Surburbia called...and we answered

It's official. We are moving to the Burbs.

Bye bye, endless dining out options. Bye bye, last minute stops to the corner store for beer on the way to a friend's house. Bye bye, easy access to anything and everything. Bye bye, diverse neighborhood.

Hello, longer commute to work. Hello, having our yard maintenance under careful watch of our neighbors. Hello, chain restaurants and strip malls.

Hello, home. Our home. Beautiful newer home that we don't have to spend any money to upgrade. Beautiful neighborhood with wide, clean, safe streets. Beautiful space in which to grow our fun little family. Boo loves the new place already. We think the dogs will love it too. It's better all around, for all of us. It will just be a big and beautiful change.

I have been psyching myself up for The Move. Not really the actual moving part itself, which has actually been kind of fun to tell you the truth, but the getting used to not being as close to the things we love about our city. It is a lifestyle change. Granted, we're moving less than 30 miles away, but there is a huge difference in the lifestyle in these two neighborhoods. I always thought that our next move would be to a bigger city. Boston. New York. Paris. London. Not small town USA. It's not even Small Town USA, which is what makes my anxiety so ridiculous! What's wrong with me?

We LOVE our new house. We'd have to pay $300K more for the same kind of house in the city. I've written about this before. It is important to us that Boo grows up in a clean, baby friendly, roomy house and safe neighborhood with a good school system. So here we go...

Maybe it just makes me feel so old. Almost too grown up. A and I aren't ready to be that grown up yet. We're still kids ourselves, in our minds. But here we are, watching in utter amazement as our little son quickly becomes a big boy. He depends on us to make the right decisions. The amount of responsibility we now have is overwhelming at times, and yet so incredibly satisfying. We're providing for our son, and in the end, it is that expression of love that is all that matters.

Me - Baby = Bliss? Insanity? Longing?

I am sitting in a hotel room in San Francisco, eating the welcome chocolates placed on my hotel bed from our meeting host, deciding whether I should go shopping, or relax and then stop by the complementary wine and cheese hour in the hotel lobby. The hour includes a tarot reading and a chair massage. I think that compared to the last nine months, I will have plenty of time to relax on this work trip over the next few days. I will have uninterrupted sleep. I will not have to change dirty diapers or breathe through stinky ones while my beloved baby works hard to complete his dirty diaper masterpiece. I will not have to carry anything heavier than my laptop during the day. I will be able to take my time getting ready in the morning, I can dawdle while shopping, I can enjoy every sip of a fine wine and every morsel of a luxurious meal without worrying about being interrupted or watching the clock. My first business trip away from Boo is a relaxing vacation getaway - at least, in my mind, so far.

But the damn thing is, I miss my baby. I miss holding him. I miss kissing him. I miss tickling him and hearing his awesome let loose laughter. I miss seeing him smile and smile and smile.

Hmm. So I have decided. I am going shopping – quickly – and then I am enjoying the wine and cheese reception. Best of both worlds. Which means, I’ve gotta run!

---And later on....----

It’s past midnight now. I haven’t stayed out this late since well before Boo was born. Oddly enough, I am feeling pretty awake right now. I just set my wake up call for 6:45 am and I am looking forward to six hours of uninterrupted sleep.

Luckily for me, there are two women on this trip who are also new moms, and this trip is also their first time away from baby. One has an eight month old daughter, and the other woman’s son just turned one. I think we are all doing okay so far. We have enjoyed many many, ahem, many glasses of wine and cocktails. We’re talking about work, which we all love, and we’re in our non-mommy element. It’s wonderful.

As much as I am enjoying my time so far, I think that many people still don’t understand how hard it is to leave one’s child for longer than a few hours. I hate it. If I could bring Boo with me everywhere, all the time, without his presence changing anything, I would do it. He is part of me, and I am responsible for him. When we are apart, he is every other thought. I actually feel him with me even when we are physically apart.

If this entry seems rather Jekyll and Hyde-ish to you, then I say welcome to Mommyhood. It is a paradoxical existence. It is possible to have all of these opposing emotions at the same time, at such extremes, and be in harmony. I love my son, and I love being Mommy, but I am also Me, and I love Me time. I just wish Me time could also include him as well.


Just call me a wuss

I'm a wuss. I broke down and nursed Boo when he got up this morning. My boobs needed relief BADLY and he really wanted to breastfeed. Then I nursed him this evening. We're not ready. I lied. I'm a wuss. Oh well. We'll try again this weekend perhaps.


Cabbage Boobs and Wandering Wanna-Be Walker

Tonight I uttered words I never thought in a million years would come out of my mouth: "I need to change the cabbage leaves in my bra."

Boo and I have decided to stop breastfeeding. Completely. The long goodbye is, today, the big huge PAIN in the boob. My breasts hurt so much, I can barely pick up anything. The left one is totally engorged; the right seems to be taking to the lack of breastfeeding just fine. The right one needs to have a talk with the left one, because I just can't take this pain. Plus, I feel like an idiot walking around work with one engorged boob. I feared leakage all day at work, but luckily I stuck breastpads in this morning and they helped save me from two big wet stains on my shirt.

I must admit, I am pretty sad about the end of breastfeeding Boo. I knew it was coming, so I cherished our final sessions. Yet I think Boo has been trying to tell me he is ready to stop. He hasn't been focusing much while nursing, and he would pull off the breast a lot and then stare up at me and smile. It was as if he were saying, "It's ok, mama. I'm ready to stop too."

So back to the cabbage leaves...it is recommended that to help alleviate the pain from engorgement, you place washed cabbage leaves between your breasts and your bra. There is supposed to be something that is released in the cabbage leaves that helps bring down the engorgement. I tried this wacky method, and it seems to have helped a bit (my rightie, at least, seems to have taken to the cabbage). The problem now is that because of my extreme ezcema and dermatitis, my breasts are now itchy - a possible allergic reaction to the cabbage. After all, it's not every day I have produce on my breasts.

I hope this doesn't last too long. It's hard enough emotionally to say goodbye to nursing my little Boo. Tonight was difficult for me. We usually nurse when I come home, but not tonight. And not any other night from here on out. It makes me sad, really. But I know it's time. I have done what is best for my son. He has benefited from 8 months of nursing, and so have I. It has been an amazing, incredible, lovely experience.

He's growing so fast. He's been trying to pull himself up in his crib, on the couch, on the bed. He can stand for so long just holding onto a railing, even one-handed. He has, on a couple of occasions, "walked" himself a short distance while holding onto something. He's learning to cruise without any indication he wants to crawl. Perhaps he really will skip the whole crawling thing.

Hopefully, my breasts will stop being engorged by the time he really starts cruising! Oy, they hurt.



My stomach spoke to me today. It said "M, I'm still wrinkly and a bit flabby. Please take care of me." Then my back fat spoke, then my thighs, and soon all of the fat in Post-Preggo Flabby Land starting piping up into my conscience and I could no longer ignore the constant nagging chatter: I needed to start taking care of myself better.

I lost all of the baby weight, and then a couple more pounds, around three months post-pregnancy. The scale, however, is the female's worst enemy. Society has trained us to believe that the scale is the standard tool by which we are to measure our health. Mentally, we all know this is bullshit. Emotionally, we cling to the numbers like pathetic needy women; if we don't see the numbers we think we should see, we do everything we can to make those numbers appear.

Numbers don't tell the whole story when it comes to post-pregnancy. I gained 40 pounds during my pregnancy and I loved every ounce of it (hello, daily cake and ice cream treat). Once Boo was born, I bloated up like a Macy's Day Parade balloon...and stayed swollen for a couple of weeks. I bought new shoes and new pants to fit my new size, wondering when I would go back to "normal." Then before I knew it, my old clothes fit. But understand this: they will never really fit the same way ever again.

Though I weigh less than I did before, my body has changed forever because of childbirth. Two words: back fat. I remember turning around in the mirror while changing one day shortly after Boo was born, doing a double take, and thinking "What the hell? Where did that come from?" My stomach is still all prune-like; quite amusing to me at times, then just disgusting at other times.

So today, as I drove home under the beautiful sunshine, I resolved to take Boo for a walk. Walk we did. During my maternity leave, I took him for walks all the time, but after going back to work our walks were few and far between. Then when I got home from our walk today, I resolved to do that more often (thankfully nicer weather is ahead...is it Spring yet?). Then after we ate dinner, I resolved to eat better and to simply exercise more. So I did some yoga poses, some ab exercises, and am now typing while eating yummy pineapple.

Let me be clear: I really don't like to exercise, or at least any type of movement that is characterized specifically as exercise. I used to like jogging once or twice a week, but that's about it. I like walks too. I love to dance around the house (especially with Boo now!). The idea of creating a schedule for working out is just laugh-out-loud ridiculous and will never happen in my life. Especially now. But I realize that I can be more responsible about it and try to do things here and there when I can, and to try to remember to eat my fruits and veggies (but I will NOT give up eating chocolate every day).

The scale doesn't tell the whole story. I forget how good I feel when I do go for walks or jogs, and when I do eat more fruit and veggies (in addition to cake and ice cream). So for Boo, and for me, I will try. I will try. I will try.