Monday, May 25, 2009

Friday, May 22, 2009

To sleep: perchance to dream

Ay, there's the rub.

Tony and I have decided that all our problems stem from lack of sleep. Charles just doesn't sleep. Not like those so-called "normal" babies. His naps are mostly no longer than 30 minutes, and he has decided to drop his morning and evening nap (that means, in case you're keeping track, that he sleeps once, around noon, for half an hour, each day). He doesn't go to bed until 10 pm every night... he stirs a few times between 10 and midnight, often just needing his binky popped back in to return to slumber. Sometime between 2:30 and 4 am, he wakes for a diaper change and feeding. Then, because he won't easily go back to bed (read: he screams when I put him in his crib, and all I want to do is go back to sleep, since I likely only got to sleep around 11 pm or midnight), he comes into our bed. That's a typical night, like last night. The night before, he screamed about being put to bed at 10, and so he spent the whole night in our bed.

I won't lie, I am exhausted. I pump every time Charles eats, just to have enough milk for daycare. This means that he will eat on one breast while I pump the other. I am DOUBLING my milk output, enough to make any girl tired. And, Charles is teething again, I'm pretty sure. The ladies at daycare noticed it first... "He puts everything in his mouth and chews!" Not so fun for them, since they wash every toy that a baby has mouthed. That's a lot of toys. Then, he started doing the drool factory thing. And finally, the inconsolable crying, as though he is in a lot of pain. My poor little man. Maybe we'll get top teeth this time?

On the bright side of life, this weekend will mark the first since January that Tony will have off! Poor guy, he has been working long hours - I rarely see him before 7:30 pm. Charles has seemingly decided that I don't exist if I walk out of the room (or pull the shower curtain) and wails if we are not together. I am pretty well beat by the time I see my husband every night.

Tony singing and playing for Charles

Another good thing is that Goodwinds is really building and growing. We have so much work. I am on go, go, go mode the entire time that Charles is in daycare.

It is so beautiful outside these days that I have replaced my daily body lotion with sunscreen. Now, if only I could get the men in my life to use sunscreen (I don't want to name any names, but their initials are Tony and Leland). No one seems to understand that by taking an extra 60 seconds to apply SPF 15, you cut your skin cancer risk and reduce the probability of being covered in wrinkles when you're old. I think that's a pretty fair trade, eh? Isn't it ironic how, when we're young, we go tanning in the name of vanity and then, when we're older, we wear sunscreen in the name of vanity? At least, that's my story. Better late than never with the sunscreen, though.

Yogurt Beard!

Happy Memorial Day Weekend, everyone!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Buried Treasure

My folks came up to visit and help out at Goodwinds this weekend - Charles sure loves his grandparents! Whenever he sees my mom and dad or Tony's mom and dad, his face just lights up. I think he loves those four almost as much as he loves the dog (joking, of course)! Anyhow, in addition to a fun-filled, sun-filled weekend of family time, my parents also brought up a box of my old books, which I found a couple of weeks ago when I was at the beach. They were in my parents storage unit, along with a skee ball machine that will one day be mine (a story for another time... Tony thinks I am crazy, but seriously, who wouldn't want a skee ball machine in their house? Not to mention it is a good way to make extra money in quarters whenever you have guests).

Behold, the glory of my childhood library:
Actually, this isn't even all, probably not even half of the books I once had. We're fairly certain that a box or two went up in flames when we had the house fire in '98. But anyway, these are all the Dr. Suess and the like, as well as a bunch of Berenstein Bears. I'm so excited for new reading material with Charles!
So, anyhow, life is pretty good here. Not that anyone asked, but just in case someone cares, the cloth-diapering thing is going fabulously. They're easy and cute and I no longer have a stinking garbage can of excrement in my son's room. I do an extra load of laundry every day, but that has made it so I don't have to buy as many clothes for my rapidly growing boy - most of his outfits get washed a couple of times a week. This is good because 1) he has grown so quickly that we keep having to buy new clothes and 2) we didn't get a ton of clothes as baby gifts because his sex was a mystery at the time. Baby clothes are expensive!

Tony is now done with his weekend class and we are looking forward to a nice, long weekend at home over Memorial Day. It is so great having him back, I almost don't know what to do with myself. Almost. I even got some time off last night as Tony watched Charles and I went to see Star Trek with Leland and my mom. The movie was awesome, probably the best movie I have seen in a year or more. I highly recommend it.

Well, that's all for now. Peace!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Baby Stats*

Wowee! We've been busy. As you saw below (in the last post, which was about world peace and getting more fiber in your diet. Or karaoke, I can't remember), Thursday was a busy night. Then, I had to get up early to take Mister Charles to get shot. I mean, shots. Vaccinated. Geez. To him it probably felt like getting shot.
He weighs a whopping TWENTY-ONE POUNDS. Which is more than some one-year-olds I know. He is also twenty-eight inches long. Totally respectable.
He is back to consuming everything in the house that I am willing to mash up for him, as well as gross amounts of breastmilk. Also, he clearly loves the Mariners:

We had a bit of sun over the weekend, so we mowed the lawn twice (yes, twice) and played in the yard quite a bit. We had a dinner party on Saturday with Vesna Pulko, in from Minnesota (for those in the know, that is Jernej's sister) and generally had a good time.

Our neighbors are some of the most generous people I have ever met, and they not only gave us the exersaucer pictured above, but also recently passed on a Johnny Jump-Up, now a new favorite of Charles':
AND, I had a wonderful first Mother's Day. Charles and I went to church, where I got chocolates, just for having given birth. (This is quite the racket we moms have going on. I think I will milk it for all the chocolate it is worth.) Well, maybe I do a lot of housework and child rearing and stuff, too. Then, Charles got me baby roses (since he's a baby) and a card, and Tony got me a card. We did yard work, Tony watched Charles while I got a chance to do some much-needed weeding and mowing, and then we all went on a run. It was an exhausting, but fun, day. Happy mother's day to all you moms out there!
Also, happy birthday, Loris! We love you sooooo much!
*Not a class on statistics for babies. Rather, this baby's statistics.


Recipe for a good time:

Put on a real bra, not a nursing tank top
Call all your friends
Leave child at home with baby-sitter (who also happens to love dogs - yes!)
Ride in style to local bar
Add at least one drink
Mix liberally with Karaoke mic
There's a reason our "First Thirsty Thursday" bar is called the Train Wreck. And this is it.
As many of you likely know, Tony loves to Karaoke. And, as you might have surmised, we really needed to get out of the house. So.
When Tony got up to sing the national anthem, Journey's Don't Stop Believin', we all got up to sing. As is fitting.

Really, I don't think we had but 2 drinks over the entire 4 hours we were there. We're just that crazy.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

An Open Letter to My Son, or The Best Six Months of My Life

Charles, I'm not one for using cliches often, but this one is apropos: Where has the time gone? Weren't you born five minutes ago? Wasn't I pregnant yesterday? (I look like I was pregnant yesterday.) How did six months pass in the blink of an eye?

You went from this:To this:

To this:
And this:
To this:
And this:

I told Tony this morning that in 20 years, we'll wish we could live this all again. And it's true. Every day that I get to hold you in my arms and rock you to sleep is a blessing - and I know you won't let me do it forever. Gosh, you used to fit so well in the crook of my arm, over my shoulder, and on my chest. Now, you are so big that it is difficult to position ourselves on the couch for a nap. When you come into bed with us around 5 am each day, you take up a third of the bed, your arms sprawled out to both sides. We love it, and I will be sad when you are truly too big to sleep with us. As much as I will be ecstatic when you finally sleep through the night in your crib, I will miss our cuddle time in bed together, dozing in the early hours of the morning to the sounds of your sweet breath.

We do pretty well together, huh, kid? I manage to get us both dressed by 9 am most days, and even the dog gets fed on schedule. You have loved food up until this weekend, and now you seem to hate everything but bananas. I can't understand why you don't like blueberries, but there you have it. Your personality is coming to light, and when you don't like something, you let us know. I wish I could capture your funny faces when you eat green beans or peas. You pout when I leave the room and light up when I return. Your favorite part of the day is when Daddy gets home (mine, too), and you always squeal in delight at his arrival. It is your biggest sadness that the dog won't let you bury your face and hands in his fur, but you are grossly happy just to watch Buster walk around and wag his tail. You love anyone who doesn't smell too much (perfume is ucky) and are especially intrigued by other kids.

I must say, baby, I couldn't have planned for a better son. You light up my life and you challenge me. The fact that I hand you off to your Daddy when he gets home and frequently leave the house alone to clear my head only goes to show that our days are intense, and filled with fun. You've grown so fast, my mind boggles. You won't remember this time we had together when you were little, but I will, and I will cherish it forever. I love you more than you will ever know.

Monday, May 4, 2009

May Day!

Photo stolen from Kelli (because she always has her camera, and we don't, and because she is a better photographer anyhow.)

For those of you who are not familiar with Long Beach, every year the Peninsula celebrates Loyalty Days on the first weekend in May... this was originally a celebration to counter the USSR's "May Day" and consequently, is rather heavy on the patriotism. Which, to be completely honest, I love. Yeah, I choke up when I hear the national anthem or see the VFW march in the parade (c'mon, those dudes are amazing). It's a bit crazy, but it's true.

Chillin' with Grandma

Anyhow, Tony likes to go every year to attend the Blessing of the Fleet on Saturday, so he took Charles on his very first boat ride (don't worry, kid, there are many more to come). Of course, Tony completely defied me and didn't put the baby life jacket on Charles AT ALL, but I understand that he stayed in the wheelhouse the entire time due to crummy weather. Charles also went to his first and second parades and got the distinct pleasure of being startled by the very loud fire engines. Those are not made for baby ears!

Another first: Chico's pizza (just the crust). He loved it, of course.

Meanwhile, I acted as milk machine (standard) and also helped out my folks with a garage sale to liquidate the last of my grandmother's stuff. Wow, she had a lot of stuff. Anyone want any depression glass? I have a whole set and there is much more to be had. My dad and I also took the dogs and Charles to the beach in balmy 65-degree weather on Friday. Charles thought it was awesome. Buster was so hot, he waded out into the surf and sat down. Yeah, that smelled great while he was drying.
Feeding oneself is hard.

The ride back up was not so fun, as our little boy decided to express himself around Tacoma. He wasn't hungry or wet, though we stopped twice between Tacoma and Northgate to check... no, he was just angry. Charles has quite the temper. We sang at the tops of our lungs until he wore himself out just north of Everett. Thankfully, the past few days have brought an improvement in sleeping. We have been waking up around 2 or 3 am, again at 5 am, and then up for the day around 7:45. I can live with that.
We're home now, and my house is darker because all the trees around us filled in over the weekend. Bizarre.