It’s been awhile…..

Hi there!

It’s been awhile. In fact it’s been too long! We’ve had many many more adventures and even added another little adventurer to the clan!  I can’t wait to share them all with you.  I have done a little tweaking here and there and am happy to say I now have my own domain, mommyhoodandbeyond.com that has just gone live.   Come on over and check it out! New posts will be coming shortly as well as some guest posts by fellow adventurer moms.

See you soon!

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Babyproofing…or how I learned to completely rethink my decorating tastes without our home looking like a fast food restaurant playland but ultimately failing.

Well, we made it through one year!  Our little bundle of joy is now a running, babbling, playful, miniature little person who has officially entered that stage of development known as toddlerhood.  Two weeks before turning 1, the dude let go of my hand and began walking on his own.   The rest, as they say, is history.  He has embraced his new-found freedom quite readily.  Within days of being truly mobile, he has taken to running away from us just because he can.  He is particularly fond of dashing away while mid diaper or clothing change.   Nothing like chasing down a naked baby while you are half-dressed yourself.  At least he can’t open the doors to house!

Speaking of opening doors and such, the dude’s next trick has been to discover how to open drawers, the cabinets,  the refrigerator, and oh yes, get a running start and pop the door open to the bathroom.   Because dad just loves finding his socks in the toilet.   “You don’t really need baby locks on things” they say, “you just teach them they aren’t supposed to get into that stuff” Uh, well, yes but on the outside chance I have to pee and I can’t hold it, I would at least like the peace of mind that comes with knowing that the knife drawer is not being investigated by a certain little someone.

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We have dutifully protected the outlets with covers, causing me to be in need of a screwdriver to pop the cover off if I need to plug something in, because that is so totally a safe idea.  Anything breakable is now high out of reach in no particular order whatsoever, causing us to adopt a kind of random shabby chic style, severely punctuated by mega blocks and brightly colored dump trucks.  Somewhere between the dining room and living room we have a cardboard box tunnel in which the little treasures he finds all over the house have been hidden away from mommy and daddy.  It’s just so not fair that I won’t let him keep the glass stoppers from the brandy decanters in there.  I have reached the point of only caring if there is dirt on the floor, not how many toys litter the carpet.  I know! Maybe I can match my drapes to his plush construction tool set.  We may be on to something here.  Just decorate the entire house like my son’s room and we are good to go!

The coffee table is now the toy table.  Vacuuming has become a twice daily occurrence, along with the laundry and the dishes. Neither of which I can keep up with.  The dog at first was slightly miffed that his little sidekick was now raring to go, but Mr Bear quickly discovered that this “walking around thing” just means he has a new and improved partner in crime.  Together, if left unchecked, those two are capable of destroying entire packages of toilet paper in minutes.  They are always ready for the next adventure,  even if it is just to the undiscovered country of mom and dad’s room.

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All of this aside, nothing can compare to watching him understand something I say, or truly figuring out how something works. Even if it is by figuring out how to call my chiropractor from my cell phone, at six o’clock in the morning.

Now what?

We had successfully completed stage one of parenthood, i.e. birthing the child, now what?   To co-sleep or no? Do we even sleep at all?  Breast or bottle?  Cloth or disposable? Paper or plastic?   So many questions that we thought we had answered were suddenly looming over us.  My plan before birth, a lovely baby who sleeps from 7:30 pm until 8 am in cloth diapers, only gently waking for a breastfeeding session.  My plans after the birth, um, what plans were those again?  Once again I found myself having come to terms with the fact that reality had taken over and I was just going to have to roll with it!

There were latching issues which required the use of a shield because I apparently have flat nipples.  I found myself pumping to ensure my milk came in, and boy did it come in!  There were 64 ounces of pumped milk in the fridge, I hadn’t realized I didn’t need to keep pumping once my supply was there, so I wearily pumped away for twenty to thirty minutes after he ate, until I was making enough milk for twins!  It seemed almost every container we could find we filled with milk until I finally asked someone when would I know if  I could stop.

Try as I might,  we could not get the latching issue solved.  Three days into this new life, I am sitting on the couch in the living room at 3 am bawling because I was still stuck using a shield.  I should note that my hormones peaked right about at that time, so there we were, me crying because I am obviously a terrible mother with flat nipples who can’t feed her baby, while my husband holds the little guy up to me so he can feed.   Did I mention that he ate a lot?   Almost every hour and a half it seemed.  We tried everything to get rid of the shield but to no avail.  I was warned by the midwives, the first two weeks or so of breastfeeding will be one of the hardest things you will ever do, but it will be worth it if you are able to stick it out.   Well, I was warned, but, it was more than just difficult for me, it was that kind of gnarly difficult where you are so frustrated you want to cry.  Oh wait, I did cry.  Especially when I was told well you might just have to give him formula.

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He also didn’t sleep longer than maybe a couple of hours at a time. Once he napped for four hours, and there was much rejoicing.  This went on for almost six months.  He wasn’t fussy or cranky, just awake, taking in his surroundings.  I thought newborns slept all the time.   The human body was not designed for this, though somehow I survived.   I was sometimes up for 24 hours a time.  After about three weeks of this I told my husband, I think I need coffee again.    “Don’t worry” I was assured.  “This just means his brain is active!” Yes, well mommy’s brain is rapidly becoming inactive.  How did we solve our sleep conundrum?  We didn’t.  Plain and simple.  I held him and he slept and I watched all ten seasons of Stargate SG-1, in three weeks.

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The days and nights blurred into a flurry of spit  up and diaper blowouts and pots of coffee.  Somewhere in between I may have showered once or twice.  Don’t quote me on that, it may have only been one quick shower, I really don’t remember.   This journey is not for the squeamish.  You really haven’ t lived until you feel something warm spreading over your lap and you realize your sweet newborn has just pooed all over you and the couch.  While you are addressing that issue, your boobs start leaking all over yourself (because genius is still producing double milk) and now your shirt is sticking to you.  It is 100 degrees outside so you now smell of poo and milk and sweat.   That may have been the one time I took a shower.  Maybe.

Don’t let me scare you though.  We did survive, and before we knew it, he was 6 months old and smiling and sitting up.  What about all of our issues?   While breastfeeding at four months, the dude, as we sometimes call him, stopped eating, reached up, grabbed the shield and pulled it off.  He then proceeded to throw the shield on the floor and latch on all by himself and continue with his meal.  He has not looked back since.  I still make lots of milk, it is apparently my superpower.   I just pump when I can, and since I have had to go back to work, the little guy gets to pack his lunch when he goes to daycare.

I have accepted the fact that I will probably not have a good nights sleep for at least the next twenty years.  Every few months his sleep pattern shifts.  As long as I just roll with it, we are okay.  I am sure I am in for more  misadventures.  He isn’t walking yet so the real fun has not yet begun!

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…But, I would not have it any other way.   I am glad he is active!  We have so much fun with the little dude.  He is the sun in our sunny side up kind of life!

Once upon a time, in a galaxy far far far away, a boy met a girl who was kind of a geek.  The two fell in love and after a quick romance were married.  They enjoyed their life, just the two of them. Their days filled with lazy afternoons, impromptu vacations, midnight showings, and weekend destinations of rock and roll.  They both loved kids and wanted to start their own family….someday.  It was always someday. Then, before they knew it, someday finally showed up!

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Thus began our unexpected adventure of becoming parents.  After the initial shock wore off, (one of my midwives said it wasn’t that I didn’t know how I had become pregnant that had caught us off guard, it was just that after fourteen years of marriage, I was so used to not being pregnant that was throwing us for a loop) the excitement poured in.   So much to do, so many books to read!!  Wait..which books are best?  Do they all say the same thing? Do we have a hospital birth? home birth? birth center? midwife? doula? ob? pain meds? no pain meds? water birth? video? a room full of people? no people at all? Cloth diapers or disposable? What do we name him? We went with Dracen Beorn, old english for dragon and danish for warrior.  I told you we were geeks, but, I digress.  We had so much to do to get prepared……so we bought a camera.  Good thing we have priorities right?  We did get everything else ready too, and, we have used that camera more than all other cameras we have ever owned.

Somehow we made it through the “easy part”, pregnancy and birth.  Both of which went about as smooth as you can hope for.  I was due on July 12 of this year.  Our bundle of joy (he quite literally is a bundle of joy right now) thundered into the world July 11th at 10:55 pm.  Labor was fast (only four hours), quick (I had taken the classes but didn’t even have a chance to prepare myself I moved through the different stages so fast), and definitely NOT painless ( I may have crushed either my husband or my best friend’s hand ).   Our precious little boy, was declared healthy, I was stitched up, ( that’s what I get for naming my son dragon warrior ) and within twenty four hours the newly expanded family was heading back home…on the hottest day of the year…105 degrees…with no air conditioning in our car and the mountain area we live in plagued with forest fires.  I’m sensing a pattern here, should we rethink our name of dragon warrior?

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We made it safely home, (we left in the morning to avoid the heat of the day).  Then, as “they” say, is when the fun began……

Welcome to our adventure!

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