Wednesday, January 28, 2015

To Summarize

Hello Internet! Have you missed me? Actually, don't answer that.

I've been away. There have been so many things that have happened, almost all of them good, but things, you know? They eat into the available time.

A few months ago we kicked off this new thing called having a social life! It's awesome! I highly recommend it.

As new parents, we alternated between a lot of We're-Too-Tired-For-This-Shit and Adorable-Family-Togetherness. We seem to have hit a sweet spot where we are more rested and can therefore stand an occasional night of revelry. Considering the hassle of finding a babysitter and then having to pay them, we've just been having game nights at our house after Mr. Man goes to bed. If you haven't already done so, get yourself some friends (preferably those without small children so they don't have to pay a babysitter either), some Cards Against Humanity, and some alcohol. Just resign yourself to the fact that alcohol + reduced sleep (you know you're still getting up absurdly early, damn kids!) will make you feel like crap. It's totally worth it...once in a while.

It finally happened! We met some baby friends! Parents who are similar to us and have kids near Mr. Man's age. And they are smart and believe in science and breastfeed/babywear/cloth diaper/hippy stuff just like us! We've had more playdates in the past month then all of Mr. Man's life. One of these playdates even included snowshoeing and a winter picnic under a stand of cedars. Pretty cool, right?! R and I are very stoked.

Of course, there were the holidays, which were a blast with a little guy who is so easily fascinated: lights! trees inside! toys! more lights! There was much revelry and spoiling of the toddler.

Mr. Man also talks now. Like, seriously, with words and often whole sentences. It is so fascinating to get insight into what your toddler is thinking about and remembers! He talks about things that happened days, even weeks ago. He asks for specific things (sometimes not so awesome as, I'm sure you know, toddlers are tyrants). He really likes being naked and talks about that way more than it actually happens. My favorite so far came about when we told him he was going to take a bath: Mama see, Daddy see, Mr. Man naked boy!*

*Obviously he said his real name and not Mr. Man. Don't want you to think I'd lie about something so important.

The baby monitor has become my new favorite thing. I love hearing him talk to himself before he falls asleep. Except when he's being a [insert obscenity] and decides to yell "Uh Oh!" or "Drink!" or "Book!" or other toddler sleep diversion technique. You don't need the monitor for that.

Also, Mission Lazy Pants is in full effect. In an effort to be more consistent about our exercise, R and I bought a chalk board for our room and are tracking our workouts. I also am tracking how much I walk the dog because I have been horribly neglectful. So far so good. We can sometimes get a good workout with wintery sports like snowboarding, sledding (Yes, that's exercise. Don't believe me? Go put on all your heaviest clothes and walk up a hill one million times while carrying 20+ wiggling pounds of toddler), and snowshoeing, though all the snow is heading to the wrong side of the country this year and mostly we've had rain. The rest of our workouts are at the gym.**

**Pro-tip, I only let myself read my new kindle book while working out.

OH, and I am trying to plan my garden. We've learned some things (like Aspens grow faster than you imagine and will shade your garden) about gardening in the last couple years. I'm going to try and use that knowledge for the power of Good, and Right, and Vegetables!

Okay, I realize that this is just a laundry list of things that have happened. Not nearly as entertaining as you deserve. I promise better quality, if not frequency, in the future. I just had to spit all this out on a page. Bits of life on a page, you know?

Thursday, December 18, 2014

My post-baby marriage

Mawwidge is what brings us togevwer...(bad Princess Bride reference, but those are the things that my marriage is founded on.)

Here's the thing, I don't mean to brag, but I have an awesome marriage. We were friends first. Our friendship had a lot of sexual tension, it's true, but that's what led us to becoming more than friends. Then we were married for years and years - 10 to be exact - before becoming parents.

Having a child has changed things. Most of those changes are awesome. We love taking Mr. Man with us and introducing him to the sights and sounds in our world. Our family has a lot of fun together.

But a kid means approximately five times the amount of dishes and laundry, plus the added toy pick up at the end of the night. Then there is the additional food prep, which must be done a bazillion times of day because my child will not. stop. eating. So that also means more trips to the store...I could just keep going, but I think I've made my point. There is a shit-ton of chores to do. And though my husband is a man who does his share around the house and with the childcare, it isn't a 50/50 share. That makes sense, since I work part-time since our son came along, BUT resentment builds, doesn't it? Every time I walk into a room, my arms full of laundry and see my husband staring at his phone, it's another drop in the old resentment bucket. Often, it's completely irrational. He may have just sat down after loading the dishwasher, but there is always more that needs to be done, and I often feel stretched to my limit by the end of the day.

What I'm getting at is the same thing you all have heard or experienced before: By the end of the day, we are both tired. My touchy-snuggly quota is pretty full because my toddler is kissing, crawling and clinging to me all the time. Also, my patience is thin, since all those resources necessarily have to be diverted to my toddler who will not stop putting his damn feet on the table during meals!

So many of our conversations are about our kid, our chores, what else needs to be done, what isn't being done, what was forgotten. It's tedious and draining. I just didn't realize it had gotten that way until recently, when, instead of zoning out and watching Netflicks at the end of the night, we played cards.

We used to play games together all the time. Though this is never going to make it into a movie, spending a couple hours at the end of the night playing rummy was just what we needed to recharge together. We actually had conversations about life, about us. And I remembered that my husband is a person, not just a friend/partner/father/lover/companion, but a person that I really connect with. An individual who I want to know better and be around.

Everyone tells you sex is what's missing. And sure, sex is great. I mean really, really great. But sometimes you need to reconnect on an intellectual level.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Let's Revisit Body Issues, Shall We?

Oh Internet, I'm at it again. Back when I was pregnant, I did not like my body changing. Becoming heavy and awkward, but you know, there was a baby at the end of it and so that helped immensely (at least that's what my hormone-addled brain remembers; I dare not revisit my old blog posts for confirmation because re-reading your blog posts is a uniquely excruciating form of torture). Then after Mr. Man was born and the swelling receded, stretchmarks started popping up, making matters worse.

BUT I was fortunate and lost my baby weight quickly. By fortunate I mean that my baby was a ravenous beast that sucked away all my nutrition and I'll probably get osteoporosis at an early age. On the plus side, I fit back into my pre-baby clothes, so yay to baby-led malnutrition.

THEN I got pregnant again. I don't know if this is true for everyone, or if it was influenced by the fact that I was still breastfeeding, but my body got on board the 'prepare for baby bandwagon' in a big way. As in I'm back up a pants size. Also, round ligament stretching was something my body considered a top priority and now my tummy is out there.

Now, it's one thing to gain weight and get a baby at the end. It's an entirely different thing when you gained weight, miscarried, and no one is really privy to the reason you have muffin top. Is this the worst aspect of what happened? Of course not. But in combination with major hormone fluctuations, it is not something that I'm putting on my Top 10 Awesome Things list.*

*I don't actually have a Top 10 Awesome Things list, but if I did, orgasms would totally be #1, followed closely by chocolate and toddler snuggles; not sure which of those would end up as #2.

To top this off, I was a raging hormonal mess just in time to binge on SO MUCH Halloween candy. I literally became addicted. Twix and Reese PB Cups were calling to me from the pantry at all hours. It was not a good combination. Not nearly as good as peanut butter and chocolate.

Now I'm having to take a good, hard look at myself, and the new cellulite I'm sporting. Occasionally walking the dog and doing some light yoga while watching old How I Met Your Mother episodes may not be enough. My arm muscles are great from all the toddler lifts I do all day, but my ass is giving Santa's belly a run for its money in the jiggly department.

I'm not happy with any of this. And yet, if you've ever allowed yourself to get sedentary, you know how hard it is to get off the couch. Even though I know I'll feel better if I got some exercise, that's not much of a motivator. By the end of the day, I'm tired. Also, I would rather eat chocolate covered cherries, which I can do while trying to finish up holiday cards, making it so easy to rationalize. All I get out of exercising is the need for another shower.

So, here I am, trying to motivate. I will not wait until the New Year. This is not a declaration, but a lifestyle change. (Seriously, Self, move your ass so we can lose some ass!)