Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Simple Things

At this time last year I was three months pregnant and dreading the winter weather.  I feared the dark, dreary days of December, January, and February, when I would have to trudge through snow and sleet all the while worrying that I would slip on an ice patch and go into preterm labor.  I wished I didn't have to spend another six to seven months watching my navel transform into a creepy mess and hoped that I would be able to wear a bathing suit again.  One of the few things that made me feel better was a long, hot bubble bath followed by a few thick layers of anti-stretch mark cream (it works!), followed by an obscene amount of chocolate chip cookies.

Hey, at least it was winter and I had no need to show any skin. 
As the cold months progressed my cravings turned away from cookies and I found myself devouring loads of ice cream while sitting on the couch watching hockey with Doug.  
Looking back it was actually pretty great.
But then spring came and I was forced to go out and buy more maternity clothes.  This time I couldn't escape the fact that my feet were swollen beyond belief, I had a serious cankle problem, and I couldn't see my toes. 
Still, it was the little things that got me through the day... 
An occasional sip of Doug's beer... 
A two-hour pedicure... 
The Sunday crossword puzzle... 
Oh, yes, and those ultrasound pictures on the fridge! 

Now that a year has passed and my daughter is six months old and finally feeling more like a new family member rather than a total stranger who's crashed our party (yes, that sounds mean but you know it's the truth), I've once again found comfort in life's simple pleasures.  While I have no desire to sit in a scalding-hot bath that's overflowing with lavender suds and I've cut myself off from the bakery department at the grocery store, I've found that it doesn't take much to make me happy these days (contrary to what my husband may tell you). 

Here's what I'm loving as of Mackenzie's "half birthday"...

* Healthy snacks: Oh, how I miss the fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies! But being able to see my toes and fitting into my normal pants without excessive muffin top is definitely worth tossing the crap food in the trash and eating for ONE again.  Plus, I really don't miss the nights I stayed up popping Tums trying to get rid of that horrible acid reflux and blaming the late night gas attacks on Doug... Thanks, pregnancy, you really did a number on my stomach!

* Afternoon tea: I don't know what it is about this simple tradition but put me on a couch in a coffeehouse with Mackenzie on my lap, a Chai Tea Latte in my hand, and a good group of girls and I'm like a whole new woman. 
Thanks, Caroline! 

* Breakfast in bed: that would be breakfast for Mackenzie, not Doug and I... but still... it's pretty awesome.  I know that once our daughter is old enough to run into the room, rip the covers off the bed, and beg us to take her downstairs to watch cartoons we are DOOMED! So for now I'll relish in the fact that Mackenzie can be swept up out of her crib, whisked across the hall and into our bedroom, and fed for a good 20 minutes while Doug and I close our eyes for a little longer.  That is, until Mackenzie burps like a truck driver who's downed a chili cheese dog and a plate of onion rings.   This morning we actually did Rock, Paper, Scissors to determine who would change the ripe diaper Mackenzie was sitting in.  (I won.  That's only fair.)

* Old friends: Doug and I went to the White House Christmas party Friday night and I got to spend time with some old work buddies I hadn't seen in awhile.  It was great to catch up and hear about everything going on in the office and be baby free for a night.  And while much of the conversation revolved around Mackenzie and her latest achievements (I'm pretty sure Alan Greenspan overheard me talking about my daughter's poop) it was good to talk about something other than sleep schedules and strollers.

* Sleep schedule and stroller talk: After all, it IS essential to know these things as a new mom.  And who's better to share war stories with than another new mom? 
When you're all alone during the day with an infant it can get pretty overwhelming.  And with all the crap they put you through you often think you're either a bad mother for thinking it would be easier if you hadn't had a kid or a bad mother for having a kid and not knowing what the hell you're doing. So... 
spending time with other new moms (or seasoned moms, for that matter) is a lifesaver... for you, for your husband, and for your child.  Other moms will assure you that you're not crazy, that your kid is not a psycho, that you can have another glass of wine, that those jeans don't make you look fat (it's just water weight, you'll shed it by morning). 

* The Sunday crossword: After six months, I've finally gotten around to doing the puzzle again.  And while some things never change (I'm still stubborn beyond belief and use a PEN!), I can honestly say that doing this one little thing for myself made me feel normal again.
Now, if only I could figure out 93 across... 

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