Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Fifty percent

This last weekend, we took Genevieve out to her first Stitches West.

Three generations, picture courtesy of WonderMike

I was thinking about this picture, and what I kept coming back to is that half of me came from Mom, and that Genevieve is half me. It completely blows my mind.

Speaking of Mom, check out what a great job she did on my hair! After a lot of discussion about parenting and identity, Mom facilitated the re-pinking. It's stupid and superficial, but I just didn't feel like myself as a brunette.

After Mom did the bleach and color on my hair, we went to get it cut, and Suzy the Stylist declared that I looked like myself again, too. Nothing like a Mom to make sure you don't lose yourself, right?

Stitches was fun; it was a completely different experience with Genevieve. We did a lot more sitting and a lot less partying, but you know what? It was a much more restful weekend. And we can always party when she's older.

What I *will* say is that she LOVED staring at all the colors. She can't help it; it's in her genes.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Good advice

Waaaaaay before I was old enough to even consider having children of my own, I used to babysit for Aunt Constance's kids. She would talk about being a mom, and how she dealt with some of the challenges. Like diaper changing time.

Diaper cover by Zookies.com. No affiliation, just a happy customer.

For those who don't have kids, diaper changing is (sometimes) gross, but also can be the source of great acrimony for all parties involved. It seems that (across the board) babies HATE being wet, but they also - confusingly enough- hate the process of getting their diaper changed.

Enter Aunt Constance's sage wisdom from all those years ago. She would sing to her girls while changing their diapers to help make it a more pleasant experience. This has turned out to be completely invaluable information.

While what we're singing might not be *exactly* what my Aunt Constance may have had in mind ("Forget You" by Cee Lo Green, "I'm sexy and I know it"), it TOTALLY works. And that is really what matters.

[SIDE NOTE: I have heard Andrew sing more in the last six and a half weeks than I have in the 10 years we've been together. It's completely charming.]

Add more good advice; Nathania spread the gospel of the wipe warmer. It has made all the difference. Singing + warm wipes = awesome. (In case you're curious, we also use these wipes.) Rachael suggested a white noise app; also great advice.

Most notably, Sean told me to keep living my life the way we already do, and let the baby adapt to us (instead of the other way around.) Fantastic advice!

So, here is your chance to help a new mom. What's the best parenting advice you would give? Lay it on me.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Brought to you by Mom

Being a mom is the most demanding thing I've ever done. I adore Genevieve, but there are more than a few moments where I feel utterly incompetent and wonder what I've gotten myself into. Fortunately, I have a ridiculous amount of help and support.

Sweater made by DangerMouse's Auntie Dynasty

I have always known that my mother is amazing; now, I understand how that is a complete understatement. Every time I feel like I'm falling short on all counts (parenting-wise), she says or does something to make me feel like I haven't just gone skydiving without a parachute. She makes it all look easy. Effortless.

Which brings me to my point. Every time something appears to be effortless-a party, someone's appearance, or in this case, appearing to grow extra arms and doing Mom-Fu - it is the opposite of effortless. It takes a LOT of work.
I could be bitter and claim that I was duped by her masterful parenting, but that would be ridiculous. Instead, I'll brag.

Mom has kept a watchful eye over us. I have been dealing with a breastfeeding issue (over-production, forceful letdown), and Mom has been coaching me- and helping me get to appointments with the lactation nurses when she maxed out what she could do to help.

She reassures me when I'm certain I'm doing a terrible job; she answers my parenting questions. And oh, does she laugh when I am under fire. (Parents, you know what I'm talking about.)

When I'm exhausted, Mom comes over, changes diapers, makes coffee, tidies around the house- you name it. So that I can get a little extra sleep.

It's remarkable what a little extra sleep can do for you. Little things don't seem so overwhelming. The sun shines brighter. Laundry (that your mother did while you were sleeping) smells better. Even the coffee (that she made) seems to taste sweeter.

What I'm saying is: things are going well, courtesy of Mom.