Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Me Read Good

Since having Baby Jo, my reading  has gone down. Way down. I found it easier to just read my million different blogs that I like. They are quick to read in one hand while nursing my son with the other. But I've still managed to get some book reading done. And when I say "reading", I mean reading/listening to audiobooks. I know, I know, listening to audiobooks does not equal literal reading. But I don't find audiobooks a lazy way out. On the contrary, when I am listening to them, I am usually folding laundry, cooking, doing dishes, or trying to keep a certain rug rat entertained. Nearly a year ago, I listed some books that I read. Here are a few more since then:

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green: I admit, the only reason I wanted to read this book was because I was intrigued by the movie trailer. I liked the story and it maintained my interest, but there was one thing that was terribly distracting throughout the whole book. The book is written in first person narrative, and that narrator is a 16 (or 17?) year old girl. "Her" choice of vocabulary, metaphors, descriptions are so unbelievable for a teenaged girl to use. John Green is an amazing writer, but not a good voice for an adolescent. Also, there is a teenaged boy who is the other main character, and he too speaks way beyond a believable teen.When I finished the book, I saw the movie...and I liked the movie better for that reason. The characters were more realistic.

All Joy and No Fun: The Paradox of Modern Parenthood by Jennifer Senior:  SO fascinating! The author uses tons of research, data, and interviews to portray modern parenting compared to previous generations. It's not a bash on modern parents; it is simply an observation. When I started this book, I had only been a parent for less than 2 months. Still, I felt like so much of what she said in this book I had already felt and thought in my new parent heart and brain. She also has observations on the differences between fathers and mothers which was also interesting. I recommend it.

Yes, Please by Amy Poehler: I was SO excited when I heard Amy Poehler had written a book. I'm a big fan of her acting. Turns out, I am ONLY a fan of her acting, not her as an actual person. This book was so "meh". When I read Mindy Kaling's book last year, I ended up wanting to be her best friend and gaining a lot of respect for her. However, with Yes, Please, I lost respect for the author. She proudly tells of a time when a man was snooty and scolded her on a plane, which she retaliated by yelling "F**** YOU!" over and over while following him through an airport. She also casually admits to driving drunk on more than one occasion in her past. Boo. Hiss. Still, there were parts of it that I liked. Despite now disliking her as a person, I still enjoy her comedy. I laughed out loud at a few parts, but only a few. She was also insightful in some of the chapters. In the end, I decided that I like Lesley Knope better than Amy Poehler.

Food: A Love Story by Jim Gaffigan: This was another book that I was so excited to read (well, listen to). I love love love Jim Gaffigan and really enjoyed his last book, Dad is Fat. While I enjoyed this book too, there was a small problem with it. See, I LOVE Gaffigan. I've listened to his bits multiple times. Well, this book has a lot of material that he has already used in his stand up. I'm talking like 75% of the book was jokes that I have already heard him tell many times. But that didn't stop me from finishing the book and enjoying it. I just wish there was more fresh material. My favorite part has to be his take on the tv show The Biggest Loser.

Love Hurts by someone: I looked online for the author, but there are too many books called Love Hurts and I didn't want to search too hard. This was a short YA fictional book about a teen in a domestic violent relationship. It was a quick read (less than 200 pages) but it kept my interest.

Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper: I just finished this book this morning. I listened to it as an audiobook. It's intermediate fiction, but I really enjoyed it. It is about a 5th grader who is exceptionally bright, but has Cerebral Palsy, making her movement limited and her speech impossible. Because of this, she is often mistaken as mentally challenged. The story is told in the first person by the girl herself. It was such a tender story, and it gave me great perspective on how much I take for granted. It was especially tender to me because I would often listen to it while I was playing with my baby on the floor-  my baby who can crawl squeal, and pull himself up. I have a new spot in my heart for parents of special needs children, and a stronger respect for those with special needs.

Freakanomics by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner: As of this evening, I am about 2/3 done with this book. Yesterday, Jordan and I took a last minute trip to Copan, OK to see Jordan grandfather who just came home from the hospital. Our plan was to drive straight there (a nearly three hour drive), visit for a few hours, then drive straight back home. Before we left, I drove to the library and frantically searched their audiobook collection for something we could listen to on our nearly six hour round trip drive. Enter Freakanomics. It entertained us for the whole drive, and lead us into some fun conversations and discussions. It is really well written, but completely absent of political correctness. I don't mean that in a crude, obnoxious way, but in a way that states just the facts, no brushing over.  I recommend it for sure!

Aside from these books, I read some parenting books, like Happiest Baby on The Block (only the sleep section) and Baby Led Weaning (which we ended up not doing at all). I hope to continue to read and listen to more books soon!

Monday, January 19, 2015

10 Months

My sweet baby turned 10 months old today. This morning, Jordan asked me, "Where did my newborn go?!" He's been replaced by a super active, quick crawling little boy!

Lately, I've been feeling as though I am desperately trying to fill a leaky bucket full of water. I want to freeze time so badly. With every advancement Baby Jo makes, I get happy and sad. Why must our children only be babies for a year? Couldn't we take 2 or 3 years away from  the 60+ years of adulthood and add it to childhood? Can't we let our little ones be little for a little longer? I'm so excited to see Jo as a toddler, but I don't want to trade in my Baby Jo quite yet.

There are so many things that I want to remember him doing that he will most likely stop soon. Like how he gets so excited to hold a clean diaper whenever I am changing him. He shakes it hard like a pom pom. Or how if he is holding a "toy" (for Jo, any old makeup container is a toy) while I am changing him, he will wave it against the wall rapidly to make a soft scratching sound. Or the way he ATTACKS hair! Oh, that kid and hair. I shudder to think how much hair he has consumed. He LOVES to grab it by the handfuls and shove it in his mouth. If the victim has short hair, Jo just lunges toward their head and feasts. If I'm holding him on my hip, he'll often take the end of my long hair and munch. I'll miss his sweet baby breath and his baby smell. The way he repetitively slaps his bath water with his hand so violently that it soaks his face. He never seems to notice. I'll miss how quiet and content he is in the car. So many little bits of him that will inevitably go away makes me heart broken.

He is a super fast crawler. His favorite room of the house is my bedroom, and that is for one reason: my makeup box. This baby looooves my make up (much to his father's fake concern). His favorite toy in the box is my eyelash curler, although my powder mineral eye shadow containers are a close second. Basically, he just loves to dig through the box and inevitably dump the entire thing on the floor. It's a little handy when I am putting my make up on for the day because he will happily sit next to me and play...but if I am using a certain make up that interests him....let's just say he hasn't mastered the art of sharing.

When he isn't looking through my make up, he is finding harmful objects to play with for fun. He still loves chords of all kind. I never realized how many nail clippers we owned until Jo started to crawl. It seems like he can find one in every room! He also still loves cell phones and remote controls- especially if you are trying to use one at the time. His jumper swing is still a great distraction.

Sleep has improved with Jo. His pediatrician explained that his amount of sleep per day was a little less than most babies his age. She wasn't too concerned but suggested that I stop nursing him at night. Until two weeks ago, I was still nursing 1-2X per night. Ferberizing went very poorly so we decided to let Jo cry it out at night. My mama heart shattered into a million pieces, but it didn't take long before our little guy was sleeping through the night! Hallelujah! But it is a double-edged sword. See, when Jo would have interrupted sleep each night, he would wake up between 7:00-7:30 am. Now that he sleeps soundly without interruption, he is less tired in the morning and is usually ready to start his day around 6:00-6:30 am. Blerg. I still nurse, rock, and sing him to sleep each night. I'm not ready to give that up quite yet. Jordan agrees.

Though Jo is still very social, he has become more selective with  his smiles. Before, he would give a huge open mouth smile to anyone who said hi to him. Now, he often gives them a wide eyed stare with a tight lip. He still doesn't seem to have stranger danger, though. He happily goes to the gym daycare and doesn't seem to mind being passed around from person to person at church. He seems to favor the company of children. Whenever I have a friend come over with an older child (usually 18 months or older), Jo tries to join in on the fun. He follows the children around as fast as he can. It's so cute to see a clueless toddler playing with toys around the house while a baby desperately crawls as fast as he can behind them with a smile.

He has two tiny bottom front teeth growing in ever so slowly. Many people are surprised that at 10 months, that's all the teeth he has, but I don't mind. I love the look of his gummy mouth; it makes him seem a little younger.

He has become more interactive this month. He loves to echo sounds...if those sounds are "AH!" or a fake cough. He likes being chased by me on the ground. He'll laugh and laugh and collapse on the ground from excitement. He also loves it when I open my mouth wide and he can stick a toy in it (and I try to not think about germs). That's one good thing about babies getting older, they are more aware of how to play with others.
Jo still prefers purees to solid foods. He'll drink breast milk from a bottle, but doesn't really care for water in a bottle or sippy cup. However, if you offer him water in a normal glass, he will drink forever. With each sip, he does this tiny bounce. It's delightful. He did try spaghetti recently. He seemed to enjoy squishing more than eating it.
He is working on pulling himself up to standing. No steps have been attempted yet, but I'm fine with that.

 Jordan and I are still complete and utter dorks when it comes to our baby. We often talk about how sweet and smart and adorable he is. Sometimes we will hold him together and comment on every part of his body. "Oh, look at these cute little fingers." "Awww, look at these fat feet." "I can't get enough of these chubby thighs." Pathetic, I know. I often will look at Jordan and mime my heart exploding when Baby Jo is doing something tender. We are just too in love.

I often remind myself that my baby growing older is a PRIVILEGE. I'm so lucky and blessed to have a healthy baby that gets to grow and live. I try to remember that when my grief over my growing boy sets in. He is such a treasure.

We love you, Puppy!

Thursday, January 1, 2015


2015 sounds way too futuristic.

Looking back on the last two years has been interesting. 2013 was an amazing year! 2014 was...exhausting.

2014 was a very important year for our family; it was the year our duo became a trio. Our little J Man came into world and rocked our lives and year. I would be lying if I said, "Oh, because of him, 2014 was the best year ever!!! OXOXO," because in reality, it was hard.

I think this year could be summed up in one word: tired. Physically tired from 10 months of sleep deprivation (because the last month of pregnancy was one night of insomnia after the next). Mentally tired from constantly, and I mean CONSTANTLY worrying and second guessing parenting decisions. And bored tired of long days at home, waiting for Jordan to come back from work.

In 2014, I feel like I lost a little bit of myself. The entire year, I have felt like my body is not my own anymore. January-March, I was a whale, and from March-June, I still looked a little pregnant and was still healing. I have lost all my baby weight, but my body shape is very different and still quite squishy. I am SO grateful that I have been able to nurse my son and I do enjoy it for the most part, but it has resulted in a lot of planning around feeding and pumping. Aside from my body, I've had a lot less time to improve my talents and hobbies. I've read significantly fewer books this past year. It may sound selfish, but I struggle with this.

This was also an interesting year for our marriage. 2013 was an incredibly romantic year for us. We traveled through Europe together for our anniversary and spent a "babymoon" in NYC. We nested for our baby-to-be and had fun creating a home in our new house. 2014 was a huge adjustment for us. After being just husband and wife for nearly five years, being spouses AND co-parents was a big change. I certainly wouldn't describe it as having marital problems, but definitely marital adjustments.

And my dad was diagnosed with cancer in 2014, which sucks.

But I don't want to complain too much, as so many wonderful things happened in 2014. OBVIOUSLY, it was spectacular that Baby Jo came into our lives. He is a huge blessing and we are ridiculously in love with him. Despite our new challenge of shifting from strictly lovers to lovers who also have to agree and share the responsibility if co-parenting, I feel like we have grown closer as a couple. We have had to serve one another more often and appreciate each other more. And because our alone time and dates have significantly decreased in length and frequency, we cherish them more. Some of our best dates of 2014 included seeing the musical version of Little Mermaid, seeing Jerry Seinfeld perform, and going to the Dave Matthews Band concert. We've also been able to go out frequently to events as a family with Baby Jo.

I was also lucky to see a lot of my family this year. I saw every member of my family at least once this year, and I had a lot of family visit me. I also had my high school besties surprised me with a visit in April, and I got to travel to Vermont, Seattle, California, and Hawaii this year.

So, in review, 2014 was tough but good. I would much rather have had the year I had rather than a easy year without my baby. I'm a little nervous for what comes in 2015 (early toddlerhood....yikes), but I am also excited. Overall, I am so happy to be able to have the privilege of living one year after the next. Let's see what the next one brings...