How I Stopped Staring a Gift Horse in the Kisser

Image

As I get more settled into my Mom role, I’ve begun crafting some rules for our household and philosophies to live by.

I’m quickly realizing the cold hard truth that we don’t live in a bubble and those that come and go have their own philosophies, rules and experiences to insert, unwittingly into our lives.

I’ve been thinking it’d be pretty nice to keep my son’s toys to a minimum and as non-plastic as I can. Simple enough, I thought. I’ve gotten in my own way with this one, however. I felt the need for an exersaucer because my little guy loves standing but can’t do it on his own yet. It was taking alot of energy to hold him up all day. They don’t exactly make wooden ones, so he has a big chunky plastic one. Oh well, I thought, that’ll be the only thing really. I failed to factor in gifts from other people, like grandparents for example. And things seem to happen so quickly with a baby. I no sooner came to the minimalist, non-plastic toy conclusion when the random, for no reason gifts show up, all shiny and yes, plastic. I can’t exactly ask people to take them right back. And they’re so cute, and he loves them. Also we are so lucky to have his Grandparents help us out with babysitting so I can go back to work part time. I can’t really control what they have over there. So I’ve had to alter our little bubble and accept that we are loved and blessed and stop looking a gift horse in the  mouth! I’ll do my part on my end to provide fewer gifts since he will not be lacking and make my personal material choices for the ones I do purchase. Life lesson: learned! (Tough, first world life lesson, I know)

 

 

Advertisements

Pregnant Belly Touching: DO IT!

Image

Now that I can say, ‘been there, done that’ to being pregnant, I have a revamped opinion of belly touching. DO IT! LET OTHERS DO IT! and GET OVER YOURSELF!

Life is too short to be afraid of what people are going to think or to be afraid of strangers. When I was pregnant, I didn’t mind at all if people wanted to touch my belly. That was me and I totally understood those that wouldn’t want strangers or even friends and family groping their tummies. But now that my belly is empty and I am on the other side of being pregnant, I completely understand the desire to touch someone’s belly. I am not brave enough to ask a stranger at the store yet but I certainly ask my friends and family, in hopes to feel the little munchkin kick. In that instance, it brings back the most amazing thing about being pregnant, feeling this little life form’s first interactions with the outside world. So what if that old lady at the mall wants to touch your baby bump? She probably hasn’t been pregnant for decades and maybe doesn’t know anyone who is and just wants to be a part of the miracle, if only for a second. Or perhaps she was never able to have a child, even more reason to let her in on your wonderful new beginning. But, what if it’s an old, ugly man reaching out for your precious one with crooked, scaly hands? You get to choose the perspective, so make it positive. Perhaps he loves children and enjoyed raising his own years ago and now as he is closing out his time on earth, his own children haven’t, won’t or can’t conceive. The wonderment of being a grandparent, he will never know. Can’t you be a dear and let him be near someone else’s grand baby for just a moment? 

What if you’re the person who just loves the miracle of being pregnant and you want to do the belly rubbing? Well be brave, ask first (I mean, you don’t want to get sued) and hope they’ve read this blog! 

I never felt more interaction with the world at large than when I was pregnant. I had a very obvious pregnant belly that invited people in to ask how I was feeling, offer me a chair, inquire about the gender or whether this was my first baby. I loved that complete strangers felt comfortable enough to interact with me. Most days it seems, we go through the humdrum of life avoiding eye contact, small talk and long lines and we forget that we’re all on this planet together doing basically the same thing: trying to be happy. It seems being pregnant or seeing others who are reminds us of where we all come from. We come together stranger or not, to help out in any way we can. This speaks volumes about us as a species. As a society we have our faults, but I think moments like these show that when it comes down to it, we truly care about life. 

Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Internet

Image

Going off the mommy bit again (DON’T PANIC) for a much needed internet safety post, but not the kind you think. The internet is a vast, information rich place. This is glorious and terrifying at the same time. This means you can find anything you’re looking for. ANYTHING! Which is great if you’re seeking news headlines, directions, music or recipes. But not so great if you’re looking for support of an opinion, argument or belief and aren’t intenet saavy or perhaps choose not to be.

Because you will find what you’re looking for. Maybe it’s in the form of a quote from someone everyone respects, like George Washington. The only trouble is when the quote is twisted, misquoted or simply not true. Or perhaps you stumble upon an article, that passionately and perfectly aligns with your own sentiments and is chockfull of “facts” to boot. But, it’s really from a biased blog full of inaccuracies and blatant lies. Now, in your defense, the author is a fantastic writer and it all sounds so truthful and the website looks official and hey, you wanted it to be true, let’s face it. The REAL problem here is not so much that you fell for someone’s lies, it’s that you reposted, retweeted or rehashtagged the hell out of it and now your friends and family, who trust you, do the same and it spreads like wildfire among all those other people like you that wanted it to be true.

How can this vicious cycle be stopped in it’s tracks, you ask? Simple. Be skeptical. Research, research, research. Because the same thing that sucks about the internet also makes it wonderful. In an instant you can check if that quote from George Washington is true and that he was the one to say it. Or if the “facts” in that post are in other news stories too. Compare all the major news outlets. Use snopes.com to stop silly, panicky rumours or scams. You know the ones: the Amber Alert system is off because of the government shutdown or that the Obama impeachment hearings have started or even that the FCC has categorized Fox News as Satire and not a news source. Thought any of those were true? Well see for yourself: http://www.snopes.com/info/top25uls.asp. Factcheck.org is another valuable resource. If you find these sites are continually disproving what you want to share, take that to heart and consider your sources!

But really though, you don’t need the internet at all. Everyone knows the answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe and everything is 42! 

 

How Being a Mom Made Me Super Human

Image

Since I had my wee one 4 months ago, I haven’t been kid free for more than 8 hours until this weekend. I went to visit my dearest friend for 2 days and left my little Jonesy with his Daddy. They were going up to the lake to take the docks out and close things down for the winter, so this meant that Grandma and Grandpa would be there too. I knew he was in good hands but I missed him and wondered how he was. I resisted the urge to text and ask for pictures constantly and enjoyed the time with my friend.

And boy did I enjoy it! Everything from the 2 hour car ride to the screams of other peoples children. At first I felt a little guilty. I though, ‘Am I a bad Mom because I’m having a good time without my son?’,  ‘Am I thinking about him enough?’, ‘Is he sad because I’m not there?’. But then I let those thoughts quickly dissipate, turned up the volume on my music and had an awesome dance party in my drivers seat as I made my journey northeast.

Everything seemed so much easier without my little one in tow. Driving, navigating, socializing, and even relaxing were not only possible but carefree and super easy. I saw the road more clearly and heard music like I was front row center at a live concert. I was witty and spot on with my banter as I chit chatted my friend and her family. I sat back and let the hum of the weekend buzz around me and appreciated each small moment. It was as if I was in the matrix and everything suddenly slowed down and I could be in the moment and look at it from all angles. I feel like since I’ve become a Mom, I’ve also become a super version of my old self. I truly felt as if I had adopted super human hearing, strength, smell and eyesight but never realized it until I was on my own for 24 hours. I guess my hard work with my son has enhanced my senses but when I’m trying to do 8 things at once it’s hard to notice. Now that I’m back home with my son tucked in bed and my sweet kitty purring next to me, I feel pretty invincible.

International Travel: Family Style

Image(Barcelona)

I have always wanted to go to Spain. In fact, I had a family ready to hire me as their Au Pair in Madrid waaay back in 2007 when I finished my bachelors degree. I also happened to meet the man of my dreams and decided to stick around to be with him instead of going on my one way trip to Spain. Well, now that we have started our family, I’m not giving up on the dream!

Image

Since I met my husband we have done some traveling and even got married in Hawaii. But we still haven’t made it to my number one spot, Spain. We are looking to go this summer with our little guy in tow. He’ll be a hair over a year old and probably quite the handful. Also, my husbands family and a good friend may possibly join us, which would be a huge help with the tot. I’m so glad I was able to convince them to consider a European trip. We all get along and have traveled together before, so I know it will be a great time. 

Image

Before we had kids, we always said we wanted to travel and to continue traveling when we have a family. We also said we wanted to be active and still do some of things we did pre-kid (go out to eat, hang with friends, etc). We’ve done a decent job so far of being active and travelling. In my sons 4 short months this side of the womb, we’ve gone on a road trip from our house in upstate New York to visit friends in Jacksonsville, FL and stopped to see other friends all along the way. We’ve been to NYC twice, Rochester (where my family is from) 3 times, and the Jones family cottage a ton too. We certainly haven’t been home bodies! We take full advantage of our summers off from school (we’re teachers). 

Image

So now, we’re stepping it up a notch and traveling outside the US, with passports, international flights and all that jazz. I haven’t wavered in my eagerness to make it happen. I have however, secretly started realizing what a different and more low key trip it will be simply because we have our son with us. We won’t be able to be too spontaneous about what we do and where we go. We’ll need to plan a nap into our day and be back at our hotel or vacation rental by bed time. In addition to seeing the sights, we’ll be changing diapers every where we go. He may or may not be walking, regardless we’ll probably need a stroller. Do we try to check ours on the plane? Or can we rent one somewhere when we arrive? Or maybe we just buy a cheap umbrella stroller and call it a souvenir. How will he do on the flight? Will he get sick and/ or screamy? I heard about someone that made up little baggies with candy and a note apologizing for how her children might act on the flight for each passenger. I certainly don’t have the time or energy to do that! I’m hoping big smiles, technology and snacks will keep the little one manageable.

Image

Oh and did I mention that my husbands sister wants to go to France while we’re at it? Now, don’t get me wrong, I would love to check out French town but it’s not on my dream list and I’d be happy focusing our efforts in Espana. She speaks french and has been there at least twice before. Her and her husband don’t have any kids and they’re the bookshop, cafe, museum type. Not the best venues for families. Although I’m not opposed to them, I just hope we don’t get kicked out for being too loud and covered in buggers. All in all, it will be an adventure. Perhaps not the fly by the seat of your pants, eat out at fancy restaurants, and drink all day vacations of my past, but a new kind of adventure, full of watching the awe and curiosity of a one year old’s first flight or first empanada. 

Can we talk about this REAL LIFE MARS REALITY SHOW?!

mars one (this is the prototype for the little space houses on Mars)

Yes, I’m straying from my typical mommy banter for a post. But I heard about this and started looking into thinking it must be some gimmick. Well it looks legit, and wrong and illegal and I can’t wait to watch.

So apparently there are some unnamed billionaires with nothing better to do than make a reality show about sending random people on a one way ticket to Mars. They’re calling it Mars One and they’ve already had over 200,000 applicants and chose there selected few for the journey. Supposedly no one is actually going to space until 2023 but in the meantime they will be training and getting ready. Seems like a long reality show. But the finally is gonna be out of this world (ha)! Even then, I guess they’ll do another round and send more folks. They’re hoping to start a colony. So sci-fi right?

Now, when I first heard about this, I thought what a neat opportunity for someone and I wanna go to Mars. But after reading about it, I realized it ain’t no picnic. In fact you can kiss picnicking goodbye. You’re stuck in a tiny ship for almost a year eating freeze dried muck and you can’t even shower. Then when and IF you get there you’re stuck in another small area with none of the conveniences of earth like grass and air. You better like your comrades a whole lot because their the only humans you’ll be interacting with until they send another group out in ten more years. Oh and you’re supposed to be colonizing with them, and you know what that means!

So on that note, I’m glad I didn’t sign up to go. However, I am eager to see how this plays out. I think it’s going to be like a car crash: tragic and sad but you just can’t look away.

More official info about it here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mars_One

http://www.mars-one.com/en/mission/mission-vision