Author: StacyStevenson

I’m Tired

I’ve read all the books. So many more books than I read with my first child. I believe the number of books read with the first child was exactly zero. I was winging it with the sage wisdom of my mother for back up. Whether I always agreed with her or not, it was nice to have someone willing to tell me what to do when I didn’t want to or could not decide for myself. “Let the baby cry!” OK! Thank you, I needed someone to tell me that.

Now, second time around, my initial confidence and “I’ve done this before, I’m totally gonna nail it this time” attitude has become a whimpering, sniveling, drooling, slobbering pile of tired momma that someone needs to seriously come clean up. Nothing works. None of the books are helping me sleep. None of the books are helping the baby sleep. I call “UNCLE” I give up, it’s over. The baby wins. I am convinced that is what is going on, he laughs, LAUGHS at me in the wee hours when I give in and pick him up. Screams instantly turn to raspberries as we head down stairs to the magical part of the house that he simply can NOT be away from (the living room? Not so interesting during the day when Momma needs to work and Baby should be happily playing….).

I started my daughter on cereal at around 3 months. She was FINE. She was breastfed and to be honest I really don’t remember when we moved to formula but I think at some point she weaned herself and that’s what we did. She was fine. She slept well and was happy and healthy. My son, I have been more vigilant about breastfeeding and he is almost six months old and things are going south. He no longer sleeps 8 to 10 hours at night, he’s trying to cut all his teeth at once, he only rolls at night in his crib then SCREAMS when he can’t get back to his stomach sleeping position and is now refusing to nurse. I’m in momma heaven. A battle of wills with a baby is just not fair. Do you comfort? Do you let them cry? Do you send Daddy in? Do I wean to bottle and pump (no thanks)? And how in the hell did someone get away with writing a whole book about the “shush pat” method? COME ON! Seriously? Can I get a deal for the “Wine and Forget To the Turn the Monitor On” method? Or the “You’re going to go live with Gramma so Momma can Nap” method? MILLIONS, I would sell millions.

The point is, you just want someone to tell you it’s OK to let the baby cry and take a 10 minute shower, that no, the water doesn’t wash away the guilt but your baby will still love you and really, at some point, who would want to nurse from a momma who hasn’t showered or changed her clothes in 3 days? Take comfort in your “village.” I LOVE my village. My village is mostly on Facebook – HI VILLAGE! Mom’s I haven’t talked to in a long time, we have rejoined to keep each other sane. It’s all poop and food and boobs and sleep and naps and teeth on there and it’s great. I have met new mom’s and old mom’s and we can just let it all out. They understand and they don’t judge. You need a village, get yourself a village. It won’t get you any more sleep but it will keep you more sane and your significant other will want to be around you more.

I say skip the books. Get a village. Drink a glass of wine. Cuddle your baby and sleep when you’re sixty.

Swearing

Use your imagination

Use your imagination

I feel there is an art to swearing. I used to do it a lot more than I do now. A particularly vulgar ex of mine kind of cured me of it. Hearing some of the foulest and unrepeatable things ever in my life a billion times a day sort of makes cussing lose its glamor. But I do believe you can swear with grace and skill. Substitute swear words are the best. I good bellow of “Oh the Pope’s Nose!” when stubbing one’s toe is always good for a belly laugh. But there are a few things that make me really cuss. Cold is one of them. Cold, cold weather. It was -13 (real temp, not windchill) this morning and that made me drop the F-bomb from my car to my office building door. Over and over and over. There is really no other way to deal with the cold than to swear liberally. My husband does not swear and it’s nice. I never worry about the the kids looking at us with astonishment because Daddy said “the s-word” or whatever. And it’s cute when our daughter says “gosh darn it” or “dagnabbit.” But I got to thinking, I am going to have to teach them to swear. It is a necessary skill in life. I have won many conference room arguments with a skillfully placed cuss word. They are powerful, all words are powerful. I am kind of looking forward to the day when I can teach my daughter to swear properly. You can’t over do it and you can’t do it with weakness. You have to know when and how.

And, it is always OK to drop the F-bomb when it’s 13 below zero, real temp, not windchill.

The Work Sweatshirt

I am not a power suit wearing kind of working mom. No, not even close. Definitely more function than form here. I like to be dressed for comfort and fast movements and you just can’t do that in heels, well, at least I can’t do that in heels. I would love to feel confident and Super Womanly in even the stubbiest of heels but it just ain’t happening. I need to be able to kick some ass should the occasion arise and you just can’t do that if you fall over before you get to your target.

And it’s winter. While it might be technically OK for the undergrads bopping around my office to wear black leggings and boots with the shortest of shirts, someone needs to explain the terms opaque, sheer and translucent to a few of them. No, I require pants of a sturdy fabric and preferably stain resistant  (this more often than not equals jeans) and boots. Because for three months out of the year, I give up and put my super trendy (only to me) hiking sandals away.

The point? The point is I still have not grown accustomed to my post-second-baby body. It’s not extra weight, I have disgustingly lost more than I gained and while I would love to gloat and flaunt this fact, I am just not comfortable. My chest is still large with lactation and any of you who have done this will know that nursing bras wouldn’t support a cotton ball if the world depended on it. So on the days I go to work, I employ the cover as much of me as I can style of attire. This morning in my sleep deprived state I ignored the single digit temps and left home with a t-shirt on (and

My heart belongs to you, O breathable footwear

My heart belongs to you, O breathable footwear

pants, I did manage clean pants) and only realized the consequences of my mistake when it was too late to go back home and put on something warmer. My car contains many things, I could definitely survive in it for a long time should the need arise but on this particular morning it only contained one warmer article of clothing and that happened to be a safety orange hooded sweatshirt. In the hopes of keeping my flexible employment situation, I felt that this might be pushing the envelope of professionalism a tad. BUT – huzzah! I work for a university so university apparel is always acceptable workplace attire, right? Right. SO a quick buzz through the bookstore and I was set, I now had a “work sweatshirt.” It had a collar and everything. I realized only late in the day I looked like I was dressed to coach a women’s basketball game. Meh.

And now for a bit of feminist musings: What’s wrong with a “work sweatshirt?” Nothing I say to you and all the men in my department who can don nice looking but very comfortable tops supporting the university while I still feel that women are expected to dress in uncomfortably nice clothes and that my (nice and clean) pants and sweat shirt are not seen as dressy on me as they would on my male counterparts. So – that’s all I am going to say about that.

Two things happened during the purchase of this sweat shirt that made me smile. One, the book store manager deemed me mature enough to confide a “kids these days!!!” comment in me AND tried to convince me that my size medium fancy sweatshirt would be too large for me. Thank you book store manager lady, thank you. I have no problem being taken out of the “kids these days” column and put in to the petite and mature adult column. Thank you. Little did she know I was hiding my ginormous and now leaking (reason number two for needing to purchase a shirt on the way to work) milk jugs under a skillfully arranged scarf. My husband later referred to this as “jug smuggling” while chatting online while at work and I nearly peed which would have required me to then go purchase fresh trousers to get through the rest of the work day. This would have just been too much.

So what have we learned here, today?

  1. Hiking sandals go with anything, yes even power suits. (do not question this, just be confident, no one will ask why).
  2. You too can have a “work sweat shirt”  – just be confident
  3. Jug smuggling – ‘nuff said
  4. Be confident.

Why don’t I know how to cook meatloaf?

I know a lot of things, but I cannot remember how to make meatloaf, or mac and cheese (yes out of a box) or that really yummy rice and cream of mushroom soup or anything simple and of the comfort food variety. Ok, I can make spaghetti without looking up a recipe, but that’s about it. Why? Why can I not remember how to make meatloaf? I mean it’s meat, in a loaf, that’s about it. EVERY. TIME. I have to look up the recipe, every time. It’s the same with

Not THAT Meat Loaf

making hardboiled eggs. I am convinced things like everyday recipes, social security numbers, children’s birthdays (yes, don’t judge) and the time you scheduled for parent teacher conferences are never going to be remembered or stored conveniently for recall because at least for me, I know the words to every song every played on the radio. This amazingly useful skill (if you happen to be a bar singer), I’m convinced is why I cannot remember anything actually useful in life. I have to text my mother every time I want to cook meatloaf, or chili (it’s just a bunch of cans, dump in crock pot, viola! Seriously, WHY?) or the cornbread she makes with her chili. Yes, I’ve written them down but while recalling the awesome lyrics to an obscure Fleetwood Mac song, I have forgotten where I put the damn recipes. I cannot download these lyrics, I can’t seem to file them in archives in the back where I can forget about them for awhile…just hasn’t happened. Someday, someday it will be useful. I am convinced someday I will get on that show with Wayne Brady, which is probably not on anymore (we don’t have cable) and I’ll totally win. I always won at home. The kicker? I can’t sing for beans. I can’t even sing in the key of Me. It’s bad. My sister-in-law actually threw up in her mouth a little while on a road trip with me and my daughter as I croooooned away to our awesome road trip playlist. I still haven’t forgiven her, everyone in her family is grotesquely musically gifted. I married in, it didn’t transfer. My husband now at least allows me to sing at church, as politely as he can. He weakly claims I am “getting a little better..”