Thursday, November 26, 2009

Because every Thanksgiving ends with a bottle of wine, right?

Luckily, only half of our Thanksgiving was a massive fail. Actually, even less than half. But unfortunately it was the half that involved my family, with my sister who drove 7 hours from Philly and my dear wonderful cousins that I grew up with and my dad who is almost never in town anymore. Here's how it went down:

We wanted to go to the church service this morning and since we live 25 minutes from church and my mother in law lives 5 minutes (and the service started at 7AM) we spent the night at mother in law's. J slept great all night in the pack and play in his own little room, which means that mid-December when Mama and Daddy have an adult party to go to, J will be doing his first overnight with a grandparent! Big win there. Church was pretty good...he was fussy at first but it's a casual service so I didn't feel the least bit out of place standing at the back rocking him to naptime. He took a nearly 3 hour nap before we went to my husband's grandparents, so I figured that exhaustion would not be an issue. He did really well at the big family celebration. He got passed around and smiled and talked and lied on the floor and entertained everyone, and of course we were all so enamored with him. He was the epitome of what "bundle of joy" means.

He napped again from 2-3, and then in the car between houses, so I thought he was pretty well rested when we arrived at my cousin's house just before 6 for my family's Thanksgiving. I was really excited because it's the first time some of my extended family have met him. My sister made a beeline for him as soon as he stirred, and I knew he was getting hungry so I told her to bring him to me when he started to fuss.

I had eaten 3 pieces of cheese, 3 olives, and popped open the top to a Diet Mug Root Beer when the crying started. I settled on the couch with the pillow, burp cloth, and hooter hider and discreetly un-snapped my bra while my 4 year old cousin asked a million questions about what I was doing and why the baby ate from under my shirt. Sis set J down and He. Did. Not. Latch. O.K. That has never happened, in three months of having a perfect baby who goes easily between the breast and bottles of pumped milk (of which I had none). He screamed on my nipple like it was the worst thing I could have put in his mouth. I thought maybe he was hot, so I took his pants and socks off. No help. So I went upstairs to a room no one was using, took off his onesie, didn't put him under the cover. Nothing. Just screaming. I started crying while I was walking around the room with him. For nearly an hour I would get him calm, try the boob, back to more screaming. My sister took him into the nursery, put on soft music, soft lights, humidifier, rocked him, while I sat in the other room crying on my mom's shoulder. H finally got him calmed down enough that I went into the nursery. He was lying on the floor sucking on her finger. We tried nursing and voila! All was well. For about 7 minutes.

Then he went right back to screaming. My husband came in and we did everything we could to calm him but nothing worked for more than 3 minutes at a time. So finally, defeated and deflated and upset, we trudged back downstairs, packed him in his carseat, and left. Well, I left, barely able to even say goodbye to my family without erupting into a wailing mess. My hubby had to say goodbyes and answer everyone's questions. They mean well. They asked if I was ok, offered to take J so we could eat. He declined and explained that we really just think he's overwhelmed and needed to get home.

So, not he's asleep in his own crib. The little bugger started smiling as soon as I put him on the changing table. He nursed like a dream and went right to sleep.

Now mama is going downstairs to crack open a bottle of wine, clean my kitchen, and wait for my little sister to show up with dinner plates.

Let's hope we can handle the Christmas schedule with a little more grace.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

What I Know About God

He exists.

And I see him when you smile at me, when you burrow your head into my neck, and when all the expression leaves your face as you drift into peaceful sleep.

For a long time I backed away from God and religion. I knew I felt something was out there, but I didn't believe in Jesus. I needed proof. Most Christians I know said the Bible was their proof, but
I just couldn't help but think that the Bible was written by men, and how on earth could we trust these men? For a long time I floundered in a sort of netherland, thinking that it really didn't matter anyway, because things were going to be what they were.

And then my son was born. And five days later, on a Sunday, I sat rocking him in his nursery after a feeding, looking at his content face, wondering if it was really just science that gave every mammal the special ability to produce the milk their babies needed to grow, when my own personal revelation hit me like a light bulb. Literally, it was as though a light were shining from God onto my little boy's face in front of me, and I whispered to myself "this is the proof I've been asking for". The most perfect gift, entrusted to me to take care of by a God that chose to give him to me even though I had denied Him. What an amazing moment in my life. I will forever be thankful to God for entrusting me with this life, and thankful to my beautiful son for reintroducing me to our Creator.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Does It Have To End So Soon?

I cannot believe this day is here. My maternity leave is over. Monday morning I have to get up at 6AM, pack anything that Jacob will ever need in a normal day (and then some extras), and take him to daycare so that I can go to work at 8. How did it go by this fast?

Six weeks ago, I was thinking "oh, I'll be ready for work. Adult interaction, not wearing pajamas all day, making money, etc." and then my boy started sleeping at night and smiling at me. Now, I'm not ready. Sure, I'm trying to tell myself that it will be so nice to spend my lunch breaks dropping by to nurse him, and that his grin when I pick him up at 5:30 will be the highlight of my day. But I also realize that I will go from spending nearly every waking moment with my son to only seeing him for 3 hours a night.

And to make matters worse, I spent today at an eye appointment and a spa appointment. Sweet Jesus, what was I thinking a month ago when I scheduled these? No one can ever complain about a three hour spa trip, but when all I have wanted to do all week was curl up on the bed and play with my sweet little baby, it has definitely made last night's anniversary date and today's massage seem...insignificant.

In case you don't believe how hard this is going to be (and any mom would, so this is really for the non-parents out there), THIS is what I'll be missing:

Could you leave this behind?

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

They Say It Can't Be Done...

I'm here to prove them wrong.

I just lurve how everyone who has or has not given birth and/or raised a child loves to dole out advice before the baby arrives. I am guilty of this as I have two close friends due this winter, but I have forewarned both of them with a disclaimer that I can be told to shut up at any time. I have also done two things: tried to wait until they broach the subject before offering my two cents, and tried to remain positive. My absolute pet peeve is when women tell a pregnant woman how much her life is going to "change" (aka "suck") when baby is here.

Come on, people! Your life does not end...of course you get less sleep, of course you make sacrifices, but it is all so worth it when your baby looks at you and you know they recognize you. If it sucked all that bad, why did you have two? And honestly, you can still do adult things!

Behold, my proof:

This is my artistic statement. On Sunday, I had a lovely brunch with my husband, sister, brother in law, and yes, my two month old son at a white tablecloth restaurant in Philadelphia. It was wonderful. Jacob amused himself by looking around at everything before having a meal and falling asleep in my lap.

And one of the waitresses let me change him on one of the tables upstairs in a room no one was using. Think about that the next time you wonder if you should wash your hands before eating.