Wednesday, May 30, 2012

A Walk in the Park: Observations on Parenthood

it's been nearly three months since our lovely Olivia joined us on this Earth, and there's almost no end to the newness and mystery of it all. experts we are not, but we are working to learn quickly and be present in each moment, to grow each day into stronger, more faithful and completely loving parents. along the way we've experienced so many new things, unexpected and wonderful, all in their own ways. so, for the purposes of documentation and reflection, i offer a collection of thoughts on parenting so far.

- keeping up with a blog is downright near impossible with access to only one hand most of the day. (thumb typing on the phone is even less desirable.) **update: i began this post around the 2 month mark, and it has taken me nearly a month to complete it. no joke.**
- dinner time has become a precarious dance, trying to get baby to be calm and happy long enough to get through a meal. more often than not, Daddy and i find ourselves rock-paper-scissorsing over who gets to eat with both hands that day. most of the time she's completely delightful and happy, but for some reason our teeny beeb has chosen dinner time as the time of day she most commonly likes to ruin our lives. it's fine, as soon as she figures out how to make Mama a latte, i plan on taking full advantage.
- my recorded life is now a series of iPhone photos and scribbled lists. parenthood has, through necessity,  challenged me to become more concise. (ha!) hope you're ready, folks.
- parenthood isn't always a walk in the park, but sometimes we get to take a walk in the park.

and have coffee! and scones! srsly, i have the best life ever.
- cloth diapering is completely and totally worth it. orange liquid newborn poo and all. and addicting! my newest hobby revolves around the basest of bodily functions, and yet i feel no shame. something about having an excuse to stockpile soft, absorbent fabrics and wrap my tiny beeb's bum in brightly colored, velcroed pants has me completely giddy.
- while pregnancy left me exhausted and uninspired, motherhood (despite its exhaustion and perpetual hands-occupying busyness) makes me want to do nothing more than make things. all day long. mostly stacks and stacks of fleece diaper inserts, prefolds and doublers. but there we go with the diapers again.

stacks and stacks of delicious diapering fabric, cut and ready to sew. yum.
 - i did not expect to hate breastfeeding. no one warns you before you have babies that breastfeeding totally sucks. we spent weeks fretting and wincing and crying, both the baby and i, before things got sorted out.
- i did not expect to love breastfeeding. the first six weeks were so overwhelmingly difficult, i feared i might never come around to enjoying breastfeeding the way so many other moms talk about it. but right around the 2 month mark things started to even out, and now i'm so happy to be able to be my baby's primary source of nourishment. in fact, i'm already started to dread moving on to solid foods and eventual weaning. why can't they just stay so tiny and lovely??
- becoming a stay-at-home mom feels like finally coming home after a long time abroad. it's not a popular move these days, but we're so happy we made the changes in our life that made it possible for me to be here full time. i'm so pleased to be able to be here with her, watching her grow and change and break my heart every day. we still haven't exactly worked out a daily routine just yet, which is making me twitch, but we're working on it. i can't wait to finally get good at this.
- i'm far more introverted than i ever imagined. so many moms told me they feel they couldn't handle staying home with a baby all day, that they feel they need to get out and interact with real, grown humans in order to stay sane. even i'm amazed at my ability to stay at home, without company other than baby, for seemingly days on end. we keep busy, for sure, which maybe makes a difference. and we spend plenty of time making trips to Target, our new favorite place in the whole world (they have Starbucks there! and family bathrooms! i can't imagine what more you could possibly want in life.) it's a simple existence, and i'm probably incredibly lame, but so far i'm even more okay with being a homebody than i imagined. and so far i'm totally okay with this.
- they really do grow up so fast! in what feels like the blink of an eye, our sweetest beeb has grown from very very tiny and so silly and skinny to a normal-looking, plump, happy baby. she's grown out of her newborn clothes completely now (except the teeny shoes. aww...) and is finally sporting a tiny belly and some totally delicious thigh and wrist rolls. we're falling more and more in love every day as she becomes more social and engaging. her giggles, squeals and smiles are more captivating than i could have ever imagined.

she's growing so fast, i find myself just staring in amazement, trying desperately to hang on to every sweet moment, every tiny detail. she'll be grown before we know it; there will be other babies for sure, but they will be different. they'll be tiny and cute and amazing, too, but entirely different. she'll never be this small again, and i find i spend most of my time these days just trying to drink it all in, every sweet-smelling, cozy little delicious moment. it's sad and somber and overwhelmingly joyful all at once, and it's the best life i could have ever imagined. ♥

Friday, May 4, 2012

2 Months ♥

My sweetest beeb,
You're 2 months old already! this post is a few days late, but you'll learn quickly that Mama could use work on self-imposed deadlines, birthdays and just about anything time-sensitive when it comes down to it. you're sleeping in your little swing right now (a rare occasion!) so I'm taking this tiny break to document how much you've grown. our little family has grown more lovely and amazing every day since you've arrived, and i want to try to wrap up these moments and keep them always. here is just a sampling of what our day-to-day is like, and how lovely you are and are becoming. you amaze us (and amuse us) more and more every day, and we love you so, so much.

my most beautiful baby. taken May 1st, 2012.

- we named you Olivia, but more often you answer to The 'Los (a derivative of Catlos, your name before you were born.) Others you answer to include Livvy, Liv (usually in the form of "sorry, Liv." when i run your car seat or stroller into door frames and the like), Losey 'Los, The Tiny Toast (also the Tiniest Toast), The Toasty 'Los, The Parcel Post and Catlos the Friendly Ghost.
- just a couple of weeks ago, you started laughing and smiling and cooing and breaking our hearts. we can't get enough of your huge gummy grins and enthusiastic wiggles and kicks. your favorite place to show off is the changing table. we have no idea why.
- at your appointment this week, the doctor was amazed at how beautiful, healthy and strong you are. your height, weight and head circumference are all now in the 50% percentile. you've been holding up your head and bearing weight on your legs from the start, which according to the doctor, is pretty impressive. (we're not surprised, we always knew you were ahead of the curve.)
- you're sleeping better and spending more quiet alert time these days, but you still don't like to be left alone for too long. occasionally you will nap long enough to let Mama get some laundry done or sew up some diaper doublers, but most of the day we spend attached at the hip. to be honest though, i couldn't think of a better sidekick, even if that does mean i have to put off a few chores or tasks.
- you LOVE music. sometimes in the evenings, you get bored and upset and the only thing that will calm you down is when your daddy turns on funk or soul and dances with you. (you are so obviously his daughter!) your favorites include Fiona Apple, Bon Iver, Fleet Foxes, Basia Bulat, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, the Allman Brothers and anything with a decent bass.
- you're beginning to discover that you have hands. sometimes you seem to want to suck your thumb, but once you manage to get a hold of one fist, you don't seem to think it's very tasty. (we're okay with that, it's easier to take away a pacifier eventually.) :)
- you love to ride in the car and fall asleep nearly every time. this means you make a fantastic shopping buddy. (this also means we spend a lot of time at Target. no seriously, a LOT.)
- before you start to cry, you make the saddest, most perfect, heartbreaking frown. we basically die every time.
- you've outgrown most of your newborn clothes and are now mostly wearing 0-3 and 3 month sizes. we're so excited for the warm weather to get here (and stay) so we can dress you up in all your new pretty dresses!