Catch’s favorite aunt just posted this on Facebook. I snapped.
Eight months seems to be some kind of magic age. (Although sleep has become an issue again, but we’ll save that for another day.)
We had so much fun celebrating Easter with this little munchkin. She was so happy and playful. We had 3 different family celebrations to attend over the weekend and she was the star of the show at all of them.
I can’t even believe how lucky we are.
Eight months. It’s been 8 months since this little girl turned our world upside down.
A few days ago, Charlotte’s third tooth started to make an appearance. I thought the top front teeth would be next, but this is actually the one next to the top front teeth. It’s just barely poked through the gums, but Charlotte has taken to grinding her bottom teeth against it and I’m going out of my mind trying to stop her. a) It can’t possibly be good for her brand new teeth, and b) the sound it makes is like fingernails on a chalkboard. It’s AWFUL.
We think she’s going to be crawling any day now. She gets down on all fours and sort of rocks back and forth doing a little butt wiggle. It’s absolutely adorable. So far, she’s managed to scoot backward several feet, but hasn’t yet figured out forward momentum.
On Monday, I got home and Catch had lowered the crib. It all stemmed from some conversation on Facebook after I posted a picture of Charlotte asleep with her mattress in the raised position. One of Catch’s friend’s moms saw it and told her that her friend flipped out of her crib when she was 5 months old. Her friend is over 40 and dog only knows what kind of crib it was, but it freaked Catch out. I wasn’t yet ready for us to make this transition and I kind of freaked out on her after she did it. I acted like I was pissed because now the video baby monitor couldn’t see her, but deep down, I know now that the baby monitor was just an excuse. I was really upset because lowering the crib meant that Charlotte was growing up, and I couldn’t handle that in the moment.
One of the most unexpected elements of motherhood for me has been this mix of grief and pride as my baby grows. I am so excited for everything that’s coming next, but I desperately want to just stop time.
Foxhillhouse posted the other day that she’s started an Etsy shop and is making and selling teething necklaces with wood beads. It happens that I’ve been in the market for a teething necklace that’s a bit more neutral than the one I have, so I peeked at her shop. I wanted just about every necklace she had on the site.
I ended up making a purchase, and it arrived yesterday. (Crazy fast!)
I love it. It’s exactly what I was looking for. More importantly, Charlotte loves it and it absolutely serves its intended purpose. I couldn’t get very good pictures of her chewing on it while I was wearing it, so I let her play with it a bit (I was sitting right there watching!). Here’s Charlotte’s review:
On Saturday morning, Catch and I would wake refreshed and ready to spend the weekend working together in the garden. We would fill all of the planter beds with the new soil that was delivered at the crack of dawn on Friday, visit Tomatomania and the nursery, and get all of our veggies planted by bed time on Sunday.
Charlotte would hang out in the shade in her pack & play with lots of toys, or ride on my back in the new Tula carrier that I will have mastered within 24 hours of its arrival at my doorstep.
Someone in the neighborhood threw the world’s loudest party on Friday night. Baby woke at 9:30 pm and when I checked on her, the bass from the speakers at the party was so loud it sounded like gunfire in the nursery. Baby is pissed. Mommy is pissed. Mommy pulls out the Dock A Tot and hopes maybe baby will sleep in our bed because it’s quieter in our room. Sleep doesn’t happen. Party eventually quiets, and baby is back in her crib by 1 am, but wakes every 2 hours for the rest of the night. Moms drag their tired asses out of bed on Saturday morning and immediately hit the coffee.
This mom forgot about Saturday morning swim lessons, so when I expected that we’d be hauling dirt from the front yard to the back yard, we were actually at swim class. By the time we made it home, it was nap time for everyone.
After naps, we decided to go to Tomatomania, where we purchased way too many tomato plants, met a few chickens, and watched as EMTs attended to a homeless man who had collapsed face down on the bike path across the street. From there, we spent almost 40 minutes driving the 8 miles to my mom’s house to borrow her wheelbarrow. We hit EVERY SINGLE red light. Charlotte screamed bloody murder almost the entire time. Catch and I yelled at each other out of frustration. Sheer hell.
When we finally made it home later and unloaded the car, we were DONE.
Saturday night, ANOTHER neighbor decided to have a loud outdoor party. Charlotte woke up at 10, and then every 2 hours again. At this point, I am totally defeated and exhausted.
Catch hits the dirt hauling hard, and spends most of the morning and early afternoon by herself moving endless wheelbarrows full of soil from the front driveway to the back planter beds.
Charlotte spends about 15 minutes in the pack & play before she is bored. She spends another 15 minutes in a front carry in the Tula, but I can’t do much more than water the soil (to help compact it a bit) because I can’t figure out how to get her on my back without Catch’s help and Catch is totally filthy and sweaty and busy (and also annoyed with me for purchasing the Tula in the first place).
And that’s where we stopped. There are no plants in the ground. There is still a large bag of dirt in my front yard (only 1 though—we started with 2). I have no idea when I’ll have time to get to the nursery for the remaining plants and seeds because we are booked solid this weekend.
When daydreaming about productivity when there’s a baby involved, set the bar low. Then lower it again. And again. And one more time for good measure.
Last week I wrote a post about my professional persona that basically showed me that what I’m really lacking right now is a big heap of self-care. I wanted to follow up with a little bit about the steps I’m taking to try to get over this hump.
Catch and Charlotte went shopping with me last weekend, and I was able to get some new work clothes that are less likely to need ironing (because ironing just isn’t happening) and shoes that are not flats. (And ok… I did get one pair of flats as well. But they were on clearance, and they were to replace my favorite pair that are totally worn out. I always get carried away at DSW.) Catch even walked Charlotte around in her stroller while I got my eyebrows done.
On Saturday night after Charlotte went to bed, I shaved my legs for the first time in I don’t know how long. It was a miracle. I used to shave WAY more often, but at our new house, the shower is SO tiny that you can’t even bend over with the damn razor and there’s nothing to rest your foot on, so it’s pretty much impossible to shave in the shower… that makes it MUCH more likely that my legs are going to become golden retrievers. (I am a redhead, after all.)
This week, those things helped me employ a bit of “fake it til you make it.” I wouldn’t say my heart is really in it just yet, but I can say that I feel a lot better when I walk through the door in the morning. That’s something at least.
Next week, my goal is to focus a bit more on being present at work and getting my head in the game. I don’t yet know what that’s going to look like, but I’ll let you know how it goes.
And finally, a gratuitous cute baby video just for the heck of it. Caution – she is learning to squeal at the top of her lungs.
For years, I have grown a vegetable garden each spring. Some years are better than others and some years are bigger than others, but I never let March pass me by without getting my hands on some basil and tomatoes at the very least.
When Catch and I moved into our house over the summer, it was the beginning of an intensely hot (SCORCHING HEAT), intensely pregnant time in our lives (you may recall that we moved in June and Charlotte was born in July). That was followed shortly by an intensely newborn/postpartum time in our lives. Everything in the planter beds surrounding our front and back yards slowly languished and died as a result of poor choices on the part of the previous owners, our neglect, and our region’s drought. We have removed all of the dead plants and now it’s just empty and really depressing to look at.
Suddenly, March is upon us. Catch has been working bit by bit for weeks to remove the layer of gravel some idiot poured into all of the planter beds so that we can get to the soil and actually do something with it. She’s almost finished, just in time for Tomatomania this weekend. This morning, we totally failed at communication and both went online and ordered these really cool big bags of garden soil to be delivered this week. (Whoops.)
So, this weekend the general idea is that we’re going to work all of that new soil into the beds, hit up Tomatomania, stop at the nursery, and get all of the plants in the ground by the end of Sunday.
Pre-baby, that would have been tough, but do-able. Post-baby, I need a nap halfway through even thinking about all of that.
We’re probably going to have to find some middle ground. It will likely involve eating frozen casseroles (courtesy of my SIL’s visit after Charlotte was born) all week and doing a bit after work each day. My even bigger concern is how we’re going to keep up with the watering since there’s no sprinkler or drip system installed in the planter beds.
I think the key to any sort of garden success this season is going to be finding a way to keep Charlotte happy, comfortable, and occupied outside while we’re working/watering/whatever. I’m contemplating an Ergo-type carrier so she could be on my back while we do things like watering in the evenings. Anyone have any other ideas? Or recommendations for wearing babies on backs? I’m all ears!
I just wiped a smudge of breast milk from my glasses. There are patches of crusty yams on the nursing tank underneath the (slightly) wrinkled top I’m wearing at work. There is either dried spit up or baby snot on the shoulder of my work top. I am on my third cup of coffee. I need a pedicure. I really need to get my eyebrows done. I haven’t worn anything but flats since I killed myself in heels on my first day back to work. I have been late pretty much every day since Christmas.
I am a mess.
My mom was a single mom for pretty much my entire childhood. She worked hard. She climbed corporate ladders. She always left the house in pantyhose with a fresh layer of hairspray and makeup. My makeup bag is in the front seat of my car. I haven’t touched it all week and I’m not even remotely a single mom.
The thing is that I could take the time to not be a mess in the morning, but it would mean not spending 15 minutes on the floor playing with my baby girl. I could be on time for work, but it would mean skipping the ten minutes I spend nursing her right before I leave. I could wear pantyhose, but—well, no. I won’t wear pantyhose.
I used to be all about climbing ladders. I fought hard to have the position I’m in right now. I don’t technically have a director title, but my new boss is always referring to me as a director. Two years ago, that would have THRILLED me. Now, the only thing that thrills me about my position is that I have no one sitting outside my office shaking a finger at me for the inordinate amount of time I spend pumping every day.
My heart just isn’t in it. My heart is at home with my little girl singing songs and reading (eating) books.
I really need to find a way to snap myself out of this. I need to turn my ambition back on. I need to find a way to streamline my mornings. I need to make more of an effort.
I “work” from home tomorrow, but next week is a new week. I have a huge project to start, and I need to get my shit together.
My goal for next week is to sort out all of my work clothes for the week before Monday so that everything is ready and wrinkle-free. I am going to try to find some time to shop for a few things this weekend. Maybe a comfortable pair of lower heels, a top that doesn’t need ironing, and a new pair of pants. I will shave my legs.
I am going to use the blog to hold myself accountable. Let’s see if I can pull myself out of this working mama rut.