Friday, January 27, 2012

Happy 0.5 Birthday!

My baby girl is 6 months old.  Didn't have any clue that it would be so exciting for me (and seriously, look out come July 17!) It sounds so "parent" but this six months has brought so much change. We've come to know so much in this little nugget, yet she is still so much the same as I imagined as she lounged in my belly and kicked back at Mr, P's nudges.  One good aspect of my "all-hands-on-deck, prepare-for-the-worst" outlook is that I am so often pleasantly surprised.  I was hunkered down ready to be overwhelmed with howl-filled, marriage-destructing sleep deprivation.  I was prepared to bear-and-grin-it through caring for a person I was missing the gene to love - and all this after losing all my support and being ejected from the delivery room for crazy poor behavior. I was ready to crumble at illness or injury.  And guess what? None of that happened!
So yes, C has accomplished so much - from following a moving toy with her eyes, to spinning herself around to get to a toy, babbling "dadadad," rolling over, and sitting by herself.  She giggles and babbles and wiggles and smiles.  She smiles a LOT.  But this one is a little more about me, because I'm actually pretty proud of myself and am going to toot my own horn...
I made it through a rough pregnancy (albeit with lots of rants, but that's what this forum was for), I made it through a rough labor, and a c-section, and the recovery of such. I didn't have a choice in any of this, but still...
Mothering has come out of me, sometimes vigorously.  Not that I haven't lost my shit - I have.  I've cried or handed her off so I could take respite in the aisles of Target.  But I have also kept at nursing her, every day now, for 6 months.  I have given up dairy, eggs, soy, and gluten in order to make her more comfortable...and these 5 ingredients are in EVERYTHING.  Birthday  Grabbing something at the last minute...impossible.  I've gotten up at night, and then STILL gotten up in the morning.
By her 6 month birthday I have lost all the baby weight (although I now need to lose the wedding weight, dating Mr. P weight, and generally disgusting lifestyle through my 20's weight...)  I fit back into my work pants (therefore regretting throwing out 75% of my clothes when they didn't fit at 6 weeks postpartum), can wear my wedding ring again, and am working out regularly.  I went back to work at 8 weeks...and I take the baby with me, which is VERY lucky, but also a major challenge.  I have handled bumped heads, Linda Blair vomiting, medical tests, vaccinations, coughs and runny noses.  I have put her in her own bed, and stopped running to her cries (although I'm not sold on the idea of ever letting her cry it out...especially at this age).  And as much as this is all run of the comes from someone who took a week to take the baby out of the house and in the car by herself!
So here's to another six months of surviving the new normal.

Friday, January 13, 2012

The God(less) Mother

On Saturday I will become the godmother to my squishy 10.5 month old nephew.  He will be baptized in the Roman Catholic Church, like so many of us before him.  I'm willing to bet it won't mean much more to him than it did us, but that will be for him to decide.
Those who know me well find it funny that I'm his godmother, as I am pretty open about being one of the roughly 2.3% of the world's atheist community.  So how do I justify this endeavor? Welcome to the inner workings of my version of logic....

If he's gonna wear my shoes, I prefer it be these
1. Look at the kid...he's adorable, we share blood, I can't get enough of him, and if something is asked of me that has to do with him, the answer is YES.
2. The promise I'm making is to ensure his spiritual growth if his parents can't.  I know plenty about Catholicism and if that's what they want...I will make sure he becomes the wizard of all Catholics if need be.  However, if he asks what I believe....
3. In the eyes of the church, I'm not really "godparent" material since I live in a marriage unrecognized by the church (thank you for not being in charge of the IRS, the Macy's registry or California's Community Property laws, church!) so if they are overlooking little stuff, so will I.
4. In godparent class, we're told that once you're baptized you can't be UN-baptized.  Meaning, I am forever a Catholic in THEIR eyes, unless I do something to get myself kicked out and internal "failings" (i.e. doubts) are not grounds for excommunication - so I'm covered there. Therefore criteria of confirmed Catholic over the age of 16 is met. Check.

So, in as much as I have no intention of disrespecting the Catholic church or believers of any faith...I am doing this:)
I will follow up with pictures of the little angel and his pagan cousin ASAGP (as soon as godly possible -ok no more jokes).

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Masticate, Ingurgitate....Expectorate

We just saw a rather rotund 8 month old at the office next door devouring some yams and coconut and cottage cheese.  C couldn't care less, and mommy looked on with rabid jealousy.  Cousin Aidan has apparently never spit anything out - but if he doesn't like it, he just holds it in his mouth.  (Add this to the list of things we will one day mock).  C's mild mannered, flocculent friend Miles sweetly ate a jar of green somethings the other night without an argument. 
Ahhh, eating.  One of the great joys and sorrows in life.  People will pay dearly and anticipate for weeks when a good meal or treat for the mouth is on its way.  Children will endure punishment to avoid what they hate or to sneak what they like, at the known risk of stomach aches and the such.  Babies, however, will do whatever they damn well please.  And as far as I have figured out, there's not a damn thing anyone can do about it. 
C is defying a somewhat unfortunate gene pool and most of the pounds she adds only seem to serve to make her taller, not much rounder.  The pediatrician (that I'm still considering switching due to her failure to laugh at a very obvious joke I made) expressed mild concern about 5 weeks ago at her 4 month torture session.  Since then we have been supplementing her previous diet of 100% boobie chowder.  Doctor suggested avocado, but failed to mention the .00001% chance that any baby would go along with that as their first food.  Luckily other moms (including my own) gave me some other suggestions - and I've tried most (ok, all EXCEPT the ground up bacon...suggested not once, but twice...once by my bacon loving husband). 

WTF Mom?!
Avocado: Went down like a lead balloon.  As Dr. Seuss would say...
she did not like it in her rice,
she did not like it by the slice.
She did not like it mushed to power,
she did not like it with boobie chowder.
Not in a bottle or off a spoon,
not from my finger by the light of the moon.  (yes I tried this one night when we were both too tired to be trying anything new). 

Playing banana cars
Rice Cereal: the thing about this is you want to make it with this stuff just falls out of the sky.  When you fail to rouse yourself and hook up to the screamer milk extractor you think, "well, maybe formula will be good...I'll make it with that"...but you don't want to make a full 2 oz which is the minimum the directions give you and your hormone tainted, usually quite sharp math skills can only take you down to 1 oz, which is probably too much you think of water, and then think you are cutting corners with your child and you punish yourself.  Rice Cereal = Guilt.

Banana: Obviously a better taste, but still just sits in her mouth until it's watery enough to run out the side of her mouth.  Slightly more swallowing, but nothing impressive. The best shot was when I handed her a 1/2 peeled banana and she took a bite out of it and that disappeared.  Sorry Beyonce! Didn't know you were Ms. Independent!
Sweet Potatoes: Yes please.  BUT only if daddy is feeding them to me...because why would I reward the person who makes all this food, thinks it all out, and feels defeated at my indifference?!

Baby Weight Gainer 3000: Ok, that's not an official name - this is when we take formula and make it with breastmilk instead of water.  It's double the density and C sucks them down like a rock star.  I credit these with her swift movement through 3-6 month clothing and small sized diapers.

I have to defer to my friend, Mama Malibu (who's son Max was eating peas as we spoke on the phone the other day...he's 3 weeks YOUNGER that C), and remember that she's not going to be a 15 year old spitting out her food at her first dance- this will obviously pass in good time.  Until then, anyone on my speed-dial will probably get at least one exhausted, irrational call needing some talking down when I diagnose C with some tropical "retardation of the swallow" disease.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Happy New Year! (and 10 days)

As I type, 2012 is well upon us...and by upon us, I mean we are back at work, paying bills dated in 2012, and the holiday decorations are put away.  I have quite a few intentions - which I hear pave some pretty heavy paths - but since I don't believe in all that heaven and hell 'ish- these will pave the path to the next year (and set of intentions). 
Most of my intentions are driven by my little nugget - now a babbling, laughing, gene-defyingly slim nugget.  And some by mistakes I've made thus far (yup, already). 
I want to get healthy...duh, who doesn't? But it's not just a weight loss driven intention - although dropping the sexy fanny pack in the area previous referred to as the baby bump, and previous to that as a simple ute puff would add to my health.  No...I wan't to be flexible and have endurance and feel emotionally grounded - not just to fit into jeans (ahhhh, jeans....) but to be able to fully enjoy the nugget, every day with the Mr. and life. 
I want to make more stuff, even the stuff that never turns out right, because it has always been a good outlet for me and 3/10 times we get something  mildly useful out of it.  Plus, I am told again and again to do stuff for me to make me a better parent. 
Along the same lines, I want to work at my relationship with Mr. P.  Not because I feel like it's bad, but because a) I'd like to keep him around- he's pretty fun, and b) I think happy parents are good for a kid too (notice happy comes before TOGETHER in my mind).  I have seen a lot of marriages fall of the cliff and smack their head on rocks to be a bloody mess and wisked out to sea - I don't know how ensure that from happening, but I have some ideas and they are all worth the effort. 
So after a holiday of following, oh ZERO of these really, I barely worked out, ate as crapily as is possible when you are avoiding everything yummy so your baby doesn't have questionable dookie, started projects and left them on the table for days, and grouched around in my own entitled stress - it is ON. 
Smiling baby surrounded by her gifs. She lives in a material world and she is a material girl.

Sitting on Booja's lap in their Xmas pajamas...longstanding family tradition. 

This was unplanned, but on a mall trip for Jake's birthday the santa had no line.
C had a wonderful Holiday and was an all around champ for a time when she doesn't get all the magic and excitement, but gets the way effed up schedule and crowds of people regardless.  She put on a smile and did her little jumpy dance for everyone and look as humble as her five months could muster when people gasped at the strength in her little body.