Wednesday, October 31, 2012

3 Months!

I had to take a heck of a lot of pictures in order to get one in which she smiled.  Not that she doesn't smile ALL the time, but the moment I bring the camera out (or the phone) she just stares quizically.

The second photo displays her favorite new activity: staring at her hands.  Being absolutely mesmerized by all the amazing things they seem capable of doing.  She will stare at them grasp a blanket for 20 minutes straight.  I love rediscovering the little things through her eyes.  Like the miracle of hands.

This has been a big month.  For all of us, really.  But this is the month that Greta stopped being a newborn and started being a baby.  Furthermore, I feel like we have started to get little inklings of her personality.  I flew to Oregon with MJ when she was the exact same age as Greta was for our trip to Oregon.  MJ was a good baby, but she constantly needed to move, and I remember walking the aisle of the plane bouncing her to keep her calm.  Greta, on the other hand, is much more mellow.  She's happy to sit and look around.  She is usually very quiet; I realize that could change as she discovers language, but for right now I suspect she'll be quieter than her sister. 

She has also started sleeping really well.  Down for the night between 7 and 9, then sleeps until somewhere between 4 and 6, nurses and goes back to sleep for a couple hours.  I feel so much more sane than I did a month ago.  Nursing has been such a roller coaster.  A few weeks ago I thought I'd have to start heavily supplementing because my supply appeared to be so terrible.  Then when I went to Oregon it seemed to get quite a bit better (ironically, since travelling killed it in the past).  Now we're managing to exclusively nurse all day, with usually about one formula bottle a day.  I'm not sure if I could manage to get rid of that last bottle or not, but as it stands now I spend much of the afternoon nursing and she's often very fussy by the end of the day, and my supply doesn't seem to be going up in spite of that.  So I'll just count my blessings that we're doing pretty well, I'm not having to pump and she's getting mostly breastmilk.  If we can keep this up I'll feel pretty good; if we can decrease these very long nursing sessions that would be even better. 

I'm just loving this age.  She continues to be very cuddly and loves to be held, but on top of that she smiles all the time and loves to interract.  She's starting to coo as well, just in the past few days.  I wish I could freeze her at this age for a few more months.  Instead I'll just try to enjoy every moment.
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Monday, October 29, 2012


I can't sleep. 

Yesterday I blamed it on the coffee.  But today I know it is not the coffee. 

It is because I need to make a decision.  I gave myself until the end of this coming week. 

I need to decide whether I am going to return to work.

If I don't, I worry that this makes me flighty, changing jobs so frequently of late.  I worry about becoming irrelevant in my field.  I worry about staking my identity to my husband and my children.  I worry about becoming unemployable down the road.

If I do, I worry about spending my best years in a job I hate.  I worry about losing precious time with my children.  I worry that I will be wasting time not doing other jobs that make me happy and from which I find fulfillment.

At this moment, the money side of the equation doesn't matter much.  I'd make slightly more by working, but not significantly so.  In the future, after we no longer need to pay for childcare, this would of course not be true.  But it's a fairly low paying job (for my field) and I was making more teaching part time.  So maybe, in the long run, I'd make more by finding something else.  But the chances of me finding something else in my field are slim.  So maybe I chose my field poorly?  I don't miss being in my field at the moment, so maybe that would be okay?

But the idea of waking up every day, forever, and only being a wife and a mother is depressing (with no offense to those who get complete fulfillment from this.  I just know myself well enough to know I need something else, something that doesn't depend on the moods and whims of children and spouse).  I have some other projects I'm taking on, including part-time landlording, so that wouldn't be entirely true.  But inevitably, when someone asks me what I do, I would say "I stay at home". 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

We're back.

I'll leave you with a few of my favorite pictures.  The girls were tremendously good travelers, despite staying at 4 different places in a week.  It makes me want to take them more places. Greta started rolling and laughing this week.  MJ started using incredibly adult sounding expressions this week.  At dinner tonight, MJ turned to me and said "So, Mom, how was your day today?  What did you do?"  I know who she learns these things from (me) but it is so weird to hear them come out of her mouth.  I don't talk to her like a kid, I talk to her like a grown-up, so I shouldn't be shocked that she's starting to sound like one.  But when words like "frustrated" and "compromise" and "suggestion" come out of her little mouth, it still sort of surprises me.

Many thanks to all of our hosts.  Let's do it again sometime.

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Wednesday, October 17, 2012


We are traveling. The girls and I, that is, so don't bother planning to rob our house blind, my husband is busy feeling like a bachelor again in our absence.

My attempt to nap when the girls nap.  But too much coffee has thrown that off a bit; not that I would even be functioning were it not for too much coffee.

We left yesterday. Even though the girls were almost angelic on the flight, it was still a healthy reminder that flying alone with two children is no joke. It was a constant effort to pacify them both. But for all that, still easier than flying with MJ from age 6 months to age 18 months. Even with DH to help, that experience was sheer torture. This experience was simply difficult.

It has been wonderful to see family and friends, and we still have a week in front of us. But this trip has been a reminder that traveling with children takes away a lot of the joy of traveling. It adds new joys, but it's complicated. Catching up with old friends? Difficult, because MJ is determined to be an integral part of every conversation. Schedules are out of whack anyway when you have a newborn and a toddler that prefers to wake no later than 6 am every day. But now that means 4 am and I. Am. Tired.

But tomorrow I get to take MJ to the coast. And they get to spend time with their Great Grandma and meet Great Uncles, Great Aunts and second cousins for the first time. There will be many joys this week, including some fine Portland microbrews, so it all seems worth it.
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Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The girls, by the numbers*

We had our 3 year/2 month checkup today (can you guess who was which?)

MJ is 6th percentile for height and 10th percentile for weight.

Greta is 25th percentile for length, 40th percentile for weight and 85th percentile for head circumference.

Greta has been feeling huge to me lately.  I was really expecting to find out she's a giant baby today, but I think that MJ's diminutive size has just skewed my perception.  Although I've taken to calling Greta "Peanut" I should really be calling MJ "Peanut".  But, for all their differences in size, they both have huge noggins. 

There is probably more I should say.  Like the fact that MJ has taken to sticking the bike pump on her nipple and "pumping", making sure to have a cup nearby to put the milk in.  Or the fact that MJ will turn just about anything these days into a stage, and then say "Baby Sister!!! LOOK AT ME BABY SISTER!!" while she sings or yells or dances.  Or the way she'll pause when asked a question, tap her forehead with her index finger and say "Hmmmmmm..... I'm thinking...." very seriously. 

I aim to get pictures of all of these things, but in case it doesn't happen.

As for baby Gigi, I don't really have stories yet.  I have to make a point not to show favoritism, because it turns out I just freaking love this age.  She smiles all the time.  I'm not sure what I love about this age, because they still don't do much.  But she's just so sweet.  There's no ego yet.  There's no arguing.  Apparently I don't like to be argued with, which is THREE's favorite thing to do.  I'm sure one day Gigi will be the same.  Maybe by then MJ will be done arguing?  As she is our offspring, that's highly unlikely.

As for me, I'm knee deep in deciding whether to return to work.  I'm having a hard time deciding to return to a job that I will barely break even for (with the cost of daycare), to do work I don't really enjoy.  I know that job skills are important, and it's in my field, and maybe I can turn it into something I enjoy more.  But that's a lot of Maybe's for some very concrete reasons against it.  Like the fact that I feel much more fulfilled now than I did writing reports for 9 months.  I worry that I won't continue to feel that way, but again, how much stock should I be placing in what if's? 

*This post is fraught with errors in apostrophe usage.  Sorry 'bout that.