Thursday, January 31, 2013

AAA

We had quite the adventure grocery shopping tonight. While in Trader Joe's someone's phone rang, but it seemed close enough for it to have been Aaron's phone. So I'm all, "Hey, is that your phone?" because he convinced me to wear my hearing aid to the store when I was going to leave the house with only my glasses on because wearing both is uncomfortable and I deemed eyesight more important to shopping than hearing but he disagreed.

And he's like, "I left my phone in the car." As he was going to go fetch his phone from the car he realized he could not find the key to our vehicle. As a dude he has a million pockets and it so happens the car key isn't in any of them. At first I think he is messing with me, because he loves doing that, but as I realize he's being for real the anxiety of a fast-approaching dinner time for baby surfaces. He retraces our steps, looking, while I wheel around the produce section to keep Jude entertained.

Trader Joe's is a chilly place though, so after several minutes of this Jude's too cold to stay in his carrier. He's making a sound like he might be deflating and if his bottom lip stuck out any further I'd be rolling over it with the cart. I have no choice but to park the cart and take him out for warm cuddles. Not that I mind. I see Aaron appear again and he signs across the store to me that he found the keys. I give him a big thumbs up!

Then he comes over and says, "It's not what you think. I did find them, but they're in the car." Oh no. Oh no-oh no. Jude is already fussy because it's nippy in the store, it's only going to get worse once he starts getting hungry and sleepy. Not that a fussy baby is anything new to most people who spend any time at all out in public, but I like to tend the baby before he's reached that point. Something I can't do properly in a cold, crowded grocery store.

Luckily I had brought my phone, even though I was tempted to leave it at home, so Aaron's able to call AAA. They arrive by the time we're done shopping. Even got the parking space right next to us. We have no idea how long this is going to take though, so I leave Aaron with the cart and carry Jude into the nearby pet store where it is warmer. After ten or so minutes, Aaron enters to let me know all is well and we're back in our car.

Unfortunately we still had one more stop to go, so poor Jude was exhausted and quite hungry as we waited for the pharmacy to refill my vitamins. A few tours around the brightly colored cosmetics seemed to distract him well enough though. He passed right out on the car ride home and got dinner as soon as he awoke. All's well that ends well.

Thank goodness for AAA and roadside assistance!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

10 Pounds

10 lb. of pure love.
I just have to say, I adore being a mother. It is absolutely worth the self sacrifice. Every smile, every cuddle, every giggle, and that sweet face more than make up for the sleep deprivation, fussy days, lack of time for yourself, and surprise diapers. Watching his personality develop, helping him learn... The love I have for this little person is overwhelming. I cannot wait to share more of the world with him.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Demanding

It's okay to wash the baby with the laundry
if I use the gentle cycle and Dreft, right?
I love motherhood and being a mommy. It's hard work, easily the hardest work I've ever done, and I spent a summer flipping hundreds of queen size mattresses daily (physically demanding) and several years running my own business (mentally demanding). However it is also absolutely the most rewarding.

The first few weeks of his life were the roughest I've ever survived. I was weak from a difficult delivery, trying to breastfeed a baby born with an appetite when my milk hadn't yet come in, and we were under the impression that a baby HAD to sleep in a bassinet. Of course the one place the baby would not sleep was his bassinet. I got no sleep and essentially spent every waking moment nursing.

It wasn't until I just started sleeping in bed with him nestled beside me that I got any sleep at all, but I felt guilty about doing this. Wouldn't my baby spontaneously combust or something if he didn't sleep swaddled on his back in the bassinet?! No, actually. After a lot of research, this became our norm and life was much happier for both of us because of it.

After month 2, all was well. Jude developed his own schedule, slept through the night, and left me with plenty of time to at least accomplish sitting tasks (writing, chatting, gaming, art, etc.) on my own, with him in my lap (nursing, talking to me, or napping). He required very little in this stage of life, kind of like he was still in the womb. I'd read or sing to him and that was really the extent of entertainment required. Tummy Time was practiced out of necessity rather than interest.

By comparison now, Jude is a fairly needy baby, quickly approaching 4 months. He wants to be amused, stimulated, interacted with. As well he should. So long as his needs are met, he's happy. Though he dislikes everything for at least 5 fussy unsure minutes before enjoying it. He hates to be put down, especially in a reclined position, so I'm often hauling him around from the moment we get up (7am latest) until the moment he goes to bed (about 7-8pm), entertaining him in various ways. Great exercise, considering his weight and unwieldiness. My back hates it though.

While I expected raising a child would require my full attention, I did not account for all the carrying. He doesn't seem to much enjoy the Baby Bjorn style carrier either, meaning my hands are never free.

I do not believe in cry-it-out, for many reasons. First of which being the research done on its long term effects. Second being it's ineffectiveness, many babies just cry until passing out, sometimes upwards of 45 minutes -- that isn't healthy. Sure, some babies will cry for 5-10 minutes then find something interesting to distract them and be fine. This is okay. Sometimes you need to get something done and baby just needs to deal with it. If after a few minutes baby is still screaming, it's probably better to go scoop them up rather than let them drive your neighbors batty and pass out thinking you were eaten by dingos.

"There is evidence that leaving babies to cry alone can increase their emotional stress level. Researchers measured saliva cortisol levels in infants during a sleep training program in which the infants were left to cry themselves to sleep over a three-day period. The infants’ cortisol levels were elevated when they were left to cry alone, indicating a state of high emotional stress. However, the cortisol levels remained high even on the third day, after the infants had stopped crying. This implies that, even though the sleep training program appeared to "work" and the infants fell asleep without crying, their stress levels were still high. Another study found that even brief separations between mothers and their 9-month-old infants can result in elevated infant cortisol levels, indicating emotional stress."

I get moments to myself, sort of, while he eats, and count myself lucky if he falls asleep on me while nursing because he has never been much of a daytime sleeper -- not even as a newborn. At most he will sleep for an hour total each day. Not consecutively. He usually sleeps fantastically at night though, for at least 8 hours. So there's that.

Basically, it leaves me with a lot of entertaining to do. So I'm seeking ideas. I know eventually he'll be more interested in things and willing to play on his own but until then, I need ideas so my brain doesn't turn to mush.

We do a lot of walking, talking, singing, and playing with various objects. Though most toys seem to be 6+ months... I try to get him to spend at least 30 minutes a day on his playmat with me, practicing at grabbing, holding, and pulling. There's Tummy Time, for as long as he'll tolerate it, but he started rolling himself over at 5 weeks so he gets bored of that really fast. I've made it a habit after diaper changes to take him into the restroom to talk to himself in the mirror and watch himself stomp around on the counter top (supported by me of course). Every now and then he'll watch a bit of TV in my lap, but it's typically less than 5 minutes before he'd rather be doing something else (don't blame him, but it's nice when I get to sit down). In the mornings he'll tolerate his swing for about 10-15 minutes but really has no interest in it for the rest of the day unless he's fallen asleep and I can sneak him into it without rousing him. We also go to fetch the mail together in the early afternoon. Every other day or so he gets a bath, which he enjoys more now than he used to, but has yet to play in the tub.

Sometimes he'll do all of these things, sometimes he'll only want to do some of them, and occasionally none of them -- which leaves me basically pacing around the house with him in my arms for nine hours straight. Which is just... it makes me tired thinking about it.

Any suggestions? Diversity is good, even if he doesn't care yet, it's nice for me!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Sleep is For The Birds

Sleep Deprivation Unit 1
Sleep Deprivation Unit 2

For something like this, it is imperative you have a back-up unit lest you, you know, accidentally get a night of restful sleep. Which you definitely would not want ever.

This morning at 5:00AM Sleep Deprivation Unit 1 goes off after having filled its Waste Receptacle with fecal matter. It is very important I go deal with this straight away, at 5:00AM, or the world just may abruptly end. Making the Mayans tardy but correct (does 'better late than never' apply to this?)

Just as I settle back into bed comfortably, Sleep Deprivation Unit 1 goes off again at 6:00AM because it has filled its Waste Receptacle with urine. It is against the User Agreement that it fill its Waste Receptacle with both simultaneously, or I just might get too much sleep. So I get up to tend to this as well.

At 7:00AM Sleep Deprivation Unit 1 has expended its uses, falling into a short cycle of contentment during which it recharges. At this time is where having a back up unit comes in handy! Sleep Deprivation Unit 2 goes off by knocking over a vase in the closet, dumping water and tulips everywhere. Why was there a vase in the closet? Because incidentally it had been placed there to be hidden from Sleep Deprivation 2 but someone left the door open. Ahem.

There I am, in my pajamas picking flowers up off of the closet floor and taking petals out of dresser drawers. Then I'm in the kitchen, trying to salvage what I can because, I enjoy fresh flowers and tulips are my favorite -- the fiance had brought them to me so sweetly for no reason whatsoever other than he loves me to the Moon and back. All of this takes about forty-five minutes and then...

I make a futile effort to sleep again but between Sleep Deprivation 1 reactivating and Aaron deciding he needs ALL of the blankets, I decided it was just time to gtfo of bed. Sleep Deprivation Unit high-five!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

You're Bad At Your Job

Before leaving for the holiday I called to set up a phone interview with the local branch of the Social Security administration. After sitting on hold for an hour or so, I get in touch with a person who schedules me an appointment for the 8th. I double check with them that: 
  1. they will be calling me.
  2. they have my correct phone number.
On the 4th, for whatever reason, they call my mother, who is listed as an emergency number, in Ohio. My mother, sick as she is, can't call to let me know until the 7th. At that point I may as well just wait for them to call me on the 8th. So this is what I do.

Except they don't call me for our scheduled interview at all on the 8th! I give them until 5:00 thinking maybe they're just behind... but nope! So I call them the following day after lunch only to discover they close at noon on Wednesdays.

The fuck? That's random. I know a lot of people who'd kill for a job that ended early for no reason whatsoever in the middle of the week, had weekends off, didn't start work until 9:00AM, and only worked until 3:00PM with all the benefits of full time.

At least the man who called left his phone extension so that I won't have to sit on hold all day anymore. Only problem? I call his line today, during their strange ass business hours, and there's no damned answer. I left a message, as instructed. Let's see if they get back to me in any sort of a timely manner. I won't hold my breath.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Goodbye 2012, Hello 2013

Haven't done this in a while!

Where did you begin 2012?
At Will and Ari's house.

What was your status by Valentine's Day?
Happily taken.

Were you in school (anytime this year)?
Yes.

Did you have to go to the hospital?
Many times for my NSTs and having a baby.

Did you have any encounters with the police?
No.

Where did you go on vacation?
Los Angeles.

What did you purchase that was over $500?
A new laptop, though technically Aaron purchased it, so.

Did you know anybody who got married?
No. Strangely.

Did you know anybody who passed away?
Booka. <3

Did you move anywhere? 

No.

What sporting events did you attend?
None.

What concerts/shows did you go to?
I haven't been to a concert since like 2001.

Where do you live now?
California.

What's the one thing you thought you would never do but did in 2012?

Have a baby! I didn't think I'd never have one, but I did not expect to have one in 2012.

What has/have been your favorite moment(s)?
Bringing Jude into the world.
Date night with Aaron.

What's something you learned about yourself?

I'm a fucking super hero.

Any new additions to your family?
Jude!

What was your best month?
April was pretty great.

What music will you remember 2012 by?
 The opening theme to Law and Order.


Made new friends?
Crystal and Nick.

Favorite Night[s] out?

Date night: sushi and a movie.

Any regrets?
Never.

What do you want to accomplish in 2013?
More art.
Shape Jude into a human being.

What would you change about 2012?
Knowing I was pregnant sooner would have been fun.

Other than home, where did you spend most of your time?

Los Angeles. Lion's Arch?

Have any life changes in 2012?
Where once we were a couple, now we are a family.

Change your hairstyle?

No.

Get a new job?
No.

Do you have a New Year's resolution?
Complete more art.

Did anything embarrassing?
Undoubtedly.

Buy anything new from eBay?
No.

What was/were your favorite purchase[s]?
New laptop!
Uhm, Palmer's Coco Butter lipgloss.

Get married or divorced?
No.

Get arrested?
No.

Be honest - did you watch American Idol?
Nope.

Did you get sick this year?
Naturally.

Start a new hobby?
Nah, I have a ton of hobbies already.

Are you happy to see 2012 go?
I guess? This question is always weird.

Drank Starbucks in 2012?
A few times.

What are you wishing for in 2013?
A predictable schedule. Artistic inspiration.