Tuesday, August 31, 2010

And so it begins...

Today was the long awaited day. My husband started classes yesterday, and today was our first full day without him. We said goodnight and goodbye to him Monday and we'll see him for a few hours Wednesday. 36 long hours without the man of the house.

In an effort to start the day off on a positive note, we took a walk.

Somewhere along the way, we stopped to see this:

I was so excited to show it to the baby, because the last page of one of her favorite books (The Very Hungry Caterpillar) is, of course, "And he was a beautiful butterfly!" So seeing such a beautiful specimen up close and personal felt very special.

We continued walking, and while looking in a shop window, I realized something...

No socks! She had them on when we left the house.

And so the GREAT SOCK HUNT of 2010 began.

We began to retrace our steps. We asked a kind woman with a dog if she had seen any baby socks, (Thinking of course that a good bloodhound would not let something as smell-er-ific as baby socks pass him by.) and she said "No." So I said, "Oh, we are hunting for them." She gave me an odd look and said "Sounds fun, good luck." (Apparently, the dog was not a bloodhound, but some kind of beagle.)

We had a few false starts, leaves that looked like socks from far away...

Other baby paraphernalia that clearly did not belong to us.

It was a long walk back the way we came, but we continued on, and a few blocks up, we had our first break in the case:

We walked and walked and walked. Scanning the sidewalks, the grass on either side, trying to remember the exact walkways we used.

We were losing steam and losing hope. What does one do when there is only one of a pair? A question of great magnitude on a day such as this.

Finally, just two doors down from home, we happened upon this little guy:

Don't smirk like that at me, young man, do you know what you put us through?

The great sock hunt was finally over, we were home, completely outfitted again.

But the whole thing was clearly exhausting for poor baby.

I understand, it takes a lot of energy when you are missing things.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

To sleep, perchance to dream...

I woke up from a nightmare around 4:30 this morning.

That's right... I was dreaming.

The average body needs between 70 and 90 minutes to hit REM sleep and begin dreaming. If your baby wakes up every two hours, takes 15 - 20 minutes to put back down, then even if you have the fortune of falling asleep again immediately, you still don't have enough time to start dreaming before the little darling wakes up again.

Ah, but by some voodoo magic, my sweet girl slept through the night last night. 9pm to 5am. I slept from 9:30 to 4:30... count them... that's seven beautiful, uninterrupted hours of sleep.

Thank you baby, I needed that.

Now, what do you think I dreamt about? Babies? Sleeping? Not working?

No, I was embroiled in a thriller, where a group of tourists were being held captive by a psychotic sex fiend, and I was the only one that could save them. Apparently, I used to date him, so I had insider information~!

Oh subconscious, you really want my life to be much more interesting, don't you?

Now, when you are used to nursing every two hours and then you go seven, it is not so comfortable when you wake up. The baby might have slept longer if I wasn't pacing back and forth in front of her crib watching and waiting for her to help me out.

Stop reading now if you you are considering hiring me for a job, used to work with me, would like to someday work with me, like to think of me in a very professional way, or just don't want too much information about nursing.

But for those of you that are wondering, "What does it feel like when you are used to nursing every two hours and then you go seven?" Well, it's not unlike someone that might choose to have two bags of marbles permanently attached to their chest. Perhaps that look will become a new trend in plastic surgery?

There you go. TMI.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

We all need a little help from our friends.

Friday night, for the first time since the baby was born, Charles got to go out with his brother and a friend for their Friday night drink. It used to be a tradition, and the baby has seriously distracted him away from it.

I was happy he was doing something for himself. And so insanely jealous that I nearly had a nervous breakdown.

I have more than my fair share of anxiety these days: a husband with two full-time jobs and full time school, the hasty departure from a career I adored, gobs of time alone with a 4-month old and not enough happy-go-lucky songs in my song repertoire.

Fast forward to Saturday morning, Charles came home from his overnight job and I handed him the baby. No shower, no tea... just handed him the baby and headed for the bed. I slept and cried for a good portion of the morning. Finally, one of my closest friends called and I got to talk to someone and figure out what was going on. She and I figured out some things for me to consider doing to stay sane once Charles goes back to work tomorrow and school next Monday. Things that might help me feel less alone and more connected, and maybe find an endorphin or two in the cobwebs of my body.

Shortly after talking to her, I went onto Facebook and another friend of mine had raised an "S.O.S" flag. She has just given birth to her second son (on Wednesday night) and her husband needs to go back to work on Monday. Thinking of her floundering in the same way that I did when our baby was a week or so old was enough for me to snap out of my funk. (And thinking of how she called me to check in when Emmah was 6 days old and then came running over when I threw up a similar s.o.s. - she helped me so much that day, that I felt like I could breathe again) I went over today and she is actually doing great. I'll stop by a few times this week to check on her and bring some things.

But it has made me remember two things:
1) I am lucky, and I have a ton of adoring friends that have helped me so much in the last 4 months. I am so grateful to them. Moms and non-moms that check in with me, come over and hold that cute little thing. They have driven me places. They have cooked and cleaned for me. They have taken me out to dinner, made me dinner, and brought me dinner. And they continue to give me help and support whenever this endeavor gets overwhelming. And it gets OVERWHELMING.

and 2) That sometimes, we need to move outside of what WE need to help other people. Even when you feel like the world owes you something or that your burden is unbearable, someone else needs you. And maybe that little thing that you figure out to give... that small gesture... maybe it means the world to them in that moment. Maybe it gets them through.

So thank you, to all my friends, for giving me those moments, hours, and days of your time. They have gotten me through, they have gotten me this far, and I feel confident we can get through this next crazy hump with all of you to keep us happy, laughing, and entertained.

This is, of course, just a few of the all-stars, I could not be doing any this without my wonderful family and all my wonderful friends.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Avocado and Lime, exclamation point!

A typical day for me here: Up at 1am, 3am, 5am. Finally relenting at 5am to bring the wee 'ting into bed. Up at 7:30 for the day.

We threw on a new dress that we got for $3, and headed down to meet "daddy" as he returned from his overnight shift. We see the same folks every morning: First, the maintenance man who perpetually has an unlit, half smoked cigar in his mouth. Then the younger maintenance man who pulls up in his fancy truck, goes inside and grabs a grubby white trash can and starts to walk the grounds. Finally, our patience is rewarded and we see my husband turn into the driveway.

The baby never recognizes him at first. Finally, he'll say "Hey!" or something and she snaps her mind out of the trees, the sky, and her snuggling-fest with me to actually see him.

But I had a dentist appointment today, so I went running off quickly after his arrival. Interesting fact: having your teeth drilled IS in fact more relaxing than hearing your baby scream. I had both today, so I know.

Weird hygienist. An older lady that in the span of 30 minutes tried to convince me that her daughter should babysit for me, tried to teach me how to floss (I am 36, I have been flossing for three decades), and twice tried to convince me that my pregnancy gingivitis was a precursor to major bone loss.

But then I ran home at top speed, we visited a friend whose sweet, sweet parents are returning to Russia this week. I feel for her. She has had them here for a year, alternating between Mama and Papa. We will miss them and their delicious food, their sweet and nearly smothering attention, and their kindness - I can only imagine how hard it will be for her and their baby.

Then the girl and I took at walk, a trip to buy baby spoons with daddy, and then the exhausted one fell asleep. While I was nursing her my husband made dinner - chicken, broccoli, avocados with salt and lime. Simple but delicious.

So there you go... my new life.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

..huddled masses yearning to breathe free...

I think the joy of having a wonderful partner in this confusing drama of new parenthood, is that the two of you can huddle over your bundle of joy and worry together.

I have spent countless hours in the last four months standing next to my sweet husband and freting over some small thing... a small rash, an oddly soiled diaper, a slight fever.

If someone were to paint a portrait of this first few months, it would be of us, over at her changing table, poking and worrying. Luckily, everything resolves fairly quickly, but it is nice to have someone that is just as obsessed with the details, so I feel less alone and more reassured.

The semester is starting next week. I feel a bit like my partner is about to be sucked away into a tornado. I know just how hard it is to focus on his schoolwork, and this is a very important semester. Small girl and I are going to try not to be too much of a distraction. We're beginning to think about a few trips here and there to keep us busy and to give him time to work.

The end is in sight, he will graduate in May, but in the meantime there is much work to be done! I am proud of him for all his dilgence, his dedication, and his work ethic. And I cannot wait to see him in his mortar board!

But we are going to miss him in those moments when he has to work. And I will miss my worry-buddy!

Saturday, August 14, 2010


This week was a roller coaster. I don't even have the energy to go into it.

Quite honestly, I just want to move on.

So today, we woke up and the three of us cuddled in bed, laughing and laughing. Then we went to the "magic" produce store and I indulged in fancy things like leeks and eggplant (and still spent less than $30 dollars, hence why I call it magic). Walked to the other store for a few more things. Made a delicious soup: chicken soup with leeks, carrots and dill. Then we had a family nap and then a family walk.

It was great. Now hopefully we're in for a good night's sleep and another day of gorgeous weather tomorrow.

My to-do list for tomorrow: just be in the moment.

(These arrived in the mail today, addressed to the baby. I love them and cannot wait to formulate some sort of hipster outfit to show them off, something that is layered and complex in it's color combinations. But then I plan to have her wear them constantly, they are in fact her first pair of shoes.)

Friday, August 13, 2010

Four months old today.

Today sweet girl is four months old. Which just happens to correspond with my first official day as a stay-at-home mom. It was a messy few weeks that led up to this day, but we are glad that it is here and we will go forward and reinvent ourselves when the time is appropriate.

Things I want to remember:
- That the first full day I was away from you, when I came back and you saw me, you screamed with delight, laughed and smiled, and then cried your eyes out all the way home. Missing me must have been exhausting, because you nursed for hours, then you slept nearly through the night. Falling asleep at 7:30, waking for 2 minutes at 2am, and then sleeping again until 6am. Thank you for that. I needed it too.

- That you gargle sounds in the back of your throat most of the time, punctuated by screams, proper coos, and laughs.

- That we blow raspberries at you so often, that you are now working hard to do them too, even though they really come out as spitting.

- That today at the doctor, you were up to 90th percentile for height. You can sit on my lap and nurse now, with your feet dangling off my legs... as if you are already a toddler.

- That you were also still in the 95th percentile for weight. We get to start solid foods next week, in an effort to fill your belly with less calories. We'll see how that goes.

- That your dad now has his own routine to put you to sleep, after 4 days with you. I know they were exhausting for him, but I LOVE seeing you two together, so comfy and secure with each other. You are both lucky.

- That the day that I had my going away party felt bad, but the next day when you were there and everyone could see what I was going to, well frankly, that felt glorious.

- That you now love your little lambie, your favorite stories, and certain songs we sing. I know they will change over the years, but you already have so many opinions. And you are trying hard to teach us what you like!

- That even though you want to be doing all the challenging things you can manage: standing on our laps, sitting up, pulling your head up all the time, rolling, playing with your toys and your toes... even with all of that advanced stuff, you still want to snuggle into my neck or the crook of my arm and rest with me. You are a snuggly sweetheart. A snuggly sweetheart with alot of opinions.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


This is the first personal video I have ever uploaded...let's see if it works!

(Just in case you have forgotten how small she was.)

But look at her now!

****um, okay, the video did not work.