July 30, 2009

Pimpin' ain't easy.

Today Charlie and I loaded up and drove out to Tiff's house to hang with her and her five-month-old twin girls, Cambria and Kaylin. Tiff was nice enough to make me a chicken burrito that I ate about two bites of because my appetite is still that screwed from being cut open almost two months ago. She and I got to discuss lots of mom stuff, which was totally awesome and much needed on my end. And Charlie was able to fulfill every man's fantasy: being in the middle of two sisters in bed.

**cue hot porn music**

Kaylin decided to eat Charlie's hand. And I don't blame her: I've snacked on his fingers a time or two myself.

Charlie bopped Cambria in the nose! He is so grounded.

Baby legs! Almost as tasty as baby fingers!

Later, in a gesture of great diplomacy, Kaylin offered Charlie a spot on her chair. What a gal!

I'd say Charlie's first play date was a rousing success. Thanks, TIff!

July 29, 2009

Top Tune #3

This Top Tune is brought to you by the summer of 1992, when I was an awkward and skinny 13-year-old. That was the summer I had my first real kiss with a guy I'd prefer to forget. Fortunately for all, some good things did come out of the summer of 1992, particularly this song:

November Rain by Guns 'n' Roses

Still rockin' after all these years.

Because putting a seven week old baby on a diet is SUCH a good idea.

Yesterday we took Charlie for his second well check-up. He weighed in at a whopping 15 lbs 4 oz. He has almost doubled his birthweight! I was so proud...

But the pediatrician told us that he is overweight (greater than the 95th percentile for weight) and that we need to try to get him down to eating three ounces every three hours. (He currently eats an average of four ounces a feeding - sometimes more, sometimes less. Feedings during the day tend to be around two hours apart. At night they tend to be three or four hours apart.)

Edited to add: Charlie is in the 75th percentile for height and 80th percentile for his head.

I was very taken aback by this because it's not like we're forcing food down his throat - he's just a big eater. He doesn't spit up a lot, so we thought all was okay. The pediatrician recommended that we try to get him to take a pacifier more often, but Charlie doesn't really care for pacifiers. He will sometimes take one, but it's not a sure thing like it is with some babies. To me, it's great that he's not totally dependent on a pacifier: less weaning we have to do later.

My first instinct to the doctor's suggestion was a WTF one. I was just shocked at the thought of putting Charlie on a diet. I even asked the doctor about just feeding him when he's hungry, which is what we've always done. To me, it does not make any kind of sense to try to schedule a seven week old's feedings. Charlie has always let us know exactly what it is he needs.

But after we left, I began to feel really bad, like I had somehow failed as a mother because I'd let my kid eat too much. Roy and I spent some time discussing it and realized that we felt that the rules had somehow changed all of a sudden - after all, the other pediatrician (who did Charlie's circumcision and saw him for his first well check-up) said that we should just feed him when he's hungry and that you can't really put a baby on a diet. That pediatrician is in the same practice as ours, by the way. Talk about mixed messages!

But we decided we'd try out our doctor's recommendation. So I spent yesterday trying to distract Charlie from eating as much as often. It was okay at first, because he took a nice long nap. But after that it was truly a disaster. I ended up with a much-too-fussy baby for entirely too long. And then I ended up breaking down and feeding him more because I knew that's what he wanted. Sure enough, he went right to sleep afterwards.

By the end of the day, we pretty much threw the pediatrician's recommendation out the window and went back to feeding on demand. So he's a big baby! I have always felt that in time his weight gain will stabilize as he becomes more mobile. I find it hard to believe that we are damning him to a life of obesity just based on how much formula he consumes. If he is anything like Roy or me, he will actually be skinnier-than-skinny through his childhood and into younger adulthood, when he will eventually settle into his body (and hopefully won't become overweight).

I don't think that this pediatrician is evil, but it seems to me that he is a member of the "scheduling" movement, and we really aren't - at least not right now. I think Charlie is still too young to be on a rigid schedule. This is a fundamental difference that we didn't pick up on when we interviewed him. So we're in the market for a second opinion and probably a new pediatrician as well.

Anyone want to weigh in on this? Anyone out there with similar experiences?

July 28, 2009

Greatest Text Hits, Volume 1

Charlie is napping, and I have been flipping through my saved messages on my cell phone. When I get a text that I really like, I lock it. I have a ton locked right now that I am slowly deleting. Here are a few of my favorites:

3/3/08, from Myra: You have already captured and memorialized your inspiration many more times and in a much more eloquent fashion than most people do in a lifetime.

4/28/08, from Myra: I cannot wait until you and the Roylet have a little bunlet in the oven.

6/20/08, from Candice: Once upon a time there was a beautiful princess who loved to take pictures with abnormally sized lemons and who loved to sniff bellybuttons. The end.

(She's referring to me, see?

10/26/08, from Mandy: Oh my gosh, are you okay? I heard that the short bus flipped over and I know how you hate to wear your helmet because it makes it hard to lick the window...

11/4/08, from Tiff: He did it! :) Our babies will be born with Obama as president! How awesome is that??

I can't help but smile when I reread these.

July 27, 2009


Charlie is seven weeks old today, and I swear he's the size of a three month old.

This week we transitioned Charlie from his bouncy chair into the pack and play. He'd been sleeping in his bouncy chair since we got home from the hospital, but he's going to be too big for it soon. It was surprisingly easy to make the change, probably because he is sleeping on a changing pad in the pack and play, which he seems to prefer.

He loves the mobile on the pack and play. He gets the biggest grins on his face while looking at it.

We also tried the swing this week. Well, we had tried it before, but Charlie never really seemed to like it. He's doing better with it now, although the swing itself really kind of sucks. (We're working on getting it fixed.) We did decide to order another swing that plugs in, because not only does our current swing suck, it also eats batteries.

I put Charlie in his crib for a short time while doing some work around the house. He liked it, because he got to stare up at his crib mobile. So I make it a point to put him in there more often. I'm sure it'll help when we're trying to transition him to his crib.

I have tried, with some success, to wear Charlie around the house using my Moby wrap and Ergo baby carrier. Like most infants, Charlie loves being held, but he definitely has a love/hate relationship with being worn, unfortunately. I've found that he really has to be in the right mood. I'm hoping this will change as he gets older and bigger - it certainly would make my life easier if I could just strap him to me on a regular basis and go about my day. I spend a lot of time during the day just holding him because he doesn't want to be put down. I do love holding him, though - I bet some day I'll be looking back wistfully to this time once Charlie becomes a rowdy little boy.

I think I just need to grow an extra set of hands. I'm sure Charlie would appreciate that.

Here are some bonus kitty pics from the week:

(If you look really close, you can see Kerwin's tongue! Love that.)

A picture is worth a word or two.

When I flip through my "Birth Day" photo folder, this is the photo that always gives me pause.

This picture makes my heart ache so badly that I wish I could rip it out and never feel again. Maybe it's the fact that Charlie's mouth is open in a silent cry. Maybe it's the knowing that he was cold and scared, having just been born and all. Maybe it's the realization that this was a moment in my baby's life that I missed and will never get back because I failed at something that should have come so naturally.

Countless women give birth every day without having to be put under general anesthesia and have their babies cut out of them - why couldn't I?

I hate that I am still so hurt over everything that happened almost two months ago. I hate that I can't let go of all the crap and just focus on my beautiful and healthy baby.

But that letting go thing is so, so hard - especially on nights like this.

July 24, 2009

Happy Friday

My Friday started off really early (6:30 AM) - Roy had to leave for work earlier than normal, so I had to wake up earlier. I decided to put Charlie in one of his cutest onesies. Mandy and Paul came over an hour or so later to hang out while some work was being done on their house. Mandy and I went to have breakfast. Charlie slept the whole time, and of course, we had to talk about the squishiness of his cheeks.

A little later in the morning, my friend Beans came over. I hadn't seen him in over a year.

Still as cool as ever.

Mandy and Paul came back a couple of hours later and graciously offered to watch Charlie while I took a nap.

(A note to new parents, or parents in general: If people (that you trust) offer to help you with your kids, let them. I actually get to take naps every now and again! I am a much better mother when I am somewhat rested.)

Once I woke up from my glorious nap, we decided to have an early dinner. Mandy and I each had a margarita.

It was my first one in ages. It made me try out my sexy face.

My sexy face needs work.

We went to one of my current favorite places and browsed. I wanted to get this for Charlie but decided to see if it was available elsewhere.

I read this book when I was a kid and loved it. I had completely forgotten about it until today.

When we got home, Roy was home from work and sleeping. Charlie was making cute faces at me.

We hung out happily for awhile until Charlie morphed into Fussy McFusserson. Now he is snoring like Jabba the Hut*, Roy is awake and has showered, and I am going to take a nice warm bath to welcome the weekend.

Happy weekends to all!

* I had my postpartum checkup yesterday, and my OB thought it was funny that Charlie was snoring. He was also just amazed at what a big baby Charlie is. At one point, he said, "Look at him, snoring like Jabba the Hut!"

Top Tune #2

Funky Goes to Hollywood (totally rad mashup) by DJ Earworm

Last year I got linked to this, thanks to blurbomat, and got to download it for free. It quickly made its way to the Top 25 Most Played playlist on my iPod, and if you give it a listen, you'll see why.

July 23, 2009

At Last

Roy and I decided that for our wedding anniversaries, we would take trips to celebrate instead of buying each other gifts. Last year we went to Minneapolis. This year we went for a short day trip (for obvious reasons) out to Orange County.

Mandy came over to stay with Charlie for the day. It was our first time leaving him with a babysitter. We posed for a family photo before heading out.

We made it out of the house okay, but by the time we got to our destination (the Bowers Museum), I felt like someone had ripped my heart out. I missed Charlie so much. I couldn't stop talking about him. (There's a shock.)

We ate lunch at the museum cafe. I had crab cakes, and Roy had something weird.

We stopped at the museum gift shop. As far as museum gift shops go, this one was amazing. I found so many things I wanted, but we only ended up getting this (for Charlie):

The main hallway of the museum had some striking pictures (not sure of the medium) of Chinese warriors.

There was also a whole exhibit of really awesome photos from Africa.

We made a new friend.

We didn't get to stay as long as I wanted. But we made up for it by stopping by this great deli (strictly for the bakery) and grabbing some goodies. I hadn't been there in years.

Still as good as ever.

We crept home in the typical Orange County traffic, listening to our wedding playlist on the way. We managed to stop off at home for a few minutes so I could get my Charlie fix (I was jonesing big time and almost in tears at several points throughout the day). Then we headed out to our local movie theatre to see Away We Go. The theatre looked like this:

We really loved the movie. Go watch it!

Afterwards we went to Border's and stayed long enough to see this:

It was kind of a WTF moment for me because I couldn't help but wonder if someone wrote this and then just waited around for Michael Jackson to die.

We picked up dinner and headed home. Mandy and Paul were nice enough to stay and take Charlie for the night, thereby giving us a wonderful opportunity to sleep in our bed together and without interruption. I'd like to say that we got freaky but I hadn't been taken off pelvic rest yet. It's not like I'd tell you anyway, you perverts.

So that was our second wedding anniversary. And it was a great one. It was no trip to Minneapolis, but considering during our anniversary trip last year, it felt like we would never get pregnant, I'd take this one any time.

It's amazing how much can change in a year.

July 22, 2009

Top Tune #1

Since I have no original ideas of my own, I've decided to do this. (Click on the link, and stay awhile. It's a really cool place.)

For those of you who are too lazy to click on the link, I've decided to post/link to my favorite songs here on my blog (one at a time, and in no particular order). Whenever I feel like it. Until I run out of favorite songs. Because I love music and how it can tell a story about a person.

So, here's the first one.

Pachelbel's Canon in D by Slovak Chamber Orchestra

So boring, right? WRONG! I walked down the aisle to this song (this very version, actually - and I still maintain it's the best version ever) when I got married. (I'm still kind of surprised that I picked something so traditional.) This song is heavy on my mind tonight because we put Charlie in his swing and one of the music options was "Canon in D."

It felt very much like things had come full circle even though we are living in a more linear fashion. (I have no idea how else to word that sentence, which makes me feel pretty stupid right now. Would you like a side of lamesauce with that? And really, did I just say "lamesauce"? Fuck my life.)

And speaking of my wedding, I finally edited some photos from our anniversary last week. So maybe there's an anniversary post in me yet...

Musings on Motherhood, Marriage, and Myself

So I feel like I'm starting to get the hang of this mommy thing. I'm starting to figure out what kind of mother I am and what that means for me as a person. I am not saying that I am coming into my own as a mother (not yet, anyway), but day by day my confidence increases and I feel better about being able to meet Charlie's needs.

On the whole, my emotional landscape is beginning to level out. I wouldn't say that I've turned a corner, but I think I am beginning to emerge into the Land of Emotional Stability. I do still have bad days (and nights). I do still cry several times a week. I do still doubt myself and my ability to be a good mother. And I do still feel haunted by my birth experience.

But what's missing are those feelings of utter hopelessness and despair. I had nights in the first month of Charlie's life where I was really wishing that I was dead, and that scared me. I often wondered if I was experiencing postpartum depression but I also knew that the baby blues (which is something different from postpartum depression) can be very intense. The person who saved me during those really dark moments was Roy. Even if he had to get up and go to work in the morning, even if he'd spent the bulk of his day or evening caring for Charlie, he never hesitated to take over baby duty when I was crashing and burning. As lonely as I felt, the fact that he was willing to get out of bed to help me really made me realize that I wasn't in this alone.

So yeah, things are getting better. I don't feel like I'm going to fall apart at any given second, it's been quite some time since I worried that I was going to accidentally hurt Charlie in some way (like by dropping him, for example), I don't dread feedings like I used to, and I am able to drive like a normal human being without worrying constantly if Charlie is going to break his neck if I turn a corner at five miles per hour.

The sleep deprivation, however, is still an issue. Charlie is going longer between feedings at night (usually), and we are getting more sleep than we did at the beginning, but it's just not enough. By the end of the day, I'm fading fast, and I find myself running low on patience. Fortunately, Roy is always okay with taking Charlie for awhile once he gets home from work, but I also know that, like me, he's completely beat and sucked dry by the day's events combined with lack of sleep. We are still caring for Charlie in shifts at night, which is great for getting us enough sleep so that we can be somewhat functional, but is not so great since we are sleeping in separate rooms every night. This has really begun to affect both of us emotionally, and we realize that we can't do this for much longer. We miss each other.

I have no idea how to get back to "normal" life. I'm not sure how to be a regular human being while also being a mother. I do still do normal people things, of course, but when it comes to things that really need to get done, like revising my thesis proposal (for example), it is no longer as simple as putting aside some time every day to work on it. The time really just isn't there, especially when I tend to choose sleep, hygiene, or food over everything else. I'm assuming that as Charlie gets older, he will have more predictable sleep patterns and that our lives will regulate more. That's the hope, anyway.

If there's anything that I've realized since becoming a mother, it's the very simple fact that time is not my friend. Time is not going to slow down so that I can get everything done. So it's imperative to make the time to take care of the things that matter. I'm tired of making excuses for not doing certain things. I think I have a lot of talent and potential, but my main problem is discipline. I've always been drawn to living a life that celebrates creativity, and in a sense, my life does reflect that: I write often, I take photos every day, I listen to music and read and go to museums. But I have never taken that leap into full immersion into my vocation (whatever my vocation is). I have always, I feel, played it safe. I went for the office job because I needed some practical experience on my resume, I went to graduate school because I didn't know what else to do. I can't say that I regret either choice. I just wish that I would stop talking about the life I want to have and start making it a reality. I annoy myself in this regard. I think part of me expects that I will somehow just be discovered and that'll be that. It's completely naive and stupid to think this way - not to mention it is completely contradictory to the way that I live my life on a daily basis. I am not a passive person, but I am truly not proactive enough when it comes to the life I want to have.

Most people may think that having a baby means that I can kiss all this stuff good-bye, but actually, if anything is pushing me to live a life of my own making, it's Charlie. I firmly believe that the best example I can set for him (and other future children) is by making good choices, not just for him/them - but for me. I don't believe in being a martyr for motherhood, I don't see the sense in giving up my dreams because I'm a wife and mother. I am still my own person.

Yesterday evening I was headed to the bathroom to take a shower when I heard unfamiliar music drifting from our bedroom. Roy had put Charlie in the Pack and Play and turned on the mobile, which plays music and turns in a circle. Charlie was staring up at the mobile with big, shining eyes. Roy and I just stood there with big dopey grins on our faces watching Charlie discover this amazing thing. I felt the sting of tears in my eyes, and for the millionth time this week, I said to myself, "He's getting so big."

It was, as they say, a defining moment - a moment not just about us as parents seeing our child reach a milestone, but a moment in which this little human being taught us something: giving oneself up completely to the experience of living. I guess we could all learn a lot from a baby. I know I have.

July 20, 2009

Long-Awaited Alcohol Consumption

I haven't had a drink in god knows how long. Tonight Roy and I cracked open a bottle of wine and I had about two sips and then called it a night. (I'm so not a wine drinker.)

Charlie is six weeks old now, as I mentioned before. Here are a couple of pictures from the week:

Obviously I've uploaded my recent photos onto my computer, so perhaps I'll have something interesting/different to share soon. But I'm tired, and this is what I've got for now.

July 19, 2009

time keeps on slippin' into the future...

I'm turning into one of those people who never blogs. I used to live on the computer and now I barely have the time to check things out. I wonder why that is. (If I actually used emoticons while blogging, I'd insert a winky one here.)

But really! There are things I want to say. I want to talk about what we did on our anniversary. I want to talk about random outings we've taken. I want to talk about how I'm feeling about motherhood these days. And so on and so forth. (But a lot of these things require me to upload pictures from my cameras and then edit the pictures and blah blah blah. I just can't be bothered right now.)

Charlie is six weeks old tomorrow! Six weeks! Every Monday I look at the clock at random times throughout the day and think, "Hey, this is when (insert event from Charlie's birth day here) was happening." It's hard to believe that it's been a month and a half since my life changed forever. A month and a half really can feel like an eternity, but it can also feel like yesterday. I can't really remember what life was like before Charlie. I have a hard time remembering how I spent my maternity leave before Charlie was born. I seem to remember naps and movies and lots of quiet, but all that feels very vague now. I'm just going to go ahead and blame the sleep deprivation.

Despite said sleep deprivation, I'm starting to feel alive and open to the world in a way I didn't feel before. The things I have always enjoyed (books, movies, music, art, etc) feel infinitely more important to me now. That doesn't mean that I partake in these pleasures more often, only that I enjoy and cherish the time I spend doing them more. Being a mother and having a baby really has added an extra layer of meaning to all things in my life. I see the importance of living well more clearly; I see how time really is not on anyone's side; and I really am feeling the urge to take chances with things instead of playing it safe. I always thought that having a baby would mean that I would lean more towards being secure, and while that is still very much a factor, the stronger pull is toward carpe diem, baby.

I don't know how any of this is going to play out, but there are big decisions to be made involving employment and child care and vocations and the like. The future is definitely forming with each minute that slips past - how's that for deep? I'm going to go ahead and blame my excessive Sunday night introspection on the fact that I'm sitting in a dark room with Charlie while the sounds of rainfall keep playing over and over and over.

Hopefully I'll be back soon with some photos and updates and recaps and more deep thoughts. Until then, have a gander at this photo of me and my Wiggles - this was taken last weekend before an outing to our local art museum (the subject of another phantom blog entry that is begging to be written).

Charlie's shirt says "My First Pooh." What would be really cool is a shirt that says "My First Poo," but that would be such a big fat lie, as Charlie seems to poo like fifty million times a day and has done so since birth - and not always in his diaper.

Oh, and holy shit, would you take a look at the swoop of those bangs! I need a bang trim in the worst way. I've decided to grow out my hair and leave the bangs. It took becoming a father for Roy to actually figure out that he can voice his opinions, and with his new opinionated voice he told me that he liked my hair when it was long. So I'll grow it out for awhile and see how I feel. Truthfully my hair when it's long is a giant pain in the ass, but I do miss the days when I could just throw it in a ponytail and walk out the door. (Only now it would be stumble out the door with heavy-ass car seat and backpack while making sure that none of the cats escape and that I haven't left my keys or cell phone inside.)

I also miss the days when my natural hair color was actually pretty and not as mousy as it is now. I wish it'd just make up its mind already - are you blonde or brown? I've been a blonde my whole life, and I think my hair could still be categorized as being blonde (albeit dark blonde), but it's just so blah on its own. I definitely need to spruce up my roots.

This blog entry has been one long digression.

Have a great week, everyone! I made an actual to-do list for the week, because really, I need to get back to real life and get some things done before everyone thinks that I've died from excessive neon yellow poo inhalation.

July 16, 2009

One of Those Days

So today I spent pretty much the entire day with my ass planted in the chair in the nursery holding Charlie. I think there were 30 minutes total when I was able to change the laundry, wash a few bottles, and grab a bite to eat. There was also a very brief amount of time in which I put a sleeping Charlie into his bouncy chair and laid down on the floor to grab a nap myself. (Yes, this is what my life has come to.) I even had a little bit of time to dream about Kerwin pooping on the glider in the nursery but was quickly awakened by (you guessed it) crying that escalated to screaming in about five seconds.

It was definitely one of those "you put me down and I will scream my head off" days. One of those "I want to eat half an ounce every hour" days. One of those "I am going to poop as soon as you take off my diaper" days. Let's just say that Charlie's really lucky he's so cute.

Roy has come home from work and relieved me of Charlie duty for awhile. I'm going to crawl into the bathtub and then into bed for a nap. I do have things to share that actually have nothing to do with baby stuff, but for now I'll just leave you with this:

July 14, 2009

These Happy Golden Years*

I don’t love you as if you were the salt-rose, topaz
or arrow of carnations that propagate fire:
I love you as certain dark things are loved,
secretly, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that doesn’t bloom and carries
hidden within itself the light of those flowers,
and thanks to your love, darkly in my body
lives the dense fragrance that rises from the earth.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where,
I love you simply, without problems or pride:
I love you in this way because I don’t know any other way of loving

but this, in which there is no I or you,
so intimate that your hand upon my chest is my hand,
so intimate that when I fall asleep it is your eyes that close.

And so this is love:

Its inception,

Its promise,

Its vows,

Its commitment,

Its life,

Its realization.

Now my heart is full.***

I am more in love with you now than I have ever been. You are all I ever could have hoped for in a partner. Thank you for loving me and our son so completely and selflessly.

Happy second wedding anniversary, my heart. You make me so incredibly happy.


* - Laura Ingalls Wilder
** - Pablo Neruda
*** - Morrissey