Sunday, February 28, 2010

Got Salsa?

Ok, So I realized that I've blogged almost exclusively about mommy stuff, and not much about dancing or anything else.  So I went back through my pictures, looking for any that are not mommyful. You know what I mean-  hair messed up or just completely not done and looks like I just rolled out of bed....not a dollop of makeup.... frumpy everyday clothes that didn't seem frumpy until I saw them in a picture.... Yeah, those.  Well, I had to go all the way back to October, to my freakin Halloween picture. Because that's the last picture I have of me not looking all mommyful. Ugh. The pic is cute, but not quite what I was looking for. I'll share, because I'm nice like that and don't want to leave you hanging. (I'm the one in blue, and it was a theme party, BTW. Aren't you proud of my mad hairdo skills?? 'cause I totally was.)

Seriously, I need to work on this. Because, like my friend Aunt Becky, I'm trying to get a little more, well, me-ish.  I'm working on dropping the last of the baby weight, but this not having anything remotely recent that doesn't scream "I belong in one of those pictures on the PeopleOfWalmart website", well, it's just not acceptable.  I am a salsa dancer for christ's sake!  Yeah, yeah, I'm a mommy too, but there has to be room for being unmommyful more than say once every 8 months.  Here's what I used to look like before baby #2 (but after baby #1!!!):

I don't necessarily want to go back to performing, since it is such a time hog (or do I?) but I've definitely been making an effort to get out and dance more than once in a while. I at least want to hit a dance social once or twice a month, and maybe even hit a club every now and then.  Of course, I always feel like complete dog butt the next day because I get home around 2-3am and kids do NOT. EVER. sleep in.  But, usually, I suck it up and move on. Maybe if I get into the habit, it won't even seem like such a sacrifice.  It's actually lucky that dances don't happen at more reasonable hours, because then I'd never get to go.  

So, my fellow Interneters... What do you do to feel all full of YOU and not all mommyful?  Or if you're not a mom, what do you do to feel really alive and not all consumed by your obligations and such?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday - My daughter's lovely faces

Hungry (&sleepy) face - just can't make it home without my milk!

Helpful face - if by helping you mean taking dishes out of the dishwasher and putting them on my head...

Goofy playing face

Exploring the park face

"Come here, I want to grab your face" - how she greets just about everyone

Monday, February 8, 2010

Not Me Monday - C-A-K-E!!!!!!

Ok, so I totally didn't eat leftover birthday cake for breakfast (and dessert after lunch & dinner) yesterday. Nuh uhh.... didn't happen. And I'm totally NOT a cake addict. ;)

And uh, that's not me licking frosting off the bottom of the cake topper because my son asked me to.


Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

A journey through sleep training

Well now.... You would think that after having my son and going through the whole process of raising a baby to a little man (he's turning 4 tomorrow!!!!!), I'd have some idea what I was doing with this whole mommy business and would at least TRY to avoid some of the "mistakes" I made with child #1.  Oh no. With each child comes a whole different set of circumstances and issues to bite you in the butt, specifically designed so that you never really feel like you know what you're doing.  Anyway....

When my darling little daughter was a teeny babe, she would nurse until her teeny tummy was full and would fall asleep so full and content, and she would usually sleep right through the whole night, even waking at a nice beautiful hour like 8:00am.   Great.  I have been blessed with children who sleep.  Um, yeah, right. As she grew, she began to stop falling asleep at the breast. Instead, she would nurse and then lay on my bed and toss and turn until she got comfortable, and then she would fall sound asleep. Then I would move her to her crib and life was good. Uh huh. A little more growing and suddenly, going to sleep was no easy process. She would nurse, stay up for an hour playing, and then get cranky, lay down on my bed and toss and turn, eventually falling asleep. Well, when this process started taking a few hours and as I lay there next to her in the dark wishing she would just go to sleep already, I got a little miffed. Oh, and I forgot to mention, not only was she not going to sleep easily, but then she was waking in the middle of the night one to several times, and each time would only go back to sleep if nursed back to la-la land.  So many nights were spent with her in my bed for many of the wee hours (=me and hubs not getting good rest).  Joy.  So I got busy reading internet sites and books from the library about sleep training and here's what went down.

First of all, the ol' "cry it out" (CIO) method was just not a feasible option because my little ones share a room. If she's up all night screaming, so is the little man, and my life would fall to pieces as everyone became more tired and more grumpy. Nix that idea.  I did try the CIO by putting her to sleep in the playpen, where she takes her daytime naps. She wasn't having that. I have on my hands a girl who gets more agitated the more her crying is ignored. This method did not get her to sleep. At. All.  On to the next idea. I decided we would pull out some tricks from raising the little man... music. I dug out an old CD I made for him, with classical music and some pretty soothing stuff with waves crashing in the background. Sure makes ME sleepy.  So I put her in the crib in the dark with the music and rubbed her back, shusshed till I got lightheaded, and prayed for her to fall asleep so that my back muscles would stop screaming "uncle!".  This process would often take about an hour, sometimes more.  Okay, this game was starting to suck.

Then I had an epiphany. I was taking evening walks around the neighborhood as part of my getting back into shape routine. Unfortunately, the motion of the stroller and the evening hour was causing her to take a snooze while I walked. I had to give up my only "me" activity to keep her awake during the post-dinner hour. This didn't exactly make me happy, but a mom does what she's gotta do. I stopped walking and tried the above method again, with the modification that I started giving her the last nursing in the dark with the sleepy music.  Bingo!  It took a few nights of cranky baby, but suddenly, bedtime shushing routine was cut to about 20 minutes.  After about a week of this, the routine got even easier, I didn't have to do the shushing and back rubbing.  I just laid her in the crib after the milk and she tossed and turned on her own to get comfy and after 10-15 minutes, voila! Granted, she still needed me in the room and I was laying on the floor just waiting, but hey, I thought that was fine and dandy.   Just a few more days, and the routine got even easier (I didn't know it could!) - after milk now, she's pretty much unconscious. I lay her in bed, kiss my son, and walk out, a FREE WOMAN!!!!!

Now, during this whole sleep training fun, she was still waking in the night asking for milk, but she has not woken in the last few days. The only downside to all this is that she is getting up at 6:30am and I am most definitely not a morning person. However, I have no complaints. In about one month's time, I went from cranky baby filled evenings to getting completely kid-free time after 9pm!!!  I don't know what you'd call this method, or if it would work for anyone else, but it worked for us and I am a much happier woman.  I get to walk again, just after the kids have gone to bed, so it's actually much better exercise and more me-ish because I can actually carry on a real conversation with my walk buddies.  Yay!!!!
The end.   :)

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Open letter to Ellen about Cloth Diapers

Dear Ellen-
I absolutely love your show. My kids (ages 4 and 10 months) know the sound of your theme song and love the part where we all dance along with you. I'm writing, along with a lot of other moms, to ask you to feature cloth diapers on your show. Why, you ask? Well, because cloth diapering is something that moms these days should really know about. It's not all icky rubber pants and scary diaper pins. Cloth diapering has become modern and easy and takes no more effort than pushing a button on your washing machine.  And more importantly, it is something that we, as an educated nation, should be concerned about.  Disposable diapers are filling landfills at an astronomical rate and it is just absurd.  Besides that, most of us are really feeling a pinch in our wallet these days and cloth diapering can save moms a ton of money.  Not that it's a major concern, but cloth diapers are also really flippin cute and fashionable too.  So in the interest of our environment, the health of our little ones' bottoms, and saving moms money, I think this would make an excellent topic for your show, and with Ellen talking about it, who wouldn't want in?  Here are a couple pics to show that these are "not your mom's cloth diapers" and hopefully, you could think of a cool game to make out of it. I will definitely be on the lookout for it!

Lots and lots of Love,
    Jennifer (and my super model daughter)

Monday, February 1, 2010

Not Me Monday! (my first one)

Nope, not me.... I didn't find my 10-month-old daughter (who can't yet walk, by the way) sitting on the play table when I came downstairs. And I TOTALLY didn't grab the camera to document it. Nope, wasn't me.  :)

And no, not me... I'm not sitting here writing a blog post when I could be napping or looking for the elusive folder of teaching documents that I really need to find.  Nah.....

Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.