Tuesday, April 22, 2014

A hot tip

Being pregnant and having a baby brings with it tons of advice, mostly unsolicited.

The best advice I received while pregnant was from an ex's wife at my baby shower.  She told me to only read positive birth stories and to keep negativity out of the birthing suite.  I think it helped.  but who knows?

My second favorite piece of advice was for post-baby.  A friend whose son will be two this summer told me to smell my newborn baby's head as often as possible and just soak in the smell, because it fades pretty quickly.  And she was right.  I think he was only a month old when his head started smelling like head.  It reminded me of Garp in The World According to Garp when he would sneak in to his son's room and smell his breath while it was still sweet, before it soured.

So, after careful consideration, I have determined what my advice will be to new mothers.  Hopefully I will only give it when solicited, but who knows?  On the plus side, I have condensed it into two simple words: Pee first.  It doesn't matter what you are about to do or that "it will only take a second."  Chances are it will take way longer (because nearly everything takes three thousand times longer with a baby, particularly when a baby is crying).  I have to remind myself that Hamburglar won't die if I take an extra two minutes getting to him because I need to use the loo.  Really, it just means I will be able to better care for him when I'm not worried about peeing myself.  So, there you go.  Pee first, ladies and gentlemen.

I took Chumbercules swimming for the first time on Sunday.  There is a hot springs resort less than an hour from town that has geothermal pools and Sunday is family day.  So, the water was warm and there were other kids there and he seemed to really like it.  I want to go back again.

Also, I'd like to give a shout out to Amazon customer service.  I had the day off yesterday and decided it was time to put together the Radio Flyer walker wagon I had purchased about a month ago, and one of the pieces was broken!  I was very sad.  But, they are sending me a replacement and I have thirty days to send back the broken one (Radio Flyer doesn't just send replacement parts, I guess) and the lady at Amazon suggested I put the wagon together first before packaging the broken pieces up and returning them, just in case I'm missing something else or something else is broken.  She's a genius.

We also went to the mall where I purchased two new bras from Dillard's (that actually fit!) and we saw the Easter bunny.  And it got me thinking:

The Easter bunny is creepy and weird.  Why do kids sit on his lap?  I mean, with Santa there is a purpose.  You are telling him what you want for Christmas.  There is communication.  With the Easter bunny, you are just sitting on the lap of a person in a costume who says absolutely nothing.  And you can't read their facial expression.  What's under there?  Also, I bet the inside of that head smells really bad.

So, I've decided that there should be a leprechaun at the mall for St. Patrick's day.  And maybe Lady Liberty for the 4th of July.  And why not sit on the lap of a headless turkey for Thanksgiving?  The possibilities are limitless.

That is all.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Far away friends, baby essentials and homemade baby food

I have two friends having babies in June. One of them is having a girl and we are still in negotiations about the full dowry I will receive when Hamburglar marries the wee lass.

I have been involved in some pretty quick turn-around emails with the other friend. She has many of the same questions I had at about the same stage in my pregnancy. It all started with her asking, “Do you think a baby bouncer seat is necessary?”

Nearly seven months in, I still use my bouncy chair several times a day. I think, though, my favorite baby advice person says it best over at Pregnant Chicken in her post on the Barest Bare Essentials:
"I mean, sure, we could all forgo the toys and bouncy chairs but if you factor in all the money you'll have to spend on your mental breakdown, then you're still ahead of the game if you spring for them."
I remember shortly before delivery, I wondered things like, “Will I feel empty after the baby is born?” The answer is no. I did not feel empty. My stomach was all weird and my rib cage still hasn’t gone back to normal and I think my hips are permanently wider and I still don’t miss being pregnant. I admit, it’s much easier to take care of a baby on the inside than it is on the outside, but my arms were filled with an odd, alien-looking baby complete with pointy head.

And, honestly, I did not think he was particularly beautiful when he was born. He started getting cuter after about a week and now, in all his neck- and wrist-roll glory; with his beautiful head (which has rounded out quite nicely) I can admit that I am madly in love.

And now things are starting to get fun! Chumbercules is ever on the move now. He recently discovered that he can get into the kitchen/dining room and found the dog water bowl and had an excellent time playing with it. He isn't crawling in the traditional manner, but he army crawls like a pro and what he lacks in form, he makes up for in speed.

I’m having a problem not spending tons of money on darling outfits to clothe him in and fancy Aiden and Anais crib sheets and blankets and new toys every week… Realistically, he doesn't play with half of the toys he has. Part of that is because I never put them out for him. I read somewhere that, for social, mental and emotional development, all the toys in the world can’t make up for human interaction. And that’s what I remind myself of every time I hear about a new toy or see something I think he may like. Although, Gordman’s has some really cute Calvin Klein outfits and I may have bought two more of them over the weekend.

I really need to spend less time thinking about buying the baby toys and more time taking him on walks and to the park. He loves being in the stroller when I bring one (or both!) of the dogs on a walk with us. He kicks his legs and squeals in delight and tries to pet them.

As more of my friends back in Western Washington start families of their own, the more homesick I feel. I don’t really have any friends with kids out here in the middle of nowhere. I have friendly acquaintances and coworkers, but most of them have older kids. The idea of communal living is becoming more and more appealing to me. We can buy a big old chunk of land and put four houses on it and have a big ol’ garden in the middle and we can all pitch in and raise our kids and grow good food…

In other news, I've been super sick. I had mastitis and am on antibiotics. My fever got up to almost 104 on Friday. I started feeling a bit better on Saturday and took Chumbercules for a walk, then Sunday I started feeling shitty again. I think the fever and mastitis lowered my immune system enough to allow the plague that has been sweeping my work place to grab hold and I missed three days of work. I’m feeling better now, but being sick at home with an increasingly mobile baby is no fun. Mr. Adventure took care of our favorite baby in the mornings and allowed me to get some much needed rest, but it was still hard and extra exhausting. I think I've been pushing myself too hard trying to do everything.

I’m supposed to go to Seattle at the end of the month, but Mr. Adventure can’t come with me so I don’t know if I’m going to go. It will be nice to get away, but visiting always make me miss it more when I get back home.

And now: To work! I have three days to catch up on. And my desk is just as messy as I left it.

I almost forgot! I made my own organic brown rice cereal (by blending up some dry brown rice in the blender) and my own organic baby apple sauce (by slicing up an apple, cooking it in ¼ cup of water with the lid on, then throwing it in the blender). It took about ten minutes to do both. A friend bought me this book and it is amazing.

Okay. That’s all for realz.