Monday, March 30, 2009

Sleeping Baby, Wistful Mommy

Hi friends,

I know sometimes I'm sarcastic and silly, but at the moment I'm feeling incredibly sentimental (very unusual), so be warned. Today Amy is sleeping in her crib for the first time. Man, I'm going to cry just thinking about it! Since she was born, she has been sleeping in a bassinet in our bedroom, but, in addition to outgrowing the little bed, she is getting to be a rather noisy sleeper. Unfortunately, I am a light sleeper, so for the last few days I have been waking up every few hours to false alarms like flailing arms and loud thumb-sucking. I have enough trouble sleeping through Brett's snoring.

I know it's time for sleeping mommy and sleeping baby to be separated by a wall, but it is just so sad! I can't even explain what's sad about it. Mommy feelings are so overwhelming. I think I'm upset because (I can't believe I'm saying this) she doesn't need me as much anymore. While she used to need me every two hours, now she can go a whole seven or eight without thinking about me at all. My little baby is growing up. It is a very strange feeling, and I'm not sure how to handle it. It's not like she's going off to college or anything--she's just moving into her crib for crying outloud! But somehow, this is a tough milestone for me. I love that little girl, and I'll miss having her only a few feet away at night. I guess I'm glad that life moves us forward when we might push the pause button forever.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

E-mail "Spies"

Dear invisible friends,

Today I bring to you a complaint, a nagging sense of uneasiness, an overwhelming terror that an unseeable something is going to capture us all. Wait! Don't sell the farm and head to your bomb shelter just yet. The force I'm talking about is one you may not be able to escape: personalized e-mail advertising. Nothing is safe anymore!!! When I open my g-mail account, somehow the adds in the margins mimic the subject of the e-mails I am reading. When my mom writes to me about Amy's ENT appointment, suddenly an add for an ENT appears. When I receive an e-mail congratulating me on Amy's first full night's sleep, the adds are about a newborn sleeping system. The words "baby" and "newborn" weren't even in the e-mail! Creepy.

However, I must admit that the e-mail scanning program--at least I hope it's a program--is not incredibly intelligent, since the ENT advertised practices in Boise, Idaho, and Amy had just reached the point where a newborn sleep system was useless. Still, how do they do that??? It's unnerving. Oh well. I suppose there's nothing we can do about it--unless we want to actually pay for e-mail service. Ha!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

I Am Rockwellesque

Hi bloggy,

So today I took baby Amy out for a walk with my friend and her two kids (ages one and three). As we were walking along the lovely streets of my run-down neighborhood (I must assure that "lovely" and "run-down" can indeed coexist. I am in love with run-down places. There are so many unique things to look at!), a man with sunglasses and longish curly hair stopped us. At first I was a little nervous because he took off his sunglasses to get a better look at us and said "Heeeeeeeeeeeeey..." Don't worry. As it turned out, he wasn't hitting on us.

I'm sure our confusion prompted him to explain. "I love to see this!" Obviously that didn't exactly restore my comfort zone, and I had almost labeled him what my sisters and I call a "creeper" when he explained that seeing a mommy with one kid and a mommy with two kids out for a walk was a great thing to see. "That guy Rockwell would love it!" What an interesting compliment!

It's nice to know that someone still thinks moms are cool. I'm sure there are a lot of people out there who do, but as a mom, you don't see them very often because--amazingly enough--you're with your kid 24/7. Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that I am a work of art.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Chad and Frog Girl


Hello little blog friends. You have been sorely neglected, I know. I started watching TV on DVD in my "spare" time, so writing has been on the back burner. In fact, you are enjoying my presence tonight because of an unlikely coincidence--I just finished season two of the show I've been watching and don't want to start the next one until Monday, and, though I planned to have all of my laundry done by 11:00 tonight, one of the four dryers I was using didn't work and I had to put the soggy load in for another spin. So here I am with 30 minutes to kill.

My daughter Amy is getting to be quite grown up. She has started to look at the pictures in books if the pages are turned fairly rapidly (and constantly), and she loves to watch the faces of people who are talking to her. She enjoys the latter activity so much that she often cries if there is no face to observe. By way of illustration, I would like to share with you our Return from Nogales Adventure (yes, it was that big). We left Grandma and Grandpa Giles' house around 7:45, and five minutes later Baby Amy was screaming so loudly that Brett and I could only communicate when she paused to breathe. We finally managed to decide to pull over in a grocery store parking lot so I could feed Amy like I should have done at the Giles' house (if hearing about emergency feeding is not your cup of tea, please know that it is not mine either).

After little Amy was satisfied, we were back on the road, but by the time we made it from the grocery store to the freeway, the volume of her cries was, if possible, even louder than before we had stopped. I tried to talk to her, sing to her, and give her her pacifier (can't they make a safe front-facing infant seat?), but to no avail. After ten minutes (primarily because my arm was going numb), I decided I would just out-wait her. Ten minutes later I had a headache and begged Brett to pull over again-- it must have been meant to be because a rest area instantly appeared. I got out of the passenger's seat, marched to the rear door, and plopped myself down next to my sobbing bundle of joy. I switched the rear light to "on" and shut the door. Almost as soon as I started talking to Amy and explaining why we had stopped and what I would require to continue moving toward home (a cessation of her vocal assault), she fell silent, her bright eyes focused on my face.

We had a pretty nice trip after that--though I stayed in the back and the rear light was on the whole way (does anyone know if that's really illegal or dangerous?). I started with a story about a kid named Chad and his adventures in the park when he wandered away from his mom (there was a treasure "chess," a bully with French fries feeding some pigeons, a dog he found and named "Dirt," and "Frog Girl"--the alleged owner of said Dirt), and then I told her one of my versions of the three little pigs (the one where I give the weight and personalities of each of the pigs and comment on the unbelievability of the wolf's escape from the chimney). The storytelling was followed by singing every song I could remember from my time working day care and then by singing "I'm tired of singing baby songs" to the tune of the songs I had just sung--incidentally I just realized that that line would fit perfectly into "Camptown Races," a song I failed to sing tonight. Finally we pulled into our parking lot, and I carried my happy baby home.

So do they have car night lights? Human face projectors? I guess I should just be grateful that I have a captive audience. I do love telling stories--especially when I can say whatever I want (within reason) because Amy can't understand me yet. I also love Amy. So I guess what I'm trying to say is that I had a really great time tonight (even though I was incredibly car sick), and I can't wait to see what happens next in the adventures of Chad and Frog Girl.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

War Dream

Dear invisible friends,

If you don't really know me, you probably don't know anything about my dreams. They are vivid and often scare me. As a child I would wake up with a shriek or a gasp. As an adult I wake up disoriented and try to lie still as my brain works out who and where I am and what did and did not happen. Last night's dream was particularly bizarre, and it was also strangely thought-provoking.

It was night time (it usually is in my nightmares). The light I could see was coming from torches. I was part of an army getting ready for a battle. Someone was giving us instructions about the upcoming event, and suddenly I was filled with panic. As I held my axe (for some reason I was dreaming of a war with more primitive weapons), I started imagining scenes of death. Blood was everywhere, people I loved were getting hurt, and I was just standing there. I, my dream-self, tried to imagine myself fighting back, but I couldn't--the terror was too great. I let my weapon fall to my side. They could kill me. They could hurt me. I didn't want to go to war. I was just too scared.

This is the second of this type of dream I've had. In the other one, I was in a more modern war, and I stayed at the base camp while everyone else went out to fight. People kept dragging my wounded family members back to me, but I never left the place where I crouched in the dirt. I was paralyzed by fear.

My dream self hates pain. My real self hates pain too, as I learned when I gave birth, without an epideral, to my daughter Amy. I wish I could say these dreams represent how strongly I am repulsed by the idea of war, but I think they really show how afraid I am that if something bad ever happens to me, I will be too scared to do the right thing--too scared to save my family, my neighbors, my country, etc. These dreams make me wake up ashamed of myself. I don't think I ever want to find out what I'm really made of, but if I'm ever in such a crisis, I sincerely hope I prove to be more courageous than I am in my dreams.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

My Regular Day

Dear invisible friends,

I suppose you can't be called a "blogger" if your blog has one measly entry, so here I am again.

Things have calmed down quite a bit--I fortunately only have a truly terrible day every once in a while. In fact, things have been so nice that this post is doomed to boredom. No one likes reading happy things. For example, a couple weeks ago I was telling a story to my baby at bedtime, and my 13-year-old sister Lindsay was listening in. After five minutes or so of a happy story about a happy princess and her (also happy) six pet rats, Lindsay voiced a complaint: "Where's the problem? A story has to have conflict." Amused, I invented some "conflict"--dragon drag racing, an evil princess, even more evil parents of the neighboring prince, etc. Then Lindsay was satisfied--baby Amy was indifferent to both styles of narration. Anyway, as there has been little conflict (at least share-with-the-whole-world-on-your-blog conflict), you, like Lindsay, will most likely find yourselves wishing you were reading something with a little more spice.

The major happening in my life at present is adjusting to having an "awake" baby. I was finally mastering the challenge of sleeping in miniscule chunks at night--two to three hours at a time-- and getting things done while the baby slept during the day. Well what do you do when the baby doesn't sleep during the day?!? Now she only takes two naps and only for an hour or two at a time (I imagine the naps will only get shorter from this point on). It has been interesting, but somehow we'll manage. Today I figured out how to fold laundry with Amy in tow by wrapping her in the crook of one arm and pinning her to my side with my wrist so as to leave both hands "free." To do the dishes I tie Amy (and her pacifier) to my stomach and work new muscles as I scrub plates even further from myself than I did when I was pregnant. Needless to say, not much is getting done around here. I folded half the clothes and washed half the dishes today, and honestly, I don't know where the rest of the day went. I taught a piano lesson and made a salad for dinner, which together took about an hour, and ate breakfast (15 minutes) and lunch (30 minutes). Oh, and I took a shower and got out of my pajamas (a blessed 30 minutes)! I also took a wonderful one-hour nap. How much time does that leave between 8:30 and 5:00? About five hours! If one and a half of those were spent on the laundry and dishes I mentioned, that means three and a half hours were spent....??? Having a good time, you ask? Well, in a manner of speaking. I suppose those hours were spent taking care of the baby. :) She does eat a lot. And she is really cute and fun to play with. She's been babbling some these days, which is great. I think it's the best part of being a mom so far. I love hearing her "talk." I guess no time is "wasted," though it is really an eye-opener to look at the way I spend my day. We didn't even go on a walk today--you can imagine how "unproductive" those days are.

So welcome to my regular day. Don't worry too much. Now that I've laid it out for you once, I'll refrain from doing it again--until something changes. :) Happy Tuesday.