Thursday, March 15, 2012

Size doesn't matter

I love my grandma. I really do.

She's 87 years old and has been a huge part of my life. Growing up my sisters and I would spend a good portion of the summer with her in northwest Indiana spending days on end at the beach on the Lake Michigan shore. She would come up with creative art projects for us to do and make magical lunches. It was one the only places where we had a strict schedule, i.e nap time, reading time, beach time, bed time, etc.

She s always been supportive of our pursuits, never said a bad word about anyone, doesn't play into the gossip game (that the rest of my family can).

She currently lives in Florida and we visit her at least once a year. And I talk to her on the phone weekly. And she is thrilled to death to have her first great grandson.

But currently, I cannot talk to her.

Well, on the phone at least. We've done the webcam a few times and that has worked out well because either her husband is also on the cam or Ben starts to fuss and cuts it off short.

What has become so intolerable?

My grandma, who again I adore...has begun discussing very awkward topics and then repeats herself in them. Namely, my "endowment".

Now its no secret that I am "well endowed". Genetics probably on my mothers side. its not something you can easily hide. My grandma asked me once if I was nursing or formula feeding and I stated that I was nursing, and ever since then, its all she can talk about. How "perfectly" I have been created for nursing and how she never could nurse because she was "flat chested". And then goes on and on about it.

Now, if only that had anything to do with it. Which size has nothing to do with nurse-ability

THe first time she brought it up, I just ignored it. The second and third times, it irritated me, but I again just let it go or changed the subject. Somewhere around the 4th or 5th time, I started to react to it and engage, mentioning that actually, size has nothing to do with being able to nurse. The 6th time I started to use examples of others who are small and nurse. The 7th or 8th time I started to discuss the science and how some people give up or just can't do it physically, but size is not the issue. And she argues and insists her point.

And reminding her that we've had this discussion 10 times before only creates an issue of dementia/forgetfulness that makes her feel really bad that I do not want to initiate.

When I see its her calling, I hesitate to answer. Do I really want to discuss my size and nursing with my grandma again!?

Now, I'm not sure what it is that drives me so crazy about this conversation. It is the fact that I am discussing this topic with my grandma? Is it the focus on my "endowment" and i am already insecure about that frustrated me? Is it the repetition? Her insecurity/self-defense? The purely wrong information and I like to be right? I don't know. Maybe a combination of all of the above. But its certainly not a conversation I want to have with  my grandma once, much less 10 times.

Or maybe I just need to suck it up and deal with it because she's my grandma. And sometimes its just what you have to do.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

make believe

To all of you parents out there...I am wondering how you do/handle such mythical creatures as "The Easter Bunny", "Santa Claus" and "The Tooth Fairy"

Here is why I ask.

I preface this by stating that I realize that often times I way overthink things.

Now I was raised being taught that  the giant Easter Bunny came every March/April and took eggs and baskets and hid them around my house for me to find. I was raised that every time I lost a tooth, when I hid it under my pillow, a little magic fairy came in to my room and exchanged my tooth for some cash. I was also raised to believe that a fat man in a red and white suit and his magic elves made all of my Christmas presents in a workshop and few in a sleigh  with flying reindeer around the world in a single night to deliver said presents.

And I think I was no worse for the wear. 

However, psychologically, what does it mean to teach our kids to believe in fake things that we made up, only to tell them or have them find out later that we were completely lying to them? What stories then are they meant to believe? How do they know when I am telling them the truth. The ones about our family, or love or God etc. ? How do they decipher what is real and not? (and not to mention how such kid-friendly stories take away from the meaning of of the holidays)

I don't know, but somehow we do.

Of course as a new parent, i am starting to think about this in a practical sense. Philosophically I have said for a long time that I think I should raise my kid(s) to know the truth about such creatures, but still celebrate them and/or their origins/truths. However when I think about HOW to do that, it seems complicated. How do I teach my child that Santa isn't real (now, but he is based on a real person), while trying to help him respect that other kids do not know that he is real. It seems easier to just go with the norm/what everyone else is doing. But I've never been a "do what everyone is doing" kind of person. But then again, its not about me. its about what is good for Ben.

What is best for him? Does it even matter in something like this? 
Again, am I overthinking all of this?

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Mess of a pantry

So I have a project that I will be attempting.
I don't really have an official plan for it, because I don't usually do plans. I tend to be a "fly by the seat of my pants" persona, which has worked well for me so far. But what is funny is that it is an organizational project. And while I would never call myself "organized", I'm more "differently organized" (I always know where my stuff is even if it doesn't appear that way)

Project? Pantry.

It is a complete disaster and its starting to make me a little crazy each time I look at it. Probably because I am a little weird about my kitchen appearing cluttered and people see my pantry when they come over cause I always leave that door open. If you can't see the mess, I'm ok with it. But once you can see it, I'm not ok with it. Analyze that!!

After seeing a Nate Berkus show last week with someone who had a nice pantry, I was inspired. Now my pantry is small. Can barely be called a pantry, more of a small closet. The plan is to get a bunch of clear jars/containers and baskets and put everything in them. I know, real clear plan, eh. But I have a picture in my head that makes sense. Everything will be labeled with chaulkboard contact paper so whatever is labeled can be relabeled easily when the contents change.

I should take a before and after picture. Its really that bad right now. So I can't wait to see if a. I actually finish the project and b. what it looks like if/when I do.

And I post it here to hold me accountable.


Wednesday, March 7, 2012


So, for anyone who has ever met me, it might not be a surprise when I describe my self as ridiculously stubborn. ( I can see my sisters right now rolling their eyes, and saying in a sarcastic tone "nooo") I do things my way, I don't take kindly to unsolicited advice, am not a fan of authority, hate being told no or can't and I will push through difficulty so hard that it can work to my disadvantage (or advantage). Call it personality (nature) or being the product of a single parent (nurture); it is what it is.

So with that being said, the last month (or more) has been giving me a taste of humble pie. There are so many things that my stubbornness has made me fight or want to defy...and it has just plain outright been wrong.


- Recliner: Bill has been insistent that we get a recliner chair for the living room for months. and those months I have said no we  don't. He argues its "for me/for my good" esp. w/ baby coming...and stubborn Jenna says, only I know what good for me. I don't know where we'd put it and will clutter the living room. Well, as it turns out, I was wrong. Bill got the chair and it actually looks good in the living room and I practically live in the chair with baby.  *gulp*

- Activity level: One question I asked my doctor shortly after giving birth was what activity level I may return to. (I want life to go back to normal-ish and to get moving!) Doc said nothing but walking for 6 weeks. including lifting (which I wasn't to lift more than 20 lbs after month 6 anyway which was hard for me) because my body just went through a major "trauma". And I thought...really? Well, it turns out, even if I wanted to, there is no time to "work out". its feed, diaper, sleep. I'm lucky to get a shower in or a load of laundry, much less 20 minutes on the elliptical. Not to mention the fatigue. We'll see if at 6 weeks I'll be  able to accomplish anything. *swallow*

-Labor: I know I hashed through this before, but I wanted birth to be natural, no pain meds. I was realistic enough to not completely count them out (with my doctors slight nudging to be "open and flexible") And holy crap was he right. I thought I was tough. But I could not have tolerated it for the 7-8 hours of intense contractions that followed the 2-3 I went without (the hours of contractions prior to that were no big deal). My doc did give me a little "i told you so/ I knew you'd need the meds"the next day.  He was right. *swallow*

-Nursing: now here is where my stubbornness has worked to my advantage. Nursing is no walk in the park. it takes diligence, a tolerance for pain and being available all of the time. I can see how it would be easy to give up or just not try at all. But I wanted to. (and I recognize that some people just can't) it is so frustrating at times. But I don't give up. And my son is nursing well now and I have learned to do other things (like check facebook) while nursing. Hopefully I can translate this to sleep schedules and discipline when the time comes.

I wonder how it will work if he gets my stubborn streak?

Saturday, March 3, 2012

I wanna be like mom...or dad

So the last few days of observing Mr. Fantastic (or Ben), I've been taking note of what is Bill, and what is me. They come from both looking at us now, but also our baby pictures. Who will win? I recognize that many of these things may change/evolve, but at almost  3 weeks old here are my observations:

- Eyes: blue like dads (though I've heard they may change)
- Earlobes: attached like dad
- Hair: Ben was born with hair like me
- Nose: looks like Bill's baby photo
- Eyebrows: born with none to speak of here, like dad
- Appetite: ok, we both like to eat, but screams like he's "starving"', like dad
- Metabolism: seems again to be like dad. he eats all the time and hasn't yet made it back to his birth weight
- Facial Expressions: he does this "furrowed eyebrows" thing that is just like me. I think it hilarious.
- Fingers: long like dad's. (Bill could have been a good musician had he tried!)
- Eyelashes: while it may be too early to tell, they seem long like mine
- General Demeanor: serious like dad
- Little chin dimple: I had that in my baby pics

if i were more proactive, I'd scan and upload mine and Bills baby pictures next to Ben's so you can compare for yourself. But I digress.

So far, it seems that dad/Bill is winning. Be it genetics, or just that he's a boy or that he's so young. Dad has the upper hand.Which is completely ok by be.  I chose dad for a reason!