Thursday, 25 June 2015

A Few Things

Amelia is almost walking! She took a few steps on her own the other day and seemed very proud of herself. Not so proud that she has actually started walking instead of crawling--crawling is still faster, of course--but she clearly gets a huge smile whenever she does it so I think we are close. The funny thing is that she only will try if I make a huge deal out of the fact that she is standing on her own. Kids nowadays, needing validation for every little thing right?

*~*~*~*~*~*

We are quickly approaching Amelia's first birthday! This is crazy to me. Though her first three months felt like 8 months, the rest of the months sped by. Imagine if we all developed as quickly as we do during the first year. We'd all be 70 feet tall and might be able to see through walls or something. Anyway everyone keeps asking us what we're doing for her first birthday. I really don't get my generation's obsession with first birthday parties. I mean I get it I guess. Doing something is cool--cake, booze for the adults, singing--but the separate cake for smashing and the elaborate favors and massive food spreads just seem excessive for a kid who can't reasonably be trusted with, say, a plastic bag or an unattended pool. Amelia's birthdays (multiple because she has many grandparents who want to celebrate) will have a cake from the local Hannaford, a bit of singing, and food afterward. Easy peasy.

The one place I did go overboard was her gift. It's a rocking pig!


 photo Rocking PIg_zpsfirhafxh.png
But come on, who could say no to it?

*~*~*~*~*~*~*

I know I'm like, 10 years behind on this (which is approximately 35 years in technological time), but podcasts are amazing! And they're free! I've started listening to Last Podcast on the Left on Amelia's daycare days (since it's pretty raunchy in terms of language) and I am loving it. If you're into true crime and serial killers it is definitely for you. I've listened to episodes covering Columbine myths, Ed Gein, and Fred and Rosemary West so far. This is the only podcast I've listened to so far so if you have others you love please let me know. 

*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Daycare is going well for both me and Amelia. I love having two free days a week. It's amazing being able to do everything I did before having a kid. The time without her goes by very fast, which is hard because there's a ton I'd like to do and...not enough time to do it. It's a cliche, but there it is. For her part Amelia is doing better and better in daycare. Her teacher picked up on the fact that she needs some space at least initially, and she has started to warm up both to her teacher and to the other boy that is her age. There's this little robot lovey I've been putting in her bed since she was born that has now become her comfort item, and she apparently carries it around all day which I think is adorable. I bought a backup one just in case we lose the one she already has.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*

That's all that's going on here lately. 

Thursday, 11 June 2015

On Daycare and Letting Go

Most of you know that I work from home. That didn't change when Amelia was born (though it did become more complicated).

For the past 11 months I have juggled work--including conference calls, computer time, and emails--and the constantly-changing needs of an ever-growing child. It has been a struggle some most days. I've had to explain random baby noises while I was on the phone with clients and bosses alike. I've had to put Amelia in her crib for 10 minutes (which did not go well, for the record) so I could finish a call or an email.

Rob and I have toyed with the idea of getting some help since Amelia was a few months old. We did a search for a sitter to come to our home, which fell through in a really disappointing way (seriously, if you are no longer interested, just tell me. Don't drop off the map. Lame.). Rob eventually got laid off for the winter so we put it off a bit longer.

Now that he's working again we decided to check out opportunities for daycare.

Long story short, Amelia starts soon She will be in daycare for two days a week.

I have a lot of feelings about this.

First off, I'm sad. Like every other parent ever, it's really hard for me to acknowledge that my kid is getting older, that sometimes (healthy) stress leads to good things, that I have to let go bit by bit. It's a big reminder that your job as a parent is to make yourself obsolete and thus by definition you are becoming more obsolete by day. I know that's somewhat dramatic, but I'm a parent and I'm allowed the odd period of histrionics.

I'm also nervous. When Amelia was really little and really colicky, the idea of having her in daycare scared the bejeezus out of me. I was convinced that only we understood what her colic was and only we could deal with it. If I'm being honest, I was terrified that if I left her with someone else they would hurt her. I don't mean to malign daycare providers--I know they wouldn't have hurt her--but my mind goes to some pretty dark places sometimes and I wasn't ready to let go of her just yet. I feel slightly more confident now, but it's still scary.

Finally, I am really, really, really excited. 14 whole hours a week to myself. One of the biggest challenges for me since becoming a mom is not being able to direct my time as I see fit. I report to the least logical, most emotional boss in the entire world and I am bound and chained by her schedule. It's exhausting and maddening at times especially as I watch work and chores pile up.

Regardless, when I look at this next step objectively I do think it's going to be a really good thing for the both of us. Letting her go is difficult, but the result has so far been consistently worth it.

Happy week, friends!

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Water Tables and Other Simple Joys

One of the coolest things about having a kid is watching them discover the world for the first time. Like stuff you wouldn't give a second thought--wrappers, chapstick, matryushka dolls--they turn over and over in their hands examining every square inch.

It really shows you how much of a jaded asshole you've become.

I've had a tough time finding toys for Amelia that she actually enjoys and plays with for more than a few minutes. I've had a few good hits (that goddamn infernal learning farm, a crawl tunnel) but many, many misses (pretty much the entire basket of toys in our living room and everything "fun" I registered for).

Also it is very important for me to avoid unnecessary baby clutter. It's for this reason that we opted for diaper changing pads in lieu of a changing table (extremely happy we did that by the way, expectant moms). I don't want to end up with a ton of huge items that we have to find a home for after approximately 4 months of use.

But my kid gets bored easily, and it's really fun to buy her toys whenever I want. Especially since one day she'll be older and I won't be able to buy her random stuff every week without making her into an entitled douche.

I found that it worked better if I sat back and waited, noticed what she saw and what captivated her, and moved from there. And one thing she has liked almost since day one was water.

(Like every kid ever, I guess)

One time I let her play with some raised dog bowls we hadn't used for Cypress yet. I filled them with water and with splashing she'd emptied them within 5 minutes or so. When I took her away from them to get her dried off you'd have thought I was tearing her arm off for how loudly she howled.

Along with loving water she also has a strong dislike of something being taken away before she's ready or has lost interest on her own.

So I defied my own "minimizing clutter" rule and decided to buy her a giant, awkward, plastic mosquito magnet water table. It's shaped like a pirate ship.

And of course, it's probably her most favorite toy.

Aside from the stairs. She loves those things.

We've only let her use it a few times, mostly because our hose water is cold and I'm convinced she'd play in it until her arms froze and because getting her into her bathing suit and water diaper and ample layers of sunscreen is a lot to handle by myself. But every time we've done it you'd have thought it was Christmas.

Assuming she knew was Christmas was and how exciting it is, which she doesn't yet. But you get the point.

Anyway you can't argue with that smile.


 photo DSC_0257_zps3pgfvozp.jpg photo DSC_0279_zpsfsup5w0r.jpg photo DSC_0220_zpslqrcbewe.jpg photo DSC_0232_zps2pany5tx.jpg photo DSC_0273_zpsnertjlsz.jpg photo DSC_0233_zpszkyahe74.jpg photo DSC_0281_zpscsizbppj.jpg

Saturday, 16 May 2015

Stuff and Things

I really miss writing.

I also miss reading and baths and vacations and roadtrips and uninterrupted sleep and normal bras.

They aren't lying when they say that time goes by faster with a kid. I keep thinking that it's only been a few days or a week since I wrote last, and when I finally come back it's been 2 weeks and the prospect of coming up with something to write about is just too overwhelming.

 photo DSC_0092_zps21czrave.jpg

But here I am, pushing through it.

Truth be told the last few weeks (months?) have been an absolute blur for a few reasons. Firstly, I have a baby and cliche cliche stereotype cliche. Second, work has been ramping up and since Amelia tends not to adhere to my work schedule I get a lot of work done in the evenings after she's gone to bed. Being a work-at-home mom is hard in a lot of ways I didn't really expect, or if I did expect it I didn't really have a frame of reference and it took me by surprise anyway.

I've been trying to eke out some time to myself here and there, reading books and getting outside to take pictures.  When your whole day is spent catering to the needs of a tiny dictator that looks like your husband and shares half of your DNA, little things like that take on a new meaning. It's nice to spend a little bit of time with things that don't need me, I guess.

 photo DSC_0160_zpshldn7cu2.jpg photo DSC_0185_zpshgvhmo2a.jpg photo DSC_0140_zpssyjgvthp.jpg photo DSC_0202_zpsb37c7kzr.jpg

So in the last few weeks we had Mother's Day, my first. Funny story, we actually thought Mother's Day was the week before, on May 2. Well, I did, and Rob pretty much blindly follows my memory (or lack thereof) for dates. So for our pseudo-Mother's Day Rob made me chocolate-banana pancakes and bought me cookies. My friend Suze back in Santa Fe sent me flowers. We spent the actual Mother's Day weekend at Rob's sister's college graduation, which went better than we expected given the fact that we had a ten month old. It was nice to see family and for Amelia to get exposed to new foods and sounds and places.

Other exciting things are happening too. I'm starting to make other mom friends here, and now that the weather is finally nice I'm hoping we can actually start making play dates and so forth. Amelia is sleeping decently at night (knock on wood) and my allergies are starting to abate (double knock on wood). Rob and I met a person here who is Deaf, and after fingerspelling everything with him the first few times we met I thought I'd use the opportunity to teach myself American Sign Language. I've been practicing in the shower and also trying out new sentences with Amelia (who has started to mimic my signs by doing a sort of "one-hand clap" motion, which incidentally means "milk" in Sign Language). Anyway I haven't learned a new language in awhile and thought it'd be interesting to try.

So that's all that's going on here guys. How are you?

Saturday, 2 May 2015

May is CAITLIN MONTH

I love May. Love love love it.

It's partly because in New England, May is always when spring actually starts to show itself. April is nice and all, but you're almost guaranteed at least one snowstorm and that puts a damper on all the spring that pops up from the ground.

But if I'm being honest, a lot of it is that May is my birthday month, and even though adult birthdays are super lame compared to kid birthdays, it's pretty cool to gain a year.

This year I also get to celebrate Mother's Day for the first time. I thought it was this weekend but turns out it's next weekend, so we get to stretch it out even more. Rob's making me chocolate banana pancakes and the baby is celebrating by not letting me leave her sight for more than a few seconds at a time.

The pancakes will be pretty great though.

So, two whole days to celebrate ME AND ONLY ME, plus nice weather? Blammo. May.

Our May is pretty busy even aside from those things. Rob's sister Molly is graduating college next weekend and we are going to brave it with the baby (pray for us). A week or two after that my dad plans on coming for a visit because he hasn't seen Amelia since Christmas. And I'm hoping we'll do something for Memorial Day weekend too.

I am liking May for one more reason too. I've said it a few times now but it's just so exciting that I will repeat it.

Parenthood is actually really fun right now.


I love Amelia from the depths of my soul, but taking care of a young infant was just not my thing. In a lot of ways I feel like her first 9 months were almost like another pregnancy--essentially just "waiting it out" until the actual parenting started. Within the last month or so, though, she has just totally blossomed into this fun little person to be around. It's exhausting and boring and soul-crushing sometimes too, but what was once an entire day filled with those feelings has turned into the odd 10 or 20 minutes every couple of days. I have yet to find myself yearning for the days when she'd do nothing but lay in one spot and stare and scream and nurse every hour.

The other day I took her to the park for a change of scenery. I had to wait to go until she'd had a napped and nursed and seemed like she was in a generally decent mood.  We only stayed about 15 minutes because on the whole she was pretty unimpressed with swings and slides. The weather was gorgeous--a perfect day. While I obviously enjoyed the time together, all I could think about was how much fun those outings will be when she's even just a little older. How when she's maybe 4 or 5 I can bring a book while she plays on the playground with other kids, how I can take her out for ice cream or slurpees afterward. How one day I can watch her dance around outside and have an imagination instead of chasing after her to make sure she doesn't grab errant dog poop on the edges of our yard.

So what does all that have to do with May?

Nothing really, I guess, except that with the start of this month just feels like a new beginning in so many ways. I feel like I'm hitting my stride in a lot of areas of my life and after this past winter, that's pretty damn cool.

Thursday, 30 April 2015

Currently

Reading: Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed. The baby has actually given me some reading time lately which has been awesome, and I am really, really enjoying this book.  It's basically a collection of passages from the now-defunct Dear Sugar advice column, but I really enjoy Cheryl's well-thought-out, beautiful, no-nonsense answers.  If you're weirdly into advice columns like I am you will probably also enjoy this.

Enjoying: my child's 10th month so, so much more than any of her previous months. She is SO MUCH FUN NOW. Not to mention thanks to some minor sleep training this week she is sleeping better at night and I'm relishing having time at night to spend time with Rob, to mess around on the computer and to not hide my phone (seriously, that kid dives for my phone every time she sees it). During the day she smiles and laughs and it's just...the most amazing thing ever.

 photo A8977AE2-185D-432B-9624-06C00D36F5EF_zpsaweuizpv.jpg

Watching: The Office reruns over and over and over again. The gurus of the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends to avoid screen time until the age of 2, but that is one bit of advice that has gone right out the window. If I couldn't have something on in the background during my long days alone with the baby I think I'd go completely insane. So sorry, Amelia, for your underdeveloped TV brain.

Eating: much healthier foods! Amelia is eating 3 meals a day nowadays (plus a snack) and as a result I'm buying a lot more fruits and veggies. So far she's eaten everything with great relish, especially strawberries and avocado.

Worrying About: Amelia starting two days of daycare in June. She's still dealing with pretty intense separation anxiety right now and I'm worried she's going to come completely undone with the change.


 photo 50326E75-7D22-456E-8CCF-BC59298E526A_zpsgor1wkcu.jpg

Monday, 20 April 2015

A Few Words but Mostly Cute Baby Faces

I seriously stared at this damn blinking cursor for probably 10 minutes on and off and I got nothing.

So since I haven't shared photos from the big camera in awhile, and since we've been enjoying the increasingly warm weather with Amelia, here are some cute baby faces instead.

 photo DSC_0858 copy_zpstajp4aja.jpg photo DSC_0824_zpsrdtmqwry.jpg photo DSC_0898_zpscetvf7bs.jpg photo DSC_0778_zps2z3yxyna.jpg photo DSC_0788_zpsmjwnfjdn.jpg photo DSC_0786_zpsp5wyyi8b.jpg photo DSC_0913_zpsya3tus5e.jpg photo DSC_0984_zpscrui4udq.jpg photo DSC_0983_zps2ktqu7a6.jpg photo DSC_0962_zpsmxgj8jct.jpg photo DSC_0932_zpsflsy0qm0.jpg