Solid Foods Can Suck It

Baby bubba is about a week shy of 9 months old and has 3 million teeth now. So, why am I riddled with anxiety every single time a chunk of food any denser than liquid slips past his lips?? HE’S NEVER HAD THAT BEFORE, I scream at hubs as he spoons a tiny bite of baked sweet potato into bubs’ little mouth. I watch, sweating, willing the food particles down the right pipe. Bubba grins and laughs, and I smack Husband on the back of the head (in my mind) for being hilarious because BUB COULD CHOKE IF HE’S LAUGHING AND SWALLOWING.

OK, I am exaggerating, but only a little. WHY DOES HE HAVE TO EAT SOLID FOODS?? Whyyy can’t we stick to a nutrient-rich liquid diet until about 7 years old?

I’m sorry for all the yelling. And, I realize I’m being ridiculous. He’s such a big little boy, he’s growing and hitting these milestones, and plus – humans were totally meant to eat food, so obviously I’ve known it’s all just a matter of time, that this food thing would happen, that he’d be chomping down on pears at some point, that bagel bites were in his future. But what I did not know was that I would go crazy as bubs attempted to gum some corn, or peas, or chunks of carrot (cooked, obvs), or bits of avocado, or segments of banana, or pretty much anything else  that’s easily considered a good “starting solid” for babies the world over. I did not realize I’d be terrified at every meal time, running through my baby CPR and choking knowledge in my head, mentally check-listing my emergency plan should it come to that.

I did not know I would feel insane 3 times a day, everyday.

This sucks. And clearly I’m a first time mom. CLEARLY.

But it’s cool, I bought this mesh thing that brilliantly breaks up anything bubs is gnawing on into teeny tiny particles. It makes me feel slightly better and is only a tiny bit disgusting, mess-wise. (Really only slightly better. Sometimes my mind still plays tricks on me as to how big the teeny particles are and I run over and scoop out bubba’s mouth just in case. I really am terrified of him choking. Gah! Stop with the anxiety, brain!)

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It’s so fun to watch this squirmy, adorable little babe grow and develop. He changes so much, seemingly by the day! But this is one developmental milestone I really wish I could pump the brakes on. Sigh.

 

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Work It, Mama: Work From Home Income Sources

I’m a bonafide stay-at-home mom now, enjoying precious time with my little baby bubba every single day and trying not to think about the huge loss of pay I am experiencing by leaving my corporate job. But it’s worth it to me, and I’m a driven woman who just knows this world has some legitimate sources of income available for those who are willing to find ’em!  I’m still looking for more, but for now, here are 5 tried and true ways to earn some income while staying home with your babe.

1. eBay – I recently scoured my home from top to bottom for unused items. Then I took pretty product photos of all of my unwanted junk and SOLD IT ON EBAY. I had an old necklace that I never wore go for over $300! eBay sales are auction-style so if you’ve got some quality stuff lying around the home you may end up with sold solid extra cash. If you really get into it, you can even comb through local garage sales for deals and then re-sale on eBay! This can end up being a great little side hustle. Just open up a shop on eBay (it’s free), and let the bidding begin.

2. Teach English online – Like children? Think you could teach? At pay rates of $14-$22 an hour, this one has the potential to make some good money. If you have a 4-year degree you can apply to teach English one-on-one to children in China ages 4-12. Not even kidding. Go to VIPKid to check it out!

3. Freelance Writing – If you enjoy writing, there are many freelance writer opportunities available. The one I’ve found that I like best is Text Broker.  You sign yourself up, take a little writing test, and receive a rating as a writer, which determines the price range you can earn per article. Then choose an article topic and get to writing! You really can do this in your spare time. It’s a few bucks at a time, but Text Broker rates each article you write, giving you the opportunity to increase you base earning potential by putting out one stellar piece after another. There’s a lot of earning potential here, if you’re dedicated.

4. Dog Walking and Pet Sitting – OK, technically this isn’t from home because you’d be outside, or at someone else’s home. And also, full disclosure: I haven’t tried this myself, but… A friend of mine legitimately opened up a dog walking/pet sitting business less than 6 months ago, and she is now making more money than she ever made working a regular 9-5. Dog owners always need someone to walk their dog on a busy work day or pet sit overnight when out of town. Make yourself a Facebook page and start by marketing your services to your friends!

5. Babysit!! – This is an age-old extra money maker. Every parent out there needs a sitter from time to time. Keep your prices inexpensive ($10/hour for date night, $40 a day for drop-in daycare of 4 hours or more), and network everywhere you go! At the park? Talk to the other moms. Live in a subdivision? Post signs on light poles. Go to PTA meetings, go to soccer games, go to pick up at the local elementary school and give your card to all the moms! Be friendly, be reliable, and be yourself, and you can make some really good extra income.

Ok mamas, I hope this helps. I’ve been “out of work” for about two months now and have brought in about $600 with these resources. Without even trying that hard. Every little bit helps, am I right?? Gotta run, I hear a chubby-cheeked bubba waking up, and mama needs some kisses.

P.S. – If you have any money-making sources for me, I’m all ears. Xo

4th of July

I have a baby now! I have a little family! That means I can begin to pass down fun holiday traditions to my little man, like dressing in ridiculous patterns of red, white, and blue on the Fourth of July!

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But, in the mid morning hours of this year’s Fourth, I began to feel like the rest of the world was on snooze mode or something. I wasn’t positive what was going on, but it felt like no one was as excited about this celebration as I was – not even my sister, who lives close by and typically loves holiday traditions. Maybe it was something I was putting out there, but it seemed like no one really cared that I want to be all fun & holiday-y.

This is an ongoing trend that I’ve noticed since having my baby… My world seems suddenly so much more important, my everyday actions, more impactful – to me. I want experiences to matter, and I want them to matter to other people just as much. But oddly, no one else seems to care.

I was fully prepared for an incredibly fun, joyous, memorable holiday this year! I had the coordinated digs, the accessories, the location. Everything was in place for maximum fun-sposure. But the neighbors we had coordinated with didn’t come outside when planned. Since we’re new to the neighborhood, I felt dumb knocking on doors and sending threatening text messages (in a fun way) telling people to get their butts outside and have fun with me.

My sister didn’t come over when she said she would. Since the neighbors weren’t out yet, and it was about to be bubs’ nap time, I felt dumb calling 8 more times to reprimand sister dearest for being late and to insist that she drop everything she was doing to hightail it over to my place immediately! But I wanted to! Didn’t she know; didn’t they ALL know that this was my baby’s FIRST FOURTH OF JULY!?!?!

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Why did no one care? I cared so much.

That’s when I started to take it personally. I’m not proud but, staring into my little bubs’ eyes, watching him marvel at festive pinwheels whirling in the wind, I realized no one else in the world loved him like his Dada and I did, and that understanding made me really, really sad. I tagged Dad in and excused myself to the bathroom, I sat down to pee, and I straight-up sobbed on the toilet. My shoulders heaved, my chest constricted, my squishy mama tummy shook – I was on the edge of hysterics.

HOW could this be? How could it be that no one I knew cared about me enough to care about my boy in the way he ought to be cared for?

Oh, it was heartbreaking.

Hubs heard me crying. He softly rapped on the bathroom door, and when I emerged with tear-stained cheeks he hugged me warmly. I told him what was wrong, and he looked at me with empathy. Those are hard things to feel on a happy day, he said.

YES. They are. He got it, like he always gets it. Man, that felt good.

Just then my sister and all of her clan burst through the door, full of merriment and Americana and love. I watched as my sister scooped my precious little boy up into her arms, cooing and zerbering and nuzzling him close. His chubby little hands swiped her glasses before she could think twice. I laughed at the joy of it all; I laughed at the love. Because, yes, though she was a little later than expected, the love was certainly there.

We went outside, where the neighbors had begun to set up. We were greeted with smiles and food and drinks. We played volleyball. We picnicked. We laughed a lot. The more we enjoyed ourselves, the more I realized the traumatic emotions from the early part of my day were self-imposed.  And finally, as I sat watching fireworks among friends and loved ones, I realized just how much I had to celebrate.