Monthly Archives: May 2014

Wild and Wonderful

Jonas and I traveled to West Virginia May 21-27 for a reception to celebrate Elizabeth and Drew’s marriage. I was nervous to do the trip with just the two of us, but Jonas did great! He is an awesome traveler.

When we got there, we had to get some groceries, and I had forgotten my carrier at the house where we were staying, so Jonas got to ride in the cart for the first time. He loved it!20140522_160938-MIX

Helping unpack

Helping unpack

He enjoyed spending lots of time with Great Grandma

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We played on the swing set Sadie and I had as kids (with a modification to make it baby friendly!)

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Jonas also tried out the hammock. That is my beautiful Grandma and the beautiful house my dad built in the background.20140523_102803

All of that outside playing, and Jonas needed a bath. We washed him in the sink and he loved it!

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Jonas had on a cute button up and khakis for the reception, but there was a diaper situation on the way there, and I had to clean up a ton of baby poop without getting any on my dress when we arrived with about 10 minutes before the party and 10 wet wipes. I was imagining walking in late to see a bunch of people I hadn’t seen in years, covered in poop.

Thankfully, we were able to clean him up and get him in the backup outfit, and then some friends showed up with water and tissues so I could wash my hands. I am still waiting to see pictures from the reception, but Jonas slept the whole time I danced with him in the Ergo carrier. Before falling asleep, he said his first word– “Hi” as he met a bunch of my friends from high school!

Bubby came up for a day and Jonas had fun crawling around with her.

20140526_13203920140526_131459He made friends on the plane on the way home and they held him so he could see out the window.20140527_120646
It was a great trip, but we are both happy to be home. When we got back, Jonas was so excited, reaching to all of his favorite things in the house to see them. He was especially excited to see Daddy!

Bitter Melon

One of my 101 in 1001 goals was to get a new fruit or vegetable and make something with it. I decided to try an Asian bitter melon.

20140504_184049The inside was beautiful and reminded me of a pomegranate.

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I scooped out the seeds, salted it, then washed the salt off (this is supposed to get rid of some of the bitterness), chopped it up, and made a stir fry.

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Not very pretty, but pretty yummy…except the bitter melon. I guess I’m not sure what I expected, but it was BITTER! Jared and I both gave it a good try and had a few bites before we picked the rest out of our meal and ate the rice, onions, cabbage, and fake chicken. Now we know we aren’t huge fans of bitter melon.

We also finally made it to a library story time after a few failed attempts/ story times that were not for the right age group. I’m getting into a few more bands, too, which is fun. It has been hard to make progress on some of the list now that Jonas is mobile!

Skills of Early Parenthood

Jared mentioned learning in a sociology class how it has been shown that women who wear a wedding ring to a job interview are less likely to get a job and men who wear one are more likely to get one. The women are perceived as more likely to be flaky because it is assumed their first loyalties are to their families. Men are perceived as more likely to be reliable because they have a stable family situation. He said his professor laughed at how ridiculous this was and mentioned how many (marketable!) skills she has had to learn as a new parent. This got me thinking about some of the skills I put to use on a daily basis in my role as a mom. There is definitely a lot more to it than changing diapers and reading board books, though those are important too!

Prioritizing
This morning, the baby pooped so I took off his diaper to find a blowout (rare with cloth diapers, but they still do sometimes happen). He squirmed away before I could wipe him, and got poop on a pillow that was on the floor. So I had a naked baby, a poopy diaper that needed to be sprayed off, and a dirty pillow. What to do first? I set the diaper on the changing table, wiped off the baby, put a new diaper on him, then dealt with the dirty diaper and the pillow.

Problem Solving
I closed the door to the baby’s room so he could play while I sprayed off his dirty diaper. He decided to stand up against the door. When I finished, he started to fuss because he could hear me but couldn’t see me, but he also didn’t realize that he had to stop leaning against the door if he wanted me to come in. Pushing over the door and knocking him over didn’t seem like a good option. I grabbed one of his favorite toys from the next room, then opened the door gently, just a crack, and threw the toy in. It worked! He got down from the door to go for the toy, and I could open the door the rest of the way to come in.

Coming together despite differences
Jonas and I regularly attend a play group for moms and babies born in 2012-2014. There are members who are very similar to us, values and interest wise, and those who are pretty different. We always have fun when we go, and it has shown me that I can have friends who are friends because of a shared life experience or stage, and not necessarily because we like the same music.

Negotiation
You don’t want to sit in the high chair anymore while I finish cleaning up from our meal? What if I sing Chantilly Lace and do a ridiculous dance with it? Perfect.

You don’t want to let go of the toilet paper? Have a rubber duck! Everyone’s happy.

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Not Avoiding Uncomfortable Situations
This is one I am still working on. I noticed if the baby starts fussing, my first instinct is to look away. If I look him in the eyes, though, it actually will usually calm him down. Plus, I want him to know that his feelings are heard and that I am there for him, even when his feelings are difficult.

Asking for Help
This one is still a challenge for me as well. I am working on it every day!

Dealing with Change
Just when I think I have mommyhood figured out, it is different! Teething! Crawling! Sometimes things that used to work don’t work anymore. Sometimes I have to try things that haven’t worked in months and suddenly they are perfect again. I’ve also learned to see the joy in this! How amazing to have a baby who is learning at such an incredible pace that it can feel like being with a new human every day!

Just Keep Going
This one is the biggest. Sometimes I am running on four hours of sleep. I haven’t showered in four days. My arms are sore. I just want a break. Parenthood, particularly when I am the only one at home, or when I am the only person who can provide the kind of care needed (those middle of the night nursing sessions, for example), has shown me that even when I am exhausted, when there is parenting to do, you just do it.

Other Knowledge and Skills
I have become more proficient in nutrition and food preparation, in cognitive development and human psychology, house cleaning and maintenance, and even in American Sign Language. I have gotten physically stronger from carrying the baby.

So far, being a parent, as cliche as it sounds, has been the most difficult, but most rewarding job I have done.┬áIt is so awesome to have a “job” that is just MY LIFE, if that makes sense. There isn’t a separation between what I do and who I am, and that makes even the hard parts amazing. I am learning and growing every day and am so thankful.