Thursday, February 28, 2013

Two Months is SHORT!

Well, we're here. It's been two months since Ebba took her first swim on this side of my perineum, since she gurgled out her first cry, and since she released all her meconium into her daddy's lap. :)

It's been quite the journey, even just so far.  Ebba says it's been exhausting putting up with us:



There is something a bit bittersweet about reaching the two month mark.  It's kind of a milestone, and it acts as the border between measuring Ebba's age in weeks and measuring her age in months.  She's old now.  In a week's time, she won't be 9 weeks, she'll be 2 months.  And in 2 weeks, she won't be 10 weeks, she'll still be 2 months.  If I want to be snarky I can say "two and a half months."

I used to get annoyed at parents who still gave their 1-year-old's age in months, but I understand it now.  The smaller the unit of age measurement, the smaller your baby.  I don't even know how I'll feel when we hit the year mark and have to give up months.  As far as I'm concerned, Ebba is 59 days old today, not two months.  And when she is 1 year, she'll be 365 days old.  When she's 18 years old, she'll be 6570 days old.  Okay, that's a bit crazy, and besides, I'm too lazy to calculate for leap years.  Maybe at 18 I'll have to start measuring in months. :)

In honour of this landmark birthday, I decided I would make some parenting resolutions.  Since Ebba was born on New Years Eve, I didn't really make any resolutions this year.  For these resolutions, my goal is to make them manageable and reasonable.  No more, "I'm going to be the perfect mum!"  So, here goes:


  • I'm going to smell the top of Ebba's head at least five times a day so I never forget what it smells like.  (sunshine and strawberries, for those who were wondering!)
  • I'm going to snuggle with Ebba during a nap several times a week, instead of putting her down and rushing off to clean up the kitchen or put away the laundry.
  • I'm going to have at least one conversation a day with her, without anything distracting me from her little sounds.
  • I'm not going to stress about schedules too much.  Ebba knows what she needs when.  (Though, she does need a little help knowing it's nap time sometimes!)
  • While I'm not stressing about schedules, I am going to try to bring in some more routines, so the lead up to bed and bath and other big events is always the same each time.  (I keep forgetting to read our bedtime book before bed! oops! :) )
I think that's enough for now. :)  Any other mommy resolutions out there?

amc

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Life Without a Lens

photo credit


Memory, when you're a mum, is a funny thing.  Some things stand out sharp, like the moment I picked Ebba up for the first time, or her first bath, or the first night we laid down just staring at each other in the moonlight.  But, in between these tiny blips, I pretty much remember nothing.  It's not like I remember things wrong, or that they're fuzzy...it's just, kind of a black hole.

I realized this last night, and it made me a little bit sad.  When it's my own memories that slide into nothingness, it's sad enough.  But those first few minutes, days, weeks with Ebba -- I wanted to remember them all!  Now, I find myself asking my mum and stepdad, "Did I cuddle her? How often did I feed her? What was she like?  What was I like???"  It's not like I don't have fond memories; as I said above, I have little blips.

But this got me to thinking...  Before we had cameras and video cameras and all of that fancy stuff, did people remember things more?  I'm pretty sure that my memory for facts was better pre-Google.  Is it the same with memories of our own events?  I actually caught myself wishing that I had had people take more pictures of us as a family.  And even wishing I had been one of those annoying mums who took videos of every little burp and poop and cry my newborn did.  Yes, mum, you can give me your big-eyed 'I told you so' now and whip out your camera as much as you want next time we see you!

Or, on second thought, maybe not!  Maybe our over-reliance on electronic memory has made our own memories falter.  And while it's nice to have an external, objective way to see the past, there's something so wonderful about seeing the past through your own subjective lens, remembering the attached emotions and thoughts -- things that don't come out in those high-res videos on the hard drive.

So, as an alternative, I'm going to make an effort to preserve these cherish-worthy moments as organically as I can (boy, isn't that the buzz-word of the century!), by really living in them and turning my full consciousness on them.  Perhaps that will be a better way to preserve a memory.  To help me, in case the mindfulness doesn't work on its own, I'm going to start journalling regularly again because there's something about writing something down that solidifies it.

And, if all else fails, I guess I'll have my photos to fall back on. :)  I'm not going to venture out here without a safety net!

What are your guys' thoughts on preserving memories?  Are photos the way to go?  Or can we enjoy our present, and our past more by putting away the external lens and really submerging ourselves in the moment?

Sunday, February 24, 2013

An Unhappy Customer

Here is Ebba's Yelp review of Chez David and Amanda this evening:

I've eaten here before and it was never awful, but, you know, not great.  But tonight...tonight!  The food was alright, even though I'd ordered breastmilk and they served me formula.  I mean, I sorta understand; breastmilk is hard to come by these days.  But if you put breastmilk on the menu, that's what you should serve.

The real downer of tonight was the service.  I came in licking my hand a bit, which obviously means I'm ready for food.  Okay, so I often lick my hand, even when I'm not hungry.  It just...feels nice, alright?  But if you're in the business of serving me milk, you should know when I want milk.  I had to resort to whining before anyone even jumped into action, but it was still a whole seven seconds before I had a bottle in my mouth.

As if that wasn't bad enough, they removed the bottle before I was even finished so they could burp me.  Then, when I vomited on myself, no one noticed and I ended up rubbing my own face in it before they could clean it up.  Finally, finally, at the end of the meal, I was offered the breast that I came here for in the first place!  But it was too late, they had already mocked my tirades one too many times over the course of the meal.  I'm not sure if I'll be coming back here.  Two thumbs down!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Fluff Reviews (BumGenius AIO and Pocket)

So, because I'm so vocal about my obsession, people have been asking me a lot about cloth diapers.  Which ones do I use?  Which ones do I like?  Why?  etc.  So, I'm thinking there might be cause to continue my little diaper reviews.

I'll start off by saying I didn't actually even end up buying the Grovia AIO that I reviewed last time.  While I did totally love it, there were others I loved more! So here goes a review of some of those.

These days, Ebba is mainly wearing BumGenius.  These are some of the most popular diapers out there, and for good reason!  First off, they come in super cute prints, like the "Albert."  But, they have other benefits too!  They are very leak-free, as far as I can tell (she's gone 6 hours overnight without a change), and they started fitting Ebba at around 4 weeks.  (Well, that's when we tried the first one...they might have fit her even sooner.)  Both of these diapers can come with snaps or velcro.  I prefer the snaps (pictured), but David prefers the velcro because it's more similar to disposable diapers, and therefore quicker to go on and off.

The varieties I have Ebba in are the:

BumGenius 4.0 pocket
and the:
BumGenius Freetime all in one

As you can see, these two diapers look essentially the same from the outside:


(Except the colour and orientation. :) )  The real difference is that for the pocket diaper, you have to shove the insert(s) inside (the second one is for more absorbency), and for the all-in-one, there is nothing to stuff; you just fold over the two flaps that are already attached.  Both of these are incredibly convenient, and one usually lives in our outing bag. :)

The only drawback to these diapers is their size.  Since these are one-size diapers, that means you can snap up the bottom to make it 1-2 sizes smaller.  Ebba is so little, we've got her on the smallest size, which means that the bottom of the diaper is quite bunched up.  She doesn't seem to mind, and the only drawback is that it means she often fits into a larger size of clothes.  I believe as she grows, the diaper won't look nearly as huge on her, so it's only a temporary drawback!

Neither of these types is organic, but they do have an organic version called the Elemental, if you want to do only organic diapering.  (Of course, you pay for that choice!)

Right now we've got, well, way too many of these diapers because I keep buying them!  But that's just how good they are.  Two bums up to BumGenius!

Next up to be reviewed: the AMP Duo pocket diaper!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

BUY ALL THE DIAPERS!!!

Okay, to make up for my attempt at some kind of coherent intellectual post today, I will post this!

Courtesy of The Natural Parent's facebook page
Hopefully my apology is accepted, you guys!  I will refrain from the intellectual-ish posts until my brain returns.  ...which will probably be in about 18 years.  Stay tuned. :)

Organic Learning

Recently (okay, today), I read this post about the use of calendars in preschools...and how maybe enforcing this kind of rote learning of time concepts might not be as great as we thought.  The post is on Heather Shumaker's blog -- she's also the author of "It's Okay Not To Share," a book I believe I've mentioned in a previous post.  Shumaker writes about what she calls the "Renegade Rules" of childrearing; things like, well, allowing kids not to share. :)  Most of the renegade rules are counterculture (our culture anyway), but not at all counter-intuitive.  Her point, I believe, is that kids will learn.  Period, full stop.  So, we don't need to shove learning down their throats.  All we need to do is provide proper environments to allow (what I would call) organic learning, an opportunity for the child to stumble upon the concept in their own time and in their own way.

Reading some of her ideas has caused me, not only to think about my future as a parent, but also to reevaluate what I do as a professional.  As a speech pathologist, I work with children who have a variety of special needs beyond their speech or language difficulties.  I've worked with many children on the Autism spectrum, children who have Attention Deficits, and children with unlabelled learning difficulties but who struggle in school.  Through all of this, I thought I have strived to allow my clients to learn in the most natural way possible, but looking back I know this probably isn't the case.  Sitting at a table with a single, sometimes unfamiliar adult, is not the normal way children learn.  I should have been tipped off by the fact that with some of my kids, our first goal was learning how to sit quietly and respond to commands like "Give me," and "come here."

Now, for those of you in this or a related field, I have to specify that I am no behaviour consultant.  Behaviour consultants are the professionals that works exclusively with children on the Autism spectrum.  They tend to have a more behaviourist view, and use a lot of discreet trials for learning.  This works well for children on the Autism spectrum, so there is no judgement here about the use of those kinds of structured situations, but I wanted to specify that that is not what I do.

However, I am often at that end of the spectrum of therapeutic techniques.  It's just easier to feel like you're isolating a certain skill if you've got a structured activity.  And it's easier to feel like you're measuring it if you're sitting at a table where you can easily tic off wrong and right answers.

But, if as Heather Shumaker says (and everyone already knows), children learn best in natural situations with minimal adult control, why should children with "labels" be any different?

I'm sort of veering off track here (baby brain!), but let me give an example to try and get back on track.  :)  One of my first things I do when I come to a new preschool, or even sometimes a home, is to ask if they've got a schedule or calendar posted.  "This will help your child know what to expect and when to expect it," I would state expertly.  And, to some extent this is true, especially for children with Autism.  But, really, children's knowledge of time as we understand it is fairly slow in developing.  I mean, kids don't even start to use past tense usually until around 3 years of age.  And even then it's often, "Last year," instead of yesterday, or "100 million hours ago" instead of a few minutes.  "Monday" is the same as "Saturday," unless an adult reminds them that "no, on Saturday there's no daycare, remember?"

So, really, why do we teach kids the days of the week and the numbers on a calendar if they have enough trouble remembering that after nap we have snack, and after snack we go home?  They can, as Shumaker pointed out, still learn time and number concepts organically by playing natural counting games on the playground, being told what activity comes next, or talking about what they did that morning when mum comes to pick them up.  (these are, by the way, all things I also do in my therapy.  Like I said, I'm not totally a sit-at-the-desk kind of therapist. :) )

To play devil's advocate, I'd like to answer my above question about why we teach kids calendar concepts.  While I agree with Shumaker that the whole task of sitting down at circle and going through the days of the week might be a bit inappropriate, I do think that using calendars to show big events coming up can be very useful.  For example, if there is going to be a big change in schedule, like a field trip or grandparents' visit coming up soon, it can be helpful to cross days off of a calendar to visually show the passage of time.  Granted, you aren't going to say, "On the Tuesday the seventh of October, grandma is coming."  You can, instead, say "Look, in eight more sleeps, grandma is coming!"  Then, after every 'sleep' you can cross off another day and count how many are left.  You can even show things in relation to each other.  For example, "In 8 more sleeps, grandma comes.  She's coming right after we go to the museum."  In this way you are teaching number concepts, as well as time, by giving it meaning, but you aren't explicitly and rote-ly (yes I did just make up that word!) teaching it.

What do you guys think about teaching time to little ones?

Sunday, February 17, 2013

There is No Recipe

When I think of parenting, these days, I think of my husband in a kitchen with a whole host of ingredients and no cookbooks in sight.  Or, maybe a cookbook open to a recipe that he modifies (read: improves!) beyond all recognition.

See, when my husband cooks (which is, I must admit, wayyyy more than I do!), he doesn't need a recipe.  He can take several recipes and blend them, or just take the ingredients in the fridge (leftovers, some wilting parsley, a cup of beans, some rice) and make a gourmet 4-course dinner.  Seriously, this man can create gold out of stone.

What does this have to do with parenting?  Well, if you peruse the parenting section of the book store or browse any of the 1 bazillion parenting blogs, you will be surrounded by cookbooks of all varieties.  People love their recipes for parenting.  From Dr. Sears' attachment parenting to Magda Gerber's RIE, and even to Babywise, which I haven't even bothered looking into because every time it's mentioned, people make faces of horror.  And, even outside of these overarching philosophies, there are opinions on sleep training, feeding schedules, feeding techniques, bath routines...everything under the sun.

The problem with these parenting "recipes" is that the ingredients are always different.  No two babies will behave the same, even with the exact same recipe.  So, while it's nice to have some guidelines, no one (with the exception of your baby, maybe) can tell you exactly how to parent.  But certainly everyone tries to!  And the problem with that is that you will most often come up feeling short.  I do, anyway.

[EDIT: my very wise aunt, after reading this post, pointed out to me that babies aren't the only ingredient that differ from family to family.  Parents also come in all shapes and sizes, and no one parenting style will fit every parent and every lifestyle!  Each family dynamic is completely different from the next, so there is no "one size fits all."]

This past week, I've tried to be more like David (the loving husband) in his kitchen when I parent.  Take a few veggies from the fridge, some noodles I found in the back of the cupboard, add a special mix of my own spices, and some beans from the pantry (okay, I'm not a cook so you'll have to use your imagination here!) and VOILA, a perfect pasta.  Or, take a few things from this parenting recipe, a few from that one, and add my own special spice and VOILA, a good enough parent.  Note that I didn't say "a perfect parent," because there isn't one.  (this is where my own 'perfect parent' makes that "I told you so face," because she's been trying to make me believe this simple truth since before Ebba was born.  I got it, now.  I got it. :)

Anyway, as I was saying, these parenting recipes that claim (directly or indirectly) to make you into the perfect parent, or to show you a picture of perfect parenting without mentioning how unachievable it is just serve to make you get down on yourself.

For example, I totally buy into Attachment Parenting.  The tenets of AP are incredibly appealing in that most of them will make you be like "duh, don't all parents want to do that?"  However, beyond that, they have a fairly prescriptive view of how to achieve those tenets.  (Made all the more prescriptive by 'my way or the highway' critical mums who look down on others who 'do it wrong.'  But this is a topic for another post.)  For example, we'll take AP's "Respond with Sensitivity."  This no-brainer principle basically means "meet your child's needs and don't punish her for asking."  But, sometimes (both in AP literature and in what you hear from other AP parents/blogs) this translates to: if you're baby is crying, you're doing something wrong.  In the principle itself, you see this quote:
"High levels of stress, such as during prolonged crying, cause a baby to experience an unbalanced chemical state in the brain and can place him at risk for physical and emotional problems later in life."
While I know this probably is referring more to things like the Ferber method of sleep training, where parents are encouraged to leave their baby in the crib and not pick them up regardless of crying, it still makes me feel guilty on those days when Ebba cries and cries and doesn't seem to want to eat, need a diaper change, or be tired/hot/cold.  I feel helpless and don't know what to do to help her.  Am I raising her to be insecurely attached!?

And I am lucky.  I'm not sure Ebba has ever cried for more than 5 minute intervals (she's been fussier longer, yes, but full on crying for that long, no.)  If I were a parent with a colicky baby (knock on wood) or just a more sensitive baby, I would feel like everything was all my fault.  The truth is, if your baby cries for more than five minutes, you aren't a bad parent, and your child will still most likely develop secure attachment.

Babies are sometimes mysteries.  A friend of mine with twins warned me, "People will expect you to know what they want and need at all times."  She said that when the twins were new, people would always bring them to her when they cried, asking earnestly, "what do they need??"  And she would respond, "I don't fucking know!"  (Well, probably not in so many words. :) )

I recently read this blog post about what your baby needs.  One of the points talks about what to do when the baby cries.  In the point on crying ("Hear me, don't just fix me), she says
  "Sometimes I just want to cry in your arms and have it be okay with you. Relax. It feels comforting to have you here, calmly listening and trying to understand."  
I really liked the way this point focused on listening to the child's emotion, rather than scrambling to do everything you can to stop the crying, lest the child become "insecurely attached."  Granted, I know that this point, and that of Attachment Parenting are probably saying the same thing overall.  However, in the AP phrasing it seems to say that crying indicates something the parent is or isn't doing.

Another example from AP is with the feeding.  Yes, yes I am still on about mine and Ebba's feeding.  I have finally begun to accept that we will always always need to top up our 30-45 minute breastfeeds with a bottle.  My vision of being this (ahem, perfect) earth mama with vegetarian shoes, boob out, and dread locks until Ebba was in kindergarten or whatever has been shattered.  I've accepted that.

But, you know what made it hard to accept?  It seems like many AP supporters seem to think that if you aren't breastfeeding, you aren't really practicing AP and therefore aren't a good parent.  The fact that you fail at one part seems to indicate that you fail at all parts in their eyes.  I read an article in The Natural Parent (a magazine I, otherwise, love) recently that talked about bottle feeding in a more attached way.  After a lengthy introduction all about the millions of reasons breastfeeding is far superior to bottle feeding, the author went on to describe ways you can try and make your bottle feeding at least good enough.  Some of these were so outlandish I'm not sure any new parent could do it.  Things like trying to pump your fore milk and hind milk separately (or, if you don't have enough milk, getting a donor to do so), and practicing skin to skin all the time (what about if you're out?  Or if your baby is crying to eat so you don't want to waste time stripping her and you down, lest you let her cry so long she attaches insecurely!? :) ).  The whole article had the tone of talking down to bottle feeders, which I didn't find very fair.

Anyway, my point is that no one book or philosophy can tell anyone how to parent.  And, I'm slowly learning that it's totally okay to take things piecemeal from different philosophies to suit my own needs and those of my child.  So, while I might not breastfeed exclusively, and I might go out to dinner once without my infant strapped to my chest, I am still treating her with love and respect, and I (hopefully) am instilling her with secure attachment and all that mumbojumbo. :)

The main thing is this: Happy Mommy = Happy Baby.  And if mommy spends all her time trying to fit into a mold or cook a certain recipe, she ain't gonna be so happy.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

A New Valentine

Love is a funny thing.  So many people, from Plato to Haddaway, have tried to tackle the burning question: "what is love?"  But I think the problem with finding an answer lies in the fact that Love is not an absolute.  It's not definable as one entity because it encompasses so many different facets.

For example, I love cilantro, my husband, my mom, and travelling, but the love I feel for each of those things is so different.  Should they even be called by the same name?  Surely my love for cilantro is much stronger than my love for my husband.  (Wait, no, maybe that should be the other way around. ;) )

Happy Valentines Day!!

When Ebba was born, I learned a whole new kind of love, something I hadn't ever felt before.  It's not just that I'd probably jump in front of a train for her (I'd probably do that for the ol' husband too if push came to shove).  No, this is bigger, the kind of thing that doesn't grow like relationship love, but rather starts gigantic and then seems to...swell, organically.  I think it's a feeling that can only come when you have something that relies on you completely...and for the most part, you don't mind. (What's the difference between Ebba and a deadbeat moocher?  Nothing, except that I don't mind Ebba's moochiness. :) )

So, tonight -- Valentines Day -- David and I went out for our first solo dinner (duo dinner?) since Ebba's arrival.  We left the babe at home with my parents and were gone all of 2-3 hours.  We lasted not even two hours into the meal before we whipped out our phones and started looking at photos of Ebba, saying things like "Look how cute her little nose is!"  That is something I hadn't experienced before, that kind of longing to see someone after only being away a few moments.  And when I returned home, the first thing I wanted (neeeeeded) to do was  just pull my baby up into my arms.  And then we snuggled awhile.

So, what is love?  My take?  It can't really be defined or captured, only experienced in all its different forms.  And my recommendation is the more chances you get to experience it, the better!

How was your Valentines Day?

amc

PS - I don't think David and I will be out for many Ebba-free dinners in the near future.  We just missed her too much and I barely enjoyed the meal!  (Okay, some may call that codependence rather than love, but isn't the parent-child relationship codependent by nature at this age?)

Monday, February 11, 2013

Fluff Time! (Grovia AIO Review)

It was like Christmas here last week, when a box of all different kinds of cloth diapers from New and Green arrived on our doorstep!  I had completely forgotten that I ordered them.  So, for the past 5 days, I have been stuffing and snapping inserts, sizing the wee things, and changing Ebba's diaper way more often than usual just so I can give them all a try. :)

I figured, since I have them all here, I may as well write up a review for some of them.  First off is the Grovia organic All In One.

For those of you not in the know, there are tons of different kinds of cloth diapers these days -- not just those flat ones that require pins, plastic pants, and a lifetime of origami lessons.  (we do have and love some of that variety too, though.  They aren't nearly as difficult as they look. :))

But, I'm not reviewing those today.  The Grovia I'm reviewing is "all in one," which means it's as close to a disposable diaper as you can get.  You put it on and take it off all in one step - nothing to fold, stuff, or pin.  These usually come with snaps or velcro.  Some brands (like Bum Genius) offer a choice between the two, but the Grovia AIO just comes with snaps, as far as I know.

The interesting thing about this AIO is that, unlike disposables and other AIO diapers, the snapping system is reversed.  The flaps snap inside the front cover, rather than out around the front.  This actually makes the diaper quite a bit trimmer (it's already a fantastically trim diaper).

With some diapers, you have to trade trim-ness for absorbency; sometimes, if the diaper is thin, it doesn't absorb as much...and to get a lot of absorbency, sometimes you need a big thick diaper that has your baby's legs just sticking comically out the sides.  However, with the Grovia, it's trim AND super absorbent!  I haven't had a leak with this diaper yet, and I've been using it lots because I love it and it's SO CUTE!  Just see for yourself.


So, plus 5 stars for the Grovia AIO, and minus some dollars from my wallet to buy more! :)

Back to our regular "adventures in parenting" programming in the near future, so stay tuned!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Forget the Laundry

There are a few lessons that I am having a hard time learning as I enter the second month of my parenting journey.  One of them is that spending Ebba time is way more important than making sure the counter is free of dirty dishes and that the laundry is clean and folded at all times.  We have enough forks to last a week and I have enough undies to last a month, so why this preoccupation with keeping the mundane household tasks moving at warp speed?

I don't know.  It's not like I'm anal or anything, but I do like to have things a bit clutter free around the home.  It makes my mind feel less cluttered too.  But the way I see it, now that Ebba is around, there are less hours in the day.  And when she is not sleeping, eating, or crying, I have a choice of tasks.  I can:

(A) Play with Ebba, or
(B) Do housework

I know the answer seems like a no-brainer to most of you, probably.  But for me it was actually difficult!  I had to force myself to ignore the ever piling hampers and stacks of dishes in favour of giving my little one an infant massage or dancing around the livingroom with her.  Now, though, the rewards of Ebba time way outweigh the rewards of a clean house, so I think I'm getting the hang of it.  It helps that she's smiling a lot now in response to what we do.  (One of her favourite things is watching  her mum dance like a crazy person in front of her.)

I'm really glad I'm learning this now, because as I look ahead at future Ebba time, I realize that it's just going to get messier and messier.  I want to be the kind of mum who doesn't mind when finger painting goes off the paper, the kind of mum who doesn't constrain water play to "just in the bucket, honey," and the kind of mum who is okay with rough and tumble play and pillow fights.  I realize there will always be limits, like water play "just outside" and finger painting "not in the dining room" might be okay, but I don't want to give limits that are too restrictive to allow Ebba's natural and healthy brain development.

Recently (back before Ebba took up most of my reading time. :) ) I read a book called "It's Okay NOT To Share," by Heather Shumaker.  In this book, she outlines the Renegade Rules of child-rearing.  Rules like, "Hog that toy all day" and "Paint off the paper," that allow children to feel in control and accepted while they grow and learn.  She discusses how giving children freedom (while setting reasonable and non-arbitrary limits) develops the child's emotional intelligence so that in later life they can become happier, and more self-regulated and well-adjusted teens and adults.  Isn't that what we all hope for our children!

So, everyday I'm making more of a conscious effort to "forget the laundry" and focus on what really matters, the tiny human that moved into my house just over a month ago!!

What are some trade-offs you other mums (or dads!) have made now that you're parents?

Saturday, February 2, 2013

One Month In

It's time to wish a happy belated one-month birthday to my little bunny!!  Here is how she celebrated:

Bad lighting in this pic.  I'm not actually a zombie!

So, now that it's been a month and I know everything about motherhood (har har) I thought I'd write about what it is to be a mum.  If you're interested in seeing my post on what it is to be pregnant, you can look here.

Being a mum is:

  • realizing that you know nothing about being a mum.  :)
  • Taking 3 days to finish a blog entry :)
  • feeling more emotions at once than you ever have before: pride, joy, terror, exhaustion, awe, love, frustration, confusion, elation, amazement...  All. At. Once. :)
  • talking about your baby's poop to more than just her Dr., even though you vowed you would never, ever do that.
  • quickly amassing a whole list of other things you "would never, ever do" but now do: 
    • spending whole days in pajamas (and I mean several days in a row in the same pajamas)
    • Watching TV with the baby in the same room (okay, she's asleep when that happens, but still)
    • freaking out about every little thing - "is she sleeping enough?  Is she sleeping too much?  Isn't she only looking to the left?  No, wait, today she only looks right!!  oh god!"
  • having your sleep deprivation whisked away when you lie next to your baby, and she smiles at you in the moonlight
  • sleeping for days on sheets covered in baby-pee and spit-up because you just haven't had a chance to strip the bed yet.  And, really, she's just gonna spit up on the clean sheets as soon as you put them on anyway, so why not just keep these on until she's past the baby spit-up phase? :)
  • consuming only foods that can be eaten with one hand
  • doing all of your own business (including toilet business!) in a hurry while sing-song-ing "Mummy's here!  I'll be right there!"
  • feeling like you have a million and one things to tell people you haven't seen in awhile, then realizing it all consists of your baby's sleeping, crying, and pooping habits
  • measuring a day's success by what baby is wearing.  If she's in a cute 2-3 piece outfit, it was a good day.  If she's in a 1-piece sleeper, it was a pretty stressful day.
  • appreciating your partner more than ever before
  • feeling a part of a new, exclusive mummy club; exchanging knowing smiles with other mums you pass on the street
  • and experiencing such a new kind of love like you've never felt before that makes everything (including the pee-stained sheets, poo-namis, and midnight cry-fests) worth it
Surprise, surprise, being a mum is tougher than being pregnant.  But that doesn't make it any less wonderful!  In fact, it's more amazing than pregnant-me could have ever imagined.

So, happy one-month of life to Ebba and happy one-month of motherhood to me. :)

Thanks for reading,
Amanda