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Monday, January 7th, 2013
8:03 pm - New Blog Home
Brandon and I started a blog together, and I'll probably be updating there rather than here for the time being.

I won't say I'll never be back, though! Lots of history here. :-)

You can find me at Life Tossed Together.

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Monday, December 31st, 2012
10:14 am - Top Ten Movies of 2012
Man, I haven't done this list in a while, I don't think! Wish I could do books too, but it's much harder to determine which books I read this year. With the movies, I just read a list of every movie released in 2012 so I could remember which ones I saw. I only saw 23 movies released this year, and most of them were from Redbox. So if you side-eye some of my choices, keep in mind that there weren't a whole lot to choose from!

10. This Means War: A cute little comedy with Reese Witherspoon in a love triangle with Captain Kirk and Bane. The interaction between the male leads was quite funny and definitely the best part of the movie. I wanted Reese to end up with Bane, because I liked his character better, but it wasn't so bad that he ended up back with his ex.

9. 21 Jump Street: Another fun surprise discovered on DVD. Who knew Channing Tatum was so funny? I don't remember much about the movie but I do remember laughing a lot.

8. The Cabin in the Woods: I'm not sure I would watch this one again -- even though it was more poking fun at horror movies than anything else, I still found it very creepy and disturbing. The structure and ending was so interesting and creative, though, and the movie was very Joss Whedon-y.

7. The Amazing Spiderman: The plot of the movie itself was very meh, as was the villain. But Andrew Garfield is too adorable, as is Emma Stone, and their cuteness is doubled when they are on screen together.

6. The Dark Knight Rises: A good end to the trilogy, I thought, although it was too dark and depressing for me to put it very high on the list.

5. Pitch Perfect: I loved this movie! Super cute, great musical numbers, very funny (especially Rebel Wilson!). The only thing I could have done without is the drawn-out vomit joke. Gross.

4. Skyfall: Way better than the last James Bond, although I don't think I liked it quite as much as Casino Royale. The end battle in the Scottish countryside was my favorite part. I did think the villain was lame though, although maybe I just don't like Javier Bardem? New Q was also a highlight.

3. The Hobbit: Good solid Tolkien/Jackson entertainment, if a bit long and drawn out. Martin Freeman makes a great Bilbo. My favorite sequence was Bilbo and Gollum and the game of riddles. I'm looking forward to the next movie.

2. The Avengers: I've seen this movie three or four times already this year! I thought it was fantastic. Just a solid, fun action movie with a lot of great one-liners. I'm a sucker for the Marvel movies series though, I've liked them all.

1. The Hunger Games: Amazeballs! Love the book and thought it was a great adaptation. Jennifer Lawrence is one of my favorites right now, and the casting of the other characters was spot-on. Can't wait for Catching Fire in November!

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Tuesday, December 11th, 2012
5:05 pm - Random stuff mostly not about my son for once.
My last entry made Brandon laugh so hard he cried a little. Definitely going to do one again someday soon when Lucas and I have another interesting conversation or he does more awesome high kicks.

I mailed ALL my Christmas presents away today and am officially done shopping for the season, yay! Although, ugh, I went to the local Postal Annex in town to avoid lines at the Post Office and ended up spending WAY more money than I planned on shipping. When I walked in with all my boxes, the guy said, "Post office first class okay?" And I said yes, figuring that what how he would ship all the boxes. So he does his things and gets everything labeled and ready to go. And only when he hands me my receipts/tracking numbers do I notice he's sent all the boxes UPS Ground, argh!! It was sooo expensive but I didn't feel like I could make a stand and start over or take my boxes back after he had already finished everything. So dumb. Next year I am just mailing everyone's gifts directly to them since I did most of my shopping online. Sorry, family and friends, you will just have to wrap your own gifts if you want the experience of unwrapping them.

Brandon has been working lots and lots and lots and I am kind of lonely. I am wishing I could start writing again although I know that is probably not going to happen anytime soon. I do get a little time "to myself" but always spend it taking care of the house or relaxing a bit -- and as much as I love to write, I don't find it particularly relaxing. I am giving up on my Guardians universe for now and starting fresh with something completely different. I am trying to decide if I should come up with a new idea completely or work on haunted hotel I have about 10-12 pages written of already. I love the setting/idea of the hotel story, but I need to do some more leg work on the plot and characters or something, as what I have written does not particularly thrill me.

I suppose I should also try to seek out actual human people to hang out with, but fictional ones may have to suffice for now. I am rewatching Doctor Who and just started the Ten/Donna season. Some thoughts:

- I like the Nine/Rose season a lot less than I remember. Nine is so grumpy, I'm afraid I prefer Ten (and even Eleven!)
- I have never, and still don't, buy into the everlasting love story of the Doctor and Rose. I'm sorry, I just don't get a love vibe from them, they just seem like super best besties rather than true love forever.
- I also don't believe that Martha was in love with the Doctor. In short, no one ever really seems like they are IN LOVE with the Doctor, they just like hanging out with him a whole bunch. And who wouldn't? Okay, wait, I forgot about River, I haven't gotten to her episodes yet. Now THERE is a woman in love with the Doctor. Maybe she's just a better actress? Don't stone me, Rose lovers.
- I skip most of the episodes with Daleks. Ugh, Exterminate, we get it already. Cannot get enough Weeping Angels, though. I also like pretty much any episode set in the past, as long as Daleks are not invited.

Look at all that stuff I wrote that's not about Lucas! Haha, I do still exist outside of motherhood, I suspected as much might be true.

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Monday, December 3rd, 2012
4:34 pm - Scenes from a Baby's Life, Part 1
Setting: My house, 2am. This night, I had already gotten up to nurse Lucas and put him back to sleep from 12:30-1:00am. Lucas's lines have been translated from his native Gobbledygook.

Lucas: Hey! Hey! Mom! Dad! Hey! There's a party in my crib, and everyone is invited!

Silence.

Lucas: I only know you guys, so you're everyone! So you're invited to my party! Hey! Mom! Come here! Comeherecomeherecomeherecomeherecome--

Me: Hi Lucas. Why are you awake?

Lucas: Mom! So awesome to see you here at my crib party. Check out these awesome high kicks!

Me: Shhh, shhh. Go back to sleep.

Lucas: Dance party, Mom! Pick me up for a dance party! Mom! Mom! Hey! Every party has a pooper, Mom!

I go to sit in the rocking chair to wait him out.

Lucas: Look Mom, watch me roll around! Mom! I'm on my tummy now, Mom! Hey! It's so awesome! Mom, what about that dance party? Pick me up! Pick. Me. Up. Now.

Me: Shhhh, shhhh. (Leaves Room)

Lucas: Party in my crib, party in my crib. Banging on my bars, talking at my wall. Hey! Mom! Where did you go, Mom? Hey! Come back! Comebackcomebackcomebackcomeback--

Me: Lucas, it's night time. Go to sleep.

Lucas: Never! I will party all night forever. Watch my awesome high kicks again! Look how I can eat my foot, Mom, look!

Me: (Rubs Lucas's back, starts to sing.)

Lucas: No, Mom, no! You knock that off. I am Not Sleepy! No lullaby Jedi mind tricks, Mom! Party forever, sleepytime never! You're such a downer, Mom! You're so gleebergoodlespdhshhhhhhhhzzzzzzzz...No! I won't do it! I won't do iiiizzzzzzzz...

Silence. End Scene.

current mood: sleepy

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Wednesday, November 28th, 2012
8:24 pm - Ugh, the cutest thing.
Just a little Lucas anecdote that was so cute it makes my heart hurt. Yesterday, I made Lucas laugh by holding one of his toys in my mouth and growling at him. Don't judge, I will do freaking anything to get that kid to laugh.

Today we were playing the same game during bath time. When I gave the cup back to him, he examined it, and then held it up to my face, smiling, to get me to put it back in my mouth, giggling gleefully after I did so. Ugh, it was ridiculously adorable.

It's so crazy, to have watched him go from being this little lump that only knows how to eat, sleep, and cry, to being able to think to himself: 1) It's so funny when Mom puts my cup in her mouth and makes that noise. 2) I'm going to give her back the cup so she'll do it again. 3) She did it again! Hilarious!

In summary, my kid is amazeballs.

current mood: happy

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Wednesday, November 21st, 2012
8:22 pm
Lucas eats food now!

Food Lucas loves to eat: Sweet potatoes, pears

Food Lucas likes to eat: Carrots, acorn squash, avocado, bananas, rice cereal

Food Lucas does NOT like to eat: green beans

He's quite a good eater, to the surprise of absolutely no one. He eats about two ice cubes' worth of fruit in the morning with some cereal, and about three cubes' worth of veggies in the evening along with more cereal. We also throw some Cheerios on the tray for him to play with, but he just drops them all on the floor so far. It's shockingly easy and cheap to make your own baby food. Step 1: Steam the fruit/veggie, if necessary. Step 2: Puree with a little water. Step 3: Pour into empty ice cube tray, and freeze.

I'm so excited that Christmas is coming! I have stocking stuff all ready for Lucas -- I really didn't buy him much at all but I still wanted to put a stocking together for him. I would say what he's getting (FROM SANTA) but I don't want to ruin the surprise in case he reads this.

Hmmm, I am trying to think of a non-Lucas related thing to say. I've got nothing. One day I'll be a real person again, right?

current mood: amused

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Monday, November 5th, 2012
8:21 pm - My grown-up baby
In the last week, we've put away the infant carseat and stroller frame, the infant bathtub, and the infant bouncy chair. My big, almost 6-month boy now rides in a giant convertible car seat, sits up on his own in the bathtub and while playing, and got his first tooth yesterday! It is crazy how old he is getting. And a little sad -- I really loved the newborn/helpless baby phase. If anything will sway me toward having a second child, it's the promise of a new little larva baby to love on at some point far in the future.

On the plus side, we're getting to do lots of fun things with him now, too. We took him up to Idyllwild for a couple days last week. It was exhausting because he sleeps so badly away from home, but I loved showing him the mountains and looking through the little shops and getting out of town. The restaurant choices available for a family on a budget, however -- repulsive. Oh well, the coffeehouse had delicious mochas at least and there was a great bakery.

Halloween was fun, though short. He dressed as a bumblebee. I missed most of the trick or treaters, because the height of the arrivals came during bath and bed time. Halloween with a 6-month-old is more about the photos than anything else, anyway.

Then on Friday, we took him the zoo for the first time! I think he enjoyed it, even if he didn't really know what was going on. He likes to people watch and seems to like facing forward in his stroller a lot more than he ever liked riding in his car seat stroller. I'm excited to take him back once he's walking and more aware of the animals. He LOVES our cat so hopefully zoo animals will be almost as interesting someday.

I guess we'd better get going on his college applications now.

current mood: bouncy

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Friday, October 26th, 2012
2:32 pm - Best Parts of my Third Anniversary
- The roses Brandon brought home for me.
- The text preceding Brandon's return from work that read "Be ready at 4:45. Wear something nice. No questions."
- Frantically trying on everything in my closet and actually finding something relatively cute that's not the only dress that fits me since I started nursing.
- Heading out to a nice steakhouse on the water overlooking the bay and getting a table right by the window before sunset.
- Brandon calling ahead to have a nice bottle of champagne waiting for us at the table when we arrived.
- Sipping champagne and planning our Europe trip for next October. (We're going to London, Edinburgh, and Paris -- mostly likely. More on this later!)
- Eating amazing steak with a great glass of wine and just enjoying the evening.
- The free Happy Anniversary dessert at the end when we were way too full to take more than a couple bites apiece.

The one bad part: When our neighbors called to say that the baby was screaming hysterically and would not eat or sleep and maybe we should come home now? Had to leave behind about 1/3 of the champagne, so tragic.

All in all, a wonderful anniversary dinner and a very nice surprise from my husband! (We'd originally planned a much more low-key, local dinner out using gift cards. This was much less budget-friendly but ten times more awesome.)

current mood: giggly

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Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012
2:18 pm - Baby's First Hike
Haha, sleep training can suck it. After some trauma, crying, and discussion with Brandon, we decided that anything that is making Lucas scream for over an hour before passing out from exhaustion (this is with me standing there comforting him the whole time), and making me scream into pillows or break down sobbing in frustration -- is not even a little bit worth it right now. So we're sticking with what works. Hopefully we'll both be a little more emotionally prepared for a transition soon.

In happier news, a friend from church lent me an ErgoBaby carrier, which is way more comfortable and easier to use than either the Baby Bjorn or the Moby Wrap, the other two I was using. I decided to test it out on a hike yesterday and we had such fun! I picked an easy hike near a county park visitor's center - I wanted to make sure there would likely be lots of other people around so I would feel safe. It was perfect, plus the park we went to (Mission Trails Regional Park) was set into the hills so while we were hiking I couldn't see any houses or city stuff. It was a beautiful, cool day and gorgeous! Lucas fell asleep in the carrier 10 minutes into the hike and slept until we were about five minutes from finishing. So I guess he likes the carrier fine at least? I definitely plan to try out some more nearby hikes soon.

I was nursing Lucas after the hike in what I thought was a fairly out of the way location, but still where I could take in the view (I didn't want to go back to the car, which is where I usually nurse when I'm out and about). But about halfway through, a college biology class gathered right where I was nursing to talk about the plants. Oops, not as out of the way as I thought, but at least the subject matter was somewhat related? It wouldn't have felt as awkward except I left my cover at church this week so we weren't being quite as modest as usual. That's me, your local accidental nursing activist.

But in all, good practice for next week! We're taking Lucas up to Idyllwild in the mountains northeast of here for a couple days to get out of town. Should be fun!

current mood: accomplished

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Tuesday, October 16th, 2012
10:27 am - Everybody has part of their job that they don't like.
My job, for all intents and purposes, is to run the household and be the main caregiver for Lucas. I don't like most of my job that involves housework -- particularly cleaning the bathrooms and dusting. I like almost all of the part of my job that involves caring for Lucas -- except freaking teaching him how to sleep.

The way you can tell that I don't like this part of my job is that I simply haven't been doing it for the past five months. (Similarly, my bathrooms are generally just this side of disgusting and there is dust everywhere.) It is so much easier and infinitely more awesome to rock my son to sleep in my arms, even though he screams first and then half the time won't even let you put him in the crib so you have to sit trapped in your chair forever with just an iPhone to entertain you. Ahem. Anyway, I love love having Lucas sleep in my arms, but it's part of my job to teach him how to put himself to sleep. Otherwise, I'll soon have to turn to co-sleeping, and we're not up for that. I've read that around the six month mark is when their brain has really developed enough for them to self-soothe, so I'm starting to prepare him as we get closer to that mark. It's already taking the both of us most of the time to transfer him into his crib -- he's so big that you need three hands to support him so he doesn't flop down and wake himself up.

Sigh. So now instead of rocking him to sleep, I have to sit by the crib and shush/pat him while he cries and it's very sad. He seems to be crying about the same length and intensity that he does when I rock him in my arms, though, which is very encouraging. The next step is just shushing/singing, no patting or back rubbing, then sit further and further away until I am out of the room and he puts himself to sleep. I don't have any time limit set on when I'd like him to accomplish this -- I just need to be very patient, and commit to stop rocking him to sleep in my arms.

It makes me unspeakably sad that this part of our relationship will be over. I tear up when I think about it. But I will get almost six months' worth of memories of my baby sleeping in my arms, so that's something. Babies! Why do they always have to be growing up and shit? It sucks.

current mood: sad

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Monday, September 24th, 2012
6:42 pm - I am not Beyonce (in more ways than one, obviously)
I have trouble knowing what to say when someone compliments me for looking so "good" (meaning thin) so soon after giving birth. I feel uncomfortable just saying "thanks" for the following reasons:

1. It reinforces the idea that a mom is superior because she lost the "baby weight" as fast as humanly possible after gestating and giving birth to a human being.

2. It might cause other moms in the vicinity who are struggling to lose weight post-childbirth to feel sad or awkward because no one has complimented them.

3. Saying thanks implies to me that I accomplished something by losing my baby weight so quickly and I am taking credit for it.

The general rule is that moms should give themselves as long to lose the weight as it took to gain it (meaning 9 months). Celebrities are touted on magazines covers if they lose all their baby weight in two months, six weeks, whatever, by working out like crazy with trainers for hours each day while a nanny watches their newborn. Not that I'm saying there is anything wrong with childcare, it just seems odd to me to pass off your new baby so you can kill yourself to lose weight way faster than anyone should be expected to do so.

I gained about 37 pounds during my pregnancy. I was back to my pre-pregnancy weight before Lucas was three weeks old. Obviously, I wasn't exercising or anything during this time -- mostly during the first month I was either gazing adoringly at my son or sleeping. I say this to emphasize that my situation is clearly CRAZY and way out of the ordinary. So, I feel weird accepting compliments for something that was entirely due to my freakish genetic structure and totally out of my control. So I want to qualify my "thank you" by clarifying that I didn't actually do anything to lose weight, it just kind of came off. But this makes me sound obnoxious, right?

I am way overthinking this, as usual. I should just start saying "thanks' and try to resist explaining my actual experience to acquaintances and strangers. I guess it bothers me that people might think I was dieting and exercising like crazy to lose the weight when I wasn't.

current mood: hungry

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Thursday, September 13th, 2012
1:59 pm - I read this really good book recently.
Operating Instructions by Anne Lamott. It's a journal that the author kept during the first year of her son's life. I thought it did a great job chronicling the intense highs and lows of having one's first baby -- how really awesome the good stuff can be, and how really challenging the tough stuff is. It made me cry a lot, but that could be the current exhaustion being suffered by the grown-ups around this house lately.

It's beginning to sink in now that Lucas is a baby that needs to cry himself to sleep. It's so heartbreaking to watch him wail away like he's dying for 15 minutes, even though he's held and rocked to sleep every time. We thought maybe he was trying to tell us that he'd rather fall asleep on his own, so we tried laying him in the crib when he was just a bit sleepy and picking him up to rock him if he got fussy. That didn't work at all. He just kept getting more and more worked up until he was in such hysterics that I had to nurse him to sleep. I wish there was some magic cure that would allow him to drift off to sleep calmly, but I fear maybe he is a "cry himself to sleep" baby. This is awful because it means I'll eventually have to implement some form of "cry it out" in order to teach him how to fall asleep on his own. I am dreading dreading it.

On the other hand, I am getting next to nothing done around the house lately because he won't let me move him from my arms to a crib unless it's time to go down for the night. The majority of time during daytime naps, he just wakes right back up and then gets cranky 30 minutes later. So it's often easier to just hold him for an hour while I read to make sure he's getting enough sleep. But that means little time for me to eat, shower, clean, cook, etc. I would pay really good money right now to have a few hours alone somewhere -- the house, the car, the side of the highway, anywhere really. It's kind of a game of chicken between my two selves right now -- the side that can't bear to hear Lucas cry for more than a minute without picking him up, and the side that just needs to get the laundry put away already.

I don't mean to complain. He's a lovely baby. He learned to blow raspberries this week and is so totally pleased with himself. He just burbles away all day long, grinning at how clever he is like an adorable rabid lunatic.

current mood: tired

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Thursday, August 30th, 2012
3:35 pm - Love Him or Leave Me
This entry feels weird to write, because I know it will make me sound like an asshole. But it's how I feel, so I don't know. Just another of many moments where my identity as a mother turns out to be much more conventional than I had theoretically planned it out to be in my head.

Before I had Lucas, I thought I understood people who claimed not to like kids at all and sort of bashed on parents that were obsessed with their kids, or who couldn't go a whole conversation without mentioning the kid or showing off the kid. It's like it was a badge of honor we childless bestowed upon our friends who were parents -- are you cool enough to pretend you don't have a kid or to be okay with me not giving a shit about your kid? Turns out I am definitely not cool enough.

Maybe it's because I'm a stay at home mom now, but frankly -- I don't have a lot going on besides Lucas. I'm still nominally aware of what's going on in the world (at least the major headlines that show up on the Today Show, the Daily Show, or my Facebook feed, since we don't get the paper anymore). And I'm still interested in the lives of other people, that hasn't changed either. But essentially, my life revolves around his tiny one right now, and I think that's pretty normal for a parent of a young baby. (I initially wrote "small baby" but haha, I think we all know that's not accurate.) And besides that, I am overwhelmingly in love with him and trying to process how different these new emotions are from my feelings about my family, my friends, and even my husband. I'd never say anything obnoxious like "You'll never understand 'true love' until you are a parent" but I will go on record saying it's incredibly different from anything else I've felt before.

So when you say you're not interested in my kid, you don't care to get to know my kid, and you don't care to talk about my kid -- I can't help but feel deeply insulted and offended. He is so much a part of me now that to be indifferent to him is to be indifferent to me. You don't give a shit about my kid? I'm sorry to say it (and it feels so weird and awful to write it) but then I no longer give a shit about you.

I wonder if the way I feel will ever change. I can't say I've had any experience with someone blatantly acting like this. I suppose the ones that do will just drift out of my life. That is sad -- I do get that some people just don't like kids, even their friends' kids. But if that is the case, then we've probably come to the end of our friendship.

Ugh, how awful. I feel awful for admitting this. Does anyone else feel this way? How would you deal with a friend who made it clear they had zero interest in you as a parent or in your child as a person?

current mood: curious

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Friday, August 17th, 2012
11:11 am - Is he a good baby?
This is a question that I get asked a lot, both by parents and non-parents when we are making polite conversation about my baby. What people mean by this question, I have determined, is "Does he cry a lot?" I have two answers to that question.

First, "Of course he f-ing cries. He's a damn baby." Second, "What do you mean by a lot?" Instead of saying these things, I usually just smile and insist that he is of course a wonderful baby. But, if saying he is a "good baby" means I am claiming that he doesn't cry "a lot," then I am lying every time I answer that question.

Lucas cries when he is hungry. He fusses when he needs to burp, needs a diaper change, or is hot and/or uncomfortable. He whines when he wants a new activity or more of your undivided attention or to be carried around upright in your arms so he can look around. When he is awake, that happens about every 5-10 minutes. (On a really happy day, he might play on his activity mat for up to 30 minutes without complaint.) When he is tired, he shrieks like an angry hell-beast for anywhere from 5-40 minutes until he finally passes out, exhausted. I will specify that the shrieking takes place in our arms, as neither of us (particularly me) has the emotional stoicism necessary for making him "cry it out" in his crib at this point in his life.

Do these things make him a "bad baby?" As his mom, I of course want to believe he is like this because he is smart and therefore gets bored easily. But maybe he is just high-maintenance. There are plenty of dumb and average people in the world that get bored easily. Or maybe he is just a baby, and this is how they all are and we are all lying to each other all the time so it seems like our baby is the best baby and how sad for Elizabeth that her "bad baby" cries and fusses all the time.

In the end, Lucas is a good baby simply because he is my baby. I assume this is true for all parents, whether their kid is easy-going, high-maintenance, or a shrieking hell-beast. A baby is who he is, and a "good mom" is going to think he's wonderful no matter how much he cries.

current mood: thoughtful

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Tuesday, August 7th, 2012
9:32 am - Mornings with Lucas
Of all of the parts of my new life that I love, I particularly enjoy my mornings with Lucas. We (and by we I mean he) get(s) up sometime around 6:00 to 6:30 on a typical day. He gets breakfast in bed while I play on my phone and then we hang out and look out the window and catch up with each other with a conversation consisting entirely of smiling, "ooh-ing" and "ah-goo-ing" until one of us gets sick of it and is ready to go play (hint: it is never me).

Then I make my morning coffee (delicious elixir) and grab some food while Lucas chills out in his bouncy chair. Then we watch as much of the Today show as I can handle while we play on the floor until it's time for his first nap around 8:00 to 9:00 (oh, to be a baby). Then I either rush to take a shower/get ready for a run and maybe get some chores done before he's up again and we're ready to start the more productive part of our day. It's lovely and relaxing and I look forward to it every day.

Lots of parents with kids around Lucas's age are starting to think about putting their baby on a schedule. I am very confused as to how one accomplishes this. It seems like simply another way for parents to stress themselves out while their baby continues to do whatever the hell he or she wants, all the time. I would say that Lucas and I have a vague sort of routine (consisting mainly of eating, playing, then sleeping, and repeat), but when he eats and when/how long he sleeps changes so much from day to day that there doesn't seem much point to me in trying to pin down an exact schedule. Sometimes he sleeps for 2 hours right off the bat, and sometimes no longer than 30-40 minutes until 5pm, when he conks out for two and a half hours.

I am fascinated with parents who claim to have scheduled their babies, but I confess I am too lazy of a mom to try it myself. Babies are exhausting enough already, so why make it any harder on myself than it has to be?

In conclusion, Lucas has started to laugh and I am 100% obsessed with it. It makes me think of Peter Pan: "when the first baby laughed for the first time, its laugh broke into a thousand pieces, and they all went skipping about, and that was the beginning of fairies."

current mood: cheerful

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Friday, July 27th, 2012
9:31 am - Okay, so let me get this straight
1. I get to hang out with my amazing, beautiful son whom I adore all day long.
2. I get to watch him learn and take in everything around him with alarming speed and intelligence.
3. We get to hang out and go on adventures and enjoy our lives, in exchange for keeping him fed and rested at regular intervals.
4. I don't ever have to go back to my job that I hated.
5. I have to keep the household in order, most of which I was already responsible for doing prior to my son's arrival.

So . . . what's the catch?

Seriously. I can't seem to find one.

My new life rocks.

current mood: grateful

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Friday, July 6th, 2012
7:39 pm - Two Months
Disclaimer: Technically, Lucas won't be two months until Tuesday.

We're having so much fun! Brandon is too I think but I meant me and Lucas. He's starting to sleep a bit better and is only up 2-3 times on an average night instead of 4-6. During the day we do all kinds of things: nursing, naps, cleaning the house, going for a run, going to Starbucks, playing, cooing and smiling back and forth at each other. I guess that all sounds very boring to a non-parent or even a parent that enjoys their career but I think it's super fun and ten times better than any job I've had.

Lucas's two month appointment is next week so I don't know exactly how much he weighs or how long he is, but we're guessing around 15 pounds. He can hold his head up pretty well these days although not for very long. He's just started grabbing at toys and being interested in them. He smiles tons and babbles/coos fairly often, and is starting to smile on his own (not just in response to our smiles). He wears 6 month clothes, if you can believe it! He is still a very sweet and chill baby who is cranky when he is tired or hungry - just like his mom and dad!

Being a parent is great, and very different from anything I've experienced before. The intense love and devotion combined with the burden and worry of caring for such a completely helpless little thing is a bit overwhelming. It is similar to how an animal-lover feels about a beloved pet, but to an exponentially greater degree.

So in conclusion, babies rule! At least mine does.

current mood: happy

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Monday, June 18th, 2012
12:36 pm - Things I am going to do this week while Grandma is in town
1. Take a shower and go to the bathroom whenever the heck I want to.
2. Get my monstrosity of a haircut fixed at a proper salon.
3. See a movie with my sister.
4. Go on my first official post-baby date with Brandon out to dinner and to see Wicked.
5. Take naps while the baby is awake.
6. Unload the dishwasher or washing machine without a giant monster baby Moby-wrapped to my chest.
7. Have lots of conversation with grown-ups, possibly not about diapers, nursing, or sleep patterns.
8. Take baby to the park for a picnic.
9. Have someone new around to agree with me every time I exclaim how cute my son is.
10. Get a full night's sleep! (Haha, just kidding. That will never happen.)

Stay at home mama-ing is going relatively well, I think, but it's always great to have help during the day!

current mood: cheerful

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Tuesday, June 5th, 2012
6:50 pm - First Four Weeks
How to even start to tell you about my son Lucas? I mean, he's a baby like any other and at the same time he's the most amazing baby on the face of the planet. He's so incredibly cute, we just stare at him all the time. Except when he sleeps; then we either sleep or run around like crazy trying to get stuff done around the house. Brandon goes back to work next week and then I'll be all on my own! It's been great having Brandon home for the past almost 5 weeks. I think the adjustment will be tough, but I'm looking forward to getting out with Lucas for walks and learning how to run errands with baby in tow. I'm planning to set the bar pretty low for the first few weeks in terms of getting stuff done though. As long as everyone is fed and clothed and we don't collapse under the weight of our own filth, I'm calling it a win!

Lucas weighs around 13 pounds now at nearly 4 weeks, and is around 23 inches long or a bit more. I'm back to my pre-pregnancy weight and looking forward to starting to exercise again beyond the 30 minute walks I've been taking with baby around the neighborhood. He sleeps pretty well for a newborn - I'm getting by on around 5-6 hours combined at night and hopefully a 1-2 hour nap during the day. This week I even got a four-hour stretch on two consecutive nights, which only seems impressive to other parents of new babies probably. He doesn't do too much yet of course besides existing and being adorable 24/7, but he's starting to track objects and Mom or Dad with his eyes and can lift his head a bit for short stretches. I started "tummy time" this week, which means you plunk him down on his stomach to let him try to bobble his head around until he starts screaming, which is usually ten minutes or less. He's remarkably unfussy for a baby. He gets a little cranky in the evenings but I've only had to break out my earplugs a couple times! I also have had a couple glasses of wine which is bliss obviously!

Brandon's mom is coming to visit this weekend, then my mom and sister are coming in a couple weeks. That will also be our first date night - Brandon and I have tickets to see Wicked as a belated 29th birthday outing for me! I am both excited and somewhat apprehensive about leaving baby behind but I've got to do it sometime. We just have to teach him to take a bottle before then.

Okay, enough mommy blogging for now. Brandon and I have started watching Battlestar Galactica on Hulu to pass the time. It's so good and interesting. I like sassy Starbuck best of course, no surprise given my penchant for assertive badass females. Mostly I am just trying to figure out what's going on!

current mood: happy

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Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012
12:01 pm - Lucas's Birth Story
The day Lucas finally chose to make his big entrance, I was bound and determined not to be pregnant anymore.  I had spent the day trying a bunch of different natural induction techniques: squats, galloping, walking, spicy food, a swim, acupressure. In the process I had neglected to take my daily nap. So of course, my water broke about ten minutes after I got I to bed. 

They tell you only 10-15% of pregnant ladies have their water break before contractions begin. They also tell you that it's much more likely to be a trickle than the sitcom-style flood. But apparently Lucas has his mama's dramatic streak, because as I told Brandon after coming out of our bedroom, "My water just broke . . . Everywhere." Contractions began immediately after, and we made it to the hospital right around 11:30pm. 

Because my water had broken but I was only 2cm dilated,  the doctor wanted to start me on Pitocin right away, but offered to give me two hours to see if I would start to dilate on my own.  I took her up on it, and they took me up to my labor and delivery room. It was about 1:30am when my two-hour countdown started. Contractions were about 3-4 minutes apart at this point. As it turns out, they hurt a lot! Brandon was already doing a good job coaching me as we moved around the room and bounced on the birthing ball. Towards the end of the two hours, I started to feel myself getting  exhausted to the point of shaking. After they checked me (4 cm), I made the decision to get the epidural so I could conserve some strength for pushing after a night without sleep. This was absolutely the best decision I made during the entire labor experience! Getting the epidural was not scary, and it left me with some feeling in my legs so I didn't feel totally paralyzed. Just calm and pain-free.

After getting the epidural, I was able to doze for about 4 hours and Brandon slept in a chair in my room. I was worried that an epidural would slow down my dilation, but luckily that turned out not to be the case. When they checked me again at about 8:30am, I was fully dilated and ready to push!

The first hour of pushing went great, and the nurse told us that I was progressing quickly. This is where things started getting more difficult. My progress slowed and while Lucas was doing just fine, the nurse started worrying that it was taking so long. Around hour three, I started feeling really tired and hopeless. Brandon was a fantastic coach throughout, and the nurse that came in to cover for our original nurse on her break did a much better job encouraging me. Finally, the doctor came in and we decided that she could use the vacuum to help me a bit since we were well into hour four of pushing at this point. I managed to get baby's head to crowning on my own and then, with two more pushes assisted by the doctor and vacuum, Lucas arrived in the world to a chorus of four nurses and a doctor exclaiming "oh my God! He must be at least ten pounds!" He was 11 pounds 1 oz and 21 inches long.

They put him on my chest right after he came out. He was all squirmy and bigger than I thought he would be - I remember thinking about how fat he seemed. They cleaned him all up and Brandon cut the cord and we just marveled at him for a bit until they took him to get cleaned up and checked out. He hardly cried at all when he was with me, but piped up a bit with the nurses. They brought him back to nurse and he latched on like a champ right away. 

We stayed in the delivery room for a couple hours. I got all stitched up and they brought me some food and sparkling cider. And then we were parents. Forever.

More later on our magnificent, adorable, remarkably chill son.

current mood: thankful

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