Thursday, September 30, 2010

Jude in Stripes...a photo montage.

Liz is obsessed with putting our son in stripes.  Here is a montage of some of his best stripey moments.

Solid sleeves stripey.

Rugby shirt cell phone stripey.

Stripey bottle time.

All over stripey.

Stripey no-pants.

Stripey with a chance of belly button.

Tiny bundle of stripey.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

So he isn't going to be a turtle

Liz and I had an irrational fear.  Fast forward 12 years.  Jude is at a slumber party with a bunch of his friends.  They spread out all of their sleeping bags on the floor.  In the morning, they wake up.  All of Jude's friends get up for breakfast, and our son just lays there.  And his friends say, "C'mon guys, we gotta go get Jude.  He's just laying there...he's stuck."  His friends would help him to roll over and get up, and then they'd lovingly call him Turtle, a name that would stick with him until his adulthood.

Recently, that fear was eliminated when Jude showed off his skills and rolled over!  He was thrilled to roll from his back to his front...again and again!  And ti looks like he is enjoying tummy time so much more now that he gets to choose when it starts.  We aren't quite ready to to roll back, but we know that it is coming soon.

I'd like to comment on the comments and you can comment, too (comments, please)

I would very much love for anyone who's reading this here blog to comment on our posts every now and again - even if it's just to say, "hey!  I feel ya, sistahs!" or, "GET OUT!  I can't believe that!" or, "OMG I can't believe you would put your baby in that outfit" (actually, please don't write that last one).  Our plan in life is to one day have most of our posts turned into a book that we can keep forever and ever (I mean, what if the internets aren't forever?), and I'd looooooove to be able to include the comments of you, our loyal readers. 

But many of you have emailed me/facebooked me to tell me you can't comment - something about blogger won't let you do it.  People - I am here to tell you right now that I have gone into the blog settings about 15 different times and examined every possible setting and have not been able to find a single reason why people can't comment.... until today.  After doing some research on the world wide web, it seems that if I tell blogger that I want comments to be embedded in posts, there's some kind of bug and it just doesn't let anyone comment.  WTF, Google.  Isn't this something you can fix? 

Anyway, the point is that I think I've fixed it. I *think* you can now comment away!!!!!!  Try it!
(And while we're on the subject of comments - several of you have emailed me/talked to me to say that you share a lot of the feelings I expressed in my post about stress.  You guys are awesome and that's one of the things I've loved about having a blog - knowing that I can put something like that out there and get that kind of support back.  I love you, fellow mamas!!!!)

Sunday, September 5, 2010

He's a Real Minnesotan Now

Not long after we moved to Minnesota, we learned that REAL Minnesotans go to the State Fair. No. Scratch that. REAL Minnesotans take days off of work to go to the State Fair, go multiple times (in a twelve day period), and passionately debate the relative merits of the Miracle of Life barn.

We've done our best to assimilate to the Minnesotan way of life and as much as we love it here, I think we'll always be Californians. But that doesn't stop us from going to the fair (we just limit it to once a year and we don't take any days of work, thankyouverymuch). Babies don't stop us from going, either, apparently.

Here's sort of how the conversation went this year:
Liz: Are we going to go to the fair this year?
Lindsay: Yeah... I was thinking we could.
Liz: Is that a crazy idea?
Lindsay: I think Jude would like it.
Liz: Yeah, but how do we get there?
Lindsay: I think we can just take the bus like normal.
(notice that Lindsay is acting like there's no reason why we shouldn't go. Deep down, she's waaaay more nervous about taking a 6 month old to the largest event in the state that I am)

But we did it... and here's what I learned:
1. Buses and babies aren't that scary. You just fold up the stroller (thank goodness we have one that folds up easily and compactly and stands on its own) and hold the kid on your lap (we opted to put Jude in the carrier)

2. You can be in the middle of the midway, and your baby can snooze away.

3. If your baby does happen to wake up in the midway, he's going to think you've taken him to the craziest place on Earth.

4. Mommy can win a super awesome prize for you

5. Babies can eat food on a stick, too

6. At the end of the day, babies and grown-ups alike are dirty, exhausted, and ready to go home
7. But not before making friends with the baby sitting next to you on the bus on the way home

They don't call it "The Great Minnesota Get-together" for nothing....

Until next year, little Jude.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Operating Instructions: A Book Review

My first mom's class from Amma Maternity is all getting together at my house in couple of weeks for a book club.  I am, of course, thrilled by the prospect of being in a book club.  The two most important people in my life have been flaunting their book clubs in my face for years, and now it is my turn.  And I'm not going to be shy in talking about how much fun I have a *my* book club.  Okay.  I said it.

Since we are an all mom book club, we wanted to start out with a good mom book.  The group chose Operating Instructions by Anne Lamott.  About 5 pages into the book, I knew that it was going to become a standard gift for all new moms that I know.  By the end of the book, I was looking around my house in a paranoid way, making sure that Anne wasn't sitting next to me journaling about my experiences as parent.

Her portrayal of the emotions that come with being a new parent mirrors my emotions over the past six months.  I am not really a "quoter" -- you know, the girls who had quotes all over their dorm room and now are the women who have them in their cubicles and offices.  Quotes like "Happiness is being married to your best friend."  God, just typing that I threw up in my mouth.  Anyway, this book had so many touching passages that I feel like I have to share some of them.  And no, I am not going to frame any of them in my cube.

"[Sam] is finally beginning to enjoy his stay here, and not only that but he may want to be one of us when he grows up.  There's definitely a sense that he's the new man in the company and is now ready to start working his way up the ladder."  

I have noticed the same thing about Jude.  He looks around from his perch in the middle of the living room floor, surveying all of the action around him.  The cats.  The dog.  The mommies.  And you can read his little face, and it says "I could be convinced to stick around with these guys."

"Lots of other babies his age have been crawling for months.  Their moms say 'Oh, Joshua was one of those babies who couldn't wait to crawl,' and their tone suggest that this is some positive reflection on his moral character.  I always want to say, Yeah, but your kid's a spoiled little no-neck monster and your husband is a total dork.  But hey -- congratulations on the crawling."

This is a mantra that I repeat on a regular basis.  Since Jude is a little, well, delayed in his rolling over (although we did have a back-to-front incident today - no one is getting their hopes up), I have had so many people talk about how their baby rolled over at 12 weeks.  Like that is an admission ticket to Harvard.  And even if it is, it could also be an admission ticket to Nerdtown, and Jude and I are working to avoid that place.

"My life has become so mundane.  The biggest thrill left for me, the only time I really feel I'm courting danger, is when I'm washing my hair and I step directly under the shower spray and let the water begin to stream down my forehead, but I wait a split second to close my eyes so that the shampoo gets dangerously close to blinding me."

I have to try this.  It is what my life as a mother has been missing.

And my favorite...

"I tell my students about that line of Doctorow's, that when you're writing a novel, it's like driving in a tulle fog; you can only see about as far as the headlights, but that's enough; it's as far as you have to see.  And I tell them that this probably applies to real life, too.  But right now I feel like I'm just sitting in the car with Sam, not really going anywhere, just getting to know each other, both of us looking out through the window at what passes by, and then at each other again."

Livin the Dream

For a family of people who are all in their pajamas by 7:00 most nights, our lives have seemed incredibly hectic lately. In just the past few weeks, we purchased a new mom-mobile (goodbye, dear, sweet Lexus), managed to meet two separate sets of friends for brunch, took Jude to his first petting zoo, and Jude sprouted his first tooth (who knew growing teeth was such a gargantuan chore?). Being a mom is definitely hard.

As for me, I think my "normal" stress levels have crept up on me, leaving huge knots in the muscles in my back (despite a 1 massage/week for four weeks biltz!) and sleepless nights with me making useless lists in my head at 3:38 am ("Things I Forgot to do at Work Yesterday," for example). None of these are new issues for me, I just think that I've let my life get away from me a little.

Nancy, my most wonderful Women's Health Nurse Practitioner, suggested among other.... chemical... approaches to dealing with my stress and anxiety, that I read a book called "Full Catastrophe Living." Sounds crazy to me, but I guess it's about living in the moment - being present. How did she know that this is a personal goal I've set for myself as a mother?

If you ask my sister, she'd tell you I'm super high-strung. If you ask my co-workers, they'd probably say it's hard to tell when I'm stressed out, because I don't let it show. The truth is, I'm really hard on myself and desperate to maintain order and control in my life, but I'm aware that this doesn't necessarily endear me to those around me, so I've become very good at keeping a cool exterior. Maybe it's a holdover from a childhood spent with a tragically ill father, and maybe it's just who I am. Whatever the reason, I think that my family deserves to have me - not the me I thought I was supposed to be or the me that I hope to be but always seem to fall short of. They deserve the Liz for whom the only thing that really matters is right now.

So.... I'm working on it.