My Giggly Wiggly Girl

My little angel baby who is no longer sleeping through the night and who now naps at a much more inconvenient time for me is doing well otherwise. She’s teething up a storm and just starting to get the sniffles again, but this Winter hasn’t been too bad in terms of sickness around here. So, I’m grateful.

I weaned 1 year old by the first week of December. Partially because I didn’t want to wait too long and find myself with a super attached baby. She was still quite easy going at 13 and a half months old. If I took something away from her, she might have whined or cried a bit, but didn’t usually throw a fit and demand it back. I decided I should start the process before she took on a new personality (which she now has!)! As our little ones grow and learn over time, they become increasingly more aware of their surroundings; of their capabilities and their desires. I wasn’t sure when the time would come that she would decide she was very much in love with nursing and was not about to stop. The other reason was that I felt the need to “prove my midwife wrong”. I seem to have a little bit of a competitive, prideful side to me… She asked me when I weaned Big Brother and I said 14 months, but that I planned to wean Little Sister around 12. She followed with a smile, “You will probably end up weaning her at 16 months, because on average women end up weaning their consecutive children later.” Of course she didn’t MEAN to insult me at all or to challenge my resolve as a mother, but my new-found need to defend and prove myself which began when I became a mother reared its flustered head. And so, there you have it! I took the bull by the horns and patiently, gradually weaned my little cutie. She’s on to regular milk now (all varieties: mostly almond and cow’s but occasionally also rice, cashew, or soy. I like the idea of a nice balance.)

I hope that this doesn’t come off as judgmental of women who breastfeed past the first year. Whatever works for you and your baby, mama! I am in full support of breastfeeding well into the 2nd or 3rd year if that’s what makes you both happy! For my daughter and I, 12 months old felt right and went rather painlessly. And added bonus: I’m happily back to a normal wardrobe, instead of being limited to the clothes that have the proper snaps and clips and ties and layers. I can wear dresses that don’t require special functions of pulling up or pulling down! #breastfeedingproblems

My little Squishy is growing up! She’s already less squishy than she used to be… Her character is changing as she gets older and discovers more about herself and the world. But she’s as adored and treasured as ever. I love that she truly wears her heart on her sleeve. You can read on her face exactly how she feels. It’s clear as day. This girl loves to eat, and as she whimpers up at you and points to something yummy on the counter, her face is slightly contorted and desperate. As soon as you hand her said item, she transforms into a glowing, giddy ball of smiles and giggles in half a second flat.

Side note: As I write this, Little Darling is literally playing with matches… *familiar exasperated sigh of a mother* Off to save lives yet again! 🙂

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That Tingly Feeling

You may or may not have heard of the sensation that has been named ASMR or autonomous sensory meridian response (not a scientific term) by Jennifer Allen. As far as I know, it’s only recently coming into the limelight and being talked about. There are still no official studies done or scientific definition of what is happening to the brain and body during an ASMR. While some may brush it off as “junk science”, I’m here (as your highly intelligent, 100% reliable, internet blogger friend) to tell you that it’s a real thing.

Like many “ASMRers” (another unofficial term), I’ve been experiencing ASMR since childhood. My earliest memory of ASMR was during my piano lessons at the age of 8 or so. My piano teacher had a subtle Chinese accent and a soothing, gentle voice with a particular aspect I couldn’t explain that would trigger a particular sensation I couldn’t explain. I still can’t quite explain it. It’s definitely pleasurable, definitely calming, and definitely not sexual. When I experience ASMR, I feel intense tingles/vibrations all throughout my scalp that feel like they’re coming from deep within. Some say their tingles extend to other parts of their body, but mine just stick to my cranium. ASMR causes me to go into a deeply relaxed, meditative state. Some compare the feeling to the high you get from a mild drug. I’ve never tried drugs, so I can’t say, but it sounds feasible.

My personal triggers are voices. Certain voices that have a particularly soothing, melodic sound to them. 9 times out of 10, it’s female voices. I have talked on the phone to total strangers and gone into a trance just listening to the sound of their voice, almost forgetting to comprehend what they are saying. One time, a woman from the wedding hall where I got married left a voicemail on my phone. I saved that message for six months! All of the people who have brought on ASMR remain distinctly implanted in my memory. It almost sounds creepy (I hope none of these people ever happen upon my blog and realize I’m talking about them!), but again, I assure you, this has nothing to do with physical attraction. Apparently, a common voice trigger for many is Bob Ross, the painter featured on “The Joy of Painting” on PBS, though he doesn’t do it for me. Or maybe I haven’t given him enough of a shot. (Note: His videos were not made with the intention of triggering ASMR as far as I know.)

I don’t have ASMR every time, even with the same recording. I suppose it has something to do with my state of mind. I have to be relatively alert (i.e. not half asleep, which is pretty hard to come by nowadays!), yet relaxed. My most recent ASMR occurred while I was feverishly trying to figure out the new healthcare system and which of the ridiculously expensive health insurance plans we should shackle ourselves to. A lovely woman named Mayra Alvarez had me way too happy to be listening to what qualifies as a “Life Event”. If you’re interested, you can watch the video here.

I never actively went looking for these experiences over the years. I was just pleasantly surprised when they occurred. I have a feeling that if I do decide to “go looking” for them (thousands of Youtube videos await!), the whole thing might lose its sort of mysterious sparkle.

Beyond voices, people have reported triggers such as the sound of nails tapping against a surface, the sound of hair brushing, and seemingly very popular is whispering. As you can see, a common trend is that of sound, though some people’s triggers extend to touch and overall experience (there are lots of “role playing” videos popping up).

All very interesting stuff! …Or, is it? Well, to me, it is because I have experienced ASMR, though undoubtedly, there are many who haven’t. So, have you or haven’t you? If you haven’t, are you intrigued? Would you like to try it out? You can easily spend days on end watching video after video after video on Youtube. If it works, great (Some rave it cured their insomnia!)! Mission accomplished! If not…you will be left wondering which would be worse: continuing to watch yet another second of this mind-meltingly mundane nonsense or eating nothing but cat food for the rest of your life. I’ll leave you to it!

I’mma Be Real for a Sec

Hey guys.

Tbh (that’s “to be honest,” for those who are not quite up to date on the hip lingo), this blogging thing is getting hard! I’ve promised myself I’m going to aim for an update once a week cause I want to have a certain amount of consistency both for me and for my (hundreds and thousands of!) readers. So far, I’ve generally been updating on Thursdays or Fridays. So, here we are on Friday night, down to the wire. And once again, I’m going through my handful of drafts on incomplete thoughts and commentaries on life. I can’t seem to get enough juice out of any of the topics. I guess this is what they call Writer’s Block! (Yes, I only blog, and yes, I consider myself a writer now, thankyouverymuch ;)) I’m a bit of a perfectionist, so I really dislike hitting “Publish” when I don’t feel so proud of the words I’ve put together. Reminds me of how I felt as I scrambled to finish five page papers in Philosophy (yes, it always seemed to be Philosophy or Theology…) the night before they were due. Little to no research, just some long, drawn out mumbo jumbo I tried to make sound “profound.” Hopefully, profound enough that the professor would say to himself, “Good heavens, this girl has gone so far into the realms of spirituality and philosophy, I’m not even sure I understand what she’s talking about! Best give her an A.” No such luck. Moral of the story, kids: Do not put off until tomorrow what you can do today. Betcha never heard that one!

And so I shall continue to ramble on aimlessly seeing as how none of my other topics are working out right now… I’m being taken back to my college days, now that I’ve talked about writing papers, so I suppose I’ll expand more on those days.

I went to St. John’s University in Queens, NY. Graduated with a Bachelors in Elementary Education. I definitely enjoyed those 4 years, but they don’t particularly stand out. I suppose it has a lot to do with the fact that I didn’t get involved with extracurriculars aside from a few clubs here and there, and the fact that I didn’t live on campus. I would assume living on campus would contribute to a sense of belonging and pride and “school spirit” if you will. Those of you who lived on campus, what do you think?

St. John’s has a beautiful, green campus and, from my experience, highly dedicated staff and great facilities. They have a state-of-the-art fitness center (I admit I generally just used the treadmill the whole time, but I witnessed a bunch of other people really getting their workout on!), spacious dining halls, and the D’Angelo Center (my favorite) always has something fun going on. Granted it has been…almost 5 years, so things have undoubtedly changed, but hopefully for the even better! For those of you who were scouring the internet trying to decide if St. John’s would be a good choice for your soon-to-be college student, You’re Welcome! And for the rest of you reading (that means you, Gram and Gramps!), please bear with me until I get my head back on straight and have a system down which can produce some decent reading material on a consistent basis. I can and I will figure this out! Promise!

*Knots in stomach* *Hands shaking* Publish!

No More Naps for Mama

So remember when I said I liked to use the time T was at daycare to take naps? Welp! Those days are over! My daughter (you may recall, my little “angel baby”) has decided it’s time for her to nap later in the day (only one nap a day now). Our new routine is that I get her down around 12:30/45 just in time for me to go pick up her brother. I’m a little bit disappointed that I no longer have “nap” as one of my available options during the first half of the day… She’s also been waking up at night again! Three times last night… YAYYYYYY. I suppose this is the one they call the “14 Month Sleep Regression” (you know, the one right after the 13 Month Sleep Regression and before the 15 Month Sleep Regression? Ok, I’m exaggerating. But sometimes it feels like it never ends!) I will confess that when I refer to a baby being a “good” baby or an “angel” baby, I basically just mean they sleep easily and soundly! My daughter is still relatively easy to get down, but she seems to be awoken more easily now. There was one time she just lay herself right down mid-playtime and nestled in for a nap right in the middle of the living room among the firetrucks and Transformers (poor girl has to make due with her brother’s hand-me-downs). I look forward to the day this miracle might occur again with stars in my eyes!

Sooooo, I’m back to being tired ALL THE FREAKING TIME. Thank God T isn’t waking up at night anymore (He was sick a few weeks ago). I would be FINISHED.

On a less depressing note, last week, I went out with a couple of girlfriends to watch Sisters in theaters. For my Jersey folks, if you haven’t been to the Starplex Cinemas in Ridgefield Park and experienced their luxury reclining armchairs, go check it out! Totally upgrades the experience. I don’t know how long they’ve been there, but I have been missing OUT! Since having kids, going to see movies has dropped on my priority list from somewhere in the top 10 to about….349. I think the last movie I saw in theaters before this one was Gravity (Sandra Bullock and George Clooney) with the Mister.

Sisters was just ok for me. Tina Fey (let me just mention real quick that she is one HOT mama! She and Amy Poehler both have two kids). It was a fun enough way to pass the time, but it didn’t stand out in any way. Most of the movie takes place at a party the middle aged sisters throw as a way of reliving their youth and proving to themselves and their friends that they’ve “still got it”. Both women are hilarious and have great chemistry (made me wish I had a sister!), but I wouldn’t plan on rewatching the movie anytime soon. I DO, however, plan to have another girlfriends outing ASAP! If I can’t get a decent nap during the day, the least I can do is squeeze in a little decent adult conversation now and then 🙂