Saturday, June 8, 2013

Sleep Deprivation

It's 1:30 in the morning.  Carter is having a dance party and I'm invited.  My baby boy is not much of a sleeper.  I've read that the average 6 month old sleeps approximately 14 hours per day.  I'd like to meet these babies.  I listen in disbelief as my friends talk about how their little ones have been sleeping about 8 hours per night since they were just 8 weeks old.  I've stared in amazement as my friends' babies take a nap for several hours while out and about.  This has not been my experience.

It's a funny thing when you tell someone that your baby doesn't sleep.  Trying to be helpful, they offer any number of suggestions.  Have you tried a white noise machine?  How about a swing?  Perhaps a bedtime story?  I haven't gotten a decent night's sleep in 6 long months.  You name it, I've tried it!  Elevating one side of the crib slightly.  Check.  Swaddled, unswaddled, swaddled with arms out.  Check, check, and check. I have tried introducing  a lovey, a pacifier, a bath before bed, cry it out, and my favorite pearl of wisdom: put the baby to bed drowsy, but not asleep so he learns to self soothe.  Does that actually work for anyone?  I'm seriously curious.  Carter just wakes up immediately and is not happy to find himself in his crib.  I have read books, prayed to God, and made a bargain with the devil, all to no avail.

I look like the walking poster child for chronic sleep deprivation: red glassy eyes, lines on my face, delayed response time, and that far off look as my brain slowly fumbles for words.  In the early hours of the morning, as I look down on my wide eyed son who is squirming violently in my arms, I realize that someday I'm going to miss this. When he's all grown up, I'm going to wish for just one more sleepless night of snuggling with my baby.  I'm exhausted.  I'm in love.  I'm a mom.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Always Be Prepared

"Always be prepared" may be the official motto of the Boy Scouts of America, but I have a theory that it was coined by a den mom.  Need proof?  Let's take a look into the average diaper bag.  The diaper bag is something of a cross between Batman's utlilty belt and Mary Poppin's bottomless carpet bag.  It defies the laws of physics, gives moms the tools to handle any weather or sticky situation, and it's heavy enough to double as a weapon.  Inside you will find:

                        Sun glasses for mom and baby
                        Blanket and/or nursing cover
                        Portable changing pad
                        At least one change of clothes for baby
                        Sweater for mom
                        Burp cloths
                        Bleach pen/stain stick
                        Plastic bags for that dreaded poop explosion on the go
                        Antibacterial hand sanitizer
                        Enough diapers to last a week
                        The oh so versatile wet wipes
                        Sippy cup
                        An emergency flask for mom when she's having a particularly rough week.

Ok, probably not that last one, but it wouldn't be a bad idea... Alright, veteran moms, am I missing any necessities from my list?  Help a rookie mom out here!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Story of my life

I believe that everyday we write our own story.  The narrative often looks unclear in the monotony of day to day life.  It's easy to lose sight of the bigger picture, but decisions add up and the plot takes shape over time.  The decisions we make are balanced by the twists and turns of chance.  The way we respond to these challenges says more about us than the plans that we've laid for ourselves.  It's funny how some of the people that you thought would always be there slowly fade into the background, or how a minor character introduced in the early chapters can resurface as a major player a decade later.  Just when I thought I'd figured out my path, a plot twist changed everything.  I call him Carter and I am thankful for him everyday.  He has brought me to a wonderful new home and we have been blessed to meet incredible people along the way.  He has created a tender place in my heart and refreshed my spirit.  He has brought new joy to my marriage as I watch my wonderful husband take on the role of Daddy.  My life is nothing like I had envisioned; it is immeasurably more beautiful.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Kind of Mother I Want to Be

The first few months of motherhood have been the busiest, most hectic time in my life.  I run errands, go to doctor's appointments, feed the baby, change diapers, do laundry, make dinner, clean the house, go to play group, try to sleep, etc.  However, I have a lot of time for reflection in those quiet hours spent nursing Carter in the middle of the night.  The question I often revisit is:  What kind of mother do I want to be?

I want to be the kind of mother who . . . 

        keeps a clean house, while remembering that childhood is tragically fleeting and those dishes and laundry will wait.

        makes holidays feel magical, celebrating with contagious enthusiasm.

        sings, dances, and laughs a lot.

        insists on manners:  please, thank you, ma'am, sir, and the art of the thank you note.

        always has time to listen to everything that her children want to tell her and makes them feel understood.

        makes her kids feel special, but teaches them to share and consider the feelings of others.

        lives in the moment and isn't constantly checking her phone/internet/facebook.

        cooks healthful meals for her family but doesn't sweat the occasional ice cream cone for dinner.  It happens.

        takes care of herself.  Whether that means yoga, a run, a haircut, or taking 5 minutes to throw on some make up, it's important.

        acts as an example of compassion and tolerance.
        encourages imaginative thinking and coloring outside the lines.

        reads lot of books to her little ones.

        teaches her children the value of a dollar and the importance of hard work.

        builds confidence and a strong sense of self.

        fosters a sense of thankfulness in little hearts.

What are some other important qualities in a mother?

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Off the Mat: Inner Peace

Many people don't understand that yoga is so much more than just a form of exercise; it is a way of life.  The practice of yoga is more about the art of meditation than the physical flow of postures.  Despite the often muscle quivering challenge of the poses, the yogi focuses not on the pain, but on the steady rhythm of breath flowing in and out of the body.  Practicing yoga off the mat is not about shutting oneself into a quiet room, but about standing in the midst of the noise and clutter of the world and being able to tap into the calm that comes from within.  

When I first began practicing yoga, I found that the changes in my heart were so much greater than the changes in my body.  At the time, I was working in the physically demanding, stressful, and fast paced environment of the restaurant industry.  Yoga taught me to take things as they come and accept that many factors are out of my control.  These were difficult, but necessary lessons for my stubborn type A personality.  The peace in my heart made the pace of activity at the restaurant seem to slow down.  I was suddenly able to process things more effectively and react more quickly.  

The practice of yoga in my everyday life has never been more useful to me than it is now.  The physical and emotional demands of being a new mother would have been so much more difficult without my yoga background.  From managing the pain of labor, to sleep deprivation, to the frustration of an inconsolable baby, to the many challenges of breast feeding, yoga has given me the inner strength to face the challenges of motherhood.  Just when I feel like I have reached my limit, I take a few slow deep breaths and I find that I have more to give.  

Thursday, April 11, 2013


It seems as though you can't turn on the news anymore without being met with some new tragedy or threat:  a madman with a gun, power-hungry dictator, debilitating disease, kidnapping, sickos preying on children, etc.  It pains me that the world into which I have brought my sweet innocent little boy is so dangerous and broken.  I wish I could put him in a bubble and protect him from it all.  I have a new appreciation for the worry from my own mother (I have a new appreciation for many things about her, but that's a subject for another time).  She insisted that I call her every morning when I drove to school to be sure that I had arrived safely.  "I trust you," she would tell me,"it's other people I don't trust."  At the time, I thought she was so overprotective and paranoid.  I get it now, Mom, I understand.

The timing of Carter's birth brought the ugliness of the world into the forefront of my mind.  My water broke on the day of the Sandy Hook shooting.  I watched with horror from my bed in the labor and delivery room as the details of the tragedy unfolded.  My heart broke for those families.  I thought about the presents that would sit unopened beneath the tree.  I thought of the parents who were forced to turn from the joy and excitement of planning the Christmas holiday to the heart-wrenching task of planning the funeral of their children.  I thought of the tiny coffins.  I thought of the experiences that those kids were robbed of:  prom, graduation, marriage, children of their own, etc.  The shooting put my fears of labor, the NICU, and jaundice into perspective.  I was grateful to have my son safe and relatively healthy.  Part of me felt out of place celebrating Carter's birth while the country grieved.  I still get a tightness in the back of my throat when I think about the innocent lives cut much too short.

I hope that good will come out of this ugliness.  I hope it reminds people to live in the moment, enjoying everyday that we have with our loved ones.  Time spent worrying about the future is time stolen from the joys of the present.  I am thankful that I can stay at home with Carter these first few years, that I don't have to trust the care of my young son to a nanny or preschool.  I don't have to wonder if he is being cared for properly.  I won't always have this luxury.  There will come a time that I will have to let him go out into the world on his own.  It won't be easy, and I know that I will worry about him.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Meet the Mohmmy

Hi, my name is Katie.  Welcome to my blog.
I am a stay at home mom to a sweet almost 4 month old baby boy named Carter.  I have the best job in the world!

I met my wonderful husband, Michael, at the University of Florida (Go Gators!) and we've been married for nearly 5 years.  

We recently moved from San Diego to a small town just outside of Charlotte, NC.  We have two crazy pups named Taxi and Otto.  

In my life before baby, I went to culinary school and worked as a line cook at a fancy restaurant in La Jolla.  I love to cook almost as much as I love to eat.  My favorite food is eggs benedict; my philosophy is: you can't go wrong with hollandaise.  

I love nutella, college football, yoga, and long naps.

I promise to share the good, the bad, the epic poop explosions.  I hope you'll join me on my exciting journey as a new mother.