Category Archives: Baby

Growing Up

When I was 19, I used to think that I didn’t ever want kids. My “humorous” reason was that I was way too selfish and wouldn’t want to put someone else’s needs above my own. At 19, that was probably true.

When I was 24, I realized that I wanted to have kids, just not yet. I wanted to be married for at least a year before even thinking about it.

When I was 27, I was desperate to be a mom. I hated all my friends who were having babies.

When I was 28, our son was born, and we spent the first two nights in the hospital feeling totally shell-shocked and confused about what we had signed up for. The first few weeks were overwhelming, scary, and really made me question everything I had thought I wanted. Luckily that was all just the craziness of the first weeks of the first baby, and I’m happy to say that I don’t regret anything.

When I was 31, our daughter was born, and it was slightly less crazy but still overwhelming, and it’s been almost 6 months and we still aren’t sleeping super well and it seems that they never nap at the same time and there is always someone needing something.

But I think we’re done now…and it makes me sad to think that I won’t be pregnant again. The first time around, every stage was new and intriguing, and we saved everything religiously for the next one. This time, we’re starting to jettison things, baby clothes and toys and gear, just getting rid of things when she doesn’t need them or fit into them anymore. It’s hard to give away boxes of baby clothes in the mindset that there won’t be another one.

But still, I sometimes think about that selfish 19-year-old, and I think she had the right idea. Doing whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted, being accountable to no one, spending time with Drew or with friends or even alone – it was so luxurious and I didn’t even know it. I remember in New York, when Drew and Jared would be working two shows on Saturday and Sunday, I could sleep until noon, and then spend the rest of the day lying around reading. I used to watch a lot of Law & Order: SVU while doing cross-stitch kits. It didn’t matter. I could do whatever I wanted. (I want to yell this at the 20-somethings I know who complain about being tired. You have no idea! Embrace it! Just take a nap and you’ll feel better! Go out to brunch or something!)

In the last three years, I have discovered that I have a well of patience that I didn’t know existed. I have also discovered a temper that I didn’t know I had. They both kind of depend on the amount of sleep and protein I’ve had in the last 24 hours. I am definitely a different person now. I think I’m more responsible. More willing to lower expectations. More grateful. I hope the changes have been for the better.

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Filed under Baby, Dreams, Drew, Family, Memoir, Nonfiction, Pregnancy, Self improvement, Sentiment

Giving thanks, 2014 style

Happy Thanksgiving!

I’ll be honest with you: this year has kind of sucked.

Every New Year we say “This is gonna be OUR year!” And sometimes we’re right: 2009 was a good year. As was 2012.

But 2014 was not kind to us. But the silver lining – because I always have to look for the silver lining – was that I spent much of this year being actively thankful for specific things in my life. Because I had this idea that, if I spent too much time dwelling on the negative things, God and karma and the universe would say something like, “Guess you don’t care about all this good stuff then.” And it would be taken away.

So I’ve thought a lot this year about the people in my life, the ways I’m blessed, and the things I’m grateful for. And there are plenty of them. At the top of almost every list are my husband and my son, two people I couldn’t live without. There are my parents, who are consistently supportive and loving and who make the 3-hour drive from Lakeport to Pacifica over and over and over, just to hang out with us. Drew’s parents treat me like one of their own and I have literally ZERO crazy “in-laws” stories (and I know that other women out there have some crazy in-laws). There are my friends: the real-life ones who have put up with me for years, and my online mommy friends, all of whom are invaluable. I have a job I love, with people I love. I get to live by the ocean in a neighborhood and an apartment that I really, really like. (There’s even ample street parking.)

And on top of all of that, this year I’m also thankful that 2014 is almost over. Rather than ringing in this New Year by saying “I can’t BELIEVE it’s already 2015!” I’ll be saying, “Thank God. Now, bring on a fresh start.”

Just to make sure I don’t end on a downer, here are some really specific things I’m thankful for at this exact moment: My kid is napping, and he apparently knows who Elmo is, which surprised both Drew and me this morning. I made a German chocolate pecan pie for dessert tonight and while it looks a little, um, “homemade,” the filling part tastes good. We’re actually going to finish our Disney Project this year, which was a grand undertaking, and I’m proud of that. It’s a really pretty day right now…but I hear it’s going to rain all weekend, which would be really nice.

See? Still an optimist. Happy Thanksgiving.

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First day of daycare

This is a huge milestone. The moment we’ve been leading up to for (at least) the last year.

Some background: I went back to work (4 days a week) just before B turned 3 months old. And since then, he’s been watched primarily by Drew’s parents, which has been one of those things that we are afraid we are taking for granted, but we try to remember to be grateful every day. So let me just say on the record, I am so thankful for Drew’s parents for taking on the majority of weekday childcare, and also for my parents for making the trek down here so frequently to babysit.

I couldn’t imagine leaving B with a daycare provider when he was 3 months old. I know people do it, and I admire that, but we are lucky and didn’t have to. I’m so happy we had family who could watch him. As he got older, it was an issue of finding somewhere we could take him that we could trust and afford and where we would feel comfortable leaving our most precious possession. It also became harder, as the months went by, to give up our free family daycare.

But we knew that he would probably really like to be around other kids more often, and he could learn a lot from them. We’re always impressed with what our friends’ kids seem to pick up from daycare, and it seemed like we were kind of missing out on that. Our pediatrician has stressed the importance of playdates, especially since B isn’t in daycare, and we understand how important socialization is at this age.

A couple weeks ago, we met with a woman (we’ll call her Alicia) who does in-home daycare for 3s and under, and we really like her. She comes highly recommended by members of Drew’s family, which makes me feel good. She has 4 other kids right now, who come on various days of the week, although one is about to “graduate” to preschool. Another one is 6 months old. Two of the kids are just right around B’s age, and when we went to meet her, he had a great time playing with them.

We decided to do two days a week, and today is the first of those days. All morning I kept telling him how lucky he is, that he gets to go play with other kids today, and he’s going to have so much fun. I dropped him off at 8am, and he walked right into the house and then started running around the living room, climbing on the couch, and talking to the girl who was already there. He seemed happy and totally not shy. I passed off all of his stuff to Alicia, gave him hugs and kisses goodbye, and then she took both kids to go find some toys in the other room, and I left.

Honestly, I have to say I did better than I expected. I hope he is also doing well. Every parent knows this is a rough day. We just have to get through the first few days of a new thing, and then everything will be great. Still, if you want to send me good vibes today, it’d be much appreciated…haha.

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Filed under Baby, Beginnings, Children, Drew, Memoir, Nonfiction

Happy Mother’s Day 2014!

mother's day 2014 typo

I rejected a lot of quotes before selecting this one. Because I think it sums up my experience over the last 19 months.

(Now if only there was a PS about appreciating your own mother, it would be perfect!)

Happy Mother’s Day!

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Disney Project 2014: Saludos Amigos

Movie: Saludos Amigos

Release year: 1942

My reaction: This is the first in a line of more obscure Disney movies which I have never seen. The next month or so is going to be interesting. Saludos Amigos is only about 45 minutes long. It’s a mix of live action and animation, but no matter the medium, the vague racism is sprinkled throughout. I’m not sure that I was captivated by this one the way I have been by the other, more conventional, Disney films.

B’s reaction: He did watch a little bit, or at least, he sat where he could see the TV and practiced stacking blocks. Good enough for me!

photo (12)You know what this means, right? We’re caught up!

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Disney Project 2014: Dumbo

MovieDumbo

Release year: 1941

My reaction: The longest Disney movie (Fantasia) is followed by the shortest Disney movie. Dumbo weighs in at 64 minutes. Love it. I haven’t seen this movie in ages, but Drew and I both remember it like it was yesterday. I love the beginning, where the baby animals are all being “delivered.” (Ha! see what I did there?) Dumbo is from early enough in the Disney years that there’s still un-PC stuff (like the faceless roustabouts putting up the big top; or the crows, led by Jim Crow). “Baby Mine” is still a tear-jerker, although honestly at that point in the movie my baby mine was freaking out about something so I missed most of the song.

B’s reaction: Eventually I’m sure I’ll have some comment besides “He didn’t really watch this one.” But for now…he still didn’t really watch this one.

photo 2 (1)

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Disney Project 2014: Fantasia

Movie: Fantasia

Release year: 1940 (just like Pinocchio – weird)

My reaction: So much nudity. A drunk donkey. So many things that wouldn’t be in a movie made today. It’s really a bummer that the need to be politically correct has made it impossible that Disney would ever make another movie like this. And that’s all I’m going to say about that.

I remember seeing this in the theatre – according to the internet it must have been the rerelease in 1990. That is a long movie for a 6-year-old (and her 4-year-old brother) to sit through. I remember the live-action parts being really long…but actually they aren’t.

There are a lot of segments in Fantasia. I’m not crazy about the abstract stuff at the beginning. But other than that, I like pretty much everything. I would say, the Nutcracker Suite stuff is near the top. So is Night on Bald Mountain. And Beethoven’s Pastoral.

Although, rewatching Fantasia with fresh eyes made me realize that it was significant inspiration for what I used to draw when I was a kid. The abstract stuff in particular. But also ponies and fish.

B’s reaction: Dang, this is a long one. Did you know Fantasia is 2-plus hours? And there’s a lot of downtime with the live-action segments.

As per usual, B didn’t watch much of it. But we’ve gotten smart enough to watch them on weekend mornings, rather than trying to do it at night, so at least he’s happy while he’s running around not watching the movies.

Fantasia

Covering up the Fantasia 2000 half of the DVD cover

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