BABR: November Update

First, BABR stands for Biceps and Belly Rolls. Now I don’t have to spell it out again.

Next, wow. It’s been a minute.

Life has a pretty fantastic way of getting in the way, which is why I’ve abandoned boxing, dieting and taking care of myself.

Yay, life.

Life also throws happy days, great opportunities to educate, learn and participate in the community and thankful moments in the way, too.

So, thanks, life.

Let’s focus on the good.

Happy Days

halloween-2018

We dressed the toddler up as a puppy for Halloween.

halloween-2018-1

He was literally a little puppy running around with his puppy lovey. (Thank you to my sister-in-law and her sweet boys for hand-me-downing this ADORABLE costume.)

henry-october-2018_89.jpg

I die.

I realize Halloween happened in October, not November, but this. kid. is. too cute.

Opportunities to Educate…

The Junior League of Wichita Child Advocacy Committee conducted a child abuse information panel with representatives from the Wichita Children’s Home (WCH), the Kansas Department of Children and Families (DCF) and the Exploited and Missing Children’s Unit (EMCU) and two foster parents to discuss the League’s focus area, child abuse prevention and intervention.

The goal was to inform the League about available resources in the community and their needs to assist with child abuse prevention and intervention.

EMCU detectives said the greatest need they see in the community is education. Other panel members agreed. Education not only on how to be a parent — one detective brought up the number of parents who don’t know safe sleep needs for infants — but also education in knowing what support is available to young parents in the Wichita community as well as what programs do for children and families.

Education is an area with which the League is familiar.

The League’s puppet show teaches elementary students about physical and sexual abuse, reaching 23,000 third and fourth graders so far.

In 2013, childabusewichita.org launched as a website designed to be a resource for Wichita to learn more about preventing child abuse and community programs.

In 2014, the League gifted $300,000 to the Child Advocacy Center of Sedgwick County for its education and training wing.

And last year, the League took on a three-year project with the Wichita Children’s Home, granting $150,000 to help build up young mothers and their children through volunteering to mentor, providing necessary care items, such as diapers and formula, and encouraging healthy relationships and secondary education opportunities.

The Two Lives at a Time project is where my heart is, if not where my time is right now.

Top the contributions of the League with the individual contributions of its members, and this group of women shows itself as a force for change within Wichita.

…to Learn…

Junior League of Wichita gets together for a General Membership Meeting (GMM) every (or every other) month for League announcements, project updates and some education of our own.

In November, Kaye Monk-Morgan, assistant vice president for academic affairs at Wichita State University, presented Living Our Values: Respect to the League.

Kaye Monk-Morgan presents to the Junior League of Wichita at the November GMM

I can’t speak for the rows behind me, but from the third row forward, she had women on the edge of their seats. Her insights were heartfelt. Her stories were full of heart — and hilarious.

How do we live our values? When the League comes to serve, Kaye Monk-Morgan charges us to do it with unconditional regard — respect — for ourselves, each other and the people we serve.

At the November meeting, hosted in the Child Advocacy Center’s education and training wing, League members also donated new and gently used professional clothing items to the Two Lives at a Time project with the Wichita Children’s Home for upcoming mock interviews aimed at preparing participating mothers for job and secondary education applications.

Professional attire donations for the Wichita Children's Home Two Live at a Time project with Junior League of Wichita.

Special shoutout to some friends at work who helped grow this donation. Thanks, ladies.

…to Participate

I had a unique opportunity to participate on a panel with KMUW’s Engage ICT’s Democracy On Tap in November, too. The topic was #Activism, or social activism. Thanks to my boss who passed the recommendation to me.

Dr65jlnU8AAIh6o

You can watch the video of our discussion at http://www.kmuw.org/post/democracy-tap-activism. I hope I don’t sound dumb. There’s no way I can verify that I don’t sound dumb because there’s no way I can confidently listen to myself speak during this video…

…without it being awkward for me. I will not be taking one for the team here. My boss did. She said I didn’t sound dumb 🙂

Thankful Moments

November was a busy month for me personally and professionally. A true highlight of my month was spending time with family and friends.

First, a dear friend from high school travelled to Wichita for early Thanksgiving celebrations. It’d been three years since we’d seen each other, and it felt like we’d talked just days before getting together to catch up.

IMG_5902

I failed to take a picture of our high school reunion with two other dear friends Friday night, but it was good to spend time with them and talk about our recent or current rewatchings of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Screen Shot 2018-11-24 at 10.47.18 PM

And he met my toddler AND BECAME BEST FRIENDS IMMEDIATELY. **heart eyes**

IMG_5925

Our formerly yearly Christmas-time get together happened at my mother’s house, where we played six rounds over two nights of cutthroat Pitch. Pitch is a traditional card game of ours. Cutthroat means we didn’t have partners.

He won three rounds. My mother one two rounds. I won only one.

Hey, I was tired.

We played with my great grandmother’s cards, a 50-year-old set I dug out of the junk drawer in my house. They still smell like her house. Smell, I hear, is the strongest trigger for memory.

It’s true.

IMG_5928

My husband and I spent Thanksgiving afternoon enjoying family time and a trip to the park, and then went to bed early for the first time in NIGHTS.

Black Friday had a trip to his parents for an amazing lunch — of which my son ate rolls and cake, if you needed more proof that he is my son.

img_5998.jpg

One of my favorite days of the season, Small Business Saturday, found me running up and down Douglas to work in some Christmas shopping.

I picked up a few books for the nephews at Watermark books.

Watermark Books and Cafe on Small Business Saturday

Stops two and three on my #SBSICT run picked up some fun gifts at The Workroom and gift wrap at Love of Character.

Love of Character and the Workroom on Small Business Saturday

Not to be excluded, I also got a cup of coffee outside The Workroom from Sunflower Expresso. It’s a coffee truck. **additional heart eyes**

I cut my shopping trip in half for lunch with girlfriends…

DszyawhVYAA7ubl

and we talked for like three hours, so I quit shopping and headed home to spend more time with my nugget.

DszjyVqUcAAFMQx

I’m not usually this busy with the real-world. Usually, I’m just busy with toddler world. December isn’t looking any less busy.

Get ready for the next BABR update.

 

A (late) Mother’s Day update

As Father’s Day quickly approaches, I recall I write a blog about mom-ing that I haven’t updated in since Mother’s Day.

And not even Mother’s Day this year.

May 10, technically, yes. I did bring over a throwback post from my old blog about Mother’s Day, but I don’t think that counts.

So here’s an it’s-almost-Father’s-Day update on Mother’s Day.

My husband woke up with the baby, sorry, toddler, so I could sleep in Mother’s Day. Unfortunately, my internal clock wakes me up at 7 a.m. on weekends whether or not I need to wake up at 7 a.m. or could sleep as long as I wanted.

My internal clock wakes me up at 5:20 a.m. weekdays, but that’s another blog post.

I sleepily descended the stairs to the smell of coffee and a squawking baby, sorry, toddler. 

My husband greeted me, asking if I’d like a cup of coffee.

Yes, yes, of course, I would like a cup of coffee. It’s 80 percent of the liquid in my body. Who needs blood? I have caffeine.

He gave me just the best cup of coffee.

perfect mother's day gift

I cackled this made me so happy.

funny angry baby face

Matt sent me this photo in April of our grumpy baby, sorry, toddler not getting his way. This kid makes some pretty good fuss faces.

Of course, we also went to brunch because it was Mother’s Day, and that’s what you do.

mother's day brunch 2018

And then, I got on a plane and flew to Seattle for a work trip, which reaffirmed my belief that I belong in the Pacific Northwest with mountains and ocean and rain and that sunset. (Also, did you know that wing seats are super bumpy because THEY ARE.)

IMG_3609

IMG_3831

IMG_3935

IMG_3909

While mommy worked in Seattle and daddy worked in Wichita, baby, sorry, toddler played with grandma and grandpa.

batman baby playing in the water

toddler mowing the driveway

oh the thinks you can think book

Now that my husband has won Mother’s Day, I obviously have to win Father’s Day. He’s so good at giving presents. I fully expect a coffee cup with a baby picture and witty saying every year for the rest of my life.

My first mother’s day, a throwback

In honor of the upcoming Mother’s Day, let’s look back at my first.

 

Mother’s Day is a fantastic holiday. Flowers, photos, love — all for moms.

I say this without any bias, of course. Being a mom and all.

My first Mother’s Day was pretty fantastic — probably because it was my first Mother’s Day being a mom and all.

We didn’t have any plans. Henry is still eating and sleeping on demand — sleeping, ha — so I tend to stay at home with him, and it was my husband’s weekend at work. So it was just Henry and I at home playing and singing and ordering groceries and squawking and sleeping — sleeping, ha — for most of the weekend. Just us two.

I celebrated Mother’s Day being a mother.

(No joke, I just teared up a little. Blargh. Hormones.)

IMG_20170513_113120_025

IMG_20170513_183418_309

My husband sent flowers — because he’s the best — and we enjoyed those.

mothers day bouquet

mothers day baby

mothers day baby with a flower

We did make it out to my grandparents’ house so they could see him and so I could give my mother and grandmother their Mother’s Day gifts… which I forgot… at my house… so baby brain.

Mother's Day (7)

Mother's Day (13)

Visiting family is super exhausting so we had a bath and snuggled for another good chunk of the day.

baby bath towel

mothers-day-17.jpg

Not the best part — the best part was my nugget — but another great part of my first Mother’s Day was all the happy Mother’s Day wishes I received from my tribe. I am a first-time mother, and it was my first Mother’s day, and these women were some of the most excited humans — especially my sister-in-law — when they found out I was pregnant. Their support and love is unwavering, and I’m so very thankful for that, for them.

I’m going to tie a string around my finger for next year so I can wish all the new moms out there a Happy First Mother’s Day — grow the tribe, you know?

I hope you all had a Happy (First or Fifth or 50th) Mother’s Day, too.

Babies are (still) disgusting: An update

Once, I wrote about how disgusting babies were.

Newborn eye gunk? Ew.

Baby hair? Blegh!

Skin folds? *hork*

The poop? I’d take a breast milk poop over a solid food poop any day.

A year in — guess what?

Babies are still disgusting.

baby eating sweet potato
7 months > Mommy’s messy little rock star.

Just even more so.

I have more than 1,500 pictures of my son being cute — of course the number is bigger since my throwback post. I do not, however, have many pictures of my son being disgusting, which is his natural state.

Still.

Because I’m covered in or trying to contain whatever disgusting thing just happened.

Still.

Here are a few more truly disgusting things about babies that I’ve discovered since becoming a parent:

New and exciting spit up varieties

When my son was a newborn and up to about eight weeks old, he had terrible reflux — not bad enough that he needed medical attention, but just bad enough that it made him a tiny baby barf machine.

And barf he did.

A year later, he rarely spits up. But when he does, he spits up new things. Like peas.

And it’s disgusting.

SO MUCH MORE DROOL 

Drool in quantities fit to fill an Olympic swimming pool. He wasn’t cutting teeth at 3 months old, and he wasn’t cutting teeth at 7 months old, but he drooled enough to show a mouth full of enamel.

A year later, he’s got eight teeth and slobber strings for days.

And it’s disgusting.

Dirty finger nails

If I hand something to my son, he instinctually puts it in his mouth. Obviously, if I’ve given him something, it’s safe to eat.

So he eats it. Or he tries to eat it. Lego Duplos do not a meal make.

Either way, it’s in his mouth. Along with his fingers. And so his fingernails. Drool and dirt combine under those delicate scratchers to create a thick, stinky clog of I don’t want to know what.

AND HE’S MOBILE. Toddling about. So he encounters a lot of dirt.

And it’s disgusting.

Even more toe cheese

My 3-month-old son built up nasty toe cheese from not doing anything or going anywhere.

My 7-month-old son built up nasty toe cheese from doing things and crawling places, mixing it with animal fur he picked up along the way.

A year later, nearly always sock-footed, my son builds up some stinking fuzz wads of nasty in those toes, and I will never understand it.

This does not happen to me.

This does not happen to my husband.

It only happens to the baby.

And it’s disgusting.

“Toe floaties”

Toe cheese scrubbed loose and afloat in the bathtub. Term courtesy of my husband.

Legit adult poop

We encountered a poop or two of epic proportions before my son started solid foods. Some blowouts. Some blowups.

Fairly minor.

Not one of them could have prepared us for the poop that came after his first meal of carrots.

That is a grown-up poop!

People warned me that it would get worse, but no one told me it would be a grown-up poop! That belongs in a toilet, not a diaper.

And it’s disgusting.

Insta_168
9 months > He tried to feed himself.

There is no escape from the nasty that is a baby, a toddler or, I expect, an adolescent. I’m certainly not looking forward to his teenager years.

I shudder at the thought.

Babies are gross, greasy, crusty little dirt monsters — and I don’t see it getting any cleaner in the foreseeable future.

My advice to you should you choose to engage in ensuring the livelihood of one of these dirty little demons: Register for bibs. Lots of bibs. You need them. It’s OK to have 3 million of them.

They won’t all make it.

Babies are disgusting, a throwback

I wrote this blog post for skinnyshae, but I have an update that requires it’s readability, so here’s a throwback.


My husband and I went out to dinner to celebrate his… well, and mine… and our anniversary since it was his birthday, and we missed my birthday due to a screaming newborn, and our anniversary wasn’t a big show because I was so hugely, uncomfortably pregnant.

So we put on our best and went out, but not before cleaning baby barf off of my dress.

baby barf

Babies are disgusting.

I have more than 200 pictures of my son being cute, but I don’t have even one picture of my son being disgusting, which is his natural state.

…usually because I’m covered in or trying to contain whatever gross thing has just happened.

Here are a few of the truly disgusting things I’ve discovered since becoming a parent (and no one warned me) about babies:

Newborn eye gunk

Babies cry. Babies cry a lot. But newborn babies cannot cry tears because their tear ducts aren’t developed fully at birth.

Super useful.

So when a baby cries, instead of tears, the tear ducts get clogged and… gunky. My son’s right eye was so gunky from clogged tear ducts, it needed to be cleaned constantly for like two weeks.

And it was disgusting.

Baby hair

Go ahead. Wash your baby’s hair. I’ll wait.

Are you done? Baby’s hair clean? New diaper, fresh onesie, clean socks?

OK, now, touch your baby’s hair.

It’s disgusting, right?!

Spit up

When my son was first born and up to about eight weeks old, he had terrible reflux. He spit up constantly.

We did everything we could think of to limit the barfing — more burping during feedings, which really just meant more barfing; less movement during and after feedings; sleeping on an incline… We even took him to the doctor to make sure nothing was wrong.

Nope! He’s totally fine — just pro at barfing.

Now, at 3 months old, he spits up less often and usually in less quantity. But, just last week, he barfed so fantastically after his morning meal, I was coated from shoulder to foot!

And it was disgusting.

Drool

Drool is new for my son. He’s not cutting teeth yet so his drool is all-on-his-own saliva production fit to fill a bathtub.

My husband and I have just succumbed to the fact that our shoulders will be forever damp… from spit up or drool.

And it’s disgusting.

Skin folds

Babies have a lot of skin, but they do not have the mass to fill the skin at birth — so they end up with folds.

Lots and lots of folds.

Neck folds, armpit folds, thigh folds… folds, folds, folds.

What happens when babies spit up?

It gets in the folds.

You think you cleaned the folds?

You didn’t clean the folds.

If you fail to wash your baby’s folds thoroughly… like three times a day, at least, yeast will grow in the folds.

Yeast.

In the baby folds.

*hork*

And it’s disgusting.

Toe cheese

It will amaze you that a baby can get so much… gunk… in his toes for never going anywhere barefoot.

Or anywhere, at all.

You know… because babies can’t walk.

No matter! Those precious toes will collect as much gunk as a clogged tear duct whether you keep his feet in socks, shoes or saran wrap. (Do not saran wrap your baby’s feet.)

Toes are not the only victims of cheese. The crevices of your baby’s hands and in between fingers will also fill with whatever gunk he touches. Fingernails, too.

What is he touching?

I have no idea.

Can you stop it?

No.

And it’s disgusting.

Poo-plosion

When you become a parent, you know you have to change poopy diapers.

It’s a given.

Nine times out of 10, the poopy diaper is of normal color, quantity and smell. Yes, you’ll notice different smells (which is also disgusting).

But every so often… there is a diaper that is not… normal.

This diaper is a poo-plosion.

You’ll know it when you see it.

We have lost three adorable baby onesies to poo-plosions.

And every time was disgusting.

Poo-pocalypse

If you’re lucky, you won’t encounter poo-pocalypse…

Wait, who am I kidding? You’re a parent. You better doomsday prep for this one…

It’s going to be disgusting.