Monday, March 24, 2014

10 Things I’ve Learned About Being a Stay-at-Home Mom (SAHM)

Today is Buddy Boy’s half birthday!  Oh how the time has flown.  It’s so cliché, but I feel like it was just yesterday that I was drinking my apple juice in an attempt to get a bang-for-my-buck in the clear liquids department before going in for my c-section.  I have learned a ton about being a stay-at-home mom in the past six months, including the following ten items:

1. Shower and get dressed every day…*
Do it! Even if I feel like it’s pointless because I’m not going anywhere and no one is going to see me. It makes me have a much better outlook on my whole day! *Yoga pants are acceptable and makeup is optional.

2. …but don’t wear anything too nice.
I will more than likely get spit up on, peed on or pooped on (or maybe if I’m lucky, all three in one day!), so I leave the prom dress in the closet.  As I mentioned previously, yoga pants are perfectly acceptable, but I usually try to cut it off at three days in a row!

3. Eat regular meals.
As anyone who knows me well will tell you, I am a snacker; I love to graze.  Rather than committing to a whole meal, I would much rather just have six bites of that and four pieces of this.  However, I do try to make myself eat at least two regular meals in between diaper changes, clothes changes, nursing, etc.

4. Make lists
If I didn’t make a list every day, I would die.  Okay, maybe that’s a bit extreme, but I do make a list every day because it’s really easy to get to 4:00 and not have done anything productive during free time nap time. 

5. Go for walks as often as you can.
This was the absolute winter from hell, and I love winter!  It was really hard to be cooped up for four solid months without seeing the light of day for weeks at a time except for perhaps the occasional trip to Target.  We bundle up and take a walk when the weather is halfway decent; some days it saved my sanity!

6. (Try to) stick to a routine
While this is not always easy, for me it has proven crucial.  It is really beneficial to know that, at roughly the same times every day, Buddy Boy will be asleep or eating or playing or whatever.  I’ve hopefully learned in the past few weeks not to be as anal, and to have a bit of flexibility.

7. Clean the house
This just makes me feel better all the way around!  I’m going to be spending the majority of time in my home, so who wants to look at a pigsty all day long?

8.Wake up really early and go to the gym.
Waking up early has never been a problem for me, but now it is truly a necessity because this is the only “me” time I really get.  It makes me a better person, wife and mom.  Everyone wins.

9. It’s harder than it looks.
Staying at home all day is the most isolating and challenging position I’ve ever accepted.  I’ve always been the type of person who’s on the go; not anymore…especially in the winter.  Some days you are just sick of yourself, sick of your house and sick of being “on” all the time.  However…

10. It’s easier than it looks.
This is also the most rewarding and fulfilling position I’ve ever accepted!  It may not be for everyone, but I love that I get to hang out with my baby boy all day long.  I am forever grateful for this time we have together. My mom always told me that being a mom is the most important job, and now I get it! J

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

You Know You’re a Mom When…

I have my moments where I don’t know how I got here.  Like I’m still in fifth grade or eighth grade—or maybe at the very most a senior in high school.  I have compiled the following list to reassure me that, not only am I a full-fledged adult, but a mother as well!  

You know you're a mom when...

1.     You finally get your infant to bed and then sit on the couch with your husband and look at pictures of him.

2.     Your St. Patrick’s Day fun consists not of drinking green beer like the good old days, but of dressing your baby up in a St. Paddy’s Day outfit and doing a photo shoot. (The good new days).

3.     You’ve changed his outfit four times and changed your own three times and it’s not even 10 a.m.

4.     Your little guy sneezes in your mouth and you don’t even bat an eye.

5.     You sometimes might sleep with his lovey during the night so it will smell like you when you give it back to him.

6.     You have Goodnight Moon memorized and legitimately wonder why they don’t say goodnight to the telephone.

7.     You have (just maybe) sat on the floor by your bed with tears streaming down your cheeks as you look at his ultrasound photos.

8.     Your life is lived in two- to three-hour increments because you are breastfeeding and sorry, if it takes four hours, I can’t come.

9.     You get peed on daily and you still never learn.

10.  When your baby boy hasn’t pooped since yesterday, you get so anxious and then relieved and excited when it finally happens.  Yep, excited for poop.

11.  Your little boy isn’t even six months old and you are already praying for his future wife and hoping beyond hope that she’s a nice girl.

12.  Going out to dinner isn’t even worth it because you have to take nine million items with you…and packing those nine million items takes just as long as eating dinner does.

13.  You go into his room to make sure he’s breathing eight times per night, especially during those first few months.

14.  You say the silliest things and make up the most ridiculous songs and speak in the most idiotic voice…and your baby thinks you’re the funniest thing ever.

15.  You lean in close every time he yawns because NOTHING smells better than baby yawns.

Monday, March 10, 2014


So I had an interesting experience today. My girlfriend invited Buddy Boy and I to meet her and her son at one of those activity gym places (oh, just because I don’t want to use real names, I’ll nickname it Germboree) for a play date.  How fun…we get to go somewhere!

Unfortunately, I never travel lightly…because you never know what’s going to happen or what you’ll need when you don’t have it.  (Of course, this time, Buddy Boy didn’t so much as wet his diaper or spit up).  So we showed up with full-on diaper bag, my purse, the Baby Bjorn, coats, boots, hats, water bottle, sunglasses, etc., etc., etc.  Six hours later, we finally got unpacked and sat on this large and colorful parachute that reminded me of my grade school gym classes.  Most of the babies were sucking on community jingle bells and chunks of foam.  Dangit…I forgot Sophie in the car.  I guess he’ll have to make do with his hand because there ain’t no way I’m turning him loose to make out with these random objects.  Hey, I’ve fought flu season for five long months; I am not throwing in the towel that easily!

In the next five minutes, two people asked me how old “she” was. Honest to God, that’s a first; no one has ever mistaken him for a girl.  One lady quickly explained that she thought he was a female “because he’s so pretty.”  Hmmmm.

The other moms were very sweet even though my child sat there with a horrified slash annoyed look on his face the majority of the time. Sorry, you’re not going to get a smile out of him no matter how hard you try. He’s a tough crowd…unless your name is daddy.  He had a great time balancing on this large rolling pin thing and really enjoyed being swung back and forth like a pendulum.  Buddy Boy liked looking at the other babies, but did not like it one bit when an overzealous 9-month-old crawled up to him and started shoving his wet jingle bells onto his lap.  That’s about when the I’m-going-to-cry-any-moment face began.  And then he did cry when the parachute began waving over his head and also wasn’t a huge fan of the pop-up jack-in-the-box clown (who would be, really?).

Oh, one more thing I almost forgot.  The teacher had to “invite me” to place Buddy Boy down on the mat; perhaps I was clutching him a bit too hard.

This is totally my fault; I know it! I don’t do enough things that force him to interact with strangers and unique situations. My goal is to become a little less routine-oriented and a little less rigid and open ourselves up to new, fun experiences such as these.  Overall, I’m really glad we went!

However…I’m still wondering if I can give him a bath in Lysol?

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

The Little Things

You know that old expression, “It’s the little things that count”?  Well, I totally agree.  Sure, the big things are obviously what make the world go ‘round; but the simple little pleasures of my life are what get me through the day.  So, in no particular order or ranking, this is my list of greatest hits.

Diet Coke. Preferably, it should be from McDonald’s (which, everyone knows, tastes the best and must be laced with crack or something equally addictive); if not, a can will suffice.  My last option—if I’m desperate—is a plastic bottle.

Sports. For me, this is a huge thing to me, not just a simple little pleasure.  Sports have been a huge part of my life since I was a little girl and I first discovered my grandfather’s issues of Sports Illustrated.  I’m a junkie, for sure.  You can keep your E! or Bravo; give me ESPN and I’m all set.

Music. I love just about every kind, except for angry heavy metal.  I first fell in love with Jay-Z in 1998 and he’s seen me through every stage of my life since then; however, it’s not exactly appropriate to sing “99 Problems” to a five-month-old while I change his diaper.  So when Buddy Boy is around we stick to MJ, Whitney, the Chili Peppers, Billy Joel, classic rock, hymns and Raffi.  I will rock out to anything.

My iPhone.  After many years together, I am still infatuated. Everything in my world is at my fingertips.  What’s not to love about that?

Cereal.  I recently saw a spoon for sale on Etsy that had “cereal killer” engraved in it.  Yep, that’s me.  I do not discriminate: I have everything from Kashi to Honey Smacks to Cheerios in my pantry.  If I have less than ten boxes, I get a little panicky.

My flat iron.  My hair is naturally very wavy and frizzy and this little invention has saved my life.  I don’t even care how much damages my hair; that’s what trims are for!

Exercise.  My day begins at 5:30 (or earlier).  Some people think I’m crazy; in fact, this early start is what keeps me sane.  I take the first hour of the day to go to the gym; this is my “me” time, my time to take care of myself before I spend the rest of the day taking care of others.

Mornings. I have always been a morning person.  It’s my favorite part of the day because it signals a fresh start and a quiet new beginning.  I also love being awake before the rest of the world…maybe it’s because I’m a super competitive person.

Lists.  I love, love LOVE lists.  There is just something so satisfying about crossing something off your list when it’s completed.  I have been known to add ridiculously obvious things to my to-do list (i.e. “take a shower”) just so I can cross it off.

PB&J. This is definitely one of my top five favorite foods, and I’d prefer a good old peanut butter and jelly sandwich over just about anything.  I had one for lunch every single day of grade school, middle school and high school.  BUT…I am very particular. It must be made with creamy JIF and strawberry jam.

Magazines.  I’m not too fussy when it comes to magazines; I subscribe from everything to ESPN the Magazine to Good Housekeeping. I have a special place in my heart for celebrity gossip mags, with a preference for US Weekly (which I consider to be a very credible source)!

Pinterest. This is probably my favorite way to waste time, though I view it more as research than time wasted.  What to make for dinner?  Pinterest.  What haircut to get?  Pinterest.  (Though this has backfired).

Cleaning.  There is something about cleaning that is therapeutic to me.  I was not, however, always this way…just ask my parents!  When I got pregnant, a switch flipped and I became obsessed with cleaning.  I thought it would go away, but apparently not.

Sure, I could go on and on and on; but it’s time for lunch.  I’m still debating between cereal and PB&J.