Thursday, February 26, 2009

Making Friends In The Baby Aisle

I was perusing down the baby aisle of my grocery store the other day trying to figure out if I could justify spending $20 on a baby toy when there are two perfectly good cat tails for Jacob to pull at home. Why the heck do baby toys cost so much anyway? Is it because parents will easily drop a a fortune on baby products that offer immunity from the student-mom guilt? And you know, if your baby (who just as easily would prefer to chew on your hair than an expensive rattle) doesn't get the latest and greatest in scientifically proven baby products, he may, not develop to his potential! And WHO would risk that!!! At least this is the justification I use whenever I cave into baby-related consumption practices.

Anyway... (venting complete)...

In the middle of my internal moral dilemna, another young mom had pulled her cart up alongside mine. Glancing at Jacob's JJCole BundleMe, she commented on how much she loved the product. I looked up at her and smiled. We instantly began chatting. In ten minutes I learned about her online accounting classes, her husband's job, her family, her love for the beach, her love for yoga pants and her two sons. She has a three year old and a four month old. We chatted up a storm about our shared addiction to Desperate Housewives and how the heck could Susan divorce Mike after all these years? He's like the hottest guy on the show and she waited by his side for months for him to come out of a coma. Sorry but if a guy freaking comes out of a coma for you- you just don't go throwing away that kind of love!

As it was getting late, we both realized we had to go. But the funny thing is neither of us wanted to say goodbye. Our conversation had been so smooth and refreshing, like we were old friends catching up. I think we were also both starved for young mom comraderie. Let's face it, as good as your old friends are, when you become a mom there is a part of you that craves the friendship of people who know what it is like to sacrifice sleep for a pooping machine. A part of you needs to be able to talk about the little daily milestones your baby accomplishes without getting funny looks. Part of you craves interaction with someone who understands exactly what you are going through each day. Because being a mom, much like surviving law school, causes you to forge an unbreakable bond with others over shared trials and joys. (The people who I suffered through 1L year with continue to be my closest friends at law school despite not having any 2L or 3L classes with them).

After several failed attempts to just end our chat, it became clear that we were both needing and craving more from each other than just one time passing conversation. We were both hoping this chance meeting could turn into much needed friendship. But we were both too shy and coy to be direct about it. So we stood there in the baby aisle, as ten minutes turned into twenty, waiting for the other person to suggest something while we each stalled for more time.

Then I did something totally unlike me. I reached deep into my stock pile of social courage and flat out begged her for a play date! For those of you who easily make new friends it might seem weird that it was such a big deal for me to befriend someone I just met. But it felt good to be bold and it feels even better knowing that tomorrow I have a play date with another maternal/baby unit!

If only I could be that bold when it comes to my inner baby toy impulse buyer.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Bear Sightings & More

Last weekend, Jacob went on his first road trip. We traveled five hours by car to visit my sister at her college way out in the middle of nowhere. The town she is lives in was basically built around the university. Once we got about 1.5 hours outside of Seattle, the roads were basically empty- and it was kinda spooky. After we traveled down the mountain pass, all you could see for miles was flatlands. We passed farm after farm, field after field. I forgot that at least half of Washington looked like this!

I am 100% a water person. I grew up on an island (7 miles across by 12 miles long). The only time I don't remember living in the Seattle area (I lived in Alaska was I was really young) I was in college living on the edge of the country's largest lake- Lake Michigan. If I am not near water and if I am surrounded only by land, I begin to feel claustrophobic. I guess you would call that landphobic? So while it was nice to visit my sister, I could never live there.

The highlight of the trip: the hotel! I LOVE hotels. I can't describe it. I love staying in hotels more than I love travelling to other cities. I love the smell of hotel rooms- chlorine, cleaning products and freshness. I love the feel of cool hotel bed sheets against my skin. I love staying up late sitting in bed watching the news in a foreign city. The feeling of relaxing in your room after a dip in the pool- clean and refreshed. I love the possibility of adventure that hotels give. Looking down at rooftops, cityscapes, beaches, and alleys from hotel windows. I love the sound of flip flopped or sneakered footsteps echoing down hotel hallways. The hustle and bustle of people coming and going. Continental breakfasts and late night trips to the vending machine. And don't get me started on Hotelsex! I just love everything about them!

At the hotel we stayed at this weekend, Jacob got to go into a pool for the first time. He loved the water and laughed when his Grandpa splashed about making funny faces. Then he sat on my lap while I dipped my feet into the hot tub. It was heavenly!
The next morning we took a tour of my sister's college town. Enjoyed some yummy lunch and passed by a bear conservation! My little bear got to meet a couple of real bears! The bears definately rank second among trip highlights, after the hotel of course.

But after spending ten plus hours in a car all weekend, it was nice to be back home. Next to water. Away from bears. And back in our beds.

Camera Info

Since everyone keeps asking, I requested camera information from my husband. I am definately no photography expert. I took a couple photography lessons in high school which focused on manual SLR cameras. I used to know how to roll my own film, develop the negatives and use them to make prints in a darkroom. But when it comes to all this digital stuff, I defer to my husband.

The great photos we end up with are definately not attributed to our skill. I say it's all camera! Ok my husband corrected me- he says it's not the camera but the LENS. Whatever. All I know is that I turn it on, point it, let it auto-focus and "snap"- I have a photo. My husband bought this camera used on e-bay for like $500 including the lens. It has been the single best purchase we have ever made. Period.

The digital camera is a Canon Rebel XTI. And the lens is a Canon 50mm 1.8 (whatever that means). While the camera in these pics is our camera, the photos feature a different lens.

The only inconvenience is that the lens doesn't zoom in or out. You have to stand back pretty far to fit people into a group picture. But it does phenomenal close ups! And it even has a built in flash although we rarely have to use it.

So if you're looking for a camera- I highly recommend this one! Say goodbye to out of focus pictures forever! Canon should pay me for this review!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Growing Pains

Today I finally admitted to myself that most of Jacob's 3-6 month old clothes are getting too small. I've been in denial for about a week -- purposely not noticing the lack of leg room in his sleepers and how far his bare arms stick out of his shirts.

For bed time I reluctantly took out a pair of his 6-9 month old size jammies...and...they fit! I can't believe this. I love watching Jacob learn new things. I love how he is interacting with us more each day. But I hate that my baby is growing so fast! Where is the tiny little bundle of blankets that use to just stare up at me?

Last week I slowly weaned Jacob and he is now 90% drinking only formula. I only nurse him once a day now-- the first time he wakes up in the morning. I loved nursing him but now that I can pretty much feed him formula anywhere and at anytime I really don't miss it (I was one of those crazy super modest nursing moms- I wouldn't feed Jacob in front of anyone but my husband, including my own mom, even if we were covered! This made feeding a huge preparedness task- I always had to think ahead). The past month and a half he's been catching up in weight (we were told to put weight on him last appointment). Since he's been eating baby food and rice cereal and formula, he's been packing the pounds. He's finally getting those cute baby fat rolls on his legs!

Since he's put on weight he seems so much more durable. He's also had a dramatic shift in his mood. He used to get fussy pretty often. But lately he's just this happy, content baby ALL THE TIME! I feel bad that maybe he used to be so fussy because I didn't feed him enough? But now he's happy and rolly polly and so much more independent AND he sleeps from 9-6 EVERYNIGHT! He's been just a breeze~!

I'm enjoying this happy Jacob now while I can because I know some teeth are lurking just around the corner, waiting to make his life miserable.

Friday, February 20, 2009

The Tummy Time Wars

Jacob used to just kind of roll accidentally, like he was more falling than rolling. But now I believe he is rolling at will. I put him on his tummy for obligatory tummy time and he looks at me like "whatever mom I'll show you."

He immediately starts to lean his body to one side and pushes off forcefully with his hand.

Mid-roll he gets a look like "I made a huge mistake- is it too late to take it back?"

Then his abnormally large Charlie Brown head hits the floor with a loud "thump." And, victorious!, he engages in some friendly gloating.

Before it starts all over again.
Just look at that face! You never know what he is plotting.

Monday, February 16, 2009

When Bad Crushes Happen To Good People

This would be my Postsecret postcard if I ever sent one:

I have a crush on my father-in-law.

Am I the only one? No one ever blogs about that topic...Is it really THAT inappropriate? Or taboo? I've just always had this thing for older men...

*Hangs head in shame*

Go On Have A Few!

There are plenty of ways in which a baby enhances and adds meaning to your life. Here are my all-time top ten favorites:

10. No Surprises Here: Tax deduction!
9. You get to enjoy those big, private family restrooms.
8. You always have an excuse for being late ("sorry, the baby pooped himself as I was strapping him in the car seat").
7. Random people are always smiling at you.
6. Baby smell... "I'm swear I'm not crazy but can I smell your son's head?"
5. You have unlimited opportunities to go to Chuck E. Cheese. And re-watch Disney movies. And play on the swings.
4. After you have a baby- people lower their expectations of your physical appearance (wow, you had a baby five months ago and you don't look like Dumbo's mom? You look fantastic!)
3. You finally have something to make small talk about at awkward social gatherings.
2. Baby cookies taste delicious! And they are low cal! I might share with Jacob.

My #1 favorite: The Carpool Lane! I can't believe babies count as REAL human people!Awesome!

*Note to Octuplets Lady: these benefits don't necessarilly increase with each additional child.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

How I Spend My Student Loans (V-day Edition)

First: Happy Belated Heart Day from Jacob:

How do you spend your student loans? If the answer is any of the following, then you are doing something wrong: frugally, responsibly, wisely, necessities ONLY, school-related expenses.

I'll tell you how student loans were meant to be spent...

Friday I stopped by my husband's office and dropped off a package for him with the receptionist. The package contained his best sports coat/blazer (can someone please tell me the difference!?) with a note containing a clue.
The note said, "Wear this jacket/and you'll look fetching/for a night on the town/ after some 'stretch'-ing." Any guesses what that meant? Clue word: "stretch."

STRETCH LIMO! (note: my husband thought that was really lame)

I arranged for my parents to take care of Jacob and I picked my husband up from work in a limo! I was wearing a black dress that I had skipped Admin law to purchase. That little fact only made the dress more PERFECT.

I even remembered to bring along our favorite bottle of raspberry wine that we were saving for a special occassion. The limo was outfitted with a light up bar filled with champagne flutes, a TV with DVD player (which came with an Usher music video), a decked out stereo, sunroof, and a lit up ceiling! The best part was the long "j" shaped seat which, with a small running start, you could slide all the way down! (um we were still wearing our seat belts?...) I had the best buzz student loans could buy!

One more thing to cross off my to-do list: "getting frisky in a limo."

The limo dropped us off at the best Thai food restaurant in our city. Then we topped the evening off by driving our car out to a wooded area and enjoying some baby-free loving (just like we used to do when we were dating and both lived with our parents). It's way more fun when you have to get creative...

So to recap: monopoly money student loans = limo, new black dress, fancy thai dinner, wine and a bottle of lube.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Maturity...What's That?

On the way home from our Valentine's Day celebration (more about that later!);

Me: I'm thirsty can we stop at the grocery store?
Husband: The gas station is more convenient.
Me: Your MOM is convenient!
Husband: You...did...not! Apologize or we aren't stopping!
Me: But I'm so thirsty, I'm dying of thirst.
Husband: Just apologize. Come on, you can handle it.
Me: Your MOM can handle it!
Husband: There goes the gas station...
Me: But I NEED water!
Husband: Say the magic words.
Me: What? "Your Mom"?
Husband: This is it, your last resort.
Me: Your MOM's my last resort.
Husband: Ok, you blew it.
Me: Your MOM blew it....!!!

Ten Minutes Later:

Me: I'm dying...omg, so thirsty
Husband: There's a stop in five minutes. You know what you need to do.
Me: No way, I already suffered for like ten minutes. I'm not apologizing now- that would make my suffering meaningless!
Husband: You would rather die of thirst than apologize?
Me: It's so worth it.
Husband: Your MOM is so worth it.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A Whole New Jacob

Who is this big boy? I don't recognize him anymore. The past month since I've returned to school it seems like he has just grown uncontrollably fast. He has changed so much in four weeks- I'm in shock! Is it just because I'm spending less time with him every day or is it just a growth spurt?

The past month Jacob has:

-started giggling alot!
-discovered his feet
-discovered the TASTE of his feet
-started to eat all new kinds of baby food
-is almost sitting up on his own

And his disposition has changed enormously. He is happy all the time and much more easy going. He loves being with both sets of his Grandparents and is happy to play with them four days a week. I know he is just five months old but I feel like he has such a better grasp of the world around him than he was one month ago. When he sees a bottle or a spoon, he knows it means it's time for food and he starts opening his mouth and leaning forward. He can take out his pacifier and put it back in his mouth. He interacts when we play peek-a-boo. The list goes on...

But that smile. Oh he is gonna be a lady killer!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Who Owns These Boobs Anyway?

After two weeks of pumping in a stinky bathroon stall, I finally realized that there was a lactation room tucked way in the back of our law library. That's kind of an odd place for it.

It's tucked away in a back corner and you need a key to open the door. Whenever I make my way back there and type in the code, I feel like I'm breaking into a bank vault or something. Or that I am Harry Potter travelling to a distant, mysterious land amidst crowds at a London train station.

Anyway...(geeky silence)...

I am so done with pumping. I HATE it. I hate it more than I hate eating burned toast, being called on in class when I'm unprepared, or scooping up cat poo that has mysteriously missed the litter box. I would rather clean the black grout that lives between my bathroom tiles. I can't even pinpoint what I hate about it so much, I just simply hate it in it's entirety.

The lactation room is tiny with no windows. And there are random pictures of people's babies taped all over one wall. Wow, I hate to say it but, law students at my school have spawned some really ugly babies. I am tempted to put Jacob's photo on the wall but I don't want other parents to be put off by his cuteness (i.e. I keep forgetting to bring tape).

Jacob can't stomache normal formula so we've put him on soy formula. That has been working really well so far. I hope to slowly start getting him on formula exclusively but I hate giving up the convenience of nursing. In the middle of the night when he cries, I put him in bed with me and feed him while I sleep. Nursing at night has been a life saver! I hate to give that up.

But I want my body back. The lending of my boobs for feeding purposes is a lease terminable at will. And my will is strong.

Thus begins my socio-biological experiment: what is stronger- the need for sleep or the urge to have your body to yourself again? Only time will tell...

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Prayers, Hopes And Fears

Today I came across The Macs' blog. I read how this couple had just lost their baby girl to cancer. They didn't even know she had cancer until two weeks ago and despite many surgeries and procedures, their baby passed away today.

I don't even know baby Cora but my heart just aches for her parents. I cannot imagine watching your baby suffer like that and not even be able to hold her. I can't imagine facing the pain of loss especially over such a new life.

I was going to write about something else today but I just can't. All I can think about is this heartbroken family. All I can think about is how this baby has been taken away. Throughout their recent journey, the couple never once lost their faith or blamed God. I wish I had that kind of unshakeable faith. they are truly amazing people and I wish them strength and healing.

My biggest fear in the entire world is that I will lose Jacob. That he won't have the opportunity to experience a full life or that he will hurt and I will be helpless to take it away. Someone I once knew told me being a parent was selfish and that people only have kids for selfish reasons. But being a mom is the most selfless thing you could do. I would die a hundred times so that Jacob could live one long life.

Being a mom is hard- pregnancy, labor, feeding, caring, sleepless nights. But I think the hardest part of being a mom is the ultimate emotional attachment you can experience for another person. That emotional bond is inevitable. It's the source of the greatest joy you will ever know, but it also has the potential to sting you more than anything else ever could. You feel their every hurt and bump and it causes you to worry endlessly about their wellbeing.

It makes me feel so vulnerable and helpless. It kills me that anything could hurt Jacob. I cannot imagine having to experience what The Macs have. Their story has taught me to love every minute I have with Jacob, to hug him tighter and appreciate that he is in my life. I felt physical pain in my chest reading their story. I want to say something comforting but am at a loss for words. What could comfort after that? I'm glad they have their faith to rely on and I hope it continues to bring them strength and comfort.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Of Burritos, Showers and Miracles.

I'm not really a believer in miracles until they happen to me, of course.

Thursday night I put a sleeping Jacob in his crib at 9:30pm. Exhausted, I fell asleep not much later than that. When he woke me up with his crying, something felt different. I didn't feel as tired as I usually am when roused from the middle of a deep sleep. I looked at the clock- it was 5:30AM!!!! He had slept a full eight hours!

In the entire History of Jacob, this has never happened before. When he was three months old he used to sleep the first stretch for five to six hours at a time. But for the last two months he's been waking up every three to four hours. It felt amazing to sleep that long completely uninterrupted. It was an awesome glimpse at what the future could hold for me. Of course, my miracle was short lived. Last night Jacob was back to his old tricks.

Today was a pretty nice day, however. We chilled all morning and I made us some nice brunch breakfast sandwiches. My husband and I *cough* took a shower together while Jacob played on the floor in the next room (does that make me a bad mom?). We are now very clean....

We didn't leave our house until 4:30 when we decided to do some shopping and go out for dinner. We tried to sneak into a restaurant tavern but they wouldn't let us in with a baby- what the heck??? Like he's really going to try to order a beer from the bar with his fake ID. So instead we stopped at a Mexican place and I had the biggest burrito of all time (there goes my mission to lose five pounds). Jacob attracted a lot of attention with his big steel-grey/blue eyes and charmed a waitress into holding him.

We drove home, bellies full of refried beans and rice, quiet content. Until the beans got their revenge. Something really horrid smelling started to fill the air. I looked acusingly at my husband and he just grinned.

"Was that you? Did you just fart?"
"Don't be ridiculous. Guys don't fart, they BUBBLE!"

Thursday, February 5, 2009

You Might Be A Mom In Law School If

You have only five minutes before you have to leave for school and you use it to change your son's soaking wet diaper rather than grab a Diet Dr. Pepper for breakfast.

You often find yourself pumping with one hand, straight ironing your hair with the other while reading an assigned case for your first law class.

You have ever had to ask a Professor or other Staff permission to use the freezer in their lounge to store breast milk because you forgot your insulated milk thermos.

You often wonder why is it that non parent students can't find the time to change out of their pajamas when you managed to shower and dress not only yourself but an infant as well. (I remember being a single nonparent and frequently being in that situation though).

You find yourself adopting a cost-benefit analysis to parenting decisions.

You think your boobs are so big that people need an easement to go around you.

You have ever thought your baby not sleeping through the night is just unconscionable.

You hope that your baby never EVER decides to go to lawschool.

You hate to admit it but five extra minutes of sleep is starting to sound much better than five minutes of passionate (or not so passionate) love making.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Indecent Exposure In The Classroom

Before class, a student approached the professor to ask him a question. In the process, he tipped over a glass of water which spilled all over the professor’s podium/table. What would you have done in such an embarrassing situation?

Maybe run to the bathroom to grab paper towels? Call a janitor?

Guess what he did?

He took off his shirt (thankfully he was wearing an undershirt) and used it to wipe up the mess! You should have seen the look of shock on the professor’s face. I had a hard time trying to stifle my laughter for the first three minutes of class.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Productively Pursuing A New Career Path

I dominated a table at Starbucks for five whole hours today while I finished up my Sales, Payment and Corporate Governance reading for tomorrow. I crammed to get as much done as possible during the window of time that Jacob played with Grandma Lumpia (husband's mom-she is Fillipina).

The problems are
1) Starbucks Lady keeps giving me dirty looks because it's been three hours since I have actually ordered something. Placing my old latte cup strategically in front of my table is not fooling her.
2) I can only study for 15 minutes before I need to get up and do something but I look rather silly walking in circles.
3) Five hours is not nearly enough time to finish all the homework for my five classes- I need TEN HOURS!

So I did what I could before rejoining the living and picking up my happy big-headed baby* from Grandma Lumpia's house. I got home at around 5:30pm and that's when my day actually started.

I got home and fed Jacob.
Then I made dinner,
gave Jacob a bath,
put him is his jammies,
started a load of laundry,
fed Jacob one last time,
put him to bed,
put the wet clothes in the dryer
cleaned the dishes,
made my lunch,
packed Jacob's diaper bag for tomorrow
cleaned the breast pump!

I may have accomplished enough in four hours to suggest that I am on some kind of performance-enhancing drugs or perhaps a tiny bit of speed. BUT. There is still a stack of assigned reading sitting on my table haunting me. I swear it has grown a pair of big googly eyes like the "money you will save by switching to Geico" in those crazy Geico ads. I still won't get to it tonight.

So what is the point of doing all those chores if by neglecting my IMPORTANT work, my life is sent spiraling down the path of Flunking out of Law School. Causing me to never find a Job. Resulting in the Foreclosure of My Home. And reducing my family to scrounging food off the streets like rats? I could have saved myself the agony of law school and could already be enjoiying a career in street scrounging.

It's not me. It's the Crazy talking.

*We have started calling him Charlie Brown because of his big and hair-challenged head.
P.S. I'm so tired I had to edit this post six times for errors and grammar mistakes.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

I Didn't Know The Super Bowl Involved Football. I Thought It Was About Ads And Beer.

To celebrate Super Bowl Sunday, we took Jacob over to my husband's friend's house. We always gather at his place for events requiring a TV since his TV is, by far, the largest. This is why I refuse to allow my husband to buy a TV the size of a small elephant, because we would always be the default hosts (ok, and because we don't really have the money).

Since I care more about my grandma's toenail fungus than I do about football, I celebrate the beer and pizza. Oh and the commercials. But this year, the commercials were very disappointing.
Most of them left me wondering "wtf?!" It was pretty funny to watch the guys put on their 3-D glasses at every commercial break just to make sure they didn't miss the 3-D Sobe commercial though.

You could tell which companies' marketing budgets had taken a hit. Ivars and Miller Highlife both featured a 1/8 of a second ad- which probably costs them about three Executive Officer salaries. It was so pathetic, it was funny. But by far my favorite commercial was one from I swear I laughed for ten whole minutes (sorry koala bear):

Oh and watching Springsteen during halftime was more painful than an hour of admin law. He's so.....old. Every time he did a jump we wondered if he was going to break a hip. And then that funny slide thing he did into the camera which resulted in a "crotch shot" .... too too funny.

The best entertainment of the day, of course, was Jacob. He was fun and charming the whole afternoon and evening. He belly laughed when we played peek-a-boo with him and chatted up a storm. The guys loved passing him around and making crazy faces at him. He even napped during parts of the game (football has that effect on me too).

Oh yeah, I almost forgot that there was even a game. I have some random thoughts about football in general that always puzzle me:

-how do the players NOT get constant wedgies in those tight pants?
-how can guys that large run so fast? or does the tv just make them look fast?
-does anyone else find it objectively strange that people all over the country tune in to watch men in tights doggy pile each other?
-why does that one ref have the letters "BJ" written on the back of his uniform? Is that his name? That is just unfortunate.