Friday, July 30, 2010

First Date

Yes, you read that correctly! We went on our first date! No, no, not our first date ever (that was nearly eight years ago) but our first date since the baby came. In honor of our anniversary, we took the baby to Grandma's house, and left her there for more than TWO hours! Then we snuck off to a restaurant on the waterfront and watched the boats and the sunset.

I think we even looked more-or-less normal since our hair was combed and we did not have any spit-up stains in any obvious places. M. actually looked quite handsome in his white button-down with the sleeves rolled up to the elbows. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that we haven't forgotten how to talk about things other than our daughter.

By the time we got back from our outing, the baby had eaten, gone for a walk, cried a bit, had several changes, put on PJ's, and enjoyed her own private music show. She did not even seem to notice our return because she was too busy watching Mr. D. play. I do believe a good time was had by all.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Two Years Married

What a difference a couple of years can make! Not only are we still married, but now we have our own sweet little Delphinium as well. I could not ask for anything better. M remains the best friend and husband a girl could have, and now he is Super Dad as well. Happy anniversary to my dear husband. May we please have 70 or 80 more?

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Ten Things That Wake Baby

10. My creaking bones (I'm not kidding)
9. Creaking floor boards
8. Kids playing in the street
7. Crows hopping around on our roof
6. Diaper moments ('nough said)
5. The garbage truck
4. The recycling truck
3. The yard waste truck
2. Lawn mowers
1. The cat (who does it on purpose to get back at me)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Mommy Movies

One of the challenges of having a baby is that there are things you used to enjoy in your old life that you can no longer do. Babysitters are all well and good, but they require preparation, money, and the willingness to leave your baby. Therefore, I love, love, love the Mommy Movies at Lincoln Square Cinemas.

Mommy movies are every Thursday at 10am in Bellevue. They usually show three current-run movies that appeal to mommy-aged people not little kids. The lights are left up and the sound is turned down so that babies are not disturbed and their parents can still see to tend them. Added to that the free snack delivery from the concession stand, and you have a wonderful morning out for moms and dads. Of course babies do occasionally cry during these movies, and parents can be seen pacing the aisles from time to time. However, when you have one of your own it really doesn't bother you at all. Hooray for outings with baby! Hooray for maternal sanity! Hooray for Lincoln Square Cinemas!

Friday, July 16, 2010

The Art of Sleep: All Through the Night

She did it! Oh she did it! She slept through the night without feeding or changing! She went down around 11pm and did not wake up again until 7:15! Of course I kept waking up to check that she was okay, but I didn't have to do anything for her because she was STILL ASLEEP! I know, I know this does not mean she will do it again any time soon, but it is such a thrill just to know it's possible. MY baby slept through the night!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

All Joy and No Fun

A few weeks ago, this article went pinging around FB like mad. All the parents, new and experienced, seemed excited about it. While it is a long read for an article, I had no trouble getting through. The main theme is about how parenting can be simultaneously the best thing going and the hardest job ever. Study after study finds that parents are stressed, bored, exhausted and otherwise wrung out by their kids, so why, the authors ask, do people keep signing up for the job? The answer may lie in your definition of happiness. To paraphrase on great quote from the article: Parenting is the greatest source of joy in the world, but it turns all your other sources of joy to shit. Seems a bit strong to me, but I do see the point.

What interested me most about the passing around of the article was the subtle (or not so subtle) admission among friends that we aren't always completely blissful as parents. There's not a day (or an hour?) that goes by where I don't think how lucky I am to have Delphinium, but that doesn't mean I don't miss my freedom and peace sometimes. In the end, I do agree with this author that the love and sense of purpose are entirely worth the price.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Art of Sleep: Three Months

Sleep is the big topic of conversation around our house these days. This is nothing new since we've been chasing after it, cursing the lack of it, and trying to be more comfortable with it since Delphinium was born. However, recently something exciting has occurred. This milestone was when the baby fell asleep in her swing a few days ago.

It was a complete surprise. I'm so used to soothing her down with nursing or rocking or bouncing that I had no expectation of her falling asleep on her own. Yet there she was, snoozing away as happy as can be. In an instant I was well and truly conflicted. On the one hand, I was thrilled by her development and what this might mean for the ease of future naps. On the other hand she did it without me. I know it's supposed to go this way, but sometimes it's hard to realize she will need me a little bit less every day.

Friday, July 09, 2010

Parenting Blind

It used to be, in my former working life, that I had to make a lot of decisions. How to run my classroom, how to deal with parents and co-workers, how to manage the work load etc. My strategy for dealing with this issue was to gather as much info as I could and then go with the option that seemed most sensible (well that was my goal anyway). Of course things didn't always go my way, but at least I could feel that I tried to make an intelligent choice.

Parenting feels to me like a whole different story. Every day I make decisions about how to care for the baby, and I feel like I am doing so blind. Of course when I try to figure out the best way to get her to take naps, I can read about it, I can ask my friends and my mother what's best, and I consult with my co-parent. However, because every baby is different, there is no way to know if the information and advice pertain to my situation at all.

Also, while I knew my job as a teacher was important, somehow parenting seems so much more serious. She's just so tiny and so dependent on us that small mistakes can have major consequences. At this point we are her whole world, and we do not want to mess that up! Still, there's nothing for it but to try. I get the feeling that this concern does not go away. Now I worry about car trips and nursing, but in a few years it will be potty training or drivers education. Let's hope good intentions can carry the day.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Oregon Pledge Song

While I was a student at the University of Oregon, I used to love to attend convocation which is the opening ceremony for each academic year. Going back to medieval times, the tradition of convocation is by no means a requirement at the university, and many students never even attend. I, on the other hand, love that kid of ceremony with the professors in their robes and the president with the ornaments of his office. Speakers are also an important part of the event, and my favorite ever was the venerable NPR correspondent, Daniel Schorr. Call me a geek, nerd, or keener, they all fit quite well. Last, but not least, was the singing. There was always a program that allowed a person to follow along. The Oregon Pledge Song was a perennial fixture:

Old Oregon we pledge to thee our honor and fidelity
Both now and in the years to be a never-failing loyalty.

Fair Oregon thy name shall be written high in liberty
Now uncovered swears thy every son our pledge to Oregon.

(John Stark Evans 1919)

Friday, July 02, 2010

A Few Notes on Breastfeeding

Not that I'm exactly an expert, but I certainly know more than I did three months ago:

1. Breastfeeding is as good for you as it is for the baby (i.e. really really good)
2. Breastfeeding can be way harder than you might expect, but it gets so much easier
3. Breastfeeding is a skill that both mother and baby must learn
4. Don't be afraid to ask for help
5. Nipple cream is your friend
6. A good nursing bra is worth its weight in gold
7. Wear a bra at night even if it seems strange
8. Breast pads will keep you comfortable at night and embarrassment-free during the day
9. Invest in a pump even if you aren't returning to work
10. Breastfeeding releases the most wonderful bonding chemicals
11. There is nothing lovelier than a tiny milky face turned up to look at yours