Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Mommy X Baby Time

<- Have your people call my people and we'll schedule a play date.

I think I speak for every mom when I say it's hard to find some me-time while taking care of a kid. And I'm kind of used to that, but lately, Melissa's new self-sufficiency is making me a little confused.

I expect her to be clingy. I expect her to want me ALL THE TIME. But what I wasn't expecting was for her to want my ATTENTION all the time, not necessarily me.

She's at the exploring age, so of course she wants to go everywhere and do everything she's not supposed to. I never thought I'd miss the days when she'd cry if I left the room. I mean, I don't miss the crying, but I do wish she'd be more willing to follow me. Now it's like, if momma wants me to go somewhere, therefore the opposite direction must be more interesting.

When I try to pick her up, she uses her own weight down to get away (unless she believes I'll take her to something she wants, like food).
I know this is supposed to be expected - after all, terrible two's are just around the corner, right? But the times that puzzle me are when I try to interact with her and she literaly pushes me away, as if I'm interrupting her imagination. Like, "momma, I'm pretending to be [whatever] here, and there's no space for the gigantic mother in this story".

Don't get me wrong, we play together a lot. She's still very sweet and LOVES hugs. Then it's "thank you, bye" (she says it exactly like this :), and off she goes to destroy the house. So I think I'm allowed to go do something else, and that gives her the cue to be extra clingy again.

I'm confused. I try to squeeze in mommy-times here and there, but feel guilty to let her play by herself for too long. Then if I try to join her, she sometimes acts like I'm not doing it right. My guilty mommy-brain starts thinking that it's because she resents me, and I should never have opened the computer in the first place.

Does anyone out there feels this way? When do you know you're entitled to some mommy time, and not just neglecting your child? I know that they're supposed to play a little bit on their own, but I don't want to use this as an excuse to not give her attention. When I'm typing, I'm in my own world. Then she demands I close the computer, gives me a hug and proceeds to ignore me. What's up with that?

Monday, March 28, 2011

Too Tired To Think of a Title

THANK YOU guys for all the encouragement on the last post! Even though I know it wasn't because of my popularity - most were from a wonderful site called The Lady Bloggers that happened to host a "tea party" this weekend (meaning, blog hopping), and I happened to be the first one there! So for awhile a lot of people only had me and a couple of others to visit haha.

Anyway, I'm still grateful. My sister just left this morning, and now our place feels so empty. Especially since she helped take stuff out of the floor A LOT :). I wish I could have her over every week.

We had a great time walking around the mall, Target, etc - you know, those places that husbands have allergies to. It'd been SO long since I'd had a true girly weekend. Way before Melissa ever came to existence, for sure.

But now it's time to face reality, as well as my total and complete EXHAUSTION. Being a girl is tiring! Those stores are really long. I feel like I ran a marathon everyday for the entire weekend.

I've been trying to continue with my writing projects but it seems my brain muscles are also exhausted. I honestly can't discern what's a great idea/sentence and what's crap. So sorry if this post is crap. I really couldn't come up with anything better.

Oh yay, hubby's here!! Happy happy joy joy. So off to a night of hibernation and high sugar intake. Tomorrow we might not have "Too Much Mom Tuesday", just because I try not to post every single day. And my brain needs to de-fry a little bit until I can start to make sense.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Hostess With the Leastest

Anyone out there have lots of experience as a hostess? I wish I had a big house so I could receive family (most live far away) more often. But even with my small apartment, I think I could still do a better job on making it more visitor-friendly.

Case in point: my older sister Andrea just came from Indiana yesterday to spend the weekend. And I'm happy to report that, despite my lack of hosting abilities, it's been SO fun - I'd forgotten how good it felt to to laugh in portuguese (our first language, though by now it's more like side-by-side with english). It also helps that she's enjoying having a break from her two girls (Brenna, 9, and Bailey, almost 2) too much to notice how dirty my floors are. Or carpets. Or the toilets. Okay, I'd better stop here.

It's not that our place isn't clean - it's just not "deep clean", it's more like "livable clean". It works for us, but I get embarrassed when other people witness it. I honestly don't know how other people take care of kids full time and still keep spotless houses. If you're one of them, how do you do it?? I'd like to know.

So if I disappear for a few days, it's because I'm enjoying my guest, or frantically vacuuming.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Too Much Mom Tuesday: Random Joy!

*Too Much Mom Tuesday: The post where I try not to say the word "mom" (except for now :)*

Oh I'm so glad someone in this world thinks I'm stylish (or my blog, at least - you wouldn't if you saw me in live action :).

Bless you, Ms Blase' (from The Unpopular Girl in Womanhood), for giving me such a joyful reason to post! Check out her blog, guys - it's one of the coolest out there.

So now, the tradition says that I'm supposed to list 7 random things about myself. I've done this once here, if you want to know 7 more :). But here's what I've got today:

1-I live in jeans. I'm a girly, dress-loving girl at heart, but in practical ways, nothing substitutes my jeans. But I only have 3; a dark and more fitted one for going out, my pregnancy one (which I used up to when Melissa was a year old) and a stay-at-home one, that wouldn't work for long walks because it'd need a belt (hence why it's so comfy :). And I'm extending my jeans habit to Melissa - instead of ruffle dresses, she gets the cutest glittered/embroidered pants ever.

2-I'm an aspiring novelist. Whew, I can't believe I just came out of the closet! I feel like I just told everyone I want to be a movie star. True, this isn't that much of an impossible dream, but it's still hard. Especially when you're the eagerest person in the world, who often can only be calmed down with chocolate.

3-I used to draw clothes when I was little. That's what I did during classes - my notebooks had more little princesses with tutu dresses than actual home/class work. I thought I'd end up going to fashion school, but I had little interest in sewing and even less in doing the math necessary to sew.

4-This blog is almost a year old! I just realized this last night, and still can't believe it. It feels like yesterday since I decided to document my mommy thoughts (after, at first, sending emails to myself haha - dorky, I know). What should I do to celebrate? Anything you guys would like me to post that I hadn't yet? Let me know!

5-I will never join twitter. I think Melissa already suffers enough with my addiction to this blog and facebook. I even tried posting random things that happen on facebook, just because I do enjoy reading other people's, but it doesn't feel natural to me. It just feels...random.

6-I need a diet that allows me to eat chocolate, bread and lots of meat. My three basic needs. Anyone knows of one?

7-I need to be done with this list before Melissa wakes up (if she hasn't already). This one is pretty self-explanatory.

Now, time to pass on the award! The first time I thought I need to choose 7 blogs, but I guess I can choose as many as I want. So here are the ones that first pop into my head:

Writer At Large


My Perfect Mess

The Linguists Logs

All of these are not only fun, but they are written by fantastic women. I wish I could have them all for coffee and chocolate cupcakes one day! I probably won't have time to notify you all right now, but will asap (unless you find that out here already :).

Now off to check on Melissa...

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Groupie Day: Kandee Johnson!! (and Molly :)

<- It's in black & white because, for some reason, I had this ray of light over me, just so my face would look huge. She, of course, looks like a rockstar.

Guess what I did today - I met internet legend Kandee Johnson!!!!

It's still hard to believe. I went all the way to San Francisco, about 45 min. from where I live - a long drive which hubby loved to make (not), to this Levi's event "Calling All Curves". I'm not gonna talk much about it 'cause they're not paying me for the free publicity :), but I did have a lot of fun!

I mean, getting to SF and leaving it in a rainy day, with a frustrated husband (he hates to drive there) AND a moody 1-year-old was NOT fun, no. I have no idea why I thought this would be a "quick adventure". Ha. It was an adventure alright. But not quick at all, and not very enjoyable. But I'm talking about the journey, not the metting Kandee itself. That was awesome. I felt like a 16-year-old in a Justin Bieber concert :). "Can I take a picture with you pleeeeease? Yaay I'm SO excited!!" <- me in a 16-year-old voice.

Do you know what saved the day from the exhausting ride home? A sweet little girl named Molly. And her parents - two of our best friends in the whole world. Mike & Jen have been an entity that we've looked up to long before David and I were even married. Today, over 4 years later (since I met them), it's so cool so see how far we've all come. I can't wait for our girls to grow together!

Nice catch-up time! Melissa's about to violently caress Molly.

Melissa LOVED Luke, and cracked up when he grunted at her (!).

Thank You Lord, for moments like these that remind us what it's all about.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Wounds That Heal

I've debated if this post would sound too preachy, but these thouths are "oozing" out of me. Seriously. I honestly opened the post editor to write about an award I got from a fun reader (SO flattered!!!! Thanks Ms. Blasé!), and be very silly with my response. But instead, my mind was filled with this song:

This song played on the radio on a moment that I was battling with anxiety. You know, when there's nothing necessarily bad going on, but there are so many uncertainties that it gets you upset? That can bring out a whole set of insecurities, and memories of when things didn't work out in the past. But listening to this song was like receiving a wonderful slap in the face :).

Have you clicked on the link? I recommend you do, it will blow your socks off. If you're just not up for it, or can't right now, here are the lyrics (imagine wonderful guitars and voices surrounding it):

He was pierced for our transgressions
He was crushed for our sins
The punishment that brought us peace was upon Him
And by His wounds, by His wounds we are healed

We are healed by Your sacrifice
And the life that You gave
We are healed for You paid the price
By Your grace we are saved, we are saved

What can wash away my sin?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus

For anyone out there who's not a Christian and thinks this seems like a very boring religious song, trust me, it's beautiful (and very contemporary, FYI). It woke me up to something I'd heard a million times before, but often forgot. The reason why Jesus went through all the trouble of dying on the cross is so that I would be healed. I used to think this verse was talking about physical healing, but seriously, aren't we more in need of emotional healing?? Aren't we a mess sometimes (or most of the time)? Don't we all have horrible memories/guilts/regrets/heartbreaks we wish to forget?

These things can take such a proportion in our minds that we think we can never be healed from them. That it happened (or we made a mistake) and now we gotta live with the aftermath. Not true. I mean, we can't always change our circumstances, but this song gave me a new hope that yes, we can change the way our hearts react about certain things. We can't erase the memory, but Jesus died so we can heal our emotions. So that our future won't have to be determined by whatever happened in the past.

Trust this. Take hold of this. I know I should more often, and it can make a pretty good mess on the way you look at things. But when I did, just for the duration of this song, it literally changed my whole day. I slept better that night, and even ate less chocolate the next day lol. You should try that, it might be the best weight loss method ever! :)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

My Baby Can't Read

<- Momma, that's what you think.

Does anybody out there do (or did) the "Your Baby Can Read" flash cards thing? Apparently, a lot of people have, since the commercial claims they had over a million sold.

I'm not for or against it, I'm just curious about people's experiences. And I think our obssession to have absolutely everything be educational is kinda funny. Like, when I was a kid and my sister was a teenager, she used to tell me about this smart guy from her class, and how his parents made him watch/play with only educational stuff when he was a kid. We were like, "ooh, such horrible parents." Isn't funny how what's not educational that's being taken as weird right now?

What happened to cartoons that were only fun and silly - kinda like chocolate for the soul? I used to LOVE Tiny Toons and Animaniacs, they were HILARIOUS. And I don't think that something that's just funny for funnyness sake is necessarily empty. I was developing my sense of humor, excuse me. And today, this is my favorite writing style (hopefully it works :).

But, as I said, this is NOT a post against Your Baby Can Read or any educational mechanisms. Maybe these are the kids who'll discover the cure for cancer, who knows. All I know is that we're on a budget, and my baby is already too smart for me.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Too Much Mom Tuesday: Death by Cap Highlights

*Too Much Mom Tuesday : The post where I try not to mention the word "mom" (except for now :)*

<- It HURTS to be blonde.

This past Saturday I took advantage of hubby's need of a haircut to suggest I get one too AND also highlights, but of course. It was WAY overdue after the one I did before Melissa's birthday (almost 5 months ago!). But little did I know how much pain and suffering awaited me...

I got there thinking that, since I wanted even more highlights this time, I could skip that horrible plastic cap and go for the foil. But they insisted that with the cap it would look so much better, more even, more natural, etc. So, what did I know, I just went with it.

The only little problem is that I hadn't washed my hair in about three days (don't judge), which meant the products I use were making their little home there, holding on to the knots and not letting go. So, in desperation, the sweet lady asked me to help her detangle my hair. There's something degrading about having not one, but two hair stylists battling your mane while you're still working on the front part. Meanwhile, picture all my curls disappearing and expanding into an enourmous frizz ball.

After the psychological pain, in came the physical one: they brought that horrific plastic cap, and started pulling little hair strands through the wholes on it. I'd done this the first time, except it was only one stylist, and let me tell you - two women pulling your hair out, while you have tight plastic surrounding your face is downright claustrophobic. Towards the end, I felt lightheaded, as though the lack of air circulation through my ears and head pores was messing with my breathing. Add excruciating pain on both sides of my scalp and you get sheer torture.

I cannot even tell you how happy I was when it was over. Afterwards, I read online that "a good salon would never use plastic caps on long hair", and wanted to kick myself for going to SuperCuts. But then again, I don't know if I could afford to do this somewhere fancier on a regular basis. And I did like the results; I think it makes me look more daring. I guess I must be, having gone through labor and cap highlights.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Coming Soon: "Too Much Mom Tuesday"!

Awhile ago, I stumbled upon this on youtube:

I had to laugh because I've been totally guilty of being part of the "too much mom" group; the circle of women who cannot talk about anything else other than their child. I wonder if anyone talked to me and left thinking, "gee, that girl is 'too much mom.' "

So inspired by that, I decided to create the "Too Much Mom Tuesday", which will be the day that I'll blog about something completely non-motherhood related. Such as... Wow, I'm gonna have to think about that one. Suggestions are welcome!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

I Miss My Baby

<- I also miss breastfeeding's de-puffing effects.

I never thought I'd say this. But I do. I'm SO excited Melissa's a little girl now, but sometimes I still miss her babyhood.

I miss it when I could hold her with one arm and blog with the other.

I miss it when those "mind numbing" routines, as I called it (feed the baby, change the baby, feed the baby, change the baby...) were ALL that I had to worry about for the day. And not Melissa's growing sense of self and will. And ability to harm herself.

I miss it when her poop didn't smell so much.

I miss it when there were no meals to prepare - just my boob. And yes, that was HARD in the beginning, but once we both got the hang of it, it was a breeze.

I miss it when she didn't feel a compulsion to swallow shiny objects.

A time when if we'd go to a store/restaurant, she'd stay happily strapped into her carseat. Sigh.

But given the chance, of course I wouldn't go back. I'm well aware there's something called a "selective memory", which I think is the only reason people keep having children.

I do NOT miss the middle of the night feedings.

I don't miss the look of "I don't know what I'm doing, please save me now" I had in every picture. Even if people couldn't see it, I can see it in my eyes. There's fear all over.

I do NOT miss not being able to talk to her. Ask questions and hear her say "yes" (sometimes even "yes, please"!) and "no". True, she doesn't always get the meaning of those right, but most of the time she means it.

Isn't it funny how I'm remembering those first few months as the "easy time"?? When we know there's nothing easy about it AT ALL. People get post-partum depression on it (I don't think I got it full blown, but definitely on and off). You're still mentally/physically traumatized by labor, and yet there's a little person demanding all of you.

Back then, when I'd see someone with a toddler, I'd think they had it SO much easier. But I do remember them stopping me to say how easy I had. Sigh. I guess it never gets really easy at all.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Baby & The Chores

Oh, the dilemma every mom (especially stay-at-home ones) face: must I attend to the baby or to the chores? Clean the poop or the toilet? Oh, so many hard choices!!

Of course the poop always wins priority - after all, our baby/kid is a live breathing thing, and we do love them more than our house (and definitely more than the toilet). But what must a mom do when said house reaches a desperation point of we'll-all-have-to-leave-if-the-mess-doesn't-go-away? Well, there are a few options:

Sit and Cry
And eat something fattening. Then cry some more because you're fat. Check.

Freak Out
Run around like a human broom/washer, cleaning and fixing everything in sight. Some women can really live entire lives doing that, and they're really happy. I wish I could. Be happy doing that, I mean, not do that per se. Check (never lasted long, though).

Read Good Housekeeping Magazine
Must convince brain that "cleaning is good". "Cleaning makes you attractive and brings flawless family moments." Check (yeah, right).

Face Reality
This is the option that I'm in - which seems to be the only one left. Facing the reality that the kid is not going away, so might as well find a way to do things with her. And stop telling myself that I'll just get to it when she sleeps. Who am I kidding - that's when the computer needs me.