figment: A treewoman, a dryad, her arms are branches (treewoman)

That's about what I'm feeling. Lots of contractions etc. but nothing actually meaningful. Not much reliable sleep. Thank heavens for naps.


But hey! I'm on vacation. And after that, on leave. For three months! Amazing. Right now it just feels like Holiday Whirl, but in a day or three I'm sure we'll actually have a day or two where we have genuine free time and it will be Amazing. It'd be nice if we got that chance before the baby arrives... although that directly contradicts the "Any time now, baby, any time you're ready" sentiment. Rather than see these as contradictory, let's just say that I can see good aspects whichever way the timing works out. (And bad ones.)

We spent great time with family and friends over the last few days. Not as much with friends as would be nice, but still, some.

Niko received so many train things this year that Joe said he's gone beyond "little engineer" and straight into "little tycoon" or perhaps "little railroad baron". By my reckoning:
  • 3 Thomas the Train books
  • 1 other train book: The Little Engine that Could
  • Thomas blanket
  • Thomas PJs, robe, and slippers
  • Duplo train
  • Wooden circus train
  • Tiny plastic windup train
  • 2 roundhouses to add to his 2 train table setups (one at home, one at Amma & Papa's - yes, this kid has two whole train setups)
  • Thomas overalls
He loves it all, although I'm kind of happy to say that the main winner has been the big Thomas book that I bought him at the last minute. It has something like 300 pages of stories in it and it is great to have some variety available to us. Also a handy thing to redirect him to when he asks for a Thomas (or whatever) video - the book is still exciting enough that it works for that. He also received a few Cars things (books, toys) and non-vehicle-themed items (amazingly loud Hawaiian shirt, matching tie-dye socks, a few books, climbing structure and trampoline for basement). We spent part of the day today putting the climbing structure together. Niko "helped".  

I used to catalog my own Christmas loot when I was a kid. Now I'm doing it for my kid. Why? ... Anyway, it's been fun having Christmas with him old enough to fully participate. Tomorrow will be the first day in a while when he won't have any gifts to open (I think) - hope we don't deal with multiple meltdowns due to the change/letdown.

Joe gave me some very thoughtful gifts, too. I am very fortunate.
figment: A treewoman, a dryad, her arms are branches (treewoman)
It is now less than 1 month to Baby Girl's due date.

We have names picked out! We have a hospital bag mostly packed! (I should really finish that.) We have her bassinet set up! Niko has been practicing how to help a baby sleep! (So cute.) This is going to happen!

...and while, at 36 weeks, it would really be best for baby to stay where she is for another week at least... I have to confess that if she came a bit early, any time after 37 weeks would be okay with me. Because I am done with this whole pregnancy thing. I know that having a newborn is hard, and maybe in a month I will look back at this and laugh at (or curse) myself through a sleep-deprived fog, but I am ready for that kind of hard instead of this kind of hard.

I'm tired. My pelvis is almost constantly sore. I can really only sleep well lying on my left side, which means my left hip ends up especially sore, sometimes enough that I can't get back to sleep after the inevitable get-up-to-pee in the middle of the night. I don't sleep well. Last night I managed to get about 7 hours, which felt amazing compared with the 4 hours the night before! But I woke up at 5 AM and ... well, just forget about going back to sleep.

I guess other than the constant fatigue, I'm feeling pretty good. That's a bit of a "but other than that, how did you like the play, Mrs. Lincoln?" sentiment, though.

Joe is awesome. He has been taking on so much of the parenting work with Niko. It makes me a little sad because I am missing out on good time with my little boy - and he misses me too - but there's just only so much I can do, and that "so much" has gotten a lot less in recent weeks. This morning, I was getting Niko up, which he didn't particularly want to do (I hear ya, kid). He said, "I just need to lie down and close my eyes for a bit. Mommy lie down too!" Even though we were already late, I did... for a few minutes... and it was the best part of my day so far. What a sweet kid.

I'm really lucky in my supportive workplace and manager, too. My pattern most days is now: drop Niko at day care, work in office until about 2, go home and take a nap, work from home, pick Niko up, dinner etc., work from home until bed. The nap is key to surviving the rest.
figment: Photo of me, smiling, in a sari (Default)
Yesterday, I worked a full day, then picked up Niko from day care. We got home and I had the luxury of sitting down to paint with him (a highly-interactive endeavor with a two-year-old) and then read to him. Putting dinner together was easy because Joe had done all the work of cooking the night before, but getting Niko to actually eat anything other than bread & butter and cucumbers was difficult. At some point after dinner, Joe took over for a half hour or so of playtime so that I could lie down and rest. I ended up doing much of bathtime, which began with a not-actually-hilarious extended session of "Niko want to sit on the potty! [almost immediately] Niko done with the potty! [cries because potty was removed] Niko want to sit on the potty!" (repeat many times). But bathtime also included some delightful singing together of the Mock Duck song and the Otto Wotto song (who knew that becoming a parent would also mean becoming a composer of silly songs?). Bathtime took so long - followed by the "Niko run around naked" portion of the evening - that it was rather late by the time I got him into his overnight diaper and PJs. Read him a couple of books and said good night to our sweet boy. Often Joe does more of this evening routine, but he wasn't feeling well; I was glad I could step up.

At 11 PM I found myself standing in the doorway of Niko's room for several minutes, just watching him sleep. "You're so beautiful. I love you so much."

This love is in some ways the hardest thing to express about being a parent.
figment: A treewoman, a dryad, her arms are branches (treewoman)
This little baby is not getting as many posts as Niko did. Pregnancy is not a new thing this time, it's known territory. And I have less time - but do have some time right now!

Baby Girl is now 21 weeks - I'm officially in the second half of this pregnancy. We had our 20-week ultrasound last Friday and all looks good! Between that and the early genetic screen, all signs point to Healthy Baby. I am so very happy about that.

Plus, we got to see her cute little profile.
20 weeks
Look at that little nose! (And, much more importantly, that healthy spine, etc.)

Generally, I feel good - energy is good and so on. I need more sleep than non-pregnant me, but that's okay. A big ol' body pillow is helping with some of my sleep issues, and eating more bananas and drinking even more liquids seems to be helping (fingers crossed) with the charley horses I was getting at night. I do hope to have another higher-energy day soon, because I have some fabric I would like to put up to cover the walls in the basement (which is becoming a much more acceptable and fun space, with the radon taken care of, floor coverings added, and a dehumidifier installed).

I feel this little one moving a lot - have for quite a few weeks now. (I guess the placenta is toward the back, which makes me much more sensitive to her movement than if it was in the front. I have no recollection where Niko's placenta was.)

We are thinking about names. It's always hard to pick a name, but we have some decent contenders. Of course, her name may end up being something we haven't thought of yet.

I'm excited to meet this little girl! I wonder if she will be born on schedule (Jan 6).
figment: Photo of me, smiling, in a sari (Default)
Ohh dreamwidth, I had totally forgotten about you. So you get the 14-month update, with nothing in between. Sorry, I still use livejournal more than I do you... and even that is neglected in favor of facebook and G+ and good ol' email.
pics and stuff )

5 months

Nov. 7th, 2013 02:30 pm
figment: A treewoman, a dryad, her arms are branches (treewoman)
It's hard to believe, but Niko is 5 months old today!

He is so big and growing all the time. I can hardly believe it when I look at photos of him soon after he was born. He was so tiny!
photos, video, and narrative within )
figment: A photobooth picture of me + spouse from our wedding (wedding)
It's been a really good weekend.

We got to see some lovely friends, T & E, from out of town on Friday night, and have a delicious dinner that I cooked with T's help. We managed to have a nice time socializing despite the fact that dinnertime and Niko's bedtime are in pretty direct conflict these days (bedtime routine starts about 6:15 with the aim of having the baby asleep by 7; this first falling-asleep seldom sticks longer than 45 minutes but does give us some time to eat then on normal nights). It was a very pleasant evening.

Saturday I did a little last minute costuming and came out with something that made me pretty happy. Joe and I made pizza for dinner, and we make pretty good pizza! Later that night, we took it in turns to attend a really superlative Halloween party - the decor was impressive, and people really rocked the Beetlejuice theme with their costumes. (I was a sandworm, one of several in attendance at the party.) So despite not having a babysitter that night, we both got to go to the party and still got Niko to bed at the right time.

Today was a gorgeous fall day, and we went over to a nearby friend's and helped make apple cider. We brought some fresh home made dill bread to contribute, and had a really nice time hanging out in the back yard watching kids romp and so on. I don't know exactly what it was that delighted Niko so, but he was giggling and smiling a lot shortly after we arrived! The sun? The other kids? The colorful weather and people? Who knows, but it was great. And we came home with two jugs of cider. We had home made lentil wat for dinner, which came out pretty well considering I'd never made it before and was kind of mashing up a couple of different recipes. Then I baked some almond cookies because I wanted something sweet for dessert.

The weekend also featured a fair amount of sleep, naps for both Joe and me, another loaf of home made bread, multiple loads of laundry done, and the kitchen is nice and clean. I'm frankly amazed that we managed to accomplish all of that domestic goodness as well as keeping the baby happy and socializing with friends!
figment: A photobooth picture of me + spouse from our wedding (photobooth)
The last few weeks have been rough for sleep around our house. Niko has not wanted to go to sleep, despite clearly being so tired - so we've been dealing with a crying baby on and off for several hours before a final bedtime of something like 11:30. And then a grown-up wake-up time of 6 or so in the morning - tired parents. Tired baby. Crabby baby (or at least less chipper than usual).

So yesterday we decided to try a much earlier bedtime, because maybe he's just getting so overtired that it's hard for him to fall asleep. We started the bath and bedtime ritual around 6:15 PM. Amazingly, he fell asleep around 6:50. He woke up a couple of times but we just changed his diaper quickly or nursed him calmly and then urged him to go back to sleep, and he did. He slept through from 9:30 PM to 6:15 AM.


So: I am very grateful for sleep. I slept from 10 PM to 6 AM. It was grand.

Here's hoping I can pull off the same thing tonight!
figment: A treewoman, a dryad, her arms are branches (treewoman)
Yesterday. Yesterday was a Wednesday, which is a long, tiring day for me these days. But! I got so much done. I worked at my job. I took care of our baby. I cooked us a pretty great dinner with pattypan squash, and mushrooms and quorn (fake chicken), and a rough pasta sauce from delicious ripe tomatoes. And baba ghannouj.

Today I am grateful that we have options with child care. We are going to continue our fabulous nannying situation until the end of the year, and then we will switch over to the Montessori day care that we found. The day care called today to say we could put Niko in as early as November 1st, but we all feel like this is going well as is so we are sticking with the plan. But it is wonderful to have options, all good.

Also, it is just gorgeous fall weather here. Really lovely. I'm enjoying the sunshine as much as I can while it's like this.


Not part of gratitude: sadly, the baby is having issues with going to sleep, these days. He was so good at it for so long! But now he is having a hard time falling asleep to nap in the afternoon, even when he is clearly So Tired. And he is also having a hard time falling asleep for the night... resulting in several nights this week with a final bedtime for him of something like 11:30. Not Optimal. Maybe the doctor will have some suggestions when we go see him for the checkup tomorrow.
figment: Photo of me, smiling, in a sari (Default)
Niko was four months old yesterday! He's gotten more interested in the world lately, likes practicing standing, being lifted waaay up ("look how tall Niko is!"), his exersaucer, and sucking his thumbs/hands.

Four months

Not sleeping through the night quite as consistently these days, and it's been harder getting him to sleep at night, but I think he may have a slight cold...

He also has tried sitting up in his high chair on his own - with pretty good success! He goes to the doctor for his four-month checkup on Friday and I anticipate that the doctor will say we can start him on some solid food now, or whenever he seems interested. New adventures await us. Also, rolled-up carpets.

High chair

It's fun being his mom.

figment: Photo of me, smiling, in a sari (Default)
Today I am grateful for all of the talented people I know. Like guppiecat.
Read this entry and look at the pictures. You will not regret it.
figment: A treewoman, a dryad, her arms are branches (treewoman)
Yesterday I was grateful for my wonderful friend [personal profile] fayde, who babysat Niko for us for a while so we could have a date. The date wasn't what some people would call exciting, but it was so good for us. We went upstairs, didn't worry about our baby, ordered a pizza and drank some wine and watched a movie. Ahh.

Today I am grateful for the beautiful weather, and for my health, which a checkup today confirmed.
figment: A treewoman, a dryad, her arms are branches (treewoman)
Yesterday I was (and still am) super grateful for the exciting book that starfive gave Niko! Super fun book that made a special story for his name.

So far today has been a little rough. At least it's Friday. I will cling to that!
figment: A treewoman, a dryad, her arms are branches (treewoman)
The first noticeable side effect of this attempt to do a gratitude journal is that I am allowing myself to post brief things.

The second is that I spend at least part of my attention during the day on "what am I going to be grateful for today?" Which is probably the point of the exercise. Looking for what I'm going to write about causes me to focus a little more on the positive things in my life throughout the day.

I don't know what I will write about today, honestly - it's hard when the day starts a bit before 5 AM because the baby doesn't want to sleep any more. But at least I'll be thinking a little more positively for the rest of the day.
figment: A treewoman, a dryad, her arms are branches (treewoman)
Hi there, Wednesday. How are you here already?

Today I am grateful that I was able to walk to a local meeting about development in my community, and am grateful that what's going in is a Goodwill. Not as awesome as the Chatterbox-like restaurant I'd find ideal, but not bad. And I met a couple of neighbors. Oh, and the baby fell asleep on me in the Moby carrier. Pretty sweet.

Yesterday seems like such a long time ago, it's hard to remember what I was grateful for. It was a very productive day at work, which is something.
figment: A treewoman, a dryad, her arms are branches (treewoman)
Yesterday I was grateful for beautiful, perfect weather that let us take a nice family picnic in the park.

Today... today I am grateful that I'm able to work from home on Mondays. That allowed me to sleep in an extra hour. Phew. Chipping away at the exhaustion.
figment: Photo of me, smiling, in a sari (Default)
The astute three of you who are reading this will note that I have failed to post for a whole week. Hm. Apparently gratitude and mindfulness about it do not easily insert themselves into my daily life.

Ah well. I try again.

Today I am grateful for a friend who not only will take loving care of my child, but sends me photographic updates about how the day is going. Hilarious and awesome.
figment: Photo of me, smiling, in a sari (Default)
Yesterday, I was grateful for feeling like I'm good at my job.

Today, I'm grateful for a little extra time with Joe in the morning; he has a planning day today so his schedule is a little more flexible.
figment: Photo of me, smiling, in a sari (Default)
gratitude from yesterday:
I'm grateful for friends who are willing and able to help at the drop of a hat.

Yesterday E, who was scheduled to nanny for N was sick, so I worked from home. I was planning on working from home anyway, but with help it can actually be work. Without help, it's pretty spotty. So thank heavens for K, who was able to come over and help for several hours, allowing me to get my afternoon meeting in and also get some real work done.


figment: Photo of me, smiling, in a sari (Default)

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