8am, the sun is shining through the windows and with her eyes still squeezed tightly shut she starts grunting and thrashing, she's hungry. I nurse her and she is sound asleep again, breakfast in bed, she has no idea how good she has it.
I get up for the day, pour a cup of coffee and while my computer is starting up I walk back into the bedroom to find her looking around on her back. When she sees me she kicks and squeals and starts a song that I call her good-morning song, a series of Oohs and Aahs interrupted by a giggle here and there. I lay down next to her until she finishes, she grabs at my face to acknowledge my presence but avoids looking at me until the song is done.
She sits next to me on the couch while I start my coffee and within a few minutes she's reclining into my side, my arm around her, watching the news with me and singing out to the ceiling. Sometimes she takes a brake from exercising her vocal cords to try an fit her feet in her mouth.
When she starts to get restless I sit her on the floor and, after a quick scan of the room, she crawls strait toward the pile of magazines by the coffee table, most of them wrinkled and puckered from previous mouthings.
After lunch I can see in her face that she is ready for a nap but she has other ideas. She is tired of all the toys I offer and cries real tears when I set her down. To calm her I sing a song that always brings a smile to her face:
I tickle her when I sing "slidey slidey slidey" and she's not upset anymore, but still tired. I hold her close with one hand and prop open a book with the other and read out loud until she is asleep on my shoulder.
It's late in the afternoon but still too early to start worrying about dinner so we go explore the back yard. I sit her in a shady spot on the grass; the grass has never bothered her bare feet and legs. I lay down next to her in the sun and watch her fumble with a toy fish and a oak leaf she picked up, she is more interested in the leaf. Tomorrow I'll put some warm water in her pool and let her splash her energy out. She likes splashing and trying to catch the toys that go floating by, but the real reason I lather her in sunscreen, warm up the water, and lay out towels to sit on is so her grandmother can watch her "swim".
Earlier in the day I sat in the rocking chair with her in my lap. I was reading to her, hoping she'd fall asleep, but she was much more interested in trying to eat the book, then her feet. I sat quietly for a few minutes just looking at the back of her little brown fuzzy head, that head that is so soft and comforting when it nuzzles my shoulder and fits so perfectly under my chin it's as if it is a part of me rather than belonging to a separate being. I imagined brushing her hair back into a ponytail in preparation for her first day of school, and combing out the tangles after a bath, braiding it so it wouldn't be ratty in the morning. Maybe she'll want to keep it short when she's older, maybe it'll be curly, maybe she'll scream that I'm pulling too hard, and maybe she'll sit on my lap like this for years to come. I hope she does.
She falls asleep around 8pm but will wake up in about an hour so that I can change her into her night-time diaper, then she'll want to play and eat and finally fall back asleep in my lap as we watch The Daily Show and Colbert Report with Papa. She'll wake up around 3 again, and when she does I'll let her lay in the crook of my arm, her warm face on my skin, until she has fallen back to sleep.
Neat huh? and stylish! Link
Also, click here and watch the short video about this reverse graffiti artist. It's pretty radical.
Finally, for those of you with kids, not babies, kids. What do you think about giving them a placebo when they are complaining about some ailment but you don't really believe them? It'd probably work a lot of the time, I think. Why not just fill an old medicine bottle with tic tacs or something instead? I might keep this idea filed away for later.
I'm flying to Minnesota in July, with Josephine, and I'm nervous. Scared. Shitless.
I mean, what am I thinking, traveling with a baby by myself? I can barely manage to get through security and to my gate when it's just me and now I have to do it all with A BABY.
I chose a flight with a longer layover than I'd like if it were just me (3 hours), so we have time to re-group, stretch out, pee, eat, and change diapers before the next leg (and we don't have to sprint if our first leg is delayed a little bit). The layover is in Denver, I've had long layovers there before and it's a nice airport to be stuck in, as far as airports go.
I know that it is entirely possible that the whole trip will be far better than I could imagine. But it is also entirely possible that it will be far worse than I could imagine.
All I've been doing since I bought the damn ticket is reading travel tips on parenting websites and blogs. Occasionally getting up to pee and grab a Diet Coke (damn you, addicting carbonated beverages!)
The only time my mind briefly wanders from packing lists, travel tips, and just trying not to lose my shit three weeks before what may or may not be a difficult situation, is when I start freaking out about trying to look decent in my current state of being a Flabby McChunk.
Damn those celebrities that return to their size 2 a month postpartum! I can't do that! (not that I was a size 2 to begin with)
You know what Josephine has started doing? No, not getting Diet Cokes for mama, she has started spitting up every other time I pick her up. Newborns spit up, older babies mostly grow out of it, Josephine has decided to projectile vomit on my pile of clean laundry.
If anyone on the plane gives me a dirty look I'll just turn Josephine to face them and give her a little jiggle and BLAAAA.
Yesterday I decided that I could no longer get away with squeezing into my too tight jeans or wearing sweats everywhere and roped my sister into accompanying me to the mall (to tag-team entertaining the baby).
Success! I found two (2!) pairs of pants.
When we were heading home I noticed some nice fellow mall goer saw how boring our all black car was and thoughtfully spruced it up with a splash of ketchup all over the drivers side door.
Josephine had fallen asleep and I didn't need to start dinner for at least another 30 min so we headed out for the car wash. We didn't get far. I mean, well, we made it home and all but we didn't make it to the car wash.
There's a fancy smancy fountain that is in front of a fancy smancy cemetery and traffic at a red light backed up so that we were stopped right in front of the fancy smancy water display. The car behind us however, was not stopped. Until it hit us.
And then we hit the car in front of us.
Josephine SCREAMED and my heart stopped. I was dead.
I pulled the car over and jumped out around to the back seat and I don't know what I was expecting, I don't want to think about it now, but I yanked her out of her seat and held her so close until she calmed down. That's when I remembered there were other people in the accident and I looked up to see who was talking, asking if we were ok, if we were wearing seat belts, is the baby ok? Everyone involved is ok. Even the cars are pretty much ok. The lady that hit us said she was distracted, looking at the nice new fancy fountain over there!
We sat around on the grass while the cop wrote everything up and were braiding each other's hair by the time everything was said and done.
And my heart has started beating again.
Now to deal with the stinkin' insurance people.
In the process of learning about this new corner of the internet I stumbled on these things called "blogs". I had previously been clueless about these things as well, but oh what a discovery! It was like an oasis in the desert; I had something to fill my time until school started again!
The first blog I found was Dooce and I enjoyed the few posts that I read so much that I went back through the archives and read everything from the beginning, almost five years worth of back posts. Heather, the author, has been writing letters to her daughter every month for 52 months(!) and is the reason I write Josephine a letter each month. I don't know if I'll keep it up as long as she has, but I need to give her the credit for the great idea.
She put together a book recently, Things I Learned About my Dad (In Therapy) with essays from many writers that I have followed through their respective blogs over the years. I haven't read the book yet, I just bought it tonight, but I'm certainly looking forward to it. Tonight I drove down to Salt Lake City, to a little bookstore in the middle of town, so that I could have Heather sign a copy of her book for me. And she totally made googly eyes at Josephine which made me happy. She is an amazing writer, she pays the bills for her whole family of three through the ads on her blog for crying out loud. She is funny, clever, honest, and quite candid about real life struggles such as depression. I am very excited that I got to meet her, even if it was only for 5 seconds while she scribbled her name in a book.