Saturday, December 30, 2006

Mooo

I tried the new breast pump out today. I thought it would be hard and take some time to figure out, but I didn't even read the instructions. I hooked everything up, pushed the plastic baby-lips up against my nippies and let 'er rip. The motion is designed to mimic sucking, and it actually feels very similar. You can adjust the speed and the suction and I set it up so that it kinda felt like Charlie. And? It sounds EXACTLY like milk from a cow going into a bucket. No lie. Apparently my body is not shy about producing milk (I guess I could have guessed that based on my earlier experience of sporting milk stains everywhere I went) in any manner, baby or no. Ryan is feeding Charlie now with the bottle, which he seems to like ok. The milk comes out VERY fast, so I think we're going to go get a slower nipple tomorrow. He finished all eight ounces that I pumped and I really hope he's full so I can pump some more and have extra (for when I make a run for Mexico later this week! Mwa ha ha ha ha).

Look who's big!
He's also going to try his new Bum Genius diaper tonight stuffed with two absorbant inserts. Hopefully it will go the distance during his long sleeping stretch (about 6 hours usually) and wee wee will not leech up the back of his shirt like it has in the past (nothing like picking up a pee soaked baby at 4 am, poor kiddo).

Below is a picture of Charlie in his new big-boy two piece dinosaur pajamas (from Nana and Papa Ed) and his Trumpette socks-that-look-like-sneakers from Santa. So cute I can't stand it.
DSC02289

We're home tonight after a great trip to Austin and Dallas to see our families for the holidays. Happy New Year everyone!!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Merry Christmas everyone! Charlie had a good first Christmas complete with family traditions despite his absentminded parents. During Christmas Eve dinner we realized that church started at 7:00 and we only had two minutes to get there. Ryan even had to drive us there because of the single glass of wine I had with dinner (nine months of abstinence from alcohol has turned me into a very cheap date). So we arrived ten minutes late in jeans and sneakers with no diaper bag (and no nursing pads I realized towards the end; thank goodness I had my coat to cover up the wet spots). I spent most of the service in the back doing the new-mom aerobics, bouncing and jumping back and forth from foot to foot. An understanding grandma held the program for me so I could participate in the service (although it wasn't really necessary, most of the responses and readings are long committed to memory). If the service hadn't ended when it did I was going to have to ask the mother of the only other baby there for a diaper (and that baby was six months old)! We took Charlie up to the front during Communion and he was blessed by the minister. That was really special. When we got home we opened presents with my aunt and uncle and cousins and my sister and brother-in-law.

Christmas morning we opened our stockings (Charlie's was full thanks to an eleventh hour trip to CVS to pick up more stocking stuffers). Charlie got a set of toy keys, a bottle (for daycare which starts in like a week oh my gosh!), some lotion and bath stuff, and some more Nuks. Ryan's favorites were the jelly beans and raisins and my favorites were the super high fiber chocolate chip cookies and leave in conditioner/shine enhancer. Ryan was so thoughtful with his Christmas presents. He even gave me a gift certificate for another haircut at the place I mentioned in a previous post!

We had Christmas dinner last night at my aunt and uncle's house. There were about sixteen people around the dining room table for beef tenderloin, green beans, sweet potatoes, carrots, and twice baked potatoes plus wine and dessert. What an amazing meal!! And great company too.

Today we went back to the Alamo Drafthouse to see "We Are Marshall" at the Baby Day showing. Charlie was perfect again, sleeping most of the time and then eating towards the end of the movie. Here's a picture:

Charlie at the Drafthouse

Saturday, December 23, 2006

County Comes to Town

Today my grandma and Charlie and I went to visit my sister, who is tiny and adorable and training for a marathon, at the Starbucks where she is a manager. Charlie looked sweet, in white footy pajamas with a print of multicolored animals. I looked like a Katrina refugee fresh off a twelve hour unairconditioned bus ride to Houston in baggy (yes! Baggy! Like sliding off my butt when I walked. Isn't it wonderful?) black maternity pants and a gray "Texas Tech Mechanical Engineering" t-shirt with two half-inch holes in the back. And did I mention that I forgot my hairbrush so I haven't exactly been keeping up with the maintenance?

The three of us walked into the store, Charlie in the stroller. My sister, K, came out and showed him around to all her employees. My grandma and I ordered drinks and visited with K and then left. I'm sure at this point that I still seemed pretty normal, if a little disheveled and pudgy. We pulled out of the parking lot and had driven about fifteen minutes down the road when I pulled into a bank to use the ATM to get some cash my my had asked for for K. My grandma said that we were supposed to give it to her today (different people get different details of the story). So back we went to Starbucks.

By this time we didn't have enough time to get home before Charlie's next feeding so Grandma and I decided to stay for lunch at K's store. After we split a (really really good) sandwich, some chips, and a cookie it was time for Charlie's lunch. I asked K if it was ok to feed him there and she said "Whatever, I mean it's the law right? (read: eech! You're going to take your boobs out in my store you freaky hippy?)" Anyway, he was hungry and by this point it was too cold to feed him in the car and it was raining. So he ate in Starbucks and it was no big deal. (Have I told you how heartbreakingly adorable he is? I just can't believe it sometimes) Before we left I changed him on the bathroom floor (ewww!) using a changing pad fashioned from the Lifestyles section of the newspaper and a few cloth diapers. I also washed his hands with a wipe afterwards just in case.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

The worst concievable movie experience you will ever have

Charlie and I are in Austin staying with my parents while Ryan stays in Lubbock to get some work done. We are having a nice time. Charlie is getting lots of attention and there is always an extra pair of hands around to help me. For example, as I write this Charlie is asleep in my Mom's arms. She is also asleep. So is my Grandma next to me. We had a big day driving to visit some cousins of my dad who live a couple of hours away for lunch. Tonight we gave him a bath in the sink. He loved it! Here's a picture:

Charlie in the Bath

After the bath I weighed him... Are you ready for this? He weighs FOURTEEN AND A HALF POUNDS! Guess the breastfeeding is going well! He's almost out of his first set of cloth diapers (the prefolds and Bummis covers. he grew out of the Kissaluvs a couple of weeks ago when the front of the diaper ceased to cover the most important part of his diaper area) which were estimated to last about six months. He turned seven weeks old today! I guess I should stop taking those human growth horomone shots they give cows.

On Tuesday Charlie and my sister and I went to "Baby Day" at the Alamo Drafthouse movie theater in Austin. The Drafthouse is so cool that I will never go to another movie theater again. It is a brewhouse and restaraunt in addition to being a movie theater. It was built in an old movie theater where I went on my first date (Forrest Gump, freshman year of high school. my mom drove to, his picked up). It's much nicer now, there are tables in front of every row of seats and waiters will bring you a bucket filled with longnecks. On Tuesdays they have Baby Day where babies are allowed in for the matinee show. The poster says "Conceivably the worst movie experience you'll ever have" and features a picture of a really angry looking baby.

It was fun walking into the theater with all the other wide eyed mamas eager for a couple hours of beer drinking and movie watching with their little ones (I didn't get a beer, mostly because I didn't want to spend the money. Only a little because it was Tuesday at noon). Charlie and I decided to see Borat. I think it's important for him to learn about other cultures. There were only two other families in Borat. They both had little babies. Probably the families with older babies were afraid their kids would learn new words from the movie, like "vageen".

The other cool thing about the Drafthouse is that it is the site of the start of my love affair with grilled cheese and tomato sandwiches. They do it right, with basil mayo and buffalo mozzerella (cheese that is out of my price range normally). Mmmmm mmm good. I chased it down with a couple of glasses of iced tea and a large piece of chocolate cake. All my favorites!

Borat was hysterical. I have never, ever laughed so hard at a movie in my life. I had to put Charlie back in the stroller because I kept waking him up laughing. It is wildly inappropriate and politically-incorrect so don't say I didn't warn you. Don't see it with any relatives you wouldn't talk about sex with for example. Or any relative of an older generation who you would one day like to look in the eye again. Charlie was a good boy. He slept a lot and when he woke up I fed him right in the theater. (Charlie got further than that first date guy did in that theater!) Taking my shirt part-way off in public is becoming shockingly easy. Looking forward to Mardi Gras!

Friday, December 15, 2006

Soundtrack for my Day

I'm making an effort to not keep the TV on all day long anymore because really, I don't want Charlie to be desensitized to the loud fighting rednecks on Divorce Court or to start making statements in the form of a question. This means that I must keep my iPod playing continuously to keep from totally losing my mind. It also means that Charlie gets to witness my incredibly bad singing and dancing which, yesterday on a couple of occaisions, caused him to stop fussing and stare at me in horror (Momma, we both know that's a rolling pin so stop using it as a microphone already, gaa!).

9:00 AM Feed baby and bathe babywitty-ish Today Show banter (I have to watch the Today Show, what am I a caveman?)

9:30 AM Load of laundry #1 (mine)
silence... GAA turn on the music QUICK!!

9:40-11:00 AM Straigtening guest room for my parents (including cramming all prepregnancy clothes into a box as I chastised myself for eating cookies for breakfast OMG these are NEVER going to fit again what the hell is the point. contemplate loading all offending clothes into car and taking them to Goodwill. decide Goodwill is a bad idea, would rather live in dream world where skirts that haven't fit since I was nineteen will one day magically fit again despite the wild changes my hips have gone through for a little while before throwing them all out the window of my moving car in a fit of rage)
iPod mix: Rent soundtrack, Flogging Molly

11:30 AM-12:30 PM Read paper at Coffee Shop, utter constant silent prayers that baby stays asleep
Coffee Shop Christmas mix (music plus caffeine plus "me-time" puts me in cheerful can-do holiday mood)

12:45-1:30 PM Pick up new birth control prescription (which could turn me into a scary bitch just in time for the holidays... decide to wait until Monday to begin taking prescription so my mom doesn't stage some kind of intervention regarding my wild behavior at Charlie's Christening on Sunday) and grocery shop (if buying egg nog, cheese, and vanilla frosting qualify as "groceries". Mmmm cheese and egg nog)
Christmas Muzak provided by grocery store, remain in chipper holiday mood until I get to the parking lot which... yeah. Let's not discuss that damn parking lot.

1:45-2:00 PM Load washer with load #2 (Ryan's), move load #1 to drier, fold diapers that have been sitting in drier for almost three days. (more silent "baby stay asleep" prayers)
Bruce Springsteen and Flogging Molly on iPod

2:00 PM to present Straighten up house for parent's and in-law's visit and brunch (Mother of God this place is disgusting. Who's the genius who thought it would be good to have people over? Oh right, that was me) on SundayBen Harper, Eric Peters, Santana, and Fiona Apple on iPod mix

I think Charlie's little growth spurt (read: FOUR LONG DAYS OF NEAR-CONSTANT HUNGER) is over thank goodness. So he *should* be pretty calm this weekend. Think happy thoughts stay calm babies are supposed to cry it's what they do he's really not bothering us I promise why don't you lay down for a few minutes while I hold him really some sleep will do you good are you sure you didn't start that new birth control yet because OW OW OW OW OW those are my eyes!!! Actually, he is starting to get kinda pudgy and really really really freakin' cute and OMG you can't imagine how big he is (tawk amongst ya'selves). Alright. Guess I should reward him for taking such a nice long carseat nap by giving him something to eat. Have a good weekend everyone!!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Ohh, he needs food!

Charlie is having a growth spurt. According to KellyMom (www.kellymom.com): "During a growth spurt, breastfed babies nurse more often than usual (sometimes as often as every hour) and often act fussier than usual." I would like to add to that description Wikipedia style by saying "During a growth spurt babies will have a period of sound sleep lasting twelve hours or more during which you take his vital signs every hour or so because no baby could possibly sleep this much. After the period of sleeping the baby will be awake for approximately forty-eight hours and his behavior will be marked by extreme crankiness, cat-like shrieking WHILE feeding, and an insatiable appetite."

So because I am slightly retarded, I did not realize that Charlie was having a growth spurt until this morning. Last night we took him to a concert and party at our church. The concert began at five and he was due to eat again around five thirty. When we arrived he was fussy and I had the sling so I went ahead and fed him in the church during the concert. After about ten minutes I tried to switch him to the other side and he began making this scary cat noise at the top of his lungs because he was so starving he couldn't possibly stop eating for thirty seconds while I moved him over. I got him out of there in a hurry. I spent the remainder of the concert standing in the back with Charlie in the sling frantically swaying back and forth and patting his bottom so he wouldn't start screaming again. He stayed calm long enough for me to eat a bowl of soup and some cookies at the party and then started up again. We got a picture with Santa and then left. Thank goodness Santa knew to have the pacifier ready. Here's the picture:


Charlie and Santa

Friday, December 8, 2006

My hair was driving me absolutely crazy. I had decided to grow it out because I thought it would look less like mom-hair and it got really long (and split-endy and tangly). But I was never meant to have long hair. I had a coupon from a friend for ten dollars off a cut from the girl she goes to at this place over by school I went to once a long time ago, so yesterday I made an appointment for seven and Ryan met me and took Charlie so I could get a haircut. I sort of remember this place being pretty nice and that the guy did a good job, but I was blown away by how great the whole experience was. After I sat in the chair and told H what I wanted done with my hair (shorter, much shorter, easy to take care of... like wash and go...I don't own a blow drier, no really...did I mention I have a one-month old? oh thank you! it's a boy... Charlie...yes, really no blow drier...because it makes my hair puff up like a tumbleweed), she offered me a selection of beverages. When she returned with my hot cup of Chai Tea she said "Wait here for a minute, my assistant will come and give you a head, neck, and shoulder massage." Oh my it was fantastic. (Normally I get my hair cut somewhere that costs like eleven dollars and usually I get them to wash my hair first and hope they use really hot water and are a little rough because it feels soooo good when people wash my hair for me. But this was better. Way better) After the head, neck, and shoulder massage they took me to the hair washing sink. The chair had a footrest. And a padded place for your neck. I was beginning to care less and less how much this haircut would cost. In fact I completely forgot that we live on a budget at all and decided that this should be a weekly event and what the hell while I'm here why don't you do my toenails too? So then, after about an hour of a level of luxury never before imagined by me, we got to the hair cutting part. H sat on a stool and very carefully cut the back of my hair to the right length. Then she made sure I was happy with it and cut the rest of my hair. She did neat things that make it curl under and look nice and applied a bunch of products (AND she told me she cut it so that I should be able to recreate the look just by washing it and letting it dry. No blow drier!) and somehow managed to totally defy my DNA and make my hair shiny and swingy and exactly how I've always wanted it to look. H will you marry me? Because I really need you to come live in my house and let me be your apprentice so I can look like this all the time. I gave her an embarrasingly huge tip (in lieu of washing her feet. This was an entirely new level of gratitude. Do you know what a head, neck, and shoulder rub means to someone who's spent the last month covered in breastmilk? I could weep with joy just thinking about it).

Alright, Ryan and I are going to watch "Click" with Adam Sandler and eat homemade-ish cookies. We just got back from the Candlelight festival at the Ranching Heritage Center. Charlie was perfect, slept in the sling the whole time (he was wrapped in about ten layers of fleece) and now he is asleep in his crib. Gooooooooooood boy!

Tuesday, December 5, 2006

I'm a freak

Today Charlie and I went to the coffee shop for a lovely hour and a half of reading and tea-drinking (and some serious carseat sleeping) followed by a walk around the neighborhood. My reading selections included American Baby and BAMS (a meteorology journal). Sometimes I feel like my old self and am eager to get back to working on my research and dissertation and I want to look for a high stress career oriented job for when I graduate and I FEEL like a student and all that crap. Then there are times when I'm pushing Charlie in his stroller or holding him on my chest as he sleeps when I think I can't possibly do any of that because how can I possibly leave him with strangers and I don't want to miss a single minute of his baby-ness and for that moment I don't care about finishing school or what anyone thinks or anything. Anyway I oscillate between those two points of view ten or twelve times every day which I'm sure you can imagine is a little hard for those around me to keep up with. It's also making it quite difficult for me to complete a cover letter that I am working on for another job in Austin. It goes something like this right now:

Dear Mr. Employer:
I am writing to express my interest in the blahblah position at Blahblah Company. I think you'll find my qualifications to be right in line with what you are seeking. I have five years of experience doing data analysis work with full-scale hurricane data along with excellent organizational skills. For example I can do a load of diapers, my laundry, and my husband's laundry all while breastfeeding my infant son. Of course sometimes the folding and sorting has to wait if the little angel falls asleep on my chest. Further, I think my strong work ethic and attention to detail would make me a great addition to Blahblah Company. Please don't hesitate to contact me with any questions.
Sincerely,
Becca Lastname

Oh yeah, and Ryan and I visited Charlie's childcare place on Monday (three days a week, remember?). It seemed very nice and they all loved Charlie and were nice to him and they a bunch of freakydeaky punks who get to play with Charlie all day while I sort through six years of hurricane data (whatever) to please an advisor who will NEVER BE SATISFIED (whatever. whatever). J? If you're reading this? My ONE MONTH OLD is easier to please than you!! On the plus side, Charlie will probably spend a lot less time sleeping in his carseat than he does now. And he'll learn better words there than he does at home with me (who overreacts to everything). Which is good because no one wants a baby screaming "WHY THE HELL CAN'T YOU USE YOUR TURN SIGNAL!" at Grandma's house. So, see? Childcare? Good. Very good.

Sunday, December 3, 2006

Antecdotes

Yesterday the three of us had lunch at Moe's with two of Ryan's friends from work. Charlie was really good and slept the whole time we were there. After we were done eating a woman who had been eating nearby with her three kids came over to ask about Charlie (her youngest looked close in age to Charlie). She asked the standard questions "How old is he? What is his name? How is he sleeping?" and then said "Could you watch mine for a second so I can take the older kids to the bathroom?" Um, sure, no problem. I guess when you have three kids the qualifications for a babysitter are less strict. Like if you have a baby that appears to be clean and fed, you can babysit my kid. Even if I don't know your name or anything about you. Crazy.

We took Charlie to church and Sunday School today and he did really well. He was quiet all through Sunday School except for his usual seagull noises that made everyone smile. I fed him in the nursing room and took him to church. He was pretty good but really squirmy. I was able to maintain my composure until during the Lord's Prayer when he took his hand off my necklace and jammed his fist right down my cleavage. When his face started getting all red and squishy Ryan took him out to change his diaper. Ryan made lots of friends in the nursery and was full of information when we had lunch afterwards.

At lunch we discussed who we wanted to pick for God Parents (yes we are slackers who procrastinate). At one point Ryan said "What about X and X?" I looked at him curiously. "What?" he said. I replied "They're both women. They'd be God Life-Partners not God Parents." Haha, we could have a very progressive baby with his God Mommies.