Browsing Tag

babies

Family, Gus, Olive

Halloween

I have come up with a deeelightful family Halloween costume this year – oh yes, I am going to push the the family costumes until either Adam or Olive rebels. Who will crack first? How far can I push this? Stay tuned!

Anyway. I thought I’d compile some photos from our costumes in previous years, in no particular order.

As always, Gus wins.

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Gus circa 2011, as Alan from The Hangover

 

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2012, Olive as a bunny, me as a bleary-eyed new mom, proud that she showered today.

2012, Olive as a bunny, me as a bleary-eyed new mom, proud that she showered today.

 

 

2011. Adam as Alan from The Hangover (who wore it better?) and would you look at those pants?! Me as a witch.

2011. Adam as Alan from The Hangover (who wore it better?) and would you look at those pants?!
Me as a witch.

2010. You’re welcome for the modesty patch.

 

 

Umm.. the nineties sometime? Maybe 1990? Making me seven...ish? A SPIDER! Check our all of those homemade costumes. Nary a franchise or licensed character to be seen.

Umm.. the nineties sometime? Maybe 1990? Making me seven…ish? A SPIDER! Check our all of those homemade costumes. Nary a franchise or licensed character to be seen.

 

Three week old Olive. Oh my gahhhh so little look at those hands I need a moment.

Three week old Olive. Oh my gahhhh so little look at those hands I need a moment.

 

 

2005, me as a lion. Rawr. I kind of like the crimped hair look.

2005, me as a lion. Rawr. I kind of like the crimped hair look.

aaaand this:

Gus as Lady Gaga. Lady Da-Ga?

See? Gus always wins.

Olive and I are heading out today to gather a few extra bits and pieces for our costumes, the better to dress up with my dear!

 

 

 

Olive

Late

Olive turned nine months old on the 5th. I’m late with her 9 month picture, because I attempted to do them on the actual day and they all sort of ended up looking like this:

Girl was not having it. Probably because we discovered a second tooth trying to bust its way into her smile a few days later. So the pictures have been delayed and I’m almost a week late but hey, they’ll get done.

In the meantime I am looking at this child of mine, this daughter of mine, and am just floored daily by what I see. I have talked about this before and therefore I have probably talked about this here before, but she surprises me. Every day.

I don’t think I realized, when I was pregnant and trying to picture who this little baby would be, that I was imagining a tiny me. Boy or girl, I was imagining me in infant form. And I know that I didn’t consciously realize this because of the surprise I feel every time Olive does something very un-me.

That’s how they measure expectation, did you know that? By surprise. When you exhibit surprise, it is because you expected one thing to happen and another did instead. Like when you expect to come home from work and change into pajamas and burrow into your couch watching trashy tv and eating chips from the bag, but when you walk in your front door exhausted-SURPRISE! Everyone you know in the world is crammed into the living room you forgot to vacuum.

(Relevant to this tangent: I turn thirty this year. 3-0. I would like a surprise party. I have never had a surprise party. I hate planning my own party, I would like a surprise party. How is it a surprise if I am expecting it? I don’t know, I mean figure it out do I have to do everything?)

Anyway, what I am trying to say with this longwinded tangent is that I wasn’t aware that I had expectations for Olive even before I knew she was Olive. I mean it’s probably the worst thing you can do as a parent, to imagine them as a little you and force them to follow in your footsteps, achieving all of the things you couldn’t or didn’t achieve. But here we are. And every single day I sit here and watch  my daughter, who is so strong and brave and trusting and motivated and fearless, and I am surprised. Because I don’t feel brave or strong or trusting or motivated, and definitely, definitely not fearless.

I am afraid of a lot. I’m afraid of failure and judgement and being alone. I fear that I am not doing well enough – and what is enough? I have no idea, the standard keeps changing, the bar keeps shifting up and up. I am afraid of overpromising and under delivering, I’m afraid of missing the mark and taking risks and being wrong. I’m especially afraid of what other people think.

But there’s Olive. Busting out teeth left right and centre. Standing up every chance she gets – even, especially after she’s just fallen and whacked her head on the hard floor . Happily lurching from coffee table to sofa, reaching out her hands and trusting that someone will catch her if, when, she falls.

I talk about it all the time, how different she is from me. It never fails to surprise me, and I kind of love it. I love how strong she is. I hope she never loses that. Some fear is good of course, fear is what keeps us from making truly stupid decisions (like bungee jumping. Or face tattoos.) but too much can paralyze you and stop the movement, the happy lurching from place to place.

So. Today I will hopefully take and post her nine months photos, this brave little daughter of mine who has now belonged to the world longer than she belonged just to me. We’ll take pictures and Adam will make faces to get her to smile and I will write in the “Milestones| section of her baby book: You are so strong. And so brave. And you have two teeth! And we love you, we love you so much that we surprise ourselves.

Gus, Olive

Role Model

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Gus has a reputation for being a hugely messy dog (I have absolutely no idea why that is).

We have been house sitting for Adam’s sister this past week, and I’ve decided that when she comes home and asks why her windows look like they’ve been coated with ballistics gel, I’m just going to blame it on Olive.

Don’t worry Gus- I got your back.

Motherhood, Olive

Why New Parents Are So Obsessed With Sleep

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Never talk to a new parent, for we are an obnoxious sort of people, full of anxiety and milestones and percentiles and pediatrician’s advice.

But if for some reason you are unable to avoid it, if you have a new parent for a friend or relative or co-worker,, you may have noticed that it takes approximately 2.85 minutes for the conversation to veer around to how their baby is sleeping.

If they are sleeping, when they are sleeping, where they are sleeping, how they are sleeping, and the all-time favorite, WHY WON’T THEY SLEEP?

There are many reasons for this obsession, and I think this is one of those things I never really understood (not in the truest, nitty grittiest of ways that you can really understand something, anyway) until I found myself here, on the other side.

So here is a list, which is meant to function both as an explanation and an apology to anyone who has had a longer-than-two-minutes conversation with me anytime in the last eight and three-quarter months.

Why New Parents Are So Obsessed With Sleep

  1. Because, in the beginning, it’s all babies do. Beyond discussing their physical appearance (cute!) and their poops (horrifying!) babies don’t offer up much in the way of conversation topics other than sleep. So for the first few weeks or months, literally 90% of your day is spent breastfeeding or putting your baby to sleep. (The other 10% is divvied up as follows: 9% spent talking about breastfeeding or putting your baby to sleep, and the remaining 1% on personal care, cooking, dishes, laundry, and pretending to be a real life human being. Obviously.)

  2. Because you asked. You in the grocery store line up. And you, co-worker who I have done no more than nod to whenever I passed you in the hallway for the past three years. And you, anxious-eyed old friend trying to evaluate just how hellish this experience really is, anyways. You asked. So we answered. And then we somehow forgot to shut up about it for the next four years. Sorry.

  3. Because WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU BABY AREN’T YOU TIRED FROM THE SCREAMING AND THE POOPING AND ALL OF THE BEING SO EDIBLY CUTE? SLEEEEEEEP DAMMIT.

  4. Because it affects every single aspect of a new parents life and that is not exaggerating even one tiny bit. If baby isn’t sleeping, ain’t nobody sleeping. And if you’re not sleeping, you are crazy. There’s just no way around it. Being woken up every two hours (or four hours or any increment of hours less than eight jesus christ) is just unsustainable in the worst, bleary-eyed, sharp-tongued, mountains of coffee and takeout pizza way. You are tired, and worse than that, your BABY is tired. Yes, him. THE ONE THAT WON’T SLEEP. Which brings me to point 5:

  5. Because it doesn’t make any sense! The baby is exhausted. Clearly, objectively, exhausted. This is a FACT. Rubbing their eyes, yawning, getting cranky, all of those clear-cut 100% positive, 0% chance of error, indications that baby is t-i-r-e-d. But they won’t sleep. They don’t want to be rocked or held or walked or swung or nursed or put down (oh god, definitely not put down) but what they don’t want most of all is to sleep. Because they are insane. And talking about this insanity with other human people is incredibly reassuring.

  6. Because you might have the answer. Every time a new parent tells someone about their sleep habits, (Ja-ahydein wakes up at 7 and then naps at 9 but only sleeps 20 minutes before he starts crying and if I get to him quick enough I can rock him and he’ll nap a little longer but if I don’t he’s up and grumpy and then naps again at 11 and we miss our baby zumba class!), they are hoping you have the answer.What answer? We have no idea. Some magik or witchcraft or top-secret method, or maybe you had a child JUST LIKE Ja-ahydein and you somehow stumbled across the cure for short naps and night-wakings and you have been standing there just WAITING for us to ask, so you could share your wisdom! This is the most hoped for outcome, I think.

    Next time a new parent talks about their baby’s sleep, look deep into their eyes and you will see it. That longing, that questioning stare asking, Do you have the solution? TELL MEEEEEEE.

  7. Because they don’t want to let their baby cry it out. In the past I have written about how I am not a fan of crying it out, and I realized after the fact that I may have offended some parents who were using that method, so this is an important one for me to write. Because here’s the thing: no one wants to do CIO.

    No one wakes up one day and thinks, “Hey! Look at this adorable chubby baby for whom I longed and dreamt and spent nine months waiting on the edge of my seat. Look at this child who gives me big gummy smiles and drooly open-mouthed kisses and thinks that I am the centre of the universe. Look at this perfect little being. I think that today I will let him cry alone in his crib for ten or twenty minutes- maybe even an hour! You know, just for fun.”

    No matter how against CIO you are (and I am against it in the “It doesn’t work for us, but if it works for you then rock on, mama” way), I think we can agree that no one wants to do it.CIO is the last resort of the sleep deprived parent. The parent that can’t physically drink any more coffee than she already is. The parent that cries at the drop of a hat because she’s emotionally exhausted and falls asleep standing up and has leg-hair longer than her husband. The parent that has tried everything else, I swear, everything! and just. needs. some. sleep.

    This parent doesn’t need articles or studies or mommybloggers shaming them, they need sleep. On this issue, like all other parenting issues that quickly devolve into the so-called “Mommy Wars”, we have to trust that they know what they are doing. We have to trust that other parents are just like us, because other parents ARE us, and we are them and they have tried anything and everything else, and have decided that this is the best thing for their babies and for themselves.

    So sometimes when a new parent talks about sleep, they just want to be told that they are doing their best. Even if their best ends up being something you don’t agree with. Because they might not agree with it either, but it’s the only thing that’s working.

  8. Because they want, nay NEED to fix it. Because of the tiredness, you see. And the crazy. Oh, so much crazy. Do you know what I did a few weeks ago? I constructed an elaborate excel spreadsheet to track Olive’s sleep schedule. As I may have mentioned, her former sleeping-for-ten-hours-straight schtick is long gone, and we suspect that it may have been a ruse, a trick, a trap to make us love her. And dammit it worked and now here we are, stuck with a no-sleeping baby like a couple of CHUMPS.

    Well played, Olive, well played.

    Anyway, this spreadsheet had spaces for when she woke up in the morning and when she went down for her naps, when she woke up from her naps and when she went to sleep at night. And then, in a column the most scribbled and messy and chaotic of all (being as it was often filled in with a broken eyeliner pencil at 3 a.m.) a space to write down if (HA!) and when she woke up during the night.

    Do you know what I called this endeavor? CRAZY. And do you know what all of that qualitative data would have looked like after I analyzed it? This:

    Ok so the first day she woke at 10 then slept at noon and again at four with bedtime at 10 for total of 14 sleep hours but then on the 7th she slept a total of 16 hours because she had a third nap but look on the 15th she ALSO had a third nap what were the phases of the moon during those days and did I look at coffee on the first day let’s correlate the two statistically significant events with the lunar tides and Gus’ bowel movements oh my god…oh my god I’ve got it! The answer to everything! No wait. Forgot to carry the one. Shit.

    There was no rhyme or reason to it. Two days could look exactly the same and one night she’d sleep through the night and the next she would wake six times. Days where naps were the same time and durations had bedtimes that varied +/- three hours. It was chaos. But I spent an embarrassingly long time studying that spreadsheet because it was all I had. And I was going to figure it out if it killed me!

    (I did not figure it out. She is clearly an aberration. A statistical anomaly. A one-in-a-million sometimes-shitty-sleeping-but-always-wonderful, beautiful little outlier. Also known as a normal baby. Because babies do not sleep. Because they are insane.)

  9. Because it makes them feel like failures. Every book touting an easy-peasy solution to baby sleep, every friend who can pop their child into their crib where they fall asleep on their own and sleep for twelve straight hours, and every person offering helpful solutions that worked like magic but they have tried, I swear they have tried! makes a new parent feel like a failure.The thought process goes something like this:

    If I was a good mom she would sleep better. If I stopped nursing to sleep she would sleep better. If I breastfed she would sleep better. If I stopped co-sleeping she would sleep better. If I started co-sleeping she would sleep better. If I played with her more during the day she would sleep better. If she was less over-stimulated she would sleep better. If I stopped drinking coffee or started taking more iron or swaddled her or rocked her or stopped rocking her or let her cry it out, she would sleep better.

    Everyone else’s baby sleeps better. I’m doing it wrong. I’m a bad mom.

    I am doing it wrong.

So I know that all the talk about sleep can seem ridiculous and boring and like, seriously! the kid will sleep when she sleeps! get over it! (<—actual thing I have thought to myself when discussing this topic BC [before child]) it is important.

It is important because it affects how a parent functions, and how a baby functions, and how happy and sane they both are during their waking hours. It is important because sometimes as a new parent you feel like your whole life is spent putting the baby to sleep or waiting for the baby to wake up and it can be frustrating.

And it is important because although we know babies don’t sleep – I mean, we all know that right? Babies are notorious for not sleeping! – it is different when you are in it. And when you are in it, this sleep-deprived state of stained clothing and nothing but two hour stretches as far as the eye can see, you just want to be out of it but the only way out is time because eventually everyone sleeps.

And in the meantime, we talk.

Thank you, world, for listening.

Uncategorized

This will probably sound like gibberish to you if you don’t have kids- it sure as hell would have to me even six months ago. However, here we are, I’m talking gibberish AND asking baby advice on the internet – judge away!

So for a variety of reasons (Rain, lack of space, being overwhelmed with 2948457 options) we won’t have a stroller for the first few months. We have an Ergo carrier with an infant insert that we plan on using when we take little Baby G on outings – do we also need a Moby-style wrap?

I’ve heard that the Moby-style ones are great for newborns, and for baby-wearing around the house. I’m just not sure if it’s worth buying another carrier. Thoughts?