Wednesday

My New Mommy Mantra

I recently posted about my worries and fears of creating a monster brat of a child. The feedback I received was helpful, so I wanted to thank you, readers, for easing my mind

Not to get too sentimental, but I wanted to share my new parenting affirmation today. And just because I found it printed in the front of an elementary school cookbook doesn't make it any less profound, ok? Here is what I currently have stuck on the front of my fridge at home:

"Children Live What the Learn."

By Dorothy Law Nolte

If children live with criticism, they learn to condemn.

If children live with hostility, they learn to fight.

If children live with ridicule, they learn to be shy.

If children live with shame, they learn to feel guilty.

If children live with encouragement, they learn confidence.

If children live with tolerance, they learn to be patient.

If children live with praise, they learn to appreciate.

If children live with acceptance, they learn to love.

If children live with approval, they learn to like themselves.

If children live with honesty, they learn truthfulness.

If children live with security, they learn to have faith in themselves and others.

If children live with friendliness, they learn the world is a nice place in which to live.

Tuesday

My Baby's Closet

Is it healthy that I am completely jealous of my 10-month-old's closet? Because I absolutely am. If I could get away with wearing a hot pink tutu as an adult, I would wear it every single day.

But as overwhelmingly adorable as the attire is, keeping it organized has been overwhelming by itself. Between my shopping habits, two grandmothers, two great-grandmothers and a plethora of aunties who love pink as much as the makers of Pepto-Bismol, CeCe will not be needing to purchase another article of clothing until she begins elementary school.

Like many other Mamas, I have experienced the headache of keeping this overflow in check. Almost a year into this baby fashion show, I have learned a few things:

- Do NOT cut the tags off everything as soon as you get it. When I was 7-months pregnant I decided that I needed to wash every piece of fabric that might possibly touch my baby's skin right away. The result was a ton of wonderfully clean clothes that Ce never even got a chance to wear- and I couldn't return a damn thing. Resist the urge to clip tags and you will have plenty of cash (or store credit) to buy bigger sizes when your baby grows overnight.

- Keep store hangers. If the sales lady tries to take them away from you, object. Loudly. Don't spend money when you don't have to, and the hangers with built-in pants holders are great for keeping coordinated outfits together for when Daddy dresses the baby.

- Storage bins are a blessing. We didn't even bother with a dresser for our daughter. A child-sized dresser is only good for so many years, but large dresser drawers are a cavern for tiny baby clothes. Canvas storage bins turned out to be the perfect size for folded pants and onesies, and they slip onto bookshelves or changing table shelves easily.

- Don't get overexcited with pre-sizing. Not every baby is wearing 6-month clothes when they are actually 6 months old. Some kids will hit a growth spurt and you are stuck with the wrong size for the season. For the first year, buy ahead with caution. I jumped the gun and ended up with a box full of size 2 and 3 summer sandals because CeCe has freakishly small- I mean delicate and dainty- feet.

- Know your return policies. Don't assume that no receipt = doom. Find out what store carries the brands you are hoping to return and give it a shot. You can usually get store credit without a receipt, but even if you can't get the exchange most consignment stores will grab good brands that are clearly new.

Happy closet-cleaning Moms! Also, if anyone knows of a good charity in need of baby clothing, please post here. I take ours to Goodwill but am always interested in other opportunities to share. Thanks :)

Thursday

Whoops.

Sorry to anyone who tried to visit my site today and got a picture of a blonde girl with a backpack next to some links about medical terminology. Apparently my domain registration had an issue that has (hopefully) been resolved.

New post to come soon! Thanks for continuing to read My New Heartbeat!

Tuesday

Baby Snobs

I have the most imperfect little baby on the planet.

Wait- what? That doesn't sound like something a mother should say. But should it be?

I've been struggling lately with how often I say things like, "I have the BEST baby ever." "CeCe is the MOST beautiful girl in the world." "CeCe is the SMARTEST, MOST AWESOMEST, SUPER-BABY EVER."

We can't help ourselves, can we Mamas? But at what age do we need to cool it with the perfect talk?

Matt and I discussed how we don't want Ce to grow up to be a mean girl. I don't want her thinking she is better than everyone else, but I want her to try to be her best. I don't want her strutting around like she is prettier than every supermodel on the planet, but I want her to have self-esteem and be confident. I want her to know she is smart and strive to achieve, but I don't want her looking down on others she deems inferior.

Do we create mean girls or ego-boys with all our "perfect child" talk? Or is there a good age to introduce the concept of "you are special- but so is everyone else"?

If my daughter's first words are "prettiest," "perfect" or "I'm Amazing!" then we have found the time to change our vocabulary. And if she does grow up and starts showing signs of being the slightest bit stuck-up, I will just show her these baby pictures of herself:






























































































You are welcome, baby girl.

Thursday

Home is where the baby is

I'm completely nauseated from the roller coaster ride my emotions took this past weekend. CeCe spent two whole nights in Ashland, while Matt and I stayed behind in Lexington to enjoy some parental solitude.

Making plans for everything we would do was exciting. A dinner date! Staying out late at the bar! Sleep! Sleep! Sleep!

But the excitement would wane and I would be crushed with the thought of not seeing my daughter first thing in the morning.

We met my parents at a gas station halfway between our two cities. The hand-off went fairly well. Unless you count the part where my parents started telling CeCe to say "bye bye Mommy," and I told them through a clenched jaw to STOP IT.

They drove off in my mother's minivan and Matt and I tried our best to not cry in a gas station parking lot. I was unsuccessful.

But the weekend passed quickly. We slept, ate, drank, danced, laid around and just acted like a couple. Yet by Sunday I was ready to have my squealing, rowdy little poop machine back home.

Staycation was a success, but I think I am content having our little family stick together, at least for now. Many years and a few more kids down the road, I will probably be begging for my parents to take the kids for two weeks at a time.