Lazy, Icky Saturday

J still isn’t sleeping well — I suspect because he’s still working on his first tooth, and the second appears to be close behind. And so, last night I was awoken at 3:30 a.m. … and we were up until 5:30, when he finally fell back to sleep. But I think D was actually the one who stayed up with the baby last night — I don’t remember because I felt so awful. I had a very queasy stomach (hangover-esque, but not a hangover) and simply couldn’t find the strength to stand up and rock J for more than a few minutes at a time.

Well, eventually we were all back in bed, but 8:30 rolled around and I wasn’t feeling any better. Still the queasy stomach, but I was also just exhausted. I fed the baby but could not get myself out of bed. Finally at 11:30, D convinced me to get up. I started to feel like I had overslept, and I hoped that getting up and showering, moving around, and eating something would help my stomach settle. We had lunch (after I fed the baby again, of course), and then we decided to take the baby to the park to swing.

Turns out, J wasn’t in a very good mood, either.

baby crying in the swingClearly the park wasn’t a great choice.

We came home and put the baby down for a (much needed) nap, and I was still feeling queasy. We lounged in the living room and watched a movie, and called our (new) friends and the babysitter to cancel our double-date plans (which I’m super sad about — but we’ll reschedule).

D was sweet enough to go to the store and get me some soup and Pepto Bismol, so hopefully that will help my stomach a bit. Unfortunately, while he was gone, the baby spit up quite a lot — I hope he’s not sick, too.

I’m still not feeling well (in case that wasn’t obvious with the pity party post), and I’m glad it’s a Saturday, so I’ve been able to relax, but I was really hoping to get some things done around the house today.

In other news, I’ve been trying to make some cosmetic improvements around the house. I replaced all the brass door knobs with brushed nickel ones, and I’m planning to paint soon — gotta get rid of this nasty yellow beige that we’ve had since we moved in. (Currently, the only room in the house that I’m actually pretty pleased with color-wise is the freshly painted nursery.) But I’m finding that picking out paint colors is way more difficult than it seems like it should be. I want something bright and happy without being too bright, warm without being dark, neutral without being the same color as my couches. So I’m working on calling in some help — my interior decorator cousin. Hope she’s able to come up with some ideas!

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Birthday Celebrations… Like the Old Days

Yesterday was my husband’s 28th birthday, and his first as a father. And what a wonderful father he is.

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We celebrated with his family last weekend, so we had done the whole cake/candles thing (and there was no way I could top his cousin’s delicious cakes), so this weekend we just aimed to relax and have fun.

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But rather than have a date night alone, we went out with a few friends while a sitter took care of the baby at home. We had put him to bed already (which really frees us up for the evening), so we were able to relax and enjoy ourselves.

We’ve gone out alone a few times, but it was refreshing to go out sans baby with our childless friends. The conversation steered clear of the kid, and I, for one, felt almost back to my pre-pregnancy self that night.

I say it all the time — I love being a parent! But it’s always nice to get away for just a couple of hours. Having a baby is really all-consuming, in both good ways and … inconvenient and stressful ways.

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Anyway, happy belated birthday to my husband. I love you more every day.

The Olympics as a Parent

As I expected, I haven’t been watching the Olympics in London consistently, despite the fact that I was so fired up after the opening ceremonies. but I have been catching bits and pieces of the delayed broadcast on NBC, and I’ve enjoyed watching these incredible athletes in action. Gabby Douglas’s gold medal last night was particularly inspiring. And the many world records I’ve seen swimmers beat are always exciting. Then there are the heartbreaking defeats and mistakes that remind us that these are, after all, people — often very young ones who are still children in many ways.

And more than ever before, I’ve noticed how involved many of the athletes’ parents are. Maybe it’s like this every Games, or maybe I’m noticing it more because I’m a parent myself now. But I’m loving seeing these incredibly supportive parents cheering on their precious children. Some are coaches themselves, some have allowed their children to leave their homes to pursue better training… But I am sure that all of them have sacrificed something to help their children succeed. And I can only imagine how it must feel to sit on the sidelines as your child achieves a gold medal — overwhelming joy, I’m sure, to see your child’s dreams come true in a moment. And it must be so difficult for those parents who watch as their children fail. Surely their hearts break as they helplessly watch as their children react to a bad routine or poor score, blaming themselves or crying with anger and disappointment.

I have not yet watched J in a play or on a court, but on some level I think I can understand how these parents must feel. Every day, I feel like I love my son more (if that’s even possible). I want nothing more than his health and happiness. I can only imagine how I will feel after so many years have gone by.

Young Me/Old Me

Now that I’ve written my requisite feel-good post about the Olympics, I’m feeling compelled to write something a little more down-to-earth and self-centered.

I went shopping today at a trendy little boutique nearby. I have a 50% off coupon — how could I resist? I was excited to get a couple of shirts or accessories or maybe even a new pair of jeans. But I found myself uncomfortable, so I want to write about my experience to try to figure out why I felt the way I did.

I’m feeling better about my body these days — I’m 6 pounds from my goal weight and 10 pounds from my pre-pregnancy weight (but I was really too skinny). And I’m loving finally having something ‘up top’! I was always flat-chested, but can’t complain about a C cup! For those of you who wonder what my secret to weight loss is, I’m sorry to disappoint, but I’ve been doing nothing but breastfeeding and eating twice as much as I normally would. (I’m very nervous about what will happen when I stop breastfeeding, but we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it…)

So why do I find shopping for clothes to be so not fun?

Well, for one thing, my body has changed a lot. I may not be very far from my goal weight, but I’ve got plenty of pooch left in my tummy. My hips definitely widened a bit, as well. And the boobs? They change the way everything fits. Sometimes for the better, but not always. I’m finding myself having to buy clothes a size larger than I used to. (Cry me a river, I know.)

When it comes right down to it, it’s just that the things I usually find “cute” are not designed for my post-baby body. Even after 7 months, I’m having to adjust. I usually end up in jeans and t-shirts because at least I can pull that off.

Okay, so I was frustrated by the fact that nothing was fitting the way I expected.

Add to that the fact that there was a young girl in there shopping with her mom for sorority rush dresses.

Normally, I don’t even pay attention to other customers. But for some reason, when I heard her explain to the clerk that she was looking for a dress for pref night, I just felt old.

It’s only been 9 years since I went off to college myself. And just a year or so ago, I was still connected to some of my college friends and even knew some of the students (albeit by association). And really, 9 years is not that long.

But the last 7 months have made college suddenly seem like ages ago. I was in such a different time in my life then — worried about classes and classmates and professors. And beyond that… my life before the baby was born was just so different from what it is now. And it feels like I’m so far removed from that life.

This is not a complaint, though! I would not trade my life now for anything. It sounds cliche, but I mean it.

I felt uncomfortable shopping today because I suddenly felt out of place in the store. Like a 27 year old mom (yeah, see? I’m not that old!) doesn’t belong in a trendy boutique where college girls shop. I know it’s not true, but I still felt suddenly ancient, underdressed, and frumpy… like I didn’t belong.

I don’t know what the purpose of this post is, other than to write all this down. None of these feelings are new, exactly. I’m just still trying to figure out where I fit now that I’m a mom and a woman still in her twenties. I feel both very old and very young at the same time. And sometimes I feel a little lost in the social sphere because of that.

I think (read: know) I need to make some more mommy friends in the area, but it’s just so hard to meet people. (It’s not exactly like I can randomly approach a couple with a baby at a restaurant and ask if they want to hang out. Though I have suggested to D that we do this on multiple occasions.)

Not sure how to end this post, but do any other moms out there feel this way? Or have suggestions on how to meet other moms? Or where to shop? Or how to deal?

The Games Have Begun!

Last night, my husband and I sat down on the couch together (kind of a rare occurrence since we don’t have cable and are usually doing something on the computer), and we watched the Opening Ceremonies for the 2012 Olympic Games in London in its entirety. I was really looking forward to it. I knew nothing about what to expect, but I was sure it would be quite a show.  We had actually planned to put the baby down before the broadcast at 7:30 p.m., but he simply refused to go to sleep. Eventually, we decided to just let him stay up and watch with us.

Neither of us are big on sports, but we were theatre majors in college, and the opening ceremonies is basically a big stage performance. And a very opulent one at that! We marveled at the set changes and the fluidity of the incredibly enormous cast. It must have been a blocking nightmare! Years ago, though, I would have given my right leg to be able to stage manage such a show.

D and I both thought it started out a little… weird. But once it got going and it became clear that we were going through phases of London’s history, it started to make sense. And I loved the way the Olympic rings were forged and then rose out of the stage and into the sky. And the special effects! Wow.

Of course, the musical performances were all phenomenal. Rowan Atkinson was brilliant in his comedic piece during Chariots of Fire. I adored the faithful cover of Come Together by the Arctic Monkeys (and I am not a Beatles fan). Paul McCartney is getting a bit old, but still a moving performance. He seemed — understandably — a bit choked up at the beginning of Hey Jude.

And the Queen’s entrance was awesome. Yes, it was very silly. But I’m surprised — and delighted! — that she was cool enough to agree to that. And it must have been awesome for Daniel Craig as a native Englishman.

All that to say, I was very pleased with the Opening Ceremonies. J and D both seemed to enjoy it as well. J stayed up way past his bedtime — he refused to miss it! Until the Parade of Nations began… Don’t get me wrong, I find it interesting as an adult, but let’s face it… that’s hands down the most boring part of the event. J got through the As and then I put him to bed. He slept soundly for the rest of the night.

As I said before, I’m not a big sports fan. I never played sports as a kid really (I was more of a ballet girl), but I can’t help but get swept up in the excitement of the Olympic Games. I likely won’t watch a lot of events, and my enthusiasm will probably fade in a couple of days. But I love the idea of the Olympics. It makes the world seem so much smaller — gives us all a common goal and friendly competition to distract us from the real conflicts going on in the world, if only for a couple of weeks. The sportsmanship the athletes display is inspiring. And watching the Parade of Nations is a reminder that there are other people in this world — many from countries I had never even heard of — who care and have worked hard to achieve something. Anyone can relate to that notion on some level. Many Olympic athletes don’t stand a chance — but they still made the trip and are representing their countries with pride. It’s not always about the reward — sometimes the journey is just as important.

And I love that everyone in the USA is, for once, rooting for the same team. We’re not divided by state or city lines — we’re all a part of this one great country, and we have some incredible athletes representing that spirit.

I’m glad J stayed up for the opening ceremonies. He won’t remember watching them, and he certainly has no idea what he witnessed last night… but some day I want him to learn to recognize the things we have in common as human beings — regardless of country of origin, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender, political leanings. We’re all human beings and the Olympic Games, for me, demonstrate that through the collection of the greatest athletes from around the globe. Everyone is given a fair shot at the gold. And I think the same should be true in regular, every day life.