Saturday, September 17, 2016

Thursday, July 14, 2016

7 Months

Happy 7 months!
If there's been a theme these past couple months, it's let go. My life has become much more enjoyable now that I've let go of a lot of assumptions and judgments I imposed on myself, my husband, and my baby. Some of my stress was probably due to working--even though it was just part time--but I'm on summer break now, so I can ease up on everything. Then again Worrier Me (AKA Can't Enjoy the Moment Me) is like, But you'll be working full-time in a couple months, so don't get too comfortable. Anyway, for now, I can let go.

Recent firsts: mastering rolling over both ways, sitting up, eating solid foods (like a champ!), clapping, going to the lake, going to the pool, wearing shoes, visiting tíos and prima on the coast for a long day trip, going to a party--he's been busy! 


EC. He's now going in a potty 3-5 times every day (#1 and occasionally #2) . Something just kind of clicked when we started using a small potty. I never imagined how exciting pee and poop could be. I'm really happy we're doing this.

Sleep. We loosened up about napping--what a difference that made! He was sleeping too much during the day, but we didn't know; we were just trying to follow what "everyone" said. Now he's been falling asleep more easily and staying asleep longer at night and during naps (but he takes fewer naps). It's difficult when he goes through changes, though, and we don't know what's happening. 

Teeth. I've been feeling a tooth distinctly for a couple months now, but it's taking its sweet time I guess. He sometimes grabs my finger and rubs it aggressively across his gums, so I know it must bother him somewhat. I hope it comes in soon.

He loves music and dancing (he's a merenguero), food, and playing horsey on our knees. This is a fun time now that he plays with toys and his own feet and he's much more flexible about being in public places and the car. There's always a tradeoff. He gets more complicated but more independent. Next up: crawling and walking. Oh boy. 

Thursday, June 9, 2016


The view from my back door (just beyond that row of trees is my campus)

I've always felt like this time of the year has special significance. It's my birthday month, which might have something to do with it, but there's more. My life has been organized by academic years, so right about now every year, I get a little break and a chance to live for myself. It's also a time to deal with problems I've put off, and in general, it's a time for change.

Facebook is reminding me that seven years ago, I had just moved to Monterey. Because I know how this story plays out, it's bittersweet reading those memories. 

One year later, I was very sick. My now-ex had said something heartless and I knew our marriage was over. We had an explosive argument and a couple days later, let's say it wasn't the only thing that was explosive. My body was ridding itself of a virus, and I was mentally ridding myself of a shit person and building emotional immunity to protect myself.

Then again, I'm also seeing posts from a year after that, when we had finally separated, and I was able to feel joy again. I see hidden messages in my posts: "A hike at Garland Ranch" is read, "There might be romance in my life again. Woo hoo!" I remember feeling free, even though I had no plans for a stable future. Life was wonderful.

Other years, I've quit or started jobs around this time, I've taken big trips, I've started little projects, and yes, I've even gotten new hairstyles. This year, nothing truly momentous is happening, but I still feel that sense of change and renewal. I'm looking for ways to grow, refocus my energy, and get as much out of my life as possible. 

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Hair Stuff

I just refuse to look normal in photos. Can't take myself too seriously, you know. I'm a little windblown after a long walk with a not-wanting-to-nap baby (sleeping in the Moby here, by the way).

After contemplating a big chop for quite some time, I finally did it yesterday, about an hour after submitting final grades. I hate debuting a new haircut in front of students. I really needed a new look, and my long hair was driving me up the wall. When Sam turned about 3 months, all that extra hair I had accumulated during pregnancy starting falling out en masse, and my long strands were all over the house, stuck to Sam's drooly face, and clogging up our drains. It had to go.

And since I don't post a lot of photos of myself here, this is what I looked like in January on an especially good hair day. 

It feels good. 

I've also recently experimented with using baking soda and vinegar in place of shampoo and conditioner (inspired by Ashley a million years ago). After just one day, I was a convert, although I'm still trying to use up some conditioner. Vinegar really does soften and detangle if you can believe it. 

There's the hair update I know you've all been yearning for. 

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

5 Months


Months 3-5 have been ... I don't even know where to start. Confusing. Tiring. Occasionally joyful. But mostly just really really difficult. The first couple of months were easy--and even I could see that at the time--but the emotional roller coaster has officially begun. Sam's going through some big changes now, and each day and night is different from the one before. I'm trying to understand it and not fight it, and most important, I'm trying not to feel like a failure.

I think I've finally learned my lesson: DON'T GOOGLE THINGS. Babies do their thing. I can encourage him to do my thing, but in the end, the baby will do what he has to. I'm just here to make funny noises and be drooled on.

In other news --

Sam lost a bunch of hair but still kept most of it. He grew some eyebrows, though. 

We took our first trip with the baby at the very beginning of April. We just spent a couple days in Monterey visiting friends. It was stressful at first, but I'm really glad we did it because now we're all more comfortable going out places.

For a while, he stopped liking being in a sling, so we got in the habit of carrying him around. It's funny how many parents I see with an empty stroller and their baby in their arms. We recently tried wearing him again, and he was okay with it, so now I sometimes take him for long walks.

Just before he hit 4 months, he laughed for the first time. I said before that I didn't want him to start laughing because his silent smile just killed me and I didn't want that to change, but I take it back. Silent smiles are great, but so is laughter. His eyes get squinty and you can see some subtle dimples. He hasn't been babbling as much these days, but laughter is a nice replacement. 

He weighed in at 17 pounds at his 4-month doctor's appointment. Go, breastmilk! Speaking of, breastfeeding used to consume my entire day, and I finally understood why some women choose to formula feed. It was intense. Now, though, it's no big deal, and obviously, it's working.

At 4 1/2 months, he rolled over for the first time. He went back-to-belly, which I hear is the unconventional way babies perform their first roll-over, and watch me be 0% surprised my son is already unconventional. 

EC is coming along. He seems to be responding to the "pee" sound we make most of the time now. 

Babies seem to be everywhere! How did I not notice just how many babies there are out and about? We now do that thing where we ooh and aah over other people's babies and they ask, "How old?" and we're like grocery store BFFs for 10 seconds.

I found this company that sells simple, affordable baby clothes. Unfortunately, we prefer rompers or shirt/pants to onesies, and it's too hot for the long sleeved items now, but I like the concept anyway. Instead, we recently bought him some drop-crotch (too legit) pants that grow with him!

Take care, everyone. Thanks for reading.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Mothers Day

Here we are. Blurry. Just after a midday bath after a couple of spit-up-ful days. Sam is on the verge of crying because he couldn't seem to nap all morning. I, too, am in need of a nap (I won't get) after he woke up at 1 a.m. the night before and didn't want to go back to sleep. I'm in a nursing tank/pajamas because it was a day I didn't have to go in to work, and I no longer wear real clothing unless absolutely necessary.

"Hey, let's take a selfie." 

Happy Mothers Day, to my own mom and all my mom friends out there. 

Sunday, April 10, 2016

A Lesson about Preparing for a Baby

Do yoga. Not that pretty "flow" stuff but the kind where you have to just stay in that damned pose for eternity. I'm not kidding. I let my yoga practice slide the past couple years, and I regret it now that I have a heavy baby who has to be carried everywhere and who currently doesn't like being worn in a sling or hauled around in a car seat. My back is picking up the slack from having weak arms. 

Get some WD-40. This I already had, thankfully, but I'm going to start giving it to people at baby showers I think. That plus some carpet cleaner and laundry detergent in bulk. 

Friday, April 8, 2016

A Lesson about Complaints

We've been having mid-80s temperatures these past few days, which I am emotionally unprepared for. The fans are out of the garage, the thermostat has been flipped from heat to cool, and I'm suddenly realizing I have no shorts or tank tops to get me through our ridiculously hot summer. Last summer, I was complaining about how difficult it was to find maternity clothes I liked, but now I'm faced with a whole new body to try to dress. I'm still carrying around a little more weight than my pre-pregnancy body, and my chest is--well, I really just don't have words to describe what's going on there. I'm wondering why I was ever complaining about having to dress my pregnant body or my pre-pregnancy body.

The lesson: The good news is that whatever I think is a problem now will not always be a problem. The bad news is that it will be replaced by a whole new set of problems.

Monday, March 14, 2016

3 Months

Three months is hitting us kind of hard. Sam is likely going through a growth spurt, both physically and developmentally, and everything is whacky. He's tired all the time but doesn't want to sleep. Even though he'd been sleeping in his own crib for more than a month (it's a co-sleeper that we moved away from the bed), he recently started waking up every two hours, and I had to bring him back to my side again so we could get some decent sleep (and it's worked like a charm). He's started drooling off and on and we're wondering if he's started teething.

On the up side, he smiles a lot! I don't ever want him to get teeth or start laughing because his silent, toothless smile is perfect. He's also trying to copy our sounds by saying ooh, aah, and goo all the time. I had no idea babies made such intentional sounds this early on; I always assumed it was just random babbling. Sometimes when I read to him, he starts talking as if he's saying, "You're telling it wrong, Mama. Let me." Occasionally, he grabs and bats at toys, and he's more and more interested in what's happening around him (so I guess it's time to turn off the TV).

Some other 3-month thoughts
  • He had his first vaccines a couple weeks ago, which he (and I) took surprisingly well. 
  • We're experimenting with EC. I just hope to make full potty training happen a little more quickly and without trauma. In the meantime, we've switched to using Blueberry cloth all-in-one diapers. We're happy with them. The Gdiapers were disappointing, I'm sorry to say.
  • This Graco adjustable high chair/booster has been a lifesaver! Sam doesn't care much for the bouncy seat we got from family, but he likes the high chair, and it allows me to cook and even eat for short periods of time.
Time has passed unbelievably fast. I look back at the photos we took the day he was born and I can't believe it's the same baby. He's growing by leaps and bounds and showing his personality more and more every day. We're so in love.

Monday, February 8, 2016

8 Good Things

Keeping it real: unshowered, cleavage up to my neck, Sam being skeptical (as he should be)

Stir Fry

Black bean and potato soup 

Curry chickpeas and vegetables

1. Some really good days. After a couple of exhausting days, one evening recently Sam unquestionably smiled at us for the first time. Those good days and good moments are so very welcome. He's nearing 2 months, growing like a weed (nearly 12 pounds now), and seemingly overcoming his late night gas, so we're all sleeping a little better.

2. Cooking. Because leaving the house with the baby is still kind of daunting, I'm cooking at home almost all the time, and I'm finally eating all that healthy stuff that tends to be ignored in the pantry. There's been a lot of soup--surprise!--but also curry dishes, stir fry, and salads. Vegetables galore! 

3. Seitan. Speaking of cooking, I've really been enjoying seitan. Infinitely better than tofu.

4. Beer. I refrained from drinking alcohol while I was pregnant. I don't normally drink very often, so it seemed like I'd be going out of my way to drink during my pregnancy. Now, it's a treat. I've had a couple of my most favorite beers over the past few weeks, and they were delicious.

5. Feeling pretty good physically. I'm still recovering from pregnancy and delivery, but I feel almost back to normal. I might be going to see a chiropractor to put some things back in order. I think I linked to this some time ago, but I have a renewed interest in body alignment and natural movement, and I really hope to get outdoors more soon!

6. Burlap bag gardening. We're thinking of planting some vegetables soon, and this method looks fairly easy and cost effective. I'm excited at the prospect of having a vegetable garden again!

7. Coffee. Like beer, I'd been refraining, and I still only drink weak coffee once in a while. I definitely missed the caffeine + work combo. 

8. Some really pleasant weather. I hate to say it because it shouldn't be in the 70s in February, but I can't not appreciate a sunny, 75-degree day when I've been cooped up for a couple months.

Monday, January 18, 2016

1 Month

I swore I wasn't going to plaster my child's image all over the internet, but can you blame me? 

The past 5 weeks have certainly flown by in a blur of nursing and lots of terrible daytime TV (secretly, I'm grateful for crime drama marathons).

Some people have asked how motherhood is going. You know? It feels pretty normal actually, which is weird since I had always gone back and forth about wanting kids before. I expected a dramatic change the day he was born, and I was scared because I didn't think I'd handle that well, but it hasn't been like that at all. Basically, it's just one foot in front of the other.

Breastfeeding has gone well, and he happily takes a bottle of breastmilk on the rare occasion I've left the house on my own--both are a big relief. I never realized just how much babies looooove milk. He's put on more than 2 pounds already. 

People also ask me about sleep. I read The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, and it helped me develop a good attitude towards sleep. For one, I've been lucky in that Sam sleeps in chunks of about 3 hours at night most nights, so it's not bad. For now, he sleeps next to me in bed most the time, which I think helps us both sleep better. But when he's not sleeping well, I try to remember that babies need to wake up to eat. I'm not constantly thinking, "It would be great if he'd just sleep through the night," because no, it wouldn't be. My definition of sleeping appropriately (8 continuous hours of sleep every night) works for our modern life, but that's not to say it's the only way to get enough sleep. At the moment, I'm not stressing too much about sleep.

The hardest part is leaving the house. We have to bring so much stuff, and then I worry about how comfortable he's going to be, and WHAT IF HE CRIES, and it just doesn't seem worth it. I mean, we don't really need groceries, do we? I can't leave by myself unless I've pumped enough milk, but little Sam eats constantly, so it's hard to find a window of opportunity to pump. This is that fourth trimester I've heard women talk about; we're still very much attached. 

We have good days and bad days. In the past week, he's done a lot of waking up (he slept through his first few weeks), and we've officially entered the, "What do you want?" phase as he's figured out grunting and crying. We're learning, though. There's a special kind of joy in getting an infant to fart when he's painfully gassy.

I'm eager to learn more about who this little person is.