It's all going much smoother around here these days. After 6+ weeks of parenthood, a new kind of normalcy is beginning to set up, and we seem to be getting used to it all. Of course, by the time I have it down to clockwork and it gets fun, it will be time to go back to work. C'est la vie.
The Pooks is sleeping mostly through the night, waking us only to demand sustenance and the removal of collected waste products. We're getting better at determining what makes her cry as well- what cries/whimpers/brays/squalls/vociferations mean "FOOD!," or "CHANGE!," or "SLEEPY BUT REFUSE TO SLEEP!" (The biggest thing I've learned in the past week is that sometimes she just wants to be NOT HELD DAMMIT. I was under the impression that crying babies always want to be cuddled. Not so- sometimes they want you to leave them alone with their thoughts.)
A friend said to me recently, "I was on your blog, and there for a while you were really down on the whole parenting thing." She went on to say that I was right- no one ever mentions the bad things about having a newborn. They'll make some flippant "Oh, I know you aren't sleeping!" comments, but no one gives the true answer. But in general, no one discusses how emotionally difficult the transition from "professional, independent woman" to "haggard zombovine" really is. (Now, of course I understand that there are maternally gifted ladies out
there who take to parenting much easier than I have, and to those
people I wish to offer a heartfelt "kiss my no-sleep-getting ass.")
So I'm here to offer the truth as I have and am experiencing it. The most important thing to remember is that no matter how snarky or cynical it may come across here, I love my Pookie more than anything. I love the little smirky grin she throws my way when she wakes up and the way she grabs my finger with her toes while she's eating (and no, she isn't a baby orangutan. Baby humans just do things like that with their flexible little toes).
BUT, a lot of the things that come along with having a new baby, things besides the Bundle of Joy (BOJ) herself, suck thoroughly. And having a sense of humor about those things, and doing my part as a woman to inform other women who might not yet know, is just what I do. It's how I deal.
In other news: - I think I'm back in the saddle as far as concerts go- there's a very cool opportunity for interview/photography coming up that may let me introduce my daughter to the greatest party band of all time. It T-I-S a great first show for her. (see what I did there?) - A website I found that relates to my Old Life (TM)...don't ever ever believe what you see, or let it make you feel bad about yourself. I used to do work like this ALL the time.
This is Grf, my brother. From the very first time he met Pookie he has been able to calm her almost instantaneously. They have such an incredible uncle-niece bond (my other brother does too, but his baby whisperering skills just aren't as developed yet). Grf works as an illustrator at a screen printing place- I've offered to match his salary plus provide room & board if he will agree to move up the mountain and become our full-time nanny (manny?). We'll see what he says.
ps- iDVD/iMovie are the most fun programs to play with if you're bored and nursing a baby. I've made several Pookie movies and slideshows to bore people with. Currently listening to: The falling of the rain. And Wildflowers by Tom Petty.
My post today was going to be a fake spoiler ending to Harry Potter that involved changing out all the characters with characters from Star Wars and then having the ending basically be the end of Return of the Jedi. It was quite humorous. (To me, anyway, but let's remember that my daily life these days involves diapers, lactation, and the ability to find a paci before the meltdown crying begins. So I may not really be all that funny.)
BUT...I can't post that now, because I am too mad about something else. And I have been for days. (But I've been too absorbed in my parenting duties to write about it)
Michael Vick is a sick, twisted, degenerate, and I wish that his punishment could more closely fit his crime. Specifically, I think they should give him a taste of his own medicine and toss a toaster in the bathtub. All his money and athletic talent couldn't save him then. So, #1: I'm angry that Vick is such a lowlife scumbag punk that he would use his money, power, and fame to feel like he was above the law enough to commit such horrible acts. and #2: I'm furious about those who stand to lose money if he goes to jail (NFL owners, retailers, and the like) playing the justification game about this situation. His impoverished upbringing caused this? Bullshit. He has more money than any of us will ever see- his disregard for life and his thirst to inflict pain and suffering on others caused this. The only good i can see in this situation is that the feds are prosecuting. I know that Vick won't get the maximum 6 years in the pokey that dogfighting allows, but hopefully he'll do at least a year. As far as football goes? The Falcons should cut him today, and the NFL should make as big an example out of him as they did out of Pacman Jones. (Too bad they'd singled Vick out as their new "Look! Pro footballers aren't all thugs" posterboy. They chose... poorly.)
Sorry- I know this post was badly written, but I only had a few free moments during Pookie's naptime to get this down and posted. Between grabbing a bite for lunch, writing this, and playing a bit with Max, it didn't leave much time for crafting sentences that perfectly expressed my disgusted outrage. So please pretend that this post was eloquently worded.
ps - I saw an interview where Vick said he was completely innocent and that people still loved him and wanted a piece of him. The interviewed asked "Will you be exonerated?" After about 15 seconds Vick replied, "No comment." Not that a lawyer told him not to answer...he simply had NO IDEA what the word "exonerated" meant. Good job with that education, Virginia Tech.
Still here! We're all doing well and are even getting a bit o' sleep now- it's fabulous. Funny how you don't miss things until they're gone.
Just a few bullet points ... things I've thought of during feedings or burpings or changings: - I can't believe how much laundry we do now. Baby clothes are teeny, so why the increased volume? The answer, my friends, is that babies tend to be shit factories. One baby can easily blaze through several onesies per day. Did you (non-parents) know there is a kind of dump a baby can take that explodes right out of the conventional diaper, no matter how well that diaper is fastened. The poo jets up from the crack and out of the back of the diaper, so it is possible that the holding adult doesn't even know they're covered with dung until later. Amazing. - Because I nurse all the time in this big recliner by the french doors, I've become an expert at the wildlife on our porch. By day it's squirrels, blue jays, finches, and chipmunks, and by night it's owls, flying squirrels, bats, and the neighbor's scavenging dog. - A baby can go from placid to OMG TERRORIZING in .4 seconds flat. This ability is most frequently demonstrated in public places...crowded video rental stores, for example. (It seems like she could be nice for 4 minutes at Blockbuster...it isn't like we're leaving her at home to fend for herself while we go out to see Die Hard 4.) - "Random people touching the pregnant belly" is NOTHING compared to the new version, "Random people telling you how to raise your child." These aren't people I even know, and yet they'll come up to me and say things like, "Now, don't let em sleep with you, or they'll never learn to be independent," or "I can't believe you haven't pierced her ears yet...what if people think she's a boy?!"*
*on the subject of baby ear piercing, let me say this (and I'm sorry if I offend anyone): It really annoys me when people pierce infant girls' ears. Who gives a rat's ass if you can't immediately tell the gender of a baby? It's a BABY. (Also, in my hometown, infant ear piercing is generally something that fender-lizard rednecks do, and the CZ earrings are invariable coupled with those awful frilly pink headbows that they practically have to staple to get to stay on. ...Just so we don't see them at wal-mart and mistake a Bobbie-Jean for a Bobby Gene.)
Currently Listening to: Paranoia in B Major, by The Avett Brothers
Just because she's only a month old doesn't mean she prefers to listen to Raffi or those damn Doodlebops...no sir-ee, she's helping usher in a new generation of prog fans. And since I missed the tour due to her birth, it only seems fitting that she has this onesie (thanks sarah!).
Here's the Pookster showing off her pink elephants outfit. Every time I look at it I end up singing "Pink Elephants on Parade" to her...I'm not sure if she's impressed with me doing all the voices from the song or not. ("What'll I do? What'll I do? What an unusual view!")
We are still surviving here in our strange "not quite" reality, but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Apparently the reason for Maren's current (for the past few days) fussiness is a growth spurt which makes her want to eat all the time. So mostly what I'm doing these days is being the mommy equivalent to the all-you-can-eat buffet at Golden Corral- for 45 minutes to over an hour at a time. I'm getting pretty good at doing tasks with that one free arm (and in a related story, if you get a barely legible thank-you note from me, it's likely that it was written during a feeding session). I'm not yet good at typing one-handed, so I have to wait for a break in the feeding schedule (which is set by her and not viewable or editable by me) to blog or email.
Well, she's napping so I should be too. I'll try to update again later, as I have a myriad of interesting observations about mommyhood and baby-raisin' to share. Actually, they're interesting to ME, but then I've only gotten 3 hours of sleep in the last week, so maybe they aren't. At any rate, I'm going to go take a nap (with visions of pink elephants dancing in my head).
So we've discovered two really wonderful things: swaddling and the Hotsling. Thanks to all for the words on encouragement and emails about all this! And Chelle DID help me put this in perspective...I can't imagine having TWINS like this! I'll post more tomorrow or soon, but I wanted to say thanks, and that we're only partially crazy here now thanks the magic of the swaddle and The Happiest Baby on the Block. (And HI and welcome to Dawn- thanks for the tips- we actually discovered the swaddle about 4 hours before I got your email!)