Thursday, February 28, 2008

People smile and tell me I’m the lucky one

When I woke up this morning it took me a moment to realize that the horrible dream I had just dreamt was not real. In it, my arms had been ripped from my body in a terrible accident and it hurt like hell. My shoulders were still burning with a familiar, deep ache when I awoke. Yesterday morning I was greeted with aching hips, but told myself it was just from overdoing it the day before. Damnit, I thought the arthritis was done with me. I haven't been eating the healthiest these last few weeks, maybe working on that will help. Ugh, what a pain. If my body can barely manage being 29, how will it handle aging beyond 30?

If there is a positive spin to put on this, it's that it made me investigate vaccines before Claire was born. I'm not sure I would have thought twice about giving her the recommended schedule otherwise, and she might be the one suffering the side effects instead. I would gladly take this for her, so until I get this under control again I'll remind myself of that. Just call me Pollyanna.

I'm getting better at reading and responding to Claire's sleep cues, so today was a little easier in that regard. I had a 9:30 conference call for work - those always stress me out because I worry about having a loud baby in the background prompting my boss to ask, "don't you have daycare?" To which I would have to respond, "No! I lied to you in my interview. I don't have daycare so my time is split between work and caring for my newborn, who will always come before work."

But today I noticed her getting tired at 8:45 so I nursed her to make sure she would be full for a few hours, and put her in the sling facing me. After turning on the radio (rather loudly, too - she loves music) I began the laps. Just walking a big circle around the staircase on the main floor gets boring, so I switched it up and did figure eights incorporating the couch, the kitchen table, the center island. When plain walking didn't do the trick, I hit the stairs. Luckily (hah!) the house looks like a tornado hit, so I had plenty of clutter to put away; working as inefficiently as possible, I slowly got some things put away while walking up and down the stairs as many times as possible. Have I mentioned that my pre-pregnancy jeans now need a belt to stay up???

Needless to say, she was fast asleep with her face buried in my chest by 9:30, and the meeting went well. She slept for 2 hours so I got a good chunk of work done, too. Later on she had another good nap, falling asleep almost immediately after I got her situated in the sling. And when she woke up a few hours after that, I flipped her around so she was facing out and together we put away the non-perishable groceries I didn't have time to put away when I got home from the store last night. I'm still living life in increments of about 2 hours, and I pushed my (her) limits last night. By the time I got home she was starving so I had to throw the perishables into the fridge and freezer like I was on a game show being timed, then dash to my little baby bird who was impatiently waiting for me with her mouth wide open. She is so darn cute, even after a frantic day of rushing to get things done and giving her every ounce of everything I have, I have to surrender to the grin that spreads across my face every time I see her.

Yes, I am indeed a lucky one.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Does this purse make my butt look big?

Claire and I met a few friends for lunch on Wednesday, one of whom has a girl about Claire's age and the other who just announced she's pregnant. Yay, another mama-to-be in our group! We already knew about the one due in early July, and now this one is due at the end of September. How exciting :)

The newly pregnant friend and I had arrived at the same time, and as she held the door open for me I noticed her "purse". If you could even call it a purse. It was more like a coinpurse or Polly Pocket accessory; cute, but tiny. I mentally compared it to my own purse, roughly the size of a 2-slice toaster, and diaper bag. Maybe she'll be able to use it as a binky holder in the diaper bag once Junior arrives? When we took our coats off, we each revealed similar purple sweaters (we have a way of always showing up in the same color, somehow), only she pointed out that mine had a little dried spitup on one of the shoulders. lol

I remember when I used to leave the house in clean clothes every time, not just on lucky days; I remember when I used to wear accessories without having to worry about them scratching or being yanked on by the babe (heck, I'm so sleep deprived now that I'm lucky if I remember that I even own wedding rings, but it takes noticing them on somebody else when I'm out to spark it). And I'm perfectly happy with all of this; I'm 100% satisfied being plain (if not a little messy at times) for now so I can focus on Claire. Her clothes are a lot cuter than anything I could buy for myself, anyways.

Heh - Claire just woke up, and I decided to weigh myself with and without her - her diapers have been getting a little small and I was having a hard time believing that she was about to graduate to the next size already. Is our scale right? Does she really weigh 16 pounds?! My little baby is growing so fast :)

Speaking of the scale, I have to admit that I once broke it. Yes, I broke a scale, and I wasn't even pregnant (although I did gain a lot of weight with Claire, about 60 lbs)! Before I got pregnant, I was doing a new weight routine when I overdid it a little. I felt great walking out, maybe a little sore, but by the time I got home my legs felt wobbly. I went up to the bathroom to shower, and figured I'd step on the scale since I hadn't weighed myself in a while. When I lifted my right leg to step onto it, I realized just how sore I was because my left leg started collapsing. I grabbed the wall to steady myself, but my foot still landed a little hard and I heard a loud CRACK! I had stepped on and broken the little plastic window. I still prefer the mental image I get when I think of breaking a scale, of springs flying every which way, but the real story wasn't that exciting. It still works (at least I'm pretty sure it does!) and now I have something funny to remember every time I use it. Now if only growing out of clothes could be this amusing to me.

70% Cacao, 30% Nerd

Another long day, but it was a fun one. Claire is figuring out how to work her hands, and has been bringing toys up to her mouth - and she loves the sound of her voice, sometimes sounding like she's deflating because she'll make a sound and hold it for a really long time, lowering her voice slightly as it tapers off. What a nerd (I think that's a paternal trait! haha) Still mostly smiley and cheerful, even though I can tell her teeth are hurting her.

Mark went ice fishing with his brother and a buddy today, so Claire and I had a girl's day. We even took a few naps together! That's something for the record books. Then I met some friends for dinner, which was a much needed break. That was the first meal in several weeks that I've eaten warm food and have not had Claire in my lap or over my shoulder. The good news is that I'm getting pretty good at maneuvering with her in one arm, and can even prepare almost an entire meal while holding her (I put her down to use the oven or a sharp knife, but get pretty creative with everything else). I've even learned how to open tightly wrapped chocolate with one hand.

This is a new addiction of mine. I never really used to like chocolate - I put up with it in candy bars if there was caramel, peanut butter or nougat inside, but until Claire was born I'd rarely eat a hunk of pure chocolate. And then she arrived. Within the first hour or two of her birth I was served lunch, and I will never forget the chocolate cake that came with it. It was SO GOOD, I think it was the gateway to this terrible addiction I've acquired. I have to eat chocolate every day now. It doesn't have to be anything fancy, but my favorite is dark chocolate - and I don't want it muddled with those pesky fillers, caramel, peanut butter or nougat. How things change!

On Wednesday I woke up thinking about this new obsession of mine, and told myself that I could quit if I really wanted to. Before hopping out of bed, I decided that I would go the entire day without a bite of chocolate. So I ate oatmeal for breakfast and put in 5 hours of work before heading out to lunch; on the way I found myself thinking "See? I can totally do it - I've gone the whole morning without chocolate. So now that I know I could go a whole day, I can have just a little when I get home." Umm, doesn't that defeat the purpose of going a whole day? Is this how addicts think? I think I'm officially a chocoholic. In case you were wondering, I abstained from the chocolate fudge pie that Kelly ordered and ate in front of me, but I did have a chunk of dark chocolate when I got home. I am firmly in the grip of this new vice.

I told the girls about it, so what does Kelly turn around and do? She told the waitress at dinner tonight that it's my birthday (next week, actually), and suddenly their famous Death by Chocolate cake was sitting in front of me. I suppose things aren't so bad, because I shared it with everybody at the table...if it were a serious problem I would have scarfed it all down myself. Right? (Denial, isn't that an element of addiction?)

Sunday, February 10, 2008


I was going through my journal to get some info to update Claire's baby book with, when I came across this entry...

My name has been put on all sorts of mailing lists from various sources (mostly home- and baby-related stuff), so I'm usually not surprised when I get a random catalog or pamphlet in the mail.

I was surprised, however, when I checked the mail today and got a catalog from It showcases books such as Nappily Married, Thug-A-Licious, Thong On Fire, and Gold Diggers. Oh, and don't forget Girls From Da Hood 3. How did they get my name, I wondered? Then a thought hit me, what if it was addressed to Mark? That would be even funnier, seeing as how this company is geared towards women of color.

Apparently there's a woman a few streets down who is missing a catalog. I'll have to thank her - if it weren't for this catalog, I never would have heard of Thug Matrimony (description: An uninvited guest crashes Angel's wedding with a gun. Will she make it to the altar alive?)

Friday, February 1, 2008

You’re not fully dressed without a smile

Oh, the emotions! And in just one 24 hour span...

On Wednesday when Mark got home from work, I ran out to the grocery store. One great thing about shopping on a weekday evening when it's 9 below is that you get a great parking spot, and the store is virtually empty. I can't stand crowded stores, especially grocery stores with carts and people clogging the aisles. I'm the type who wants to get in, get out, and go home. No lollygagging or dodging indecisive people.

But when I brought the groceries in, I accidentally woke Claire who was sleeping on Mark in the family room. She hasn't been sleeping the greatest lately, and was pretty cranky about it, so her fussiness turned into crying (which she rarely does, she usually stops at fussing.) She was really frustrated, complete with the lower lip hanging out - it was so cute, but I felt awful! Every time she inhaled, her lower lip sucked in...very dramatic. If she could walk, she would have tripped over it. And that's when Mark announced that there was a tear on one cheek, her very first tear, and I felt awful because I had caused it. Welcome to motherhood, right? Thankfully she got over it and life went on.

So last night I got home from the gym around 9:00 and Claire was ready to nurse and hit the sack. She fell asleep in my lap when she was done, which she usually does, and I was comfy in the rocking chair so I sat and watched her sleep for a little bit. She's so cute when she sleeps; in the light sleep cycle she kind of twitches, and big smiles flash across her face (involuntarily, I've read, because her nervous system is still immature; I like to imagine she's having good dreams). Last night was no different. She was curled up on her side facing me with both hands near her chin, and a big smile appeared, and then she started *giggling*!! Her first laugh was in her sleep!! It was the most adorable thing, she looked and sounded like a little girl on a playground, laughing at a joke with her friends.

Mark had just gone downstairs, so he missed it. I scooped her up as gently as possible and brought her down so I could tell him, but she woke up in the process - and thankfully there were no tears this time. So I tried singing to her and doing what usually makes her smile, but she was pretty tired so we just got a few smirks. I can't wait to hear her laugh again. What a beautiful sound!