I make a great maid wife/mother.

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Afternoons

My boo and I love our afternoons together. We play, I force tummy time on her, she cries and sleeps and laughs, she drools (oh. my. god. does she drool) and mostly we just hang together and I try my best to keep her occupied. I mean, how much more is there to do every day?

This morning we ventured to the outlets and I bought Scout her very first bathing suit (it’s adorable, by the way). Living in Texas means the pool is basically our savior during the week. Luckily, we have a neighborhood pool one house down from us in the community park (it’s kept very clean and has lifeguards all summer), and Scout’s grandparents here in Texas have a pool at their house. So I’m hoping to get her swimming as soon as we can!

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So we started with window shopping. Walked around outdoors and enjoyed the beautiful weather bestowed upon us today. Then we came home, took photos, did tummy time, back time, read a few books, watched Dinosaur Train (I actually like this show for kids) and I watched an episode of Homeland in between diaper changes and playing. We ate a bunch of times, went grocery shopping and now….. I’m totally out of ideas

Any moms out there have suggestions for things we can do around the house with a 3-month old? Finding outings aren’t an issue. Finding things to do at home ARE!

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Boo and I will crush the rest of the day with more playtime and reading and rocking. No one told me that the hardest part of being a mom was also being a continuous event planner for your baby!

Play

My daughter loves to play – as long as you’re playing with her and not just leaving her to play alone. God forbid.

Tummy time is still a bone of contention in our relationship. She hates it. I make her do it.

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She still loves me. I swear.

I really feel play is essential to proper development. For those who don’t know, I used to be a guidance counselor in a school for difficult, challenging students. Students that their regular schools didn’t want or were afraid to keep enrolled. They were great kids. I can’t emphasize that more. I loved them. I went home and thought about how I could help them. I would go to work every day excited to see them and hear their stories.

But what I noticed was that without that essential time to relax, let loose, and play, it was near impossible to get them to focus, trust or work. And I’m talking high school students. It was so vital to make sure they got creative time and recreational time.

I think the same is even more important for babies. Just the other night Scout’s daddy and I were talking about how when we were kids we were given G.I. Joe’s or Barbies, they didn’t talk, they didn’t make noise, they didn’t have flashy lights. If we wanted them to “be” something, we had to give them voices, move them ourselves and imagine a whole world for them that didn’t exist. I remember playing quietly in my room by myself, talking to my dolls, pretending.

Hopefully, I can get Scout at that point, too. I worry she is growing up in a world where children expect to be entertained by something or someone 24/7. I worry that she won’t be satisfied with simple toys or learn to enjoy solo hobbies such as drawing, painting, reading. Once upon a time I would grab my watercolors, bring them to the kitchen table, and paint without anyone’s insistence, and put everything away when I was done. It was lovely.

Here’s to raising a self-sufficient, happy, imaginative, creative child!

In the Dumps

To be honest, this past week has been difficult for me. I feel like my lack of sleep over the past three months has finally caught up with me and I’ve become a mean, bitter, resentful monster. I’ve cried at the drop of a hat but it only lasts about 5 minutes and then the rest of my day is totally fine. I’ve noticed I can’t get up as easily in the middle of the night to feed her. I’m struggling with changing a diaper at 3 AM. And forget running at 6:30 in the morning. This morning I turned my alarm off and didn’t think twice about the extra pounds taking up residence on my ass.

So I woke up and decided it’s all about perspective. I really do have a helpful man that I can ask anything of – even though I don’t because I’m a prideful twat. (Note: utilize baby daddy more often to save sanity.) I get to go back to work 2 days a week to start with just to get out and talk to adults again. I have good people and family that help. And I can easily find things to do with my peanut if I look hard enough and get creative.

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She’s been grumpier too, and it’s caused me to lose my shit every now and again. Nothing like a crying baby every afternoon to remind yourself why you were happy without kids. But truthfully, I wouldn’t trade her for the world. She’s my moon and stars.

And then I get a call from my dad, who’s been going through some serious health issues. He’s had complete facial reconstruction, been immobile, continues to eat through a feeding tube and is very depressed. It hurts my heart to hear him that upset, but it’s been months of constant pain, surgeries, complications and self pity —- I couldn’t get him to find ONE positive in all of this (even though radiation is complete, he can walk again unassisted, etc.).

My mom and step-dad are in Florida, and the first thing my mom says on the phone is that she can’t believe it’ll be snowing in New York when they get back. Dude. You’re in FLORIDA. Enjoy the NOW!!!!

After that, it occurred to me that the world seems really down in the dumps. I think a lot of it has to do with the political tone of our country, people being self-serving instead of community-serving, etc. It’s always easier to find the crappy things to complain about. It can be damn difficult to find positive notes in a off-key song.

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So during play time when Scout was throwing a fit, I laughed and laughed. It was hilarious. I love her. She’s adorable. Even her angry is adorable.

So while all y’all are down in the dumps, I am determined to be happy and find things to be happy about. Even my screaming baby who has a set of amazing lungs on her!

Naps

I can’t be the only mom that adore nap time. Like, I totally love my daughter. She’s awesome. I love every stage of her development. I love talking to her. I love watching her figure things out. I love being around her. I love mommy/daughter lunches. I freaking love nap time. Because that’s the only time I can get anything of significance done.

Am I an awful mom?

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She’s adorable. And when she naps there’s a part of me that just wants to curl up with her and sniff her baby head until she wakes up. But alas, laundry calls. And blogging calls (most of the time she’s on my lap while I’m writing or editing). And there’s hobbies. Wait. What are hobbies? Ohhhhhh riiiiiiiigt. Hobbies are the things I gave up the second she was born. Which isn’t her fault and I don’t blame her for it. But I bloody miss knitting and stuff!

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Thank God this afghan’s almost done. Most of the time I could finish something this simple in a few days. But lately, a full afghan could take me WEEKS. And weeks. And weeks…. which become at least a month.

Phew.

Mommying is exhausting.

This morning we’re heading to the German festival – gotta show baby girl her roots! It’s really too bad she’s too young to try pierogies!

Tummy Time

Er Mer Gerd. Tummy time is torture. For both of us. I hate seeing her struggle and get upset. I hate seeing her almost suffocate herself because she’s pissed off and refuses to lift her head (even though she CAN and does so regularly). She’s SO my daughter. That little rebel.

We sit on her play pad together, I lay her gently face down, and for a few minutes she lays there contentedly and sucks on her fist. And then she realizes I’m not picking her up, so she gets antsy. And then antsy turns into frustration (this is the point when she tries to guilt me into picking her up by almost suffocating herself in the mat), and then she gets REALLY pissed and she begins to lift herself up, scoot her booty into the air and pushes herself up on one side – never to actually roll over. But she’ll get there.

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And I have a serious confession to make: I’ve barely made her do tummy time in the last three months. Like…. every few days I remember I need to do it, and it gets done. Then I heard from some grandma that her friend’s son is already rolling over at 3 months and I panicked. Now that girl is on her tummy every day whether she likes it or not.

The thing is… she CAN pick her head up – she’s already holding her own head up 90% of the time. And when she’s on her tummy laid against your chest, she easily and happily pushes herself up with her arms so she can look around. But on the ground, forget it. She protests and boycotts tummy time.

At this rate, she won’t roll over until she’s 8 months old. Stupid people making me panic about milestones. Is that how it goes?  You always worry your child is behind? I also heard she’s supposed to reach out for things. Well. She doesn’t, don’t you know. I mean, she can grasp things, and put things in her mouth. But she’s just not aggressive enough to reach out for things she wants. I’m not going to worry about it though. Maybe she’s just not a grabby girl.

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At last there is peace. She’s worked out for the day. Had her tummy time and sat in her big girl chair. She’s played in her bouncy and laid on her back on her mat to kick around. She’s talked to Mommy and Daddy and gone for a car ride. Finally…. afternoon peace.

Teething… Or Something

It’s been a rough couple of days in Casa Voyles. Mornings are great, easy, routine. Afternoons are akin to the 6th ring of hell. Around 2 PM every afternoon now, Scout has a royal, epic meltdown. It can last 30 minutes, it can last 90 minutes. Of course she adds intermittent breaks for Mom’s convenience so I can pee in between the shrieking, crying and hysterics.

It could be a number of things, but really I think it’s a combination of a few things. First… we’re weaning during the day. She can have access to the tatas all night long – but I’m limiting her nursing throughout the day. I’m going back to work soon, and I really need to be boob-free. So I’m sure her attachment issues are running rampant at the moment. Secondly, TEETHING. I think. She drools like I’ve never seen her drool before. The River Thames is running from her mouth to anywhere she makes contact. She’s also fisting her mouth like it’s a college drinking competition and she’s in it to win it, folks! So, teething. I know I may not see them for a while. I know they’re lurking under the surface of her baby gums and every afternoon they probably inflame and annoy the shit out of all of us.

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And still… she’s still cute as a button. This morning we went up to the outlets and walked around. Turns out only two types of people walk around shopping outlets on a Tuesday morning at 10 AM: Young Asian women with obscene amounts of money (I watched a college-aged Asian girl buy a $179 dress…. WTF?) and moms with strollers. Holla!!! I now fall into that category. And it was DAMNED FUN. Doing it again Friday. Who’s with?

 

Miss St. Patty

Scout’s gone and done it again: she got all dressed up cute as a button! St. Patrick’s Day used to be a fun holiday for me – a few times I did the party/drink thing (mostly the times I was in a big city, like Boston). This year, Miss St. Patty and I went out to a daugher-Mommy lunch together. Instead of going to a traditional Irish Pub (I reallllllly wanted to but it felt so very wrong to bring a baby into a pub) I opted for the next door option (like, literally next door from Mo’s Irish Pub) and we ate Mexican. Well, I ate Mexican, and she ate it after through breast milk. Both of us got all dressed up in green to celebrate the day. I think the wee bit of Irish we have in our blood works out well for her – she looks fantastic in green!

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And no… I didn’t enhance her eyes! Those dark baby blues are ALL HERS! Sometimes I wonder what color her eyes will eventually be, but I’m beginning to think those dark blue eyes are all hers for life. She has the shape of her daddy’s eyes, including her ridiculously long lashes that always get stuck in her eyeballs. But her color is more mine, although mine are significantly lighter.

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The rest of day is all about tummy time, naps, feedings and playing. She talked soooo much during lunch, so she must have tired herself out a bit. Although, as we speak, she’s kicking away in her bouncy chair. Our server at the Mexican place gave us a great idea for baby shows she can watch on Netflix, so we’re testing Super Why. So far, she seems pretty interested.

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Look at that mug. I can’t deny this peanut anything! That’s my 1% Irish girl!

Housebound

Up North, an epic storm is wrapping up, leaving millions of people housebound for the next few days. I miss the days of being cooped up for a day or two because of a massive snow storm. I remember one winter, living in Connecticut, when we had back to back heavy Nor’easters for a few weeks. Schools were cancelled every Wednesday for almost a month because of these high snow-wielding storms. One week it was 33 inches of snow, the next week it was 36 inches of snow. It was almost unheard of to have that much snow hit in a month. But that meant most of us were housebound for 1-2 days while we dug out.

For me, this past week, it’s different. I’ve been on forced house arrest because Martha, my mom vehicle, has been in the shop. Nothing dire is wrong with her. It’s the service department she’s with that has the massive problems. They are slow. They some up with something wrong every day (no worries, I don’t have to pay for it), and they give me the run around every time they call. They’ve had the car longer than I have. I just bought her, for Christ’s sake!

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That means me and Cutie Pie are stuck at home, looking for things to occupy us. We stare at the same walls every day. Pace the same hallway. Open the same back door to look outside. Eat the same food.

This might be the cabin fever speaking, but if the service department doesn’t get my car back to me today, I might end up suicidal. Staying home is hard enough with a new baby – you only have limited places to go. But when ALL your options are taken away from you, it feels like a prison. Thank goodness she’s good company.

Crafts

Knitting and crocheting have long been one of my favorite hobbies. I love how the craft makes me feel connected to fiber artists long gone, centuries long lived and tradition within a culture and family. There’s something very grounding and wholesome about working with your hands, working a project (frogging and re-stitching the same row three times) and creating something whole and loved at the end. This is what working with a hook or needles does for me. It’s why I started a business a couple years ago dedicated to the fiber arts.

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I’ve created a new line of afghans that I’m called “collections,” because you have to buy three afghans at one time. These are small or baby-sized afghans that I’m working on now. All three will have the same pattern and be titled based on their color scheme. This one that’s I’m working on now is part of the Tidal Collection because the colors remind me of the sea and the beach. They will make an excellent gift for someone and their baby!

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Scout is less than thrilled with my crafting time. She sleeps when she gets bored watching me – although I can’t WAIT to teach her to crochet! Then it can be something she does with Mommy every day! Someday she’ll be even better than me at this – and I can’t wait to see what she creates. This is all assuming she likes the fiber arts and I’m not projecting some deep-seeded parental ambition onto her. Ha!!! I’m going to try and contain my need for her creativity!