Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Crib progress

Yesterday Silas slept for one hour in his crib. We had our nighttime routine (I'm not even going to pretend that I'm a that put together - my "routine" is that he gets a change into a clean diaper and nighttime clothes before I feed him for the night. Some nights we read Fox in Socks) and then I put him down in his crib around 9:50pm.

During the next ten minutes, I frantically downloaded a white noise app on my phone, after five minutes of providing shushing sounds on my own started to find me feeling lightheaded. Silas, like any baby, has this period right before he falls asleep where any little extra noise will jolt him back to awake. The first white noise app I found had seagulls flying on the beach. I started playing it. The dogs, previously curled up together and sleeping started growling at the non existent seagulls. Silas woke back up.

I quickly downloaded another (free) app and played a combination music box/ocean sounds combo as I patted Silas on the back. His eyes would slowly close until there was just the faintest sliver of eye visible, but I knew that wasn't good enough. He wasn't truly asleep until they were closed. After about five more minutes of gentle back patting, I sat back on the bed and waited to see what would happen.

My roommates came home.

I heard the door open and I knew that this was one of those moments - either the dogs would freak out and bark and all my work would be undone or nothing would happen and Silas would continue to sleep.

Thankfully the dogs did nothing except to continue to sleep, as I found myself tensing up every time I heard a noise outside our room. I kept glancing at Silas. He seemed to be staying asleep. I should mention, on Christmas Eve, he fell asleep and slept through a loud home theatre viewing of Batman (we were in the other room but it was still certainly above general household noise). He can sleep through anything if I'm not trying to also get some sleep.

When I checked the time, it was only about 10:10. All of this effort and worry and whatnot, and it had only been about twenty minutes! Putting a baby to sleep is exhausting work sometimes. I took off my glasses and closed my eyes to try to get some sleep myself. It didn't work terribly well, because the next thing I knew, Silas was awake and crying.

I don't know what woke him up. I just know it was only a few minutes after eleven and that I was tired. Into bed he went next to me and we both went to sleep until midnight thirty, at which point Smiley woke me up as he came to bed and I very nearly tried to kill him.

I'm a little tired this morning. Time for work!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

It was somewhat surreal to go through all of this past year pregnant, knowing that the next time I saw Christmas, Thanksgiving - even halloween - that they would be "baby's first." And now they've already happened. I am struggling to find a new way to express how fast time goes, and how much faster it goes each year. When I am ninety, will a year happen in what feels like a day?

Silas is napping now (obviously) and Smiley and I have been spending most of the morning and early afternoon rearranging stuff in our house. We finally put our bed up on a bed frame and stored some boxes under there, which opened up spaces in our dining room, closet and computer room. Somewhere along the line, though, those rooms seem to have exploded. For now we're eating a late lunch of tacos and then I guess we'll tackle putting everything back together.

We did set up Silas's crib. He's only rolled over twice, but we are getting to the point where he won't be as immobile while sleeping as he is now, and I am thinking I need to start dealing with having him sleeping on a different bed. It would be one thing if our mattress was still on the floor, but we needed the underbed storage. I think. I'm not sure. I never thought Silas would be sleeping in bed with us - definitely thought he'd be in a bassinet and then crib. But, as everyone knows, half of being a parent is being surprised with what happens. Yes, Silas is my son and I will be doing my job of raising him, but one knows you can never forget that he, even now, is still his own person.

Well, I've only had like three tacos and I totally think there's another corn tortilla shell in the kitchen, so I'd better get over there and snag that before Smiley does. I need my strength to deal with the constant chaos of our house.

Merry Christmas to those celebrating! It's been a wonderful day.

Friday, December 21, 2012

So tired

Today marks my last full week of work. I'm working part of next week and one day the week after. Then I start school. Going back to school has not been easy. In addition to worrying about the financial aspect of it all, I've just had a hard time with the whole process.

For example, I had my transcripts sent to the college at the beginning of November. When I went for orientation at the beginning of December, my transcripts apparently had not been received. Uh. Ok. So, then they finally showed up mid-way through December but guess what? My holds for English and Math testing weren't taken off because they didn't get entered before the campus closed for winter holiday. So now I can't sign up for the online workshop to take online courses. Not cool.

But that aside, I'm excited and nervous, and mostly tired. I hope to get some sleep this weekend. I need it.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Shh! It's a secret!

Today Smiley picked up some extra work so I am going to seize the moment and sneak a Christmas tree into the house! What with me quitting my job to go back to school and him having some issues at his weekday job, I won't be spending much, so it won't be anything amazing, but it will be Silas's first Christmas tree!

So as many of you all know, I'm not particularly religious; I haven't really been to church in probably years. I do firmly believe in being compassionate towards others, helpful and open minded, which are all things I can do no matter where I am on Sunday, but there is actually one thing I miss about not being able to go to church here in Tallahassee - and if you know me, you might have guessed - it's the hymns.

And maybe you wouldn't have guessed it - maybe you don't know how peaceful singing is to me. Smiley knows. He's had to put up with it for two years now; it's not uncommon for me to spend an evening singing along to my favorite songs (think Nightwish, Evanescence, Within Temptation, and video game songs that I love) as a way to relax and wind down. (And actually, the people I play WoW with know. They've heard me singing over vent during raids to stay calm!)

And maybe you might think I'm weird; I know when I brought a friend to church services many years back, he complained that the songs were too slow. I know a lot of churches like to bring excitement to their hymns with upbeat tempos, guitars, and other instruments precisely for that reason and that works for many people, but not me.

I got to thinking about all of this today when I was singing Silas lullabys as I put him down for his morning nap. I started using the old hymn tunes as a base for my words of love to Silas. It comforts me, and, judging from the fact that he's been asleep long enough for me to write all of the above - without any breaks to rock him back to sleep! - I think it comforts him too.

Well, I can't spend all of my time here typing; I've got to go make room for a Christmas tree. Thanks for letting me share a little part of my morning with you guys.


Thursday, December 13, 2012

10 minutes to write

Apparently Silas did not go down for an afternoon nap today; I tried to get him to sleep after work for a bit, but as he didn't seem overtired, eventually we played together some and he kicked around on the ground while I organized our computer room some. Finally, he started making this sort of bird call/pterodactyl noise that he makes when he is becoming overtired, and I was able to trick him into sleep by rocking him while nursing him. It's not as easy as it sounds!

Anyhow, he's lying down for who knows how long - my guess is ten minutes. I thought about continuing to organize the room, but who needs an organized room when I could share my thoughts with the world instead? (Like someone who drinks too much one evening, I'll probably regret this in the morning when I stub my toe on the old vacuum cleaner again).

Here's what I've been thinking about: babies give you a natural high. Yes, I'm aware I linked a Cracked.com article instead of, say, a scientific journal, but the point he makes (#4) is true enough. I am getting high as ever off of my beautiful little baby! How else could I continue to wake up two, sometimes three (and yes, still, occasionally four times a night) to tend for my little baby if there wasn't a huge reward in it for me? And that huge reward just happens to come courtesy of my own brain chemistry. Awesome!

So in a nutshell, if you didn't know, breastfeeding and contact with your baby produces oxytocin, which makes you feel good. And I'm guessing that my sensitivity to it is why I feel like having more babies so intensely. (And I'm probably "overdosing" by not only breastfeeding but also having Silas sleep in bed with us). But there is one other reason, and you have to promise not to laugh!

I think my desire to have my children quickly is that I want to be able to be around for grandchildren and great grandchildren. If I've learned anything, it's that I can't expect to have grandkids until maybe thirty years from now, and then that means great grandchildren sixty years from now. In sixty years, I could be dead.

So yes, laugh if you must, but the previous paragraph is truly written with only sincerity. I believe that one of the greatest rewards to being a parent is to watch your children become parents. It's the circle of life type idea; to watch life continue onward through my little family. I have to admit that I've felt this way even before I gave birth, so I can't blame hormones on that! I know that not everyone wants to have children and I'll never force Silas or any other my other hypothetical kids to do something they don't want to, but I sincerely hope that I will at least get to meet some grandchildren, some day.

I have to confess that this entry was not written in ten minutes. About five minutes into writing, Silas woke up. I kept writing for about three more minutes while he decided whether or not he was going to fall back asleep; at the eight minute mark (in total), he started crying, so I went check on him. And, uh, he's waking up again, so I guess I've got to go. This is what I get for him not taking an afternoon nap. (Babies, unlike adults, tend to sleep better the more sleep they get).

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Moments of Reflection

Today at work a department-wide email went out regarding the lactation room. It was kind of awkward, since as far as I know, I'm the employee that made it happen. Up until I gave birth, lactating moms were either pumping in the bathrooms or in their offices, for those who had the option (or I guess not bothering with this at all). I didn't have an office option because, well, I'm not important enough for one. And I was not about to go pump in the bathroom!

So, yes, when an email goes out assuring people that employees are allowed to use this room to express milk and that they can use time in addition to their breaks, and I am the only person using the room, it's weird. It means people have been talking about me.

I don't know exactly why I'm so adamant about providing breastmilk for Silas. I mean, I don't think it will help him with good taste later in life - my mom breastfed me and I still enjoy a box of kraft macaroni and cheese on occasion! But the benefits - less illness, more protection against allergies, an amazing system of supply and demand to ensure he gets exactly the calories he needs - definitely play a huge part in it.

I believe, first and foremost, in feeding your baby. I never would want a mom who is feeding her baby to feel like she is less of a mom. But for me, breastfeeding is definitely a super important aspect of what to feed Silas. I am happy I have the oppertunity to keep doing that while I work, but I hate that I have to pump to do so. I hate that I have to go to a stupid room and use an electric tool instead of getting to just feed him, like I can when we are together. I know that for some moms, the time apart is well spent, but not for me. I can't wait for the 31st (my last day of work) and to start school. I will still have to pump, but only on Tuesdays and Thursdays. For now, that's a win in my book.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Feeling Overwhelmed

You know, it's funny. I had thought I wanted a little baby girl. I had thought I wanted to deal with tiny dresses and tiny hair bows and adorable little baby tights. But then I had Silas, and realized that what I wanted was Silas - a perfect little baby for me. It's nice how those things work out.

I've been fairly stressed out about starting school up again next semester, which is seriously messing with my ability to find a moment to sit and write. When I get stressed, I tend to organize things. The end result isn't exactly a cleaner house, but a more organized one. I will go through old mail to make sure I want to save what I wanted to save last time. I will restack games and boxes until I feel they are in a better configuration. And mostly, I will sit in one place, feeling overwhelmed by everything.

Luckily, Silas loves when I sit in one place, because it means he's either nursing or getting my attention for playtime or getting rocked to sleep. So at least someone is winning in this situation.


Friday, December 7, 2012

New Comp!

Yesterday evening Smiley put together my new computer. It is fast and quiet and hasn't burst into flames - it is a success.

So, as you might know, Silas shares a bed with me and Smiley. Our bed, if you can call it that, is a mattress on the floor. I follow most of the guidelines for safe baby bed-sharing and it's been a great experience for me; I feel much more rested since I can take care of Silas without having to get up.

But I think it is time for us to put our bed back on a frame. The underbed storage that we gave up when we moved into our house just over two years ago is starting to catch up with me. There is a lot of stuff I'd like to just jam under there and forget about. Once we put our bed back up, I think that we'll have to start putting Silas in his crib.

I feel like sleeping with Silas next to me is one of the only ways that I get to spend time with him. I really hate working all day. I'd rather be taking care of Silas. But at the moment, I am doing what I need to do. But if we put up our bed and put Silas in his crib - well, the thought actually makes me feel an intense longing and that makes me curious as to why I feel that way.

I know part of it is that I don't think he'll sleep well in a crib; I spent the first few weeks of his life trying to nurse him to sleep and put him down in his bassinet, and it felt like he slept horribly in the bassinet. Bringing him to bed with us was such a change - he still woke up every 2-3 hours, but at least I barely had to move to accomadate that. Now he has been (occasionally) giving us four hour stretches once a night, and it will only get better with time. But I still worry that he'll go back to waking up more often, and that it will be tougher on me to get up to tend to him, even though he'll still be in the same room.

Starting in Janurary, I'm going back to school and will have more time to spend with Silas during the day. I think that this will help make the transition to crib easier for me. But our bed frame in in the house, in the living room, taking up space right now. I don't know if I want it to be in the living room for four weeks.

I feel like this should be a pointless debate; we should get our bed back and move Silas to his crib. But I feel like I shouldn't think about this while I'm extra tired; it seems much more intimating than it is.

And this is what my brain is like at nearly eleven pm. Good night y'all.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Sleeping Like A Baby

I was bracing myself for another long night, but Silas had other plans for me. Like, sleeping a lot plans. (Disclaimer: I did not bother to check my clock, but it felt like he only woke up two or three times).

The downside? When Smiley's snoring woke me up sometime in the middle of the night and Silas was still sleeping, I once again felt so awake that I had a very hard time falling back to sleep. My brain was awash in refreshed neurotransmitters and my body was like "eh, we'll take what we can get." And I was like, "I want to kind of scream!"

I mean, here I was, awake. But it's one thing to be awake because my baby started fussing for food or comfort and quite another thing to be awake because my husband can occasionally wake the dead with his snoring.

So I kind of batted at his arm until he stopped snoring and I announced that his snoring was loud beyond reason. So he shifted to sleeping on his side, and this is usually the part where I would fall back asleep before his snoring got too bad again.

See: brain awash in refreshed neurotransmitters. All of my neurons were firing to say, "hey, listen to his breathing. Doesn't it sound like he could start snoring soon? Oh boy, I think I heard a snore! I mean, when does heavy breathing become snoring anyway? Do they have like a chart or a graph or a professional scale? Oh - oh - whatever they use, that snore definitely was on it. Yup. He's snoring again!"

Thankfully, I did manage to fall back asleep and when Silas woke a little later, I still felt ok. I won't be still feeling ok if I don't go get ready for work though, so. Yeah.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Just a thought

One of the downsides to not having cable TV is that I don't get to listen to commercials on the TV anymore. Obviously I still get to listen to commercials on the radio and online, but those hardly count. No, it's not that I miss the groan-worthy scenarios and pitches - it's just that I miss the hilarity that ensues when I see or hear a funny commercial.

As a quick example before I hit the sack with my lovely 9pm bedtime that means nothing when Silas wakes up every two hours or so, I want to talk about Trojan Bareskin condoms. You see, when you're merely hearing the term "bareskin," it seems a lot like they're talking about "bearskin." And when you consider that lambskin condoms are a thing, it seems like maybe bearskin condoms could be a thing.

And that's when things just get silly. I mean, who the heck determined that making a condom out of bearskin was a good idea? Were they in the middle of making a bearskin rug and it was somehow a logical conclusion?

And then that's all I can hear when I hear that commercial. But now I don't hear that commercial and sometimes, just occasionally, my life is a little bit sadder.

Growth Spurt?

I've read that babies can have a growth spurt around 3 months old. Not that Silas needs one, but he will be three months in a few days here and he spent all of last night waking up every one and a half hours. It was like the newborn days all over again. I think I might be certifiably still sleeping as I write this.

The weirdest part of waking up like that is how time just sort of stops existing in the way that I normally experience it. It felt like I was up all night, despite the fact that I would check my phone thinking only a few minutes had passed, and an hour would have gone by. And then it would feel like hours while he was nursing, but it would rarely be longer than 10 minutes.

Actually, that's a welcome change from the newborn days - Silas used to nurse for up to forty-five minutes. He's much more efficient now!

Like I said. Gonna look forward with optimism and a positive attitude. Or fall asleep in the car on the way to work. You know, one or the other.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Back to School

Well, I had tossed around the idea of going back to school for a bit now, but never been able to really get my foot in the door. Today, I signed up for a full course load at the local community college and with any luck, by September I will be enrolled into the nursing program.

It's funny, because in the end, it was Silas that motivated me to do better. Before him, I could put off the idea of going to school because it would be a lot of work and a lot of change and not much of a tangible reward. But now, if I put in the work and the effort, the change will be that I get to spend a lot more time with my family and with my son and gain the skills to be employed as a nurse.

A friend commented that school and a baby seems daunting, but I think full time work and a baby is daunting. I already spend a lot of my evenings on the couch holding Silas and watching TV or reading. Now I will just transition that to reading textbooks and notes. It's been awhile since I've thought of the year in terms of semesters, but I'm so excited for the spring semester. I will get to be home with Silas Monday, Wednesday and Friday. And no, it's not going to be easy when I need to study and Silas starts crying or needs attention or whatever have you, but it's going to be better.

I'm pretty tired (yeah, it's 9pm, my new bedtime x_x) so I'll wrap this up before I ramble too much, but I am going to tackle this with as much optimism as possible. I'm so thankful to my husband for supporting me as I try to find a way to provide for our family with him and spent time with my baby! (And future babies!)

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Hi December!

Yesterday I went to pick up my son from his great-grandma's place. Outside of the building, several older women were gathered, enjoying the late Florida afternoon. Normally I pick the entrance I use to avoid having to talk to too many people, but the alternative was walking out the other door and around the building and dang it, Silas is heavy in his car seat.

Of course one of the older ladies cooed "Look at the baby!" which I'm not going to pretend like I minded. I love showing off Silas, and I love the inevitable response to the inevitable question: "How old is he?"

"He's just 12 weeks, today," I said, smiling.

One of the other ladies looked shocked. "I thought he was at least eight months!"

Another chimed in with the "he's gonna be a linebacker some day!"

And a third, wearing a black tank top, asked me what I was feeding him. She said, I couldn't possibly be breastfeeding.

"Oh, well, actually, I am."

This lady looked at me, without missing a beat and said, "How? You don't have breasts. Show me what you feed him from."

Well, despite the slight, sudden urge to rip off my shirt and prove that I did, in fact, have breasts, I didn't do that. I knew better. I just smiled and said, "Yup, he's been breastfed from day one."

The other woman made a comment about formula being perfectly fine after breastfeeding for the first six weeks. It certainly wasn't my place to begin going on about the benefits of breastfeeding, so I agreed: "Yeah, generally I've found that feeding your baby is the best option. Babies, they seem to like that best."

The women laughed. The black tank top woman asked me if I ate food. I laughed and assured her I did. They told me motherhood has been kind to me. I thanked them and declined to offer to show them the stretch marks that covered my body.

As I wished them a good afternoon and walked away, I thought about how much I love the fact that this baby situation is working out for me. See, it's probably no secret, but I love being out of the ordinary. It is, in a lot of ways, how I define myself. So having a ginormous little baby, especially while I am tall and skinny, is a great contrast and I love it.

(It is also why I love driving the Sebring, but you already knew that).

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Still haven't figured out mornings

I've figured out two things. One is that no matter what other times Silas wakes up during the night, he's pretty consistent about a 4am wake up. This tends to lead to him being fairly agreeable to eating right before I have to go to work, so I'm fairly agreeable to waking up at four and going back to sleep for two hours or so.

The second thing is, I keep thinking that, and then when I actually wake up around 6 to 6:30 (depending on whether my Silas alarm or my actual alarm clock wakes me up) and I want to punch everything. So I have to work on that.


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Feeling Cold

Well we've finally started to dip down into the 30's at night. I even turned our heater on the other day. And when it starts to cool down in Florida, I start to worry about my image. Yes, that's right - my image. After all, I like to talk a big game - oh, I say, I know about SNOW and I know about COLD. I've walked to class in negative forty degree windchills! I've walked over snowbanks taller than my dad!

And it was uphill you know. Both ways.

I digress.

Seriously though - I have dealt with really cold temperatures and with a lot of snow, and then when it is 50 degrees during the day in Florida, I want to pull out my winter coat! It's ridiculous. I try to save face by utilizing what I like to call "the double sweatshirt" method. This sneaky method is defined by wearing two sweatshirts - one a lightweight, thin sweatshirt and a second, heavier sweatshirt over that. Then I LOOK like someone wearing just a sweatshirt who is not bothered by the cold, but I have the protection of two sweatshirts.

You know, just in case someone looks at me and judges me for wearing a coat when it is cold outside. I think that's the craziest part of it all; I do this because I don't want other people thinking I'm overly cold. I never said that my brain made sense 100% of the time.

So I spent my morning commute debating whether it's worse to have someone think I am cold or to actually be cold - (and yes, you'd think that should be an easily answered question but here we are), when I noticed a guy jogging down the sidewalk in a pair of shorts and a pair of mittens and nothing else.

Well played almost naked jogging guy. Now I feel even worse about the leggings I put on under my skirt today.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Does anyone else have mornings like this?

So I'm hungry this morning and my loving and patient husband asks me what I'd like while I'm nursing the baby.
I say, I don't know.
He says, would you like a bagel? I can put cream cheese and regular cheese and a tomato on it and heat it up for you.
I say, that doesn't sound appealing.
He says, I'll make you just a bagel and cream cheese if you want.
I say, I really want stuffing. I want to eat stuffing.
He says, we don't have stuffing.
I say, I know. I think that's why I want it.
He says nothing. I eat a reeses peanut butter cup and drink some juice.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving! Don't read this entry during dinner!

It's a given that I'm thankful to have this day off to spend with my son. I started this wonderful day off by putting him into a blue and tan striped onsie that had an owl on it. It wasn't exactly a turkey or a Thanksgiving theme, but it was the closest I had. He had been kind of spit-uppy since waking up, so I put a bib over that, thinking it would preserve his outfit until dinner time.

Oh, how naive of me.

When I put Silas down on the boppy for play time, he started fussing for a few minutes. I was just starting to ask Smiley to pick him up to see if he had to spit up, when Silas answered the question for me by opening his mouth and allowing ALL the spit up to spew forth. Normally he spits up and it's one round and that's it. This time, as I moved to pick him up, he unleashed a second and third wave. It was certainly a new record for him.

The bib stood no chance, the outfit was soaked, the blanket underneath him was soaked and it's only sheer luck of layers that the boppy was not also soaked.

Luckily, Silas seemed unfazed. He didn't cry and he stopped fussing right away, so I guess he's all good now. I'm thankful that it is only spit up at this point, and I am looking forward to his digestive tract continuing to mature so that there will be less spit up. Some day.

And then I'll have a new baby, maybe.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Sleepy, sleepy

So Silas just provided us with three nights in a row of a longer stretch of sleep, followed by me waking up to the alarm for work. It's wonderful, and it sucks.

It's wonderful because Silas is starting to sleep longer, which means that he is transitioning to sleeping through the night despite some cautionary concern that him sleeping next to me meant I was waking up to his every little noise to comfort him - clearly not true, because I'm sleeping like a log when I do sleep (a careful to not squish her baby log, of course).

It's less wonderful when it comes to my own sleep. Previously, my body had kind of decided "eff it, she's not getting more than an hour and a half of sleep, just kick her into REM sleep" and, while the dreams were weird as heck and I still wasn't very awake the next morning, I felt somewhat more rested waking up for work.

This week? Well, my body is starting to think I'm going to get a full night's sleep, and slows down the sleep process. So that I feel somewhat rested when Silas wakes up for his overnight feeding, but still tired enough to go back to sleep. Then my alarm goes off, cutting me out of deep sleep. I don't know how it works for you, but when I am abruptly woken up out of that stage of sleep, I feel like I have the flu; my stomach feels icky, my eyes feel sandy and my mind is just like "eff you and eff the world." Not exactly the response I was looking forward to as Silas started to wean off of night feedings.

But, nonetheless, it's a step in the correct direction and, god help me, now that I've written about it, Silas will probably wake up every hour this night.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Car madness continues!

Yesterday, I saw a car crash happen in the intersection I was waiting to go through. Someone laid onto their horn and the next thing I knew, I heard the unmistakeable crunch of car hitting car and saw a car spin and nearly hit the car in front of me as it ended up with its rear on the sidewalk, airbags fully deployed.

I've never seen airbags deployed in person like that. It was kind of surreal.

I don't know what the other car looked like. I think that a person was trying to make a left turn and misjudged the distance between cars and hit someone going straight. The light was green for them the entire time, so no one was running a red light. Just misjudging speed and distance.

Accidents like those freak me out because it's one thing to proceed cautiously into an intersection when the light first switches, but if it's been green for awhile, I'm not about to worry as much.

In any case, a police officer was right there, so he pulled onto the scene and I was able to go around (it was my lunch break to see Silas!) and I had the hardest time leaving Silas without giving him about a million kisses. Silas, on the other hand, was just all "I'm a baby and I don't understand kisses. Does this mean you're feeding me again soon?"

Monday, November 19, 2012

If I can be real for a moment here

Today at work was the first time I cried since I returned to work. I didn't really cry in any sort of spectacular way; there were just a few tears that welled up and my face turned red, kind of like when Silas winds up to bawl.

I didn't cry when I dropped him off my first day back. I didn't cry a week in, despite feeling like I can barely spend quality time with him due to having to wash bottles and make bottles and prepare my lunch for the next day and then go to sleep at nine to try to wake up somewhat rested for the next day.

But today a woman returned from six months of maternity leave with an adorable picture of her six month old baby, and I cried.

Apparently I can deal with dropping off my baby and going to work like a friggin' adult, but I can't control my jealously. I mean, I know plenty of people who have gotten or have more maternity leave than I did.

I don't know. Hormones might quickly become an old excuse, but I do know that my reactions are not strictly "normal." I just want to do my best by my baby and also, I still really want another baby. And it's 8pm, so I'm going to go start getting ready for bed.


Sunday, November 18, 2012

Speaking of The Sebring

The Sebring's backseat is surprisingly roomy for a 2 door coupe style car. For all of you who have seen too many teen movies, I'm not talking about that. I'm talking about breastfeeding, of course.

Having a baby makes the logistics of stopping by the store a little more complicated. For example, many people can say "oh, I need eggnog because it is now eggnog season and I would like some. I will get some on my way home from work." (Disclaimer: most people I know seem to dislike eggnog!)

But add a baby, and if the grocery store doesn't have a drive through lane, you have some decisions to make. Like, if the baby is hungry now, is it worth it to go into the store with him bawling? No. But is it worth it to go home, haul the carseat into the house, feed him, and then haul the carseat back into the car? Also no! (And simply not getting eggnog is out of the question.)

That's how fate found me parking off the the corner of the parking lot and slipping into the backseat to nurse Silas before we went in to pick up a container of eggnog. And it was weird. Which I found weird.

I know that there's this whole thing about nursing in public and some people are comfortable with it and some aren't, and I've surprised myself with how intensely I want to encourage people to be comfortable breastfeeding in public, but that's a discussion for a different day. The main point for now is that I don't mind breastfeeding in public. I have a baby, I have his food, and I don't have to clean up any bottles if he gets hungry while we are out.

For whatever reason, breastfeeding in the car felt a lot weirder than breastfeeding at a table in a restaurant or in Target or outside at a park. I'm not sure why. I think it could have been that people don't expect to see people inside the backseat of a parked car and so I actually felt more conspicuous back there. But I'm not sure. All I know is I felt supremely odd and I did begin to question whether eggnog was worth it.

It was.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

I wish I had taken a picture!

Today during my lunch break I drove over to see Silas, as I do for every lunch break now that I'm back to work. He's being taken care of by Smiley's grandmother, who lives just minutes away from where I work. It is one of the things that allows me to go back to work without having a breakdown.

When I got to her apartment complex, I noticed something. Mainly, every single parking spot was taken. This is not a typical problem. Every day up until now, the parking lot had been more than half empty (and I'm not just being a pessimist)!

For whatever reason, it was full. Overflowing. There were three other cars circling the lot, waiting for a spot. Two of them seemed to be following the same woman to her car. Both were disappointed when the lady kept walking, straight out of the parking lot.

I knew my best bet was to follow her lead, and look for alternative parking. After all, every minute I idled my car was another minute I wasted gas - and missed out on seeing my son, of course! So I turned around in the parking lot and hit the streets, looking for a place to park.

Time was, you used to pass your driver's license test by parallel parking. Not in my time. I can count the number of times I've actually parallel parked in my life. Pulling up to a curb with plenty of space does not count.

I found an open spot on the street along the building. There was a brief moment of hesitation - if I went over one more street, I could most likely pull up to the curb and not have to maneuver my car into a parallel park.

But that would be another street over and even further away from Silas. I guess it's true, that our kids can help bring out the best in us. I steeled my grip on the rust bucket I like to call the Sebring, and pulled into the spot. Even this hardly counted though; I was only pulling in and adjusting behind a car. The space behind me was still empty. I threw the car into park and ran to visit with Silas for a half hour.

Upon my return to the great outdoors, my worst nightmare had occurred - someone had pulled into the spot behind me. I was officially about to un-parallel park.

I don't know if they teach a better way to do this, but did I mention I was in the Sebring? This car has a turning radius of a large van or small bus. I walked around to the back of the car to visually assess the space. My heart was pounding as visions of crumpled bumpers danced into my likely future. I got inside the car and turned it on, closing my eyes in the closest thing to a prayer. Oh so slowly, I angled my wheels and backed up.

As the tense moments went by, I noticed a pattern - I wasn't hitting the curb or the other car! I was doing it! I was getting out of the spot! I backed up a few more inches, although the rearview mirror made me feel as though I was lurching back yards at a time. And then I cut my wheel all the way over and slowly started pulling forward.

Can I just say that the Sebring's idea of a turning radius is nonexistent? I nearly hit the car in front of me, but the important part is that I didn't. And with that, I was out of the spot, freed from one of my best instances of parallel parking ever. I really wish I had taken a picture to prove just how legit this parking job was today.

Maybe next time.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

More Sleep

Either I'm starting to sleep through nighttime feedings or Silas is routinely starting to sleep for 3-4 hours for at least one part of the night. The other day, we went to sleep around 10 and I'm pretty sure we woke up at 3:30, which would be basically a new record and has never been repeated as of yet.

Regardless, I'm starting to slowly feel a bit more rested. I know that Silas will most likely continue to wake up once or twice a night for the foreseeable future, but I feel like, now that I've dealt with the alternative of being up every two hours, I can do anything. As long as I get three hours of uninterrupted sleep, anyhow.

I've noticed on the forums that I go to, a lot of women complain about their husbands, and it makes me grateful for Smiley. He's not perfect and neither am I, but we work together. I think that a lot of times, what women perceive as a problem with their husband is actually a symptom of the fact that (and yes, I'm about to bust out a generalization, so feel free to tell me how your case is different) men are problem-solvers.

The way I see it, having a baby does not mean you suddenly know how to take care of a baby. Sometimes, a person has been around a lot of babies and has had that experience. Other times, the first meconium diaper changed is the first diaper that a person has ever changed. And all the little tricks and tips you might have learned from dealing with younger siblings or babysitting might seem second nature to a new mom, but to a new dad, they don't necessarily have those tools. So when the baby cries, and there's not an effective way to solve the problem, they shrug it off.

So to me, before I would complain about how Smiley handles taking care of a baby, I think it would make more sense to give him the tools to solve the problem. You can do that however works best. I can show him by example how to check to see if a diaper is dirty or how to assess whether Silas is too cold or warm. I can explain the different ways you can help a baby pass gas and explain why a baby that's been cradled in the womb for nine months wants to be held all the time.

And then when Silas cries, I can watch with pride as Smiley picks him up, and, holding him closely, places a finger on Silas's cheek. I can watch as Silas turns his head and snaps viciously at the finger with his rooting reflex, indicating his hunger. And I can watch as Smiley grins with relief and hands me the baby because, well, I am the one breastfeeding.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

One week in

Worked for the week, contributed to society, left my baby with someone else five days this week and I'm still alive. It's going to take a while to get a morning routine that works, but once Silas starts sleeping through the nights better, I think we'll be ok.

I was driving to pick him up after work on Friday and Queen's "Another One Bites the Dust" came on the radio. Music is crazy. I completely relate songs to past memories, and that one is firmly positioned to playing the original Diablo with my dad and sister. Specifically, even, I can picture the dungeon levels and the way that the creatures you'd fight in there had a burning animation when they died.

I also remember that friendly fire was always on in that game. Not like some of the fancier, newfangled games where you could click a button in "options" and then shoot your companions with nary an ill effect. My dad played the sorcerer character and, I'm not going to lie, he was probably a lot better at the game than us. But his chain lightning spell - that could clear out a room. And me, if I wasn't watching where I was going.

You know how parents do that thing where they act like they're playing a game or sport normally but somehow are just about at your skill level? And then you grow up and realize that actually they were just pretending and could have beaten you in any game? Well, my dad was really great about finding a way to play video games with us that weren't overwhelmingly hard on us but (I'm assuming here) that were still entertaining to him.

Growing up we had between four and five computers in our basement, which I just thought was how things worked. It was a pretty foreign concept that a household might have only one computer for everyone, or maybe even no computers at all. My dad's job - a computer programmer - might have skewed things technologically for us. I must have talked about this before, but I really enjoyed LAN gaming with my family to the point that online gaming (save for WoW) is a bit too much of a culture shock for me.

Anyhow, I've been trying to write my NaNo novel but it's not coming along at all. I thought last year was tough with my grandfather's funeral at the beginning of the month but having a baby to care for sort of saps up those little moments I could be writing.

Well, actually, I am writing right this moment, technically. I guess I prefer to update my blog when I have writing time these days. I guess I feel like more people read it and that it means more to me. But there's still a competitive edge in me somewhere that feels like I'll totally get it together and write 50,000 words still.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Fall is officially in the air!

It's been getting kinda chilly at night here! And for the past few days, we have not even broken 70 degrees. As I walked to my car after getting off work today, I was shivering a little in my sandals and it made me think about the other week when Smiley got sick.

Smiley rarely ever gets sick. Certainly, sometimes he has sinus headaches, which can be a form of "being sick" I suppose. But it's not really an infection or a virus; it's just an allergic reaction. I digress.

I remember waking up because Silas wanted to be fed. He wasn't crying, just fussing some, and I reached over to pull him close to me. I was still half asleep myself. As I fed Silas, I noticed that the bed seemed to be vibrating. I realized that Smiley was shaking, somewhat violently.

It took me a few moments to register this; I thought perhaps I was dreaming or imagining things. But no, I reached out towards Smiley and could feel him shaking under the blanket. I woke up more fully, wondering if this was a seizure. I thought about panicking, but decided against it.

Silas finished eating and fell back asleep, perhaps lulled by the vicious amount of shaking. Then, it stopped. For a minute, anyhow. I was now wide awake, though Smiley seemed to be sleeping. My eyes were heavy and tired, but my mind was racing. Why would he be shaking so badly?

After a few minutes, I put my hand on his shoulder to wake him up and ask him if he felt ok.

Sleepily, he said that he was just really cold and could he have another blanket. I got up and got him another blanket, three other blankets in fact, and draped them over him. He was still shivering with an unreal ferocity.

But when I felt his forehead, he didn't feel particularly warm or cold, which was strange to me. I had thought maybe he was getting a fever. But no, he just keep shivering away. I asked him if he wanted anything else and he said no, so I tried to go to sleep.

Maybe ten more minutes went by, and then all of the sudden Smiley sat straight up, pushed off the blankets, went to the bathroom and began throwing up just as violently as he had been shivering. After I stopped staring in surprise, I got up and brought one of the blankets to help keep him warm as he threw up in the sink.

I had been getting up every two hours or so to feed Silas and was dead tired, but now was not the time to complain about it. I rooted through our dresser and came up with some warmer, comfier clothes for him to change in to. I got him some water, and brought him the thermometer.

Remembering that he hadn't felt warm just 15 minutes ago or so, I was shocked to feel how warm he now felt, and stunned to see the thermometer reading out a 103.2 degree fever.

"You don't do anything half-assed," I said as he drank some water and sat on the bed. "I'm this close to freaking out and going to the emergency room."

"So this is what being sick feels like," he replied.

"Yeah, except for I don't remember ever throwing up my insides quite like that. And most people I know would take little sips of water in case it came right back up, instead of drinking the whole cup."

We settled back in bed to try to get back to sleep and I remember being thankful that I was still on maternity leave so that I could bring him to the doctor tomorrow without having to use additional leave time.

After an hour of spotty sleep, Smiley sat back up and sprinted into the bathroom again, throwing up once more. His temperature had gone down though, so I just rubbed his back as he vomited and hoped that whatever he had wasn't contagious because I hate throwing up.

Long story short, it turned out his had a UTI. Now, I don't know about you, but the time I got a UTI, I was sick, certainly, but my fever wasn't that bad and I didn't throw up even once. It was like Smiley's immune system determined there was an infection and decided to just clear everything out or burn it up, and to do so sooner than right away. I have NEVER felt someone shiver so violently and I've lived where it gets pretty darn cold out!

So yes, that is what I thought about while I walked to my car today, shivering softly.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Back at Work

Well, it's Tuesday evening and I'm posting, so that means that I have not died going back to work. Surprisingly to me, I haven't cried once, not even when I left him for the first time since he had been born. Then again, I guess it's not that surprising. I knew I had to do this and so I did it. But I do feel odd when Silas is not around. It feels like a part of me is missing.

I think one of the reasons I hate going back to work is the time involved in preparing Silas to be watched by someone else. If I'm watching him, then I can just feed him whenever, no worries. Now, I have to pump at work and hope I get enough milk for his bottles for the next day. I have to clean bottles so he can drink from them. I have to prepare outfits and blankets in advance. I have to leave twenty minutes earlier than normal and I get home twenty minutes later. That's forty minutes of my day gone, solely so that I can go sit at a desk away from Silas.

Still, we're going one day at a time. Wednesday is Smiley's day off, so I will have my forty minutes back tomorrow as I can just leave Silas at home. I think that in order to get into a habit of preparing bottles at night for the next day, I will prepare some bottles for Smiley to give to Silas tomorrow.

Oh and it's really hard to get up for work. I tried going to bed earlier last week, but have found that regardless of the time - 7:30, 8, 8:30 or 9... no matter when I get into bed, Silas will stay awake until between 10-11 and then he will go to sleep. So I'm going to have to perhaps nap right when I get home from work. Except that Silas wants to nurse then. And again, an hour later. And again, an hour later. I might just spend all Saturday in bed at this rate to try to catch up on sleep.

In fact, I'm almost positive right now that I am rambling worse than I have in some time, and it's only Tuesday. I might be screwed.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Thoughts

Final day home with Silas tomorrow and then back to work Monday.. Oh I'll keep it together because I've gotta do what needs to be done, but inside my heart is breaking and thanks to the wonder of postpartum hormones and their magical "forget what happened" properties, it hurts more than my unmedicated labor.

We went to a wedding today and it was a very nice ceremony - one of those outdoor weddings where the couple stands in a gazebo overlooking ponds and giant trees and the ceremony was very heartfelt and beautiful.

Of course, the benefit to having a baby is that for now, I don't have to be interesting myself; I can just hold up Silas and be all "look at my baby!" and then people look at him and tell me how wonderful he looks and how he's such a good baby.

Smiley and I are lucky that he is such a good baby. I know that temperament can vary wildly from baby to baby, but Silas is calm and well behaved. I think that it helps that we hold him as much as possible, feed him when he is hungry, and do our best to attend to his needs. But I also know we could do the same with another baby and have different results. So I'm thankful for Silas.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

November!

NaNoWriMo is officially on, and, officially, I have no clue what I'll be writing about. Last year, I was all "oh, I'm going to capitalize on this vampire romance stuff and really write a novel and edit it and it'll be great" and then December happened and then January, February, etc... and I didn't touch that horrible piece of trash. Now it's November again. And Silas is sleeping and judging by the time, I have at least thirty minutes to myself.

I need to learn to jump on these times for noveling this month. We'll see how that goes. First I have to eat my lunch (it's 4pm here) and then I need to stop thinking today is Friday. I'm honestly not sure which one will happen first.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

The bib is not technically part of the costume but is part of daily baby wear.
Today was Silas's first Halloween and it was pretty busy. Wednesdays are Smiley's day off, so the two of us woke up late and then we all headed out to early voting. From there, we hit the mall to spend some gift cards and ended up buying a new vacuum and some baby clothing.

The vacuum was a tricky purchase because it cost money beyond the gift cards we had. However, our old vacuum had stopped working and I was quite honestly freaking out over the amount of fur and hair on our carpet. So that kind of balances out the spending money part.

We actually dressed up to head over to a friend's house tonight - I was wearing my kimono and Smiley was doing his phantom of the Opera costume. Silas was wearing a pirate hat and pirate shoes, but that didn't last. During the car ride, he started crying horribly. We stopped at Publix to pick up a dessert and I stayed in the car trying to see if he was hungry.

It turns out Silas was super over heated from wearing the hat and shoes and pants. I blasted the a/c while feeding him on the front seat. When Smiley got back, key lime pie in tow, I got Silas ready to be burped and then placed back in his car seat. Silas wasted no time in spiting up absolutely everything he just ate and probably food from a few hours ago as well all over me, my kimono and his outfit.

So, the pirate costume didn't make it past the car trip. Oh well. Maybe next year (except not because he'll have grown out of everything). Happy Halloween everyone!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Oh hello fall

Three days ago, the high was 80 degrees. Today, it was 66. I feel crazy cold but northern pride is between me and putting on some long johns. It's ridiculous how relative cold is and how much easier it is to get used to being cold when it happens somewhat more gradually.

Sadly, I remain in a state of overwhelming anxiety regarding my return to work on Monday. I know that plenty of moms have to return to work on a similar time frame or even sooner, but I also believe that does not diminish my feelings about it (and it really only speaks to the fact that the US should try to be a bit more accommodating to new mothers).

Don't get me wrong. I'm not advocating for a return to the 50's or something, where my ONLY option would be to stay at home and take care of the kids and household and I'd have to have a martini ready for my husband at the end of the day and dinner on the table while he sits in the dining room tapping his watch if it's late. I am thankful that women these days get better options than that. But wow does it suck to not be able to make the choice I want to make.

In any case, I'm combating my anxiety by making judicious use of my Moby wrap and letting Silas sleep in that on me for a few naps. I'm also working on forcing myself to stop talking about going back to school and make it happen (I feel like I'm one of those people, always talking about how I have the best idea for a novel ever but I just can't write it down).

Upon contacting the local community college yesterday (which, in an attempt to go back to school last year, I had applied and sent in my transcripts), I found out that they had not, in fact, received said transcripts. So now it's time for yet another round of "navigate stupid websites designed to make me hate everything" to attempt to send the transcripts again.

What's annoying about this go around is that I have receipts in my email from last year with the order numbers. I called up to check on them, and the order numbers do not appear in the database. Now, sure, I only paid about $12 for the two transcripts, but still. It's ridiculous that I'll end up spending $24 just to prove that I went to another school and took classes.

Did I mention it was cold outside? Sitting here with Silas wrapped up against me is warming me up faster than a cup of hot chocolate. I love this wrap.



Monday, October 29, 2012

Let me describe what is happening by my feet. Also, Chipotle

I'm sitting at my computer and I've laid Silas down on a blanket next to me. Sherlock is curled up at his feet and Sophie is lying down by his side. They are all asleep (although one wrong noise and the dogs'll be up like rockets) and adorable. I want to take a picture but the room is of course somewhat dim and I don't want to turn on the lights and wake everyone up.

I've noticed that I've been craving Chipotle burritos a lot lately. First off, the college-side place has super mild carnitas, which I love. Seriously, I have ranted before about how nothing at Chipotle worked for me and it was basically all based on spice. This location seems to have milder carnitas.

Ok, tangent about meat aside, I've been craving the heck out of Chipotle. I think that it stems from the fact that I don't have a ton of time to prepare meals for myself during the day - well, that's a bit misleading. Silas sleeps a lot still, but I can't always predict when he'll wake up exactly and sometimes I lose track of time of how long I've sat with him while he sleeps. In any case, I don't have time to prepare much and those burritos have a mega-ton amount of carbs backed up by beans and meat for protein and so my body figures, what the heck - we'll get it all at once.

I discussed the possibility of going on a Chipotle burrito a day type diet, but I don't think it'd work out. Pricewise, if a burrito was the only thing I ate, it wouldn't be ridiculously budget busting, but I think I'd need to have a few more calories than the 800-900 or so they provide and that costs money. Also I'd get tired of them. And other reasons, I'm sure. But at the moment, they seem like a great choice.

You would think this would mean I'd figure out a way to make them at home. I mean, seriously, they're not reinventing the wheel in terms of food prep. But I guess it seems daunting. I'm going to hit the internet and look for a replica recipe.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Breastfeeding as insulation?

So since I've been pregnant, but especially since I've started breastfeeding, I've noticed that I don't respond to temperature quite like I used to. When I was pregnant, I felt overheated a lot, which made sense. I had extra weight to carry around, extra blood rushing around in my veins and a tiny little kicking baby insulating my internal organs.

The breastfeeding warmness is a surprise to me.

I've lost most of the weight and that little inside baby is now an outside baby, but I still find myself more often than not on the warm spectrum of things. For example, I used to be the one adding extra blankets for Smiley to kick off during the night and now I kick off blankets and can't sleep unless the room is below 76 degrees (side note - thank goodness it's started to get cool here in FL because our energy bill would be ridiculous).

I suppose it's the process of making milk that leaves heat as a byproduct? Maybe? In any case, it oscillates. Sometimes I feel ready to strip down to my birthday suit to cool off and other times I feel like I am my normal amount of cold. It's just one of those odd little things I never thought of until now!

In other news, I still don't have a noveling topic - yikes! But I think Silas will be going to the park today for the Dog-O-Ween event. I'll try to take pictures and probably fail because that's just how I work.


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Oh gosh, it's almost November

Two things happen in November - the first of which is that I go back to work and it's going to suck. The second is that it is once again NaNoWriMo time and that means writing a novel (50,000 words or more) during the month of November. A good friend encouraged me to try it two years ago and so I did. It was fun. Then I did it last year as well.

Now, I'm going to do it again, but I don't know how in the world I'm going to win it. All of the little times that I dedicated to writing are kind of being dedicated to taking care of a baby. And what makes matters worse is that I won't get to spend all day with Silas; I'll be at work, so I'll want the evenings to be with him more often than not. My lunch break will probably be spent visiting him and my regular breaks at work are likely to be my pumping times. Ugh.

Did I mention I don't know what I want to write about anyhow? Last year I made some stuff up about vampires and it was hilariously bad. I also made a prediction that mummies were on their way "in" but alas, vampires are still popular and mummies are still in the shadows. Darn. There goes my career as "popular monstrous creature predictor."

Monday, October 22, 2012

Another Tale Of Sleep Deprivation

Quick - ask me to pronounce "deprivation" - there's a good chance I'll completely screw it up; I have been messing up words left and right and my only claim to education is an English degree, so it's darned embarrassing. I mean, if I were awake and aware enough to be embarrassed.

The other week, maybe two or three weeks ago, Smiley and I went to Target and I picked up some shampoo and conditioner since my current bottles were running low. When we got home, I put them in our shower and promptly flipped my current bottles over to make sure I was getting every last bit of cleansing liquid from the current bottles.

At the beginning of last week, my then-current bottles finally ran out and I took them out of the shower when I was done, ready to seamlessly switch over to my new choices next shower.

Now, maybe none of you guys are dirty hippies like me, but I typically (even before baby Silas!) like to wash my hair every other day. I have terribly fine, thin hair and if I wash it daily, it just goes as greasy as a piece of Pizza Hut pizza by the end of each afternoon. Not a good look.

But with the addition of baby Silas to the household, I'm not ashamed to say that sometimes I don't wash my hair until every third day. (Hey, when you have a minute or two to clean up before the baby starts screaming, you prioritize. If my dirty hair has offended anyone, I'm sorry).

Again, unless you're used to thin, fine hair, you might not know that when I do go three days before washing it, sometimes the shampoo won't exactly sud up like normal. Sometimes you have to shampoo twice, because your hair needs it and not because the bottle suggests it. So, I was not at all surprised when on Wednesday last week, I jumped into the shower and grabbed my new bottle of shampoo and found that it didn't sud up at all the first time.

As I was rinsing out the first shampoo, I vaguely noticed that my hair felt different than it normally did with the shampoo brand I was using. But it wasn't enough to force me to stop and think about the situation. I just rinsed out the shampoo and reapplied another round. This time, it still didn't bubble as I scrubbed it in. Now, you people with your fancy "full nights of sleep" or even "just four hours at a time sleep" might have stopped and checked your shampoo at this point to make sure all was well, but I chalked it up to my hair possibly being exceptionally dirty and I rinsed it out and used my conditioner and promised myself I'd wash my hair before three more days passed.

Three more days passed before I washed my hair again. I got into the shower, fully ready to wash my hair well, and applied the first coat of shampoo. Again, no suds. And that feeling of something being off was finally enough that I checked my bottle of so-called shampoo. For those of you playing "Guess the Mystery" at home, yes, when I was at Target last month, I picked up a bottle of conditioner instead of shampoo. For those of you who know I'm pretty blind without my glasses, I never noticed the darned word "conditioner" on the bottle the few times I've used it.

And for those of you who've wondered how my hair looked so dirty and yet incredibly soft and conditioned, now you know. I've been conditioning my hair twice, if not three times, every time I wash it. Whoops.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Well I Guess It's One Way to Deal With Spit Up!

Silas has entered the phase of his life where he spits up. Often.

It is said that as long as the baby is happy, then spit up is a laundry problem and not a medical problem. So far this holds true for us. I don't mind reusing a burp cloth or blanket a few times before resigning it to the hamper, so I rotate through several blankets a day, giving each a chance to dry up and then using the next corner for the next time.

In order to make sure I am not without a cleaning material, I tend to leave a blanket in each of the places I'm most likely to be spending time - our computer room, the living room or our bedroom.

Today, Silas spit up three times in fairly quick succession, which I cleaned up using the same blanket. I put that blanket slightly hanging off of his carseat and grabbed a new one to use. When I glanced down later, I saw Sherlock tentatively licking the spit up spot. I sincerely hope this does not lead him to develop a taste for baby. I'll keep you all posted.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Moving all the furniture

Today we moved my favorite nursing chair into the bedroom. I'm not sure yet how this will work out. It's my most comfortable place to nurse, so logically if I need to nurse at night (as Silas will be in our room for the foreseeable future) and I want to sit in it, I can easily. At the same time, now I can't nurse in my favorite chair in the living room while watching reruns of Monk.

It's probably for the best; what would have happened when I ran out of episodes of Monk?

But more to the point, it gets the chair out of the living room and we're planning on remodeling in our living room... soon...ish. Basically we're going to take down the fireplace.

This might be one of those cases where "we're" means Smiley will take down the fireplace and I'll provide support.

This might also be one of those cases where "support" means I'll nag him to finish the project so I can go back to nursing in the living room in my favorite chair while watching reruns of Monk.

We'll see how it goes.

I am pretty excited though. A lot of times, Smiley and I have remodel ideas that differ slightly though not significantly, but enough that we need to compromise often. Getting rid of the fireplace is fine by the both of us. We've never used it, although I did shove some candles in it and burned them, once. Then the hearth area got stacked up with Stuff. Then Smiley moved his weights in front of it.

Once the fireplace is gone, we'll have extra space. I know that extra space = extra Stuff, but hopefully that will be kept to a minimum. Instead, we'll do some built in shelves for storage and for the TV and gaming systems. Of course, it'll be hilarious to see how much time goes by before I blog about the end of this project.

I'll be accepting bets for the timeline. See me for the odds.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Ok One More Serious Post

Haven't been terribly funny lately, I know. I've been getting steadily more upset as my maternity leave dwindles down to just a few weeks left. I know that some moms don't even have the luxury of maternity leave like I have had and I know that some moms look forward to getting back to their job.

But not me. I just want to take care of my baby and be there for him and be his mother. That's how it's supposed to work. That's how it was supposed to be, when I imagined my life when I was younger. I know some people might think it's stupid, but I always knew raising my children was the job I wanted.

I also want to go to nursing school so I can have a career after that, and I think Smiley and I will work that out somehow, but I know that no matter what, I do need to go back to my current job as planned for at least some time.

So, while I am happy, I am also sad and it's really cutting into my ability to write anything amusing. Sorry about that.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Expressive Eyebrows! And cosleeping

I think someone has replaced my baby with a Mr. Potato Head. Silas has very expressive eyebrows and I love watching them change throughout the day.

There are the relaxed eyebrows, which he wears for most of the day - because those are the ones he wears while he sleeps.

He also has a reserve of angry eyebrows, concerned eyebrows and suspicious eyebrows. The angry eyebrows come out when he sucks on a pacifier and realizes he is not being fed from it. They also occur while I am trying to burp him. If he's still hungry, he'll headbutt his hands and arms until he manages to latch on to them and then out come the angry eyebrows!

So when he is nursing and first latches on, it's usually with concerned or suspicious eyebrows. These quickly change to neutral or sleepy eyebrows once he is assured that he will get to eat.

I suspect that soon he will have his eyes open more and broaden his facial expressions as a whole, but for now, I'll enjoy watching his eyebrows.

 Also, I've taken Silas into the bed with us, despite my talented sister-in-law doing a commercial explaining to not do that. It's not that I haven't weighed the risks; it's just that I don't go to bed drunk or on drugs and I'm not a heavy sleeper, so I'm not worried about smothering my baby. Plus, I don't have extra fluffy blankets or pillows.

And the most important part - he sleeps so much better. We got our first three and a half hour sleep stretch when he was lying in bed with us. I think that's worth it because he was happier during the day and so was I!


Saturday, October 13, 2012

Feeling Sad

I was holding Silas today. It was almost time for him to eat and he had started fussing a little, rooting around and sticking out his tongue. He was making some sounds and I asked him jokingly if he was trying to talk already. I told him that I'd be around when he started to talk.

That was a bad thing to say, even to myself. I remembered (as I will myself to forget as often as possible) that I won't be able to stay home with him and that there was a perfectly good chance his first words would be spoken to someone without me or Smiley there. A sad thought, but I pushed it to the side because there's no point in crying over hypotheticals.

Still, it had set a mood for me, and unfortunately the next step was for Silas to hammer the sadness home. As his fussing increased, I got set up to nurse him in my favorite chair. He quieted down, perhaps anticipating what would happen next. As I held him up to my chest, however, he did not latch on as he normally would.

Instead, he paused, making no noise but his face turning bright red and then he started wailing - a desperate, loud cry that frankly shocked me with its intensity. I stared at him for a moment as he cried again, the pleading note in his cry horribly evident.

In that moment, tears gathered in my eyes and then started falling. I rocked him back and forth for a moment to calm him down before attempting to latch him on to nurse and his cry subsided fairly quickly as he reassessed the situation, headbutt me a few times trying to coordinate his head and then latched on to nurse. His eyebrows quickly turned from serious and concerned to happy and calm.

But for a few minutes while I fed him, I continued crying. It was one of those moments where it was obvious - even now, at just over a month old! - that sometimes, I'll be there for Silas with exactly what he needs and it still won't be enough.

Sometimes, I feel frustrated. I think as a new mom, and especially as someone who wants to have children, that I can only share the good parts - that sharing the bad parts of having a child only opens myself up to the attack that "you wanted to have kids so deal with it." Which is true, and I will deal with it, but life is full of choices and sometimes, occasionally, I want to talk about the bad parts of a decision.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Silas's Birth Story

Well, it's just over a month out now, and I still haven't posted anything here as a birth story. I think I'll do that now.

The last few weeks of my pregnancy were the worst part of being pregnant. Though I don't recall it quite as clearly as when I was there, I remember texting my mom almost daily to complain about pain. I had sciatic pain and my right leg would often be the recipient of the shooting pains while I was sitting down.

I was also uncomfortable in general. Sitting, standing and sleeping took a special effort and walking had dissolved into a light shamble. Ok, fine, it was a heavy shamble.

However, as September rounded the corner and me with a due date of 9/24/12, I knew I had to be patient in waiting for my little baby.

At Smiley's workplace, his coworkers were telling him to expect me to go late; as a general rule, first time moms tend to give birth at 41w1d or something along those lines. Don't quote me. But the important part is, they go late. I think we both started mentally psyching ourselves up for that.

At my workplace, my coworkers were convinced that I would go early. Coworkers I hadn't known well would stop and ask if I were alright as I tried gamely to shamble from desk to bathroom and back again several times a day. I assured everyone they would be seeing me until September 24th or longer, if needed. They laughed.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Furniture Rearrangement - Mini How-To

It's no secret that Smiley and I have roommates - his sister and her husband live with us. Having roommates not because you need them but because you want them there is a great experience. If we're lucky, one of my friends might be staying with us for a few months next year as well.

We have a 3bed, 2bath house, so I know some people might be starting to count rooms and wonder if we're crazy.

I mean, yeah, a little.

But we both grew up in large families and in houses where rooms were occasionally (or always) shared, so having people around is a normal state of life for us.

So in lieu of this arrangement, Smiley and I are trying to rearrange our bedroom in a way that what is currently the computer room can become the guest bedroom/eventual nursery. This involves having to put our computers in our room. This seems like an impossible task at the present, mostly because right now our room is bursting with Stuff.

Basically, the best way to figure this out is to build a scale model. Here are my steps:

How To Rearrange Your Furniture in the Best Possible Way - For Now
This method works great for anyone who has ever sat there and said "no, actually, I want to see how it works with the couch on the other wall."

This method is great to suggest to anyone who will have you moving furniture in the near future. Heck, you can do this for them - it'll still be less effort on your part.

This method is not needed for those who are excellent at rotating 3D objects in their heads. Go clearly picture your room's furniture all rearranged without my help. You disgust me.

Required items: tape measure, paper, pencil. Imagination. 

1: Measure the room, the doors, the windows and any closets. Mark down all measurements on a piece of scrap paper.

2: Make a scale model of your room with those measurements. Depending on the items you have in your room, an inch = a foot scale can work fairly well (so, each foot of room space will be represented by an inch). You can use a large piece of cardboard or poster board to draw your room. Make sure to put in the windows and doors!

3. Measure all of the furniture. Err on the side of too large here; this method will not work if you guesstimate an inch or two short on everything and end up trying to smash a bedframe between two night stands. Personal experience.

4. Make scale models of your furniture out of a separate piece of cardboard or paper. You can be as detailed as you wish, but the only important parts to note are the front and back of an item when it makes a difference (for example, you most likely want the head of your bed against a wall instead of in the open space). (But I won't judge. Do you want you gotta do.)

5. Rearrange it! Now you can easily rearrange your paper model until you come to a design that works for everyone. Again, it might seem like a time consuming way to do things, but unless you REALLY like dragging furniture around, it is worth it.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Nesting Instinct

I'd be lying if I said that my nesting instinct only came out while I was pregnant. I've always enjoyed rearranging furniture and organizing items and decorating. I've always been hampered by a few things though.

The first thing is that I've never really owned furniture. Even right now, in our house, my husband and I own probably less than half of the furniture. To our names, we have an armchair (generously donated by his parents), a bed (generously donated by the trash), a mattress topper (generously donated by his old roommate) and a dining room table and chairs (generously donated by his sister). There a few other items, but the general gist is that there's not much to rearrange.

The second hampering is the items. The stuff. Though we don't have much furniture, my husband and I are both stuff-collectors. I'd like to say he's worse than I am, but the truth is we just have different niches. He has a lot of technology. I have clothes and costumes and books. Both of us have a hard time throwing out items that could be useful to someone, someday, somehow.

So there's a lot of Stuff that could be rearranged but due to the amount of stuff, there's not a lot of rearranging options.

Then there's decorating. Decorating is also hampered. First and foremost, I don't have the discretionary income needed to buy vases or pictures or anything that cannot be used in a, well, useful way. Second, we need all our space for The Stuff. There are no open surfaces that could use a decorate vase filled with decorative beads and maybe wrapped with a decorative ribbon, because it's covered in everything else.

But, oh. The nesting urges still hit, and hard. I'll spend a day rearranging the closet just to try to fit more stuff inside. I'll move our roommates couch at a 90 degree angle to try to open the living room. Once, I put decorative beads into a vase and wrapped it with ribbon. I put it on our dining room table. Later that evening, when our friends were over and we went to play a board game, someone took the decorative piece and kind of shoved it onto another surface.

They weren't being rude. There was just no point to having it there.

Yet, somehow, there's a point to having a pair of nail clippers on my desk, and a vial of perfume that I received as a gift, even though I only use it to anesthetize wounds because it is alcohol based. And a basket of papers that might be important, but aren't important enough to go into my "important stuff" drawer.

If you can make sense of my mind, I'd love to hear about it.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Every dang time!

Every time I sit down at my computer to type, I bring the dogs with me in the room so that Silas can sleep somewhat undisturbed. Sophie immediately starts sniffing around as though there will be some sort of food somewhere on the ground. In particular, she starts sniffing around Smiley's computer chair and desk with a ferocity that suggests my dear husband must have buried a body under the floorboards.

I mean, normally, I can just be all like "Sophie!" in a stern voice and tell her "no scrounging" and she complies. But when it comes to the area around his desk, she doesn't even give me her "I'm sorry" eyes for a half second before she's back to sniffing around. Some day, when we find a body or something under there, I'll apologize to her.

I think night time with Silas has gotten better. Mostly, I think I might have learned to just go to sleep while I'm sitting up and feeding him. Usually I'll stay awake until he's done eating and then put him on my chest to burp him and that's usually how I'll wake up. The alternative is putting him back in his bassinet.

Putting him back in his bassinet is like throwing a china plate against the wall and hoping it doesn't break - what I'm saying is, it's impossible to do. No matter how fast asleep he seems, no matter how boneless his arms are, the moment he touches the bassinet, he starts making little noises. These little noises become bigger noises and often are accompanied by an episode or ten of spitting up, despite my best efforts to burp him several times during feedings.

And then, before long, the noises become protests which become half cries and at that point I know I need to pick him up or the full cry will start.

Every. Single. Time.

(I feel compelled to note, if you haven't already, that this is through the eyes of my sleep deprived brain. I think that I actually fall asleep at some point and wake up to the fussing.)

Anyhow, today marks his 4-week "being alive" anniversary. Smiley and I have taken care of a baby for nearly a month and he hasn't broken yet. I think, just maybe, we might be able to pull this off.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Brought Silas to work today

I brought Silas to meet my coworkers today - he was wide eyed, awake and alert throughout the whole visit, and behaved like he was the best baby ever.

I told my manager that if I got permission to plunk him in a bassinet next to my desk, I'd be there tomorrow to work. I'd even put the bassinet under my desk, to hide him from distracting my coworkers with his massive cuteness.

My manager didn't seem thrilled at the proposition.

But if I understand the laws correctly, they have to give me time to use my pump at work and theoretically, I could just feed my baby directly instead instead of going through a middleman/machine. I mean, he totally only fusses when he's hungry. There's no way this plan could go wrong.


Sunday, September 30, 2012

Oh yeah, just remembered I could post pictures.

Oh god the foot is back!





I have these posted on my Facebook page, but couldn't resist adding some color to my blog with some pictures of my favorite little baby.

I feel almost human

For the first time ever (AKA the last 24 hours), Silas has been sticking to 2.5-3 hours in between feedings, including at night, which means that I woke up each time to his cries feeling almost rested instead of ready to bargain anything for five more minutes of sleep. I swear that even though it was raining this morning, the sun somehow looked a little brighter and I'm almost positive everything I look at today looks a little friendlier. Am I in a Disney movie?






Thursday, September 27, 2012

More sleep deprivation madness!

Let's start off with some Yooper humor... otherwise known as, I have no clue if this is funny to anyone unfamiliar with the UP.

You may or may not have heard of a tale of a whale written many a year ago. It is called "Moby Dick." My full disclaimer is that I have never read this book. I only know the first line of the novel, and that's only if my teacher wasn't lying to us.

For reasons unknown to my brain, the first line of that novel will often pop into my head when I'm trying to relax and concentrate on things that are not bills or spit up.

Except, last night, while I was trying to take a 15 minute nap, I kept misremembering the line as:

"Call me Ishpeming."

Um. Yeah. Hilarious, right?

In other news, I want to have another baby. I mean, like right now. I'm pretty sure this is also the sleep deprivation talking. But the way I'm looking at it is, I'm already really tired. How much more tired could I possibly be with another pregnancy and another kid?

My brain is all up on the rationalization of this, reminding me only of the easy parts of my pregnancy - I didn't throw up except once, the second trimester was easy, and I went into labor three weeks early and ended up with a healthy baby. Women everywhere are telling me I look great for having just given birth and it's going to my head.

CLEARLY, this all indicates that I should totally get knocked up again. Luckily for me, Smiley, though he is as tired as I am, is a bit more logical about this all. He's there to remind me of the countless nights that I woke up, sore and uncomfortable and desperately searching for my lost bottle of tums. He can remind me how in the first trimester, all I did was sleep and how I wouldn't be able to do that while taking care of Silas.

And then I say, yes, I understand. These are all valid points and I vaguely remember the discomfort of trying to walk in the third trimester. And then I look at Silas and at his tiny socks and tiny diapers and logical Dani is completely replaced by tired-and-hormonal Dani and I want to have another baby RIGHT NOW.

Never mind that I remember clearly stating that I wanted to wait at least 2 years as to space out our children as I figured it would be really tough on my body to go through back to back pregnancies. Forget about the copious amounts of shambling that I participated in those last few months. Even the fact that I sat down to write this post around 10:30 am, and then had to feed Silas at about 11am and that when I finished feeding him, burping him, and changing his diaper (it took about an hour all in all), he started to root around again in hunger.

So if you notice a crazy gleam in my eye, just know that there is a large part of me this moment that wants to have another baby and maybe you could take a minute to dissuade me from this madness! From these tiny socks! From the cutest expressions I've ever seen on a little baby and the cutest noises! Oh, madness. I am overcome.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Wanna know how tired I am?

I had my baby on September 7th and since then, I have not had more than 3.5 hours of sleep at a time. I often wake up so tired my eyes are watering and/or crossed. But the physical aspects of being tired are minor compared to how my brain is reacting. For example, I humbly present this exchange between me and Smiley the other morning:

It was late in the morning, maybe about eleven, and I was feeding Silas. I was doing great until I opened my mouth to talk:

"Well, Silas," I said, looking at him in what I felt was a bleary but loving gaze, "At this rate, I won't have an official breakfast today. I'll have a breakfast lunch." I paused, and continued without thinking: "Too bad there's no cool word for a breakfast lunch like there is for breakfast for dinner."

I paused for another beat, thinking about what I said.

"Hey." I looked at Smiley. "Hey, did you hear what I just said?"

He shook his head no and I somewhat sighed in relief.

"I was lamenting that there's not a word for breakfast for lunch."

Smiley looked at me. "Maybe after you finish feeding him, you should go take a nap."

Monday, September 24, 2012

Two weeks = over two hundred diapers

Newborn diapers are tiny. They are adorably tiny, just like newborn shoes and socks and those tiny little mittens you put on a newborn's hand so they won't scratch the heck out of their own face.

I have changed at least a hundred of these tiny, little diapers - without calling any of them adorable after they've been used - and I suspect Smiley has changed likewise, probably plus three since when he's around at home, I let him have the wonderful privileged of wiping his son's bum.

These diapers get filled because the baby is eating food and the food is doing its digestive dance. Which brings me to my complaint of the day: breast feeding pads.

TMI? Perhaps. If so, back away and come back to read tomorrow when I'll probably discuss something less potentially personal! If not, well, I'm not really going into any kind of crazy detail here anyhow. The word "nipple" will come up. Also, it's entirely possible that blogging while sleep deprived is not my best option.

I am not an expert with these pads. I grabbed the first box that seemed to have the most per dollar. (My husband might insist there was a bit more to it than that. He might be right. I might have checked each box to compare the cute baby pictures provided on each).

Anyhow, they're just little cotton pads used to keep everything clean between breast and bra. But I managed to have a complaint nonetheless.

Why do these pads have nipple impressions!? I'm pretty sure that nipple modesty is a thing here, what with most bras in all sizes being at least lightly lined to prevent the dreaded silhouette. But thanks to the wonderful world of these breast feeding pads, I can circumvent this in all situations!

Again, I've only tried one brand, so perhaps I just have bad luck. I guess that's what I get for picking the most for my money. Next time, I'll try again. And the whole world will get to see if it works out better.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Baby Safety!

When I'm lying in bed at 3am, 9/10ths of the way asleep with a nursing baby in my arms, I swear I think of the most interesting blog posts in the world. Words and sentences swirl around in my mind, presenting themselves in unique combinations and thoughts. I think to myself, of course I will remember this! How wonderful my mind is!

And then I fall asleep the last 10th of the way, only to be awoken as the baby fusses for more milk. And anything I had thought of is gone and all I can think about is how my body feels surprisingly well rested-ish but my eyes feel like someone replaced them with sandbags.

So that being said, I have no unique perspectives to impart on you all today.

Let's talk about baby safety. I'm pretty sure it's been said before, but how DID people survive in the previous century? I haven't came across one piece of baby gear that isn't covered in more safety warnings than blank space. Our car seat alone has at least five - I say at least because I haven't bothered to flip it over, but I suspect if I do, I'll find another safety warning.

Everything you buy for babies can be used against them and those safety warnings let you know. Sure, you buy the car seat because it's the law and because it's the safest way to travel with your little baby, but then the car seat lets you know that it can kill your baby in several non-car related ways.

Or you buy a stroller. One false move and, that's right, dead baby.

Or a baby carrier. God forbid you don't use your baby carrier perfectly, because there's a wall of text assuring you that this baby carrier can, in fact, kill your baby.

Did it always use to be this way? I mean, I know that kids used to ride in cars without - the horror - seat belts! But besides that, were new parents always showered with so many scary possibilities of baby death? It just seems unkind.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Turns Out I'm Every Cliche Ever

I slept for almost three hours. I am feeling so coherent that I feel like I could jump to the moon.

Wait. That doesn't sound right.

Oh, yeah, I'm still tired.

Here's the thing. As I'm sure every parent before me has wondered, I'm feeling a bit annoyed about this whole "give birth and need a lot of recovery time afterwards but hey - recover while being awoken every 2-3 hours and while giving up a lot of your nutrients to keep your baby healthy" bit. I'm still sore from labor and delivery and that was almost two weeks ago.

My abs still feel like jelly, for example. Well, to be fair, that might be because they look like jelly. Turns out when muscles get stretched over nine months, they look pretty funny when you remove the reason for their stretching and they just sort of hang out. Also turns out that when your abs are jelly, they don't support your back like normal and then your back is sore, which leads to absolutely HILARIOUS instances of trying to stand up while holding my baby and then kind of crumpling to the ground in a slow motion fall when my back decides it doesn't want to support my weight at that particular moment in time, thanks.

My arms and legs are also sore. Picking up my seven pound, some ounces baby is actually challenging at times. And when I am holding him in bed and have to stand up? Well, give me five minutes to work up the energy.

So why, nature? Why the constant lack of sleep after giving birth? Is the delirium induced as to somehow cause me to love my baby more? Is there some sort of complicated hormone mixture released in absence of sleep? Because I know college students who pull a lot of all-nighters and I don't think they typically love whatever they're doing more because of it.

Here's the current list of cliches, for anyone playing at home:

During labor, I did, in fact:

Indicate that I felt that I might be dying.
Indicate that I couldn't possibly give birth to this baby and that it had to be cut out of me.
Said I'd go med-free and then got an epidural after some half hour of pushing. (Yes, this one is still really bothering me, as I managed all of labor without medicine but then apparently because the world's biggest wuss when it came to delivery).

After labor, I:

Exclaimed that my baby was the cutest baby ever.
Looked lovingly into my husband's eyes and said "we made this!" with a sense of awe and wonder, as I watched Silas cry for the first time as he was placed on my chest for cuddling purposes.

To be fair, (and this is probably a cliche as well, but I'm not sure) I think Smiley and I are doing awesome.

I think.

Actually I think that I am crazy and could still be lying down to sleep some more. After all, it's not quite yet my 10am wake up time!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

My mornings apparently start at 10 now

Or 2 am, or 4 am, or possibly 6 am, depending on how you define "the start of the day." I'm usually up at those times feeding the baby currently. I count 10 as the start of my day because that's usually when I'm up for good. Except for maybe a nap when Silas goes back to sleep, but usually not because I've found that my body appears to be producing some sort of adrenaline rush telling me to clean my house while Silas sleeps.

It's kinda, sorta working out.

So, for the first week of life, Silas was considerably jaundiced. They let him out of the hospital so obviously it wasn't too bad, but we did have to hook him up to a biliblanket for a few days. Smiley is off returning that now, because his bloodwork from yesterday came back fine. Woo!

I'm hoping this is all coherent, because the sleep deprivation is pretty killer. I think I started crying last night when the baby woke up to eat, but I can't quite remember, because I might have been more asleep than awake as I tried to convince Silas that my arm was incapable of providing him with sustenance.

But, as I've seen from experience, I know this part gets better, so I'm not worried. Just tired.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Plus Baby!

Well, quite suddenly, Smiley and I now have a family. I do want to write up a birth story for anyone who's interested in reading the "experience" but for now I just wanted to post something. I don't have any pictures, myself. Smiley took a bunch on his phone and I'm waiting for my dad and my friend to use their super fancy cameras to take world-class pictures to post.

In any case, our new baby is just adorable; you'll have to take my word for it.

In another case, I do have to say that while I've loved being with Smiley - I really found that my admiration and affection for him easily doubled during the whole process. I mean, my due date wasn't until September 24th and that's what we were planning for. So when I went into sudden labor and my water broke and I wasn't quite sure how he'd react, well, he reacted exactly as I should have known.

He just did exactly what I needed and wanted and did not complain and even as I attempted to tear his hand off and rip his back apart during contractions, he did not complain. When I shouted unintelligible phrases at him, it was though he read my mind and rubbed my back exactly how I wanted, and told me that I was doing good.

Even now, as he's holding the baby so that I can type up a quick post in between feeding sessions, it's just wonderful to look at him and see the way he handles any situation with humor and knowledge. I am thankful to know and be with him.