8 weeks ago today I also watched a "Law & Order: SVU" marathon...

I cannot believe how time is flying by. Charlie is 8 weeks old tonight! Back then, a month at the beach sounded like such a long time, but here we are with a nearly two month old baby and just a few days left of "vacation." (I mean, really, I have a newborn; you could stick me in a spa in Fiji and it still wouldn't really be a vacation.) On the one hand, I'm excited to get home to our own space and to have some time as just our little family of three, but on the other? Man, is this place heaven. We walk to the coffee shop most mornings and the beach is a two minute walk in the other direction. Evenings rocking in the salt air on the breezy porch are what I dream of in the winter. The abundance of fresh, cheap(er) seafood is such a treat. I love being in proximity to our families, and of course, having my mom's help with the baby has been invaluable. I know it's time to go, but I just wish our time here hadn't passed so very quickly. 

Living on fast-forward also means that my return-to-work date is rapidly approaching, despite my doing everything I can to ignore that fact. I'm lucky to have a job with an understanding boss in a family-friendly company. I am also lucky to be able to telework one day a week. However, I'm a professional with responsibilities that sometimes follow me home, plus I also commute nearly two hours each day. I am excited about the nanny we found and know that Charlie will be in great hands. I just worry that they won't be my hands, and that I'll regret all of my time away from him. I'm not someone who lives for her career, but I have invested a lot of time and effort to get to where I am, so I don't know that I would want to walk away, even if I could. Mostly, I know how much I suck at juggling multiple full-time jobs, so I'm worried about continuing to grow my position at work, maintaining things at home, AND adding a baby, even one as delightful as this one is, to the mix. Certainly this is not unique to me; it's your basic modern mothering conundrum. Knowing I'm in good company doesn't lessen the worry and guilt, though. I guess we'll see what happens! 

Until then? I'm going to snuggle my baby and enjoy the hell out of cocktail hour on the porch.

Gratuitous baby photo:


5 weeks, 5 days, 17 hours, and 45 minutes...

Hello! So, hey, it turns out that babies are pretty time consuming. ALERT THE MEDIA. I think the majority of the problem is that this particular baby is so freaking adorable that I spend a large (LAAARGE) part of each day just holding and snuggling him. It's kind of awesome.  

We're doing well for the most part. I came a little close to the edge there toward the end of my in-laws' visit (������), but it was a 10 day visit starting at 3 weeks postpartum and I didn't want to throttle people for real until the last night, and that includes the time my FIL asked if the baby and I would have died in the days before c-sections. (Most likely! That hasn't been haunting me or anything, so feel free to bring it up in casual conversation!) Anyway, I'm calling the visit a win. GO ME.

The weekend before the 4th, we packed up and headed north to my parents' cottage on Cape Cod. Mark drove up with our giant carload of crap (so much crap for one tiny person!) while the baby and I flew. Thankfully it all went pretty smoothly. The kiddo is loving the salt air and our daily walks, as well as the insane spoiling my parents are doing. We also had a week with great friends visiting. My college roommate and her husband and son rent a house around the corner for July 4th week and we always have a great time with them. We're also really enjoying introducing the little guy to all of his family and friends up here. My sister and BIL were here for my grandma's 90th birthday party, we'll be with our whole extended families for the christening in a couple of weeks, and there's a big 40th birthday party for my uncle right before we head home. (My mom is the oldest of 9 and her youngest brother has Down syndrome; he loves birthday parties and this is a big year, so we're throwing a bash. He's going to love it -- we couldn't miss it!) 

On to the important stuff: THE BABY. He is an utter doll. He's eating every 4ish hours, then we play a little, and then he naps. He tops out at about two hours of awake time and when he gets a little unhappy, we swaddle him, offer the pacifier and some snuggles, and he's out like a light. The cranks are usually solved with food, sleep, or gas drops; he is totally his daddy's boy. (I'm afraid to even mention last night, lest it never happen again. The kid ate at 9:30, slept until 3:30, ate at 4, and slept again from 4:30-7:30. Clearly we can never have another child, as we already got the best one.) (I know, I know -- I just broke my perfect baby by typing out those words and we shall never sleep again.) He loves his stroller and being outside in general, and he is pretty good about settling himself. He is growing like a weed, and I can't believe how much he has changed in a month. My one complaint is that when he gets angry, he works himself into such a state that he holds his breath to the point of turning dusky blue and you have to startle him into breathing again. It has taken DECADES off my life. Good grief, child...

I can't believe how time is flying by. I'm already nearly halfway through my maternity leave, and I am dreading leaving this little guy so soon. I snuggle him as often as possible, nuzzling his fuzzy little noggin and trying to memorize the smell. We have a wonderful nanny picked out, and our share couldn't be more convenient (the other family lives four houses away from us!). I just hate the fact that he is growing so quickly and I'm going to be missing 40 hours of it each week between work and commuting. I am so grateful for my telework day, when I can at least stick my head out every so often to see him and to squish him with hugs on my lunch break.

I can actually kind of understand the "cherish every moment" old ladies, because even in the thick of exhaustion and crying and constant pooping, my heart hurts with how lovely and fleeting this time is. I feel so very lucky to be this particular little dude's mom. Speaking of the wee one, I'm being summoned, right on cue. Gotta run!


Miracles

I'm watching the early morning news in my bed, thinking about how I should probably get up -- a pretty typical weekday for me. However, this Thursday is different because right next to my bed is this sight, and it's blowing my mind:
Meet Charlie, everyone! He will be two weeks old tonight, and he is an absolute doll. Seriously, I have no idea how we got so lucky. My general approach to the unknown is to expect the worst and then to hopefully be pleasantly surprised when life doesn't outright suck. I had not even the faintest idea it could be this great, though. 

This kid, you guys. He smiles real smiles. Wide awake, he'll make eye contact and then give us these gummy grins that go all the way to his eyes. He is such a snuggler -- loves nothing more than to be swaddled and held, and he loves digging his little face into your neck. He has some unbelievably impressive pipes, but he reserves their use for truly terrible things, like diaper changes and faint pangs of hunger. (You've probably heard him, so impressive is his hunger fury.) Oh! And his cries! Seriously the cutest thing ever. He SNORTS when he cries. I feel so bad laughing at him, but the snorts of fury are HILARIOUS. So far, he is rocking being a newborn. He eats every 3ish hours and sleeps in between. He's starting to have more awake time during the day, and he's great at settling in at night too. We put him down fed, clean, and awake, and he just ... goes to sleep. (Please, God, may it stay this way.) He has had some gas issues, which was so sad, as he clearly had a belly ache. However, his pediatrician ok'd Mylicon drops yesterday and they are working like a charm. My happy and contented baby is back -- whew!

Thus far, the only disaster has been breastfeeding. My supply is abysmal (PCOS: The Gift That Keeps On Giving), and coupled with his size (9 lbs., 3 oz.!), well, I couldn't sustain his basic hydration, let alone his appetite. The worst part is that attempting to feed frustrates him to the point of raaage. He gets so stressed out, with this terrible screaming cry. It's really awful; I want to cry just thinking about it. I hate upsetting him like that, so I offer the boob regularly but don't force the issue, and I'm pumping as much as I can. Rationally I know he'll be just fine, but it's surprising to me how insidious the "Breast is Best" message is. I had always disregarded such messages, knowing breastfeeding is great when it works, but that it doesn't always work, and the bottom line is that everyone does the best they can with the resources they have. However, now that I'm in this particular position of it not working? The guilt is intense and oppressive, and it is all coming from me. Charlie's doctor, my mom, even the LCs I've met with have been nothing but supportive, and yet I still feel like I'm failing him. Blech. 

I'm choosing to console myself with lots of this and it's kind of awesome:

He's a damn miracle, and I'm weepy with gratitude on a regular basis.

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