Thursday, September 27, 2007

Peaceful Moments and a Big Milestone

I'm on the mend again, and while I still have a stuffy nose my fever has broken and I was able to get a good night's sleep on Tuesday. Last night was a bit rough because Luke had a hard time staying asleep, but overall I feel much better.

I know I keep saying this, but things are going too quickly. I go back to work in just over a month, Luke's going be seven weeks old tomorrow, and as often as I tell myself that I'm going to slow down and try to appreciate all of the wonderful things about having a newborn I still find myself rushing around and missing little moments. The first few weeks of his life seemed to go by so slowly, but now there aren't enough hours in the day to do everything and still spend hours just staring at him.

Luke is finding ways to make me slow down, though, most notably by giving me his first genuine for-sure smile yesterday. He was in his crib after a diaper change, and greeted me with a huge grin when I went to pick him up after washing my hands. We spent the next 10 minutes exchanging smiles, and I only wish I'd thought to run downstairs and grab the camcorder or camera to capture the moment. I promise to post some smiling pictures soon, though.

In lieu of a smile, then, I thought I'd give you all a sneak peek of the photo we picked for his birth announcements--the precious boy, asleep in his swing.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Sicky sick sick

If there's anything less fun than being sick when you have a baby I want to know what it is. Maybe it'll make me feel better. Fever + cranky baby + husband who can't stay home to lend a hand = miserable C.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Grandma is wise

Back when my parents were here (a whopping 4 weeks ago--good grief, having a baby has totally distorted my perception of time since 4 weeks feels like 4 months right now) my mom told us an hilarious story about how when I was a newborn she and my dad made all of these little charts and graphs to try to figure out if there was any rhyme or reason to my behavior.

(I should add here that I was an incredibly difficult and colicky newborn, so I don't blame them for trying to figure out what made me tick and/or scream all the time)

Naturally, there was no method to the infant madness, and they gave up on the charts after realizing that I just did things when I darn well felt like doing them.

Well, guess what brilliant idea I had over the weekend? That's right, a lightbulb went off in my head and I thought "Hey, let's chart Luke's meals, naps, and moods so we can figure out what his schedule is!"

I am such an idiot who needs to listen to my mother more often.

All week I kept Excel spreadsheets detailing Luke's every move. When he ate, when he slept, when he pooped, etc... Guess what I found? That's right, there's ABSOLUTELY NO PATTERN TO HIS BEHAVIOR WHATSOEVER.

Surprise, surprise, my newborn is acting like a newborn.

I did learn a few things, though, mostly about how I need to try to control his day a little less. I'm the queen of managing my own time down to the minute if I need to, and in college my friends used to tease me for being rigid about following my strategically planned day as outlined in my day planner. Life would clearly end if I took longer than 12 minutes to walk from my dorm to the student union back then. Now I need to realize that babies (and older kids) do things on their own time, and it's okay to relax a bit about the "schedule" and follow his lead on what to do and when to do it.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Like his mother, he is easily amused

Luke is on my lap right now and is just enthralled by the ceiling fan. Glad to know my child doesn't need all those fancy-schmancy toys we bought him in order to have a good time.

Aaaand he just spit up on my leg. Motherhood is fun.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Mama Bear

I think I may be a wee bit overprotective of Luke.

Saturday Juan and I decided to make the looooong trek out to Babies R Us because we had some good coupons and "needed" to buy a few things for the baby. What can I say, we wanted to get out of the house and decided that spending oodles of money on baby toys was as good an excuse as any for a 45 minute drive.

In any case, we packed up the diaper bag, strapped the boy in his carseat, and piled in the car. Juan in the driver's seat, Luke in the back, and me...right next to Luke. "How long are you going to keep riding in the back with him?" Juan asked me. I confess, I thought about answering "Forever" but decided that was probably not what he wanted to hear.

The truth is, I don't especially enjoy riding in back with the bulky carseat, especially since you have to be a contortionist just to get the seatbelt buckled. There's also a lot less elbow room than I prefer, and Juan and I rarely talk much when I'm back there. And yet... I can't shake the feeling that I need to be next to him. Just in case he needs me. Truthfully, Luke would be just fine if I was in the front. After all, no one is sitting next to him when he and I go out on our little adventures during the week and he does just fine. When I have the option of sitting back there, though, I have to do it.

"I don't know, maybe another month" I said after a long pause to consider Juan's original question.

Anyway, the trip was made, baby toys were purchased, and I rode in the backseat with the baby on our way home.

Then yesterday I surprised even myself by reaching a new level of overprotectiveness.

Juan was working all day but it was very slow at the hospital so "working" became "watching TV in his office while twiddling his thumbs." I was going a little stir crazy at home with the baby, so around 4:00 we hopped in the car and went to go visit Daddy at work. We ate potato chips, I watched some of the red carpet show while Juan played with Luke, and fun was generally had by all. Then the time came to drive home. Juan volunteered to take Luke in his car since I wanted to stop by the grocery store to pick up a few things we needed. I agreed, and as I pulled out of the parking lot I realized that this was the first time Luke had been in a car without me. It felt weird and, well, wrong even though he was with Juan. Juan's a careful driver, and in fact he's probably a better driver than I am if you wanted to compare, but it still didn't feel good to be in a different car than my baby.

Still, I wasn't going to be the mom who couldn't be separated from her kid for even 30 minutes. I was, however, the mom who insisted on staying just ahead of the car her baby was riding in for 20+ miles. I couldn't help myself. Juan didn't know what I was doing (though he does now since he reads my blog) but it somehow felt safer that I keep my car ahead of his during that drive. My gut told me to protect my baby, and that was the only way I could think to do it.

So yes, I'm in full-on Mama Bear mode. My dad has joked many times that there's a part of my mom's brain that is always focused on me and my sister, and now that I'm a mother myself I can finally understand exactly what that feels like. I just hope I can manage to loosen up a bit since I'll drive us all crazy if I don't.

Friday, September 14, 2007

More on how I shouldn't blog about my job

Enjoying my maternity leave would be a lot easier if I wasn't being inundated with evidence that my sub is royally screwing up. It's almost enough to make me throw up my hands and just go back early, which really makes me mad. This time should be about Luke, not worrying over what kind of mess I'm going back to in November.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Growing boy!

Luke is growing like a weed, which makes me happy since it means that he's getting enough to eat (a concern I think every breastfeeding mom has) but also sad because my little baby is already growing up way too quickly.

Exhibit A: Coming home from the hospital

Exhibit B: Coming home from a picnic last weekend

So big!!!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Thoughts on a complicated day

Six years ago I was a college student in Utah. My roommate woke me up after she turned on the news and, like everyone else, we spent the rest of the day watching television, crying, and trying to understand what had happened. I remember thinking that nothing good could ever happen on any future anniversary of that day that would even begin to erase the horror and pain I felt anytime I thought about the terrorist attacks.

Last year I had an exploratory laparoscopy to figure out why, after a year and a half, we couldn't get pregnant. That turned out to be the one thing we needed to finally conceive, and two months later I found out that I was pregnant with Luke. Looking back, September 11 2006 was one of the best days of my life. I have very few clear memories from that day thanks to the lovely, lovely drugs they gave me, but the one thing I do remember was my OB/GYN telling me as I was wheeled into the recovery room that he had removed "a ton" of scar tissue from around my ovaries and that I shouldn't have any more problems getting pregnant. If I could have cried tears of joy at that moment, I would have.

Today I stood in the nursery holding my baby and singing to him, and all of a sudden I was bawling. I remembered the horrific images and events from six years ago and the wonderful weight that was finally lifted from my life last year and then looked at the beautiful baby boy in my arms. It was all just too much for me.

I have no idea how I'm going to explain September 11 to Luke when he's old enough to realize that it's not just another day. We'll be having lots of talks about what is and isn't age appropriate before that happens, but I know that I won't be able to tell him until he's much older how he's changed how I view it. Yes, it's still an unbelievably sad date, but it's also the anniversary of something that has changed our lives for the better in so many ways. I'm happier than words can say to be able to associate something so positive with a date that will always be connected to tragedy.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Did you know...

Did you know that babies can poop and burp simultaneously?

I didn't, at least not until 5 minutes ago.

Happy one-month birthday, sweetheart! You teach me new things every day!

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

All by my-self

Well, J's paternity leave is over, my parents have come and gone, and now Luke and I are officially on our own. All day long. Every day until Thanksgiving.


I admit, yesterday (our first day alone together) was rough. He screamed, I cried, it was hard. Today was a bit better. He had his worst meltdown yet before 9:00 in the morning, but I managed to get him settled thanks to our swing-of-awesome-baby-soothing-powers which made me feel like I might just do an okay job at this mom thing. Of course, he napped for three hours after calming down and hasn't had a decent nap since (and we had another meltdown at Target tonight) but we're working on it.

The whole time I was pregnant, I never really pictured what this time would be like. I imagined what I'd feel when I met him for the first time (and, as imagined, it was incredible) and what it would be like to see him really smile at me, to start to crawl, to take his first steps, but never this brand-new newborn stage where eating, sleeping, pooping, and screaming are pretty much all he does. I can't say I'm loving every second of it, but it's amazing to watch him take in the world for the first time.

He's fascinated by our blinds, and will stare at them while he's eating or while we're walking around the house. He doesn't startle when the dog barks, which is amazing to me (though my reading tells me that it's probably because he heard Jasper barking while he was still in utero) and he's already starting to track our faces when we move above him. He adores the mirror Juan rigged above his Pack N Play, and one of my favorite games is to point out the baby in the mirror next to our staircase when we come down after a diaper change. He hates having a wet or dirty diaper, so the changing pad has become one of his favorite places in the house. We hung the quilt my mom made him above the changing table, and he'll grab for it every single time we set him down to be changed. I've never seen a baby so enthralled by a wall hanging before, and we need to get some better pictures of him with it because it's beyond cute to watch him reaching for the bright contrasting colors.

Every morning we read two books together before going downstairs to really start the day. I read Blueberries for Sal to him yesterday, and it brought back all kinds of memories of reading it with my own parents when I was little. There are so many books I want to share with him!

I could go on and on, and I probably should write all of these little things down in his baby book so I don't forget them. He's already getting bigger--he officially grew out of one of his smallest onesies this week, and his fingers suddenly seem huge. Where did my tiny baby go?

Yeah, I think we're going to do okay by ourselves for the next few months.