Friday, December 31, 2004
The Sleep Fest continues
And then Aunt Carla came over to visit:
She wanted me to delete the following picture, but it was just too cute:
Both grandmothers are sick and unable to hold the little guy. I think it's very hard for both of them because he is just so darned cute. Hopefully they will both be better soon.
We had lunch with our friend Heather yesterday. She and her husband Jim are contemplating parenthood and she reads my blog to find out what it’s like. We aim to be helpful here at How Is Jack, so I’m glad someone is getting good information out of it. I think the thought of becoming a parent is actually much scarier than doing it has been.
To answer Amy’s question, I did not attend Notre Dame, Joe did. As with most Notre Dame grads he’s very into the football team.
Thursday, December 30, 2004
This is why I am against c-sections. The surgery/recovery part was nothing. But seeing the little man all alone on that table being poked and prodded for 20 minutes just about broke my heart. He should have been with me. The whole point of natural childbirth is that you bond with your baby right away and he is not scared by a bunch of crazy nurses right at first. And he doesn’t spend the night alone in the nursery.
More than one person has told me I am too hard on myself. I suppose if more than one person says it I should take heed. It’s funny to hear this, because I think the same thing of my mother. Here you have the most incredible woman on the face of the earth – she’s talented, creative, intelligent, funny, compassionate, and can cook anyone out of the kitchen, and yet she is constantly criticizing herself.
Oh my god, am I turning into my mother? They say it will happen.
I didn’t have a picture of Jack from yesterday – he was in a bad mood most of the day. Luckily last night we both got some good sleep – he slept for 5 hours again which is very nice for me. So here he is this morning after I took off the sling:
The nice thing about the sling is you can wiggle out of it without disturbing the baby. Then he just keeps sleeping in his warm little cocoon and he isn’t shocked by the cold bed or anything. I love that sling.
Today is Joseph’s birthday. Happy Birthday! We’re going for sushi tonight to celebrate since I couldn’t have sushi during my entire pregnancy.
Wednesday, December 29, 2004
Shake Down the Thunder
I had to feed Jack in the middle of the 2nd quarter, which was slightly challenging. I think I scared the guy next to me. It’s so funny how people react. And to be honest I would have been the same way a year ago. But I refuse to go sit in the bathroom to feed the baby – I would have missed too much. And I swear you can’t see anything, but my god these guys act like I’m walking around naked or something. It was pretty funny.
I have to say that taking a baby out to things like this is not easy. It certainly disrupts his schedule (no more 5 hours of sleep for me!) and it’s difficult to keep him settled in that environment. But it certainly beats the alternative – I just can’t sit home all the time.
We also went knitting yesterday at Mama Java’s. Gloria came and spent some time holding the little man:
That’s my mom’s friend Renee in the background. My mom couldn’t hold the baby because her other grandchildren got her sick over the holiday. I just called her and she sounds even worse today, which is awful. I know she can hardly stand it that she can’t pick him up.
Today we have lunch with my dad and a quick trip up to Jessica Knits. We’re both pretty tired from last night, so I think tonight we’ll just hang out at home.
Tuesday, December 28, 2004
The Magic Sling
Of course I got home, threw the baby in the sling and he fell right asleep.
This is what he looks like in the sling right now:
So last night I put him to bed around 9 after he ate – this is a little earlier than normal but he hadn’t really had any good naps all day so I knew he was pretty tired. I woke up at 2 and he was still sleeping! That’s 5 hours. Joe was up too, and we were both worried. I made him check to make sure the baby was breathing, then I just sat there and waited. Of course he woke up momentarily and ate again, but I was surprised he went so long. I guess it’s okay that he does that now that he’s a little older.
I talked to my friend Natala on the phone last night. She asked me what one thing I wish I had known before having the baby and I couldn’t think of anything. I guess I knew a lot of the stuff intellectually, but until you are actually here with the kid it’s impossible to know what it will be like. I suppose it would have been nice to know that a c-section isn’t all that bad, because I was pretty nervous going in to that. But other than that I pretty much knew what it was going to be like – lots of diapers, lots of laundry, very little sleep, and hours upon hours of breastfeeding.
Monday, December 27, 2004
Happy 1 Month Birthday!
I need to clarify about our bad Christmas Karma. This year it was the heat, I think last year was fine but two years ago we came out here from California with the dogs. They did not get along with Tom and Gloria’s new German Shepard and we ended up putting them in a kennel. Our dogs are not kennel people to say the least. It was really awful, and Lucca barked so much during her four day stay that she lost her voice. Every time we drive by that kennel (mistakenly called a “Pet Resort”), we remember sending our dogs to jail.
Jack and I have recovered from the holiday. We didn’t leave the house at all yesterday – we both just slept and ate and slept some more. And watched James Bond movies because Spike is having the 007 Days of Christmas. I just love Sean Connery as James Bond.
Last night Jack slept for close to 5 hours, which was wonderful. But then I think his little tummy was so empty he ate a little too much, because he then proceeded to get sick all over himself. So then I didn’t know if I was supposed to feed him again or just leave him be. He looked really sleepy so I just put him down and fed him again in two hours. I can’t believe how many times something happens with him and I have no idea what I’m supposed to do.
Sunday, December 26, 2004
Do You See What I See?
My adorable husband bought me a fake tree. It’s 8 feet tall and very bushy, and looks very much like a real tree. I am so happy I could dance around it all day long. The only downside is it gives off an incredibly strong smell of plastic. I’m hoping this scent dissipates with time.
Christmas overall was a success, although Joe and I are convinced that we have some weird kind of bad Christmas Karma. We went to Gloria’s, here is the little guy with his grandmother and great grandparents. (Oh yeah, and us)
And just us and the great grandparents
Notice they aren’t looking at the camera. No one can take their eyes off Jack. He’s like a magnet.
We got home Christmas Eve after dinner at Gloria’s and our heat was broken. Arizona isn’t typically very cold, but it did get down to 37 degrees that night. We lit the fire, wrapped the baby up as much as possible and toughed it out. Everything was fine until about 7 a.m. when the fire alarms started going off – I guess they didn’t approve of the fire being lit all night. I have never heard something so loud in all my life. Jack slept through the racket – he didn’t even open his eyes when I picked him up.
So we opened gifts and got ready for church. Now, I’ve taken Jack to parties, knitting group, shopping, out and about everywhere. He is always very well behaved, usually sleeping through anything with lots of noise. Of course this was not the case in church. About half way through he started screaming bloody murder and we had to leave. Joe thinks he has issue with Papal Doctrine. I think he might be Presbyterian. Either way, we did not make it through Mass.
On the way to Gloria’s we stopped at bought a space heater. This is going to have to get us through tonight as well, since all of the heating companies seem to be too busy to come out and fix our problem.
I am relieved it is December 26th. I feel like the pressure has been lifted and we can get back to life as normal. I think the festivities were a little much for Jack. He’s passed out cold right now and probably will be the rest of the day. Three days of celebrating is a lot.
Friday, December 24, 2004
Jack is Going Bald
So yesterday morning Jack and I went to cookie party, where he was quite a hit with the ladies. Mac was there, as was Max, Diane Bickford's grandson. I think there were 40 people total at the party but luckily not many of them felt a need to touch his hands or face. My mom is very bad at being the germ police so I know a few hands got through when she was holding him.
Me and my mom by the cookies
Grandpa and Jack match
Julie and Mac with my dad and Jack
India, a daughter of one of my mom's friends, was dying to hold the baby. She washed her hands so I let her. (See? I do let some people touch the baby.)
Then we had dinner with my parents and opened gifts. I led a campaign this year to have my family make gifts for everyone and it was great. My dad made me a wonderful jewelry box,
my mom made me a knitting bag (finally! I've been hating my knitting bag for months!)
and a quilt for our bed (I won't have a picture until next week). We had take-out from Thai-Pan and drank some wine. A lovely time. It was difficult for my mom to open her gifts while holding Jack, but she managed.
Today I have wrapping to do. We are going to church at five and Gloria's at 6:30. When we get back we will sip champagne by the lights of the tree, and enjoy our brand new family on our first Christmas together. It's hard to believe that someone else's vision of Christmas and what it means will come from me. I imagine Jack in 30 years with a wife somewhere, and if he's not with me I hope he's missing me.
Thursday, December 23, 2004
And the Award Goes To......
Now that the stress of trying to be mother of the year is off my shoulders, I can show you these pictures of the boy last night. Sometimes I make him wait to eat and he gets very angry:
so his father has to step in and comfort him:
I’m not talking hours here – more like 1.5 minutes while I wash my hands, get a drink of water, or go to the restroom. He just can’t bear to wait for food. Poor guy.
Today is cookie party at my mom’s house. I know several people will want to hold him, I just hope no one is sick. Apparently I have the reputation of not letting anyone touch the baby, which is just fine with me. The only way babies get sick is by people touching them with their germy hands or kissing them with their germy mouths. There is no way I’m going to risk having him get a cold or the flu just so some random person can touch or hold the kid. They will just have to wait a bit until he is bigger.
Wednesday, December 22, 2004
So most of the shopping is done. We still don’t have a tree, and Joe’s work schedule is such that we probably won’t have one until Friday. In Italy they don’t put up their tree until Christmas Eve, so I guess we’re following that tradition.
I didn’t take any pictures yesterday so here’s one from this morning. He’s fed and warm and happy, so we’re just hanging out in the living room.
Tuesday, December 21, 2004
What is That Crib for Again?
We've started using the bouncy seat because part of the day Jack is so alert and looking around, so I wanted him to have something to focus on. Of course after a bit he fell dead asleep and looked so cute sitting on the floor next to my chair I had to take a picture.
We went shopping yesterday which was pretty tiring. I ended up feeding him in the car after lunch just to avoid the problems of trying to find a good place to nurse. It worked well, my parents came with me and hung out in the new car getting dizzy on the smell of new leather.
It's very difficult to Christmas shop with a baby I've found. The stores are very crowded and people are always in the way. And finding places to feed him and change him are challenging. I ended up changing his diaper on the floor of the bathroom in Sur La Table. Not fun. So today Gloria is coming over to watch him and I'm going to run out and try to get everything done in one trip. Then I'm going to make cookies for the party on Thursday. Wednesday will be for wrapping. And maybe having lunch with Parley if he can fit me in to his busy calendar.
Monday, December 20, 2004
Bath Day, Part 2
The new car arrived last night after Joe spent 4 hours at the dealership. My mini is officially gone. Here it is in front of our house:
I've never owned a big car – I've had two Honda Preludes, a convertible mustang and a Nissan Sentra. All two door sports cars. Now I have the opposite – four doors, three rows of seats, all kinds of storage space.
Today we're going to do some Christmas Shopping with my parents. They are looking forward to seeing Jack I'm sure – I think they go through withdrawals when they don't see him for a day. We're going up to Kierland – a great shopping center in North Scottsdale. It will be Jack's first ride in the new car.
Sunday, December 19, 2004
Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
Mini Cooper, December 18, 2002 – December 19, 2004
I was planning on being such a cool, hip, young mom with my fun car. No such luck.
Don't get me wrong, I love the new car - it's a black Honda Pilot. I can't wait for it to get here. It's like driving around in your living room it's so big and comfy. And it's a much smoother ride, plus I can see above other people. It's like I'm suddenly tall.
It's just that I feel like a part of my life is gone. This process of becoming a mother is challenging to say the least. It really does change you completely – I couldn't even think of what I wanted for Christmas this year! It's as though my entire identity has suddenly become wrapped up in this tiny little creature and his needs. Getting rid of the car was merely a symbolic step in losing a part of myself that I know will never be back.
The funny thing is that our friend Heather just sent me an email this week asking how it was working with the Mini. She just bought one and, like me, thought it would work with kids. I had to tell her the truth. But maybe it will work for her, who knows?
Yesterday we took Jack to Vincent's Farmer's Market. If you've never been I highly recommend it – he serves sandwiches, omelets, crepes, pastries, paella, soufflé, and various other items. You can have a mimosa or a can of Sofia, our favorite sparkling wine. (Yes, it's in a can. It's really wonderful. You can get it at Cost Plus if you're interested.)
Jack was mostly asleep
or trying to fight sleep
I thought of an answer for my dad when he asks what motherhood is like. You have to be a sports fan to appreciate this (which is odd, since I don't consider myself one). It's like you are a college football coach for a team that used to be bad but is suddenly having a really good season. You're winning a really big game against some great old rival on their field. You're feeling pretty good about yourself. Then towards the end of the game your players dump an entire cooler of Gatorade over your head. Yes, you're freezing and sticky and wet. You're probably shivering. You sucked your breath in with shock, and may be coughing from inhaling liquid. But you're also happy and proud and overwhelmed, and all the feelings mix together into one incomprehensible experience. And that's just the first day.
Saturday, December 18, 2004
Jack Goes Yarn Shopping
If you're really interested in seeing what I bought at the yarn store you can head over to my knitting blog. The car was not ready for a while, so we went back to Grandma's house and Jack rested. Luckily I thought to put something under him while he slept, otherwise the guest room quilt would have been ruined. He's such a cute little sleeper I had to take a picture:
We didn’t get home until after 6, but Jack was in good spirits. He slept well again last night now that we've figured out how to keep him warm enough, so everyone is feeling good today.
Friday, December 17, 2004
Parenting as a Science Experiment
So last night we decided to bundle him up in a warmer outfit and swaddle him in a blanket. We had to leave his arms free because he likes to keep them over his head as if he were signaling a touchdown. Lo and behold, he went 3 hours and 45 minutes between eating. Do you know what that means? I slept for 3 hours straight, twice in a row. AND another hour and a half before Joe's alarm went off.
I am like a new girl.
More pictures tomorrow – I had to spend the entire day out of the house today getting my car serviced and visiting a yarn store in North Scottsdale.
Thursday, December 16, 2004
Jack Hates Old Navy
Sorry dad, your office became a nursery for a bit yesterday. I even had to feed him in there.
He was fed and changed so I thought we’d swing by Old Navy and see if I could buy some real people clothes. Just a hint to those of you out there with new babies. Don’t go shopping two and a half weeks after giving birth. It was depressing how big I am and I almost cried in the dressing room.
But Jack took care of that for me. He woke up just as I was wheeling him in the room and he was hot and didn’t know where he was. Screams erupted from the little man and I know the people in the other stalls were marveling at his lungs. I didn’t have a choice but to plop down on the bench and feed him again. It worked very briefly, but I ended up leaving without buying anything. I think we’ll be shopping on line for the time being.
Today he went to visit Gloria’s class. It was the last day before winter break so I wanted to be sure the kids got a chance to see him. He likes fifth grade, especially since he’s the teacher’s pet.
Wednesday, December 15, 2004
Out of the House
And just his ear, because it's so cute:
I talked to Julie yesterday and we were marveling at how the doctors said these babies are supposed to sleep 15 – 20 hours a day. I don't know what newborns they are talking about, maybe ones with a strong Tylenol PM addiction or something, but certainly not my guy. He spends a good part of his day looking around and solving the world's problems.
What did alarm me is that Julie said she's been trying to occupy Mac while he's awake. Am I supposed to be occupying Jack? I wear him around in the sling as long as he can stand it (he doesn’t like his movements restricted too much), but then I put him down. How the heck am I supposed to occupy him? It's not like we can play games or anything. And he can only see 12 inches in front of him so most activities are out. We listen to music together, and sometimes I sing (not well, mind you), so I'm hoping this counts.
Today we're going to my dad's office for a meeting. And we'll probably go shopping for some regular clothes since I have absolutely nothing I can wear. My maternity jeans are starting to not fit, and of course all my pre-pregnancy clothes are locked away. I don't even know what size I am right now, it scares me to think about it. But we have an engagement party Saturday night and I'm just going to have to break down and buy bigger clothes.
Tuesday, December 14, 2004
Ode to My Mother
After our horrendously bad night, Jack had a pretty tough day as well. My mom thinks he had a stomach ache, so obviously I ate something that didn't agree with him. She came over and did my laundry and cleaned the kitchen, but more importantly took care of the little man so I could take a shower and go to the store. I was so exhausted I felt like crying when she left. Luckily Joe came home and whatever was bothering Mr. Friendly seemed to subside. He went back to his normal pleasant self and I actually got a little sleep.
I think my brother is a little jealous. I told him everything our mom is doing for me and he keeps saying "You are so lucky." Of course I know this. I know he and Anne are raising 3 kids without the almost daily help I have. But, last I checked, no one made them move to Denver. So there. It may be hot here in the summer, but it's certainly worth it having both our mom's here to help out.
Kim's new baby Angus has a website, you should check it out. You can see how great Kim looks.
And of course a picture of Jack to start your day:
Monday, December 13, 2004
Oh, What a Night
Now the little guy is sitting here looking around. I know he is tired, he just won’t go to sleep. It’s maddening. If I try to lie down he screams. But if I sit here at the computer he seems fine. Luckily my mom is coming over this afternoon so hopefully I can get a little rest.
Yesterday we went down to Tom and Gloria’s so they could spend some time with the baby. Grandma Elaine came as well – she hadn’t seen him yet – and Aunt Jodie and Terry. Here is Gloria holding Jack:
and Grandma Elaine:
Then we ran over to visit Kim and her new baby Angus. Here I am holding the baby, who was barely 24 hours old:
Of course Kim looks fabulous. You would never know she just gave birth – she’s so calm about the whole thing. Angus is adorable and has a pretty big cry – he got hungry while we were there.
Parley came over for dinner last night. He had never held the baby because he was sick when I was in the hospital. He’s an old pro, as you can tell:
Ok, the little man finally fell asleep. I’m off to take a nap.
Sunday, December 12, 2004
My little social butterfly
And last night we had a Christmas Party at Barb Dawson's house. Here's Jack with his dad:
One thing we noticed is that we are much more popular at parties with a baby. No one used to stop and talk to us before, now everyone at the party comes by and looks at the baby.
Speaking of babies, Kim had hers! Yesterday afternoon Angus William was born – I know Kim was very relieved she did not have to be induced. Here he is:
Jack had his first bath today. For a complete set of pictures go here. Here he is contemplating the situation, or begging his father to put the camera down, I can't tell which:
And just because I feel a little sorry for the dogs, here is Lucca this morning by the fire:
Saturday, December 11, 2004
Happy Birthday Mom
In other news, Kim is just about to have her baby! She went into labor last night and while I was on the phone with her this morning her water broke. I'm so excited, I can hardly stand it. We still don't know if it's a boy or a girl, so I'm on pins and needles awaiting her call. I'm going to visit her tomorrow so I'll give you all an update then.
One of my worries during pregnancy was post-partum depression, but I have to say I feel quite the opposite. Maybe I have post-partum mania. Part of it has to do with the fact that I've lost 25 pounds of the 50 I gained so I feel considerably better. But even with very little sleep these days I feel surprisingly good most of the time. I have more energy than before, I can move around easier and most importantly I can have wine again!
That being said, as we were driving home from meeting Julie and Meghan yesterday, I had the most stressful moments of my entire life. Jack was screaming bloody murder from the back seat and we were stuck on the freeway in horrible traffic. He was so mad and hungry and making so much noise I thought my head would explode. I got him home and had to have some Mylanta because my stomach was upset. I fed him and he acted like he hadn't eaten in a week, when it had really only been just over 2 hours.
Here he is meeting Mac for the first time:
and this is earlier in the day at Islands Restaurant at Desert Ridge:
Friday, December 10, 2004
Party Season has begun
We started at Aunt Cissy’s open house, where the family was gathering to see her new office. First Great Aunt Margaret got to hold the little man:
and then Great Grandma:
He was awake for a bit as you can see, and everyone got to enjoy his big blue eyes. Here’s a shot with Cissy as well:
After that party we headed off to the Stitch-n-Bitch Holiday party in Tempe. For more pictures of that event you can visit my knitting blog, but here is Jack when we arrived:
He woke up to eat (I’m getting better at feeding him in public), and then crashed again for the rest of the event. It’s funny, because when I was pregnant he would always fall asleep at knitting. Something about a room full of talking women knocks him right out.
A big thank you to everyone there who didn’t touch him, especially on the hands!
Today is another big day – doctor’s appointment, shopping with Grandma S, and then I’m meeting Julie, Mac and Meghan out in Tempe. I’ll probably collapse at the end of it all. I think I got about 5 hours of sleep total last night, which really isn’t enough. I should try and squeeze a nap in somewhere, maybe after the doctor.
Hopefully the doctor will clear me for lifting – although I did carry Jack in his carrier last night. I feel fine, so as long as everything checks out today I am going to declare myself healed.