Wednesday, March 31, 2010

a day in the life

8am- Baby wakes up. Of course the one day I scheduled her doctor's appointment based on her usual 7:30am wake up time, she decides to hit her little baby snooze button and sleep in. Nonetheless, grateful for the extra 30 minutes.

9:30am- Take a bath with baby in bouncy seat watching/fussing/napping. Makes it a bit difficult to relax but cleanliness and non-porcupine hair is still achieved so I chalk it up as a win.

10:15am- Convince baby that napping in swing is a good idea.

11am- Baby is weighed by by friendly nurse that sadly looks like she might eat children that cross bridges without answering a riddle. 12 pounds 5.5 ounces!

11:30am- Baby is due to eat but we are still waiting on doctor to tell us what we already know (ie. baby gained weight, keeping doing what you're doing, good job Mommy, etc.). Teething links and a stuffed lion can only distract for so long before baby turns into little hungry ball of rage. Finally, Dr. Baker comes in and confirms that, yes, my suspicions were correct that 12 lbs. 5 ozs. is indeed more than the 11 lbs. 8 ozs. she weighed 2 weeks before*. Therefore she has gained weight, keep doing what you're doing, good job Mommy. When he shows me Laine's weight gain on a percentile chart, she bursts into a tearful screaming fit. I tell him she has body image problems from all of this pressure about her weight.
*Mommy generally has NO problem gaining 1 lb. in 2 weeks.

11:50am- Ravenous baby gets to eat.

12:30pm- Pay LAST rent check and drop of keys! YAY!

1pm- BabyGap has no baby girl sun hats. Can you believe it? Aren't they supposed to be THE place for cute baby summer clothes? Especially when I have a $10 coupon? First time I can recall every being disappointed in anything Gap-related.

1:15pm- Gymboree has multitudes of sunhats. Also, a mom with a baby named Noel because she was born right before Christmas. All involved in the conversation agree that this was a perfect and logical choice. I consider saying that my daughter was born right before Thanksgiving and that her name is Turkey.

2:30pm- Ravenous baby strikes again.

3:30pm- Daddy home, baby hand off, Mommy to work.

8pm- Get home 30 minutes early in time to feed baby and put her to bed! However, when I kiss her sweet little head, I nearly burn my lips off. Baby is on FIRE. After taking her temp and finding it to be much higher than I am comfortable with (102.3! eek!) we call the doctor's answering service. The nurse tells us not to worry if she is not showing any other symptoms but to check on her through the night and give her tylenol every 4 hours. Remember how much I love setting my alarm at 4 hour intervals? So much.

12:30am- Baby still feverish, but it's gone down. She looks at me like a crazy person when I take her out of her crib to give her medicine, but goes right back to sleep. Good baby.

4:30am- She doesn't feel hot to the touch anymore, so I decide to let her sleep.

5am, 5:15am, and 5:30am- Baby grunting.

5:35am- Give up and feed baby.

8:30am- Baby still asleep. Write blog entry about day.

8:35am- Come full circle.

Saturday, March 27, 2010


I was anxious about a lot of things before I had Laine, but somewhere near the top of that list was Sleep Deprivation. It's in all of the What To Expects and Girlfriend's Guides and Holy Cow You're Pregnant Now What books. And then of course there are all of the Happiest Baby on the Block and No Cry Sleep Solution and Make Your Baby Sleep So You Don't Want To Throw It Out a Window books. So you go into this having a baby thing knowing full well that your sleep patterns will either change or become completely non-existent.

To prepare myself I did what they always tell you not to do at the end of summer vacation right before school starts back. I slept as late as humanly possible every day. I refused to set alarms, I didn't make plans or appointments before noon, I kept the blinds closed and the dogs in their kennels and I buried myself under the covers until I had to go to the bathroom so bad I could no longer fight the need to get out of bed. And then some days, especially when I didn't have to teach, I would squeeze in a late afternoon nap as well. Just because I COULD.

Maybe we got lucky or maybe we did something right (or probably a little bit of both) but I didn't think that the newborn stage was as bad as some people say, Sleep Deprivation wise. Laine definitely woke up to eat at night, but once the doctor gave us the ok to let her wake us up on her own (how I hated setting an alarm for 11:30 pm and then 2:30 am and then 5:30am... there are no hateful words strong enough) she seemed to get the hang of the whole nighttime-daytime thing pretty quick. And I took the "sleep when she sleeps" lesson to heart, bringing her back to bed with me if she woke before the sun was up.

And now Laine has finally reached the glorious Sleeping Through the Night stage of life. I read one book that said that Sleeping Through the Night was really only 6-8 hours for an infant but I'm calling BULLHONKIES on that. Six hours is not a full night's sleep for anyone. I was thrilled when she slept 6 hours in a row for the first time, but I in no way counted that as "through the night". But Laine now sleeps 10 to 12 wonderful hours. TEN to TWELVE. Those are big number, y'all. However, those hours start at about 8pm. Meaning even at her snooziest she wakes up around 7:30 or 8am every morning.

To my pre-baby, zero-tolerance for alarm clocks self, that is hecka-early.

(Love and hugs to those of you whose little precious ones (ie. sleep eating demons) still wake up every 2 hours or have chosen 5:30 as the wake-up time for your household. I have a special place in my heart for you and mothers of twins and triplets.)

But to my post-baby, new mommy, adultish self, it is becoming the new normal. My inner clock is adjusting. I go to sleep a little earlier than I used to and find myself waking up at 7:25 waiting to hear Laine squawking and grunting in her crib. She greets me with wide-eyed, open-mouthed joy and wiggles of pleasure (which helps clear that early morning fog for sure), cooing and gurgling as I change her diaper and get her dressed for the day. Yesterday after she had eaten, I decided we would go ahead and run some errands before her mid-morning nap. Feeling alert and awake and adult-like, I buckled her into her carseat and headed out, to-do list in hand.

I was confused when the bank parking lot was nearly empty, and annoyed to find the door locked. Was it a holiday? Why on earth would the bank be closed? I turned to lug the carseat back to the car and the man parked a few spots down from me rolled down his window.

"They don't open the lobby til 9."


It wasn't that they were closed. It was that they WEREN'T OPEN YET.

Let's just say that getting places before they opened was never a problem for me before.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

letter to my girl


You will be four months old on Thursday. FOUR MONTHS. Although I am amazed at how much you have changed in that amount of time (which is, in a way you can't really understand until you have your own babies, both very short and very long), I am almost more astonished at how much I have changed. I look back on those blurry, panicky weeks when we first brought you home and it feels like remembering a movie. Was that really me? Were those whirlwinds of emotion really mine? I feel like I spent most of the time just looking at you with a mix of amazement and fear, wondering what on earth to do with you and hoping I would figure it out so I could help you grow up happy and healthy and strong. I had no idea what I was doing most of the time in that first month, Lainey-bug, and I sometimes still don't. But every now and then when the car seat snaps in on the first try or you go down for a nap without a fuss or I manage to get out of the house with you and all of your stuff in under ten minutes I think... "huh... I'm getting the hang of this mom thing".

You have added so many skills to your resume in the past months. You still don't like to roll over or spend much time on your tummy, but you are a champ at holding your head up and grabbing onto toys and kicking (boy do you ever love to kick... which I should have known after carrying you for 39 weeks). You love to be read and sung to before bedtime and get the sweetest little furrow in your brow while you study your Winnie the Pooh and Goodnight Moon. You smile and coo and scoot around on the floor and are basically just the cutest, most delightful little creature.

We have also discovered in the past month or so that you are not a fussy baby. You don't cry or fuss or whine. Oh no. You SCREAM. You are a shrieker. Sometimes the rage is more than your little body can contain and your tiny little hands will shake as your sweet little face turns red and you SCREAM. The volume is pretty impressive, as is the pitch. You may well have a future as an opera singer, darling daughter, because the octaves you can achieve are rather extraordinary.

It is funny to me that you will never really know your father or I as we are right now. Our twenties will be present for you only as blurry memories and pictures that you laugh at as a teenager because my hair will be so old-fashioned and my clothes so ridiculous and your father so young and baby-faced. You won't remember this tiny little apartment that we brought you home to. We were so happy to have that extra little bedroom just waiting for you to fill it... so proud of our 900 square feet (which, if you don't know, is actually still rather small for 3 humans and 2 dogs)... SO thrilled about having a washer and dryer, even though they do sit smack in the middle of the kitchen. I spent hours on your nursery, painting with your Grandma Terri, picking the exact spot for each item of furniture and each little decal on the wall, trying to get it just right even though I had no idea that it was YOU there in my tummy. (It's funny to look at you now and realize that it was you in there all along... my little thumper, kicking away at my ribs during the evenings.) This has been a big year for your daddy and I, with graduations and new homes and, of course, you. I know you won't remember it, but it will always be a special and wonderful year in my memory and one I will find great joy in telling you about when you're old enough to want to know.

You are my first child and my first daughter, which means you have a special place in my heart that no one else will ever fill. There is nothing more precious to me than seeing your sweet, silly smile in the morning and your peaceful sleeping face at night. I can't wait to see what the next months bring.

I love you, little one.


Monday, March 1, 2010

our closing (an illustrated telling)

We arrived at the bank at 8:22am and pulled into a parking space directly in line with the drive through window, watching the little red light and waiting anxiously for it to turn green. Ke$ha's (ridiculous) (and awesome) song "Tik Tok" came on and I asked Joe if he had woken up that morning feeling at all like PDiddy. I don't think he had.

After depositing the check from sister-in-law, we requested our cashier's check, only to have the little bank man inform us that cashier's checks could only be given in the lobby... which opened at 9am. Which just so happened to also be the time of our closing.

So we waited in the parking lot.

And got some Jittery Joe's coffee from across the street. (And took a very bad picture of ourselves. 'Cause I like to document things and Joe thinks I'm odd.)

Finally 9am rolled around and Joe sprinted to the door as soon as they unlocked it. I watched the numbers on my cell phone clock change and felt the car getting colder as I waited...

And waited...

Until finally Joe sprinted back out of the bank and into the car... along with the cashier's check!

The very large cashier's check. (THOUSANDS)

Fortunately we were not far from the lawyer's office and made it there only about 15 minutes after 9. Everyone graciously told us we weren't too late, it was fine, they hadn't been waiting long (in other words, they lied).

And then suddenly... we were done. We had signed every piece of paper in Athens and then signed a copy of every piece of paper in Athens and then... we owned a house. The previous owners passed us keys and a garage door opener and we were done.

Did I mention the previous home owners were super nice folks? They left us this lovely gift at the house...

On our FIREPLACE. Yeah, we have one. We also have a yard. With a deck.

Y'all... we own a HOUSE.