Thursday, November 27, 2008

Food coma

We didn't really have Thanksgiving today but we sure did eat.

We broke

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Vivid dreams are a pain

Two nights in a row, she sleeps nine hours. Two nights in a row, I sleep seven. Two nights in a row, I wake up at five in the morning wondering why my pillow won't latch on properly.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Hi there.

I have another blog (oh how I hate that word, but all the alternatives are just as bad), but some of it is personal, and I don't want most people I actually know to have access to it. So I'm mirroring most of my entries here, since I wouldn't mind if my family and friends read most of what I write. Someday I might get around to actually getting all of them over here. But probably not. My favorite thing in the world to do, besides talking about myself on the Internet, is nothing.

More pictures! I started a new album, since the old one was getting so bloated.


Grace's last feeding yesterday took AN HOUR AND FORTY-FIVE MINUTES. At first I thought she might have reflux. She's always been Spit Queen, and for the last few days she's been fussy while nursing and very distracted. Her favorite thing to do is to clamp on as hard as she can (they should make bank vault doors out of nursing babies) and twist her head around to one side so she can stare intently at the blinds or the fan or James or the cat or air particles invisible to the adult eye.

I looked all this up. Apparently I have a distractible baby. The website I went to (kellymom) is all gung-ho about breastfeeding, which, rah! but whoever writes it clearly experiences breastfeeding as lollipops and bunny tails. I don't. I love nursing Grace, but feeding her is boring. BORING. And difficult. She's so heavy now that she sinks waaaay down into any pillows I can shove under her, but she's not got the head control that most babies of that weight have. She does have the strength, though, so every randomly firing neuron means another claw mark on my chest (I've resorted to covering her fists with socks for every feeding) or a fist-sized lump on my nose. You know how on cartoons and comic strips, when characters get into big fights, it's just this cloud of dust with "&^%$@!" for a caption and arms and legs poking out at random with great vigor? That's my baby. My heavyweight champion baby. My biceps and wrist muscles are turning into titanium.

Kellymom tells me I have a distractible baby. There's nothing wrong with her (yay!). This perfectly normal (hoorah!). Babies of her age often take hours to nurse at the end of the day (say what?). She'll probably get better around month four (shoot me now). Enjoy your bonding time together (riiiight)! Things that will help are to nurse her in a dark room or with a nursing cover on (I can do that) and minimize sounds, meaning no TV or radio. Um. No. Nononono. TV is what makes life bearable these days. I CANNOT spend an hour and forty-five minutes every evening staring at my kid while she slurps away and does pirouettes in my lap. I will go stark raving mad.

This might mean I'm a bad mother, but I suspect very few women would be okay with this. Breastfeeding is not a magical wonderland full of friendly wizards and pretty unicorns. It's a good thing, but it also really sucks sometimes. Pun! Totally intended!

I'm so glad I'm cute! The cuteness, it is what keeps me alive! Hooray!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Short and sweet non-entry

So thirsty, so sick of typing one-handed. Hungry. Sleepy.


Not getting up for awhile, methinks. Do you KNOW how soft this hair is? And how cute she is when she's hooting in her sleep? I swear I could eat this baby alive.

Monday, November 17, 2008

So tired my brain smells like scrambled eggs.

You people are so sweet. Now, I know that all parents have had moments where they had only three options: 1) Leave the room and scream 2) Shake the child 3) Kill oneself. I know this, and I know that choosing option one was the best, but I still felt terrible. Especially since I'm nowhere near as sleep-deprived as most new mothers. This child, she sleeps seven or eight hours almost every single night. It's too bad I can never just go to bed and to sleep immediately after putting her down for the evening (usually between 10 and 11). Instead I stay up until 12:30.

I think I might be pregnant again. All I want to eat is honey and ho-hos. I have never in my life had a sweet tooth. This is disconcerting.

We are having our neighbors over on Saturday. This will be a challenge. I'm forcing myself to cook something simple and totally not impressive. If I try to make something involved and really neat, I'll end up with really burnt food or a food-covered baby. It must be something that I can work on throughout the week, and it must be something I can make in 20-minute increments.

What I'm really panicking about is conversation. How do two 26-year-old geeks with a baby and sleep debt make conversation with two 60-years old lawn care lovers? I'm working on topics of conversation already. Nerves do funny things to me and James. I talk more and more about myself (it's what I know!), and he talks more and more about video cards and the new Diablo III. Someone suggested working out a code word to tip the other off when we're each doing our annoying things. I think we'll try that. Or just kick him under the table. And probably end up kicking Ed in the shins.

I'm really, really happy to have a baby. I already want more. I already miss her newborn-ness.

But please tell me there will come a time when I can think about something (anything!) besides the baby. She's started sleeping really well, but I invariably wake up between 3 and 5 in the morning, certain that she's crying and needs to eat. Or I'll dream that my extra pillow is the baby and wake up feeding the pillow, or wake up in a panic, sure that the pillow I have under me or clenched in my arms is a suffocated baby.

And when I'm awake, at least half of my brain is reserved for her. I can think about other things, but I can never think only of other things, even if it's just in the background. I'm just sick of all conversation turning to her and how cute she is, or how I'm constantly distracted from whatever conversation I am having because I'm thinking about her.

This is not so bad all the time, but it does mean I hear myself saying "Baby baby baby Grace blah blah child baby Grace blah blah baby baby," and I am powerless to stop it. My poor friends.

And yes, I do get out of the house baby-free. It doesn't seem to help.

So, since the wee one has robbed me of all funniness and creativity, I give to you a video. There's a better-quality one up on facebook. The stupid camera is really loud, or you'd hear her a whole lot better.

What I think is really funny about this is what she looks like. Substitute a tank top and a bathrobe for her onesie and sleeper. All she needs is chest hair, a beer, and a remote control.

I was totally joking about being pregnant again. Just thought I'd clear up any potential misunderstanding.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Whine whine baby baby blah blah blah

My resolution to write more notes and keep up with favorites couldn't have been made at a worse time. Curse you, NoJoMo! No mo, NoJoMo! No mo!

I'm so clever.

I apologize for the loopiness of this entry. I put Grace to bed at 11:00 last night. She slept like a rock until 5:30 this morning. I, however, was up until midnight. Then I read in bed for half an hour and took another half hour to fall asleep. So it's really my fault that I'm so exhausted today.

But curses, child, couldn't you have napped for a couple hours after your early morning feeding? She's asleep now, but only because I put her in her bouncy seat. My left foot is developing enormous bouncy-chair-shaped callouses. Oh, I love to hold her and smush her and rock her, but she loves her bouncy seat more than her mom. If the bouncy seat could lactate, there'd be no need for me. Sometimes I'll be unable to resist the cuteness, and I'll pick her up out of that contraption to cuddle her for a bit. She'll look up at me with a WTF? look on her face, then a look of terror, and then she'll scream.

When it's bedtime, though, I am magic. And "You Are My Sunshine" is, too. That song is a powerful narcotic for her. I don't know why. I didn't sing it that much while I was pregnant. The one song I did sing all the time, she appears to not care at all. But "You Are My Sunshine" will calm her down and make her sleepy almost every night. I need to learn more verses because I'm getting really sick of it.

She had a bath last night. She's gotten a lot better about baths. She even seems to enjoy them a little bit. Until we get to the head and neck area. Then you'd think we were decapitating her with a wooden spoon. Oh, the shrieks and the wails!

The nice thing about bath night is that she completely exhausts herself with all that screaming and often passes out mid-wail as we're drying her and lotioning her. It's pretty funny to see. Last night she didn't do that, but she did face-plant on James's chest after it was all over and slept like that, nose smooshed against his sternum, for a long time. I don't know how babies do it. I can barely fall asleep in a warm, comfy bed.

Sometimes I think the reason she prefers her bouncy seat to me is that I'm her primary torturer. When we bathe her, James sits behind her and holds her, so she can't see him. I'm the one who changes most of her diapers, the one who is constantly coming at her with nose suckers and saline drops and new clothes to put on. I mean, if you found yourself in Saddam Hussein's torture chambers, would it really matter if he cradled you to his bosoms and fed you every few hours? No. You'd still hate and fear the guy. My daughter things I'm a sadistic tyrant.

But now she has that clean baby smell (by tomorrow it will once again be that sour milk smell, no matter how vigilant I am) and fluffy hair and arms so soft I can barely feel them when I touch them. You ever smell Burt's Bees baby lotion? It is everything good in this world thrown into a blender and smeared on a baby. I have to sometimes wear a muzzle to keep from eating her whole.

The other night I almost did eat her whole, and not because she was so cute. Now, I realize that bad sleep nights are typical for most newborns, but she's been such a good sleeper from about two weeks on that I'm spoiled and weak.

Every once in a while she becomes hyper-alert after her late evening feeding. I don't know what causes it; I drink only one cup of coffee very early in the morning, I try not to overstimulate her as the day wears on, and I make sure she's swaddled and cozy-feeling. But her eyes will dart around like she's got ADD--focusing on things, but only for milliseconds at a time before moving on to the next thing, and it kind of freaks me out. It's almost like REM sleep, except with the eyelids open.

So she was doing that the other night, AND she had gas (despite liberal use of the gas drops). She was hyper and in pain, and there was absolutely nothing I could do for her. She wailed and wailed and wailed until 1:00 in the morning. I normally handle her screaming really well. The Crazy Hormones are no longer surging wildly through my brain, and I'm getting more sleep; if I know nothing is really wrong with her, I can even laugh sometimes--not because I'm sadistic, but because I think she's cute even when she's crying. But Wednesday night there was no laughing. I don't know if it was because I hadn't slept well the last few nights or if it was because I knew she was in pain and not just grumpy, but I finally put her down in her crib, still screaming, and went in the bathroom. I sat down on the toilet and sobbed and then yelled, "Just SHUT UP! Why won't you just SLEEP?" I would have yelled more, but I didn't want James to wake up.

Of course I knew why she wouldn't just sleep, but the very tired, selfish part of me had taken over and was thisclose to shoving my head through a plate glass window in an effort to avoid shaken baby syndrome (I feel absolutely horrible admitting this, but I suspect most mothers and fathers have been there). Which is why I left the room and screamed at the baby. It felt really good. And then I cried and snotted all over myself.

James heard me and came out to rock her for a little bit (poor guy has to get up in the morning and go to work, which is why I try never to wake him at night). She wouldn't calm down for him either, so he came into the bathroom and coddled his mess of a wife. And wouldn't you know it, while he was talking me down, the baby suddenly went quiet, and we didn't hear a peep from her until 7:00 in the morning. I fed her then, and she went right back to sleep for another three hours.

Yesterday was a really good day. I got so much done around the house, and I started my new exercise regimen. Don't laugh, okay? I'm still pretty flabby from lying in bed for a week and a half straight. I walk up and down the stairs (12 of them) five times in a row every day through Saturday. Then next week it will be six, the next seven, and so on. It's a lot harder than it used to be. I meant to start doing sit-ups, too, but I never got around to it. I'm a little afraid to. Not because I still hurt (well, I do, but I can handle that), but because it's going to be depressing. Good stomach muscles are one of the few things I still had from my swimming days. Now they're more like used-up rubber bands. And they're still sore from being stretched apart during my surgery.

I really want to get some breakfast, but my foot must keep bouncing the child, or she will wake up and loudly demand more bouncing. We need to install a small kitchen next to the couch. Then I'd never have a reason to get up.

Another good thing about Bones? Finding new music that I like. The latest is Katie Gray. I suggest you check it out.

Baby hungry. Must go.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Hott(ish) mama

I added some pictures to the Photo Album of Bloatedness +3 (see below).

I got dressed like a grown-up today and went to my last doctor's appointment. I blow-dried my hair. This is because I have a hip new haircut that requires blow-drying if I want to not look like something that just stepped out of 90210's way-back machine. I slapped on some makeup. Eyeliner, even. My legs are clean-shaven! This I did more out of shame (one of the many things that sucks about going to the doctor; I'm totally fine with you looking at my postpartum hoo-ha, but by golly my legs had better be smooth). I wore actual real woman pants. No elastic waistband. No belly panel. They do still fit under the heading of "mom pants", but I'll be wearing them for a while yet. According to Dr. M, my scar is looking just beautiful, but it's still tender and unhappy with anything that touches it. I'd like to be able to wear cool pants again sometime before I turn 37. Also, Grace is the prettiest baby ever. I'm sure he says that to everyone, but it still made my day. It makes me a little sad that I won't be going back there for a whole year. I associate that place with my pregnancy, which was a pretty happy time. Not that I'm not happy now. But I do have a child to tend to all the time. It's kind of exhausting.

Then Grace and I moseyed on over to Hebrew Friend's house and spent a few hours there. Our two friends took turns holding the child. She slept through most of it. She's very sleepy these days. Is so hard. To be a baby. To grow. And eat. And poo. So hard.

Then I came home. It's funny (sad?) how the highlight of my month occupies two paragraphs.

I had James give her a bottle when I got home. I want to give her one often enough that she'll take them, but not so often that she starts to prefer them. She screams and squawks and twitches about like we're trying to cook and eat her, but she'll take it. When James was done, I heard the most gratifying words a new mom can hear: "I don't know how you do it. Just one feeding is exhausting." I love that man.

Okay. Something has been bothering me for some time. And don't take it personally if you do it. EVERBODY does it. This is not directed at any one person, and I am an anal retentive lunatic. So here goes. "Guess what" is not a question. It is a command. It does not require a question mark. It feels like it should end in a question mark because it ends in a question word. But it is not a question. It requires a period or an exclamation point or possibly a semi-colon. No question mark.

I am so glad I got that off my chest. Now feel free to tear apart my grammar mistakes. I know I have plenty.

I spilled hot tea all over my laptop a few days ago. It kind of happened in slow motion. If I'd taken the time to think about what was happening, I probably would have thrown up all over it, too. But I didn't. I grabbed a paper towel, soaked up what was on the keyboard, turned it off, and flipped it upside down on the table to drain. Then the nausea set in.

The good news: it works just fine.

The bad new: I have dried tea spots everywhere. They keep appearing just when I think it's clean. Also, I can no longer put tea on the coffee table next to my computer. This is so inconvenient.

Question for you all: what does my color scheme look like to you? I thought it was pale blue and chocolate brown, but I looked at it on James's computer, and it's a less pale, more obnoxious blue and a poop brown on his. This irks me.

Finally, Word of the Day sent me this gem the other day:

horripilation: the act or process of the hair bristling on the skin, as from cold or fear; goose flesh

That is all for now.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Again, I love this kid

This is for the people who wonder why I love Jensen Ackles:

Have any of you seen those commercials?

I think they're terrifying, and I wish Hulu would get rid of them. I mean, look at this face and tell me you're not worried about that thing eating your soul:

I've been watching a lot of Bones lately. I think I love Temperance Brennan almost as much as I love agent Booth. Oh, Hulu, will you marry me?

I'm starving. Grace will be starving soon. I should probably go feed myself before the beast awakes. By the way, she slept 8 hours again last night.

Monday, November 3, 2008

You mean I need to do stuff with it?

The child, she is not a newborn anymore. She now requires things like entertainment and interaction and lots of cuddling. You know, not that I ever stuck her in a box in a corner all day, but she's so high-maintenance these days. Next you'll tell me she'll start crawling, and I'll have to keep an eye on her and stuff.

Last night she slept 7 hours straight. She doesn't sleep those long, long stretches consistently, but it's happening more and more. It's so good to feel like a person again. Yesterday I blow-dried my hair, and I put goop in it, and I even used a little hairspray. And then, in the car on the way to church I put on makeup. I felt like a real grown-up woman all day--nay, a movie star! And I didn't wear sweatpants!

(Yoga pants, but they were black and from a distance could be mistaken for dress pants, and I only wear them because my incision is still tender. Stupid incision.)

Grace was baptized yesterday. She was not amused. I wish I had video of the flailing startled arms pedaling wildly in the air. Like she's being attack by a man with an axe and must fend him off with only her razor-like fingernails (no matter how short I trim them, they are ouchy and jagged). The thing that sucks about having all that hair is that it takes a while for one's head to dry. And her awesome parents forgot a towel. Our pastor also got water all over her face by accident. He felt bad, but we thought it was pretty funny. Our daughter will grow strong and bitter on a steady diet of mockery and sarcasm. Like good coffee. Go us!

I have to shower. There are things I have to do today. Things that involve needing to not look homeless. Sigh. All this work.