Wednesday, July 13, 2011

In which I vow never to leave the house again. (but do)

My one goal a day theory has been working out pretty well, I have to say. Yesterday, the goal was to pick up the meals from Healthy Habits and cook one for dinner. I found out about them at a baby expo...basically they make meal packets with prepackaged locally grown and organic food. It's all healthy and nutritionist-approved, and it comes with simple instructions for cooking it in about 10-20 minutes. It costs somewhere around $16 for a  meal that serves two.

There was a post office right near where I was supposed to pick up the meals, so I added a secondary goal/mission of mailing two packages to friends...both were things they left at my apartment and I had been meaning to mail to them for a while but was too overwhelmed. Well, yesterday was the day!

Let me tell you, picking up the meals was significantly harder than preparing one.

First of all, you have to tell them a specific time you're going to pick them up, so they can have them ready.  Which is all well and good if you can predict and manipulate when your baby needs to eat.  Unfortunately, yesterday was not that kind of day.  So trying to get showered, dressed, feed Milo and get him changed and dressed all in a timeline that had us leaving the house at approximately 1:00 took some real effort. But we made it, and I felt pretty good about that, except for the fact that he was screaming his head off when we left. (See previous post about dangers while driving with babies.)

He fell asleep in the car, as he always does, and we made it to the pick up location in about ten minutes. Awesome. I couldn't decide if I should bring the carseat by itself or in the snap and go stroller, since I didn't know if the store was on the first floor of the office building, or if there was an elevator. I can't carry that carseat for very long yet, and I also had the diaper bag and a cooler with ice packs to juggle. I decided to bring the stroller, since I had to park a bit away from the door. So I get him out of the car and into the stroller and I'm pushing it with one hand and carrying the cooler with the other and I get inside and read the directory and am relieved to find it is on the first floor. Awesome. But then I get to the end of the hallway and find a set of stairs leading down.

Helloooo. That means it's on a sub-floor, not the first floor. How is the place that markets themselves to new moms not stroller friendly??  I looked at Milo sleeping in the car seat in the stroller and the door to the store just 20 feet away and the set of stairs in between. Do I take the stroller down the ten or so steps? Take him out? Leave him and the stroller there? sigh. I put the cooler and diaper bag down, take the car seat out, pick up the cooler and diaper bag, and make my way down the short set of stairs. Seriously?

When she asked if I found them okay, I told her I was surprised they weren't more stroller friendly and she said that if I come back, I could just call them and they would bring it out to me. THAT would have been so great to know ahead of time. sheesh. So then the food doesn't all fit in the cooler. So now I have a baby in a carseat, a heavy cooler, a diaper bag, and another bag of food. hahahahahaha.

So I asked for help. (look at me go!) And the nice lady carried the food out to my car for me after all. Well, that was nice.

So then I get him back in the car and am still feeling well enough to try the post office, which is only a few blocks away on the same side of the street. Super easy. I pull into the only parking space in front of the post office (go me for parallel parking the SUV) but find I am parked alongside those newspaper dispenser thingies. Greeaaaaat. I can barely open the back door wide enough to get the car seat out.  I decide to leave the stroller in the car. Actually, I almost decided to leave Milo in the car...would have been so much easier! But generally frowned upon. Sigh. So I get him out, then I get the two boxes out and balance them in one hand, lock the car, swing the diaper bag up, and grab him in the other hand. Which, sadly, left no hands for opening the door to the post office.

How the hell does every other mother in the world manage these simple tasks? Am I really this incompetent?!?

I hadn't taped open the boxes because we hastily packed all of our office supplies when we cleaned out that room to turn it into Milo's nursery and we hadn't unpacked it yet. So I figured I'd just mail the packages priority so they would tape up the boxes for me. Totally worth the extra money. So I get inside and wait in line and Milo starts fussing...he's hungry. agh. Bad timing, baby. I put the carseat on the floor and rock it with my foot. I finally get to the front and ask the lady to tape my boxes and she announces she's going to take the man in line behind me first because I could have taped the boxes myself. Seriously? Does she not see that I'm about to lose my shit (and so is my newborn son!)?  Whatever, so we get the packages out and then I get him back in the car and luckily he falls asleep and I make it back to campus.

I knew my back ordered ergo was supposed to arrive that day so I stopped by the mail room on campus to pick it up. I was super excited for some hands-free baby time.  I pull up right outside the building and look in the rearview mirror at my sleeping baby who is way past his afternoon snack time. Can I possibly leave him in the car? It would take less than a minute to run in and grab my mail. I could leave the car and air conditioning on. But I'm afraid someone will wander by and think I am neglecting poor little Milo so I sigh, turn the car off, and get the car seat out yet again. I go inside and it turns out the package hasn't been brought up from the facilities barn yet. AGH.

The assistant to the head of school helpfully suggests I call facilities and I have to hold back the tears as I explain that I have the car, and the carseat, and I've already taken him out 16 times today, and...AGH.

She offered to watch Milo while I get the packages. I've been to parenting workshops with her and I'm fairly sure she can handle watching my sleeping baby for ten minutes, so I take her up on that offer. (see? i can accept help!)

Finally, I get my ergo, go back and get my baby, get him back in the car, drive two minutes home, and get him out again. I take the stroller out and pile the boxes and cooler and food into the stroller and carry Milo in his car seat and then nearly faceplant as I trip over Michael's boat charging cord. whoa.

It takes three trips to carry everything up the three flights of stairs and I am sweating buckets.

Milo wakes up and realizes he is several shades of starving and starts screaming.

I vow never to leave the house again.

The good news: dinner really did take only about 15 minutes to prepare and it was healthy and surprisingly good. Possibly even worth all the effort to get it. (Though I'm thinking next time I might spring for the $15 delivery fee. Maybe someone else on campus wants some meals and we can split the delivery fee...)

So that was an accomplishment, but I suspect that my planned transformation into a domestic goddess that will have dinner ready when Michael gets home is not going to happen. Oh well.

So today's goal was to make it out of the house (again! so soon? agh.) to a new mom's group I joined. Honestly, if I hadn't paid a bunch of money to join, I probably would have ditched the idea altogether, but I had. I was supposed to be there at 1:30, which once again meant juggling Milo's feeding times and coordinating my shower time with his 20 minute nap, etc etc so that we could get out of the house on time. I'm telling you, I have no idea where the time goes and how it takes approximately three hours to get us both ready to leave the house, but it sure does.

But I made it there with relative ease compared to yesterday. And I was very pleased with the facilitator, who had emailed ahead of time to let us know where to park and what to expect and that we could bring our strollers, etc etc. I like to know what to expect.

I am not a big mingler and I'm not really in the market for new friends, given I don't have the time and energy to talk to the people I already love.  But I've heard it helps with the whole new mom thing, and I can use all the help I can get. So in we went, if a little begrudgingly. Two hours in a small room with 11 strangers and their kids didn't sound like a TON of fun, but...if it would help....

But you know what? It WAS a ton of fun. Well, okay, maybe not fun, exactly. But encouraging and uplifting, for sure.  The facilitator was great and showed us soothing techniques for gas fussiness and a new swaddle and all kinds of babywearing contraptions (including the ergo) and we all went around and talked a bit about our pregnancies and how it's been since, and what's been hard.  And it was really nice. It was nice to hear that other people had the same time warp feeling and frustration about not being able to get anything done or the house clean. And how hard it was when their husbands went back to work. And it was good to get some perspective and realize that everyone was as sleep deprived as I was and actually, we've had it pretty easy with Milo (knock on wood!).

And it was really nice to be in a space where no one cared if babies were crying or if I had to feed Milo in the middle of our conversation (which I did) or if he farted as loudly as an adult (which he did). And there was a changing table right in the room so I didn't have to miss anything or get all my stuff together and carry him someplace else to change him.

And two of the babies have the same birthday as Milo and a few of the moms live pretty close so there's some hope for long term connection. And the facilitator encouraged us to all meet for lunch each week before our group, and recommended baby friendly restaurants nearby, which sounds like fun. (Though I have no idea how I'll get us out of the house two hours earlier!)

Anyway, I thought the two hours would drag but it was over so quickly and I left feeling so much better. SO much better.

And when I came home, I fed Milo and we both took a sweet nap together on the couch until Michael came home. Our neighbors brought home wings from our favorite place and we all hung out talking for four hours or so. They have a two year old and are always very encouraging and supportive as well, so the whole day was really kind of uplifting. Right up until we got back to our place and Milo threw a fit. (see earlier post on swaddling.)

So tomorrow we have a dorm parent BBQ on campus, and my goal for the day is to make cheesecake brownies to bring. Secondary missions might include folding Milo's laundry and cleaning the bathroom, but hey, one step at a time.

Wow...he's gone almost four hours. I could have been sleeping this whole time! Think I'll wake him up to feed him so I can go to sleep...which means I'll get to sleep around 2:15 and Michael will do the 5:15 feeding and hate it because he has to do some work on the computer at 6.

But it's okay...Milo and I had a talk and he's agreed to sleep through the night at 8 weeks, so we only have two more weeks of this... ;)

g'night all.

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