Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Babies Don't Keep

I have exactly nine days left until I go back to work. Nine more short days where my only task is to be a mother to my baby girl. In nine days, I have to give over at least 40 hours a week of her life over to another person's care. I may have the opportunity to do some work from home, but even then, I will be distracted from caring for her. So, for the next nine days, this is my mantra:

Babies Don't Keep

Ruth Hulburt Hamilton

Mother, O Mother, come shake out your cloth,

Empty the dustpan, poison the moth,

Hang out the washing, make up the bed,

Sew on a button and butter the bread.

Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?

She's up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.

Oh, I've grown as shiftless as Little Boy Blue,

Lullabye, rockabye, lullabye loo.

Dishes are waiting and bills are past due,

Pat-a-cake, darling, and peek, peekaboo.

The shopping's not done and there's nothing for stew,

And out in the yard there's a hullabaloo.

But I'm playing Kanga, and this is my Roo.

Look! Aren't her eyes the most wonderful hue?

Lullabye, rockabye, lullabye loo.

The cleaning and scrubbing can wait 'till tomorrow

But children grow up, as I've learned from my sorrow.

So quiet down, cobwebs! Dust, go to sleep!

I'm rocking my baby, and babies don't keep.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Two Months!

I'm a few days late with the two month post, but we've had other things that needed to get done (eating, playing, sleeping, etc.) first! It's so hard to believe that little Miss Priss is already two months old! Isn't she the cutest?
We've had a really good month. I'd say that in the time frame from 1 month to 2 months, we've settled into a pretty good routine. I think that now, I feel like I've got a pretty good handle on things and don't feel clueless nearly as much. I think David would disagree with me, but I don't think I'm as hypervigilant about everything as I was a month ago. Yes, I still check numerous times a day to make sure she's breathing, but I think that's pretty normal.
I'm amazed at how much Campbell has changed over the last month. She's so much more alert and active now, and she's really beginning to truly interact with us. She can smile socially now, and she coos like crazy! She says "ah-goo" and "oooh" and a few other sounds, too. When I hold an object about 6-8 inches above her and move it from side to side, she can follow it 180 degrees. When someone is holding her and she sees someone else in the room, she will follow them with her eyes. She holds her head up great, and doesn't like it if she can't see what's going on around her. She also able to put her hands together and get her hands in her mouth purposely. Finger chewing is one of her favorite passtimes! One of her favorite toys is her Baby Einstein floor gym. She loves that thing, and as I type this, she's very nearly worked her way in a circle around the mat by kicking her feet (and chewing her fingers the whole time). What a busy little girl!
She's growing like a weed! At her 2 month appointment, she weighed in at 12 lbs, 12 oz and was 24 1/4" long! What a big, big girl! I was dreading that appointment because I knew she'd be getting 2 shots and an oral vaccine. It wasn't just her reaction to the shots I was dreading, but also the possibility of fever afterwards. She did cry for a bit after the shots, but I nursed her as soon as they were done, and she calmed down quickly. She got two pink camoflage band-aids for her bravery. :) And, the best part of all was that she never ran a fever or got fussy. She's such a trooper! Now we don't have to go back to the doctor for 2 months, which will be nice.
It seems like every week I put away more and more clothes because they've gotten too little. Just this morning, I tried a few 6 month outfits on her to see how long it would be until they fit. Um...they fit NOW! Yikes! I really didn't think she'd be in them so soon! She's now wearing a size 2 diaper, and has been for several weeks. Saturday night we went to a surprise party for our friend Jessi, and when I was nursing Campbell in Jessi's daughter Olivia's room, I saw her diaper stacker. Olivia, who is nearly 2 is just wearing a size 3 diaper. I nearly had a heart attack when I saw that. I mentioned it to Jessi and another friend, and they reassured me that all of their girls wore a size 3 diaper for a really long time. Let's hope so!
The only other news of note, I guess, is that I go back to work in about 2 1/2 weeks. I'm dreading it. Absolutely dreading it. We've found a private sitter for Campbell, and I feel good about having her stay with Miss Gail (who came to us highly recommended by several people), but it's hard. This whole idea of having her stay with someone who's not family is kind of strange to both David and I. David's mom stayed home from work after he was born, and my grandparents watched my sister and I when my parents were at work. We don't expect any of our parents to stay home and watch Campbell full-time, because she's our responsibility. I would just really like to be able to be with her. This may sound horrible, and before I say it, let me say that I love Campbell more than absolutely anything in the world. She is simply amazing, and I would never trade her for anything. But sometimes I find myself thinking that we shouldn't have had kids unless one of us could stay at home with her all the time. I know kids have gone to sitters for ages and ages and turn out fine, but I really feel like the best situation would be for me to be at home with her. I just want to protect her and make sure she gets the best care possible, and it's hard for me to think that someone else can do that. Unfortunately, that's not possible for us right now, so I'm going to try to make the best of it.
Right now, our days consist of eating, playing, sleeping, and trying to get a few things done around the house. It's been a big adjustment to not be able to get any job done from start to finish in one fell swoop, but I'm getting used to it. The house isn't as neat and tidy as it was BC (Before Campbell), but we manage. The way I see it, the dishes, the dust, and the laundry will be around forever, but I only have these 12 weeks with her one time, so that's were I'm going to focus my attention. So off I go to play with my sweet girl while the laundry lays around in the baskets!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

A Borrowed Prayer for My Daughter

About once every two weeks or so, I come up with some kind of brilliant plan to either improve my parenting (which usually fails) or simplify baby care (which also usually fails). Earlier in the week, I decided that I would go back to trying to nurse Campbell in the bed during the middle of the night, rather than getting her out of the Pack 'N Play, tiptoeing into her room, getting the My Brest Friend on, nursing her, then tiptoeing back to our room and depositing her back into the Pack 'N Play. Before we put her to bed that night, I put the Boppy by our bed (which I hate as a nursing pillow, by the way) and went to sleep thinking that the middle of the night feeding would go super-smoothly. At about 2am, Campbell woke up hungry, so I nursed her back to sleep and laid her back in the Pack 'N Play. As I mentally high-fived myself for an easy nighttime feeding, I heard it. The unmistakable gurgling of one of her super-poops. Once I knew she was done, I undid the incredibly noisy velcro of her swaddle wrap, which woke her up completely. Bright eyed and bushy tailed, she looked and me and gave me a gummy grin. While those grins melt my heart, they're not exactly what I want to see at 2:40am. As I unsnapped her onesie and removed her diaper, I realized that not only had the poop gone up her back and through her onesie, but also through the swaddle wrap and her sheets. Yuck. I'd been defeated by the poop and had no choice but to wake up David to help me. I just couldn't change the sheets and her by myself. He was super-groggy, but I really just needed him to be awake enough to not roll over her or let her fall off the bed as I laid her in our bed long enough to change her sheets. Once I'd changed the sheets on her bed and reswaddled her, I settled in to nurse her to sleep again. I was pretty well exhausted, but as I looked at her, I thought, "There is absolutely nothing else I'd rather be doing." I was just overcome with love for that sweet little girl who relies on David and me for everything. The love I felt for her then is just something I can't really describe. I'm so very thankful to have her in my life, and I can't imagine anything being more fulfilling than being her mom.
That very early morning adventure reminded me of something I'd read while I was pregnant. It's Tina Fey's "A Prayer for My Daughter," from her book Bossypants. It's irreverent and offbeat, and even though it's got some foul language, I agree with every word of it. Here it is:

"First, Lord: No tattoos. May neither Chinese symbol for truth nor Winnie the Pooh holding the FSU logo stain her tender haunches.

May she be Beautiful, but not Damaged, for it's the Damage that draws the creepy soccer coach's eye, not the Beauty.

When the Crystal Meth is offered, may she remember the parents who cut her grapes in half and stick with Beer.

Guide her, protect her when crossing the street, stepping onto boats, swimming in the ocean, swimming in pools, walking near pools, standing on the subway platform, crossing 86th street, stepping off of boats, using mall restrooms, getting on and off escalators, driving on country roads while arguing, leaning on large windows, walking in parking lots, riding Ferris wheels, roller-coasters, log flumes, or anything called "Hell Drop", "Tower of Torture", or "The Death Spiral Rock 'N Zero G Roll featuring Aerosmith," and standing on any kind of balcony ever, anywhere, at any age.

Lead her away from Acting but not all the way to Finance. Something where she can make her own hours but still feel intellectually fulfilled and get outside sometimes and not have to wear high heels. What would that be, Lord? Architecture? Midwifery? Golf course design? I'm asking You, because if I knew, I'd be doing it, Dammit.

May she play the Drums to the fiery rhythm of Her Own Heart with the sinewy strength of her Own Arms, so she need not lie with Drummers.

Grant her a Rough Patch from twelve to seventeen. Let her draw horses and be interested in Barbies for much too long, for childhood is short - a Tiger Flower blooming Magenta for one day - and Adulthood is long and dry-humping in cars will wait.

O Lord, break the Internet forever, that she may be spared the misspelled invective of her peers and the online marketing campaign for Rape Hostel V: Girls Just Wanna Get Stabbed.

And when she one day turns on me and calls me a Bitch in front of Hollister, give me the strength, Lord, to yank her directly into a cab in front of her friends, for I will not have that Shit. I will not have it.

And should she choose to be a Mother one day, be my eyes, Lord, that I may see her, lying on a blanket on the floor at 4:50am., all-at-once exhausted, bored, and in love with the little creature whose poop is leaking up its back. "My mother did this for me once," she will realize as she cleans feces off her baby's neck. "My mother did this for me." And the delayed gratitude will wash over her as it does each generation and she will make a Mental Note to call me. And she will forget. But I'll know, because I peeped it with Your God eyes. Amen."
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