Thursday, May 31, 2007

And that's why my baby is a genius

I'm throwing my hat in the ring. Just like every parent who pounces on a syllable and predicts their 2 month old to be a linguistic savant, I can't help but just come out with it.

Harlow is a genius.

My girlfriends are taking a trip to Croatia this summer - without me. As Caleb and I were talking about it while playing with Miss H, I said Croatia and Harlow said "Cr." Caleb and I stopped and looked at her. Then at each other.

"Croatia" said Caleb.

"Cr" repeated Harlow.

"Croatia," I whispered.

"Cr" she insisted.

Then she started cooing and smiling and moving onto some other pertinent topic like pacifiers. We just sat there in awe. Surely not, we thought. But there was the other night when we were saying goodbye at dinner and Avery started waving goodbye and Harlow and Harlow looked and slowly started opening her hand in direct imitation of her cousin. I had never ever seen her open her hand like that.

But then, it's probably just baby gas.

But I think she's a genius.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007


I might have to kill the dog.

I suppose it's not entirely his fault that his mission in life is to kill the mailman and that his babycrazy parents have entirely abandoned his training and are only mildy surprised that he is now a barely restrained, raging beast and that when the doorbell rang - courtesy of the mailman - and Murphy ran to try and kill his nemesis, he ran over the baby.

He managed to give her the slightest scratch on the leg and a big, gaping hole in my heart. I never ever want to hear her cry and scream like that again.

Of course she's fine, much comforting and cursing at the clueless dog ensued.

Both of them, poor babies.

I may still have to kill the dog.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Parents Day Out

Grandpa John came down for the weekend to visit the bebe and give us a very special gift - couple time. Caleb and I decided we'd try to see a movie which was perfect because Pirates of the Caribbean opened. And not so perfect because it was 3 hours long. I happened to get up this morning around 6 after feeding H to pump my near-exploding breast, so she had milk while we would be away. She was also likely to sleep all afternoon anyway, but a 3 hour movie + trailers + a giant coke and my still incontinent self = an acute inability to focus and enjoy Johnny Depp and his eyeliner. So we decided to see Waitress.

Oh criminy.

The first sign that things were amiss were the old folks. Not that I have anything against old folks, you just don't typically see them flocking to the cinema en masse. The MidSouth chapter of the Keri Russell Appreciation society? The problem with old folks (we're talking mid 70s here) at a movie is that their hearing isn't so great and you typically have to endure the WHAT DID SHE SAY? and the stage whispered narration of the entire film. A fragile old guy took the only available seat next to me after his wife repeatedly and vehemently pointed - from the row behind us - that that was where he was supposed to sit. he obeyed. He smelled strongly of tobacco but at leats, like me, he didn't seem to be getting the film. And then he laughed the dirtiest laugh during the unexpectedly intimate sex scene. So maybe his hearing was bad but his eyes were just fine.

The movie itself was just bad. I really wanted to like it, but there was no chemistry, no connection between the actors, just - nothing. Our eyes met in the dark in silent agreement. Buzzed off our giant coke and milk duds, we ditched and headed to Macy's. Neither of us bought anything and spent the majority of our time, sans cell phones, trying to find each other in the mall. But at least we were doing it together.

It's been a weird weekend for Harlow. Weird eating patterns, sleep patterns, and oy - her worst night ever last night. Up at 1:30, wide awake, and making so much noise. None of us got much sleep. I'm hoping tonight gets better.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Wide World

Sunday we walked over to the Long's for Drew's post triathalon party and finally got to tour the inside of their amazing home. We sat out on the crazy-long porch and ate and drank and when Harlow started to get a little fussy, I took her back inside. The second we walked into the entry, she stopped fussing and with mouth wide open, kept her head on a constant 180 degree swivel to take in the house. She was fascinated! Back outside, she looked up at the trees and at the plants like she couldn't get enough. It was seriously adorable.

She's eating weird. She's starting to eat closer together - like at 6, 8, 9:30, in preparation - or so it seems - to sleep through the night. But lots of fussing, pulling off and on the nipple, fussing. Still wishing the breastfeeding came with a trouble shooting guide.

And my poor breasts. C doesn't get it, thinks I'm whining like I'm 60 and done for. But unexpectedly they went back to normal size tonight, except, they don't don't look normal, at least not like before. It makes me sad. But she's worth it.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Mother's Day

I got to celebrate my first mother's day this past Sunday with all my moms around me - my mom, sis, and Sue gathered at the Gtown house to eat fried chicken and pound cake and enough carbs to make me look 3 months pregnant. Unfortunately there are pics to prove it. Fortunately my boobs look so large in my dress you hopefully won't look at the poochy stomach. The weekend was a bit exhausting as Harlow decided her mother's day present would be a growth spurt which required her to have a boob in her mouth every hour - on the hour - for abour 48 hours. Needless to say I was a bit grumpy about the whole arrangement.

She'll be seven weeks tomorrow and every day brings a new wonder. She can lift her head 90 degrees when she lies on my stomach (but can't seem to repeat the same feat on the floor). She's been giggling which is the greatest sound in the world. And the cooing! We lay her on the floor so she can check out the nursery and she starts making these high pitched squeals and wriggles her whole body. Too cute. I laid on the floor with her and we read her first book on color - I swear she did not turn away once. She really liked green and purple and the brown shoe.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Baby's All Growns Up

Yesterday was Harlow's magical six week mark, a day in my mind that had become synonymous with Christmas, the White Sale and rainbows giving up their pots of gold. My brain trust of moms, the ones I call my collective crystal ball for gazing into Harlow's future, told me to wait for six weeks, because then everything gets easier. Like magic. Now don't get me wrong. Harlow is a dream baby - esp after some of the horror stories I heard over at Mothersville - but she's still a baby. One that doesn't come with a manual, so What to Expect will have to suffice. Like my moms, WTE says that I should be feeling lots more comfortable now. I believe "diapering one handed" and a "pro at burping baby" was among the accomplishments listed. Paving the way for your child's crippling claustrophobia from severe onesie bungling is not. (And why has no one invented the velcro onesie yet??)

This week brought lots of explosives - explosive diarhhea that blew out her diaper. Explosive pee that stained our sheets 2 nights in a row. Explosive spit up that could have tagged the cat 10 feet away. She hadn't been truly hard before, but this week was getting a little trying. So it was with a little trepidation that I woke on the big 6 week mark. I didn't feel any different. Harlow didn't seem any different. Except when we came back from our walk and she was howling at the gods for depriving her of food, I wasn't AS stressed as normal. When her spit up flowed like lava through the canyon that is my cleavage, I didn't mind it as much. And then something - well, kinda like magic happened. She smiled. A lot. repeatedly. She giggled. She said "la" and I about fell over. Her first syllable. And WTE says she's only supposed to be on vowel sounds. Walking her around, she kept her head up on her own - for a few seconds before collapsing - but STILL. Suddenly my six week old baby seemed like a real baby, one fascinated with her mom even with her history of trying to smother her with onesies. And I'm ok with still being inept at some things. Five weeks ago I was afraid to feed her if it didn't seem to jive with her "schedule." Now I understand her hungry cries and feed her, and sometimes feed her when I don't understand. Five weeks ago I played her father's songs on Itunes for her lullaby. Now I makeup songs about bicycles when I pump her legs and don't care how terrible I sound. Two weeks ago I thought I was gorging my increasingly plump daughter and thought something was wrong with my milk. Now I feel blessed I make enough milk to feed an army. Five weeks ago I thought this was easier than I thought. Now I know better, and that knowledge makes me happy.

I stil have no idea what I'm doing, and the most important six week lesson I've learned is that it is just fine.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

6 weeks (almost)

Miss Harlow is nearly 6 weeks old which means my big six week checkup is Friday. The one where I basically get the yay or nay to resume my sex life and live with the fear that I will instantaneously become pregnant again. Some camps would have you believe that breastfeeding exclusively is a natural barrier against such a horror, and it makes sense. When the milk comes in and the baby nurses, the estrogen levels plummet and prevent ovulation. (I could technically not get my period for another year, but 6 months seems to be about average.) As long as the baby demands such exclusive attention from the mom, the body won't allow her to create an interloper to take its place. Again, makes sense. Yet. I've done enough lurking on message boards and read too many warnings to take that leap. And since my readership seems to be exclusively made up of family members, I'm gonna leave it at that.

Harlow is thriving, and by thriving I mean HUGE. The girl can eat. We're not operating under exact science here by stepping up on the scale with her and then jumping back on the scale solo, but if those calculations are correct, she's 13 pounds. That would be nearly doubling her weight in 6 weeks! At the 1 and under group, one of the moms introduced us to her 7 week old daughter - who is much smaller than Harlow. I'm learning quickly that there really is no system of comparison, only that as humans and moms we will continue to do so.

And so the momnesia doesn't take over completely...

This week she's been sleeping a lot, we think due to a (HA!) growth spurt. She tends to wake at 5 AM and is WIDE awake, but she's so fun to cuddle with. Even in the dark I can see her smile and take in the room with her still spooky eyes. She swivels her head around to see you and has started making these cute high pitched coos. The constant spit up that is pretty much after every feeding - not so cute.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

More me time

If the past 72 hours weren't obnoxiously me-friendly to begin with, yesterday I had 2 quick but delightful hours at the hair salon to get my seriously nasty rats nest groomed and apparently, frosted. There's this particularly distinctive look that some southern women rock, this stripey, white blonde thing, and somehow "subtle partial highlights" resulted in my new, stripey blonde mom do. Not happy. What are you gonna do.

And then there is the whole mystery ailment. I guess you call it an ailment. About a week after I gave birth, Inoticed that the skin around and on my knees hurt. A lot. Like, soft cotton sheets brushing against it felt like someone was lighting a match on my knee. Anytime I would put my knee on the bed, the floor, a chair, it flared up with pain. But I mainly ignored it with everything else going on. And then my knee started to go numb, and that caught my attention. My mom floated an interesting theory. One week before the pain came, I had a needle put into my spinal cord for the epidural. Now I have an intense nerve pain and my knees. Yeah, it doesn't make much sense to me either, but I don't know what else to blame. It's kinda freaking me out. I'll see the neurologist on Monday.

We had a couple milestones today. Harlow has just started smiling when smiled at which rocks. my. world. but today, I swear she laughed. She'd been smiling and I started laughing and smiling back and then she starte wiggling and then let out this little mini squeal. It's a laugh in my book. She also reached out and touched a bunny rattle I held up to her. Next week she'll be getting her driver's license.