Wednesday, February 27, 2008

One Sentence Updates

On the child: She's still alive.

On motherhood: I'm a little bipolar on this, because depending on the day (and the night that preceeded it), I'm either like, eh, hand wave, it's fine, not so bad, we're doing well; or I'm clutching at my hair and googling like mad because I'm doing EVERYTHING WRONG.

On the novel: Really, people, I'm working on it, five days a week, often with a baby attached to me.

On marriage after baby: I miss K.

On Clinton vs Obama vs McCain: I feel the same way about them as I do about baby experts, meaning that I can see the points of each and every one of them; Clinton tries so hard, don't you feel for her? And Obama's totally too cool for school-- really, he's just so cool, plus he'll probably win and it's always fun to be on the winning rockstar side, while McCain-- besides the fact that he went to my prep school, the man's a hero, that tough gritty kind of hero that puts James Bond to shame, what's not to dig?

Monday, February 25, 2008

A Belated Ode to E.

My sister came to visit last week. She's five years to the day younger than me; a time gap that means we spent a childhood hunting frogs and making bows and arrows together, but have since been in different places. When I turned 18, she turned 13; when I entered college, she wasn't yet in high school; when I married, she was a senior in high school.

And now I have a baby. E. on the other hand, doesn't yet have a pet; she's a sophmore in college, a sorority girl who posts her niece's pics on Facebook.

So it's always been a blessing to me that despite the age gap and the different circumstances, we're still good friends. And it looks like she's going to be a fab aunt for my little girl. Even if her major impression of childbirth comes from the film Knocked Up.

Friday, February 22, 2008

on motherhood

I've been completely in love with my daughter this week.

That's not to say that I'm not happy to hand her off in the evenings; that I don't revel in Wednesdays, when K. is Annaliese's primary caregiver; but man alive, it's been fun to have a baby in the past few days.

She's nearly 7 weeks old. That means that if I was in the corporate world, it's likely I'd have headed back to the office in the last week and plunked her in daycare, with a nanny, or a grandmother, or something.

I don't judge any mother out there for what she does re. childcare. Go to any baby in a daycare center and say-- would you rather not be born, or endure daycare before you're ready? and I guarantee you that they'd pick being alive. You do what you got to do.

But it sucks that working women don't get more of a choice.

My baby's barely learned how to recognize me; she's nowhere near ready to entertain herself with strangers and other kids; she needs one on one attention. In other words, corporate America has completely ignored the needs of babies (let alone mothers) in their six-week window; I'm beginning to see why government workers in Canada get an entire year; maybe after a year, a baby will be alright in a clean, well-lit place stocked with other kids and responsible caregivers.

Extravagant, sure, but what's not extravagant about a brandnew human being?

Here's to hoping that telecommuting, flextime, and job-sharing makes motherhood easier for working women out there. I have a hunch it's hard enough without having to choose your baby versus your job.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Below are quite a few pics, taken over the course of my wee sister's visit. It was great seeing the girl, and even greater that she gamely took on caring for her niece. I have to say I abused the priviledge!

But we interrupted the extensive Annaliese coverage for a very special event: K. turned 27! We had a great big steak dinner, the traditional overcooked cookies, and Annaliese sat quietly through the festivities. My old, old man was a big fan of his little kid presents... the airgun target is sitting on the kitchen counter as I type this.

The child has stopped squalling, and K. wants to hand her over. So goodnight all. More later.

K. seemed to like his birthday presents (fishing net, solar lantern, and airgun with glow-in-the-dark pellets) quite a bit.

He gave me a present in return.
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K. had a birthday, and all in the family put on a crown (made by my sister) to celebrate!
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My sister came to visit. Annaliese was pretty comfortable with her, to say the least.
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my starry-eyed baby
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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Sometimes my baby is so cute I want to eat her.

I think she can tell.
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Tuesday, February 12, 2008


For the last two nights, I've spent the four am hour in my kitchen. The routine goes like this: baby pukes up milk on me, feels better (for whatever reason, the gas doesn't bubble out unless she's upright), nurses, and then pleasantly dozes as I wait for her to enter "deep sleep." After an hour or so, we return to bed, where she wakes up. I then wake up K., who takes her and continues to walk her... then we all sleep! for a whole hour! until I am awakened by the child pooping, so much so that it runs down her back, through her onesie, and stains the sheets!

And yet, she's still cute.

p.s. she's not lactose intolerant. this is a night problem caused by the fact that I fall asleep while she nurses, and she-- being a big fan of the nip-- keeps idly sucking long after she's done feeding, thus swallowing lots of air. which makes her tummy hurt. which makes her want to nurse more, since it's her favorite thing to do. which makes her have to poop.

why don't i just stay awake while she nurses? well, i'll try. but i'm in my sixth week of sleeping in two-hr bursts, so the odds aren't good.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Baby girl slept from 10.30-2 last night, then nursed only 3x between 2 and 7.30. Huge, people. Huge.

But even better was the hour she spent with us last night, grinning, taking in the world, and most importantly-- not crying.

I'd like to take the credit, but ain't nothing changed. That's my new parenting philosophy: I do the best I can at all times, and I don't take credit for her easy behavior or blame for her bad.

But her good looks? All me. And possibly her papa.
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Thursday, February 07, 2008

The Good ole Funk

Yesterday, the umpteenth of ladies from our church came by and dropped off a onesie for annaliese. We've had phone calls offering babysitting, meals dropped off at our door, and handmade baby blankets galore.

It's a neat town, this place where we live. I'm from Virginia-- a proud, rich state, with a lot of history. You say Mississippi in Virginia, and people raise eyebrows.

It's no secret that K. and I don't plan to stay in MS. But when we leave and head back easterwards, there are things I'll miss about this place...

the fact that people take a week off from work to drive their RVs, full of family, fifteen miles away to the lake. And that's their annual vacation.

the bumbling but goodnatured antics of our board of aldermen...the vanity plate of the town mayor, which reads "WVMAYOR"-- he paid for it himself.

the fact that people aren't easily pigeonholed here--the ponytailed phone repair man also plays rock'n'roll, and like every other person in MS, has written a novel.

And places can't be dismissed either...the most dive-looking shack might turn out to be the hottest restaurant for miles around.

People know how to have fun down here. When we move back to the staid East Coast, I hope we can borrow some of the joi d'vivre and good neighborliness.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Who knew babies are so loud? She snuffles, grunts, coughs, sneezes, burps, and farts... and that's before the crying!

4 weeks in and life HAS improved. If we could get her down to 2 feed-and-burps a night, we'd be golden... for the past 2 nights, the routine has been she gets very gassy at 3-ish am, vomits milk all over me a few times, and cries for 15 mins or so before going back to sleep. (BUT SHE'S NOT COLICKY. Here's why: colic is inconsolable, high-pitched wailing that lasts for more than 3 hours, on 3 or more days a week, for at least 3 weeks.)

Annaliese is just fussy. And gassy. But so far, thank Heaven, never inconsolable.

She's going with me on 2 interviews this week. Wish the sling magic powers...

Saturday, February 02, 2008

It is a fantablulous day here in Mississippi... jeans and long-sleeved shirt weather, blue sky, warm sun. K. and I took the bebe and the dogs for a log walk this morning; it's funny, since Annaliese has come I find myself longing more for our own land. Because I want to walk-- boy, do I want to walk!-- but I don't want to see anyone, avoid the neighborhood's loose dogs, deal with the occasional car... I just want to go tromping, but there's nowhere within walking distance to tromp alone.

Still, though, it's a beautiful day. K's down at the building-- he's resumed his Saturdays here, though the hours are shorter-- and I managed a nap on the couch with my beautiful daughter. So life is good.

Enviromental tip of the day: three years ago, at 4am in a Virginian Wal-Mart, K. and I found that the Black Friday cheapo laptop we had come to purchase was sold-out, so we bought a tiny $4 crock pot instead.

It was very early.

Since the crockpot is too small to actually cook with, we've ferried it around with us...but now we have a baby! who dislikes cold things on her nether regions, and who has parents who dislike throwing wipes out! So, we launder the baby wipes after they are used (they hold up fine, and are incredibly soft), then subsequently use them with the warm water that sits in the crockpot.

And in good movies updates, if anyone loves wacked-out British movies the way I do, Keeping Mum is great-- especially seeing Maggie Smith and Patrick Swayzee (sp?) in the same film.

Chip chip cheerio.