cool bottle last night when I went to watch WICKED!!!! I'm so excited, I didn't know I was allowed to be this entertained since I had a baby :). An amazingly nice friend from church watched Melissa (thanks Esther!!) and David and I had a night on the town. By far the BEST birthday EVER.

Afterwards, I just had to buy a souvenir, because I wanted to remember how I felt. I've always been a waterholic, but after the pregnancy, I literaly always need to have water within reach. David had even given me a pink bottle for Mother's Day:

But I think we left it at a bookstore 'cause I couldn't find it anywhere! So I thought it would be perfect if I made David buy me another meaninful bottle :).

I think the powers are beginning to kick in...

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Post Memorial Day Weekend Depression

Ok, I lie. I'm not depressed. How could I when my birthday is tomorrow?? :D But I did wake up a little nostalgic about the 4 day - yes, 4, because hubby had friday off! - weekend, and regretful about what I should or should not have done.

Things I wish I'd done:

- cleaned the house. The most I did with the laundry was transport it from the floor to the couch. And that's only because I gotta walk.

- gotten in the pool with Melissa. We tried, but the water was freeeeeeeezing!! Not just "you'll get used to it" freezing, but really "your ears will hurt even if you get used to it" freezing. At least we got cute pictures of our attempt:

- gone grocery shopping. Again, we had a bunch of things to buy for the house but ended up just getting stuff for Melissa. I'm glad we have a 7-Eleven down the street, or else we'd starve.

Things I wish I had NOT done:

- eaten 2 cows and a pig. I think I had a large steak/pork meal for 3 nights in a row. That is enough to poof my face up. The thing with me and meat is that I will eat everything that's on the plate, whether I'm hungry or not. No matter how huge the piece is, and I'll even be sad that there isn't more. Maybe I crave the vegetables that the cow/pig ate.

- worked out. I hear all these stories of moms saying how working out made them so much happier and energetic, but I am not one of them. Melissa's already my work out, and if I add more for pressure of the society (or my thighs), I feel like I'm about to collapse. I get into a numb state when I can only understand baby language. Then David wants to talk I have a breakdown because I can't understand what he's saying.

- obsessed over this blog. Will people read it? Will people like it? Will some weirdo from the internet send me hate messages? If you're some weirdo reading this, please don't. I can get a little paranoid when I think too much about it. I can also get so excited when someone does like it (um, my husband) that I get addicted to blogging/editing it again and again. Incredible how a blog about having your brain fried (by motherhood) can fry your brain.