Adulthood Stole My Cool

Sleeping in Pee: The Joys of Being a New Mom

Posted on Aug 28, 2014 in Adulthood Stole My Cool, My Kid Stole My Cool, Pregnancy Stole My Cool

Babies, anyone?  Engagements, weddings, babies – they seem to happen in seasons.  And if ever there was a baby season, it is now.  I know of at least 20 (probably more) women that have recently had babies or are due in the next few months.  As I’ve been a mom for almost three whole years and now have TWO children, I’m obviously an expert on all things motherhood.  But that didn’t stop me from absolutely panicking right after James was born.  There he was, this tiny baby, entirely dependent on me.  And there I was, struggling to get him to nurse, exhausted (and he was only a few hours old!) and convinced that I would not be able to do this newborn stage again – the sleepless nights, the non-stop nursing, the unexplainable crying.  Nope, couldn’t do it.

That moment passed, thankfully, but I think it’s a pretty common feeling among the mommy set.  In case anyone needed a reminder, being a new mom is hard.  And scary. So I want to share a few things I’ve learned with these new moms and moms-to-be, whether they’re having their first child or third.

1)   Step away from The Google.  Seriously.  Everything you read will convince you that you’re failing as a mother or your child is dying.  Probably neither is true.  Admittedly, I need to heed my own advice here.  I recently convinced myself that my daughter was dry drowning and that my newborn son would be developmentally stunted from lack of sleep.  Get this – dry drowning is extremely rare, though the interwebs would lead you to believe otherwise.  My daughter was fine.  As for my son? Maybe he will be stunted due to lack of sleep. But I don’t need Google reminding me of that.  Neither do you.  So back away.

2)   You may only wash your hair about once a week.  Accept this and move on.

3)   Same goes for shaving your legs.  Not a problem if your baby is born in November.  But if you have a spring or summer baby, invest in maxi dresses.

4)   Scratch that. Maxi skirts. Invest in maxi skirts. Dresses can be hard to nurse in.

5)   Speaking of nursing, everything you own will be covered in breastmilk.  But it’s okay, because did you know that breastmilk has magical powers? No, really.  If you accidentally spray your baby in the eye with a stream of milk (and you will), don’t fret. You’ll probably have just gifted him with x-ray vision or something, that’s how awesome breastmilk is.

6)   More on nursing.  You know all those annoying Facebook quizzes that you secretly want to take but are kind of embarrassed about it? Well. They are a very entertaining way to keep yourself awake during those middle-of-the-night feedings   Who was your early 90s teen crush? Leonardo DiCaprio! (Duh.)  Who were you in a past life? Egyptian royalty! (Seems appropriate.) What movie is based on your life? Clueless! (Ha.)   How bitchy are you? 27% (Only 27%? I must have taken that one on a good day.)  The list goes on…

7)   Sleeping in pee is not the worst thing in the world.  (I’m talking about baby’s pee, not your own. If you’re sleeping in your own pee I’ll try not to judge, but that’s kind of gross.)  If your baby pees on the bed and it’s 3AM and you are so damn tired your eyeballs hurt, don’t worry about changing the sheets right then.  Baby pee is basically water.  Just roll over to the other side of the bed and leave it till the morning.  Or leave it till the next laundry day, who cares?  The infant stage is never going to be the most hygienic time in your life as a mom. Go with it.

8)   There will always be a mom crazier than you.  If you feel guilty or self-conscious about calling your pediatrician every time your baby sneezes or emailing him pictures of your infant’s poop – don’t.  There is bound to be another mom more paranoid than you who is tying up the doctor’s phone line even more frequently than you are.  Take comfort in that.  I do!

9)   You will probably cry in public. It’ll be totally embarrassing but also totally uncontrollable (you know, hormones and extreme exhaustion and all that good stuff), so just let it happen.  My *first* public meltdown occurred when I was trying to get James enrolled in our insurance. To make a long story short, I drove around for hours trying to find the correct location to do this (it had to be in-person, and the address given to me by multiple sources didn’t exist). When I finally found the place, the man working there told me he couldn’t help me and to come back at 6AM the next morning.  James was less than 3 weeks old, I was running on around 3 hours of sleep, and this guy expected me to show up to this place (an hour away from my home) at 6AM the next morning? Was he on crack? I lost it. Began blubbering like a baby in front of all the other customers because WHY IS THIS MAN BEING SO MEAN TO ME? CAN’T HE SEE I HAVE A NEWBORN AND AM TOTALLY SLEEP-DEPRIVED AND MY HUSBAND IS DEPLOYED AND WHY DOES THE WORLD HATE ME??? Oh, and WHY IS THIS FREAKING ENROLLMENT PROCESS SO DAMN DIFFICULT – IT IS 2014 PEOPLE, USE THE INTERNET! When you have your public meltdown, remember mine and don’t feel so bad.

10)  It’s okay to be bitter toward other moms whose babies never cry and sleep through the night at two weeks. You’re not a bad person.  You’ll be friends with them again once your baby takes pity on you and lets you rest. In the meantime seek out moms whose babies are also little hellions so you have someone to share in your misery. Solidarity, sisters!

11) If you have two children, they will never, ever nap at the same time.  This is truth.

It's a good thing he's cute!

It’s a good thing he’s cute!

 

Any tidbits you’d like to add? Comment below!

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Can’t Hack It

Posted on Apr 12, 2014 in Adulthood Stole My Cool, My Kid Stole My Cool, Pregnancy Stole My Cool

Can’t Hack It 1

I spent last weekend in San Francisco visiting friends.  Non-mom friends.  For the first time, the distinction between “mom” friends and “non-mom” friends became important; for the first time, I realized that though I like to think I can hang out with my non-mom friends just like I used to, I’m severely disillusioned.  Nope.  As a 33 weeks pregnant mom of a two-year-old, I just can’t hack it anymore. *** The week after moving back to southern California, a few non-mom friends happened to be in town.  After exchanging emails to make dinner plans, one friend suggested a place and time. 8:30. I balked. 8:30!? As in, PM!?  But that’s jammy time!  I hastily wrote my friends back, and after claiming jet-lag, asked if we could push dinner up to 8:00.  I really meant 5:30, but figured that might be pushing it for my friends whose lives don’t currently revolve around potty-training and early morning prenatal yoga.  So 8:00 it was.  The evening of our dinner arrived, and after chugging boatloads of coffee I made my way to the restaurant, praying I wouldn’t fall asleep face-first into my mocktail.* I managed to rally, but I got lucky that time.  So let’s examine last weekend, when a silly pregnant woman attempted to recapture her pre-children days. Friday night my girlfriends and I got together at a charming little Italian restaurant.  We enjoyed a delicious dinner and then lingered over wine.  (Well, everyone else lingered over wine.  I lingered over water.)  I love these girls.  I love catching up with them.  I love lingering over wine when I am actually allowed to drink wine.  But how does a sleep-deprived, third-trimester pregnant woman stay awake past 9:00 in a dim restaurant after eating copious amounts of carbs and cured meat?  It’s damn near impossible, I tell you. Everyone seemed a little spent after a long week, and decided to disperse after dinner rather than heading out somewhere else.  Thank the good Lord – I could go to bed!  Except I couldn’t.  My friend’s neighbor fell asleep with her television blasting.  My über-sensitivity...

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How I Know I’m Old: Hiking Mount Fuji

Posted on Sep 3, 2013 in Adulthood Stole My Cool

How I Know I’m Old: Hiking Mount Fuji 0

Last month while I was in California, my dear friend Molly visited me from New York.  Molly and I have been friends since our freshman year of college, when we were young and could drink pitcher upon pitcher of margaritas with no ill effect. Well, we’re not young anymore.  She’s a grown up lawyer in Manhattan, and I’m a grown up with, like, a husband and kid.  Molly and I still haven’t fully accepted our adulthood status yet, but it’s getting harder and harder to deny.  This last visit, we devised a little game.  “Do you know how I know I’m getting old?  [Insert depressing evidence here]”. I thought I could translate this game into my blog.  So here you go, my first “How I’m Know I’m Old” post:  Mount Fuji. Ever since we learned we would be stationed in Japan, Damon has talked about hiking Mount Fuji.  I said I would hike it with him, not because I’m a hiking enthusiast, but because every few years I have to do things like this to prove to Damon that I still love him. Anyway.  Fuji-San is only open for hiking two months out of the year, and Damon and I had a slim window to take advantage of climbing season.  He returned home the end of August on a Thursday and we left for a vacation trip to Singapore the following Monday.  Once Damon was home and settled, we scrambled to prep for the climb.  (Scrambling includes realizing at 7PM the night before your 4AM wake-up that your hiking boots have gone missing.  Way to be prepared, Diana!) This experience was a lesson in expectation management.  I knew it would be challenging to a degree – I mean, you are climbing up a mountain – but I figured, “I’m fairly athletic, I can handle this.”  (Not to mention all the children and little old ladies that complete this hike.)  In my head, I thought it would be a long but scenic stroll up the mountain.  Gradual inclines that would plateau into picturesque viewing points.  Warm and sunny at the...

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My May

Posted on May 22, 2013 in Adulthood Stole My Cool, It's the Navy Life

My May 3

You guys.  I miss you.  So much.  Do you miss me?  (Say yes!  Validate me! Validate me!) Can we talk about the last three weeks?  Holy bejeezus.  I don’t even know what happened. Oh, wait.  Yes I do.  Night Stalker returned.  And hasn’t left.  And turned into Day Stalker as well.  The. Child. Won’t. Sleep.  Between teething and a nagging cough, the kid is a mess.  And she’s turned me into a mess.  Couple that with an abnormally busy social calendar, and no blogging for me.  We all know I can only blog regularly when I maintain my shut-in status. But things are looking up.  Elisabeth’s cough is clearing up and she’s starting to return to napping.  The cough that she gave me is starting to clear up, too, so maybe one night this year I’ll get an uninterrupted night of sleep.  (Seriously, we are ALWAYS sick now!  Always!) Last night I went to bed at 9:00.  Yes, that happened.  I’m planning on doing that again tonight, so let me just give you a quick recap of my goings-on this past month. -I bought a juicer.  So that was exciting. -My friend Claudia moved.  It’s quite sad.  Soon there is going to be a mass exodus of VFA-115 spouses.  It’s part of the Navy life.  But a really crappy part.  Luckily, before the actual good-bye is always a good-bye party. -I helped plan and attended a Cinco de Mayo luncheon with a group of Japanese Officer Spouses.  Have you ever seen Japanese women try to hit a pinata?  Hi-lar-i-ous. -I went to another party.  This happened. -Damon completed an Olympic-distance triathlon.  What a stud. -I believe somewhere in there was Mother’s Day.  I’m not sure though. -I joined the board of our Atsugi Officer’s Spouse Association.  Nothing really blog-worthy here, except that I have spent a good deal of time reviewing high school scholarship applications, among other things.  And I thank the good Lord I am no longer in high school!  Can I get an “Amen” to that!? -I shattered my iPhone and had to venture off to the...

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Cookie Hell. Or, That Time Girl Scouts Turned Me Into a Dealer

Posted on Jan 18, 2013 in Adulthood Stole My Cool

I do not do drugs.  I do not condone drugs.  I never experimented with drugs.  But maybe if I had, I’d be better prepared for dealing with Girl Scouts now.  Stay with me. While I don’t believe in doing drugs, I do believe in volunteering.  Last year I wrote about volunteering with Girls on the Run, a wonderful organization dedicated to making health and fitness fun for young girls.  While we don’t have GOTR on NAF Atsugi, we do have Girl Scouts, another organization committed to building girls of strong character.  Or something like that. As you may be interested to learn, I was once a Girl Scout.*  So when I learned that the Atsugi Girl Scouts were looking for volunteers, I thought, Why not?  I figured it would be a great way to get more involved more in our community and give back a little of my time to an organization that had given so much to me.** I was wrong.  Very, very wrong. Due to my schedule, I was unable to volunteer as a leader.  Instead I was asked to take on the role of Cookie Manager.  (Co-Cookie Manager is more accurate.  I have a saint of a partner, Kat, who is way more on top of this thing than I am, bless her soul.)  It wasn’t really what I had in mind, and truth be told, I didn’t really know what the job entailed.  Again I thought, Why not?  If that’s what they needed me to do, by all means I would manage me some cookies. What I failed to take into account is that people go bat-$&!% crazy for girl scout cookies.  Straight up psycho.  People want their cookies, and they want them now.  Let’s be real for a second – they aren’t even that good.***  But it’s as if we as Americans have some weird, nostalgic connection to these cookies that compel us to buy, buy, buy and sell, sell, sell.  And the fact that they are only offered -gasp!- once a year in -gasp again!- limited quantities strikes an urgency in us to get...

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Goth Mom

Posted on Oct 30, 2012 in Adulthood Stole My Cool

I am not a do-it-yourself kinda gal.  You’ve probably gathered that from previous blog posts.  Well, my non DIY stance applies to my hair, too.  I never have – and never will – colored/cut/up-doed my own hair.  I am simply not capable of such things.  I once YouTubed a curling iron tutorial.  Got that?  I actually googled, “How to curl your hair.”  I can’t even operate a curling iron without video assistance!  And even with the video assistance, I totally scorched my hair. But that’s okay, because I’m not really high maintenance about my hair.  Perhaps I’m not high maintenance about my hair because I don’t know how to be high maintenance about my hair – but whatever.  Growing up, I always played it safe, never adding more than a few barely noticeable highlights to enhance my natural color (mousey brown).  But then a few years ago I decided I was ready for a change!  I was ready to plunge into the world of hair dye! This was a HUGE decision for me.  So I gathered my courage, walked into the salon a light brunette and walked out – a dark brunette!  It was revolutionary!  Changed my life! I’m lying.  Of course it didn’t change my life.  It’s hair dye.  I don’t subscribe to the theory that blondes have more fun, and by extension, brunettes less fun.  Or any theory that claims you hair color will determine your life/personality/how much fun you have.  The person who has the most margaritas has the most fun, obviously; it has absolutely nothing to do with hair color.  But still, I liked the new look and decided to stick with it, when convenient. Incidentally, the last time it was convenient was a really, really long time ago.  Like, pre-baby long ago.  My lustrous dark brown hair had long ago faded back to basic brown.  But visiting my parents in California afforded me the opportunity to visit my long-time stylist and redo my do. Perhaps my stylist’s assistant had been drinking before she mixed my color, or perhaps she just didn’t like me.  Either...

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