Sunday, August 28, 2011

Two Months

Tyler turned two months old yesterday. It's incredible how much I love that little guy. His smile, his laugh, his coos, they light up my entire world. I can't wait to get him in the morning, and I miss him when he's sleeping. I think about him 24/7. The love I have for that tiny little person is consuming, overpowering and I'm in awe over it.

I feel so lucky that God gave us him. I wonder how I could possibly deserve such a precious baby boy. He has his fussy moments, but all in all he's a very happy, easy baby, and I'm so thankful and blessed. He truly enriches my life and makes me wonder what the heck I was doing with my life before Tyler came about.

He's becoming more aware of what's around him. No longer is he content hanging out with Mommy on the couch, he wants to sit up or be carried around so he can check everything out. He's working on rolling over. He almost gets on his belly but his arm gets in the way so he grunts while he tries to roll over the rest of the way. It's adorable. I love him so much and I can't wait to see what he'll discover tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Perfection and What I've Learned

I've always been a perfectionist. My entire life has been full of overachieving moments meant to impress my family, friends and strangers with the one hope that someday I would be accepted. It wasn't until about a year ago that I realized that I was accepted by everyone but myself. I looked in the mirror and all I saw was someone who could do more, do better and do it more efficiently if that person would just try harder. I looked down on myself, and berated myself with what I hadn't accomplished in my life as of yet. I brought the whole, you're your own worst enemy thing to a whole other level. For the longest time I blamed my father and his verbal attacks for my need to overachieve and perfectionism. You know, eventually you have to come to terms with the fact that YOU control you. Yes you may have had a few rough spots as a kid, but who hasn't and eventually you need to suck it up and stop blaming everyone, anyone for your issues that you continue to grow within yourself.

I have always been a firm believer that if you sacrifice enough and try hard enough you can have anything you want. You would think that with the house in Virginia being foreclosed on and all Ryan and I went through to avoid that mess I would have learned that lesson awhile ago. I didn't. I learned that lesson after Tyler was born. I did everything right. I followed everything the doctor said to a T. I only gained 26 pounds, I ate the diet of a saint, I used stretch mark cream everyday, I took birthing classes and read books, I prepared myself with so much knowledge I could be an OB/GYN (well not really, but you get what I'm saying). I sacrificed cookies and tried as hard as I could to prepare to have a natural birthing experience, be able to successfully breastfeed my son, and look like I was never pregnant to begin with. None of that crap happened. I ended up with an emergency C-section, I pump every 4 hours so my son can have breast milk and the front of my belly is covered in stretch marks.

It doesn't really matter how bad you want something, or how much you sacrifice, or how hard you try for something; some things are out of your hands. Some things are just left up to chance. It doesn't really matter how badly I want to leave Louisiana, it doesn't matter how many resumes I send out, or how many job contacts I have, how much experience I have or whether I graduated college with honors or not, some things just come down to chance. Doing certain things might help your odds at whatever it is you want, but in the end it really just comes down to chance.

Then I had an epiphany, so if some things come down to pure luck, why am I beating myself up if certain things don't happen? Maybe I need to just let go and enjoy life instead of trying to conquer it every second of the day...

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Summer? What Summer?

I can't believe we're almost through August. Where the heck did the summer go? If it wasn't for Louisiana's blazing summer humidity I would wonder if we even had summer. Tyler will be two months this week. The last eight weeks have gone by surprisingly fast. I thought for sure those sleepless nights and sounds of a wailing baby would make the days feel like they were so slow I would swear they were going backwards. The first month all the days ran together, and some days seemed longer than others, but for the most part it has flown by.

I go back to work after Labor Day. It's bittersweet. I miss my career, I miss being busy and having things to do during the day other than wash bottles, change diapers, and call the insurance company AGAIN about screwing up the health claim for my C-section. I really like working, so I'm happy to be going back to work; on the other hand I really wish I could be with my son. Even though I have full confidence in the daycare we chose, I know I'm going to have a hard time leaving him during the day. I'm going to miss him a lot and wonder what I'm missing. Every day he discovers something new, what will he discover at daycare that I'll be missing out on?

I want the best of both worlds, my career and being with my son. Rarely is there a workplace that allows you to bring your kids or allows you to work from home so you can stay home with your kids. I've thought of starting up my own financial consulting business but that makes my head hurt just writing the business plan. Never have I dreamed of running my own business and even though that more than likely will be the only way I can still have my career and stay home, it's still not something I dream of. The stress involved with that kind of endeavor will turn me from happy mommy/career woman into raging-monster-who-once-resembled-a-human-being. It's better for everyone if I keep home and career separate, lest I be devoured by the black hole that would be running my own business.

The next four months are going to be so exciting, not only will Tyler be growing and discovering things by leaps and bounds but the next four months are the holidays! We'll see family, have his first visit to the pumpkin patch, first Halloween, first Thanksgiving (AND he'll be trying new foods by then) and his first Christmas! The last two months have zoomed by and we've had one holiday and I haven't been working. I can only imagine how fast the next four months will go.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Books, Advice and Why It's All a Bunch of Horse Crap

There's an entire section of baby/parenting books in any bookstore or library you visit. Books on how to raise boys, books on how to raise "difficult" children, or children with special needs, books on baby sign language, and breastfeeding. Books on bottle-feeding, books on how to prepare for a newborn, books on baby products. It's truly endless. Any problem you have there is a book on it. When I was pregnant I read a few books. I tried not to bombard myself with tons of theories, ideas, and tips. I asked around and only read the few books recommended by friends. I have to say that each book I read contradicted itself somewhere in between its covers and every book says something different.

One specific breastfeeding book said to avoid eating dairy because it can cause issues in infants, and later on in the book it said to eat yogurt everyday to avoid nipple infections. Another book said not to leave a crying baby, that they will feel abandoned and unloved; later on in the book it said that it was totally ok to walk away from a screaming baby if you need a break.

After feeling overwhelmed, frustrated and completely confused, my sister-in-law gave me the best advice. She said that every baby was different so it's best to pick and choose what works for YOU out of each book. What works for you may not work for me, and vice versa. Every baby is different, every mom is different. You have to discover what works for you and your lifestyle.

There will always be people there to judge. Just like when you're engaged or a newlywed, people love to stick their nose in your business and "comment" when you have kids. I was told that I shouldn't feed Tyler every three hours, that I should wait for him to tell me he's hungry. My response, "He does tell me...every three hours."