28 July 2011

A Potpourri of Blog Post Topics

- A little Jude lovin because I can't not post about how terrific it is to have him....

- I was on NPR a couple of weeks ago! No, I will NOT get out! They were talking about Netflix raising their rates a bit and and I called in and voiced my opinion that paying $5 more per month is still better than $120+ for cable, but I did expect them to increase streamable content as a result. I'll be signing for a book deal any day now.

- Since my baby weight loss stopped happening about 2 months ago, I had to change something up. I am on a new diet. When this book, Eat to Live, arrived in my mailbox a la Amazon, I shrieked in both excitement and devastation. It has since removed all fun from my life, but I'm on day 4 and so far I'm feelin good, considering.

- We're going to UT next week and I am SO EXCITED. Uninterrupted time with my boo. Seeing family. Jude's first flight. It's going to be epic.

- My cousin that caught my bouquet just had a ring put on it. I would say the bouquet catching had some influence but she's way too amazing to rely on mystical floral powers for husband ensnaring. And this means Jude's 2nd flight in September for the wedding!

- So I had a birthday! I tend to have better odd-aged years than even-aged years, so I welcome 29 with open arms. July 11 dawned, and once Jude was up Jeff whisked me (us) into the car and we drove toward a little strip mall. He said, "Oh, we're getting gas and then we're going home," nonchalantly. Ah, but I knew he was really taking me to Cinnamon Productions, and there I had my first fountain diet coke and vegetarian breakfast wrap of my 30th yea-- I mean of being 29. I'd love to say I was one of those people who loved and lived life to the fullest in any situation, but I'll be perfectly and scrumptiously honest: birthdays are MUCH better being married! Also I like extending my bdays as long as I can tackily get away with. I had a couple of friend lunches over the week and then 2 weeks after the day we had a family bday (when everyone could sit their bottoms around the same table). I couldn't decide what kind of cake I wanted so I let my mom (the cake maker) decide. She did a great job.

I wished I could eat the whole thing and not gain any weight.

23 July 2011

La Chambre de Jude

5 months later, Jude's room is as done as it's going to be.

There's a lot of love in everything in here. A lot of "vintage" that we are stoked about (aka Craigslist and generous bequeathals from family with baby-no-more kids)!

As soon as his name popped into my head halfway through pregnancy, I could just see us with a little Jude Hayes running around getting into well-intended mischief. Then I could see us with "Hey, Jude" on his wall over his crib. And so it is done!

Letters: I wrapped the letters (very sloppily) with yarn.

Crib: My parents' neighbors were getting rid of this crib 8 years ago when my first nephew was in-tummy. My mom took it off their hands thinking it could go to Elizabeth's kids, but they didn't need it. And in the attic it sat until about 7 months ago. We had to order new hardware from a company in Indiana, which was a mini-fiasco, but here it stands, and Jude has slept in it from about Day 4. We got the mobile with gift card money from our wedding from PB Kids -- does that say something about how little time there was between the wedding and OB's office? Yikes!

Crib Bedding: PB Kids from Uncle Robert and Aunt Erica. Thanks, guys! Crib skirt made by Mimi.

Glider: PB Kids bought off craigslist for about 1/23,947 the price. This thing has improved my quality of postpartum life 5 fold!

Lamp: Garage sale scavenging

Basket o' Blankets & Burp Cloths: Target

Hanging on the Left: Le Petit Prince postcards Jeff got on his mission. I love them. I should probably get a close up shot. Maybe another time.

We didn't really know what to do with decorating the nursery. I didn't want to do a sports theme or an animal theme or a superhero theme -- how do we know if Jude will be into any of those things?? I've been to France and loved it. Jeff lived in France and it's etched in his soul. I really love how much he loves the language and place. So if there is a theme, it's "Cultural Appreciation," focusing largely on French with a knod to Celtic Gaelic :).

Wall Art: Frames from Ikea. I love the colors in these Tin Tin posters, and so does Jude. In fact when I rock him to sleep I usually swivel around a little so he can't see the Scottish one, because he starts staring at it and forgets he's wiped out and is supposed to be falling asleep. Have I ever watched Tin Tin? Nope! Who cares? Steven Spielberg is making a Dreamworks movie due out next summer! With Jude's bursts of intense energy, though, I don't think we'll be taking him to see it in the theater....

Hippo Chair: PB Kids floor sample 70% off.

Dresser: My parents got that used when I was in elementary school, my sisters and I used it, and then Jeff and I gave it a facelift. This thing will never say die!

I hope you enjoy it, Jude! Because you're sleepin' there anyway!

20 July 2011

Some old news

I quit my job. During my pregnancy and leave, people would ask me if I was going to go back. I really believed I would go back part time. I shall strive to be concise here:

I have worked since I was 16. I was unfamiliar with life without a job. Sometimes when I review my employment history I feel like I'm a little Kirk from Gilmore Girls. I have worn many hats. However, I hit the jackpot in June 2009. I finally found a job where I felt interested, challenged, and I got to use some of my talents. I moved up. I got to go to trial, I had a lot of responsibility, I even got an assistant! I worked with people I respect. I had the best friends there; I miss seeing their lovely faces every day. I got office gossip by the gallon. I got free diet coke. I was close to the mall. I was up to my eyeballs in work. No, top of my scalp.

I really thought I would go back. People told me I wouldn't want to work, even part time, and it ruffled my feathers. Nobody likes other people telling them how they do or will feel. Beyond that, the people telling me this stuff had never had jobs they'd been very invested in. I felt compelled to keep a leg in that world, and if they didn't understand that, then that was OK.

Then came this little raspberry.

(Looking at this I can't believe how small he was, and his face looks NOTHING like that now!)

At one month I didn't feel ready to return to work but thought maybe by 3 months I would.

Two months was the same,

Three months...well...you guessed it. And here I am on a Wednesday afternoon at home in grubby paint clothes taking a break from working on the Master Bathroom, and waiting for Jude to wake up from his nap.

There has never been anything I've felt more drawn to than my child. I don't have an obvious resource for childcare that would be worth it financially. We are so blessed that I don't have to work. And if it wasn't imperative, I couldn't bring myself to leave Jude with someone who doesn't have such an invested interest. Also, I had to admit to myself that my job was more of an "all in or all out" thing, and working "part time" really wouldn't have been part time in the end.

So I resigned.

Here's the only visual I have of myself on the job (I was at an inspection):

2 months later I am still getting used to this. I've talked to some other moms about this and it's nice to know I'm not the only one who feels a potpourri of

- self-spun guilt for the husband having all financial responsibility on his muscly shoulders,
- laziness -- and a strange lack of motivation since besides changing and feeding J, house projects and other things are not time sensitive. I work well on deadlines, routine, and pressure.
- missing the paycheck and seeing the finished work product,
- missing my own desk with a nice view of the 405, where everything was set up just like I like it,
- missing driving to work with Jeff and those days of being in the same field,
- guilt for missing these things in the first place,

conflicted by the impossible deliciousness of your baby and getting to soak up every little gurgle and squeal.

No matter how long I've dreamed of being a mother, saying goodbye to what my job gave me hasn't been as easy as I'd imagined. I guess cake is not always for having AND eating. In choosing between a job and my child, my child is the easy winner, I just am in search of something I can do while I have Jude right next to me. Of course I kick myself for not becoming better at piano -- Elizabeth has taught lessons for years! Some days the search is very important to me and I'm very antsy. Some days that's not the way I feel. Jeff has been sweet, supportive, and encouraging. I am trying to teach myself to not be so dependent on routine and deadlines. I remind myself there will be time later for the things I miss now. I read up on what religious leaders have taught about parenthood. I hug my baby and rub my cheek against his cheek while he sleeps. And my heart is full.

14 July 2011

5 Months: Giggle pants

Happy 5 months to JUDE.

He gets more terrific by the hour. I only can't believe it's been 5 months -- the days go by so quickly!

Here's the skinny on our boy:

- He was sleeping through the night from about 3 months until about 2 weeks ago. Then he thought that was a boring and started waking up 3 or 4 times a night. I felt like I had a newborn again, except the lack of sleep from before had finally caught up with me. I could fall asleep on command. He's almost back to sleeping through the night.
- He's the most stubborn baby. During sleep re-training he cried for...a lot of hours straight. I believe in the cry-it-out method within reason, I realize it's something you just plow through for a few nights and it's better for him, better for me, but he was the energizer bunny. Not even slowing down or showing signs of exhaustion until I gave up and picked him up.
- The stubborn factor frosted over the layer of his endless kicking, bouncing (in his jumper), ffffllleeexing all his muscles, standing, and even getting up on all 4s kinda scares the crap out of me. What will he be like when he's mobile??? I can just see me now, chasing him up the aisles during church. Goodbye, heels. Or goodbye thin heels.
- He's long and not thin, but not fat. 90th percentile for "height" (length?), 50th for weight, and 30th for his head. When our pediatrician gave us these stats, The Far Side cartoon below immediately came to mind:

But of course I don't think he looks disproportional, if you think he does don't tell me. I partially think the percentile stuff is junk.
- He is much better at independent play. He has really changed from being a very fussy baby to a very happy, content one.
- He draws attention wherever I go, much like all babies do, I imagine. Outside the walls of our house, people are always stopping me to say anything and everything they want. Here are some of the gems offered by the all-knowing public:
  • "You're blessed."
  • "He's so _____ (cute synonym)!"
  • "How old is he?? 1 month??" And sometimes, they act like I'm lying when I tell them he's 3, 4, 5 months old. It is so bizarre.
  • "Are you sleeping??"
  • "Make sure there's air circulating in his room at night!"
  • "I think he's hungry." (When I just fed him and he's not fussing.)
  • "He's so content! Boys aren't usually like that. He won't be like that for long."
  • "Are you going to have any more?"
  • "Enjoy the 1 while it lasts!"
  • "Enjoy it while he's immobile!"
I'm sure everyone means well. Some of this stuff if very nice. Some of it I want to just walk away mid-sentence. Do they expect me to take their advice or pearls when I know nothing about them? In any case I would rather get attention for having a nice baby than for being 60 lbs. overweight with pregnancy lovin.
- Jude gives us huge smiles. He makes eyes at Aunt Sarah like he's going to ask her to the Prom.
- He's most ticklish on his neck, his dad is best at getting giggles out of him. When he gets going, he really gets going.
- He's already showing some personality traits I identify with. When he's getting tired he gets silly. (His cousin E is also known for this.) He also isn't flexible. While my friends' babies eat their feet all the live long day, he can't even get his near his collar bone.
- Squeaks, shrieks, squeals.
- He's a rollin.
- A few times now he starts staring off into space, chewing on his fist and talking to himself. What I wouldn't give to know what he is thinking about. Probably, "Man, milk is awesome. Just...just awesome."

He is the absolute delight. I am so grateful to have Jeff with me in this too -- it would be very isolating not having anyone else who understands the way I feel about our Jude. I'm tired, still have 20 lbs. clinging on for dear life, smell like sour milk, and am a human burp cloth, but I have never been so happy. Jeff and Jude are my greatest dreams come true. Now if he could please just not grow up and become a meth dealer.

"Eef thees ees torture, chain me to thee wall!"

08 July 2011

I'm Grounded

Jeff's out of town for depos.
Jude didn't sleep much last night (which is another story I don't care to blog), so he was practically begging for his crib at 6.
I went downstairs and, as is my usual first item on the agenda when coming downstairs, opened the fridge.
Hmmm...nothing that said "FRIDAY" to me....
And then I realized, sleeping baby, no husband...I'm grounded.

Anyone want to bring me a diet coke and maybe a taco or two?

No? Ok fine.

So Jeff and I talked on the phone for a while, now he's lost reception on the way home, and so I started looking through old pics on the computer.

I don't think I ever noticed this snog one from our wedding during the bride and groom dance. I guess this means I shouldn't be trusted.


Positively Pippa!

Pippa Middleton Theory: The paparazzi are pleased as punch to have a Pippa. Pippa saved their day. Pippa is cute, single, and rich. BUT, most importantly, she allows the paparazzi to somehow give us our Royal Fix without making them look or feel like scum. In the 2+ months since the royal wedding, I have been presented with about 500 pictures of "Her Royal Hotness" doing all sorts of stuff. Shopping, running, flirting, etc. etc. There has been ONE picture of Kate grocery shopping. ONE. The rest of the Dutchess of Cambridge photos have been at official duty functions were cameras are allowed and expected.

I think the paparazzi look at Kate and see the Diana. Oh Princess Diana, the charitable goddess in iconic clothing whose death is commonly viewed as a product of the shutterbugs and gossip columnists. They look at Kate and see Diana's very own wedding ring, they see her on the arm of Diana's son who had to bid an unfair and untimely goodbye to his doting mother. And either the guilt or the fear of looking wretched and cruel prods them to leave her alone. Maybe Kate hasn't really been out and about. Maybe I just haven't caught the pictures (although that's unlikely. I have one baby, am a stay-at-home-mom, cruise the internet while I nurse, and use google reader). But anyway, Pippa fills this guilt-free photo target quite nicely. Closely connected to the Royals, but no whisps of Diana's ghost following Pippa and her skinny jeans around. 3 Cheers for Pippa.

P.S. I predict that the name Phillipa is about to beat out Isabella for most common girl name of 2011 and 2012.