Saturday, March 1, 2008

Cara Figlia - Out and About

Cara mia figlia,

You are so good when we go out to eat. Your daddy and I love to go out to breakfast on the weekends, and the past two weekends you have been great. I love that I can just sit you in a highchair, order off the menu for you and watch you eat with the rest of us. You really love to be out and about, looking at everything and everyone. And everyone around you comments on how bright eyed and happy you are.

Now, we are going to take you with us while we run some errands. You seem to be bored at home lately with the same old toys. Goodness knows your daddy and I are tired of trying to keep you out of the trash and cabinets you aren't supposed to get into. I'm sure we will be getting some new toys for your upcoming birthday, so for now, we're just going to go out and do stuff to keep you from being bored. One of our errands is to buy hardware for the cabinets so we can put baby-proof locks on them. While I'm sure they will frustrate you, they will make your daddy's and my lives a bit easier.

Ti amo,
Mama

Friday, February 29, 2008

I'm in the Mood for Love

There has been discussions on the mommyblog-o-sphere lately about how much sex couples are (or are not) having and about wanting to have more sex. Having been through some dry spells myself, I know that it can be hard to get in the mood. I'm happy to say that mostly, Londo and I have had a very active and fantastic sex life. But I really believe it is because we work on it in different ways.

I happen to have given a lot of thought to the matter of getting in the mood in order to increase the amount of sex one has. (And even though Londo rolled his eyes at me when I told him I was going to write this) I'm gonna share some thoughts on this matter with the world at large.

Early Prep Work
I find it can be very hard to go go go all day long (be it with work, keeping up with the house, taking care of kids, whatever it is you are doing), and then feel like you have to flip a switch and be in the mood for sex. I don't think this is easy for most women. It's much easier to go go go and then fall into bed exhausted without once thinking of sex. But sex is a healthy part of a relationship and should not be overlooked. It should be enjoyed regularly. With some early prep work throughout the day or even a bit before you spend time with your partner can really help.

For me, the more I think romantic thoughts throughout the day, the more likely I am to want to be romantic in the evening. These aren't always thoughts about actual sex, but often I think about wonderful things my husband has done recently or in the past. From doing the dishes the previous night to our first date, I let my mind drift while doing dishes or driving in the car. Of course, thinking about how great it was the last time we made love while I'm taking an evening shower after putting the baby to bed is sometimes the perfect transition so I can walk out of the bathroom and get right into bed with hubby. The whole point is not to get caught up in the go go go (apparently I love this phrase) of everyday life and feel like you have to flip that switch once everything is done and you are ready to go to sleep.

Another way to help think romantic thoughts is to read romance novels. Now, you all know I'm a big reader and I love all sorts of books. But I especially love romance novels. They always have a happy ending and the stories are based on people falling in love. Is there anything more feel good than that? I am picky about my romance novels, as I am with all books. It has to have a good story, interesting characters, and be well written. There really are good novels out there that happen to be romance novels. I'm happy to recommend some if anyone is interested. For me, I don't need them to be trashy and full of sex scenes. The whole aspect of falling in love makes me think of when I was first falling in love with my husband and that makes me feel romantic in general. BTW, I read somewhere that women who read romance novels have 52% more sex than women who don't. I don't know how the research was done, but I like to believe it's true. :-)

Besides thinking and reading, I believe another important aspect for women is to be touch in romantic ways. I know a lot of people swear by massages, and those are a great way to work yourself into being touched romantically. Londo and I realized years ago that if he just rubs my arms or kisses my neck a random points throughout the day or evening, with NO EXPECTATIONS of anything, I tend to loosen up more. There are times it leads to something right away, but in general if there is the expectation or even if I think he's trying to "talk me into it," I'm more likely to shrug him off and get frustrated. But if he is just wrapping his arms around me and kissing my neck because he likes to hold me and kiss me, I melt like butter. And the more we touch each other sweetly just for the sake of it, the more likely I am to feel romantic and want to express my romantic feelings.

In my opinion, those are the first steps to getting yourself back in the mood for love. They don't always work right away. It may take days of your partner hugging and kissing you with no expectations for anything more before you start feeling like doing more.

Setting the Stage
Whether or not you've done some early prep work, it may be a good idea to set the stage for being romantic. The most important aspect of this step is to know what works for you. For example, if you are most comfortable in your own bed with a couple candles lit and sexy music playing, then for goodness sake, light the candles and put on the music! If you are an adventurous person, why not sneak into the family room and clear off the sofa or throw a blanket on the floor or get into the the shower. Also, don't be afraid to try things outside of what you normally do to find new things that work for you. But don't just turn off the lights and get into bed and try to suddenly feel romantic. Take the time for you or your parnter to set things up so you both feel more romantic and in the mood.

Just Do It
As someone on Ask Moxie pointed out the other day, sex begets sex. In the parenting world, you often hear that sleep begets sleep for kids. In the same way, once you start having more sex, you will want more sex. It has something to do with the endorphins that are released during sex. If you start having sex more regularly, your body gets used to the endorphines that are released and starts craving more of the endorphines.

So even if you don't feel in the mood, try just going for it anyway. Then do it again within the next couple of days. Pretty soon, you will (hopefully) find yourself really looking forward to the next time!

Enjoy!
Most importantly, enjoy yourself! Be fully present in the moment. Don't start thinking about all the things you still have to do or about how you could be sleep instead. Shake those thoughts and really focus on what you are doing and what you like and what your partner likes.

Be sure to communicate what you like and don't like. I have some friends who just go through the motions or put up with some stuff because they don't want to talk to their partners about sex. IMO, your partners want to do what you like and they want you to enjoy it. And unfortunately, they can't read minds or always read nonverbal cues. So just tell them. I think it's best to start the conversation when you are not in the middle of it. In fact, having a conversation with your partner about how you want to have more sex and here's some things you want to try is a great time to also say what you really like. It can be embarrassing, but I'm sure that your partner will be receptive, especially if it could lead to more sex for them! But on the flip side, listen to what they like and go ahead and do the thing they love but you don't really like. Focus on how much your partner is enjoying what you are doing, because (IMO) it feels good to make your partner happy.

I feel like none of these are ground-breaking ideas, but hopefully my ideas will help some people. I know doing all this thinking about it has been good for me. Maybe I'll put the baby to bed early tonight...

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Photo Meme

I am going to do a post with tips for getting in the mood more, which I had said on another site I'd do today. But I forgot I'd be in training all day today. So instead, I'm posting something I've had in my drafts, but it's finally finished. I'll do the sex post tomorrow so we can all start off our weekends right. ;-)

I saw this meme over at ImposterMom's and then Becoming Mommy's. It's taken me a while to get to finish it, but I've finally found a picture I think is hilarious. What you do is answer the questions using only pictures from search results, and only from the first page of search results.

1. The age you will be on your next birthday.

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2. A place you'd like to visit.
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3. Your favorite place.
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4. Your favorite object.
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5. Your favorite food.
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6. Your favorite animal.
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7. Your favorite color.
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8. The city in which you were born.
Well, just outside the city.
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9. The town in which you live.
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10. The name of your pet.
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and
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11. The first name of your love.
I did his screen name, if that's not obvious.
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12. Your nickname/screen name.
I know the picture is small, but this guy sings a song called Cara Mama Io Sono Malata (I think the translation is: Dear Mom I Feel Very Bad). Here is the link to the video.)
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13. Your middle name.
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14. Your last name.
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15. A bad habit of yours.
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16. Your first job.
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17. Your dream job.
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18. Your current job.
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19. A picture you find hilarious.
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For more "great" pictures of "unnecessary" quoatation marks, check out this blog. There are other pictures I think are even funnier, but this was what came up when I did a search, and thems the rules.

20. A picture that inspires you.
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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Missing Cosleeping and the Challenge Begins

The challenge at Ask Moxie is on! Check it out and join in, if you want! I did.
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It looks like our co-sleeping days are really over, and I'm sad.

For the Pumpkin's first 6 months of life, she slept in our room next to my side of the bed, either in a swing or the Arm's Reach Co-Sleeper, for part of the night, and in bed nursing and cuddling me the rest of the night. At 6 months, during a miserable sleep regression, we moved her into her room and changed our routine a bit. If When she woke up before 2:00, Londo would get her and rock her back to sleep. When she woke after 2:00, I would bring her into the bed the in the nursery with me and nurse her back to sleep. We would co-sleep until she/I was up for the day. This worked pretty well for us.

At times, the cosleeping was frustrating, but usually it was pretty wonderful. I loved being close to her and sleeping with her cuddled to me. I also loved being able to go back to sleep while she nursed and dozed until after 6.

Lately a wonderful thing has happened. The Pumpkin is pretty much sleeping through until morning! She will wake up any time between 5:00 and 7:00. It is great, and Londo and I rejoice!!! But... Even when she gets up at 5, there is no more nursing her back to sleep. No more cosleeping. And I miss it.

Luckily, she will probably go through another horrible sleep regression (I think there is one right before 55 weeks) and will wake throughout the night and we will probably have to figure out how to cosleep again so we can get any sleep. Hurrah!!!
Please note that sarcasm should be heard while reading this last paragraph. Just in case anyone wasn't clear.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Moxie's Challenge

Moxie, of the fantastic Ask Moxie site, has offered up a 60 day challenge to anyone who wants to participate. Starting tomorrow, each person who wants to participate will start doing three things to improve her/his health (whatever that means to the person) for 60 days. Moxie says, "Consistency, not perfection" is what the challenge is about.

I have decided to participate, and here are my three things:
1. Do yoga at least 3 times a week.
2. Cut back on overall high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) intake by reading all labels and avoiding things with HFCS in them.
3. Eating organic foods especially fruits, trying to buy things that are grown on local farms.

I have found that making small changes, starting with small steps, have been a great way to make lasting changes in my life. In fact, I'm going to take a minute and pat myself on the back for the good changes I've made in my life. For example:
-I gave up sodas about 10 years ago, and still drink sodas only on rare occassions.
-I drink lots of water throughout the day.
-I floss every night.
-I take fish oil with omega 3 fatty acids every day.
-We switched to whole grain breads instead of white breads in general.
-I go to bed pretty early most nights.
-I've been writing just about every day thanks to this blog (this is for my creative/mental health).
-I read all the time for my personal pleasure (again mental health).

Hmmm, I had more, but I forget. But isn't that pretty good? Also, I am aiming to do more to maintain a healthier lifestyle, like cook more often and take walks more. Since having a baby, I have really started examining things in my life and asking myself if this is what I want to model for my child(ren). It really gets you thinking.

If anyone else is interested in participating, come up with three things (that link to the post about it has some good ideas in the post and the comments) and check out Ask Moxie tomorrow!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Question of the Week - Guilty TV Pleasure

Well, I hear the writer's strike is over. That means that TV will be back soon! I'm really happy about that, but I have to say that the writer's strike gave me time to catch up on my DVR recordings. I don't have much time to watch a lot of TV lately (I wonder why). When I have any free time, I typically spend it on the computer or reading. But I record a bunch of TV shows, most of which Londo watches with me usually after the Pumpkin goes to bed.

There are some shows I record that he has no interest in whatsoever. There are some shows which I am a bit embarrassed to admit I really enjoy. These are the shows that sit on the DVR for long periods of time, for the rare times when I am free to watch TV but not with Londo. I am slow to catch up on these shows, and some I just have to delete because I run out of room on the DVR.

So, the question of the week is:

What TV show to you like that you are a bit embarrassed to admit you even watch?

I'll tell you mine. It's Kyle XY. That's right, me and the pre-teen girls love the show. Londo has even seen some of them and admits it's a decent show. You know, for an ABC Family type of show. I also love Army Wives on Lifetime, but that's been in hiatus.

Your turn to fess up. What's your guilty TV pleasure?

Speaking of TV, check out the new quote at the bottom of the page. It happens to be one of Londo's (my hubby's) favorite quotes.