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Mommy Mind
Category

  • I Miss Her While She is Sleeping

    I am experiencing a serious paradox. I am with my baby all day, and at times, want to do other things. It is not like I have to entertain her every second, but it is hard to get uninterrupted time to just focus on something. Especially if you are doing anything mental, like reading, writing, or working… having time to get into the zone is pivotal.

    So the times I have to sit and really focus are when she is either sleeping, or someone else is watching her.

    This is the problem. Even though I know I want and need time without her, I miss her. It is hard not to think of her. If anyone is watching her, I am always in the house too. I can still hear everything. Every fuss or whine makes me want to jump of and intervene to make everything okay. And if I hear her being cute, I still want to jump up and watch everything being okay.

    I remember once while hanging out with a friend who had a baby, she mentioned how she missed her little girl. I have to admit I totally rolled my eyes thinking she should appreciate the time to do her own thing. She was with her damn kid all the time, why does she have to think about her now?

    Serves me right for being such a judgmental jerk! What was my problem?

    I guess it was hard for me to understand the intensity of the biological bond that connects a mother with her child. My brain has completely rewired to think about this baby all day and all night. It makes perfect sense, because without this strong bond, how would humans ever survive? It is not like we are like turtles and just lay eggs and take off. “Good luck to you guys… hope you make it to the water before you get eaten or some fuck head human steps on you.”

    So even though I am still trying to give myself an hour or two to write every few days, I am obviously still obsessed with my baby considering I am not only thinking about her, but writing about her too ;o)

    January 21, 2011 • 3rd month, Mommy Mind, Musings • Views: 2804

  • I Wish There Was an On/Off Button For My Brain

    As a new mom, sleep is a huge issue. The advice I keep getting is to “sleep while the baby sleeps.” Okay, that is good advice. But I have never been the best napper, and often want to do things when the baby sleeps. So it is a hard decision for me when I put her down. Do I try to do something, or do I try and sleep?

    This is my issue with the napping. I cannot just fall asleep within minutes like she can. It takes me a while to shut my brain down. Often times I bring the conflict of “should I nap or not” into my napping session, which only makes falling asleep harder.

    The worst thing that happens is that by the time I finally do fall asleep, she wakes up! Then I am all groggy from just waking up, and she is up and ready to go. It is almost worse than not sleeping at all. And then I feel guilty for not having done something else, if I wasn’t going to get a good nap in anyway.

    I wish I had a button I could just press to turn my brain off so I could insta-nap. Or a big giant adult size nipple that would put me asleep like it does her. Then I wouldn’t have to stress out about whether or not I should be napping, and I would get the optimum naptime in.

    I haven’t quite figured out the solution to this problem. Maybe I just have to really commit to my nap. Not feel pressured to do anything else, and just do it. Maybe laying with my eyes closed even though I don’t always fall right asleep is good too in some respects?

    January 21, 2011 • 3rd month, Mommy Mind, Musings, Sleeping • Views: 1040

  • Baby Head

    I used to have shit to say. I used to be the type of person who dominated conversations. I used to have a lot on my mind. I used to feel sharp. I used to have ideas. No longer. I feel like my mind is coated with molasses, and the effort to think about anything beyond my microcosm of a world seems as difficult as climbing Mt. Everest in Birkenstocks.

    Firstly, the only thing I think about is my baby. It is not that I don’t want to think about other things. I just can’t seem to hold on to any other thought long enough for it to formulate into something worth sharing. It is like my brain is playing hide and seek with me, but I am still counting to 100. I try and talk on the phone to people, and unless they want to exclusively hear about how many shits my baby took that day, they are shit out of luck.

    Second, breastfeeding makes me seriously spacey. I guess, when you are breastfeeding, your brains produces a hormone called Prolactin, which is designed to calm both you and the baby down. I have to say, nature was pretty smart when doing this because the baby gets all nice and sleepy, and you (the mommy) enter into a state of zen. It is like biology’s way of slowing you down so you are living life more at the baby’s pace.

    Conceptually I dig this. I do not think I should make my baby exist in my usual state of perpetual and potentially manic chaos. But I feel kind of like I am high all the time. Not high like just smoked a joint high… more that high of after you have been high for a while, ate a salami sandwich, and are looking for a movie to watch type of high

    Lastly, I think the erratic sleeping is also contributing to my brain becoming the consistency of melted ice cream. I have yet to sleep more than 2 hours in a row for months, and I would be lying if I didn’t say that has got to be affecting my mental cognition.

    For instance, this week I have…
    1) Forgot my social security number
    2) Left the house and went to the store with no shoes on
    3) Forgot my phone number
    4) Put my computer in refrigerator
    5) Thought it was a good idea to eat cake for breakfast
    6) Genuinely asked my dog to watch the baby for a minute

    January 21, 2011 • 3rd month, Mommy Mind • Views: 913

  • 1st Trip Without the Baby

    For the __ weeks that my baby has been alive, I have yet to go anywhere without her. Since I am exclusively breastfeeding, and I can’t leave my tits behind, I really can’t go that far anyway… and to be honest, it never really occurred to me.

    Until one day…

    My mom and I were sitting around chit chatting about a dietary cleanse she was about to start.

    “I really want to start my fast today Toni, but I need lemons to make lemon water, and I don’t have any. I really don’t feel like going to the store…”

    I have to admit I was only half listening because I was too busy spacing out staring at my sleeping baby, wondering if I was awake or asleep.

    “Uh huh….”

    “Maybe you want to go to Shaw’s for me? I can watch the baby while you go?” Whoa! Now I am listening… this is a revolutionary idea!

    “Do you think she will be okay?”

    “Don’t be ridiculous Toni! Of course she will be okay! Now bunny off and get me at least a dozen lemons. Make sure they’re organic.”

    I decided not to over think the moment. Adrenaline was pumping through my veins like I had just jumped out of a plane. It was a mix of total fear, and complete excitement. I was going somewhere. By myself! I am going to Shaw’s!!! (Okay… not that adventurous I know…)

    So I jumped in the car, and immediately started speeding. No reason to do that at all. I just did. Then I turned on the radio, and cranked it up so loud it was almost uncomfortable. I felt so strange. Like a shadow of my old self, for behind the veil of my mania I was still wondering what was going on with the baby. I felt the giddiness of freedom, yet there was a background noise like static reminding me of my bundle of responsibility at home.

    I realized, at that moment, with “Teenage Wasteland” penetrating my ears, that I was no longer an individual. I am someone’s mom now. I am a possessive noun.

    When I got to Shaws’s an emptiness started to overtake me as I looked for lemons. I felt misrepresented. Like nobody at Shaw’s knew the real me because they had no idea I was a mom. They just thought I was some chick buying a disturbing amount of citrus.

    As I drove home, I tried to enjoy my time, but then I started to feel that she was hungry. A nagging pull in my gut that would not go away reminding me how there was this baby that needed me to eat. Knowing that, pretty much dampened my ability to enjoy the drive, because I felt in such a hurry to get back to her.

    So the moral of the story is that although I am fully aware that there I am more than just my baby’s mother… I still feel being her mom is the most important thing about me right now.

    January 20, 2011 • 1st time for everything, 2nd Month, Mommy Mind • Views: 872

  • Body After Baby

    Being pregnant and giving birth will definitely expose you to the intensity of what your body can experience and still remain intact. I still cannot believe I neither imploded while being pregnant, or exploded while giving birth. When you think about what your body has gone through it is seriously remarkable.

    Think about it…. You grew a human, inside your body, then that grown human came out of your body, and then you feed it with milk that is produced in your body. I mean that is crazy town! Your body is amazing! Your body is a magician that can make something out of nothing. 9 months there was not this person, and then you made them be!

    Considering how seriously rad that is, it sucks how new mommies start to worry about the extra poundage on their beautiful bodies. There is a pressure that is totally reinforced by the media about the expectation of the female body after birth. Think of all those magazine covers dedicated to how stars “lost their baby weight.” What a bummer to stress about weight, rather than having the time to relish in the glory that you just baked a being in your belly.

    At the same time, I know that feeling like you have gained weight doesn’t always feel good to you.. who lives in your body. You knew your body as one way, and then it is different. And there is no dieting or starving yourself after having a baby, especially if you are breastfeeding. You need all the energy you can to take care of that baby!

    My suggestion of is to take time to appreciate your body and the fact that you had this miraculous experience. Really love yourself for all you have accomplished.

    Then realize that all that you eat directly affects your baby. No longer are you the only person that has to deal with the consequences of your diet choices. If you are breastfeeding everything you eat goes to your baby. I think that really helps to motivate healthy choices. Too much sugar will make it hard for the baby to sleep. Same with caffeine. Too much dairy will give your baby gas… etc… Think about how the best thing for your baby is to eat lots of veggies and grains because that is good for them!

    If you are not breastfeeding, your baby still needs a healthy mom! The better you eat, the more energy you have, the better you will sleep, the more you can be there for you baby.

    So think of your baby as motivation for just being healthy and taking care of yourself. Don’t obsess about calories. Think how the better your diet is, the happier you will be, and the healthier your baby will be.

    January 20, 2011 • 2nd Month, Mommy Body, Mommy Mind • Views: 938

  • Exercize With Baby

    After being pregnant, I think every woman thinks about their body before they got knocked up. It is hard not remember what it was like before… but at the same time, your life has changed so much, and you do not have the freedom you once had to exercize. Now you have someone else’s naps, poos, and eating to prioritize.

    There is also the question of childcare. Who is going to watch the baby while you try to get your work out on? Or motivation? When you are tired as hell, who has the energy?

    My suggestion is to coordinate an exorcize regime that you can do at home with the baby. That way, it is easy for you to tend to the baby’s needs, but you can still move your body around and start to feel like yourself again.

    I had a yoga practice before the baby, so that is what I started to do. Lucky for me, all you need for yoga is room enough for a mat. I lay the baby right next to me on a blanket, and giver her time to kick and punch the air while I get my yoga on. When she gets tired from her kicky-kicky punch time, she actually likes to watch what I am doing.

    Of course, this is not an uninterrupted yoga session for me. I have to be prepared mentally to stop and feed her, change her, give her a cuddle, or swaddle her up to nap her. Sometimes I get to finish what I wanted to do, sometimes I don’t. You just have to be flexible about what you expect to accomplish. I think the main point is just doing something and getting as much done as you can.

    If you feel too tired. No worries. You can just be really gentle on yourself. Or, there is always tomorrow. I think the more relaxed you can be about it, the more you will actually make the effort. I found that by integrating exercizing with my baby, I was able to do something for myself, while still being there for her.

    January 14, 2011 • 2nd Month, Mommy Body, Mommy Mind • Views: 832

  • Thinking Too Much About You, Will Make You Miserable

    Thinking about yourself is the root of all misery. I know this from personal experience. I have spent a lot of time thinking about myself. I would in fact, spend most every moment, of every day, thinking about me. Even if I was thinking about someone else, I was thinking about how they were affecting… me. Me. Me. Me.

    Take a second to think about what you think about. Really try and recall what that voice in your head is actually saying to you. Chances are that it is not that positive… not that productive… and not serving you. I feel like our inner monologues are the cause of much internal suffering with the blah blah blahing that clouds our thoughts. “Am I too fat? Am I good enough? Does he like me? Why doesn’t he like me? What should I wear? Will I look hot in that? Does my boss hate me? I wish I hadn’t eaten that. I like her boots. I would like lame in boots like that. I should work harder. I work too much. Will I ever succeed?” It’s exhausting how our minds torture us.

    In so many ways, I feel like so much of what we do is an attempt to distract ourselves from ourselves. To not be haunted by the you inside of you. Work, exorcize, sex, tv, reading, drinking, drugs… is all an attempt to escape.

    Maybe that is why falling in love can be so intoxicating. For a short period of time, you think about something other than yourself. The thought of that person totally consumes you and it is as if you can’t think of anything other than them. In a way, the impulse to find love, is the same that inspires us to get puppies. Yes… I do believe that is true. Falling in love with a man is totally like getting a puppy. But hopefully, a man won’t shit on your living room rug. At least more than once.

    When we get a puppy (or any animal), we bring home a being that is totally dependent, totally adorable, and utterly loveable. The responsibility of having a pet creates a dynamic that enables you to care for another being other than yourself. It takes you out of the mundane misery of thinking about you all day. You now can think of your sweet little creature and have peace in those moments.

    So in a way, having a baby is like bringing home a puppy and falling in love at the same time! I have been so zenned out since having her because I have had zero time to think about me and all my dumb problems and insecurities! I am fully aware that I if I come to use her as too much of a distraction that will totally backfire in my face… but I am definitely enjoying the beauty of thinking about her all day.

    December 18, 2010 • 1st Month, Mommy Mind, Musings • Views: 4919