Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Hangin' out in our pj's

My favorite time of day with Jack is morning. It is usually a very serene time for both of us, no matter how rough (or easy, ha ha) the previous night was. Morning is the time when we participate in our exclusive Momma and Jack club; we talk and sing and smile at each other. Summer affords us this luxury, and I will so miss it when school starts!

video

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The First of Many "Rich, don't encourage him" Moments

This is both a hilarious and publicly offensive habit. Either the kid's a genius and is already practicing his junior high shenanigans, (hopefully) getting them over with early; or we have to have a serious talk, especially if he is still doing this at 21.

Stop laughing, Rich. I'm still not sure you didn't teach him that while I was trying to have some me time at the pool..
:)

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Surrounded by Cuteness

We are sad to say "so long" to some great friends of ours! Pat and Amanda (and their clan) are some of our favorite compadres, and we can't believe they are moving! It isn't real yet.. Hey y'all, hopefully you will visit often. We are counting on it. In the mean time, Happy Trails!

Here are some pictures of their exceptionally adorable girls, Ella and Allison, and our handsome Jack B'hat:
Allison was very curious about Jack, and Jack was very concerned about Allison.


Ella and Allison have an animated conversation with Jack



Allison sings a lullaby to Jack and Jack rolls his eyes. We'll have to have a conversation about being polite..

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Whatever you do, do NOT laugh..

May I just say that it is really, really difficult to stifle a laugh when your newborn son has two major diaper blow-outs within hours of each other while sitting in his daddy's lap. In fact, I've recently learned that the worst thing a wife can do is laugh, or smile.. or cheer. Jack was so efficient in this task that it prompted Rich to exclaim "Aw Shit!" which, again, is not at all funny, even if technically it was a correct observation. It was, in fact, shit.

Poor Rich had to change his own pants twice and even had to put on new underwear. Ironically, Jack hardly soiled his own clothes, a feat that shows a remarkable talent or intelligence!
But I reiterate, this is NOT funny.

Except that it SO is!

Until it happens to me..

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Treed

Like Chelle, I too have been going through my closet, pulling out everything maternity in an effort to reorganize and as motivation to get back into shape. Only for me, this looks like a rabid dog treeing an imaginary squirrel in an imaginary tree. Each time I pull out an article of clothing that doesn't fit, I prolongedly bay at it, scratch it off of the hanger, and chuck it into one of two piles: the maternity pile or the not-maternity-I'll-probably-never-wear-this-again-stupid-wrecked-body pile.

You can already see the folly in this.

My closet has been whittled down to three pairs of pants, two t-shirts (that do not match the pants), one summer scarf, and a parka. This means I wear the same mismatched thing every other day. Which means I do lots of small loads of laundry. Which means I'm ridiculous.

But really, I do have a horrid reaction to my pre-maternity wardrobe. For some reason it completely stresses me out and I think I know why. I worked SO hard to be able to fit into the size 6's last summer and was so proud (read dramatically overconfident) that I gave away my size 10's-14's as motivation to keep myself, at the biggest, an 8.

Before anyone gives me a lecture about sizes and body types and the American image issues, I have to admit that I have always had trouble looking at myself in a mirror. Yes. This is an issue. No it doesn't matter how fluffy or thin I think I am. I still can't actually see my own form correctly. That's a problem. But last summer, my body was actually healthy - physically. Emotionally, I was working through some pretty heavy things, but my time outside definitely made the burdens feel lighter. I worked out everyday - rode my bike 25 miles a day and swam. I was eating healthy and felt so good.

I miss that.

As soon as I discovered that I was pregnant with Jack, I stopped all activity. I was so cautious and afraid because I knew I couldn't emotionally handle another miscarriage. I haven't worked out in 11 months and it seems like my pre-maternity clothes are in my closet to mock me, reminding me of my own silly pre-maternity vanity.

I am taking occasional breaks from my own pity party to think about working out again. Yesterday I went to the community pool to start slow and work my way back to the bike. But instead of swimming laps, I dipped myself in the cool water, basked in the warm sun, and allowed myself the pleasure of a trashy paperback.

Mental health is important, too, right?

I'll get there.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Momma's alright, Daddy's alright. They're both just a little weird. Surrender..

The first toy that Rich bought Jack, before he was born, was a little plastic swimming frog - one of those that you wind up and it kicks and paddles in the water. Very nostalgic and retro fabulous!

The first toys that Jack received from his momma were two artistic finger puppets: one of Claude Monet and the other, Vincent van Gogh.










Finger Puppet Monet: (In a French accent) Oh ho. I see that you do not appreciate my water lilies, Vincent van Gogh (spat), you silly little know nothing boy.

Finger Puppet van Gogh: Yes, you smelly old man. They make me want to cut off my own ear, they are so overdone! (Pulling out his paint brush) On guard!

(and so on)

And Oh. My. Gosh. This site has finger puppets of everyone: from Dorothy Parker to Leif Eriksson, from Shiva to the Buddha, and Geronimo to Freud! I'm not kidding! We could reenact the Renaissance or have politic0-religio conversations for hours upon hours! Because that's what kids love. Oh the fun to be had!!

Get used to the sarcasm, kid.

By the way, Rich actually blogged! Check it out!

Friday, July 11, 2008

One Month

Dear Jack,

You are one month old today which means we can officially start counting your age in months instead of weeks! At this time one month ago, you were in the hospital nursery having all sorts of interviews with various doctors and nurses, while Dad vigilantly watched your celebrity status from behind a sterile glass window. It must have been quite a shock to leave that warm, albeit cramped, lodging for a place where the climate is undoubtedly cooler and the space much bigger. But you did it with ease. And you are still pretty laid back - most of the time, anyway.

In a month's time you have learned so many things, as have I! We are still trying to communicate - you mostly do the talking in a language that is foreign to me, and I try very hard to understand, communicating back with lots of hand gestures, replying in an unnecessarily loud tone. Sometimes I wish I could find an interpreter to help, after all they do have dog interpreters. But you are very patient and we manage, and I think it is fair to say that you are happy most of the time.

You have grown so much in a month! My hands used to tremble every time I touched you because you were so tiny and I was afraid I would hurt you, and now you are so snugly and cuddly that I spend a lot of time hugging you and kissing you on the forehead, or hands, or elbows! You scwunchy-face when Dad kisses you because he has bristly facial hair. Casey also tries to snuggle with you, the one he sees as the new baby kitten without fur, but you haven't noticed him yet. You have felt how soft he is.

We already talk about lots of things - everything from taking teddy-bear inventory, to whether or not you are more into Impressionism or Cubism. We sing songs - mostly what's in the CD player (right now Death Cab for Cutie), and also "Here Comes Peter Cottontail." I don't know why we sing "Peter Cottontail". It's not even close to Easter. But it's one that I like. Sometimes we sing "Hark the Herald Angels Sing," the Charlie Brown Christmas "loo loo loooo" version, but only when your mouth makes that adorable "O." On occasion we sing the Muppet's, "I'm five! I'm a big frog now I'm five!" song, though you are not five, nor are you a frog, so it feels a little awkward. I always forget about "Twinkle Twinkle, Little Star" and other popular, non-holiday baby songs. I feel guilty for not knowing more lullabies, which begs the question, should learning lullabies and nursery rhymes be a prerequisite for child bearing? Ah! I've failed you! But I figure that on the plus side, you'll probably be able to determine whether you are more of a Stones fan or a Beatles fan by the time you are five - and then we can also sing the frog song without it being a complete stretch..

Anyway.

I tell you everyday that you are wonderful and that I love you, because you are and I do, with every bone in my body! Happy one month birthday, Little One!!

Love,
Momma

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

I will survive! Hey, HEY!

It turns out that I stink at being a stay-at-home mom. My hat is off to those of you who choose this. You are strong, brave women!

Apparently I have the attention span of a kitten with a twisty-tie. I pounce and pounce and pounce, UNTIL something shiny crosses my path. Then it's twisty-tie be damned! I'm off to discover the meaning of light. Unless someone makes a noise or tries to tie their shoe or opens a can of any kind or the phone rings or I find a dust bunny... and so on. I do not have the ability to sit and coo at Jack for long periods of time, and though we find each other amusing for significant intervals, I find that I need to get out - away from the house. Away from him. I am currently reconciling myself to the idea that this doesn't make me a selfish person or a bad mom. I think the best thing I can do is work on my own sanity for his sake. And getting out is the only way I know to do it. Home feels like a trap to me. This is not new.

You can imagine my excitement when I was "released for all activity" today by my doctor. I said, "So, does that mean I can swim?" and she said, "yes, ALL activity is fine." Then I said, "How about riding my bike. Can I ride my bike?" And she said, "Yes." So I said, "What about..." As you can see, I handled her pronouncement like a 5 year old handles the question "Why?" Luckily for me, my doctor is a patient woman. That AND Rich eventually dragged me out of the doctor's office as I clung to the carpet, yelling, "What about Foosball? Can I play Foosball? Or hackey sack? What about hackey sack? (echoing down the hall) For the love of God, am I clear for hackey sack!?..."

The point is, I get to go and play, between nursings that is. And I am ecstatic about it. I also did a little bit of work correspondence today and that felt nice. We took Jack to meet his "child-care provider", Nanny, today and they were both very comfortable with each other. That's a load off, too. So all in all, I think we are headed down a good path.

And phew, I'm really glad I am figuring this stuff out now, before I make any life altering decisions. Thank God for summer!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Postpartum Psycho

So, yesterday I did something I hadn't done in 11 months. I ventured out of the house for the first time without Jack - by myself. Granted, for 10 of those months, Jack and I were one entity, so he went where I went, and towards the 10th month we went nowhere; we stayed at home mostly. (By the way, I'm not a person who views her home as a restful sanctuary; there are always chores to be done and projects to finish. I'm much more relaxed sitting in my favorite coffee shop.)

This was a momentous outing for me and I wasn't sure how I would handle it. After all, Jack and I need each other and are wholeheartedly, spiritually connected. OK, well, I am connected, as in I'd like to think that my baby needs me that much. He's pretty much attached to the milk...and if Rich could produce it, I think I'd be close to useless. The boy LOVES his daddy!

Thank God for breastfeeding!

Anyway. I knew I had a one to three hour window after feeding Jack since I hadn't started pumping yet, and I met Fougs for lunch at the Olive Garden. I got there first and sat in the bar area (!) and ordered a little glass of Lambrusco to sip on until she arrived. We had appetizers, even, and had a great time hanging out. I enjoyed laughing and chatting, and feeling free for the first time in a while.

Then Rich called.

The baby was hungry and fussy. Come home.

But it had only been an hour!

Two minutes later he called back.

Never mind. He's calm.

OK. I could finish my conversation.. Except that I couldn't focus very well. I told myself that Jack wouldn't starve if I didn't show up in the next ten minutes. But I'm horrible for making him wait! And what about poor Rich for having to deal with the crying, literally unequipped, without any tools! Bad, selfish Momma!!

We paid the check, as I feigned calmness, even though my heart was aching, the guilt pouring over me in torrents. I drove home as quickly as possible. I dropped my bag, ran to Jack, and whispered an apology in his ear for making him wait.

Not at all psychotic.

And he was fine. I needn't have worried.

But as I said, this was my first postpartum outing sans baby. I stayed gone for about an hour and a half, an hour of which felt incredibly good. After I start pumping things will be a little different, but I have a long way to go before I am comfortable leaving him for an entire day, even in the most capable hands, especially to go back to work.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Victory?

Jack didn't cry last night! Hooray!!

BUT

It was a trade off. I fed him for an entire hour during prime time, and he went to sleep until 11:00, through his fit throwing time. This was just enough time for me to clean up in the kitchen and fight off the most recent siege by a battalion of sugar ants who always attempt to take over a part of my house in the summer. I imagine they are descended from the same army of ants that for years has felt oppressed by their current situation, their goal being to take back the land that was stolen from them by the horrible capitalistic landowners (aka Rich and me). Around 11:00, Jack was awake. He wasn't fussy. Just awake. Which means that mommy and daddy were awake, especially since mommy can't allow herself to sleep if she feels that daddy is having too many baby shifts. Jack ate again, slept for an hour or two, and woke up again. Rinse and Repeat.. all night long.

And now it is a gorgeous morning and I can only see it through bleary eyes. I am telling myself that being awake and tired is better than experiencing the totally annihilating wrath-o-Jack and getting to sleep when he falls exhausted.

Then again, ask me again tomorrow.