Thursday, July 21, 2011

Blogging Burnout

A few weeks ago, I joined a great site, voiceBoks.  Now let me start out by saying that this is a great community, and no one there is in any way responsible for my burnout.  The fault is entirely mine, and I highly recommend this site for women bloggers.  But here's what happened.

At voiceBoks, there are lots of events that you can join, events designed to increase your GFC and Twitter followers, Facebook likes, etc.  I made the mistake of trying to join too many at once.  I wanted to be social and to participate, and I was excited.  This was great, at first.  I've found lots of wonderful blogs to read, and I'm still happy with the community.  But after I found myself frantically trying to return follows one night before the event closed, I realized that my enthusiasm took me too far.

I've been meaning to post all week.  I had a candlemaking post planned for Tuesday and birthday party pictures for Wordless Wednesday.  Problem is, I've just lacked the motivation.  I spent so much time networking and blogging that the thought of looking at blogs has been somewhat repulsive.  I have avoided Blogger all week.

I guess the lesson here is not to try to take on too much at once.  I have a lot of things going on.  I'm trying to finish the book I'm writing (on the last chapter or so!), start a crafting business, and blog, and all of these things take a back seat to raising my daughter.  I'll still participate at voiceBoks, but I think I need to slow it down.  Burnout is not a useful thing.

Tell me, how do you avoid burnout? 

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Happy Birthday, Kira!

Today is my daughter's first birthday.  It is so hard to believe that it has been a year already!  A year ago today, I was trying to figure out how to take care of a new life who already ruled my heart.  Kira is the light of my life, and I am so lucky to have been blessed with her. 

I love you, Kira!  Thank you for being my wonderful daughter!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Gerber Generation

A couple of days ago, I decided to buy Kira a Gerber Graduates cheese ravioli meal.  My thinking was that it would be easy to cut into small pieces, and that was indeed the case.  The only problem?  I don't know what that stuff is made of, but it isn't food.

She made the worst face when she tried the first bite.  Then, I got the "what is this?  have you lost your mind!?" look.  The look that says I am too crazy to even be babbled at.  Wondering what could be wrong with cheese ravioli, I popped one into my mouth.  Without another word, I went and got her something else to eat.  How, Gerber, how can you go wrong with cheese ravioli?

You know how American cheese says "Processed Cheese Product" on the label?  Honestly, I don't think this meal could even qualify for that.  I couldn't even taste fake cheese flavoring.  No wonder she didn't want to eat it.

My daughter will happily snatch up pieces of rice and chicken from the Mexican restaurant and curry at the Thai place. She loves to eat what we are eating, and that makes me happy. I thought the occassional Gerber meal would be good for lunch if I was super busy, but Kira will have none of it. And who could blame her?

I've seen children who will only eat chicken nuggets and fries at every restaurant.  Sometimes, that's just a phase.  But I have to wonder if sometimes that is caused by a generation of children raised on these Gerber Graduate meals.  They are bland to the point of ridiculousness when few spices cause children any bother.  How many children think that is what food is supposed to be?

I've decided that if I want a quick and easy lunch for Kira, I'll just make extra real ravioli next time we have it and put it in the freezer.  Thawing might not be quite as fast, but it will be so, so much better.  In more ways than one. 


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Me and Dr. Sears

Brace yourselves.  I am about to speak words of blasphemy to many new mothers.  Ready?  Do you have your fingers in the angry-comment position?  Okay.

I do not like Dr. Sears.

There, I said it.  Now, I have nothing against the man personally.  I've never met him or interacted with him in any way, so it would be entirely unfair to dislike him on that level.  What I don't like is the phenomenon that is Dr. Sears.  The figurehead.  The ultimate authority.

Dr. Sears is everywhere.  Open up a magazine on babies and toddlers, and chances are good that you'll find an article written by him.  Baby products proudly announce that they are endorsed by Dr. Sears.  "But he is full of wisdom about babies," you might say.  I'm sure that is true.  I'm sure that his advice has helped plenty of parents. 

That being said, he is not the god of pediatricians.  "Because Dr. Sears said so" should not be the end of any discussion.   I have encountered that attitude entirely too often.  Your method of parenting is not necessarily better just because it is endorsed by Dr. Sears.  There are other pediatricians and baby experts in the world, and I can even have an opinion different from all of them.

Really, I think we rely on "experts" entirely too often for things that are not serious health questions.  Maybe it goes back to that need for validation that I've mentioned before.  We as parents need some way to say "I'm doing a good job because..."  But these experts are not in our homes with our babies.  Their advice can be useful, but it shouldn't be used as an ultimate authority.

It is time to rely more on Dr. Mom and Dr. Dad.

Friday, July 8, 2011

The Difference a Week Makes

It is amazing how quickly babies change.  You hear that statement so many times, but when you are struggling with a transition, it can be hard to believe it.  So goes the sippy cup saga.  Was it just a little over a week ago that she finally started drinking from the sippy?  Yesterday, she took all of her milk from sippy cups without a complaint.  It didn't even mess up her bedtime routine!

I suppose this has me feeling a little philosophical.  How often do we feel like a situation in our lives can never change?  When you are in the middle of said situation, it is difficult to consider that it will ever end.  But you just never know.  I have no idea why Kira went from zero interest in her sippy cups to loving them.  It just happened.  That kind of unexpected, unexplained change can happen in other areas of your life, too.

I've had a lot of trouble with postpartum depression and anxiety, and at times, I feel like I'll never get better.  But hey, I never know what day my hormones might settle down.  I could go back to feeling normal tomorrow.  One thing is for sure, though: as long as I keep feeling like things will stay the same emotionally, then they certainly will.

It is hard to remember to look on the bright side.  You never know when a negative will become a positive.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

First Birthday Madness

Baby's first birthday is coming up in a couple of weeks, and I have to admit it--I've started going just a little crazy about it.  Don't get me wrong.  I'm not going to be featured on TLC's Outrageous Kid Parties.  There won't be a petting zoo, circus, or fair rides.  Heck, there won't even be a clown.  It is more that I have become obsessed with the details.

First, I had to find the right theme.  Kira loves giraffes, so I went to Party City and various craft stores in search of a jungle-themed party set.  For baby's first birthday, they had: Sesame Street, Princess, and Sports themes.  Thankfully, had this set:
 Perfect!  (Why am I so obsessed with this?)

The other big question: What about the cake?  I've been to Kroger, Publix, and Walmart in search of the perfect giraffe cake.  Of course, the cute book full of cakes is focused on licensed themes from every kid's show you can think of with surprisingly few general ideas.  I found one jungle cake at Walmart that would in no way match the above set.

My mom considered making the cake, but I stressed her out too much.  That design is too round, I don't like the colors on that one, etc.  We finally decided I should find a bakery so I wouldn't be mad at a family member if the cake was wrong.  (In case you are wondering, Publix has a giraffe template and can use the colors from the plates and napkins.  Here's hoping it looks good!)

This whole thing is rather odd to me, as I am usually easy-going about these kinds of details.  I hated wedding planning because I just didn't care about most of the small stuff.  Aside from my dress, I think someone else could have picked everything, and I would have shown up happy.  Why am I worried about the dark green jungle cake matching the plate set?  WHY?

I don't know.  But I hope I don't drive my family crazy before the birthday party gets here.  :)