Tuesday, April 27, 2010

They Say the First Step Is Admitting You Have a Problem

Hi, my name is Lacey, and I'm addicted to Singapore Mei Fun. It's a Chinese take out dish that I had never had before, until we went back to the Sconnie to visit my in-laws. My MIL had gotten it when they ordered Chinese for dinner while we were in Sheboygan visiting our friends. The night we got back to their house, it was a little late and Chad had driven down to Chicago. Nobody really felt like doing anything, so we just ate leftover Chinese and I shared my MIL's with her. OMIGOD. It is so delicious. I immediately started looking up Chinese restaurant menus around my house. No Singapore mei fun. So I expanded to the city - I'm not averse to driving 20 minutes for good Chinese. No dice. Damn. So I looked up the recipe online. And it's pretty easy to do (there are several variations, I chose one with no shrimp. I'm totally averse to shrimp.) - so I've made it a few times. And it gives me a few meals, so that's pretty cool. Plus it's TOTALLY delicious. I'm so addicted. One more time making it and I'm going to have this thing memorized. Mmmmm...

Can you guess what I'm making for dinner?

Sunday, April 25, 2010

It's My Own Damn Fault

Well, I had an epiphany today. I know, I know - for someone so smart, I can sure be dense. I gave Wylie his bath tonight (that was the product of another epiphany from yesterday), cuddled him, greased him up (poor boy has Momma's dry-patch sensitive skin), diapered and dressed him, then brought him downstairs to roll around on his quilt for a little bit. When he started fussing, I scooped him up and brought him upstairs to his room where I fed him, told him a story, and rocked him until 7. Then I put him down in his crib, gave him his paci, turned on the seahorse, and shut the door.

I went downstairs and listened to him fuss twice before I heard not another peep. And what was my little epiphany I had today? Well, the fact that Wylie has had no bedtime routine! So, here is my goal: start Wylie on the road to bedtime each day by 6 pm. He obviously can't have a bath each day (Colorado + dry-patch sensitive skin = sandpaper skin), but I can wash his hair each day (which will help to curb cradle cap), and I can definitely grease him up each day and give him an infant massage in the process. So the end result will be bedtime by 7 pm. I think this will help him to go down more smoothly each night and hopefully, stretch out his sleep times (fingers crossed!).

My other epiphany? Wylie didn't like bath time anymore because he didn't like being reclined for it! I figured out how to take the infant bar out of the baby tub so he could sit for his bath and he liked it much more. He splashed and kicked the whole time, instead of crying. Duh, momma.

Friday, April 23, 2010

So Long, Farewell, Auf Wiedersehn, Good-bye.

Well, it's just me, the baby, and the cats again. Sigh. I really miss my parents. It's not as bad this time, though. When they left to head back home in November I cried for days. Mind you, that was pre-Zoloft. But still. I cried every time I thought about it for a few days beforehand and for about a week afterward. Yeah. Postpartum depression is awful. I mean, right now I really miss my parents, but I'm not a freaking mess with mascara running all over my face and racing through boxes of Kleenex.

But, I shan't be alone for long! My BFF KJ will be coming out here the end of May-ish. She called me this week to tell me about the wonderful deals that she's finding on airfare and to ask me how long she can stay. I told her forever. LOL I'm hoping she'll stay like two weeks. You know how you love you have company, but after a few days you start to get annoyed by their little quirks or foibles? That NEVER happens with KJ. She once lived in my room with me at the sorority house for a few months, off and on, and it never got old. I could probably see her everyday for the rest of my life and not be sick of her. This, my friends, is why she's my BFF. That and we have the same interests (read: Wylie, food, video games, nerdiness).

Also, my friend SummerSausage* is apparently coming out for a visit too. But she's said this before and I've still yet to see her here (I'm going on three years living here). So, sadly, I'm not actually planning on this happening. My MIL is making tentative plans to come out here and visit in June, I guess, and then at the end of June, Wylie and I are flying back to MI to hang with the fam and friends for two weeks. Then in August, I guess I'm going to WI with the baby, and then in October is cousin Holly's wedding in the Chi. So it'll be go-go-go soon enough. But for now, I'm just a little blue.

Friday, April 16, 2010

So Excited!

So, you thought I was excited about all the money I saved at the Just Between Friends sale? That doesn't even come close to how excited I am right now - my parents are in transit on their way here! It is going to be so great to see them with Wylie. You know, since the last time they were here he slept all the time. But now, he sits up (pretty steadily), he has two teeth, he eats rice cereal, he pushes up on his hands and knees, and he rolls all over the damn place. I can't wait for them to see him again. It's going to be amazing.

On a brief side note: I'm starting to wonder if Wylie is just going to bypass crawling. He seems to prefer to roll to whatever it is that he sees and wants. He rolled three feet the other day from his baby gym to Chad's Rock Band drumset controller. LOL It would be just like my child to be contrary. On that note, I'm going to try to head to bed now. You know - my parents are Morning People. I am not. However, that means that they will be leaving their hotel in Salina, KS, well before the buttcrack of dawn tomorrow morning, I'm guessing. So tomorrow, friends, I must be a Morning Person. Thank God for coffee.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

I Am a Money-Saving QUEEN

Okay, I talked about it before. But let me just tell you, if you live in a state where there is a Just Between Friends sale, you better get your butt there! I totally went to the pre-sale last night for my local sale (there are several qualifications for attending the pre-sale, mine is that I'm a military wife and a first-time mom). Pre-sale attendance also has a pre-requisite of registering. I attended with two friends, who are also military moms and first time moms. We walked in and Good Lord - the baby items galore that awaited us! There were potty chairs, high chairs, bouncers, jumpers, walkers, strollers, play yards, kitchenette-type toys, activity table, sorting toys, table after table of toys of all kinds, bottles, boppies, swings, bouncy chairs, and, of course, CLOTHES. There was also nursery decor and furniture (baby) as well.

Let me share with you some of my score -
Jogging stroller
Retail: $140
My price: $42.50

Sesame street deluxe walker
Retail: $45.00
My price: $20.00

Sesame street singing pop-up pals

Retail: $40.00
My price: $2.50

Parents electronic activity puzzle cube
Retail: $41.95
My price: $8.00

Fisher-price Laugh and Learn Puppy
Retail: $20.00
My price: $5.00

Fisher-price Slumbertime Soother with Remote Control
Retail: $35.00
My price: $10.00

Plus an entire bag of 25 baby toys (mostly Lamaze and Fisher-price, plus teethers) for $20. So the grand total of savings? Over $200. That's right. I told you - I'm a money-saving queen.

Go to your local Just Between Friends sale. You must. All of the items available are based on what consignors in your area have put up for sale. But it's like a conglomeration of all of the baby stuff from all of the garage sales in the area, all in one location, all being checked for quality (they don't sell stained or damaged goods), and they have a credit or cash line (at least mine did). Everything was organized. There was no digging through stacks of clothes - everything was hung up and labeled and grouped by age/size. Go. Shop. Save. And when you're done with your things, consign them to the sale so you can participate in the presale. Or volunteer and participate in the presale. And most of the things that are left on the last day of the sale are 50% off. Can you really afford to NOT go?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Leaps and Bounds

Well, in the last few days, Wylie has started stacking up accomplishments. He started by first scooting backwards on his stomach. Then, he started to scoot forward on his stomach. Yesterday, I got him to sit, alone and unassisted, for 30 seconds. Today, he pushed up on his hands and knees for the first time ever. And then repeated to do so for, oh, an hour (off and on).

Which brings me to a great realization - I haven't childproofed. True, some of our cabinets already have the childproofing locks on them, but the plugs are a free-for-all, the table has tile on it, our video cabinets have sliding doors on them, and I haven't even begun to look for baby gates. Oy. Vey. I know that I need to look for mounted baby gates and not pressure-mounted baby gates because we have several stairs. I tried to look at my local Target, but they didn't have anything in store other than the pressure-mounted gates. So, I guess I better get a move on.

Monday, April 5, 2010

A Serious Post

This is a post that I've been debating about writing for a while. It's a sensitive subject that doesn't get a lot of attention, even though it is something that affects millions of women. Postpartum Depression is different from baby blues, which is the classic feeling of a little sadness and whatnot from experiencing the birth of the baby.

You may have noticed that a while ago, when I update my blog, that I included postpartum depression in my blog banner description. That in and of itself is a huge step for me. I am very uncomfortable openly discussing anything that I see as a shortcoming. I much more prefer to gloss over things with a heavy dose of sarcasm. But looking back at my pregnancy, I can see that I was suffering from depression before the third trimester. As I mentioned in several different previous posts, I had several of the risk factors for PPD. I live far away from my support system, my husband is in the army, my son was diagnosed with a condition (CCAM) while in utero, and several of the women in my family had PPD. I've been on zoloft since I went for my six-week postpartum check-up. That was also a huge step for me. But I don't believe that I could have done as well as I have were it not for a little chemical help. Especially with Chad still having to travel for training, and now, for deployment. I still don't have my support system here, though I have made inroads with hanging out with some of the other women with young children who I know. But there is nothing that can substitute for your long-established support system or your family.

The reason I have been struggling with writing this post is that this is a very personal issue for me. But it is something that I don't believe is openly discussed, which is sad. Women who admit to having PPD are often stigmatized by those who don't have it, who discount it as baby blues, and those who just don't understand. It took me almost two weeks to admit to Chad that I was on zoloft after I had been diagnosed by my doctor at my postpartum appointment. I was so ashamed (don't ask me to explain that, because I can't) and I worried about how he would react: would he think I was weak or crying wolf or faking? (Sidenote: I don't know why I worried that Chad would think those things. The only thing that I can think of is the stigma.) Postpartum depression, I think, is not well understood by many people. And I can't speak for every woman, but I can speak for myself.

It was awful, looking at my beautiful baby and feeling intense love for him but escaping into the shower so I could sob without worrying about someone catching me. I could calmly change his diapers and bathe him and change his little clothes. Wylie wasn't a colicky baby. He was and is very mellow and easy-going. He's a happy baby. And yet, I would suddenly feel like the saddest woman in the world. Or I would get SOO angry at Chad, for no real reason. And I could tell that I didn't have a rational reason for being unbelievably angry with him, yet I was. It was hell trying to keep that from showing through to him. There were times that I was thisclose to calling my parents to ask them if I could move home with them with the baby while Chad was deployed this summer because I couldn't handle the thought of having to face everything by myself. (Which, I want to add, kudos to all of you single mothers out there. You are amazing, and I doff my cap to you.)

But now, I'm on zoloft. And I will be on zoloft through at least this calendar year. (Going off too early can cause your brain chemicals to drastically unbalance, causing a serious relapse.) And are things perfect? No, of course not. Do I still have bad days? Yes, I do, which I'm actually glad of. Part of the reason I was so scared to go on a pill was because I didn't want to feel like a zombie. I still get teary and will sometimes cry, but I can validate those instances (that stupid Humane Society commercial where they show all of the sad eyed dogs looking at the camera), or Wylie does something Big Boy and it's bittersweet that my little baby is growing so fast. The zoloft doesn't make everything magically better: I still wish I lived closer to my family, I still miss my friends, I still worry about Wylie having to have surgery in November (probably), I still resent the lack of support I experienced here during my pregnancy, and I still worry internally about stupid, inane things. I live with PPD everyday. I have good days and bad days. But I'm not a crazy woman, I don't imagine harming my baby, and I don't feel like a zombie. Sometimes I still feel a little overwhelmed. But I'm taking things one day at a time, and I put my bras on one arm at a time, just like you.

Going, Going... Oh, Wait, Not Quite Yet!

Well, since I last wrote, Wylie has been a busy boy, trying his hardest to move. And he's been successful. Kind of. He's scooted backward about 6 inches several times while on his stomach. But I think his most favorite method of trying to move is sitting on his butt and using his heels to pull himself forward, also in a scooting motion. But he hasn't quite gotten the hang of that either. You see, he tries to lean back so he can move further, but I don't think he quite understands that he will just fall backwards, since he's not using his hands behind him to brace himself. But it's very entertaining to watch!

He's also starting to move toward taking longer naps in a smaller quantity. I'm okay with this. I would rather have two long naps rather than like 5 small naps. He's not real consistent on that yet, but I have great hope.

Continuing my Wylie update: he has spent the last three nights sleeping in his crib. The transition wasn't nearly as painful as I had imagined it would be. I imagined that he would wake up screaming because he didn't recognize it and couldn't smell me right next to him. I imagined that I would bawl my eyes out because my precious baby wasn't sleeping right next to me anymore. But you know what? Neither of those things happened. I know that I talk in my sleep (I've had several people tell me so, from past roommates to my cousins and friends who slept over when I was younger, to my mother). And since Wylie's been sleeping in his crib, his waking up in the middle of the night has been drastically decreased, so I'm guessing that I was part of his night-waking problem. LOL

This Thursday, I'm taking him in to get professional portraits taken. I'm pretty excited. He's got the cutest outfit to wear, but it's 6 mos. sized, which means that I had to hurry and get him in for pictures, because he's definitely moving into his 9 mos. clothes. I had a little bit of a dilemma trying to find a place to get his pictures taken. I looked at Target and JCPenney, but those seemed so, well, expensive. So I kept looking. And I found what I thought would be perfect (maybe too perfect) - a $9.95 portrait package deal from Portrait Innovations. Well, being the Doubting Thomas that I am, I called the studio (they are a chain) to ask questions. The girl asked me when I wanted to book an appointment and I told her that I actually had questions and she said that she was too busy to talk to me and took down my contact information. On Friday. She said she would call me back. It's Monday. So after her slightly rude conduct, I searched for their customer reviews online - and it was NOT positive. That sealed the deal for me - not going with them. So I kept searching. And I wound up finding a nice, private photographer couple working out of their house, just about a mile from my house! They've been in photography for a couple of decades, and they had beautiful pictures in their online gallery. They were running a January special, so I asked what current specials they had, and she said that she would extend that previous special to me! So instead of a $75 sitting fee, plus pictures, our initial sitting is $49, which includes the sitting fee, a 5x7 and four wallets! Awesome! And then I'll order more portraits too, of course. But I'm really excited. They have both an indoor studio and a beautiful backyard garden. So if the weather cooperates, we might have some really beautiful outdoor pictures.

To wind up, in the next two weeks, the yard is being prepped for summer by a yard crew (thank you Mountain West Property Management!), my parents are coming to visit (Hooray!!), and I'm going to hit up the Just Between Friends consignment sale. Exciting times!