Saturday, August 30, 2008

A new habit: the first of many

Jack has started sucking his thumb. That's OK with me, I suppose, and is really OK with Nanny Delaney since she doesn't have to worry about Jack and the other kids trading pacifiers; surely they wouldn't share thumbs. The problem is, the thumb doesn't always work as a pacifier. In fact, sometimes it really pisses off the poor kid.

Jack, you see, is horrible at thumb sucking.

First of all, he still has really poor aim/coordination and tends to repeatedly poke himself in the face, missing his mouth. This annoys him, but also, he really wants to suck his thumb, and the frustration of not being able to make contact in a timely manner makes him cry. On top of this, once he actually does make that thumb-to-mouth contact, he doesn't know what to do with his other four fingers. Sometimes the fingers go into his eyes - again, there is crying. Or sometimes he smushes his nose like a starfish is suctioned to his face and, being unable to breathe, he gasps and fights for air. He does, however, grab his ear with his other hand, a move I think is part of his genetic make up. (I used to still rub my ear for comfort.)

It takes a while, but if he can get the thumb to the right place and keep his fingers straight (out of his eyes and nose), he can calm himself.

The whole process is pretty cute to watch. Still, we keep the paci close.

Glad we have digital


Well, we survived the week. I would like to say we survived it unscathed, but then I wouldn't be able to mention the fact that Rich and I are passing a nasty cold back and forth, and neither of us has slept more than 3 hours in a row. Fortunately (and I'm knocking on wood here), Jack doesn't appear to have gotten the bug.. unless he's the one who gave it to us. He was stuffy and cranky last week-end, so much so that I figured he would be sent home from daycare and I would miss the first day back - but he seemed to magically get better on Monday and went to daycare everyday after without incident.

Jack is having a reflux issue, and spits up insane amounts of milk in between gaseous gasps for air. I put him back on his baby Zantac this morning and we give him gas drops after feedings when we think of it. I would usually tell myself that this is normal baby behavior and that I'm being too new mommy-ish by worrying, but even Nanny Delaney (his wonderful daycare host) mentions it when I pick him up everyday. So, we'll see how the Zantac does. I think the pediatrician would remind me that Jack is healthy - in the 75th percentile for weight - and that unless he is losing weight, I shouldn't be concerned, but as all of you know, it is hard to hear a baby cry.

So, overall we are happy to have survived the week. We are all recuperating this week-end in hopes that next week will be more than survived. I am really glad to be back at work - something familiar and routine, something that gives me back some of the personal confidence that tends to be shaky in my new mommy role.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Famous Last Words

It is the first day of school (with students). Here we are at 6:30 in the morning, and I am actually feeling rather accomplished. I'm showered and dressed. I've had my coffee. My lunch is packed. My school bag is packed. I know where my car keys are. I pumped. The bottles are washed. Jack is still snoozing. I might be brave enough to wear heels for the first time since December. Maybe.

So far my inventory looks good. "Wow," I think to myself, "I might be able to survive this."

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Separation Sucks

Jack went to daycare. This has been a tough transition for me, seeing as I am the type of momma who wants her baby in the bassinet next to her bed until the baby is at least 18. And speaking of that, we've been putting Jack in his crib at night - all the way in the other room - where he has more room to stretch out and sleep. At least that's what I'm telling myself.. That is separation #1.

I knew putting Jack in daycare would be difficult - separation #2. He is SO little, and I don't know how to tell him that I'll be back to get him in a few hours. He still speaks Urdu, and I am only fluent in English. Plus, he doesn't understand what an hour is. And how do you communicate that you'll miss him or that you're not abandoning him.. that you love him and that this is the hardest thing you've ever done and the worst you've ever felt.

And how silly that this is the emotion. I mean people send their kids to daycare everyday. We have a wonderful lady, Nanny, who looks after Jack. He is safe and loved there. And I tell myself that every morning.

Also, I am trying to stop nursing - separation #3 - because my work schedule doesn't allow for me to continue without becoming engorged or having painfully blocked ducts. And then multiply that by guilt from being told repeatedly by friends and the Internet that I'm poisoning my kid with formula. And what you have left is a wisp of a person who is trying to hold it all together - to be a professional, to be rational, to breathe.

It's not working. I feel like it's not working. Because actually it is working. I just hate it.

At the end of the day, when I go and get Jack at Nanny's house, he smiles so big. I hope it is because he gets a warm feeling when he sees me, and that recognizes me as his momma. I miss him.

Monday, August 11, 2008

2 Months

Dear Jack B'Hat,

You are two months old today! I can hardly believe how much you have grown! And I do mean physically - chubby cheeks and legs and all - but I also mean that you've grown in other ways, too. For example you recognize me, my voice especially. And although it makes people aggravated when they want your attention and I walk in the room and you turn your head to me and smile, I think it's the coolest thing in the world. Or how about when every one in the house tries to calm you down when you are fussy, and only my "magic shoulder" will do the trick. I love that.

Is it selfish for me to take pleasure in this? Maybe.. But it is wonderful to feel so important. And I feel the same way about you. When I feel fussy, all I want is to hold you. You are that important to me.

For now, we are smitten with each other, and I think it's awesome. (Note to self: remember this through the teenage years..)

This month has been extremely important. First of all, we took our first mini-road trip to see our friends the Crawleys in Copperas Cove. I learned that a. it is too hot to take road trips in Texas summers with a baby; b. you handled it better than I did; c. no one in truck stops cares enough to let an itty-bitty baby who is screaming mad because we had to stop for batteries in the middle of a long, hot road trip skip to the front of the line of 20 people to pay for said batteries. Apparently beer and cigarettes take priority, although I think I did hear one small sympathetic "oh" from an equally flustered mommy behind me. We did, however, get to visit Aunt Gagi in Waco on the way home, and she let you hang out naked in the middle of her living room floor so that you could "air out". Aunt Gagi is brave, and you love her!

Also, PawPaw came to visit this week-end and she and Daddy are tied for second place in your eyes. You love PawPaw because she likes to play all of the time, and she gives the BEST baths ever. Even I feel a little twinge of jealousy at the spa treatments she gives you.

The summer Olympics in Beijing started while she was here and we watched the opening ceremony and several of the games, though it was hard to tell if you noticed other than it provided good background noise that helps you sleep.

They say that at 2 months babies sleep through the night..

We're still working on that one.

Other than that, you smile and play and have the sweetest coo imaginable. You are starting to grab things, including Momma's hair, and you can pout bigger than any kid I've ever seen. Auntie Christine often says of that protruded lip, "Watch out kid. You're gonna trip over that thing." But it is adorable, and we can't help but giggle at you, even though we understand you are outraged and won't take it anymore! Your hair is finally coming in, and we may not get to call you Friar Jack for much longer.

But you are gorgeous, Jack. And people stop me to tell me so. You also have the sweetest temperament.

Happy 2 months, Baby.

Love you,


Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Super Mom, I Am (not)

Thank God for all of you stay at home moms/dads. How do you do it? Seriously? How? I have stayed at home by myself with Jack for three whole days now and I am one dirty diaper away from braving the garage, dragging out the ladder, climbing to the highest peak of my roof, and jumping. Sure, I would probably only end up injuring my limbs - possibly a fracture (I live in a one story house and, if I jumped from the highest peak, I would end up rolling down the rest of the roof before tumbling off.. BUT, you get what I mean).

Honestly, this has little to do with the baby. He is an awesome kid..if he's had a decent night's sleep. And I love him even if he doesn't have one.. like last night, for example. No sleep. Well, OK. Little sleep. I think 3-3:30 was when he slept. We're working with minimal sleep today and he is only napping for 30 minutes at a time - just enough time for me to get cozy, shut my eyes, and then jump when he starts sputtering himself awake. He fights sleep!

But I digress.

Staying at home leaves me pretty much trapped. I think this has a lot to do with the fact that when I'm at home, I feel like I need to do chores. The work is NEVER done, unlike my actual job. I mean there is always more to do there too, but I can grade a stack of papers and feel some sort of accomplishment. Here, I think things like, "OK I've done the dishes, but I need to clean out the cabinet before I put them up, and I need to wash the towels before I dry the dishes, but the laundry priority should be whites since I am down to my bikini briefs which don't fit like they used to which means I should exercise, but I can't because Jack has no time for aerobics and I can't ride my bike because then who would watch Jack? I guess I could go for a walk instead, but it's one hundred and fifty thousand degrees outside -NOT KIDDING - so I guess I am trapped."

And then I eat brownies. And wash them down with Miller Chills.

I have yet to establish any kind of routine like experienced moms who know exactly when nap time is and then are able to pull out ten toilet paper rolls, markers, and glitter for neighborhood kaleidoscope craft time. And they smile the whole time and then bake pineapple up-side-down cakes and shit. Those moms baffle me.

So, how do you super moms do it? Did I miss the super power inducing comet or refuse the super hero kool-aid cup in favor of a margarita or two?



Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Who is Jack? (Silly stuff only a momma appreciates)

International Activist
Momma: (reading headline) Iran ignores nuclear demand by big powers
Jack: Uh Oh
Jack: (wide-eyed, looking up in awe over Momma's shoulder) Oh! Ohh. Ooooh.
Momma: Are you talking to the angels, B'hat?
Jack: (smiles) Oooooooh!
Jack: (sneezing) a-CHOO! a-CHOO! WEH hoo!
Momma: (pointing up) Jack did you say good morning to our favorite, the ceiling fan?
Jack: (looks up - biggest smile ever) Ahhh!

Monday, August 4, 2008

If only they stayed this bitty.

The following is the teeniest picture of our little family. I think it's the first one of the three of us together. I assure you, we're adorable. Really. No magnifier needed. Trust me.