Wednesday, January 30, 2008

So fast.

On Friday, Kali started wearing size one diapers instead of the newborn ones. I cried at the loss of the tiny newborn baby she was. I spent the rest of the afternoon in the rocking chair, holding her and sniffing her head.

On Saturday we took her to a party. For seven hours. She ate and slept like she does at home. I had a blast.

On Sunday my FIL dropped in without calling. We reiterated that he needs to call us. The kicker was that we already had plans to go over to the in-laws' house that evening, so I ended up with double the parent time. Grrr.

On Monday Kali cried from 6 pm to midnight. We think she was overtired. None of her rocking or vibrating seats were able to soothe her, so I developed some serious biceps as I rocked her, face down, in my arms and sang my entire repertoire of Sinatra songs.

On Tuesday night Kali took a bottle of expressed breast milk - Mr. December took one night feeding. No fuss, no confusion. Afterwards she started to cry and then to really wail. It was like a knife in my heart, that sound... hearing her distress and not calming her. It was very different from the times when she cries while I get dressed and I talk her through it. Very different. I almost cried.

None of these experiences will be forever. Kali will keep growing and changing. I know this, and a part of me welcomes seeing her get bigger, learn to smile and laugh and crawl. But another part of me wants to hold onto her just as she is, for as long as I can. She's growing so fast, and it's only been a month.

(happy one month, sweet girl)

Thursday, January 24, 2008

pop quiz

I can't remember the last time I didn't have a tiny person attached to my boob. Is this because:

a) she has actually been attached to my boob for 18 out of the last 24 hours (I don't exaggerate)

b) the sleep deprivation has gotten to me, and I just can't remember anything, OR

c) both a and b?

OK, now... pencils down. Share your answers with the class, and don't forget to show your work.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Ouch, times two.

I mangled my thumb today. I wasn't looking at all while unfolding the stroller, and... ouch. Really ouch. It's a good thing my mom was with me, because I think I went into mild shock. I felt like fainting.

And ouch. My nipples hurt. Princess Kali has been feeding every hour. Did you hear me correctly? YES, EVERY HOUR. It's like perpetual happy hour at the breast bar. If breastmilk was boozy, she'd be facing a killer hangover in the morning. Mr. December and I think it's a growth spurt, but who knows for sure? All I know is that she's genuinely hungry each of these times... my policy is to start with burping, diaper, rocking, and some non-nutritive sucking (usually my pinky finger) before determining that she's actually hungry. So far today... she's actually hungry. All the freaking time.

Now that I've got that out of the way, I feel the need to say... thank God my baby girl nurses well and is growing and gaining weight like a champ. Thank God I have a baby girl at all.

But Jebus H. Christ, my nipples fucking HURT!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

the princess and the pee

Yes, this is what has become of my blog. I can't hide the fact that my child's hazardous waste output is fascinating to me. Especially last night, when we had our first diaper "blow-out" and saw what many parents have affectionately called "shitting up the back". For future reference, Oxi-clean worked really well to get that stain out of a white onesie. Oh yeah, and I learned that rolling a baby sideways to clean her back can be hazardous... she peed over the side of her change table.

OK, new topic.

My students are so cute. For those of you playing along at home, I teach teen classes at our synagogue. I've become particularly close with my oldest class, and on Friday four of them came over after school to make us shabbat dinner. One arrived with a frozen chicken in a mini cooler ("mmm, locker chicken!" I exclaimed), others came with potatoes and vegetables. Most notably, the one who brought the chicken turned to me, packaged chicken in hand, and said, "um, how do I prepare a chicken?" In the end the chicken was fabulous (I left them to their own devices and they invented a recipe), and they even made us challah. What a mitzvah... I'm very proud of them.

Today I unpacked a whole bunch of the presents we received for Kali. I've organized them according to size, and I'm trying to figure out whether we need to exchange anything for larger sizes... but I can't get past the organizing stage. How do I know how many of each thing we need? Little help?

Our days have very little structure, built as they are around Kali's 3-4 hour naps. The only constant is that after her morning feed, I put her back to bed and go take a shower. I'm inordinately proud of the fact that even though I have a new baby, I'm showered and dressed by 10 every day. Okay, now I'm ducking to avoid the eggs being thrown at me.

It's freezing out today. The in-laws want to see us, and we don't want to take Kali out in -21 degrees (celsius, windchill included) so the only remaining option is for them to come here. Dammit. They have a habit of overstaying their welcome... our second day in the hospital they came and visited... for three hours. Not exactly restful, especially with their discomfort with silence and their need to make inane small talk. You can probably see why I'd rather meet them anywhere but at our house - at least we'd be able to leave when we want to. I wonder how long after the birth I can legitimately excuse myself for a nap, claiming that I'm still tired and recovering? And does that excuse not hold water when I've been out and about with the baby every day?

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

I (heart) Mr. December

Well, of course I do. But I'm also very proud of him.

He came home from work, observed Kali's fussiness, and immediately offered to take her and give me a break. Right now he's wearing her in the moby wrap. He changes diapers (even the poopy ones) and last night he took her from me to change her after she nursed, so that I didn't have to get out of bed.

So yeah, I feel like I'm dying of exhaustion, but at least Mr. December is doing his fair share. And he's really good with Kali. I'm swooning. Is there a porn magazine out there for women like me? I'd love me some full-page spreads of guys wearing babies, changing diapers, all the while flexing their pecs and lats. mmm... sexy daddies. yum.

(yes, I'm weird. deal with it.)

Sunday, January 13, 2008

About Kali's name.

Kalanit is the name of a flower that grows in northern Israel. It looks like this:

It grows wild and even adorns places like minefields and mountain bunkers.

Yarden is the Hebrew translation of "Jordan". The Jordan is the river that brings fresh water, and thus life, to much of the land of Israel. (side note: all those gospel tunes and church songs about the mighty Jordan river? We of North America would probably call it a creek. Towards the end of the summer if you go rafting on the Jordan, you can feel your butt scraping the bottom of the river in places.)

We chose a name beginning with the letter Y in honour of Mr. December's paternal grandfather Yehuda. He was the first generation to really abandon traditional Jewish life and assimilate into North American culture - to the point where he never used the name Yehuda... his parents also gave him the name Julius (it's hard to think of a less Jewish name), and that's how he was known. Our hope is that by naming Kali after him, we're bringing that process full circle and returning the family to a place where we can be proud of our heritage.

So that's the story of her name. Thanks for waiting patiently!

the princess officially has a name

Kalanit Yarden.

Kali for short.

Further explanations forthcoming. Just got home from her naming and the subsequent party, and I'm exhausted.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

what a new parent really needs...

a tiny phiilips-head screwdriver for opening the battery compartment on every single toy, night light, and baby accessory.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

this little piggy

I've been blessed with a baby who really knows how to latch and suck. And she's a show-off to boot... here's a shortlist of

Things that princess poopypants has latched onto in the last 24 hours
1. My bathrobe
2. Her swaddle blanket
3. Daddy's chest hairs
4. Her own fingers
5. A washcloth
6. A clean diaper

In related news, as of yesterday she had gone up to 7 pounds, 3 ounces from 6 pounds 14 ounces last Friday. This little piggy knows how to eat, just like her parents. I guess her newborn clothes won't be too big for long.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

One week ago

One week ago today, I was out walking with Mr. D and our doula. Every four minutes a contraction would hit and I'd have to lean against someone and breathe my way through it. It took us half an hour to walk a route that normally takes 10 minutes.

Today I walked that same route with our new baby. It only took ten minutes. She seemed unimpressed, choosing to sleep through the experience rather than look up at the (admittedly gray and depressing) sky. As I pushed the stroller along, I realized that this is what I've always wanted, what I've dreamed of. I always thought there would be a feeling of excited amazement bursting out of me when I finally got my baby; instead, it feels like life as usual. The new usual. It's amazing how quickly I've become accustomed to her face.

This child is such a tremendous gift and a blessing. I never want to take that for granted. But I wonder, have I just skipped over the sense of immense gratitude and privilege? Will it hit me later? Or is this really the gift I'm getting, the ability to finally feel like a normal new mum, simply accepting the fact that of course I have a baby?

They say that names matter. Perhaps I should have named my blog differently... because today, instead of marveling at the miracle that I've received, all I can think is, of course. Of course I got pregnant.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

4:45 and all is well

After the past few nights' escapades - nonstop crying and nursing from 1 to 5 a.m. - I was expecting more of the same. Instead, I was woken up by my full boobs, about 4 hours after we all went to bed. The princess has been fed and changed, all without uttering a peep. Back to bed I go. I may actually feel normal in the morning.

Stay tuned for "tales of the in-laws". Not recommended for those prone to nightmares. Highly recommended for those who want to find said in-laws and smack them upside the head.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

We're home!

Hi everyone,

Thanks for all the greetings and congratulations... Mr. D printed them and brought them to the hospital for me.

We're home now. I'm feeling great, aside from the crushing exhaustion. The baby eats and sleeps like a champ, although she has yet to figure out that 3:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m. is not a good time to be fussy. She's keeping us on our toes with the diaper changes... just when you think she's done - you open her diaper, start cleaning her up, and she pees or poos all over you. We're already running low on diapers and wipes. If it wasn't so cold we'd take a family outing to the drugstore, but I think one of us adults will have to go it alone.

And to everyone who says that you don't need the newborn size clothes... she is SWIMMING in her 0-3 month sleepers. Most of the time her little legs are crossed near her bum and they don't even make it down into the legs of the clothes.

Her name will be announced, as per Jewish tradition, in a ceremony at our synagogue. Not this Saturday, because it just seems too close to plan and notify people, but next week. Until then she's "the baby". Or Princess Poopypants. Either one works.

I haven't really decided how I feel about posting pictures of my kid online. Those of you who have been reading me for a long time, I'm happy to send you a pic if you email me and ask... sara at wlualumni dot com.

Happy Thursday, everyone!