Friday, March 28, 2014

On Learning to Be a Homemaker

So, I know I've mentioned this before, but I'm working hard to get into gear and figure out this stay-at-home mom, full-time homemaker thing.  Again, probably repeating myself, but it's still strange to see the messes that I'm constantly making and how that is increased when I'm at home all day long!  When there was work and school, there was far less time to be home and mess things up.

And also, I've noticed that went I keep things at least appearing neat, it encourages me and Brad to neater.  NEAT.  So yeah.  Work in progress.

I think it all comes down to finding a place for everything, and that's what I'm working towards.  As long as everything has a place to go, then it's easy to put them away, right?  RIGHT?!  Maybe?!  Who knows.  It's all an experiment, really.  There's no job training sufficient for being a stay-at-home mom.  It's sort of a steep learning curve; let's just say I'm super grateful that I've spent the first part of motherhood living with my mom.

But yeah, getting better at the homemaker thing.  Although, this is my version of it.  Carting the clean, folded laundry (that's been in the living room for a decade... cough, cough) in the stroller to our bedroom.  Epic.

P.S.  See that giant, old TV in the background that my family has owned for probably thirteen years now?  It's still chuggin' along, its colors have just sort of dulled but other than that it's completely functional.  Well, anyhow, totally got a new 40" flat screen for a crazy discount from a warehouse because the box had been opened.  Yeah, awesomeness.  We've now been enjoying it for a full day and it's a beauty.  It totally passed the watching-Harry-Potter-on-ABC-Family test--seriously, beautiful.  LOVE IT.

P.P.S.  Yes, that's SVU reruns in the background.  I will never tire of that show!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

George Writes His First Story

One time, George was teething.  (His two vampire teeth, to be exact.)  So he could not sleep.  He was restless.  Or wait, could it also be that there were too many stories swimming around in that creative mind of his?  Oh, totally.

This, my friends, is George Bradley Bailey's Story, as written by George Bradley Bailey.

It also has the potential to be a poem, but we're not entirely sure.  But you know, still epic and all that.

Without further ado, enjoy.

sdkfjsdklfjsdkljfasd fjwaeiojldfkj asdfjwoaipjef
yyyyyyyyyyyyyy5rez j  bj, >>>>>>>>>""""""""""""""""""""""""  hliiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiibbbbbbbbbbbbkbbbbbbbbbbbbbb/0o  x  u9p9p9p9p9p9p9p9p9p9p9p9p9p9p9p9p9p9p9p9p9p9p9p9p9p9p9p9p9p9p9p9p9p9p9p9p9p9p9p9p9p                            .  efffffffd\444444444444444444444444445igffffv          

Deep, right?

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The Sleep Game

I think that one of the questions I see most often on baby Facebook groups or message boards or whatever is asking something about a person, their baby, and sleep.

The Sleep Game is weird.  When a baby goes from sleeping like a boss for the first time to lesser so, it's sort of magnified by twenty.  Even if they're just waking up one more time at night than usual, it sort of sends you into a panic.  I remember when George went from his first great sleeper mode to not-so-much and after a few nights of it all I could think about was the good ol' days.  I'm sure it lasted maybe a week tops at the time, but it felt like a decade.  And I'm sure he really didn't wake up that often, but it felt like all the time.  It felt like my head was on the pillow and my eyes were closed for a split second before I was up and tending to George.  But again, I seriously have no idea if that was actually true.

Seriously, the Sleep Game is weird.  It messes with your head, has you convinced that there's something wrong, that your baby should be sleeping better, that clearly you're not doing it right.

The Sleep Game drove me crazy for much of the first part of George's life.  But eventually I had to let go of it.  I had to stop worrying about it.  And this was a big step for me, because pre-George I was a stickler for sleep.  I honestly had a very, very difficult time functioning without proper, solid sleep.

Post-George, however, I'd like to step up and say that, hey, yeah, I no longer play the Sleep Game.  Yes, I still feel tired some days.  Yes, lack of sleep gets to me from time to time.  But I no longer allow myself to freak out about how George chooses his sleep schedule.

I mean, I've always just sort of let George decide, but I've always followed behind worrying that it was correct or not.  No more!

This has been tested these past weeks as George is working through teeth and pain and all that.  His choice sleep pattern is certainly interesting.  You know, considering it's basically just "put off sleep until the last second".  But Brad and I have just gone with the flow.  Some nights he wants to be rocked or bounced or just pretty much goaded to sleep.  Other nights all he wants is for us to leave him alone and let him watch twenty YouTube videos of Baby Einstein and drifts off.  And sometimes we just lay him down, he turns his video off, talks to himself for a while, and falls asleep.  And other nights he has no clue what he wants and we just work with it.

Last night George just wanted to hang out with us as long as possible.  We had laid him down earlier in the night, but when he was just being funny in his crib I brought him in our room and he lounged between Brad and I.  While we played Diablo III, he just chilled just there and played with an old computer mouse, a favorite toy of his.

This was just before 11:00 PM.  He hung out like that for a while, happy and chatty.  Brad and I were happy to have him.  It was kind of a great moment, actually.  George is a non-chillaxing, non-snuggling sort-of-guy, so it was super nice for him to have this sort of moment with us.

But he was clearly tired.  His eyes were so red, poor kid!  Eventually he had his meltdown.  Stick a fork in it, he was done!

But seriously, it was a sweet moment.  A sweet moment that I'm fairly sure if I would've missed if I had been panicking about not sleeping.  Brad's been a really good example in this because, even knowing that he needs to get up for work the next morning, George staying up late doesn't phase him.  Brad doesn't freak out or panic because he's only going to get so much sleep, he's just very calm about it.  It's what George needs us to do, so we do it, in his mind.

And seriously, that's been the mentality that broke me out of the Sleep Game.  And now, George staying up late doesn't panic me or anger me or frustrate me.  Even when it's been rough, the whole lack of sleep thing that comes with parenting is just getting easier.  It's not easy, but certainly easier.  It's a norm now.  It doesn't stress me out anymore, it doesn't send me into a panic, and I really owe that to Brad's influence.  Hey, I'm just grateful it wasn't like that one month where he got up every hour for five hours each night.  That's painful.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

On My Mind #8

This one time I thought it'd be a super great idea to eat a bagel with cream cheese and jam WHILE playing League of Legends.  It was a terrible, terrible idea.  I dropped the bagel on my keyboard which resulted in the K, L, I, and O keys being totally sticky to the point of being literally just stuck in the down position.  Not my brightest moment.  The bagel was delicious, however.

George cut his first tooth last Friday and is was epic.  Seeing that cut in his gums pre-any-tooth-peeking-out was semi-horrific.  I literally cried for the kid.  It looked terrible.  Pretty sure that's what we get our gums chopped open and bones shoved through them when we're little--clearly too traumatic for when we're older and can recall it.

The Cutting of the First Tooth--after teething on and off for six months, with teeth pushing super close to the surface and then regressing back in, why this happens I do not know but it's basically terrible and I digress--means that getting to sleep is rough for George.  He hurts, you can tell.  We lay him down with his bottle in his crib when he's ready for bed and he'll half eat and half gnaw the crap out of it.  No matter the remedy you find, we have learned that teething pain is only something you can numb down.  THERE IS NO CURE.  See, that was epic, wasn't it?  But seriously, there isn't.  You can alleviate, but it's still there... lurking...

In other news I'm not sure when it was that I last washed my hair.  Granted, this is normal for me, including pre-George.  Poor Brad.  He must really love me.

Becoming a stay-at-home-mom is still a process for me most days.  It's that realization of the more time you spend at home, the more crap you leave out.  Seriously.  Before, I was gone 85% of the day, six days a week.  Any messes made could be picked up in, like, thirty minutes.  Whole place would be clean.  WABAM.  Yeah, no.  I make so many messes.  I make messes to clean up messes, what's up with that jank?

And I had this weird thought process that little person equals little laundry.  Yeah, no.  Little person may have little clothes but little person also goes through three outfits a day.  But man he's sooo cute.  And it's sort of the funnest thing ever, putting on all his studly outfits.  He's so cute.  So, so, SO cute.

Really, I'm not complaining about my situation, I just feel stupid for not prepping better.  As we're looking for a home that we're going to be rooting ourselves to for upwards of ten years, I'm thinking, "Hmm, should probably get a hang on this thing."  Is writing a blog post a good way to do so?  Yes.  Yes it is.  I will tell myself that.

I was able to do a really fun logo job on the side this past month and it was pretty much freaking great.  I love taking people's sketches and making them real, it was seriously fun!  And it was for a pickle ball league for cute old people!  Which is kind of super cool.  Seriously, trust me.  It's cool.  I played pickle ball in middle school and high school gym class, if I remember right.  There are no actually pickles harmed in the game play.  No are they eaten, which is sad.  Unless it's sweet pickles, which are basically the worst things ever.  Gross, gross, gross.

Here's George and his super hilarious post-nap hair.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

George at Nine Months

Wow, George's nine month mark sort of snuck up because there's no twenty-ninth of February this year!  But yeah, NINE MONTHS!  He's huge!  Seriously, he's long and heavy.  So, so heavy.  I was surprised when he weighed in at only twenty-one pounds ten ounces, I thought for sure he'd be heavier!  Maybe I'm just a wiener?  He's just over twenty-seven inches long but surprisingly has a completely average head size.  He's 80th percentile for weight, 88th percentile for height, and 51st percentile for head circumference.

George still thinks that Babs is the greatest invention on this earth.  He loves watching her lick her paws, drink water, eat, and even lick up her own vomit.   (True story.  He laughed like it was the funniest thing ever.)

Driving everything, seriously.  You know, like he's using a steering wheel?  Yeah, it's a thing.  George loves it.  He drives his sippy cup, his doughnut things, his little sunflower thingy on his jumper... yeah, basically most of those descriptions are vague, but you know.  He drives pretty much all things.

George has chosen his staple dance move, the Twist.  For a while Brad would beat box and George would start twisting back and forth, dancing along to the beat, SO cute.  But alas, like all things George figures out (ahem, waving for one) he does them for a week or two or even a month, and then is all, "Meh, I'm good."

Speaking of which, George can crawl!  He did it twice.  And then decided that he was done.  Yep.

However, he's still amazing at dragging himself where he needs to go.  He's still a boss at sitting up and is now very comfortable fluidly going from sitting to his stomach.  He gets up on all fours a lot and wiggles but again, he's done with crawling for now.  This is a trait apparently passed down by his father, who would figure stuff out, do it for a while, and then stop, too.  So basically, like father like son!  Which is mighty adorable.

George also discovered his tongue.  It's sort of half-way out most of the time.

He also figured out how to making whining noises.  It's sort of the worst.  We're always like, "Oh dear.  Georgie, let's not do that.  Please.  Please.  Please."

George likes drinking out of straws and cups.  He think he's big.  His first walk with a cup had him drenched, but he just keeps getting better and he's still very interested and is always begging (or yelling) to drink from our cups.  However, you better be done with that drink, straw or just cup, because he back-washes like it ain't no thang... just like his mother did.

Loves How It's Made, SpongeBob, Bubble Guppies, but most especially now Wallykazam.  In Wallykazam, the lead character Wally has this magic stick when he waves around in the air to make magic words appear (near-direct quote of the main song, right there), and now George does it with his part rubber spoon.  It's probably just a coincidence, but we like to pretend he's pretending to be Wally.

We're not sure what was wrong--ear infection, teeth that come and go repeatedly, growth spurt, whatever--but it made George super needy and it was hilarious.  You're sitting right next to him while he's playing?  As in literally, right next to him?  Not close enough.  He'd have to stop and latch onto you for a moment, or otherwise he'd need to be playing with his toys while he's on your lap.  It was so funny and also just semi-bewildering coming from this completely independent kid who would often shove you away because he wanted to play alone.  Interesting change!

George started the typical kid thing of, "Oh, you're eating that?  Then I need some, too."  He would've just had lunch maybe ten minutes ago, be playing on the floor in the living room, and my dad would sit down with his lunch and George would move over to it and ask for bites from my dad.  Nerd.

Continuing on the topic of food, George has actually gotten to a point where he'll completely eat things we give him to feed himself with.  So like the squeezable food pouches, pretzels, cereal, his juice, whatever we set on his tray he'll actually finish it (rather than feeding half to the dog).

New word, "pa-pa" for Grandpa.  Again, in typically George fashion, he did it for about a week and now won't do it for us anymore.  He also started saying "la-la".

This month George started this weird trend of just falling over randomly.  I think it was when he was learning to actively transition (without smacking his head on everything) from sitting up to his stomach.  But still, there is now an established parameter of pillows around that kid when he's upstairs next to the couch.

We all keep joking that he's going to be an engineer because he's just so incredibly interested in how things work.  He has to turn everything all around, upside-down, check it out from every angle, move every piece, see what it does.  When we go for walks in his stroller he throws himself over the side and just lays there watching the wheels go round and round.  He's weird.  We like that.

The two words most often used to describe George by other people are "solid" and "happy".  Oh, and if there had to be a third description it'd be "bright eyes".

Beyond that we've just been trying to get George outside more now that it's sort of warming up.  We're realizing more and more how excited we are for warmer weather because George really hasn't experienced really being outside.  We're psyched to sit in the grass, play in the dirt, go swimming again, bask in the sun, pick flowers.  It's weird to think of how much he hasn't really done before, so we were happy to get outside a bit this month.