I'm passionate about philosophy, but after having my girls I'm even more passionate about Mommy Matters

Monday, October 21, 2013

Unwinding and Reprioritizing

     Currently I have very little downtime in my life, but I have been trying to prioritize taking time for myself to do things I enjoy. I think it is really important for people to take the time to have fun with friends. We are social creatures after all. About once a month I have been setting aside time to go out for a girl's night with a couple of other friends. My husband takes care of our little girl for the night, and does a very good job without me, while I go out to dinner. We eat out at a place we either haven't tried or we simply don't go to often, then we do some sort of activity or go to one of our houses and watch a movie our husbands are grateful not to watch with us. 
     This last girls night out we went to the restaurant The Red Butte Cafe and Bakery, which served the best french onion soup I have ever had and sold way too many amazing desserts to choose from! We each ended up choosing one and shared them all at my friend's house while watching "13 Going on 30". Before we did that, however, we went to a fun place called Color Me Mine. I hadn't ever been there before, it is a really fun ceramic painting store/studio. The way it works is that you pay a flat studio fee, which gives you access to their paints, paint brushes, any other materials they have, and they fire your finished piece for you. Then you buy a blank ceramic item, they have things that range from cheap Christmas tree ornaments to a $50 piggy bank the size of my daughter. I chose a Halloween ghoul mug and painted it like a zombie. I have been watching and reading The Walking Dead lately, plus zombies are just plain cool. 
     I should also confess that, as silly as it may seem, I love mugs. Every time I'm in a cute store that has mugs, even when they are hidden amongst other merchandise, I will find them and covet them. My husband makes fun of me when we are out shopping, browsing someplace like Anthropologie, and I keep pointing out all of the cute mugs that I like. Despite how much he makes fun of me, he still bought me a cute owl mug last Christmas. He's a good husband.
     Going out with my friends is always a fun experience, and I love trying new things. However, I do always miss my baby and am happy to be home after a few hours. Some people feel guilty, and I did too, about feeling the need to spend some time away from home. I think that everyone feels this way sometimes and everyone needs to change up their schedule, experience new things. It helps us to feel alive and renewed, seeing what the world has to offer. This need, for me anyway, is met easily by just taking the time to enjoy these kinds of outings every once and awhile. Plus, I also love experiencing new things with my family and watching my baby girl figure out the world for herself. Everyday she finds something I consider to be mundane and thinks it is utterly fascinating, it's a new world for her.
     How do you unwind and what activities make you feel well-balanced? 

 Painting my awesome zombie mug at Color Me Mine

My finished zombie mug and the owl mug that my husband gave me last Christmas.


Squeaker discovering her ability to stand up in bed.
Needless to say we lowered it as far as it could go after this incident.  

Saturday, October 19, 2013

The Great Wall of Baby

     As most things concerning motherhood are, I have come upon a bit of a catch-22. A couple of weeks ago my husband and I purchased a baby gate with 8 panels from woot! because it was one of their daily deals. The gate is quite large when using all of the panels and I actually form the gate in a large circle around the entrance to our hallway, which gives my daughter the chance to play in the gate, in the hall and in her bedroom. However, even with all of the space, most of the time she ends up trying to climb the panels (yes, she is already pulling herself up to standing, ah!) and cries until I help her out. 
     It has been good for baby proofing because I already have baby proofed everything within the space where she is free to play and I don't have to worry about what she is getting into. There are sometimes when she is also content to roam around and play by herself, which gives me time to clean or cook or do other things on my own as well. I think it is really important for children to learn how to play on their own and slowly take care of themselves while adventuring alone. I've tried my best to give Squeaker the chance to have time by herself, where I don't interfere and I let her figure things out. This gate has become a good way for me to comfortably facilitate this free learning time because, again, there is a space where I don't think she will hurt herself or get into anything damaging.
     I'm wondering, however, if Squeaker is just in a phase of her life where she wants me to be with her everywhere she goes all of the time or if she will always hate this gate when she realizes that I'm not in it with her. I don't want her to feel abandoned or like I don't want to play with her, because I do and that's not the problem. I have a wicker chair inside of the gate where I will sit and read or do other things, but sometimes she gets upset because I'm not on the floor with her and she wants to literally be touching me all of the time. I'm hoping this gate will be worth it and help Squeaker more than hinder her, but so far I am torn about it. 
     I also have wood flooring in my living room where the gate surrounds the entrance to the hallway, so I have blankets on the floor for her to crawl on. As you can imagine, these quickly bunch up and end up making Squeaker slip. I'm thinking about investing in a rubber play mat as well, do any of you have recommendations for one in particular? 
      On a different note, I bought Squeaker her first Christmas gift! Husband and I went to the Salt Lake City Downtown Farmer's Market  and I ended up buying the cutest rag doll that Squeaker loved! I held it up for her and she immediately smiled, reaching for it and playing with the button on its dress. I only hope that she will be as excited about it Christmas morning. I'm thinking that this doll and the play mat might be the only gifts we get her for Christmas because I know that she will already be spoiled by her grandparents. I would love to hear about your experiences with children at Christmas who are really young. Did you get them much? I'm sure Squeaker will love to pull paper off of the boxes, but I think she is one of those kids who would rather play with the box than the toy, you know? 
     Another update that I'm excited to share, and contributes to the lack of posts recently, is that I have been helping a neighbor with her twins twice a week. She is going back to work part time and wanted to find good childcare for her twin boys, so a friend (who also has a baby girl) and I are helping out for 8 hours on Wednesdays and Thursdays. It is a lot of hard work and I'm so grateful that it's not just me with three babies all day, but it is still crazy with four against two. The twins aren't very mobile yet, but I can see it coming soon and it is going to get even more interesting very quickly! Call me nuts, but it has actually been really fun (although I am grateful that it is only twice a week) and I love being around so many babies. Seeing them learn from each other and play together is truly rewarding. I can't wait to have more kids of my own and see Squeaker become a wonderful big sister!