Friday, August 21, 2009

Monkey mind

A few of the completely random things that run through my head at bedtime, in savasana, walking home from the T, whathaveyou:

1. What I'd use my three wishes for if I ever happen to run into a genie. It changes on a daily basis. All the garbage out of the ocean? An end to animal cruelty? An environmentally sustainable society? The ability to eat fondue every day? How can I knit these things together to maximize each wish?

2. Zombie mitigation. I've watched 28 Days Later and 28 Weeks Later a few too many times. We have a lot of big windows in our house. Where could I hide myself and the baby (or just the baby) if the zombies came? What would it take to hole up and wait it out? Could I get badass with a machete? Would the water supply be contaminated?

3. The location of my imaginary future summer home. Maine? Nantucket (hello, shack)? Where is the place that speaks to us? Where is the place that my daughter will be able to say, "I've been going there since I was a baby"? How can I help create great memories for her?

4. What it will take to fit back into my pre-pregnancy clothes. I gained 49 pounds with Margot and have lost 37. The last 10-12 are hanging on so tenaciously that I am starting to understand why so many women choose to go the cosmetic surgery route. It's only been 6 months and I'm still nursing, so I try to be patient and not obsess too much, but Lunchboy would say that I obsess constantly, with expectations that are unrealistic. Still, lots of long runs? A return to 2-hour hot yoga classes? I have time for none of that. But in my imagination I can run marathons and sweat it out on the stairs. Oh, the stairs. How I long for thee.

5. Milk. How much did I pump? How much is in the freezer? How long until we reach the time of Necessary Formula Supplementation? It's a constant mental calculation.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

They got the mustard out

I keep waiting for life to slow down again and be less crazy. Of course, it never does. I think I need to come to terms with the fact that having a baby increased the chaos factor to way above what it had been previously, and stop expecting that anything will ever be the same again. Which is funny because before I got pregnant all we heard from our parent friends was "your life will change in every way." Since Lunchboy and I are both introverts and we were never all that into going out and being, like, social, the need to stay home with a teeny infant wasn't that big of an adjustment. But the craziness? That is an adjustment.

Not all of the crazy is baby-related. As babies go, Margot is pretty calm and low key. She had nothing to do with the fact that our central AC died in the middle of the recent heat wave. But my desperate need to make sure she stayed cool and comfortable in our progressively more humid and unpleasant house amped up what would have been a moderately stressful situation (you try getting an HVAC repairman to visit in the middle of a heat wave) and made it INCREDIBLY stressful. She also had nothing to do with our stove breaking right after the AC was fixed. Or with the stupid red tape at the dentist's office that involved one dentist saying I needed some expensive repair work and another one saying that I was fine, but many records and faxes had to go back and forth in the meantime. Or with me leaving the house without my laptop today, having to go home for said laptop, hoof it to the T in the heat, ride an un-air conditioned T to work, and arrive a sweaty mess. Or with me putting Lunchboy's cell phone through the wash accidentally, thereby sparking a huge iPhone-related undertaking that resulted in all of us being grumpy at the Apple store in the Cambridgeside Galleria for almost three hours. Such is life.

We have taken Margot swimming a few more times recently and she continues to love being in the water. I'm considering signing her up for infant swim classes so that she'll continue to get more comfortable in the water. Classes feel a little silly for a 6-month old (this is why I haven't been able to bring myself to go near Itsy Bitsy Yoga) but they would also mean that mommy gets to go swimming and I love to swim.

I am reading the Buffy graphic novels co-created by Joss Whedon and am starting to find myself thinking in Whedon-speak again.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Bottle fed

I never see this. Seriously. Lunchboy has to take pictures of himself (or, in this case, my sister in law) feeding Margot because if I am anywhere in the house she will not so much as look at a bottle. He has taken some very sweet videos of Margot holding her bottle all by herself as she sucks down every last drop of milk and those videos make my heart explode because, after pumping twice a day every day at work, it makes me feel good to see my baby get her food. Usually I see the bottles go off to daycare and I see them empty again in the evening but never the actual consumption itself. So thank you, my awesome husband, for giving me a glimpse of the meals.

It's sort of a miracle that the milk thing is still a success. We've started solid food (apples, bad; pears, good) but it will be a little while before fruit replaces breast. Fruit or breast? That'll be fun to watch. Anyhoo, do you remember that anti-drug commercial from the mid-1980s, the one where a man holds up a frying pan and says "This is your brain," then breaks an egg into the pan and, as it fries, says "This is your brain on drugs?" Well, he should really say "This is your brain when you don't get any sleep." No sleep = no memory. Here are a few of the stupid nursing/pumping mistakes I've made in the past few months:

1. Forgot the horn attachments for my pump at home, resulting in extreme engorgement and an emergency trip to Isis at lunch to get a new set so I wouldn't be the first person ever to expire from excess milk.

2. Hooked up all pump parts, sat down to pump, and spent a good 5 minutes wondering why my lap was wet--I looked down to find that I'd forgotten to attach THE BOTTLES to the horns and I was pumping all over my lap.

3. Pumped a record 18 ounces on a Friday. Proudly carried my cooler home, knowing I wouldn't have to dip into the freezer stash over the weekend. Sat bolt upright in bed at 3am to the knowledge that I'd forgotten to take the cooler out of my work bag and that day's milk had gone unrefrigerated for almost 12 hours. Luckily the ice pack had taken one for the team and everything was still cool. Otherwise preparations for hari kari were imminent.

I'm a little torn about the transition from nursing to solid food, but the thought of not having to keep track of so many pump and bottle parts is kind of alluring.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Brain 2.0

I've been having lots of crazy dreams lately, a development I attribute to the fact that I'm actually sleeping at night and possibly also that I'm reading "The Monster of Florence," which is probably not the best bedtime book choice I could make. At least Lunchboy is home now--I started the book when he was traveling last week and managed to scare the crap out of myself. Who reads about serial killers on the loose when they are home alone at night?? Me, apparently. Smrt.

The crazy dreams, though--they feel like my brain is catching up on all the processing it didn't get a chance to do over the past six months. There's a lot of swirling, intense imagery that strikes me as the dream-visual equivalent of backing up a hard drive. And airplanes. what's up with the airplanes? Last night, though, I dreamed about B in SF (remember him?). Nothing naughty, I just sat him down and asked him why he'd been so weird. Kind of cathartic, actually, even if it was completely random.

And, of course, as soon as I opened my big mouth about Margot sleeping through the night, she woke up three times last night and then decided it was time to start the day at 5:30am. Then she managed to grab one of the animals on her crib mobile, thereby demonstrating that the mobile's useful life has ended for the time being. Sigh. We kind of liked it when she'd kick the mobile on at 6am and we'd wake up to Mozart in the mornings.

Not what she was expecting

The journey of the solid foods, it has begun. Baby: 1, Rice cereal: 0.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Smile like you mean it

Last week, knowing that the weekend was going to be crazy busy with lots of visitors and at least one morning away from the house, I decided that I really needed more time with Margot. So I took Monday off to have some baby time and we had the best day! First, I have to share a piece of information that I've held back because I'm afraid of jinxing it, which is that Margot has been sleeping through the night now for almost a week. We put her down at 7pm and she generally goes through until 4:30am without waking up. So, for the first time in almost six months, we are all getting some sleep. This is key.

We went to the coffee shop for a little while in the morning, an experience that is getting more adventurous now that Margot is at the stage where she wants to grab everything (EVERYTHING) and put it in her mouth. She is also sitting up by herself (!!) and standing by herself when holding onto a table or something. This means she's now big enough for high chairs, though not necessarily that she is patient enough for high chairs. What, a child of mine who's impatient? How on earth could that possible have happened? It's a mystery. Anyway, so at the coffee shop she now grabs things, puts them in her mouth, then throws them to the floor so vehemently that it looks like the object in question has done something to mortally offend her. She likes the throwing.

After her morning nap, we packed up and headed out to Walden Pond for a baby beach day. The weather was spectacular--clear, sunny, hot but not brutal or overly humid. We met my friend S and her son, who is exactly one week younger than Margot. These two babies like each other a lot, which makes play dates a ton of fun. Miraculously, we found a good patch of dirt to plunk our towels on (the water level at Walden this year is astronomically high because of all the rain so the last stretches of actual beach are a hard-won commodity as we found). Then we changed the small fry into swimsuits and hit the water.

Margot wasn't feeling very confident about the whole thing at first, so we spent a good amount of time sitting in the sandy shallows, patting the water and discovering that sand was fun to grab and try to eat. Eventually she decided she wanted to go further out (indicated by the lurching in the general direction of the deeper water), so we went out a little more. Lo and behold, she did not freak out when her feet didn't touch the bottom. In fact, she really liked floating! This was important to me--I feel strongly about helping her have a safe, positive experience with swimming and I tried hard to be extra careful so she wouldn't associate water with being scared. But by the end of the swim, we out far enough that the water was up to my waist and she was having a ball being swished around with no pond bottom in sight. We may have a water baby on our hands! Yay!

Then we put the kids in our Ergos and walked around the pond. S's son fell fast asleep but Margot stayed stubbornly awake. She fights her naps SO HARD. God forbid she might miss seeing something interesting if she let herself sleep. I didn't care, really. It was just so great to have her close to me for a whole day with no errands to be run or work projects to stress about. She passed out cold in the car on the way home. Anyone want to pay me to stay home and hang out with my baby? Srsly.