Things I've Learned in the Past Seven Weeks

My apologies for being so sporadic with the blogging. As you may have guessed, the little one takes up all my time now. (My hope is that eventually she'll be able to amuse herself long enough for me to sit down and actually write it stands now, I just have to hold her with one hand and type with the other).

But in the 10 minutes or so that it will take her Daddy to put her to bed, for her to wake up crying, for him to shush at her for a few seconds, for her to ignore him, and for him to bring her back downstairs to me with a shrug and a "She wants her Mommy", I'll try to relate some of the things this new motherhood deal has taught me.

For instance, I have learned that:

  • She changes every day. Every morning I wake up and she's longer, heavier, and her face has changed a little. It blows me away. I can almost sit and literally watch her grow right before my eyes. She looks totally different than she did when she was born, or when she was a month old, or even from what she looked like last week. Clothes that fit 3 days ago don't anymore. Of course, she becomes more beautiful by the day, so all this changing is nice, but shocks me how quickly she grows. Do all babies do this? I never noticed before.

  • Babies have no concept of time. Come to think of it, no patience either. The bottle warmer takes exactly 90 seconds to heat up her 3am bottle of milk. You wouldn't think 90 seconds would be that long. But to her, there's only RIGHT NOW, and the bottle is not here RIGHT NOW, despite you saying, "Seriously, just 20 more seconds! Enough with the screaming already!" Seconds mean absolutely nothing to her. The world is ending! The world is ending! The world is-oh hey, the bottle's ready. Cool.

  • In a similar vein, she can also go from happy to screaming like someone has amputated both legs in nothing flat. There doesn't seem to be any in between with her. No sniffling, or trembling lip, or cranky warning noises. It's happy smiling (or sleeping) to tortured screams in an instant. Then, just as mysteriously, she's back to being fine again, and you're just left standing there going, "what the heck was THAT?" Tony and I have actually taken to calling these sudden little fits her alter ego, which goes by the name Fussy McFussypants. Thankfully, these visits by Fussy McF are few and relatively short lived, but they're still enough to send your poor nerves reeling if you aren't expecting it. (I know, I know, the same mad crying means I'm hungry, I need a diaper change, I'm tired, I'm bored, my tummy hurts or I just want to be held. Then as soon as she sends the message, she's back to being a happy camper. I will be so glad when she's able to add a few more tricks to her bag of ways to communicate.)

  • Also? She melts my heart. She has just learned to smile back at me in the last week or so, and every time I walk into her field of vision and she smiles at me, it's like I float three feet off the ground. I am totally addicted to it. I would walk for days, wrestle mountain lions, and leap tall buildings in a single bound for one of those smiles. As it is, I am giving up sleep, changing poopie diapers and completely foregoing chocolate (which apparently I have an unhealthy devotion to since I can't stop thinking about it, and yet it gets into the breastmilk and gives her a gassy tummy, so it's off the menu for the time being). And the crazy thing is I'm happy to do it for her! It's baby mind control, and I don't mind a bit. (Well, except maybe a little for the chocolate).

  • Tony has learned that he REALLY REALLY hates getting up to give her the 3am bottle. He's tired, he's cranky, he's annoyed that I'm still laying in bed even though I get up for EVERY OTHER FEEDING while he sleeps. But still, he does it. Every night. Because he's still dependable, even when sleep deprived. But oh how she has him wrapped around her tiny baby finger! He comes home every day at lunch so he can see her. And you should have seen them reading a story together last night on the couch. I'm not sure who enjoyed it more. So he may really hate 3am, but he's absolutely crazy about that little girl.

  • Finally, I've learned it isn't about me anymore. For instance, today she spit up all down the front of my top. (I know...gross, right?) Gallons and gallons of spit-up right over the burp cloth (I'm still not sure how she managed to get around it), hang a left around my collarbone and right down the front of my shirt. Now before, I probably would have ripped the shirt off, run screaming from the room, and spent the next 30 minutes scrubbing off the top four layers of skin in the shower. But now? It didn't even register. Because she needed a bath, and she needed a change, and she needed to finish her lunch, and there just wasn't space in my brain to give it any more thought other than to stuff a paper towel down my front and keep on going. (I did remember it hours later when I stripped off the shirt and found the paper towel still stuck in my bra).

So yeah. This motherhood thing is kinda like being in a cult. I used to think it was a little obnoxious the way parents would go on and on and on about their children, but I totally get it now. They can't help it. I see the whole world through baby-tinted glasses. My life (right now at least) revolves around this little person. A tiny, demanding, wonderful little person. And right now, I'm okay with that. I'm totally drinking the koolaid.

Happy Easter

For your viewing enjoyment, some pictures of the most adorable baby ever in her Easter dress and bunny hat...

Hope you and yours have a wonderful Easter holiday!

Sibling Rivalry

A lot of people ask me how the cats are getting along with the new baby. I get the feeling they expect some kind of baby vs cat shenanigans. (I blame this on Disney's Lady and the Tramp, which cruelly and erroneously showed Siamese plotting to steal the baby's milk).

But this is not true. The cats have been very good about the new baby.In fact, I they have been the perfect little helpers.

Dixon keeps an eye on her while she sleeps.

Magellan warms her bouncy seat for her.

Mason helps me feed her.

Bella helps burp her.

Now, it is true that they all run away when she cries (Dixon runs to the top of the stairs and cries too, so that both the baby AND the cat are raising a ruckus), and they do like to sleep on her changing pad when they get into the nursery, and sometimes they will abscond with a pacifier or two to bat around, but other than that they've been the perfect big brothers and sister.

Well, at least until she gets old enough to get a death grip on a tail or two, anyway.

Bed Check

Today when I was changing the sheets on our bed, I found the following:

3 burp cloths
2 baby blankets
1 boppy pillow
1 waterproof changing pad
1 pacifier (on my pillow no less)
1 baby nose snot sucker bulb thingie (under Tony's pillow)

Next to the bed was:
2 empty baby bottles
1 bottle of baby gas drops
1 bottle of gripe water (for upset baby tummies)
1 gripe water dispensing syringe
2 tissues, contents unknown
and another pacifier

It's like a Babies R Us in here. It's a wonder we have any room in the bed to actually sleep.

One Month

So we're one month old today! Honestly, I don't know where all the time went. It seems like just yesterday they pulled her out of me and held her up over the OR curtain like some kind of baby puppet show. Then someone hit the fast forward and suddenly it's been a month and I'm not sure what has happened between then and now other than she's grown waaaay too fast. (One month and I'm already sniffling into a onsie and singing "sunrise, sunset").
Speaking of growing, Tony's been calling her kudzu because of how fast she's shooting up. In one month, she went from 5lbs, 10 oz at birth down to 5 lbs, 4oz when we left the hospital and now a whopping 6lbs, 13.5 oz at her one month checkup last Thursday. She's also grown from 18" at birth to 20.5" now. We're officially out of the preemie clothes and diapers and into most newborn clothing now.
She can hold her head up for ever longer stretches of time, and she's really good about making eye contact and following movement. She recognizes my voice, Tony's voice, and Granny CC's voice and will look for us when we're talking nearby.

In short, she is a brilliant baby.
As for me and Tony, we're doing okay. Tired, of course, and still working through those times when she's screaming bloody murder (she gets horrible gas bubbles in her little tummy, and it's next to impossible to get them out. Babies are the only people in the world with whom you are are ecstatic when they burp in your face). But it's okay. We have a schedule. She tends to eat every three hours, with Tony taking the 3am time with a bottle and me taking the 6am, 9am, noon, 3pm, 6pm, 9pm and midnight feedings. (Hmmm. That seems slightly unbalanced now that I look at it...must speak to my mommy union rep about this).

Finally, in totally awesome news, I am back in my pre-pregnancy jeans! (Well okay, maybe just my fat pre-pregnancy jeans, but still...they count!) I'm hoping that at my next doctor visit they'll clear me for light exercise so that pretty soon I can wear my skinny day clothes too. This year's swimsuit season may be out of reach, but I'm hoping that a nice fitted summer skirt isn't too much to ask.

So that's us. Life sure is different now than what it was a month ago, but I wouldn't change it for anything. This little person just lights up my world. I can't wait to see what the next month brings!