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Monthly Archives: February 2011

Beach Baby.

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After many years of living in this lovely city, I have finally learned to love the beach. I’m from the Mountains originally, and I prefer freshwater rivers and lakes to the salty sea. No matter how hard you try, sand gets EVERYWHERE and when you come out of the ocean you are covered in a film of salt. Whereas if you go for a swim in the river, you emerge feeling crisp and clean. But, as I said, I have learned to love the beach, for which my husband is very grateful.

Chris was born in England, but for all intensive purposes he is an American. He grew up here and besides the fact that he calls the hose a “hose pipe” there are few traces of his homeland etched into his persona. He loves the beach and would gladly spend every minute of the weekend hanging out there.

Growing up in a beach community, I’m sure Emmett will become a beach lover as well. I imagine he might even take up surfing, or that fun new sport where you stand on the surfboard and paddle. But for all his many months (6), we had never taken him to the beach and put his feet in the water. It just seems like such a production to me, too much equipment needed, too much stress. Better to just go downtown and buy some new clothes.

But last weekend, Chris finally wore me down and we threw a blanket in the car and headed to the beach. I’m glad we did, because, aside from one minor bee incident, we had such a nice time and it was so fun introducing Emmett to the waves.

Emmett puts his feet in the sand for the first time. And in about 30 seconds, I step on a bee.

I’m keeping my foot in the water to numb the pain from the sting. I have no idea why I am smiling.

Monkeyface loving the beach.

Monkeyface loving his Daddy.

Monkeyface being too cool for school in his shades.

6 Months.

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My baby is 6 months old today.

6 Months ago I was in the hospital: confused and scared, elated and so in love. The first few months were a blur of no sleep, swollen breasts, snuggles, postpartum madness, tears and love. It definitely hasn’t all been lovely baby powder smells, baby coos and cuddles. The lows have been low, but the highs have been so unbelievably high.

No matter how many times you hear, “It all goes by so fast!” you can’t fully appreciate the truth behind this statement until you have a baby. Because one day you wake up and your tiny newborn is now practically a little boy. I’m scared to death that if I blink for too long, when I open my eyes he will already be in college.

I love this little baby, my baby, my son, my Monkeyface. I can’t wait to watch him grow up, watch him run down the hallway and say his first word (which will no doubt be Mama).

I only hope time will be kind and slow down, at least every now and then.

I’m done with baby books.

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Alison- “I can’t take you seriously! You didn’t even read the baby books.”
Ben- “I didn’t read the baby books! What’s gonna happen? How did anyone ever give birth without a baby book?! That’s right, the ancient Egyptians fucking engraved ‘What to Expect When You’re Expecting’ on the pyramid walls! I forgot about that! Who gives a flying fuck about the baby books?”

-Knocked Up

For those who don’t know me very well, I am a planner extraordinaire. If planning were an Olympic sport, I would be the Michael Phelps of planning. In every area of my life, I take great pains to research, brainstorm, and prepare before making any major change.

Because of this personality trait/obsessive need for control, things in my life usually run smoothly. My wedding was, in my biased opinion, gorgeous and exactly on time. I spent years researching real estate in our city, saving, watching, waiting, until we finally found and bought our dream house.

When we finally decided, over a meatball sandwich at our favorite pizza joint, that we were ready to have a baby, I was in my element. I charted my cycles for almost a year. I took my prenatal vitamins. I read through “Taking Charge of Your Fertility”.

When I got pregnant, one of the first things I did was buy more books. I frequented Baby Center and The Bump, learning as much as I could about pregnancy, labor, and birth. Sure, I had moments where I felt completely overwhelmed and terrified, but for the most part, I felt I was as prepared.

And then it happened. The day that made me realize that I am no longer in control of my body, let alone by life. Emmett was born.

I had a really hard time adapting to Motherhood, which I think might come as a surprise for some people. On the outside I seem patient, easygoing, someone who would surely be a natural with babies. Inside I was a mess of insecurity, fear, resentment, anger and exhaustion.

Not knowing what to do, I fell back on what I know. I subscribed to Parents magazine, I bought “What to Expect the First Year”, and I read my weekly email from Baby Center on baby development.

But none of this helped; actually it made me feel worse. I felt overwhelmed with all the things I am doing “wrong” (like letting Emmett nurse back to sleep at night after he wakes up crying) or things I feel like I should be doing (like make Emmett organic homemade baby food). For the first time in my life, being responsible and planning ahead have failed me.

So, I’ve stopped reading baby books. I don’t need the self imposed guilt and feelings of inadequacy that this overwhelming amount information brings.

Instead I’m (slowly) learning to trust my instincts. Emmett is happy. He is (mostly) healthy. Above all, he is LOVED.

And if the Beatles have taught me one thing, it’s that love is all you need.

My precious Monkeyface.

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After creating a list of pros and cons, Chris & I recently made a major decision: we’re pulling Emmett out of daycare & will be hiring a Nanny. This situation recently presented itself to us when another set of parents at his daycare came to us with the idea of sharing a Nanny with their 4 month old daughter.

Not only will Emmett get far more attention and love, but we’re also hoping that this will cut back on the germs he’ll be bringing home and sharing with us.

As it turns out, our future Nanny, Caley of Make Your Mark Photography, is not only pure sweetness, but also an amazing photographer! Check out the photos she took of Emmett while she babysat last week:

I can eat?

Happy baby.

Where he got the nickname Monkeyface, Exhibit A.

Want to eat.

Must.not.put.baby.in.mouth.

I want to nom those feet SO bad!

I received no compensation for this review other than a few amazing pics taken by this truley gifted photographer.

Sweet, sweet Saturday.

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Weekly family cuddle session in bed. My boys wrestled. The brave and noble Sir Emmett slew (with help from his page, Daddy) the terrifying, congested and coughing Momma Dragon.

Now little Monkeyface is playing in his jumperoo. Husband is making me a latte. Cinnamon rolls are in the oven.

My Saturday is shaping up to be the BEST DAY EVER.

Squooshy Cheeks.

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Emmett just woke up from a nap. He’s still limp with sleep and cuddled up next to me on the couch. One arm has escaped my failed attempt at swaddling, his cheeks are flushed and his eyes slightly glazed over. I’m holding him close, his chubby cheek smooshed up against mine. So soft. So squishy. Pure, sweet baby.

I inhale deeply through my nose, taking in that heavenly baby scent that clings to his silky soft baby skin. I nuzzle my face against the top of his head, his peach fuzz tickles my lips. I spend another minute breathing in his magical baby scent, savoring this moment, willing time to stop, wishing Emmett could stay my baby forever.

If I could eat him whole, I would. I would put him in my mouth and swallow him up. He lived in my belly for 9 months; I don’t think he’d mind making that his home again.

I know that moments like this will not last forever. Soon he will be a big boy, running around, building lego castles with his Daddy, and pushing me away when I try snuggling him like this.

Now he’s awake and sitting next to me on the couch, farting up a storm and cracking up at his bodily functions. He’s all boy, this one.

Perspective.

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I’ve been having a run of bad days recently. Emmett and I have both been sick for about 2 weeks now. Poor baby boy now has an ear infection and has been feverish all week. He wakes up screaming almost every hour of the night, searching for some sort of relief, settling for a pacifier and some cuddles from Mom.

So much sickness and so little sleep is taking its toll on me. I feel worn out, hollow, and sometimes very much alone.

Yesterday I got a voicemail from my Mom, letting me know that there had been a shooting at my elementary school and the Principal, my former Jr. High gym teacher, was killed. And suddenly, my problems didn’t seem so bad.

There are three girls out there who no longer have a father, a wife who no longer has a husband.

Today I feel even worse than yesterday. My nose feels like it’s cemented shut, my head is pounding, I’m even more tired than yesterday. Emmett is on Day 4 of the never ending fever, fussy and not eating very well, which is beyond frustrating.

But I have my husband. I have my family. My cold will go away, but they will still be here. Sometimes it takes a terrible tragedy to make you realize what’s important.