Life as a New Mom

A first-time mom adjusting to her new everything


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There is nothing worse…

My mother-in-law is coming to visit today, for the weekend.  Because she is allergic to dogs, this means I brush the dog really well and clean the house.  No problem.

I will also bathe Widget and make him appealing so she’ll forgive the crying and crankiness that is his colic (being slowly outgrown!!).  That right there?  HUGE PROBLEM.

It’s a problem because I know, I have known for days, that I must once again battle the Claws of Pain.  I hate the Claws of Pain the way Flick hates frozen telephone poles after his tongue stunt.  I hate the Claws of Pain the way we all hate that driver 3 cars in front of us who isn’t signaling before switching lanes while going 45 mph on the freeway.

In case you’re not familiar with the Claws of Pain, let me explain.

I cannot file Widget’s nails.  They’re too thin for me to manipulate, and trying to do so has resulted in blood and I will not tolerate that.  So I clip them.  I clip one halfway across and tear it the rest of the way.  I do this because I like them shorter than biting will accomplish and I’m incapable of just tearing the entire thing.  Like many babies, I’d imagine, Widget does not care for nail maintenance.  As a result, it takes about 30 minutes to cut 10 nails.  It’s a humongous PITA.  I hate it.  But if I don’t do it, his nails (that are clipped/torn straight across) grow longer.  Eventually the corners of the nail get long enough to feel.  Widget is grippy right now (not grabby because I still can’t get him to even bother to hold a damn toy, just my hair and his bib in front of his face at feedings), so that means the nails dig into my delicate neck-skin.  Hard.  Then he drags them along my neck.  They are the Claws of Pain.

The Claws of Pain are evil incarnate, and in our epic struggle, I’d say it’s a tie.


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I must be a terrible mother

You know all those moms out there, with the babies in outfits?  How when you go out, all the babies are looking cute in their onesies and pants and hats and all the other crap?

Mine doesn’t.  I don’t dress my baby in outfits.  Some days I barely dress him at all.

The whole truth is that for the first month of his life, he wore long-sleeve side snap shirts.  No pants, just shirts, because he would constantly vomit on himself and we needed to change his clothes 4 times a day and pants didn’t fit.  Now, all he wears are zip-up sleep and play coveralls.  No snaps here, because I don’t have time to deal with fastening them all.  No joke, I can’t be bothered with snaps because they take too much time.

I have only twice put my son in a onesie.  It’s too much effort to put it on over his head.  And pants still don’t fit him right, because he’s 23 inches long, and barely 11 pounds.

I keep telling myself once he’s older, like the next size up in clothes (3-6 months), I will dress him.  But today I realized that he is ready for that size, because he is long enough and the zip-up footies are getting too short.

Crap.  I mean well, and will try to start dressing him like a human.  But there are days where I can barely manage to get myself dressed, and knowing he’ll need to change outfits multiple times a day saps my will to live (with him in outfits, that is).

How do you collected and together moms manage to do this every day?  What am I missing here???


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Things I’m currently semi-obsessed with

Because I have nothing else to do (that I want to do…)!

  • Nautical nursery.  This will likely become its own post sometime, but I decided I wasn’t digging the nursery I’d originally done.  So when the wall decals (the only decor, so not expensive at all) started peeling off because of the heat and crappy glue, I took it as a sign.  God wants me to redecorate this nursery.  I decided on a nautical theme, but not the cutesy baby nautical, and not coastal.  Just nautical, and someday I can transition it to a guest room decor if Widget decides he wants something different and I choose to allow it.
  • Making plans to go back and visit family.  Last time we were up was when Daddy died, so I’d like to go up for a happier occasion.  Plus my almost sister-in-law is awesome and I don’t see her enough!
  • The Real Housewives of Anywhere-Except-New-York-Because-I-Don’t-Like-New-York.  Currently airing is Beverly Hills.  No idea why I love these series so much, but I do.  I really, really do.  They make me laugh, shake my head, and feel good about my life choices, all at once.
  • My husband.  This one’s on the list to stay, but it bears saying, because I love him.

What are your current obsessions, if you have any?


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The Early Bird gets the….hot coffee!

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This seems like a fitting topic for Fat Tuesday.

All my life, even the teen years, I have been a morning lark.  Mornings make me happy.  I remember being 5 years old, getting up with my daddy (who worked retail, and those shifts are crazy!) and doing Mousercise (mouse-er-size…Mickey Mouse exercise on the Disney channel) while he had breakfast.  It came on at 5am.

So why did my schedule change?  Stupid question.  It was changed by the tiny Mussolini I birthed.

More importantly, why did I allow it to take something I love?  Partly, I was sleep-deprived and I love sleep.  But once Widget evened out a bit there was no excuse.  I’d get up, feed him, change him if needed, feed the dog, make my husband’s lunch, and go back to bed.  I’d get maybe one hour extra of sleep, and not want to wake up.  When I finally got my feet to hit the floor again, I was in a terrible mood and it hung around for a few hours.

There was no reason for that.  I protest.

So I decided on an experiment, which I’ve decided this morning to make a permanent change.  I’ll still get up, feed Widget, etc.  But I’m not going back to bed.  I’m just going to stay up.  I can get my Internet fix in, hopefully write more consistently now, and have a HOT BEVERAGE.

Seriously.  Hot coffee or tea, with a 2 month old.  WINNING.

As an aside, this change has done wonders for my morale.  It’s given me something back.  Time just for me, and that’s so incredibly important.  Yet it’s the easiest thing in the world to miss noticing you miss until you have it back again.  Having the hour, or hour and half, for being alone and doing whatever I like…how freeing.  Mornings are a gift.  What’s yours?


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Karma said hello to my husband

Normally, Adam doesn’t do a lot in terms of routine baby care.  I change 90% of diapers, and do all feedings except the 11:00pm one, which he does, and the 11:00pm diaper change, which he does.  Everything else is me, or a combination of me and Adam.

Last night, karma decided it was time Adam did some real baby-caring work.  So when he woke Widget up to feed him at 11, Widget did not go back to sleep.  Instead, Widget cried for 2 hours straight.  When I finally came down at 1am (I’m a heavy HEAVY sleeper without a baby monitor), the lights were out, Adam was wearing his gun earmuffs to block noise, and Widget was swaddled next to him, crying.  Adam had tried everything, and Widget wouldn’t relax.  I offered to take him, and Adam let me.  Normally, he’ll complain that I never let him do anything to comfort Widget, but this time he’d been worn down to a shred of his normal self.

As soon as I pick Widget up, he stops crying.  Before my feet hit the stairs to take him up to bed, he’s asleep.  The stairs are 5 feet away.  Adam’s response?  “Really?  What the hell.  REALLY?”

Oh yes, karma came to visit last night, and I think I might like her more than Santa.


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Things I never expected

  • Changing my shirt in the middle of night because Widget vomited down the inside of my bra
  • Doing everything one-handed because Widget does not like being alone
  • Having massive (for me) boobs that aren’t as much fun as I’d hoped.  I blame thrush.
  • Having moments when I can’t console him, his face is the color of steak, and I wonder what I’m doing wrong as a mother
  • The hilarious cranky faces Widget makes
  • Drool all over me, ALL the time.  Seriously.  All the time.
  • How difficult baby nails are to cut and how desperate I’d be for the Claws of Pain to let go of my neck skin
  • How much Widget’s smile looks like my Daddy’s