Saturday, April 28, 2012

An Explanation...

I feel like there are times when I have to explain myself.  In the most recent past I kept hearing people say "you're crazy" or "I'm sure you'll wish you didn't say that!"  Well to be honest I'm not crazy and I do not wish to take back anything I have said about me, the baby, and our journey.

I know myself...
I know my baby...
I know for sure that babies freak me out!  Figuratively, literally, in reality, all of the above.  I have always felt this way.  I can distinctly remember a number of times where friends of mine would plop their babies in my lap, walk away with them in the stroller by me, pass them off to me, etc and I always froze.  My thought has always been "what am I supposed to do with this thing?" 

I have always been better with toddlers.  They can talk to you, choose things that they want to do, tell you if they are mad, sad, happy, bored...how much easier is that?!  I had a job in college working at the on campus day care and I loved it.  I got to act like a 4 year old at the end of most of my school days.  I got to climb the gym, color, tickle, throw snowballs, build snowmen, and all the good stuff! 

When I said that I (guiltily) HATED breastfeeding, I meant it.
When I said that I was (guiltily) GLAD when I stopped breastfeeding, I meant it.
When I said that I was glad that my baby started eating food food, I meant it. 
So when I said that I couldn't wait for my baby to walk, I meant it.
And now when I say that I am sooo glad my baby is walking, I mean it.
And yes, I CANNOT WAIT for my baby to start talking.  I really mean it. 

Am I sad that my baby is growing up?  Yeah, but not really.  I knew that I was NOT going to enjoy having a newborn around.  It wasn't for lack of sleep.  I am always tired anyway, am a horrible sleeper, and have a hard time going back to sleep when awoken, so that wasn't much of a change.  It wasn't for lack of preparation.  We took childbirth classes, breastfeeding class, and the like.  Plus we were had A BABY!  Life was supposed to change, our routine was supposed to change, our priorities were supposed to change!  All of a sudden, I knew that I couldn't wait for her to be a little girl.

I don't feel like knowing all this has prompted change, I think it has just come to be change.  I feel that when the time in life comes for growth, change, and responsibility, your being automatically just manages.  I found that despite all the input coming from all directions in my life on being a mother, I simply just did.  Was it what I was supposed to do?  Who knows, but I can tell you that it worked for us: my husband, myself, and most importantly our baby.  So I guess that's the explanation.  I know what I know about us, and I definitely know that what we do works. 


Our baby is clearly also glad that she is walking as evidenced by this video!  All I can say is "yay for walking!" I guess.


video



Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Question: why am I here?

I guess I could call this step #3, although I feel like this whole blog is my journey to as much an answer as I can find. 
To be honest I have asked myself this question for my entire career up to this point.  Once I had the baby this question seemed to predominate my mind and thoughts.  I'm a good worker and am good at my job, and make a decent salary.  All of a sudden this was no longer enough.  I was at work, going through the motions, doing and being good at my job, but feeling like a shell.  My spiritual self would stare down at my physical self and see me being, but being unhappy at the same time. My question now became "why am I here at this job, unhappy?"  What an overwhelming thought!  I answered this question everyday for months, and my answer was always "I don't know" and this made me very sad.  I found it hard to believe that such a rewarding field can leave someone so empty and unsatisfied...I realized that my direction within my field was the problem.  I reminded myself and thought daily of my last days in OT school.  We sat around in our small classroom and announced what our dream as an OT was.  My answer was so far from what I was doing and I knew I had to get back to reaching my goal: working with community based clients, helping them remain at home, and consult.  Realizing, and I mean really realizing, that your life path has veered far from your yellow brick road is shocking, depressing, and causes a bit of an anxiety attack!  Once I reached this realization it's all I could think about.  I kept thinking about how much time I felt had been "wasted" working and moving along in life.  I could no longer breathe...sleep...eat...or enjoy my baby.  It was enough.  I gave notice, which was a months long decision, not only emotionally (I had many friends and colleagues that I had great and mutual respect for) but financially (obviously) and mentally (the guilt I experienced for wanting leave a stable, steady, guaranteed, and frankly, easy job).   I know that there are many people that have been in this situation and can sympathize, which in some weird way, gives me some consolation.
But now I was scared.  My question of "why" now became "what."  "What am I going to do now?"  Don't think that I would leave one position without having something else lined up.  I signed on to work for a friends business, but there was absolutely no guarantee of steady work, which meant no guarantee of steady income...as the breadwinner for my household this was a huge hesitation.  I had to remind myself that money isn't everything, and I was confident that in the long run things would work out so that is what I focused on.  To make things worse I felt like I was the only one (besides my friend who I was going to work for) that was confident of my decision.  I'm also working on starting a private practice of my own which takes time
I guess this leads me to my new motto.  The last time I transitioned from one job to the next my motto was "it is what it is."  Since this is no longer good enough I have now decided to "move forward and not dwell on the past."  Dwelling stresses me out and keeps me unfocused, which leads me to not move forward, which makes me depressed and sad, which I hate, cause that's not who I am, so there...
My new purpose in this journey with work is this:

                                         (Photo Courtesy of Caprice Nicole Photography)

If I remain depressed, stressed, empty, I realize that this is what my baby will be.  'Nuff said.  We are moving on, getting back on the yellow brick road, and being confident.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Inspiration comes from the funniest places

What else can baby food inspire?

This question came along once we began making our own baby food.  We have always been typical consumers buying whatever we needed at no particular store.  So here's a crazy thought...the husband and I have always argued over tupperware...sadly that usually went like this...me: "where is the tupperware container you took for lunch today?"  him: "It's in my car" or "I left it at work." Now since those statements were always the response, and the fact that I've mentioned that he is lazier than I am, the outcome was never in the tupperware's favor!  This then usually lead to my husband losing (as in an "it's in my car somewhere and am too lazy to go get it" kind of way), ruining (as in an"I know I should get it and wash it before black mold forms on it" kind of way), or breaking (as in a "the dog was carrying around the tupperware that you left in the garage with bits of food in it" kind of way) the tupperware.  This in turn drove me crazy especially since I have always taken the opposite route!  I faithfully pack my lunches in whatever tupperware we have, wash it at work, take it home, and reuse it again.  All my efforts that were clearly being unmatched by my husband left us frustrated, tired, and butting heads!  So in my efforts to make the baby food, pack it along, and keep it from leaking in my proudly purchased designer diaper bag, we decided to use tupperware.  My husband, out of frustration, opted to use plastic baggies for his lunches (on the rare occasion that he actually took something) so that he didn't have to remember to bring tupperware home (really?).  That makes me think of a side point.  I recycle/reuse as much as I can.  My.  Husband.  Does.  Not.  If I use a plastic baggie, I'll wash it and reuse again.  Probably up to three times, or until holes form...whichever comes first.  My husband would literally put a piece of bread in a baggie and throw it away cause it's "used."  In this way he thinks he is making his life easier, but really it is not cause I become so crazy trying to get him to wash it out and save it for tomorrow.  So to say the least we have gone through, no joke, hundreds of dollars worth of tupperware in the most recent years. 

So the baby food inspiration behind tupperware took a clue from, well, baby food.  How weird is this?  In yet more of my research during pregnancy, I began learning about BPA/phalate free, stainless steel, glas, etc.  None of there were new thoughts/knowledge, but I felt that we might as well try it for the baby.  I'll point out that we have had nice glass tupperware that was gifted us by my husband's mom.  It was a very thoughtful Christmas gift a few years ago that my husband was literally banned from even looking at, much less using since I knew the fate in store if he did.  Yet somehow the supply slowly dwindled down and I forced my husband to let his mother know that we really appreciated the gift, but he ruined or lost basically all the pieces!  (That wasn't awkward at all!)  I know glass is great!  Our lactation consultant even explained that there is a movement to reinstate the use of glass baby bottles...yet here we were, stuck with my newest purchase of cheap plastic ware that I purchased from Costco since I didn't want any more "nice" ones getting ruined.  I soon reported to my husband that I want to buy stainless steel food containers.  Once again I was surprised when I heard him respond "that's a good idea!" (what?!?)  So needless to say more research has found it's way into my already hectic life.  I found I was loving the company Lunchbots (www.lunchbots.com) and he agreed.  The kicker is making sure the pieces would be dishwasher safe (since we already know I HATE washing dishes), which they are, and that they had the oh-so-important partitions.  I cannot possibly have my foods mix together before I eat them (my parents can vouch for this since it's been a lifelong problem)!  I found a few at our local Wholefoods, but have yet to make that first purchase.  The Lunchbots website is great, the company vision/mission is great, and it's a woman run business (that's the all women's college alum in me!).  I'll be ordering soon and can't wait to try my hand at bentobox food styling!  I also have found Kids Konserve stainless, reusable/sustainable/recycled food storage containers (www.kidskonserve.com).

So for now I have been re-using glass babyfood jars (from the purchased "just in case" baby food from Wholefoods) for on-the-go food storage.  This is working out well for portion control and variety.  Two things I am trying to instill in the baby, and I think I have mentioned before that she eats literally anything (except plain beets, which made her cry, and for plain broccoli which she puts her angry face on for).  For humor sake, here is the angry face...can I help it if this is my favorite face of hers?!?!