So this is funny…I haven’t looked at, well, any of these pages since 2013. Gulp.
This blog is soooo 5 years ago.
Know who’s not 5 years ago? My ridiculously 1.5 years ago child, who is turning into a real, live person. With personality.
Isn’t she ridiculously adorable? Yeah, I’m biased.
You want to hear something else funny? The pictures we can take on our iPhones now totally outstrip anything I took with my actual point-and-shoot camera back in 2010.
Ha. Anyways, I just came across you in the process of telling a friend about how much time I used to spend baking, and thinking about baking, and writing about baking, and I wanted to say hi. I haven’t forgotten you, little retro blog. Maybe I’ll give you a facelift. Maybe I’ll try again? Maybe…We’ll see.
She’s asleep, for the next five, ten, thirty, who knows, minutes, so I’m blogging a quick one.
Isn’t it funny how our language changes with life events? I mean, my daily vocabulary now includes the words “poo” and “peepee” and “tinkle.” And sing-song voice while discussing all types of things.
The online community of moms has altered my vocabulary even more. I am currently a SAHM with an EBF 2MO DD, living with my DH.
Probably half of you reading this (Hi, Monica.) understood that. The other half don’t have a clue where I’m going.
(Stay At Home Mom with an Exclusively Breast Fed 2 Month Old Dear Daughter, living with my Dear Husband).
Well, I was a SAHM. But as of today, I’m now a WAHM. (Work At Home Mom). Lol. (Laugh out loud, also known as the catchall for “what I/you just said was quite humorous but I’m too cool to actually use the phrase ‘laugh out loud’ so I’m going to ironically say ‘lol’ and we’ll both know that I’m funny but not outdated”)
Can you keep up? I can’t.
But I did just get a new job, one that enables me to work from the kitchen counter, in my PJs, while Claire sleeps/rolls around on the floor next to me. (Just kidding. She can’t roll yet. She’s stubborn that way.)
I’m excited, but also nervous about how this will impact my parenting style. We’re a “crunchy” family, who practices Attachment Parenting (buzzwords!!!!), which basically means Claire is attached to either one of us pretty much 24 hours a day. We practice safe bedsharing, cloth diapering, and we are planning to breastfeed until Claire decides she’s done. We don’t let her “cry it out,” which means one or the other of us needs to have hands-free and available pretty much at all times.
All of this is going to prove challenging, now that C has to share me with my computer screen. Luckily, though, it’s a laptop, and I can put it…on my lap…or on the floor, or on a table, or on a chair. So we will see how that goes.
But it basically means there’s gonna be a lot of this.
Yes, she woke up just in the 10 minutes it took me to write this post. And despite the “nerves”…I don’t look too worried, do I?
Tee hee. NO, wait. Lol.
Ha. See how fun and hip I am?🙂
Have a great Tuesday, peeps!
Updated, oh, 5 minutes after posting: That saucy little grin is because Claire just had a big “poopoo” in her diaper.🙂 Motherhood beckons!
So my sister-in-law is about to POP with her first baby, literally any day now, so before that baby arrives, I wanted to finally post the “She’s here!” post I’ve been working on since Claire was born. Um, 2 months ago. (Talk about lazy, my goodness! What, did you, like, buy a house, move twice, have Matt start a new job, AND give birth to a huge baby? Oh. You did. OK. That’s fine then.)
I’m writing to you today, sitting on a glider footstool, bouncing my infant into naptime (it’s a bouncy seat, I’m not dribbling her like a basketball), ignoring the pile of clean laundry that’s been sitting on the floor amidst the pile of dirty laundry that has yet to make it into the washer. My hair is a hot mess, my dogs are all “WTF, mate?”*, and I may or may not have baby puke all down my right arm.
(Ok, maybe I cleaned up the baby puke. But it was there 0.4 seconds ago. And when the tradeoff is: waste a baby nap showering, or blogging, I’ll let you make the call. Spoiler alert: I chose blogging.)
I’m a mom, y’all!
First this happened.
That’s a midwife. And my big ol’ pregnant belly. And my “grrrr labor contractions” face. At 5AM, approximately 8 hours in. The weird looking mechanical device is a fetal heart monitor, to listen to baby’s heart and make sure she’s rockin’ it out.
She did. Rock it out, that is. For 31 straight hours, with no pain meds (note: birthing a child HURTS.), until finally, at 4:21 am on the 5th of July, this happened.
As we were rounding the clock on the second night of contractions, lying on the bed at the birth center in the dark, we heard pops and bangs outside the window. Matt, confused, thought the birth center was located in a ridiculously noisy part of town. Then we realized: I had labored straight through the 4th of July. I spent most of it like this:
Anyways, enough yuck, because after all the birthing, came this!
Shameless plug: did you like the professional photography of my darling little kumquat? Then go hire Sarah Burns at Butterfly Chaser Photography. She’s amazingly gifted with petites, and a doll to work with.
Yeah, being a mom is pretty much all professionally-photographed snuggles, and pink shiny rainbows, with purple lacy headbands and porcelain-skinned babies who sleep 12 hours a night.
Just kidding. It’s more like this:
1. Claire is going to hate me for that caption one day.
2. I’m going to have to explain the pop culture reference to Claire one day. Le sigh.
But anyways, back to my story, so then this happened.
The first week was full of new family members meeting old ones, endless hours of newborn crying, and trying to remember lullabies you haven’t sung in years at 3AM. For a couple weeks, I could only remember 3 verses to “Hush little baby” (for good reason – the last verses are weird! Who wants to buy a baby a billygoat?!) so our nighttime crying sessions were accompanied by a cappella versions of dubstep songs I had heard on Pandora while pregnant. (Your life is not complete until you’ve sung the Zeds Dead remix of Eyes on Fire to a newborn, edited for “niceness”).
And then these happened.
And then this happened.
And I swooned again. But, no time to rest on our laurels! This happened:
And then this:
So this had to happen:
But meanwhile this was happening:
And then she turned one month.
Anyways, lots of stress and chaos happened, and then she turned two months.
So, yeah. I’m a mom now. Which means my life has become totally absorbed in watching this little person grow. I watch her learn to find her hands, and stick them in her mouth (or sometimes, her eye). I’m there when she wakes up in the morning, cheerful and ready to play with the ceiling fan (they’re in love – she can talk to him for hours). I’m there at night, when she’s so tired she doesn’t know how to go to sleep, and demands to be cuddled and walked endlessly around the house. And I’m there during the day, watching as she grows from a fussy newborn with erratic sleep patterns, to a sweet little infant with clear “waking” and “sleeping” periods (warning: these will change in like, 2 days, so don’t get too comfortable, Mom).
I’m going to try to focus more of my energy on blogging these days, to keep my hand in, and to communicate with adulty-types who don’t need to sing-song every conversation. But don’t judge me if I’m late, or if my clothes are stained, or if there’s an odor about my person that you can’t quite identify. It’s probably best, all in all, that our relationship stay virtual. For the next few months, at least.
And with that, my darling babe is gurgling in her seat, and starting the sniffly whimper that warns me: dirty diaper incoming! So I’ll leave you with a picture of Bubbles McGee.🙂
*WTF stands for “What the fudge?” This is a mommyblog now. Right? Ahem.
**Actually it is a BD. A huge, enormous frickin’ BD.
***No, it’s not.
Note: this post is very, very long. I’m choosing not to cut it down, or make it a “click to read more” post, because it’s really important to me, and I don’t want it to be shortchanged. As an incentive to read through, I’ll tell you: there are pictures at the bottom! You’re also allowed to skip straight to the photos – I mean, hey, you’re on your own computer. What am I gonna do about it?
So I haven’t been posting, not because I haven’t had time (unemployment, while lacking in money, is full of free time), but because I haven’t been able to synthesize what I’m feeling into words that will make sense here. That, and the baby seems to eat quite a bit of brain matter these days.
But, here we are, I’m 37.5 weeks pregnant, and I thought: hey! This could potentially be my last post as not-a-mom! I should write some words.
As I’m sitting on the couch, tailor-style to improve stretchiness of my ligaments, between doing my 200 daily Kegel exercises, and 180 daily pelvic rocks, I’m a little amazed at the fact that we’re here. Partly I’m amazed at the giant belly that’s making it difficult to type (I cannot IMAGINE trying to type at a regular desk at this point), but mainly I’m amazed at the fact that 9 months has gone by so freakin’ quickly.
A few weeks ago, my dad and I got into a debate about what constitutes a full term pregnancy. The doctor tells you it’s 40 weeks, which, divided by the standard 4 weeks-per-month equals 10 months of pregnancy. But, as Dad pointed out, the average month is 4.5 weeks, not 4 weeks. So, when divided by this average, pregnancy is 8.89 months long. Added to this the confusing fact that your 40 weeks starts before you are actually pregnant, and there’s a window of 2-3 weeks of question mark.
At 37.5 weeks pregnant, I am either 9.37 months pregnant (call it almost 10?), 8.33 months pregnant (call it 8?) or by calendar months (September 27th to present day), 8 months and 10 days pregnant. Let’s just call it nine-ten-eight months pregnant.
Confused yet? That’s not even the least confusing thing about pregnancy.
Last Thursday, I turned on What to Expect When You’re Expecting. (The movie, not the iPhone app I use to track baby Q’s growth and development). During the opening credits, which do not include anything emotional, I started to tear up as the words “What to Expect” shone on the screen. I think I was crying because I was pregnant, and watching a movie about being pregnant? Unclear. All I know is, there was zero logical reason for any sort of tears.
I have cleaned the entire house, repeatedly. Baby’s bed is assembled, arranged, and ready to go. We have first aid equipment, two options for baby-wearing, two options for co-sleeping, a million cloth diapers in both newborn and post-newborn sizes, toys, books, tons of blankets, nursing pillows, a glider and ottoman, a carseat, a convertible stroller frame for said carseat, a diaper bag, and all the other “baby support equipment” necessary to successfully not injure/damage/lose track of a newborn.
Matt has gone on a cooking binge, cooking and assembling casseroles aplenty for storage in the freezer, to be unwrapped and baked when we are zonked out of our minds on lack of sleep.
The dogs have become weirdly nurturing and quiet lately, either because it’s so freaking hot outside (hello, 97 degree June) or because they somehow know they’re gonna need their rest.
We’ve got the baby’s first outfits, diapers, and blankies packed in the diaper bag, and my “go bag,” the stuff I need to take to the birth center with us, is almost totally packed.
4. Side effects
Um. Wow. I have been very, very lucky throughout this whole pregnancy. I had some morning sickness at the beginning, enough to call for a few days off from work, and a few visits to the OB, but throughout the rest, I’ve been blissfully comfortable. At least, blissfully comfortable relative to how I feel now, with a watermelon for a stomach and ridiculous heartburn. I’m lucky in that a big chunk of my not-shabby weight gain (35 lbs. and counting) seems to have gone directly to the belly, but that leaves me feeling like I’m carrying a bowling ball around everywhere. Have you ever tried sticking a bowling ball in your stomach? I don’t recommend it.
I’m also having nightmares and dreams about the baby now…and anxiety about our impending parenthood.
I guess how I’m really feeling is like this: I absolutely cannot wait to meet our little girl. Seeing my friends who have already had their babies cuddle and snuggle and sniff baby heads (it’s a thing, trust me), I am super-duper jealous. I want to see our little one all dressed up in her new clothes, cuddled in a blanket, and see what her face looks like. I am so anxious to meet this little person, and so amazed that there IS a whole new life coming soon, that I can barely stand it.
I’m also scared totally, and completely, stock stiff. I am terrified of being solely (well, with Matt, obviously) responsible for the life, growth, teaching, and molding of a whole person. At first, I start thinking, “Um…what in the name of sausages were we thinking?!? We’re not old enough/mature enough/figured out enough to do this!” But then I think some more…who really is old enough/mature enough/figured out enough to do this the first time around? Surely this feeling of horror and anticipation are normal…right?
I am equal parts excited and scared, some days 98% excited, 2% scared, other days 98% scared, 2% excited. And I don’t expect that to ever change.
Being responsible for another human is the most awesome and weighty experience a person can have (well, I suppose being responsible for several humans, like maybe a whole country or army’s worth would be more awesome and weighty), at least, it feels that way from where I’m sitting.
I can’t say I’m ready to have a baby – I don’t think anyone truly is. There’s no way to prepare yourself for the selflessness and struggle, the sleepless nights, and the constant worry, that will last until…no, not her 18th birthday, not her wedding, not her first child, but for the rest of your entire life. When I look at my parents, I realize: they have worried about me every day of my life. And it isn’t about to stop.
Is anyone truly prepared for that when they decide to become parents? Or decide to try to become parents? I don’t think you can be. I think it takes us all by surprise, no matter how many books we read, or classes we attend. I thank God that He created pregnancy to last 9 months (or ten, or whatever) – this slow introduction to abdicating control of your body and schedule is so useful in at least breaking some of the selfish habits you’ve created over the years. But it’s still scary thinking that after she’s born, we will, forever, have a daughter following us around. Needing to be fed, changed, cuddled, bathed, fed again, and loved.
I think about how baby will look at her senior graduation, dressed up in a cap and gown, ready to start her own life. Or how she’ll look at her first birthday party, cake-smeared and cranky from a sugar overdose and overdue naptime (she’ll be 1, come on). I think about Matt dancing with her at her wedding (oh good LORD the tears), assuming she decides to get married, which is TOTALLY HER CHOICE. I think about celebrating with her as she receives her PhD, or her master apprenticeship at a Parisian bakery, or her first child.
I think about all these things, and find myself terrified at the seemingly insurmountable task set before me in getting baby Q from diapers to diplomas. I’m barely put together myself – Matt can vouch for my imperfections (and hopefully some positive things too!), and there are so many more things I wanted to have accomplished before being responsible for raising a WOMAN. Goodness. I should be a published author, or Nobel laureate, or mad scientist by now…not a self-doubting, confused almost-mom who still isn’t sure what she wants to be when she grows up.
In the midst of all this insecurity, however, I do have a rock-solid belief in the following: No one, on the face of this Earth, is as well-equipped to love this baby as I am. Aside from the biologically designed hormonal structure that exists to keep we primates taking care of our young until they’re ready to live life solo, I personally know without a doubt that I was put on this Earth to love. And to love well.
There will never be a day in this child’s life where she doubts how I feel about her. She will never have to wonder if doing something bad will make Mommy stop loving her, or worry that work will be more important than she is. I will be there for every scraped knee, every argument with a best friend, every less-than perfect grade (I’m sure these will be few and far between, right?), every heartbreak, and every tear. I will also be there for every triumph, every A+, every soccer game win, or FFA buckle attained (ok, ok, maybe 4H … we’ll just have to see!), every successful speech or beautiful work of art, fingerpaints included.
Even if I’m not physically present for each of these events, baby girl will know for a fact that I am thinking of her, and willing positivity into her life. I will pray for her daily, and thank God for the chance to know her. And I know Matt feels exactly the same way.
So: while I’m terrified beyond belief of screwing everything up, I do know that as long as, as the Beatles say, all you need is love, I think we’re going to do just fine. But ask me again in 6 weeks.
These pictures were a baby gift from a family friend, taken by Sarah Giles of Butterfly Chaser Photography. Sarah is a tremendous photographer, and SUPER easy to work with. I highly recommend you use her, if you’re in the Bryan/College Station area.
It’s been, well, exactly 7 weeks since I’ve posted, mainly because we’ve spent every single weekend since driving back and forth to College Station and Brenham for childbirth classes and moving crap, respectively.
Can I just tell you: moving when you’re pregnant is INSANE. It’s not necessarily difficult, I mean, I’m not allowed to lift any boxes, so I don’t necessarily have a lot of physical exertion going on (though I did have to carry an unending stream of mason jars from our wedding that I refuse to get rid of because one day THEY WILL BE USEFUL). The really tough part is that along with the pointing and directing, there’s a lot of “well, I’m not lifting any boxes, so do I really have a right to tell anyone what to do?” It’s a confidence-shaker, at least for a control freak like me, to be basically helpless as a sea of your stuff flows by you in the hands of the people you love to be packed away any way they want.
Matt deserves a medal for handling the hysterics this has brought on. And I mean literal, honest, sobbing in the bathroom hysterics. The only antidote to complete emotional meltdown seems to be clear, specific communication.
Case in point: while packing up a round of things to go to Brenham last weekend, we established Saturday evening that we would take with us only what we could pack in boxes Saturday night. Anything still on shelves Sunday morning would stay put, to be gone through at a later date.
For me, this move is all about prioritizing, as we’re not moving directly into our own home, but rather into and on top of my parents’ ranch house (and all their furniture and personal belongings) while our little love nest is finished. So it’s really important to me that A. I know exactly what’s in each box of things, so that B. I can arrange boxes appropriately so that when C. the little Miss arrives we don’t have to worry about digging through multiple layers of boxes to get to the food processor.
I am also taking the time to clean and dust each item as I pack it away, as our housekeeping has dwindled to a bare “take the trash out when it’s stinky and periodically shuffle items around on the floor so Matt can vacuum under the dogs” lately.
In case you’re not picking up on it, I HAVE A SYSTEM. One that takes time, but will save us (me) a huge headache when trying to unpack on the other side. It also prevents my parents from seeing how slovenly we’ve become, as unpacking boxes of dirty items into their pristine house is kindof humiliating to me.
Well, Sunday morning, the system broke down. Hard. I was just getting out of the shower, when I heard Matthew in the kitchen, making noises that sounded very suspiciously like packing noises, near the food appliances on the shelving in our mock-pantry. I.e. An entire shelf of completely dusty, unwashed, onion-skin-laden appliances (our onions molt like birds in this apartment and leave feathery skins all over everything – do not ask me why, it is a mystery) being put DIRECTLY INTO BOXES to be taken to Brenham, where they would be unpacked onto dirty, unwashed shelves. WITHOUT MY EXPRESS APPROVAL.
At the very least, I refrained from yelling directly at him. Through the sea of hormones, I was at least able to recognize that Matt was doing a really good job: he had packed up the things we had decided to take, realized he had tons of extra room, and decided to up the ante. A wonderful, nice thing.
So I hid in the bathroom and cried for 20 minutes. Literally. He finally stumbled upon my crying mess, looking totally bewildered, and said “What’s wrong??”
“I just…wasn’t ready!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” [muffled sobbing into Matt’s shoulder]. I have no idea if he really understood what, precisely I wasn’t ready for, but he hugged me until I calmed down, and asked if there was anything he could do to help.
Sigh. There’s not, really, because the way I want to do things is so painstaking, it doesn’t make sense to do it now. And come May, I’ll have all the time in the world to go back and disinfect/clean/dust every item we’re moving in situ, in Brenham. But for now, every time he boxes something before I’ve had a chance to clean it, I cringe. And fight back the tears of losing control.
Good practice for having a messy child, I’m assuming.
And, speaking of the messy child, let me tell you a funny story about the apparently butternut squash-sized babe currently growing in my body. In the pregnancy books, and at the doctor, they recommend occasionally doing a kick-count, which consists of lying down on the couch or bed and timing how long it takes you to reach 10 kicks. The rule of thumb is, if you reach 10 kicks in 1 hour, your baby is A-okay. Anything less than 10 kicks in 2 hours, and you should probably call your doctor.
It took me approximately 1 minute to write that paragraph. Would you care to guess how many times the baby has kicked? Hint: higher than 10.
And we’re not just talking gentle little thumps and swishes, which there are aplenty. We’re talking full-on, belly swirling ballet, visible to the outside world as a series of shimmies and shakes taking place along my midsection. I have videotaped it a few times, but it’s too freaky to post publicly (if you’re interested, I can send you a private message. J).
I cannot describe to you how weird it feels to have parts of your body hijacked by another human being. I’m positive I’ll miss them once she’s here, but for now it just feels crazypants. Hope you’re all enjoying the wishy-washy “can’t tell if it’s Spring or Winter” weather!
It’s funny, I was looking back over some of my earlier belly pictures (the nonexistent “belly” pictures, one might say), and I have noticed something interesting. In my facial expressions, you can absolutely map out how I’m feeling about the baby.
At first, my expressions dance between abject fear and incredulity.
Jeez I was skinny. Anyways, after 22 weeks (well, 18 weeks since this photo was taken), I have started really coming to terms with how exciting this is, instead of just always worrying about how this little surprise was going to wreak havoc on our lives. Yes, I’ve always loved kids, and yes, I was always happy to hear that we had a little one on the way, but still: the fear was almost insurmountable for months.
I’m happy to report now, though, that I seem to have hit what I’m now (as of 10 minutes ago) calling “The Mommy Plateau.” It’s the feeling of euphoria you get during that special time of the second trimester, when your belly is clearly of the baby variety, but you’re not big enough to really be in any pain or discomfort, and your hormones are in high gear.
Matt is responsible for taking most of my weekly belly pictures, because yes, I am THAT mom, and I love seeing myself through his eyes. Matt’s not shy around a camera, and when he takes photos for me, he takes lots of photos for me. His specialty is the stop-motion, flip book-style shots, where I’m doing something (usually grumbling, or rolling my eyes) that he finds funny, and he just keeps taking pictures “click click click.”
Matt took a series last week that pretty much show exactly how I’m feeling right now – elated, happy, and fun. So I thought I’d share them with you.🙂 Happy Saturday!
There’s a million serious things that have been going on – fights with insurance companies (not all baby-related), really crummy medical advice, work drama, life drama, space drama, whatever drama…but right now, I don’t want to think about any of that. Right now, I want to (metaphorically) do cartwheels in the sun. We’re getting a little GIRL, y’all! And she’s all our own!
Precursor to the Sourdough Story, and a word about swearing: in Anthony Bourdain’s book “Kitchen Confidential,” and in the television show by the same name, there is an incredibly creepy, drugged-out, almost zombie-like character named “Adam-Last-Name-Unknown,” who bakes the most amazing naturally leavened breads, from a starter he fairly misogynistically refers to as “The [Word that starts with B and rhymes with Mitch].”
The character in the book is described in such a funny way that he’s stayed with Matt and I since reading and watching the show, so every time we refer to the starter in our household, it’s in the creepy tone of voice we associate with “Adam-Last-Name-Unknown,” pitched low, and it’s always the same sentence: “Feed the Mitch.” Because we’re trying to stay a family blog here, I’m going to stick with Mitch, so you don’t have to edit it, and so you’ll have a funny image of the red-headed character from Modern Family sitting on top of our fridge for a week. You can edit out the explanation when you read this to you your kids, by firelight, sipping cocoa, as I imagine in my head you all do with every single one of my posts.
Just kidding. But anyways, back to the story.
Did you ever have one of those flashes of brilliance, where you suddenly think to yourself “You know, I’ve been doing XYZ thing for a while now…I think I know how this works well enough to operate sans instructions…”
In my experience, this usually happens with men, and usually in one of two arenas: automobiles, and electronics.
It never ends well.
So, completely shockingly to me, after last week’s not-quite-terrible but not-quite-awesome experience with the breadmaker, I decided that based my vast knowledge of sourdough starters (I’ve made one in my life) and bread (I’ve baked bread fewer times than you can count on two hands and two feet), I could just “wing it” with my newest idea for sourdough bread, and it would turn out edible.
I had visions, I’ll admit, of being somewhat of a sourdough savant, able to churn crunchy, well-risen and nutty breads to sustain my family and friends out from the mere building blocks of life: flour and water.
CATASTROPHIC, EPIC FAIL! I can’t even BEGIN to tell you how awful it was!