Thursday, June 24, 2010

Poo in a jar, blueberry poo, and my picky child

I have this post that has been sitting in rough draft purgatory for weeks.  Months, probably, because my sense of time has completely collapsed.  You know what it was about?  My 2 cents about how to make your kid a fantastic eater.

Seriously.  MJ has been fantastic at the food stuffing of the face.  As in, can't get enough of the broccoli.  And I was proud.  I liked to think it was my commitment to making all her food from scratch.  And because I'm a fantastic cook.

But it turns out none of these statements are true.  She is no longer my showcase stuffing-of-the-face child.  As in, I will eat blueberries, blueberries, and more blueberries, until even my poo smells like blueberries.  It makes diaper changes kind of pleasant, but then you realize you're enjoying the smell of her poo and remember that that's gross. 

And furthermore, she now picks up the food off her tray that is not deigned worthy of her lips, looks at me, lifts up her tiny baby arm and dramatically drops it on the ground.  She then says with a french accent "How dare you feel mama-smugness!  I will show you!"

On a side note, today I was teaching my students about methane clathrates.  And one student volunteered a cheerful tidbit about some kids who were saving poo in a jar and trying to get high from the methane.  I swear to you, MJ, that if you are ever that desperate to get high I will go buy you some whiskey.  I'm certain I will regret saying that someday, so I'll go ahead and take it back now.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

9 months

I have now done more parenting outside the womb than within it.  More of MJ's development has occurred since I first met her than before I met her.  I frequently think of last year at this time.  Last year at this time I was busy getting the nursery ready.  I was huge, and pregnancy was very real.  I thought I had connected with the child within, but I was wrong.  I didn't imagine... the personality that was in  there.  I could picture the smiles, and the hugs, and the cries.  But not this little ball of person and non-stop cuteness.  I guess that's it: I could conceptualize that I was growing a baby, but not that I was growing a person.  And she becomes more of a person every day.  If I smile at something she does she loves it, and so she keeps doing it, just so I'll smile more.  She is into everything, a roaming ball of curiosity.  Sitting still is IMPOSSIBLE.  She laughs uncontrollably when I tell her "no", which means I laugh; the idea of "no" is definitely not getting across. At least, not the part that I want to get across.

Within the past week one good friend told us she was pregnant, and a new friend gave birth.  The circle of life doesn't get old: it's fascinating, exciting and terrifying.  I have such fear, sympathy, envy and joy for what they're going through.  The fear and sympathy aren't for anything they're doing, just memories of my own feelings at those points in time.  And within one short year it seems MJ and I have become resident experts on all things baby. I've also started to realize that some people classify one year and up as toddler.... I am not ready for that.  Despite the fact that MJ is thinking about walking, and is already "toddling" her way through the day, she's still a baby, right?  Do babies only last a year?  How did I let it go by? 

I feel like I'm recovering from a terrifying rollercoaster (which I know I am still very much on) and now have the "again! again!" feeling of a 7 year old. 

MJ is wonderful. Our sleep issues are (mostly) getting ironed out.  The tradeoff is that she must be in her bed at bedtime.  There is no flexibility, and some nights I feel like a prisoner in my own life.  But she sleeps well, wakes up happy and is an utter joy to be around.  So I guess that's a pretty fair trade.  From the moment she wakes at 5:30 it is go time. As someone who is most definitely not a morning person, it's been hard for me to adjust to that.  But now that the house is largely childproofed (or, more specifically, MJ proofed, because there's still a lot that a baby could get into) I can sit back a little bit, particularly because she's pretty good at entertaining herself.  Which is fascinating to watch.  The kid LOVES to dance.  Tonight I had GLEE on and she held onto the speaker and shook her booty.  She has more moves than I do, which doesn't really give her due credit. 

We've started the back carry with the Beco Butterfly and it's amazing.  While I'm still a die hard Moby fan, she's getting heavy and the front carry was doing a number on my back.  This is SO much more comfortable, and she seems plenty happy.  The downside?  I can't actually see her (which mainly just makes me sad) and she loves to pull my hair.  So I'm rocking the high half-pony tail.

Anyway, that's many of the mundance details of our life as we enter into her 10th month.  I NEVER imagined I would love being a mom so much.  I credit my love of being a mom to having such an amazing kid, but regardless.  The outside baby is much better than the inside one.  Nine months from this point she'll be a year and a half.  Most definitely a toddler.  Probably more frustrating.  More fascinating. And more of a person.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Vito's adjusting...

but his life will never be the same.
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Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Just wait til she finds the vacuum cleaner

At first it seemed easier to just hire a live in housekeeper, but she seems to be getting the hang of it pretty quickly.
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Friday, June 4, 2010

When to have a family: what they don't tell you

We talked a lot about when we wanted to start a family.  We came to absolutely no conclusions, but at least we talked about it.  I take that back, we did come to a conclusion: that the time would never feel right until my ovaries were shriveled little prunes.  So we should just take the plunge, because most good things in our life we hadn't felt ready for. 

So we "stopped trying".  Which makes me laugh, in retrospect.  No one wants to admit that they're "trying" to get pregnant, because that's like admitting "We're trying to grow a watermelon in my uterua, then expel it through an orange-sized hole, and then raise it for 18 years in the prison that will become our life (who are we kidding, it's really 30 years these days.)  Partly because I think stretch marks are very "in" right now, and partially because our life has just been going too swell lately.  So instead we say "We weren't trying, but we weren't trying to prevent it."  Because to admit that we're crazy enough to WANT to turn our life upside down is ... crazy.  But I digress.

So we eventually "stopped trying to prevent". And that was our very half-assed way of making a decision.

But what I never thought about is what sort of family makeup I wanted.  How close in age do I want our kids to be (because an only child was not an option)?  Actually, I did think about it, and knew that I wanted them close in age. 

But you knew what never occurrd to me?  That to have children close in age means having two small children at the same time. It means that, when you are still recovering from the trauma that was growing-a-person-in-your-uterus you have to start thinking about doing it all again.  Except this time you've actually been there.  You know how much day care costs.  You know for a fact that you can't fit two car seats in EITHER of your cars without permanently implanting your knee caps into your molars.  So when your baby hits 3 months old and you realize if you want your children to be a year apart you better get pregnant TODAY and schedule an early c-section, you start to rethink things. 

In case you couldn't tell, I'm not totally speaking hypothetically here.  We've started to have these talks.  And I want my kids to be close in age.  I don't want to have to fight the biological clock.  But the idea of getting pregnant again right now is not appealing.  Some days the idea of having another little one, and additional chaos, makes me feel all fluttery and maternal, but some days it makes me feel stabby.  Right now those days are pretty evenly split.  It seems like the stabby days should be a smaller proportion before we commit.  Furthermore, I'm really enjoying my PhD program right now, I really see reasons I want to stay and finish, and I fear that having a second may make that impossible. I can justify continuing to work and pay for childcare for one child, but for two?  The math requires more credit-default-swaps, or some such creative accounting.  But I could be in this program for a long time yet, so maybe that's not enough justification. 

Ultimately, it doesn't "feel" right.  But when you're staring at 30 and still want to have a few more kids, do you ignore the "doesn't feel right" part and just suck it up?  Didn't we always say that if we wait for it to feel right we'll never find the right time?