Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Flybaby's new friend

My friend Star just had her baby boy this evening! If you have the chance to visit her blog and send her virtual hugs, I know she'd love it.

When Star's dear husband called me very early this morning (yes, I was awake, of course) to tell me they were on the way to the hospital (now that's a friend), I started thinking back to my own ride to the hospital. My own labor. My own hospital stay. I mean, after I said a prayer for Star first. Even though Flybaby isn't even three months old yet, here I am nursing him after getting the call, and reminiscing about those early days. Waxing nostalgic, as they say. Thinking about the good ol' days.

But they weren't so good.

There are many things I still regret about my labor, like how the HypBirth method didn't work for me, how I carried on (and loudly) for hours, how I waited until the last possible moment to get an epidural.

After coming home with Fly, I regret allowing so many people to suck up my time to the point JP and I were eating dinner at 10 p.m. the first two nights we were home. Ten people came to visit the day after we brought Fly home! Why was I entertaining them?! Why did they get a seat in the family room, and not me?!

I regret doing too much too soon after Flybaby's birth. I didn't want to appear weak or needy. But now I wish I had rested more. To heck with the dirty floors and running out of milk I don't drink.

I regret having such a hard time breastfeeding.

But there's nothing that I can change. Don't most of us do that? We wish we could go back in time and fix things. We realize it's too late for "should-haves." All we can do is the best we can, here in the moment.

So I try to make each day the best for Flybaby, JP and me. Because this mama doesn't need to live with more regrets -- or pass them on to him.

And I hope that's what Star and her family -- and any other new mamas reading this -- will take to heart.

And a Happy Thanksgiving to you, too

Who pulls a baby out of his mother's arms without warning, without saying anything?!

A grandmother, that's who.

JP's mother, MM.

On Thanksgiving.

At our house.

When I complain about it to JP, disregarding the fact his dad is standing right there, his dad says, "That's how it works."

"No, there's nothing about that that works," I say hotly.

Then MM takes over the job of splitting up the leftovers for everyone after I already told everyone to help themselves and take what they wanted.

Then she answers for me when JP's aunt asks a question.

I called the next night and told the answering machine they shouldn't come over to watch Flybaby on Saturday as we had planned.

JP's parents keep saying they want to "help," but what I really need from them -- what our new little family needs -- is their respect. Without their respect, I told JP, how can I entrust them with Flybaby?

I don't like to get angry at family members. Especially when I consider them guests at my house. And when it's a holiday.

After almost a week, though, I think I'm almost over it.

Ah, holiday memories.

On a happier note, JP, Fly and I spent the weekend pretending we were on vacation. We didn't do anything we were "supposed" to do. We ate out. (OK, we ate some Thanksgiving leftovers, too.) We played like tourists in our own town. I highly recommend it. It was fun and cheaper than going away.

Although maybe that's what we should have done....

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Thanksgiving blessings

Before this year, JP and I already had so much to be thankful for. Each other. Family and friends. Our four cats and four turtles. Our education. Jobs. A home to live in. Reliable transportation. Good times.

And now we have Flybaby. We are so grateful that he's happy and healthy -- right after he was born, I called him "the deluxe model." All the complaints I may have about my awkwardness as a mother or our crazy relatives or my lack of sleep don't seem to make a difference -- that is, they don't outweigh the wonderfulness of having Flybaby in our lives.

Blogging regularly this year and reading about others' lives -- cybergettingtoknowyou -- has also been great. If you read this, take that! Poof! You're a blessing.

Getting ready for Thanksgiving is real different this year. Despite Fly wanting to be held all the time, I feel quite proud of myself for my accomplishments already this morning. Before 11 a.m., I fed Flybaby twice and changed him twice, got dressed (including makeup and brushing my hair!), folded a load of laundry, put a clean tablecloth on the table along with some candles and a centerpiece, made a batch of cinnamon ice cream, washed two quarts of mushrooms, checked my personal e-mail, fed the cats and even managed to eat breakfast myself. Multitasking, thy name is mother!

There's still a lot to be done. But if anyone who comes over for Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow makes a single comment about something being left out, undone or not quite up to par, I just might have to slug 'em.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Spit-up for sale

This is an actual screen capture from Google.

eBay's ad campaign is that you can find "it" on eBay. Apparently, you can also find "spit" on eBay. Really, don't you think eBay has gone too far?

Does it make you wonder if the spit-up is new or used?

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Cranky redux

Wow, yesterday I "cranked it up" and got a lot of interesting comments, so I thought I should address some of them.

First, the squirrel stayed on the bookshelf in the dining room for hours. Poor little guy.

Then JP came home and worked his squirrel-whisperer magic and got the little guy to go out the window you can see in the picture.

Strangely enough, now there is soot -- and blood -- to clean up on various furnishings around the house. Yeah, that's what I needed right before Thanksgiving.

Next, in his words, "holey moley," the co-founder of gdiapers commented on how I couldn't flush them. I'm so impressed, Jason. Thanks for stopping by. For the record, when I returned to the scene and tried to flush again, the gdiapers didn't cause a problem. So maybe I was having a temporary low-water-pressure problem? Because in all fairness, I should note this was the first time having any problems flushing a gdiaper. If you've never heard of gdiapers, check them out. The thing I like about them is you can flush them, so there's no lingering smell. But of course, I also like them because they're more environmentally friendly than disposable diapers. Which leads me to....

The book I claim to have published. To protect the innocent and not-so-innocent people who populate my blog, I can't really give away the title. Or at least, for the moment, I don't feel like "coming out" in the blogosphere. I hope you'll forgive me. But I will say my book was published by a university press, and it's about nature travel/ecotourism. Thanks for asking, Scribbit, and someday I really hope to do some nature travel where you live in Alaska. It's been a longtime dream of mine and JP's.

Ah. And now my short non-crying window of opportunity to do something with both hands has ended.... Off to care for Flybaby, have a great weekend!

Friday, November 17, 2006

A bloggy bit of this, a cranky bit of that...breasts and grandmas and squirrels...

1. Should I blog about how angry I am that a woman was kicked off a flight just because she was breastfeeding? Well, so many other bloggers have already written about that, and I don't think I could add much to the outrage.

I might add, lemme nurse! Lemme at 'em, lemme at 'em! I want to go to a nurse-in. Except, as regular readers know, I am really bad at it. But I am not going to go through what I've just gone through to get the hang of nursing for someone to push me around.

But I just feel like protesting. ("We are mothers, we nurse, get used to it!") Did you ever feel that way?

2. Maybe it's because I'm so cranky lately -- is that what I should blog about? What with all of Flybaby's crying for no reason, and my lack of sleep. Now he wants to be held all the time. People, I can hardly eat or pee anymore. He even wants to sleep in my arms, which is sweet but probably a bad thing to allow -- he's around 13 pounds, and my back and upper chest muscles are killing me. So I put him down to sleep again and again until it finally sticks with him. I really don't know what's gotten into him. I started Fly off with good habits and some semblance of a routine -- and now he appears to be turning the tables on me. (I am taking a rare nap time to blog. Oh, and to unclog the toilet that got stuck with gdiapers.)

So JP and a friend had to remind me of the blessings we have. I used to be the cheerful, encouraging one. Now others have to encourage me to think positively -- and about my own child! So I feel ashamed -- and that makes more cranky, gah! :)

3. I'm also cranky because I can't seem to go anywhere with Flybaby without getting stopped by a grandma. Maybe I should blog about that. Grandmas of the world: I love you. You're great. I loved my own grandmas. But everywhere I go in public takes 10 to 15 minutes longer -- minutes I don't have to spare -- because you stop to ogle my baby and ask me questions about him. But, grandmas, you're so sweet that I give in. I oblige. So coo and smile while my arms fall off from holding Fly in his car carrier, and while my ice cream / milk / fish goes bad, and while my careful routine for my baby goes out the window. Then I say I have to get going, and 20 steps later, someone else stops me. After that, I pretend not to see any other grandmas around. (Walk faster! Maybe I can outpace her!)

4. Or maybe I could blog about how there is a squirrel inside my house. Right now. Last year after one came down the chimney for the third time since living in our home, I begged JP to put a screen or something on top of the chimney -- and to cut those branches back. Now, I have a crying baby in one room and a confused, frightened squirrel in another, literally climbing the walls -- and I hope he stays there. As one friend put it, squirrels are just rats in cute outfits. My dining room chandelier is no place for a squirrel. I tried to use a broom to gently move him toward the open front door, but he just bonked his head into the window -- and one of the cats found the open door too tempting, so I shut it and gave up.

So, in review:

I'm cranky over the public's disrespect of nursing mothers.
I'm cranky over lack of sleep and lots of Flybaby's crying.
I'm cranky over people hijacking my time to moon over my baby.
I'm cranky because there is a wild animal on top of the bookcase in my dining room.
I'm just plain cranky.

Can anyone say TGIF? Wait -- does that really apply anymore?

And so I go back to counting my blessings, because it really does put things in perspective.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

The crying game

Actually, there's no game, no fun, about it. Crying is trying.

Yesterday on Oprah (yes, I admit to watching her show sometimes, usually while nursing), a woman who claims to know the secret language of babies pointed out the different sounds of cries babies make, and what they mean.

This is really something, but it might be too late for me. The expert said the sounds are universal around the world but good only up to three months. Flybaby is almost there -- and while I think I can tell his different cries apart, they don't match what the expert claims.

Before Flybaby came along, I knew babies cried. My younger brother was colicky. You hear babies crying in public. You read the books that tell you crying is the way babies communicate.

But I still wasn't prepared for the crying. The length of the crying. The pitch of the crying. The volume of the crying. The fact crying can happen any time of the day or night. And Fly doesn't even have colic.

The thing that gets me about his crying is JP and I are doing everything we can to take the best care of him and make him happy. Flybaby can be well-rested, fed, changed, clean and comfortable, and he still might cry. And I'm like, "Why are you so unhappy? You have everything you could ever hope for, and more! You should be the happiest baby in the world!" When Fly cries loudly, JP says he can't even think.

And I know he's just trying to communicate. But sometimes -- er, like right now, waking up from his nap -- the crying, oh the crying, is hard for a diligent mama to hear.

Update: On the plus side, when Flybaby is crying, it's a good way to get off the phone with talkative relatives.

And, I'm glad to be the one who can comfort him.


Sunday, November 12, 2006

"If only they could just stay little"

Flybaby has already grown out of most of his newborn clothes! And diapers!



Excuse to go shopping....

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Just like potato chips

Babies are addicting! Now that I have Flybaby, I -- I'm almost afraid to write or speak the words -- I ... I think I'd like another child.

Not right away, see.

And I may change my mind when Flybaby starts throwing public tantrums and flushing the cat down the toilet and painting on the walls and locking himself in the bathroom and doing all those other wonderfully embarrasing toddler things.

But Fly is so amazing. And it's so nice to have a baby to cuddle. In spite of the pregnancy fatigue and acid reflux, the pain of labor and my clumsy, painful attempts at continuing to breastfeed Flybaby, it would be nice to give him a sibling so he's not alone when JP and I are gone.

I really thought if I ever had a child, it would be just one. But now, now....

If I do try for another child in a couple of years, I just might go on a procreation vacation. I would definitely spring for a pregnancy body pillow to help me sleep better at night. I would try to gain less weight. I might have fancy custom M&Ms at my baby shower/welcome baby #2 party.

The good thing about being pregnant again and having another baby is that, other than those things I just mentioned, I have all the clothes and gear already! Might as well put it to good use....

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Civic doo-dy

Flybaby is two months old today!

He celebrated by going to vote:

Neither a Democrat nor a Republican, Fly votes the increasingly popular Pirate party:

(And apparently, voting is tiring.)

Monday, November 06, 2006

Wordless, um, Sunday

2:37 a.m.

Me: Mmh.
Me: Mmm?
JP: Mmm.
Me: MMmm! MMmm!
JP: Mmh. Hmh. Mmh....
Me: Mmmm....

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Here and gone

Every time I see a weed growing out of a crack in the pavement or a tree growing out of someone's roof, I think, "Life is so tenacious. And you never know where life will spring up."

But it's easy to crush that weed and cut down that tree.

Life is tenacious, but it's also delicate.

S-i-l Sabee lost her baby this week. She was waiting to tell everyone she was expecting because she didn't want to take away the joy and excitement of Flybaby's arrival. But now this....

I wanted to send flowers, but MM said no flowers. How do you comfort someone who will never meet her child? A voicemail, left by JP, just doesn't seem to cut it.