Wednesday, March 11, 2015

At 29

After turning 29 I keep wondering to myself, "Am I getting old?" I know on one hand, of course I'm getting old, everyone is getting old, and, yeah, this is when it starts. On the other hand I know, I'm young! I'm in my TWENTIES, for heaven's sake! But 29 has been hard to get my head around. I keep forgetting. I keep thinking I just turned 28. I don't think that's ever happened to me before. I usually adjust and accept pretty quickly. I know I'm a mother of TWO now, but that is all pretty recent. I feel like I need to grow up, and fast! I wonder, How am I supposed to dress? You know, so as not to look ridiculous? Do the lines by my eyes clash with this outfit? Is there any color left in my face? Do I need to start wearing lipstick? This is all sounding very superficial, and for the most part it is. I keep thinking of Julia Roberts' character in My Best Friends Wedding, and how I'm older than "her" now. I know the whole idea is that she super doesn't have it together, but I swear she seems more grown-up than I do. Part of that is just this current culture and everyone living as children as long as possible. I feel not much is expected of me on this front. And I did a search of actresses born in 1986 and most of them are still playing teenagers in things. That makes me feel a little bit better. Not because I want to think that I could pass as a teenager, because, gross; but because I think my problem is not so much with growing older and getting wrinkles and settling down (I love settling down. Where has settling down been all my life?), but that I feel like a child, like I'm shaming the age and embarrassing myself. Not by rolling in the grass at the park or wishing I lived in a Hayao Miyazaki movie, or belting out I Just Can't Wait To Be King from the Lion King. These things keep my heart young, and are good, and it's just the way I am, so leave me alone. But how much longer will I say things only to have people tell me I'm "so cute"? When will my opinion and way of speaking have weight? Would it matter if I dressed differently? I want to be a lady and I feel like a kid. I don't like to feel immature. I've always hated it. I made a lousy kid.

Well... I'm not a kid anymore; this I know. And I'm a mother, and a wife. I guess if I'm not turning into an adult by now there isn't much I can do about it. I refuse to change any of the defining aspects of my life. And, you know what? I can't really afford to change my clothes or hair either. This is me, at 29.

Monday, January 5, 2015

8 months

I have been looking at old pictures of Calvin tonight. He was so tiny and sweet and so easy to care for. But as much as I loved that time so incredibly much I realize that I don't miss it. I am so happy with THIS time, now, it is all that I want. As I was looking at the pictures Calvin cried and I went into his room to soothe him. Patting him on the back is the thing these days, don't pick him up or feed him, so he'll go right back to sleep. But he had rolled on to his back for some reason and I found my self scooping him up and holding him and feeling him in my arms. I have been thanking God for him all of the time, like I did when he was first born. I think at about 6 months I hit burn out and found it harder to appreciate things, but my love of motherhood is alive and well and he is at least as perfect as he's ever been. I love him; I love him so much. Thank you, God.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

"4 months" is going by so quickly

Tuesday I put Calvin on his back on some blankets on the floor and I stepped into the kitchen to put some vegetables in the soup. When I stepped back into the living room Calvin was on his tummy, going after the toy I'd left him.

We have to get this house ready. No more mouse holes for a start. No more extension cords. I caught him looking at an electrical outlet over my shoulder the other day. He's growing up so fast this month. I think this has been the month of most change. His personality is blossoming (to use a hackneyed phrase - I don't do thinking and words well these days; it's just how it is).
He's beautiful. The other evening I lay down next to him on his blankets on the floor and read him a story, and he wrapped his little arm around my arm and looked into my eyes. He'd look up at the book and then back into my face. His eyes were so big and blue and he had a slight, open-mouthed smile on his face.
He just looked at me. He is so in the moment of his little world, and it makes him happy and content to look at me when I'm reading. It makes me feel like I'm free-falling.

Other things he's been doing this month:

Grabbing. It started a while back with my hair, Mindy's hair, and his duck. Now it is papers I am carrying or pens I am writing with. And he has the strongest little hands. My papers were torn he was holding them so firmly. Must get this house ready. 

He's also been grabbing his feet, which is so precious. On Monday he was starting to wake up from a nap and before he had opened his eyes, even the tiniest bit, he was grabbing his feet and "talking". It was so funny. I watched him for quite a while, got out my phone and took pictures, before he was really awake. 

He's been in his Johnny Jump Up more. He is really too tall, or our doorway it too short, for the one we prefer. I put him in the other and he put his arms down into it and looked so funny hanging there with just his little legs and head sticking out. He hasn't taken to jumping yet. He just twirls around or tries to eat the hippo toy that hangs there. He's been teething on everything, poor thing, and sucking his lips in and making loud "bah" sounds. At night if he's getting worked up about it I take him into the bath and he kicks and floats over my legs and forgets all about it. Grandma says Tom loved baths as a baby too.

Yesterday we went to a class downtown and we rode the bus for the first time. He looked all around - at the people, out the window, at the big EMX - with such big eyes and keen interest. During the class he sat quietly on my lap and would look quickly over if he heard the sounds of other children. I think he's becoming really interested in other kids and that I'll have to become more social and get him some friends. 

Amelia and the girls visited the last weekend of August and he loved it. He loved Scarlet in particular, and her antics. He seemed to think everything she did was interesting and funny. We went to the park then but at that point he wasn't as interested in other children and I had my sister, so who needs friends?

I was sick one day this week and he let me watch old movies and lay around all afternoon. He's a really easy baby.

Other things on the calendar for "4 Months":
"grabbed my nose then grabbed his nose: connection?" ;)
"library/reading with Daddy"
"Dr. Bradley" - Deemed "perfect" again (What a great doctor!) and still off-the-charts tall. I was a little worried he might be constipated but he's been pooping every few seconds since then to ease my worried mind.
"grabbing his thumb a lot - figuring out his hand" - My favorite was when he grabbed his thumb with his other hand and then sucked on his free thumb. Chain thumb-sucking.
"Amelia and girls/Addi's and fountain/cousins and market"
"market and laughing at everything Scarlet does"
"park and bath with cousins" - I was in there with them. It was a full house.
"Tom home long walk by the river with Maxy" - During which Cal slept until we got to the trees and then he woke up and looked up into them and out on to the river. 
"teething but such a sweetie/smiling for mom. laughing at dad. sitting up with help"
"been grabbing his feet a lot for a little while now"
"has been crossing his ankles lately and still cracks up at Daddy's kisses"
"played his uke w/ mom. and dad. loved it. loves music still."
"Lane!" - They get along great.
"hair swirl showed up/cracking mom and dad up and smiling about it"
"hike!/"come look at this amazing baby" - Something a man said to his wife on the trail, which I loved.
"sucks mommy's face a lot. laughs @ daddy a lot (kisses/tickles) laughed hard @ mommy today (yay!)"
"grabbing his feet and "talking" b/4 he opened his eyes after nap"
"rolled from back to front on his own! watching me reading/linking arms"
"Made the "d" sound" - A long, drawn out "doooooooy". 
"rolled from back to front!" - And was straddling the connecting chain of his baby gym before I noticed.
"cracking mommy up w/ crazy open-mouth face and sound"

Today is the last day for any more four-monthing. Gee, I wonder what he'll do? So far he woke me up with the sound of his swaddled legs beating the crib like a seal tail (this is often how he get's our attention from his crib). When I went to get him he was lying on his Nosefrida, which we've always kept in his crib for convenience. He used to always wake up with a stuffy nose. I guess between grabbing and moving now I'll find another spot for it. And for EVERYTHING ELSE. 
Right now he's in bed with Daddy. Looking like an angel. (I think he probably is one.)

Oh! And he always breaks out of his swaddle now and he loves to sleep on his side, which makes him look like such a big boy. 
And when I have him outside without his diaper, airing out, and he pees on himself he makes a quiet, worried little "eeeeehhhhh" noise - which is the exact baby equivalent to "Uuuuhh, Mom..." and it's really cute and funny.

He doesn't "talk" into the phone anymore, he just holds the phone up to his ear (really well, actually) and intently listens. He hasn't been "talking" much - his endless rambling - much at all anymore. He's more physically interactive so I don't lay him down under his fish as much. He's kind of just taking everything in at this point. 

His laugh is low and fleeting.
His eyes are red when he's tired (he gets that from his Dad).
He's been peeing again when we change him. He's been peeing all the time. He peed 3 separate pees during one changing. It was incredible! I think he has 3 bladders. 
He's also been waking up occasionally in the night. I think that must be teething. It's very random - there is no schedule to it.
He eats a lot less frequently which makes going places much easier. I actually don't know how he's getting enough food to be so huge - but then, when he eats he gulps it down.

Uh. I want to be a good mommy. 
Lord, help me. 

Thursday, July 24, 2014

He laughs

and likes to be played with and talks endlessly while he holds your hand. Oh my.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Calvin and today

About a week old

I was looking through some old pictures of Cal tonight and I feel like he looks the same now, only bigger. With more smiles. And that's wonderful! I was really worried when he started to change for the first time. When his beautiful, long neck and delicate, sweeping jawline were subsumed by pudge. I even cried about it. But looking back I see that he couldn't have stayed that way - newborn and delicate - and still looked healthy and alright. I revel in his vitality and bulk these days. It makes me feel vital, and it makes me feel secure.

I also realized that he doesn't look as different as I thought. His body is much tinier in those "old" photos (of weeks back - a lifetime) but his face is the same. Well, actually, his face is all the more adorable now for learning to really smile and revealing dimples and sparkling eyes.

Man, he's gorgeous. He's a real knockout. We may never get a picture of it (he's so camera shy), but that's another thing I realized tonight: I won't forget. And not because my memory is good, because it's not, and that's been worrying me. It's because he will always look like him. He will always have the glow that I lament is missing from the millions of pictures we've taken. His height will change, his hair will change, etcetera, etcetera but that aspect of him that I adore will stay with him, and I won't have to look any further to remember the baby I'm falling in love with now.

I know this because parents say it all the time - that they look and they still see their baby - but also because I've experienced this phenomenon in my relationship with Tom. He is never less beautiful to me than when I first found him beautiful, he is only ever more than that. And also when I see my nieces and nephews, be they 4 or 14, they are precious to me as they are now, and I never miss what they were, or really think about it at all.

I realize that pictures are nice, but I needn't worry about my memories the way I do.
But stories should always be written down! Whenever there is a chance. Because they are hilarious and touching and more so in the words assigned to them in the moment. I need to write more down.


Today Calvin smiled a million times and just glowed.

We put on his CD, Sounds Like Learning, and we sang to him from the table as we tried to play a game (Summoner Wars, the last time we played was the camping trip the immediately preceded us finding out I was pregnant). He started singing along loudly and with a lot of variation - very sing-y-like. He was so excited and happy. We tried to get it on video but he sniffed out the camera, even when I hid it under the table on my lap. He got very stoney-faced, as per usual. I tried to videotape him gazing into Tom's eyes as they sang together but that also failed. He made "o" mouth and the dimples above his lips showed.

He smiled, very big, a lot today, he kept thinking things were delightful, things we did. He looks at us with such love lately. It is so humbling and so exhilarating! It feels like Heaven, but almost a little painful, like it's too much.

Today there was a huge fire at a mill very close by around 4:40. Tom came home on his motorcycle and told us about it. Somehow we hadn't noticed the giant plume of smoke, the flames, the explosions (that could be heard and felt from Eugene, they say) or the sirens or the vehicles a couple blocks away. They evacuated a one-mile radius that we and Mindy were just outside of (Mindy by only one street). A helicopter from another mill brought water to the site. They say it will continue to smolder for days. We prayed for the safety of the people involved. Everyone was accounted for and no one had serious injuries. Isn't that amazing? Praise the Lord.

Mommy (that's me) didn't do much of anything today and even watched a lot of Parks and Recreation while she breastfed. Some days are just like that.

Calvin is holding his head up independently almost exclusively these days. He loves it! He is so happy when he's standing or sitting up (with minimal support) and gets fussy about laying down, even though it takes a considerable effort to support himself. He shakes a little with the effort and makes a very wide-eyed, very excited, face, with an "o" mouth. I thought he would launch himself out of his rocking bassinet today. I was legitimately worried. He had a look of frustrated determination at one point. He's getting to be such a boy, but I still have so much baby time left. That's exciting.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Just like his father

I look at him and I can't believe how beautiful he is. He has an inner glow - I can't think of a less hackneyed way to put it right now. He's like an angel.

This picture doesn't capture it, of course. Sigh. None ever will.

Monday, July 7, 2014

This is probably what motherhood is like for many mothers many days. For me it was just today. The hard parts, I mean. I'm lucky.

Unwinding. A little. Busy, busy day. Calvin was travelling with us all the long weekend - visited Washington for the first time; met a lot of new family and slept in his first hotel room. He was so, so good about it all but today, after a necessary trip downtown this morning (to top it off) he needed Mommy Mommy and more Mommy all day long. He wasn't crying he just kept eating, peeing and pooping in an endless loop, and if he did stop and I could put him down in the swing or for a quick nap (if he fell asleep) he'd be awake and beckoning me before you could say "Facebook" or "Laundry" or "Unpack" or "Eat". I realized at 2:30 that I had had part of a piece of toast all day - and he had definitely eaten more than that. The only nap he had I slept through. Tom came home with a pizza, bless him, but then went to bed with a migraine. Laundry is going. Dishes are going. (Oh, how I love this modern age!) And I really need to take a shower before the stillness is broken by an adorable yet magnetic cry. It's unlikely, of course, he's such a good sleeper, but I shouldn't press my luck tonight.

Today Calvin didn't want me to leave his side.
Today we bought plants for the yard for $5.48 and Calvin wore orange, elephant shorts.
This evening I looked at Calvin from the side as Tom held him; his face contorted into a cry and I watched it with a huge smile on my face. He has the cutest sad face in the world.
Tonight Calvin laughed for me for the first time. (I was doing something similar to "boo!" and "ahchoo!" with a head motion while he sat on my lap on the nursery bed. I'd lean back with my eyes closed and then do it again and again. He did two guffaws and many smiles.) I was transported.
Tonight Calvin stood on my lap with his arms around my neck as I wrote a Thank You card and didn't hold him in any way. He's two and a half months. Isn't that amazing?
Days like this, I know, we're really in love.